Module Identifier IPM0230  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Dr Charlotte J Burns  
Semester Semester 2  
Course delivery Seminars / Tutorials   22 Hours (1 x 2 hour seminars per week)  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam3 Hours  60%
Semester Assessment Essay: 1 x 3,000 words  40%
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 Lists

H Wallace and W Wallace (2000) Policy Making in the European Union Oxon, OUP
JJ Richardson (2001) Power, Policy, Politics of the European Union London, Routledge
J Peterson & M Shackleton (2002) Institutions of the European Union Oxon: OUP


This module is at CQFW Level 7