PO2EPI-European Political Integration

Module Provider: School of Politics, Economics and International Relations
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring / Summer term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2019/0

Module Convenor: Dr Michael Toomey

Email: m.toomey@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module explores the history, development and policies of the European Union (EU), the most advanced existing example of international cooperation. It first examines the institutional structure of the Union, along with competing theories of European integration, and examines various EU treaties. Thereafter, elections to the European Parliament and the role of organised interests in policy-making are analysed. In addition, several areas of controversy that will shape the future of the Union, as well as its respective member states, will be evaluated: the democratic deficit, the sustainability of the European Monetary Union,, Euroscepticism and the policy response of the EU to the crisis, and immigration and asylum policy. 

This module aims to give students an understanding of the European Union, its institutions, and current debates about the EU.

Assessable learning outcomes:
Enable students to:
•Explain the functioning of EU institutions
•Examine the history of the EU using competing theories of integration
•Assess various contemporary debates about the EU

Additional outcomes:
The module promotes independent study, essay writing skills, analytical skills and the ability to communicate orally in a group context.

Outline content:

The following content is indicative and may be subject to minor changes:

After reviewing the history of the EU, students will study EU institutions and analyse various institutions of the European Union. Next, they will be introduced to theories of political integration such as (neo-) functionalism and intergovernmental co-operation. A number of issues related to the European Union will also be considered, including the EU’s democratic deficit, interest representation, Euroscepticism and European Economic and Monetary Union.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

11 x 1 hour lectures and 10 x 1 hour seminar classes requiring preparatory reading, oral presentations, and written essays. Every week of the Spring term, students attend a lecture that introduces them to the material and a seminar which allows them go in greater depth, present their views, and discuss the readings. A lecture and seminar in the Summer term covers revision and exam strategy. 

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 10 1
Seminars 10 1
Guided independent study: 170 8
Total hours by term 0 190 10
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 50
Written assignment including essay 40
Oral assessment and presentation 10

Summative assessment- Examinations:
One three-hour examination.

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:
Students will write one 3,000 word essay. Non-submitted essays will be awarded a mark of zero. In addition, students are required to give an assessed presentation on a different topic than the essay.

Visiting students will follow the same assessments but only those enrolled for the summer term will sit the examination. Those visiting students who are here for Spring term only but wish to gain full credits will also write a 4000 word essay in place of the examination, to be submitted by the first day of the summer term. If studying for half credits only one 3,000 word essay should be submitted in total.

Formative assessment methods:
Students get peer and teacher feedback during discussions in the seminar.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:
    40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:

    If a student fails to pass the year at the first attempt there is an opportunity to be re-assessed on one further occasion at the next opportunity in those modules achieving a mark of less than 40%. Students who are eligible for re-assessment have the right to re-assessment in all elements even if they have previously passed one of those elements. It is expected, however, that the majority of students would probably elect not to repeat an element in which they had already passed, in which case the confirmed marks would be carried forward.

    Coursework: Failed or missing coursework should be re-submitted by 1st August, emailed directly to politics@reading.ac.uk, AND submitted on Blackboard.

    Examination: Re-examination takes place in August/September of the same year.


    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    1) Required text books: Dinan, D. (2010) Ever Closer Union? An Introduction to the European Union (Basingstoke: Macmillan). £29 on Amazon

    Nugent, N. (2017) The Government and Politics of the European Union (8th ed.) (London: Macmillan). £29 on Amazon

    Wallace, H., M. Pollack and A. Young (eds.) (2014) Policy-Making in the European Union (7th ed.) (Oxford: OUP). £24 on Amazon

    Hix, S. and B. Høyland (2011) The Political System of the European Union (3rd ed.) (London: Macmillan). (Note: a new edition is due in late 2018). £25 on Amazon

    2) Specialist equipment or materials: 

    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear: 

    4) Printing and binding: There may be optional costs associated with photocopying or printing sources listed on the reading list relating to this module. Please note that the Library charges approximately 5p per photocopy.

    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification: 

    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence: 

    Last updated: 18 June 2019


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