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The Political System of the European Union


Module description

This module will familiarise you with a) the history of European integration, b) the theories that social scientists have devised to explain the emergence and development of European integration, c) the key institutions of the European Union as well as d) the politics of the EU policy process, Euroscepticism and ‘Brexit’.

Indicative module syllabus

  • The history of the idea of a united Europe
  • Theories and critiques
  • The European Commission
  • The European Council
  • The Council
  • The European Parliament
  • The CJEU and EU agencies
  • The implementation of EU policies
  • Euroscepticism
  • Britain and the EU

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will:

  • have detailed knowledge of the theoretical frameworks developed by social scientists in an effort to explain the operation of the EU
  • have a critical understanding of the EU policy process
  • be able to analyse the contemporary operation of the EU as a political system
  • have detailed knowledge of major contemporary political phenomena such as Euroscepticism
  • be able to synthesise a variety of materials across primary and secondary texts to explain and support your own arguments concerning key problems in the study of EU politics and policymaking
  • have developed skills of critical thinking, enquiry, synthesis, analysis and evaluation that can be employed on other modules studied at this level.