Module code: POL2033

Module Overview

The module provides a more advanced understanding of the policy-making process in the EU than Level 4 POL1018. It addresses how the process of EU integration unfolds and how the EU of today works (or fails). It provides an analysis of the theories and methods of how we can understand, explain and possibly expect how this process develops. The module addresses and assesses the potential for further European integration or disintegration.

Each week, I will upload a 10mn podcast on the topic of the day. I will then invite you to prepare a reading in advance and we will convene together (two-hour seminar) to examine the topic before the seminar. The lecture will consist of two parts: one virtual and one in-class. The virtual lecture will be uploaded to SurreyLearn in the week before the class sessions – you should watch and make notes, since this will be where the bulk of the substantive knowledge is located. The lecture/zoom element of the lecture will be designed to be more interactive, allowing you to ask questions about the virtual lecture and to situate it within the broader context.

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. 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.

Further documents as handouts, summaries, and notes will be uploaded by me to help you through the module.

As part of the module, there will be a process of both learning and critical reflection. This will enable students to develop your skills towards how to select and write a literature review and demonstrate their critical thinking towards the academic literature.

Module provider


Module Leader

GUERRA Simona (Politics)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 5

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 106

Seminar Hours: 22

Guided Learning: 11

Captured Content: 11

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


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 discuss the various social, political and historical forces that have influenced the establishment of European integration in its current form. By following the work of the current European Commission we will explore the impact of EU politics on national and international structures by looking at current trends in specific policy areas.

Overall, the module invites students to question the impact, current developments and future of the EU, 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
Coursework ESSAY (2500 WORDS) 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 geared towards digital skills development, sustainable thinking and global and culture intelligence and towards employability and resourcefulness.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

·         A Policy Critique (2000 words)

·         An Essay (2500) words


Formative assessment and feedback

Students will receive formative feedback in class, during office hours and via a email on the group work done during the workshop-seminars (formative during the seminars)

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, using digital and non-digital research tools 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 with a view to enhance policy analysis skills useful for employment 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 EU policy making;

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

The learning and teaching methods include:

11 x 2 hour seminars (Split between lectures and seminar work), prescribed reading, independent learning, policy and document analysis

There will be additional captured content and digital resources to guide students through the module and the assessments on SurreyLearn




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
Politics and Sociology BSc (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
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
Law with International Relations LLB (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

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 2022/3 academic year.