Study Abroad and Exchanges



POL3063 : European Union: Decision-Making Simulation (Inactive)

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


In this module students get the opportunity to simulate how the European Union (EU) actually works. Each student will act as a representative of an EU member statethe Commission, and simulate how these actors make decisions at the EU level. After the preparatory sessions, the latter half of the module is spent in the actual situation, which the students control and lead.

The module aims:
• To familiarise students with how decisions are made in the EU.
• To study how the Council institutions function and how they interact with other political actors.
• To teach students how the domestic politics of individual member states interact with the behaviour of the member states at the EU level.
• To enable students to explore how political deals are made and how negotiations are conducted between European states.
• To enhance student skills in EU research.
• To strengthen student skills in group work, communicating with other groups and organising fluid schedules.
• To familiarise students with negotiating skills and the conduct of committee meetings.

Outline Of Syllabus

1. Lecture: Introduction and explanation of the module and reading list.

2. Lecture: Research sources and report writing strategies.

3. Lecture: Finish resources discussion and talk about the paper.

4. Lecture: EU and Council institutions.

5. Lecture: Finish Council institutions.

6. Lecture, Member state perspectives and strategies.

7. Lecture and Discussion, Issue Areas of the Simulation.

8. Video seminar.

9. Video Seminar.

10. Explanation of the rules

11. EU simulation: practice session.

12. EU simulation

13. EU simulation

14. EU simulation

15. EU simulation, including final Council of Ministers session.

16. Wash-up session and discussion of the second report.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture71:007:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching131:0013:00Video seminars & workshops
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops161:3024:00Simulations 1 & 2 hrs
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1156:00156:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures are required to give students the foundational knowledge to conduct the research needed for their roles and to understand their roles in the simulated EU process.
Video seminars enable students to actually witness EU actors and thus learn how the EU works and how they should conduct themselves in the simulation.
Two seminars discuss how the simulation works. The session before the simulation should enhance student performance; the seminar afterwards will enable the students to think through what they have learnt through the preparatory sessions and the actual seminar.
The simulation requires students to use the knowledge they have learnt about the European Union to actively participated in making policy decisions that shape the well being of EU citizens.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Practical/lab report2M20Simulation Performance
Practical/lab report2M40Individual Simulation Report - 2000 words (maximum 3000 words)
Essay2M40Team Research Paper - 4000 words (maximum 6000 words)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The Joint research paper enables the students to conduct the research necessary to understand the EU process, the simulation issues, and their roles. Working as a team gives teamwork experience that will be important for the simulation.
The individual simulation requires students to analyse what they have learnt about the EU from the simulation preparation and activity.
The assessment of the simulation performance helps isolate the understanding of the students of the EU process and the actor that they are simulating.

Reading Lists