European School of Political and Social Sciences (Espol)

Lille, France
Beyond the usual university mission: education, research and service to society, Lille Catholic University wants to be open to its environment and to the world and to be a catalyst for change.


The Catholic University of Lille founded a school of social and political sciences in 1894. Over a century later, the new European School of Social and Political Sciences, modernised to be fully in line with contemporary concerns, reopened in doors in September 2012.

ESPOL, the European School of Political and Social Sciences, hinges on 3 main lines of development, whose priority is to fulfil all the expectations of parents, students, professionals and citizens in training, research and serving society.


  • Political science teaching that is open to other disciplines, including a significant amount of general knowledge.
  • Multilingual and multicultural training in political science, specialising in European studies.
    • 50% of courses are taught in English, to achieve perfect command of English and international mobility.
    • A second foreign language (German, Spanish, Italian, etc.) and third foreign language (Chinese, Russian, Arabic, Spanish, etc.) enable students to expand their knowledge of languages.
    • Students go abroad from the 2nd year of the bachelor's degree onwards, either as part of an Erasmus strip or to carry out a work placement.
  • Original, innovative teaching (interactive 'stop news' courses, organised European days, oral exam exercises, etc.)
    • Interactive 'stop news' course and/or lecture debates enable students to interact and take part in the dynamism of the courses.
    • The oral exam system involves lecturers assessing students via a question/answer game. This learning method ensures cross-disciplinary knowledge and facilitates regular work to ensure that teaching given is thoroughly assimilated.
  • Every semester, students organise a European day, which enables them to discover the cultural wealth of neighbouring countries. The programme includes debates, lectures, gastronomy, music and cinema!
  • Small class sizes for bespoke, reactive teaching in touch with the needs of the future graduates.
    • Support to achieve success (tutorials conducted by lecturers, oral exam system, monitoring of attendance, etc.)
    • Support for putting together your career plans (professionialization workshops, lectures on jobs, obligatory work placement from the bachelor's degree onwards, field visits, etc.)

Research: ESPOL-LAB

ESPOL-LAB federates all lecturers/ researchers at the Catholic University of Lille - political scientists, economists, historians and philosophers - who are interested in political issues and Europe.

The ESPOL-LAB team contributes to social and political science research via publications in French and English, setting up research seminars and organising colloquiums open to the public. Furthermore, ESPOL-LAB already supports an academically recognised journal : La Revue Internationale de Politique Comparée.

... and serving society

ESPOL intends to be an institution open to other people, aiming to train students in the various European issues that are or have been topical. It defines itself as a place for exchanging views and debating the construction and integration of Europe.

ESPOL not only serves student interests via colloquiums, debates and lectures, but also those of citizens with a keen interest in political science and Europe.

ESPOL is shortly to open a continuing education programme.

Master's Programmes

Social Sciences (2)
Humanities (1)

Many organisations offer scholarships or grants. Some of these might help you to study for a Master at European School of Political and Social Sciences (Espol)!



Welcome and Information

The Service Accueil, Information, Orientation (SAIO, welcome, information and guidance service) gives you the opportunity to consult numerous documentary sources about higher education courses and careers. For example, every year the SAIO publishes a catalogue of the 140 study programmes available at the Catholic University of Lille.

Guidance and Retraining

This service also offers students individual meetings throughout the week to learn about the career openings of a particular study programme, further studies or potential retraining. The SAIO is also the contact point for advice about VLE (Validation of Learning Through Experience) applications. Contact: 03 20 13 40 06

Libraries, Multimedia Rooms and Reprographic FacilitiesVauban University Library

The Vauban University Library is open to students (holders of a student card), researcher/lecturers and administrative staff at the Catholic University of Lille. Members of the general public must obtain a reader's card by paying an access fee (day access, or subscription for a quarter, semester or year).

For students and external readers: up to 6 documents (books and CD ROMs for 14 days, periodicals for 7 days), For lecturer/researchers and administrative staff: up to 20 documents (books and CD ROMs for 28 days, periodicals for 14 days).

Network Digital Library

Every student has access to a Network Digital Library from the following address

This enables you to easily locate the university's documentary resources, wherever you are (on site, at home, abroad, etc.). It also helps resources (dissertations, essays, reports, etc.) to be published and distributed.

Multimedia Rooms and Reprographic Facilities

There are 6 computer rooms in the basement of the academic buildings at 60, Boulevard Vauban. To access to them, bring your student card bearing your personal identification code and password, which are required to open every session. The reprographic facilities on the ground floor of 60, Boulevard Vauban (academic buildings) enable you to print, photocopy and bind your courses and documents. Do not leave this to the last minute: think about how much time you need to create your documents !

