Module Details

The information contained in this module specification was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change, either during the session because of unforeseen circumstances, or following review of the module at the end of the session. Queries about the module should be directed to the member of staff with responsibility for the module.
Code POLI107
Coordinator Dr TIP Loughran
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2021-22 Level 4 FHEQ Second Semester 15


To provide an introduction to European politics by focusing on key contemporary issues while introducing some basic concepts of political science encountered in studying this subject;

To examine key challenges encountered when attempting to define and conceptualise Europe;

To develop understanding of key debates around status of democracy and crisis of the nation-state in the European context;

To examine salient transversal themes encountered in the politics of Europe, such as integration, international migration and security.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) An understanding of the historical development and contemporary practice of European politics.

(LO2) A working knowledge of the principles underlying political processes and systems (electoral systems and party systems) and how they operate in the European political space.

(LO3) An understanding of the political importance of different government structures (parliaments, the executive) at national and regional (EU) levels.

(LO4) A knowledge of the challenges posed by contemporary political trends to European nation-states and European integration.

(S1) Information skills - information accessing: locating relevant information, identifying and evaluating information sources

(S2) Critical thinking and problem solving - critical analysis

(S3) Communication (oral, written and visual) - academic writing (including referencing skills)

(S4) Global citizenship - relevant economic / political understanding

(S5) Communication (oral, written and visual) - influencing skills – argumentation



This module places modern nation-states into global, national, and regional contexts. It evaluates political institutions, behaviour and outcomes from a comparative perspective, using both theoretical and empirical approaches as well as a series of case studies. By doing so the module is able to look at the health of democracy and nation-states, institutional configurations, political parties, nationalism, and regional integration among other themes. This module provides students with a comprehensive introductory overview of the politics of democratic and non-democratic countries whilst positioning them into their broader global perspective.

Topics covered may include:

What is comparative politics and what is the comparative method?

Democracy, autocracy and hybrid regimes;

Governments and legislatures;

Elections and electoral systems;

Political parties and party systems;

Nations and nationalism;

Federalism, devolution and unitary stat es;

Welfare states;

National sovereignty and globalization;

The EU as a political system.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Teaching method 1 - lecture.
Lectures are used to provide a framework for learning by conveying some of the basic concepts and knowledge needed to understand the material contained in the module. They provide a foundation for discussion in classes and for private study.

Teaching method 2 - seminar.
Seminars take the form of group discussions on the topics covered in the module. Their purpose is two-fold: first, to reinforce the knowledge and concepts conveyed in lectures and to help students process the additional knowledge they have acquired through private study; and, second, to develop the communication skills of students and their ability to participate effectively in group discussion. Student presentations are used as a means of developing verbal communication skills.

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours 11


Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 133


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Take-away, online examination There is a reassessment opportunity. This is an anonymous assessment. Standard UoL penalties will apply.  2 hours    65       
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Online multiple choice test. There is a reassessment opportunity. This is an anonymous assessment. Standard UoL penalties will apply.  50 minutes    35       

Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at Click here to access the reading lists for this module.