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POL2034 : The Politics and Policy of the European Union

  • Offered for Year: 2021/22
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Jocelyn Mawdsley
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


• 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

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials111:0011:00Pre-recorded lecture materials
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture111:0011:00PIP lectures
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching111:0011:00PIP Seminars
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1156:00156:00Seminar/lecture readings and assessment preparation
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk111:0011:00Online students consultation and feedback
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.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination992A50Unseen 48 hour take home assessment
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M502000 word essay
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The unseen take home 48 hour examination will assess students understanding of key concepts, theories and empirical material across the entirety of the syllabus. Students will answer 2 questions with a maximum word length of 1000 words for each.

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 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.

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.

Reading Lists