Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 1

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 18 Hours. (18 x 1 hour)
Seminars / Tutorials 6 Hours. (6 x 1 hour)


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Seminar Presentation  10%
Semester Assessment 1 x 2,500 word essay  40%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   (1 x 2 hour exam)  50%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
-Have a detailed and critical awareness of contemporary politics and policies within the European Union and the union's importance to the states of Europe.
-Identify and apply appropriate concepts and theories to enable them to critically analyse the complexities of European integration.
-Recognise the major debates and issues concerning the exercise of power and authority within and between constituent levels of government in Europe.
-Demonstrate, through written work and in seminar discussions, an awareness and understanding of different national and European level policies and interests.
-Effectively deploy skills of: identification and location of appropriate sources; independent study; writing (essays and examinations); IT skills and time-management.

Brief description

This module provides the foundation for a comprehensive analysis and understanding of the concepts and dynamics of the European Union (EU). It examines the key institutions and state actors in European integration and the policies and issues that are central to the future of Europe



1. Introduction to the module: Why Study the EU?
2. The Historical Legacy
3. Theories of European Integration
4. Theories of European Governance
5. The European Commission and Executive Governance
6. The European Parliament
7. European Councils
8. EU Law and the Courts
9. Reforming the EU: What kind of Europe?
10. Legitimacy and Democracy
11. Decision-Making in the EU and Participation
12. The Economic and Monetary Union (EMU)
13. Enlarging the EU
14. European Foreign Policy and External Action Service
15. European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP)
16. European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP)
17. EU Justice and Home Affairs Policies (EJHA)
18. Conclusion and Exam Briefing


1. History or Theory? Understanding the EU
2. Where Does Power Lie: Commission, Council or Parliament?
3. Why Reform? The EU before/after the ToL
4. Enlargement: Where Does/Should Europe End?
5. European Foreign Policy(ies): How Effective is it?
6. Justice & Home Affairs: Inclusive Security or a ‘Fortress Europe’?


The module aims to provide the knowledge for students to examine the history, concepts, institutions and policies of the EU, and thereby aim to give students a thorough grounding in the major political issues and problems the EU faces. This will enable students to critically analyse the role of the EU in national, regional and international politics.

Transferable skills

Students will develop, practice and test a range of transferable skills. Throughout, students will be required to practice and enhance their reading, comprehension and thinking skills. In lectures students will develop listening and note taking skills, as well as analytical skills. In seminars, students will participate in delivery of group presentations that will develop team working. These also foster listening, explaining and debating skills. Essay writing demands development of skills in independent research, writing and IT, and the examination will test skills of succinct and focussed writing, as well as clear organization of thought, under time constraint conditions.

10 ECTS credits

Reading List

General Text
(2007.) European Union politics /[edited by] Michelle Cini. 2nd ed. Oxford University Press Primo search Bache, Ian. (2006.) Politics in the European Union /Ian Bache, Stephen George. 2nd ed. Oxford University Press Primo search Nugent, Neill. (2006.) The government and politics of the European Union /Neill Nugent. 6th ed. Palgrave Macmillan Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 6