Module code: POL2033

Module Overview

This module draws on the background knowledge on European integration development in the Level 4 module POL1018. It introduces students to key debates about the EU in the present day, with a focus on the politics of European integration – i.e. how that process is contested and shaped, and what these events indicate about the EU’s future development. thus introducing the students to the politics of European integration. The module is structured thematically around European integration in politics, economics and society, and explores the different trajectories taken by each of these areas of EU competence. The module also explores the likely ways forward out of the Euro-crisis, drawing on integration theory to inform deliberations on this topic.

Module provider


Module Leader

USHERWOOD Simon (Politics)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 5

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

Overall student workload

Module Availability

Semester 1

Module content

The module content will evolve with each delivery, to reflect the changing nature of the EU and of the tools available to study it. At the same time, content will be broadly structured around the following key elements.

The first section of the module will be concerned with the conceptualisation of the EU as a whole, taking in theoretical models and the contemporary state of the system. In particular, there will be a focus on developing student understanding, and use of, critical theories to pursue deeper insights, which will also be carried through into the assessments.

The second, and larger, part of the module will look at particular aspects of the EU, using the tighter focus to question the normative underpinnings of institutional and individual action and to question how far theory can take us in that process. Typical subjects for discuss would include the persistence of eurosceptic action, the handling of (and indeed the language of) crises, and the tension between technocratic and democratic models of governance.

Overall, the module invites students to question the purpose of both the EU itself and of those that critique it, and provides students with the theoretical and practical tools to engage more fully in such debates.


Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework POLICY CRITIQUE (2000 WORDS) 50
Examination SEEN EXAM (2 HOURS) 50

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate understanding of the influence of ideology on debates about the evolution of the EU, and to demonstrate their understanding of how issue-specific dynamics colour the development of the EU. More generically the assessment strategy is designed to enable students to demonstrate research ability, critical thinking, policy analysis and written communication skills.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

·         A Policy Critique (2000 words), with indicative deadline of 18 November (week 7 of semester 1)

·         A seen exam (2 hours)


Formative assessment and feedback

Students will receive formative feedback in class, during office hours and via a workshop on completing the manifesto critique.

Module aims

  • Develop students' knowledge and understanding of the political, economic and social processes of European integration
  • Engage with theoretical approaches on European integration
  • Introduce students to the politics of European integration in different policy areas, therefore expanding their understanding of how the EU works outlined in POL1018.
  • 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 knowledge of the theories seeking to explain the process of European integration KC
002 Demonstrate knowledge of a range of EU policy areas, including challenges, institutional dynamics and the role of key actors in shaping their evolution KC
003 Evaluate current debates about the Future of European integration KC
004 Engage with a variety of theoretical approaches in order to understand the extent of existing debate KCT
005 Demonstrate skill in policy analysis and the impact of ideology on EU politics, via the critique of primary documents PT

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:

• Help students develop their subject knowledge;

• Help students understand the linkages and discontinuities between academic and political analysis;

• Help students understand the impact of EU history on the EU’s present;

• Help students undertake informed debate about the future evolution of the EU.

The learning and teaching methods include:

11 x 1hr Lectures, 11 x 1hr seminars, prescribed reading, independent learning, document analysis




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: POL2033

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
International Relations BSc (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Politics BSc (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Public Affairs MPA 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Politics and Sociology BSc (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law with International Relations LLB (Hons) 1 Optional 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.