module specification

GI5064 - The Politics of the European Union (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23
Module title The Politics of the European Union
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Social Sciences and Professions
Total study hours 150
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
105 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Essay, 1,500
Coursework 50%   Policy Evaluation 1500
Running in 2022/23

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Tuesday Morning

Module summary

This module has three principal aims:

  1. 1. It will explore the historical origins of Union and its predecessor bodies in the first two decades after WWII.
  2. What agents and factors facilitated such a innovative development in European political history?
  3. 2. It will explore the political character of the Union. What sort of organisation is it in political terms? How democratic is it?
  4. 3. It will examine its principal policy outputs, including economic, monetary, social and foreign policies

Prior learning requirements



The historical evolution of the EU from the foundation of the ECSC LO1 

Conceptualising the EU: What is it? Federation, confederation, consociation, other. LO2 

Democracy and the European Union LO3 

The Principal Policies of the EU: LO4

                                 Movement and Migration
                                 Foreign and defence

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

This module will be taught through a mixture of lectures and seminars. It will also exploit weblearn to deliver materials (reading, seminar materials, video material, feedback) which can support seminar work and the independent learning of students

To support the employability component of the degree, two seminars will be devoted to a detailed analysis of the policy making process (formulation of proposals; legislative process; implementation). Students will be asked to simulate the formulation and ‘piloting’ of a proposal through the various stages of development.

Learning outcomes

At the end of this module students will:

1. Possess a firm grasp of the political and economic factors that have shaped the historical evolution of the European Union
2. Gain a capacity to evaluate critically competing formal explanatory theories of European integration
3. Understand and critique the conceptual debates concerning the political nature of the EU
4. Gain a knowledge and understanding of the nature and significance of its principal policy responsibilities and the ways in which they have reshaped European politics and economics.

Assessment strategy

There will be two pieces of  summative assessment on this module:

1, 500 essay, drawn from a list of essay titles
1, 500 word policy evaluation. Students will have to select an area of EU policy and describe its development and evaluate its nature and significance in relation to the EU as a whole. Policy areas to be specified by tutor


Where possible, the most current version of reading materials is used during the delivery of this module.  Comprehensive reading lists are provided to students in their handbooks.  Reading Lists will be updated annually.

Core Reading:

Cini, M and Nieves Pérez-Solórzano Borragán, European Union Politics, OUP,  2016
Wallace, H., Pollack, M. and Young , A.(2015) Policy-Making in the European Union, OUP
M. Eilstrip-Sangiovanni, Debating Europea Integration, 2006. ebook

Further Reading:

Chryssochoou, D.N. (2008) Theorizing European Integration, Routledge
Dinan, D. (2010) Ever Closer Union, Palgrave
McCann, D. (2018)  Political Economy of Europe in the 21st Century, Palgrave
S. Hix and B. Hoyland The Political System of the European Union, 2011
M. Chang Monetary Integration in the European Union, 2009
J. Zielonka, Europe as Empire, 2006
V. Schmidt, Democracy in Europe, 2006

Journal of European Public Policy
Journal of Common Market Studies