Politics Of The European Union POLITIC4020

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course is designed to appeal to students who are interested in the debate about the European integration process over the decades and the future of Europe.


The timetable for this course will be made available to students at the beginning of the academic year. There is no guarantee that this course will run in any given year. For further information, please check the Politics and International Relations Moodle page or contact the subject directly.

Requirements of Entry

Mandatory Entry Requirements

Entry to Honours Politics requires a grade point average of 12 (Grade C) over Politics 2A and Politics 2B as a first attempt.

Excluded Courses





One essay of 2,000 words (40% of the final mark).

A simulation exercise (20% of the final mark).

A written examination (40% of the final mark).


For the simulation exercise each student will have to prepare a brief report/position paper of 500 words, meet in groups and craft a group presentation based on a discussion that builds on their individual position papers. 10% of the grade will be based on the individual report/position paper

The remaining 10% of the simulation mark will be based on individual oral performance in the context of the group presentation and individual contribution to the discussion during the simulation exercise. A written record of the teacher's evaluation of oral performance will be kept for each student.

Main Assessment In: December

Course Aims

This course is designed to appeal to students who are interested in current and historical debates on European integration, a process that has decisively shaped political, social and economic developments in the continent, its nation states and the citizens that inhabit them. Since the end of the Second World War Europe has been engaged in an unprecedented experiment in international and transnational co-operation that has involved significant advances and nagging challenges. The focus of this course is on five key challenges, central to the public debates regarding the European Union, which are explored from the perspectives of History and Politics in an integrated manner:

1. Democratic deficit and legitimacy in the EU's machinery 2. Multi-speed/multi-layered integration and cooperation 3. Economic crises governance 4. The borders of the EU 5. The EU's international role.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Understand the evolution of the European Union since the early 1950s and make an informed judgement about the future prospects of European integration

■ Understand why European institutions were created and how they work

■ Be familiar with the goals of the EU's major policies and be able to evaluate them critically

■ Appreciate the role of the European Union in the international arena

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.