Healthcare, Catering and Accommodation


The university support service is developing general medical consultations, gynaecological examinations, nursing healthcare and psychological support in its healthcare centre (CPSU) at the heart of the campus.It has a twofold role :Prevention (CUPS):

  • obligatory medical examinations for first-year students
  • advice about healthy living
  • preventative action

Healthcare :

  • general medical consultations without an appointment
  • gynaecological consultations and emotional support by appointment
  • counselling sessions by appointment

Every year, 4,000 first-year students have an obligatory medical examination at the CPSU and 7,000 patients consult the healthcare centre.


Purchase a book of 10 tickets at 47, Bd Vauban (3 per ticket): Monday to Friday, 11am-1.30pm.

  • Relaxation Area (125, Rue de Meurein)
  • Pasta Self-Service (access 125, Rue de Meurein)
  • Traditional Self-Service (access 125, Rue de Meurein)
  • Chip Bar Self-Service (access 125, Rue de Meurein)
  • Chicken Self-Service (access, 47, Bd Vauban)
  • Campus Pasta (access 13, Rue de Toul)
  • Sandwich Bar 60 (Catho Hall)


The university support service gives students access to 20 university halls of residence (1,200 rooms costing 155-535) near the Lille campus.

Your registration is taken into account as soon as the duly completed reservation form and administration fee of 185 (cheques payable to the AEU) have been received.

Student Life

Student Associations

Sport and Leisure

  • Sports Hall : Fitness, Abdo Butt-ups, Body Sculpturing, Step, Modern Jazz, Hip Hop, Ragga, Zumba, etc. Open Monday to Friday, 7am-9pm, and Saturdays, 7am-1pm.
  • Sports complex covering more than 7 hectares : indoor and outdoor sports. (football, tennis, table tennis, handball, rugby, volleyball, basketball, etc.)
  • Gym : team sports

Federation of Catho Students

The federation brings together all student committees and bodies at the Catho. It represents students and promotes their rights, but is above all a forum for student entertainment, activities and great ideas! The Federation = 7 areas :

  • Communication (lectures, press relations, etc.)
  • Events (parties, trips, etc.)
  • International (Erasmus parties, language cafés, etc.)
  • Solidarity (fund-raising to finance student projects)
  • Associations (a link between all associations at the Catho, association training evenings)
  • Student Services (student accommodation, etc.)
  • Representation (on councils and committees at the Catho, Lille town council, CROUS and FAGE)

Got an idea for an association? Get in touch with us !

ESPOL encourages student initiatives and supports you as you develop your idea and get your project off the ground. This is because any project provides students with professional experience (Student committees, humanitarian aid, creating a newspaper, organising round tables on current political affairs, meetings and debates about current affairs, etc.).

Students with Disabilities

Whatever your disability, you may be able to access various adjustments to your study conditions (specific exams arrangements, adjustment of your timetable outside of lectures, etc.).

Students should send a letter when they register indicating the measures they would like to benefit from and enclosing a medical certificate specifying the nature and extent of their disability. Following a medical examination, the preventative medicine service will draw up an attestation specifying which special arrangements are to be made for each student. This application must be renewed at the start of each academic year, even when the certificate bears the words "permanent condition".

Disability centre

The Catholic University of Lille wants to give everyone access to higher education. The MAH (Mission Accueil Handicap) makes the whole university community more aware of the respect due to the principles of accessibility and non-discrimination. It also draws up and organises the implementation of specific measures, such as:

If you have a motor disability that prevents you from writing normally :

  • Examination or preparation time increased by a third (provision is made for adequate rest periods between exams)

If you have a speech impediment :

  • You will write your answers during oral exams
  • If you cannot sit with the other candidates, you will write in a special room.

If you have a visual disability

  • Examination or preparation time increased by a third
  • Examination questions presented in Braille or in bold characters
  • The option of writing in Braille or in bold characters, either by hand or using your own Braille machine

If you have a hearing disability

  • Examination time increased by a third for written exams
  • Examination questions, additional information and practical instructions given in written form
  • During oral exams, you must be in an area of the room that facilitates lip-reading (provided that you ask beforehand, you may be assisted by an expert lip-reader, who will help you to understand the questions asked. If you cannot express yourself orally, you may write).
  • The option of using your own keyboard
  • Secretarial assistance as designated by the examination officials

The Global Study Awards

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