Introduction to the European Union: History, Politics and Institutions

First year module

Lecturer Dr Tim Haughton

The overall purpose of this module is to introduce students to the post-war division of Europe to make them familiar with developments on the two sides of the iron curtain and then assess the prospects for the further development of the EU. 

The module is divided into five parts: 

  • Part 1 introduces Europe and European integration. 
  • Part 2 looks at the historical context for western European integration.
  • Part 3 introduces post-war developments in East Central and Eastern Europe under Communism, again developing knowledge of particular states as well as the system as a whole.
  • Part 4 focuses on the historical development of the EC into the EU, bringing this evolution up to date and includes more detailed consideration of the British case and integration theory. 
  • Part 5 examines developments in Central and Eastern Europe from the collapse of the communist regimes to EU accession, placing the 2004 enlargement in comparative perspective.

The module concludes by assessing the future and limits of EU enlargement.

Learning outcomes

The overall purpose of this module is to introduce students to the post-war division of Europe to make them familiar with developments on the two sides of the iron curtain and then assess the prospects for the further development of the EU. By the end of the module the student should be able to:

  • Strengthen their understanding of European history and particularly the history of European integration;
  • Develop their comparative skills through the study of both Eastern and Western Europe;
  • Develop their analytical skills, particularly by the broad disciplinary scope required for the study of European integration;
  • Develop research skills, particularly in the use of non-text book sources;
  • Develop reading skills, particularly in the critical examination of texts.

Assessment

  • Term Two: 1 essay x 2,000 word assessed work (50%)
  • Term Three: 2 hour examination (50%)