Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
European Politics
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

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 2,500 word essay  40%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   (1 x 2 hours)  50%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 3,000 word essay in lieu of exam, if exam element failed  50%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 1,000 word assignment, in lieu of seminar performance  10%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 2,500 word essay, if essay element failed  40%

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


Lecture Topics:

Part One: Setting the scene

1. Introduction to the module: Why Study the EU?
2. The Historical Legacy

3. Theories of European Integration
4. Theories of European Governance

Part Two: Governing Europe

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

Part Three: Policies in Europe

11. Decision-Making in the EU and Participation
12. Enlarging the EU

13. European Foreign Policy
14. European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP)

15. Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP)
16. Justice and Home Affairs (JHA)

17. Economic and Monetary Union (EMU)
18. Conclusion and Exam Briefing


1. History or Theory? Understanding the EU
2. Where Does Power Lie: Commission, Council or Parliament
3. The Lisbon Treaty. The EU after Constitutional Failure
4. Enlargement: Where Does Europe End?
5. Justice and Home Affairs
6. European Foreign Policies: CFSP


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