POL42090 Engaging Brussels

Academic Year 2022/2023

The European Union (EU) has a huge impact on the lives of EU citizens, yet it is often seen as distant, opaque, and difficult to engage with. This module aims to engage students directly with EU governance through interactions with the institutions and political and legal processes that define the union. Students will learn about the inputs, processes, and outputs that shape EU governance and put this knowledge to use by engaging with EU institutions like the Commission, European Parliament, and European Court of Justice, and national-level institutions like Parliament, the civil service, and the ecosystem of NGOs and lobbyists engaged with EU affairs in member state capitals. Under the guidance of the module coordinator, student groups will develop an engagement project. The aim of the project is to identify avenues through which ordinary citizens can engage with EU governance, and the opportunities and challenges associated with doing so. Examples of possible projects include preparing policy dossiers on ongoing legislative proposals, lobbying EU institutions, or exploring how citizens engage with the European legal system. Projects can be applied in nature or targeted at understanding engagement processes from an outside perspective. Upon completion of the module, students will have developed an in-depth understanding of EU governance processes, and the ways in which citizens can directly involve themselves in EU politics.

Please note that a field trip to Brussels will be planned to take place during reading week (Monday 13th – Thursday 16th March). Fees apply for attending the field trip for those not on the MSc European Governance. A limited number of scholarships are available to cover these expenses.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

- Explain how the three main legislative institutions of the EU function together and produce policy;
- Organise and partake in meetings with EU representatives;
- Prepare policy briefs, meeting agendas, and meeting content for discussion;
- Engage with policy makers and other stakeholders in a professional manner, both verbally and in writing
- Discuss different EU policy areas and the manner in which the EU functions in these areas;
- Complete a capstone project reflecting on engagement strategies;
- Reflect upon what has been learned from the field trip experience and distil this into content for future job.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Autonomous Student Learning


Seminar (or Webinar)


Field Trip/External Visits




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
- Active/task-based learning
- Peer and group work
- Reflective learning
- Enquiry & problem-based learning
- Debates and student presentations 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Group Project: Capstone project Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded No


Presentation: Project presentation Unspecified n/a Graded No


Assignment: Reflection Paper Unspecified n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Remediation Type Remediation Timing
In-Module Resit Prior to relevant Programme Exam Board
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Not yet recorded.

Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Seminar Offering 1 Week(s) - 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 Thurs 12:00 - 13:50