Module Catalogue 2023/24

POL2034 : The Politics and Policy of the European Union

POL2034 : The Politics and Policy of the European Union

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Jocelyn Mawdsley
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System

Modules you must have done previously to study this module

Pre Requisite Comment



Modules you need to take at the same time

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

The module will cover these three broad themes:

Challenges to the European Integration Process

Internal Politics and the Policies in a Changing Era

The EU as an International Actor

Topics covered will include democracy and power, enlargement, economic policies and foreign and security policies.

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 synthesising and understanding complex information
•       writing and methodological skills

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture201:0020:00PIP lectures
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials11:001:00Pre-recorded lecture on EU history as background.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching101:0010:00PIP Seminars
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery12:002:00Essay and exam surgeries.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1167:00167:00Seminar/lecture readings and assessment preparation
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.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Digital Examination901A50Online exam 90 minutes (Inspera)
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M502000 word essay
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The online examination will assess students understanding of key concepts, theories and empirical material across the entirety of the syllabus. Students will answer 2 questions.

The 2000 word essay will provide students with the opportunity to explore an aspect of the EU or the European integration process in greater depth. The essay 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.

Exchange Students:

An alternative form of assessment will be set for exchange students in Newcastle for only 1 semester replacing the examination. The alternative form of assessment is set in accordance with the University Assessment tariff and the policy on the assessment of exchange students.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Welcome to Newcastle University Module Catalogue

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You may have some queries about the modules available to you. Your school office will be able to signpost you to someone who will support you with any queries.


The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2023 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 2024/25 entry will be published here in early-April 2024. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.