Module Information

Module Identifier
IP33820
Module Title
The European Union: Politics, Policies, Problems
Academic Year
2017/2018
Co-ordinator
Semester
Semester 2
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminar 4 x 2 Hour Seminars
Lecture 18 x 1 Hour Lectures
 

Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 x 2500 word essay  50%
Semester Assessment 1 x 2500 word essay  50%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 2500 word essay  50%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 2500 word essay  50%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Critically evaluate key theoretical explanations of European integration.
2. Analytically critique the decision-making dynamics in European politics over time, and the shifting balance of power between European institutions.
3. Describe, compare and critique key policies within the European Union.
4. Critically evaluate the key policy challenges facing the European Union, and different solutions for meeting these.
5. Demonstrate a systematic understanding and detailed knowledge of different state and European level interests and their interaction in European policy-making.

Brief description

With the European Union facing multiple crises, including Brexit, the refugee crisis, terrorist attacks, an ailing Eurozone and conflicts in its neighbourhood, this module provides the foundation for a comprehensive analysis and understanding of the dynamics of the European Union (EU). It examines how it evolved, how it works, which are the key institutions and actors in European integration, as well as the policies and challenges shaping the future of Europe.

Content

The module is taught through a combination of lectures and seminars. It is divided into three parts:
Part 1: Introduces students to the historical origins and development of the EU, and key theoretical approaches to understanding European integration.
Part 2: Discusses the dynamics of power and decision-making in the EU. The module introduces students to key political institutions, the evolving relationship between them and their strengths and weaknesses.
Part 3: Provides an overview of key EU policies, outlining important developments in each area, and some of the main challenges facing European decision-makers and Europe as whole in the 21st Century.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number N/A
Communication Students will learn how to present their ideas verbally and in writing, and how to present their arguments most effectively. They will develop skills in using the many sources of information available to best advantage. They will learn to be clear in their writing and speaking and to be direct about aims and objectives. They will learn to consider only that which is relevant to the topic, focus and objectives of their argument or discussion. Students will also be required to submit their written assessments in word-processed format and the presentation of work should reflect effective expression of ideas and good use of language skills in order to ensure clarity, coherence and effective communication.
Improving own Learning and Performance The module aims to promote self-management but within a context in which support and assistance is available from the module convenor and other students. Students will be expected to improve their own learning and performance by undertaking their own research and exercising their own initiative, including searching for sources and deciding how to answer assessed essay questions.
Information Technology The module is designed to hone and test skills of use to students in their working lives, particularly in speaking to small groups, listening, thinking and responding to the statement of others. Moreover, the written work requires students to write clearly and concisely, which is a common task in the workplace. Students will be encouraged throughout to reflect on their performance and to consider lessons for future application.
Personal Development and Career planning The module is designed to hone and test skills of use to students in their working lives, particularly in speaking to small groups, listening, thinking and responding to the statement of others. Moreover, the written work requires students to write clearly and concisely, which is a common task in the workplace. Students will be encouraged throughout to reflect on their performance and to consider lessons for future application.
Problem solving Independent work and problem solving will be one central goal of the module; the submission of written assignments will require that students develop independent research skills as well as problem solving skills. The ability of students to solve problems will be developed and assessed by asking them to: adopt differing points of view; organize data and estimate an answer to the problem; consider extreme cases; reason logically; construct theoretical models; consider similar cases; look for patterns; divide issues into smaller problems
Research skills Students will be required to undertake independent research in order to complete the assessed work. This will involve utilizing a range of information sources, including core academic texts, journal articles, EU electronic publications, and online news sources.
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 • Evaluate competing perspectives • Apply a range of methodologies to complex historical and contemporary social and political problems.
Team work Students will undertake team exercises in the seminars. For many of the topics of this module, seminars will consist of small-group discussions where students will be asked to discuss as a group the core issues related to the seminar topic. These class discussions and debates form a significant part of the module, and will allow students to approach and examine a given topic through team work.

Notes

This module is at CQFW Level 6