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 by the seminar leader 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.

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 4

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 97

Lecture Hours: 11

Seminar Hours: 11

Guided Learning: 20

Captured Content: 11

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • Before the European Coal and Steel Community: Ideas of Europe

  • European integration - Why Bother? Europe after WWII

  • From Paris to Lisbon: the evolution of the EU political system, 1952-2009

  • Understanding the EU, in the past and today: from neo-functionalism to multi-level governance

  • The EU and democratic politics. Executive: the Commission. Legislative: EP & Council

  • How the EU works - the EU's policy chain

  • Democratic politics assessed: is there a democratic deficit of the EU?

  • The EU in the world: economic giant, diplomatic dwarf?

  • Britain and the EU: where next?

  • Legitimacy and resistance: Europe contested - where next?




Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework PRECIS 30
Coursework ESSAY 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 aim of the assessment is to evaluate students’ skills in critical thinking and literature review.

To do this, in the first assignment, you will write a précis, by accessing three different sources, you can examine an aspect of the history and ideas around Europe or the development of the European integration process.

What is a précis? It is a summary, which gets its name from the French language. It literally means, ‘cut brief’ or ‘precise’. It is a concise synopsis of a published work (in this case of three published works), like scholarly article or dissertation. When a student sums up the ideas of certain literary work, it can be called précis. Do note that it is different from paraphrasing because here no need for mentioning all details discussed in a piece of writing. You will learn to present the big picture of an idea or a concept in a very short form. This will support you through other assignments in other modules as well.

In the second assignment, the essay, you are asked to critically examine and answer questions that are problem-based reflecting on a Treaty, regulation or European elections process and their link to EU integration.

Formative assessment and feedback

Verbal feedback in tutorials; interactive sessions during the lecture.

Module aims

  • Introduce students to the study of European integration, developing global and cultural intelligence
  • 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, POL2033 Integration and Disintegration in Europe and further modules related to European politics.
  • 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, including the development of digital capabilities and employability skills.

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. In addition, digital resources and captured content will be provided through 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: POL1018

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Public Affairs MPA 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
Politics BSc (Hons) 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
International Relations BSc (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 2025/6 academic year.