SSST Subjects

PS260 Basics of EU in International Context


Programme(s) where module is offered

  • Political Science and International Relations BA (Major)

Status (core, option, free choice)



FHEQ Level



Unit Value



Semester taught



Pre-Requisite Modules or Qualifications



Module Code



Module coordinator

Adnan Huskič


Applicable From



Educational Aims of the Module

  • This module is designed to provide students with relatively detailed knowledge of the history of the European integrations. Students will learn about history of ideas and attempts to achieve European integration starting with the pre-WW2 period, while the main focus remains the post 1945 European integrations.
  • Students will explore the dynamics behind the integration processes, main theoretical approaches and concepts attempting to explain the European integrations, main institutions of the European Union and how they developed over time and the interplay of many actors involved.
  • They will also learn about the most important EU policies and the current state of affairs of the enlargement processes post-2013. The issues of democracy in the EU, political identity, problems and pressing will also be discussed and explained.

Module Outline/Syllabus

  • Introduction to the course design, overview and protocols

  • Origin of the idea of Europe

  • What is EU - The EC from 1945 – 1985

  • History: Towards EU – The Rise and Fall of the Constitutional Treaty and Lisbon
  • Theories: Federalism, Neo-functionalism,
  • Theories: Inter-governmentalism, and new theories

  • EU Institutions: EC, Council,

  • EU Institutions: EP, ECJ

  • Policies: SEM, CAP

  • Policies: EMU, CFSP

  • Issues: Debating European identity, Democracy and European Polity, Enlargement

  • Issues: Differentiated integration, European politics, What is wrong with the EU and how to fix it

  • Concluding observations, discussion and course revision


Student Engagement Hours

Type Number per Term Duration Total Time
Lectures 45

45 minutes

45 hours
Tutorials 15

45 minutes

15 hours
Total Guided/Independent Learning Hours 90
Total Contact Hours 60
Total Engagement Hours 150

Assessment Method Summary

Type Number Required Duration / Length Weighting Timing / Submission Deadline

Final Exam


3 hours


End of semester

Mid-semester test


2 hours


Week 8

Research paper


3000 words


Week 7


1 1 hour 10%

Week 10


Module Outcomes

Intended Learning Outcomes:

  • Critically evaluate the process of European integrations after 1945 and identify the driving forces behind European integrations

  • Analyse main theoretical approaches to European integrations, main institutions and actors in the EU as well as decision-making and policies

  • Articulate on the current state of affairs of the EU enlargement policy

  • Construct theoretically sound, empirically substantiated analysis of current issues relating to European integrations and EU today, formulating appropriate responses to abstract problems.

Teaching and Learning Strategy:

  • Course reading and class discussions provide a forum for group analytical work and case study evaluation with problem-solving exercises. (ILO 1-4)

  • Lectures, individual presentations and discussions (ILO:1)

  • Written assignments enable closer examination of a defined problem or topic, and exercise written communication skills. Students will also undertake independent guided research, and generate ideas through the analysis of a wide range of information. (ILO: 1-4)Individual discussions/tutorials with students provide guidance and detailed feedback on their assignments (ILO: 4)Class debate will enable students to research and prepare for in-depth discussion on a given topic relating to EU polices, integration and function. Students will consider issues from different viewpoints and evaluate abstract problems. (ILO:4)

Assessment Strategy:

  • Research paper (ILO:4)

  • Student activity and plenary debate (ILO:1-4)

  • Midterm exam (ILO:1-4)

  • Final Exam (ILO:1-4)

Practical Skills:

  • Interpret and evaluate EU policy documents including those relating to SEM, EMU and CFSP.

  • Understand and apply theories relating to federalism and neo-functionalism.

  • Utilise research techniques and resources to evaluate information and generate ideas relating to EU policies and functions.

Teaching and Learning Strategy:

  • Course reading and class discussions

  • (PS: 1-2)

  • Lectures and tutorials (PS:1-2)

  • Case study analyses and independent guided research (PS:3)

  • Class debate will enable students to research and prepare for in-depth discussion on a given topic relating to EU polices, integration and function. Students will consider issues from different viewpoints and evaluate abstract problems.(PS: 3)

Assessment Strategy:

  • Written Exam (PS: 1,2)

  • Research Paper (PS:3)

  • Group Debate (PS: 3)

Transferable Skills:

  • Ability to evaluate ideas, arguments and texts.

  • Public speaking, clarity of oral argument, team work.

  • Clarity of written argument and presentation.

  • Ability to research and critically evaluate information.

Teaching and Learning Strategy:

  • Course readings and class discussions(TS: 1 2,3,)

  • Lectures and in-class exercises (TS: 1-4)

  • Debate and presentations. (TS:1,2,4)

  • Research paper. (TS:1,3,4)

Assessment Strategy:

  • Written Exams (TS:1,3)

  • Research paper (TS:1,4)

  • Debate (TS: 1,2)


Key Texts and/or other learning materials

Set text

  • Cini, M., (2013), European Union Politics, 4th Edition, Oxford University Press

  • Hix, S., Hoyland, B., (2011), The Political System of the EU, 3rd Edition, Palgrave Macmillan

Supplementary Materials

  • Checkel J. Katzenstein P., (2009), European Identity, Cambridge University Press

  • Cameron F., (2007), An Introduction to European Foreign Policy, Routledge

  • Jones, S., (2007), The Rise of European Security Cooperation, Cambridge University Press

  • Smith, K., (2014), European Union Foreign Policy in a Changing World, 3rd Edition, Polity Press

  • Howorth, J., (2014), Security and Defence Policy of the EU, 2nd Edition, Palgrave Macmillan

  • Keukeleire, S., MacNaughtan, J., (2014), The Foreign Policy of the EU, 2nd Edition, Palgrave Macmillan

  • Hix, S, (2008), What’s Wrong with the European Union and How to Fix It, Polity Press

  • The EU, [online], (Accessed 7th October 2014)

  • EU Policies [online], (Accessed 7th October 2014).

  • University of Oxford, The EU – Podcasts, [online], (Accessed 7th October 2014).

  • EU Integration, (2014), [online], (Accessed 7th October 2014).

Please note

This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the module and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if he/she takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided.

More detailed information on the learning outcomes, content and teaching, learning and assessment methods of each module and programme can be found in the departmental or programme handbook.

The accuracy of the information contained in this document is reviewed annually by the University of Buckingham and may be checked by the Quality Assurance Agency.

Date of Production: June 2016

Date approved by School Learning and Teaching Committee:  

Date approved by School Board of Study:  

Date approved by University Learning and Teaching Committee:  

Date of Annual Review:  


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