Introduction to the European Union: History, Politics and Institutions

First year module

Lecturer 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.


  • Term One: 1000 word book review 10%
  • Term Two: 2000 word essay 20%
  • Term Three: 3 hour examination 70%