Module Information

Module Identifier
IP34020
Module Title
Eu Simulation
Academic Year
2016/2017
Co-ordinator
Semester
Semester 2
External Examiners
  • Dr Felix J Rosch (Senior Lecturer - Coventry University)
 
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminar 8 x 2 Hour Seminars
Workshop 1 x 6 Hour Workshop
 

Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 x 1,500 word Preparatory briefings  20%
Semester Assessment 1 x assessment of skills employed in negotiations  10%
Semester Assessment 1 x 2,000 word portfolio of written documentation  30%
Semester Assessment 1 x 2,500 word Final Report reflection on simulation  40%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 1,500 word Briefing on topic provided by Module convenor  20%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 500 word report in lieu of skills assessment  10%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 2,000 word report on real-life example of EU negotiation  30%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 2,500 Review essay  40%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Describe and analyse the dynamics behind EU politics and decision making
2. Demonstrate an informed understanding of the European Union’s role in selected policy areas
3. Demonstrate a practical understanding of decision-making in the European Union
4. Demonstrate their acquired negotiating skills and transfer them into different contexts
5. Utilize communication skills through written and oral work
6. Demonstrate the development of research skills
7. Analyse the major policies in the field and demonstrate the ability to use primary documents
8. Critically assess the central problems facing the European Union currently and in the future

Brief description

This module aims to provide students with a practical and grounded experience of politics, decision-making and negotiation in the European Union. Students will be assigned within national, EU institutional teams. These teams will then be provided with supporting briefing material, reading lists and an overall scenario. Their task will then be, over the course of the module, to act within their roles in simulated EU negotiations and decision making. Throughout the course of the module the scenario will evolve both as a result of the students’ own progress in negotiation but also as a result of 'external' events inserted by the module convenor. In a final ‘summit’ modeled on the European Council, negotiations will aim to conclude with a signing of a final agreement addressing the key issues arising from the overarching scenario.

Content

The simulation will work on the basis of a series of 'plenary sessions' of the Council of Ministers and the European Council. At a first introductory session, participants will be introduced to a 'scenario' selected by the Module Convenor; the scenario will be informed by key contemporary debates within the EU. Students will form 'negotiating teams' in groups of two or three. The remainder of the module will require students to prepare for, and participate in, formal meetings where the issues arising from the scenario will be debated. Students will be required to:
• Research background information on the specific interests they represent
• Prepare positions for the weekly plenary meetings
• Consult other teams in order to agree joint positions and develop coalitions
• Draft submissions for adoption by the plenary session
• Negotiate a final agreement within the parameters set by particular interests and possibilities for compromise

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number N/A
Communication Students will learn how to present their ideas verbally and in writing, as well as how to communicate in order to acquire bargaining advantage. Understand the importance of information and clear communication and how to exploit these. They will know how to use the many sources of information available and how to use the most appropriate form of communication to the best advantage. They will learn to be clear and direct in their statements, and to be direct about aims and objectives. Learn to consider only that which is relevant to the topic, focus and objectives of their argument or discussion. Plenary sessions will be run in groups where oral discussion, negotiations and presenations will form the main medium of teaching and the emphasis throughout the module will be on student participation and communciation. Fellow students will be encouraged to question the public speaker, and students will be required to engage in debate as a way of critiquing ideas and building consensus.
Improving own Learning and Performance The module aims to promote self-management but within a context of assistance from both the convenor and the fellow students alike. Students will be expected to improve their own learning and performance by undertaking their own research and to exercise their own initiative, including searching for sources, compiling reading lists, and deciding (under guidance) the direction of their written portfolio and final report, and the overall state of simulation negotiations. The need to meet meeting deadlines, and deadlines for assessed work will focus students’ attention on the need to manage their time and opportunity resources well.
Information Technology Students will be expected to submit their work in word-processed format. Also, students will be encouraged to search for sources of information on the web, as well as seeking sources through electronic information sources. In addition, it is vital for the module that they will be expected to be able to locate EU documents from the web. Students will also be required to use various information and communication technologies to communicate with other teams during the simulation, share information and build bargaining coalitions. The ability of students to use information technology to advance their positions in negotiations will be assessed via the written portfolio and the evaluation of skills demonstrated.
Personal Development and Career planning The discussions in particular will help to develop students’ verbal and presentation skills. Learning about the process of planning an essay, a presentation, a final report, and framing the parameters of the projects, honing and developing the projects and seeing through to completion will contribute towards their portfolio of transferable skills. In addition, they will be able to significantly improve their negotiation skills. The development and use of transferable skills will be assessed by the Module Convenor.
Problem solving Independent project work and problem solving will be one of the central goals of the module; producing written assignments for the assessed portfolio will require student to develop and demonstrate independent research skills as well as problem solving skills. The need to research and prepare for formal meetings will also enable students to formulate strategies for resolving a range of policy problems. The ability of students to solve problems will be developed and assessed by asking them to: adopt differing points of view; organize data and propose an answer to the problem; consider extreme cases; reason logically; construct theoretical models; consider similar cases; look for patterns; divide issues into smaller problems; build coalitions in favour of specific solutions to problems. A final report on negotiations will ensure that an assessment of the student's ability to work alone can be undertaken.
Research skills The submission of a portfolio of written assignments and a final report will require students to demonstrate an ability to research and prepare for formal negotiations. The need to locate appropriate research resources and write up the results will also develop research skills. Research preparation for formal presentations at plenary sessions will also enable the student to develop independent project skills. A final report on the negotiations will ensure that an assessment of the student’s ability to work alone can be undertaken.
Subject Specific Skills Students have the opportunity to develop, practice and test a wide range of subject specific skills that help them to understand, conceptualise and evaluate examples and ideas on the module. These subject specific skills include: • Collect and understand a wide range of data relating to the module, especially EU documents from the EU documentation centre and the web • Ability to evaluate competing perspectives advanced during complex international negotiations • Relate theoretical debates to practical issues arising from real life negotiating scenarios • Demonstrate subject specific research techniques • Apply a range of methodologies to complex political problems • Put political skills to practical use, such as negotiation skills.
Team work Pre-plenary preparation and formal negotiations will consist in part of small-group discussion and negotiation where students will be obliged to discuss as a group the core issues related to a range of topics. Such classroom debates and discussions are a vital component of the module. Teamwork forms part of the assessment of skills employed throughout the simulation.

Notes

This module is at CQFW Level 6