Module Catalogue 2018/19

POL2034 : The Politics and Policy of the European Union

  • Offered for Year: 2018/19
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Jocelyn Mawdsley
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



• to give students an in depth understanding of the political processes and major policies of the EU
• to introduce students to key debates about states co-operating at an international level
• to give students an understanding of the processes of integration and the corresponding support and opposition to that process
• to introduce students to debates about the EU’s role in the world

This module aims to introduce students to the key challenges facing the European Union in the 21st century. It will outline key internal and external policy areas and discuss the political debates surrounding these.

Outline Of Syllabus

Historical Background

Challenges to the European Integration Process
2) Understanding European Integration
3) Democracy, Power and Legitimacy in the EU
4) Citizenship and Identity in the EU
5) Member States: Power and Influence
6) Limits to European Integration

Internal Politics and the Policies in a Changing Era
7) The Policy Process and Europeanisation
8) Budget Politics and Interest Representation in the EU
9) The Single Market
10) Economic and Monetary Union
11) Social Europe, Cohesion Policy and the Impact of the Financial Crisis
12) The Euro and the Sovereign Debt Crisis: Roots, Outcomes and Consequences
13) Justice and Home Affairs: Big Brother or Necessary Response to Security Threats?
14) Looking to the Future: Research and Technology Policy

The EU as an International Actor
15) The EU and International Negotiations: the Challenges of Consistency
16) The EU and the Developing World
17) The EU and its Neighbours
18) Mars and Venus? The EU and the US
19) The EU as a Security Actor

20)The EU Today: Challenges and Opportunities
21)Revision Lecture

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

At the end of the module students will have an understanding of

•       the process of European integration and the challenges to it
•       the main policy areas and their impact on the Member States
•       key concepts in integration theory
•       the main features of the EU’s international relations

Intended Skill Outcomes

Students will have developed

•       skills of teamwork, oral presentation and discussion in the seminars through presentations
•       skills of synthesising and understanding complex information
•       writing and methodological skills

Graduate Skills Framework

Graduate Skills Framework Applicable: Yes
  • Cognitive/Intellectual Skills
    • Critical Thinking : Present
    • Data Synthesis : Present
    • Active Learning : Present
    • Literacy : Assessed
    • Information Literacy
      • Source Materials : Present
      • Synthesise And Present Materials : Assessed
      • Use Of Computer Applications : Assessed
  • Self Management
    • Self Awareness And Reflection : Present
    • Planning and Organisation
      • Goal Setting And Action Planning : Present
      • Decision Making : Present
    • Personal Enterprise
      • Innovation And Creativity : Present
      • Initiative : Present
      • Independence : Present
      • Problem Solving : Present
      • Adaptability : Present
  • Interaction
    • Communication
      • Oral : Assessed
      • Interpersonal : Assessed
      • Written Other : Assessed
    • Team Working
      • Collaboration : Assessed
      • Relationship Building : Present
      • Leadership : Present
      • Negotiation : Present
      • Peer Assessment Review : Present
  • Application
    • Occupational Awareness : Present
    • Commercial Acumen
      • Governance Awareness : Assessed
    • Social Cultural Global Awareness : Present
    • Legal Awareness : Present

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion10:000:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion160:0060:002 office hours weekly for guidance with module leader
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture221:0022:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching101:0010:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery22:004:00Briefing paper surgeries in project groups
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1104:00104:00Seminar/Lecture readings & exam revision
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures are designed to introduce students to the key external and internal EU policy areas as well as discussing the European integration process and the challenges to it.
The seminars will provide an active learning environment in which this understanding of the lecture material will be enhanced and in which empirical, conceptual and theoretical controversies surrounding European integration and EU policies introduced in the lectures can be critically explored in depth by students. Group presentations in the seminars will enhance the students’ teamwork and negotiation skills.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination901A50unseen
Oral Presentation201M25NOT TO BE SCHEDULED BY EXAMS OFFICE (IN HOUSE) Group presentation of briefing papers findings
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report1M25Group briefing paper (4000 words).
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The unseen examination will assess students understanding of key concepts, theories and empirical material across the entirety of the syllabus

The 4000 word group report and presentation will provide students with the opportunity to explore an aspect of the EU or the European integration process in greater depth. The report will provide a means of assessing their ability to place and synthesise the material gained from lectures and seminars in addition to empirical, conceptual and theoretical understandings derived from their own independent study. The reports will also assess students’ ability to critically and succinctly evaluate such material. The presentation will assess oral presentation skills and both report and presentation will assess their team-working skills. Students will be divided into groups of 3-5 students. Each group is asked to prepare a 4,000 word ‘briefing paper’ on a topical issue and to present their findings to the rest of their seminar group.

Exchange Students:

An alternative form of assessment will be set for exchange students from non-English speaking home institutions replacing the examination. The alternative form of assessment is set in accordance with the University Assessment tariff.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2018/19 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2018/19 entry will be published here in early-April 2018. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.