INRL20160 Introduction to European Union Politics

Academic Year 2023/2024

This module draws on a range of political science research on European integration and European Union politics to analyse the development of the EU and how it operates today. The course addresses one of the most important questions in the study of European politics and international organisations: why did a diverse group of states construct what is currently the world’s most extensive example of international integration? This module provides an extensive overview of the contemporary EU, including its institutions and policy-making processes using approaches from modern political science. We will also assess how the EU has influenced both public opinion and party competition, and the debate concerning whether the EU suffers from a democratic deficit. By the end of this module, students will have a thorough grounding in EU politics and the manner in which EU institutions function and cooperate to make policy.

Show/hide contentOpenClose All

Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

Substantive knowledge

By the end of the course, students should be able to:
- Understand and apply the major theories of European integration.
- Understand the contemporary politics of European integration.
- Display knowledge of the objectives and functioning of key EU institutions and policies.
- Critically assess the successes and failures of EU policies.

Skills (Intellectual and Transferable)

The lectures will encourage you to:
- Listen carefully and critically to orally-presented argument
- Develop selective and efficient note-taking methods
- Make links between material presented at different times, on different issues

The written work in the course (blog-post assignment and examination) will require you to:
- Select relevant material from lectures, literature, news sources, and the web
- Understand, analyse and assess that material
- Produce a sustained, structured and informed answer
- Write in a concise and cogent style
- Employ AI tools to improve rather than replace writing skills and outputs

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
- Lectures
- Project-based learning
- End of year exam
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Recommendations:

This is a stage two class. Thus, students should have attended and successfully passed the core stage 1 classes prior to taking this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Politics of the EU (POL20160)

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Essay: Assignment Unspecified n/a Graded No


Examination: End-of-term 2 hours exam 2 hour End of Trimester Exam No Graded No



Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Not yet recorded.