Module Catalogue 2016/17

POL3078 : Britain and the European Union

  • Offered for Year: 2016/17
  • Module Leader(s): Mr Philip Daniels
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



The module aims to explore the complex and changing political and economic relationship between Britain and the European Union. It will introduce students to key debates and concepts in contemporary political analysis such as the impact of ‘Europeanisation’ and the relationship between European integration and national sovereignty.

Outline Of Syllabus

The introductory lectures analyse the development of Britain’s relationship with Europe in the post-war period, focusing on why Britain did not join the early moves towards integration in the 1950s and why membership has continued to be a source of domestic political dispute and partisan division. The lectures then move on to explore the impact of EU membership on Britain’s political system and policy-making processes, with a focus on the issue of national sovereignty and institutional adaptation. The remaining lectures address some of the key contemporary issues in Britain’s relationship with the EU, including the development of a European Common Foreign and Security Policy, the economic costs and benefits of membership, the pound and the Euro, and Britain’s power and influence inside the EU. The lecture series will also include documentaries on aspects of Britain’s relationship with the European Union.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

By studying this module students will:

1.       Develop an understanding of Britain’s multi-layered relationship with the European Union.
2.       Be able to make informed statements about the impact of European integration on the domestic politics and policies of a medium-sized European state.
3.       Be able to apply to the British case key concepts and theoretical perspectives on the nature of European integration.

Intended Skill Outcomes

The module will develop the student’s skills to:

•       Critically evaluate empirical data, policies, concepts, arguments and theories
•       Develop and articulate this critical understanding through independent reading, oral presentations, group discussion and written communication.

Graduate Skills Framework

Graduate Skills Framework Applicable: Yes
  • Cognitive/Intellectual Skills
    • Critical Thinking : Assessed
    • Data Synthesis : Present
    • Active Learning : Present
    • Numeracy : Present
    • Literacy : Assessed
    • Information Literacy
      • Source Materials : Present
      • Synthesise And Present Materials : Present
      • 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 : Present
      • Written Other : Present
  • Application
    • Commercial Acumen
      • Governance Awareness : Present
    • Social Cultural Global Awareness : Present

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures explore the main features of Britain’s political and economic relationship with the EU. Students are introduced to the key concepts and theoretical perspectives for understanding the nature of Britain’s membership of the EU.

The seminars provide an environment for students to deepen understanding and develop a critical evaluation of the empirical, theoretical and conceptual issues surrounding Britain’s membership of the EU. Students will also present papers to the seminar.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Oral Examination102A50Oral Examination organised within school
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M502000 word paper
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The oral examination will assess the student’s understanding of, and ability to evaluate critically the key concepts, theories and issues from across the whole curriculum. The student will be required to demonstrate an integrated knowledge of the material covered in the module.

The 2000-word essay is designed to assess the student’s ability to undertake independent research on a contemporary theme or issue related to Britain’s membership of the EU. It will assess the student’s skills of planning and organisation, initiative, information literacy and written communication.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2016/17 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 2017/18 entry will be published here in early-April 2017. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.