SHE Level 3
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M3L223081
Module Leader Nei McNulty
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject Politics
  • A (September start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Completion of a Level 2 Social Sciences module or equivalent

Summary of Content

This module offers a detailed account of the key political and administrative features of the European Union (EU). It provides coverage of the origins and evolution of European integration, the governing institutional infrastructure of the EU, an overview of key policy jurisdictions and the role of the EU within a global context. Summary of how PRME-related issues / topics are covered in this module : Students will be encouraged to identify and investigate contemporary research topics which directly address issues confronting EU institutions and how such dilemmas, for example, policy-related, legal, ethical, may be successfully researched.


The key focus of this module is upon the political, administrative and policy related features of the EU as a system of governance. The module commences with a detailed account of the origins and historical evolution of European integration. This is followed by an examination of the key governing institutions of the EU with particular focus placed upon the Commission, the Council of Ministers, the European Parliament, the Court of Justice and the European Central Bank. Coverage is also afforded to some of the smaller institutions such as the Committee of the Regions. The role of transnational Europarties within these institutions and in European elections is also explored. A range of integrated policy areas and attendant political themes and debates are then considered. Examples of such include the single market, economic and monetary union, the common agricultural policy, cohesion policy, social policy, employment policy, immigration policy and freedom, security and justice policies. Attention will also be focused upon the question of EU enlargement and the role of the EU within a broader global context. Throughout the module reference will also be made to more general debates and controversies surrounding European integration and the political attitudes and positions of the constituent member states in such respects. Reference will also be made to broader themes centring round governance at the EU level and processes of policy formation, implementation, evaluation etc. Debates surrounding the nature of the UK's relationship with the EU following the 2016 referendum will also be explored.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:1 an awareness and understanding of the historical evolution of the EU2 an understanding of the governing institutional infrastructure of the EU and attendant themes, debates3 an ability to critically analyse contemporary developments in EU politics and policy processes4 skills in critical analysis and independent thinking;

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The module will consist of one lecture per week and a fortnightly seminar. The lectures will provide essential background information and suggested further reading. The seminars will provide an opportunity for more extended, in-depth analysis of specific topic areas and allow for student-based discussion of related issues and debates. A strong emphasis will be placed on students taking responsibility for their own learning, and much will be expected of them in relation to independent preparation for seminar work. GCU Learn and forms of blended learning including Wikis and on-line discussions will be used as key stimuli to encouraging such preparation. GCULearn plays a vital part in the GSBS learning and teaching strategy as a blended learning tool. The School will ensure that all modules are not only GCULearn-enabled, but also at the cutting edge in developing online learning materials. Academic staff and the Learning Technologists will continue to work together to develop and operate all modules on GCULearn, ensuring effective student support and information sharing. Students are provided with formative and summative feedback via a variety of mechanisms. Feedback on coursework is normally provided within 3 working weeks of submission.

Indicative Reading

-567 Books and articles: Bache, I., George, S. and Bulmer, S. (2015), Politics in the European Union (4 th Edn), Oxford University Press. -567 Cini, M. and Borragan, N. (2016) Eds , European Union Politics (5 th Edn), Oxford University Press. Dinan, D. (2010), Ever Closer Union (4th Edn), Palgrave. Lelieveldt, H. and Princen, S. (2015), The Politics of the European Union (2 nd Edn) , Cambridge University Press. McCormick, J. (2014), Understanding the European Union (6 th Edn), Palgrave. McCormick, J. (2015), European Union Politics (2 nd Edn) , Palgrave. Nugent, N. (2010), Government & Politics of the European Union (7th Edn), Palgrave. -567 Peterson, J. and Shackelton, M. (2012) Eds, The Institutions of the European Union (3rd Edn), Oxford: Oxford University Press. Wallace, H., Pollack, M. and Young, A. (2015) Eds , Policy Making in the EU (7 th Edn), Oxford University Press. Online sources: http://europa.eu/about-eu/institutions-bodies/european-commission/index_en.htm (Commission website) http://europa.eu/about-eu/institutions-bodies/council-eu/index_en.htm (Council of Ministers website) http://europa.eu/about-eu/institutions-bodies/european-parliament/index_en.htm (European Parliament website) -567

Transferrable Skills

By the end of this module students will have gained competence in the following key areas: -360 1 The capacity to execute set tasks and in doing so manage time and personal organisation effectively 2 Develop written and oral communication skills 3 Develop skills in critical analysis. -360

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Lectures (FT) 24.00
Independent Learning (FT) 116.00
Seminars (FT) 12.00
Assessment (FT) 48.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Course Work 03 n/a 50.00 35% Take home exam (coursework) of 1600 words - student answers 2 questions of around 800 words for each question
Course Work 01 n/a 35.00 35% 2000 word essay
Course Work 02 n/a 15.00 35% 10 minute collaborative group podcast