Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Intended for use in future years

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminars / Tutorials 22 Hours. (1 x 2 hour seminars per week)


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay: 1 x 2500 words  40%
Semester Assessment 1 x Essay 4,500 words  60%
Supplementary Exam Students may, subject to Faculty approval, have the opportunity to resit this module, normally during the supplementary examination period. For further clarification please contact the Teaching Programme Administrator in the Department of International Politics. 

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the module students should be able to:

- Display in-depth knowledge of the role of institutions in the European integration process
- Show an awareness of the complexity and the functioning of the EU's institutional structure and of the nature of the EU policy-process
- Discuss the contribution made by individual institutions (Council, Parliament, Commission, Court, and others) to European governance
- Demonstrate an awareness of the problems and challenges facing European institutions in the current phase of the integration process
- Relate their knowledge of the EU politics to the wider issues of transnational policy-making and governance in Europe
- Demonstrate the development of communicative (oral as well as written) and research skills

Brief description

This module provides for the examination of the politics of the European Union.


The module will combine a wider and theoretically-oriented focus on the EU's institutional framework with a look at more specific and topical issues such as the ongoing Commission reform, the changes arising from the Nice Treaty and the implications of enlargement.


The discussion of theoretical perspectives on European interpretation - including political science as well as legal and sociological approaches - is followed by the study of the main European institutions, the policy-process of the European Union, the nature of key policies (including the Union's external relations) and the ongoing process of constitutionalisation in Europe.

Transferable skills

Many students pursuing this module may pursue careers in EU institutions or businesses operating in the EU single market. The module is therefore not only aimed at achieving the highest levels of academic standard, but also in developing a portfolio of transferable skills that complement and enhance the portfolio of skills acquired in other modules.

The module will require the use of IT skills. Much of the course material, e.g. publications and reports by the European institutions, are available on the World Wide Web, and students will be encouraged to use this facility. Students will be encouraged to use the European Documentation Centre, and to access electronic resources as part of their research. Furthermore, students will develop word processing skills in the preparation and presentation of written work.

The module will require analysis of some statistical information about the nature of voting in the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament. Students will be encouraged to develop basic interpretative skills in the analysis of this statistical data. Students are also required to write one long essay. They will be expected to choose their own topic, and to research this topic thoroughly, formulate key questions, research on an independent basis, and plan/design their written work.

The module requires students to manage their time effectively: to prepare for seminars, and to plan presentations as well as completing their assessment. Seminars rely on the students' ability to show individual initiative, but also to develop co-operation and teamwork.

Reading List

Recommended Text
Cini & Bourne Palgrave advances in European Union studies /edited by Michelle Cini and Angela K. Bourne. Primo search Hix, S (2004) The Political System of the European Union London:Palgrave Primo search
Supplementary Text
Bainbridge, Timothy Penguin Companion to European Union, The Literature. edition 3r.e. Penguin Primo search Dinan, Desmond Ever Closer Union? Literature. edition 2r.e.of Macmillan Primo search Dinan. D Encyclopedia of European Union Literature. edition n.e. Macmillan Primo search Hayward, J and Page, E.C Governing the New Europe Literature. Polity P. Primo search J.Peterson and E.Bomberg Decision Making in the European Union Literature. Sage Pubns. Primo search M. Cini (ed) European Union Politics Literature. Ocford University Press Primo search Nugent, Neill Government and Politics of the European Union Literature. edition 5r.e. Palgrave Macmillan Primo search Urwin, D.W and Paterson,W.E Politics in Western Europe Today Literature. Longman Primo search Wallace, Helen Policy-making in the European Union Literature. edition 4r.e. Oxf.U.P. Primo search Warleigh, Alex Understanding European Union Institutions Literature. Routledge Primo search Institutions of the European Union, The Literature. Oxf.U.P. Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 7