Politics of the European Union - POLI6110

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2022 to 2023
Autumn Term 5 15 (7.5) Jane O'Mahony checkmark-circle


The purpose of the module is to introduce students to the European Union, how it has evolved since its creation and how it works. In this module, students gain an understanding of the dynamic of European integration over time, analyse the functioning and roles of the EU's main institutional bodies as well as key political questions underpinning the decision-making structures of the EU. The module will address topics including: the history of European integration, the EU's institutions and decision-making processes, how EU decisions are implemented, interest group activity in the EU and how this affects

EU decision-making, public opinion on the EU, the EU’s democratic deficit and the future of the European integration project.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 22
Private study hours: 128
Total study hours: 150

Method of assessment

* Multiple choice quiz 1, 10%
* Multiple choice quiz 2, 10%
* Essay, 2500 words, 30%
* Exam, 2 hours, 50%

**Please note that the exam in May/June 2023 will be Online (24 hour window)**

Reassessment Instrument: 100% coursework

Indicative reading

* Cini, M. and N. Perez-Solorzano Borragan. Eds. 2016. European Union Politics. Fifth Edition. Oxford University Press: Oxford.

* Hix, S. and B Hoyland. 2018. The Political System of the European Union. Fourth Edition. Palgrave: Basingstoke.

* Nugent, N. 2017. The Government and Politics of the European Union. Eighth Edition. Palgrave: Basingstoke.

* Egan, M., N. Nugent and W.E. Paterson Eds. 2009. Research Agendas in EU Studies. Stalking the Elephant. Palgrave: Basingstoke.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

8.1 be familiar with and understand the main constitutional and governmental structures of today's European Union

8.2 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

8.3 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

8.4 assess the role and influence of states on the political process of the EU

8.5 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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