Module code: POL1018

Module Overview

The module provides an introduction to the European Union.  It asks why the European integration process began, and how the EU of today resulted. It provides an analysis of the EU institutions, and also evaluates how EU membership changes the member states themselves. The module also introduces debates about the evaluation of the integration process and assesses the potential for further European integration.

Each week, there will be a lecture on a given area, followed up by a seminar.  The seminars will typically be focused around a particular activity and may require the group to produce a collective output, to be posted on SurreyLearn for the rest of the module’s students to see.  Seminar leaders may organise each seminar group at the start of the module so that small groups of individuals take lead responsibility for the production of any such documents for particular sessions.  However, it is expected that ALL students will bring new materials and ideas to the session, contribute towards the debate and thereby support their fellow-students.

As part of the module, there will be a process of self-and peer-review in one of the lectures and its linked seminar sessions. This will enable students to develop and demonstrate their critical thinking vis-à-vis both their own work and that of other students.


Module provider


Module Leader

GUERRA Simona (Politics)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 4

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 128

Lecture Hours: 11

Seminar Hours: 11

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • European Integration – Why Bother? Europe after WWII

  • From Paris to Lisbon: The Evolution of the EU Political System, 1952-2009

  • Understanding the EU Today: Multi-level Governance and The Europeanisation of Member States

  • The EU role of national governments: The European Council and Council of Ministers

  • The ‘supranational’ institutions: The Commission, the Parliament, the European Central Bank and the Court of Justice

  • How the EU Works – A Case Study of the EU Policy Chain

  • The EU in the World: Economic Giant, Diplomatic Dwarf?

  • Britain and the EU: A Bad Romance?

  • Legitimacy and Resistance: The EU and its Citizens

  • Imagining the EU’s Future: Stasis, Collapse or Deepening?




Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Examination 2 - HOUR EXAMINATION 70

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate criticality, subject knowledge, and reflexive learning.

The first unit of assessment is a self-evaluation exercise, which requires students to hone and demonstrate critical analysis of a published work alongside self-and peer-review.

The second unit of assessment is an exam, which tests critical thinking, subject knowledge, and written communication skills.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Self-evaluation exercise (1,000 words);

  • Exam (two hours, two part paper; one question to be answered on each part of the paper from a choice of four)

Formative assessment and feedback

Self-evaluation and peer-review; verbal feedback in tutorials; interactive sessions during the lecture.

Module aims

  • Introduce students to the study of European integration
  • Introduce students to debates about the rationale for and impact of the integration process
  • Consolidate students' knowledge and understanding of the process of governance and its impact on socio-political dynamics by looking at the process of European integration
  • Establish a platform of knowledge and understanding of the history and institutions of the EU that will serve as a foundation for a deeper analysis of issues that will be covered in the level 5 module, POL 2033 Integration and Disintegration in Europe
  • Help students to understand how good understanding of the EU can help hone analytical capacities in respect of issues that are the subject of study in other modules in all the Department's degree pathways.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Demonstrate excellent knowledge of the history and institutions of the EU KC
002 Show a clear understanding of the historical forces underpinning the development of European integration KC
003 Evaluate current debates about European institutions and their internal politics KCP
004 Engage with a variety of theoretical approaches in order to understand the extent of existing debate KCPT
005 Demonstrate understanding of a wide range of complex concepts that underpin all debate on the EU KCT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Introduce students to EU studies, and facilitate student-led informed discussion of the topics covered.

The learning and teaching methods include:

Lectures, seminars, prescribed reading, independent learning


Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: POL1018

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
International Relations BSc (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Politics BSc (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Public Affairs MPA 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Politics and Economics BSc (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law with International Relations LLB (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2020/1 academic year.