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2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

PIED3310 Britain and the EU

20 creditsClass Size: 20

Module manager: Dr Charlie Dannreuther

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module examines Britain's tempestuous relationship with the EU during the latter half of the Twentieth Century to the present day. It does so through a rich investigation of the historical and contemporary influences on Britain's positions with the EU and by analysing how Britain has affected the development of the EU. The course employs a multidisciplinary approach to offer a range of insights into this "awkward" relationship. The module begins by examining why Britain did not join with the original member states, and then follows the process of UK accession and the role of the UK in the kick starting of the EU project in the 1980s. These weeks introduce the historical context of the module, the main themes of the relationship and the variety of primary resources available for analysis. The second theme concentrates on the international context of the UK's relationship, examining the UK's role in IGCs and, through CFSP, how UK foreign policy has been influenced by the EU. The next theme focuses on the way that Europe has changed both the UK's political administration and the role of political parties in contemporary British politics. Finally the course examines how the UK's economy has influenced and been influenced by European economic integration with specific reference to EMU.


The objectives of this course are:

To introduce the complexity of the UK's relationship with the EU;

To apply and critically engage with competing conceptual frameworks of Britain's relationship with the EU;

Study key periods, issues and phenomena of the UK's relationship with the EU, its impact on UK politics and on the EU;

Develop skills in the gathering, analysis and presentation of empirical data and in the manipulation of this data to interrogate theoretical propositions.

Produce reports of a standard for consumption by elite policy practitioners.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students should be able to:

Understand the relationship between historical and contemporary issues that inform the UK's relationship with the EU;

Have developed conceptual and empirical knowledge of how issues of sovereignty, international affairs, domestic politics and political economy have affected the UK's relationship with the EU;

Explain why UK interests towards Europe have been convergent and divergent with other member states

Research and illustrate findings from empirical documentation.

Produce reports relevant to the needs of policy practitioners.


Week One Lecture: What is Britain's relationship with the EU? Questions and theories

Week Two Lecture: The Early Days to accession

Week Three Lecture: The EU Years

Week Four Lecture: Party Politics and the EU

Week Five Lecture: Political Sovereignty

Week Six: Reading Week

Week Seven Lecture: Enlargement and Foreign policy coordination

Week Eight The British Economy and the EU

Week Nine Lecture: The Europeanization of Political Establishments

Week Ten Lecture: Social Attitudes to the EU

Week Eleven Lecture: THE UK AND THE EU – reflections and conclusions

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Independent online learning hours10.00
Private study hours168.00
Total Contact hours22.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Pedagogic structure of the module
We all learn in different ways by reading, testing or discussing (for a bit of fun, which one is you: ). Whatever way you do there are a number ways for you to engage with the material for the module. Keep trying all of these but do think a bit about which you find comes most naturally. That way you can also start to improve the others!

1) For the readers - Lectures are not meant to be conclusive discussions of the weeks’ topics but introductions to the main literature related to the theme of the week that will help you to contextualise the reading that you will do. They will introduce questions used in the seminar discussions and you can use these or your own to focus your reading.

2) For the searchers - The VLE offers you a structured link between the reading that you will do (from the lists beneath) to the reality of policy making. You will find that the questions that you will answer in your reading are the same as those on the VLE. Your job is to see if the articles and the books that you read offer answers to the questions that are even close to those that you derive from the links to documents found on the EU's EUROPA website.

3) For the talkers and doers - In the seminars we will try to provide answers to the seminar questions. You will be expected to have read the required reading (often from one of the text books available), a journal article and to have looked at the relevant webpage. Try to answer at least one question fully for each week. Seminars begin at 5 past until 5 to. We start with a 5 minute discussion of the news (eg then spend ten minutes checking every one understands the main concepts and issues that were in the lecture and the reading. Then we discuss the articles in more depth and compare them to the material we have looked at on the VLE.

If you are interested in this \I have written a short paper on the pedagogic issues that come out of the module and it is on the module Minerva page.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Seminar discussions, Minerva usage and the mid term report allow the tutor to monitor student progression throughout the semester.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Report1 x 1,500 Mid Term Essay50.00
Project1 x 3,500 End of Term Essay50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 29/04/2022 15:29:44


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