Politics of the European Union - POLI6110

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Spring Term 5 15 (7.5) Jane O'Mahony checkmark-circle


This module addresses a key question in the study of European politics and international organisations: why did a diverse group of states embark on a process that has led to the world's most extensive example of international integration? In this module you will learn and understand how the European Union has reached where it is today, how its political system works, how it makes policy, its strengths and weaknesses and how it has driven both the politics and economics of its member states and the global system at a time of both continuity and change. There has certainly never been a more challenging or interesting time to learn about the EU and its politics.


Contact hours

Private Study: 128
Contact Hours: 22
Total: 150


Compulsory to the following courses:
• BA in Environmental Social Sciences/Environment and Sustainability

Optional to the following courses:
• BA (Hons) Politics and International Relations
• BA (Hons) Politics and International Relations (Bidiplôme)
• BA (Hons) Politics and International Relations with a Placement Year
• BA (Hons) Politics and International Relations with a Foundation Year
• BA (Hons) Politics and International Relations with a Year in Continental Europe or North America
• BA (Hons) Politics and International Relations with a Language
• BA (Hons) Politics and International Relations with a Year in Asia-Pacific
• BA (Hons) Politics and International Relations with Quantitative Research
• BA (Hons) Economics and Politics
• BA (Hons) History and Politics
• BA (Hons) Philosophy and Politics
• BA (Hons) Sociology and Politics
• LLB (Hons) Law and Politics

Also available as an elective module

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
Written Assignment (2,500 words) – 50%
Exam – 50%

Reassessment Instrument:
Like for like

*Exam will be online for the 23-24 academic year*

Indicative reading

The University is committed to ensuring that core reading materials are in accessible electronic format in line with the Kent Inclusive Practices.

The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Be familiar with and understand the main constitutional and governmental structures of today's European Union
2 Analyse and critically assess the origins and effects of these structures, by using the conceptual and theoretical tools of comparative politics, international relations and relevant sources
3 Appreciate and explain the changing nature of the political process in the European Union and the role played by political parties, interest groups, social movements and public opinion
4 Assess the role and influence of states on the political process of the EU
5 Interpret and critically evaluate the main issues in the contemporary political debate in the EU.


  1. Credit level 5. Intermediate level module usually taken in Stage 2 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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