Politics of the European Union

Study Board of Political Science, Journalism, Sociology, and European Studies

Teaching language: English
EKA: B380009102
Censorship: Second examiner: External
Grading: 7-point grading scale
Offered in: Odense
Offered in: Autumn
Level: Master

Course ID: B380009101
ECTS value: 10

Date of Approval:

Duration: 1 semester

Course ID


Course Title

Politics of the European Union

Teaching language


ECTS value


Responsible study board

Study Board of Political Science, Journalism, Sociology, and European Studies

Course Responsible

Name Email Department
Christilla Roederer-Rynning crr@sam.sdu.dk

Offered in




Offered in



1 semester

Mandatory prerequisites

'To apply make a written application in English consisting of no more than 2500 characters to the subject director no later than May 30. The application must indicate relevant contact details: email address and phone number; a motivation statement; and a statement of availability to take the course during the summer (please mention possible overlaps with jobs or other courses), including participate in the Brussels trip. The application must also indicate whether you would be willing to help organize some aspects of the Summer School.  

The number of participants is limited to 20. Students are elected on the basis of their academic level and motivation. All applicants will receive notice of acceptance / rejection before June 1.'

Aim and purpose

The EU is going through very interesting times. Externally, its faces rising uncertainties with instability in the Middle-East, the rise of China, changing US diplomacy, and a problematic relation to Russia. Internally, it is carrying out Brexit negotiations in times of growing Euroskepticism in many EU member-states. The aim of this course is to understand how these developments affect the processes, institutions, and practices making up the EU.
This course emphasizes engagement with the policy community. In particular, it includes a 5-day (excluding transportation) study tour in Brussels, where we will visit EU institutions and talk with EU practitioners on a broad range of current issues.


The course comprises the following four sections (subject to change):

Section I: The Role of Theory in the Study of EU Politics
Section II: The Process of European Integration
Section III: The EU as a Political System
Section IV: EU Policy Challenges

We start by discussing the role of theory in the study of the EU and criteria for theory selection (Section I). We then chart and explain two types of outcomes: the EU as a process of integration (Section II); and the EU as a political system (Section III). Finally, we examine how EU policies are made and how they have evolved (Section IV).

Learning goals

The main objectives of this course are to:

Equip students with an in-depth knowledge of:
the historical process of European integration;
the formal and informal institutional process of treaty-making and policy-making in the EU;
EU policies

Train students’ ability to:
identify and explain key theoretical debates;
select theories adapted to the analytical problem at hand; and
apply theories to real-world issues.

Foster studetnts to engage with practice of EU policy-making by:
Helping organization of Brussels tour
Taking ownership of dialogues with practitioners


We will draw on a broad range of written sources, both primary and secondary. Primary sources may include policy documents from EU institutions and national institutions as well as policy briefs from private organizations. Secondary sources refer to the academic literature on European integration, institutions, and policy-making.

We will use the following textbook: Policy-Making in the European Union, edited by Helen Wallace, Mark Pollack, and Alasdair Young. Oxford University Press. Latest edition. In addition, we will read excerpts from books and articles (about 1,000 pages in total). 

Teaching Method

The course is limited to 20 participants.  

English as a working language

It involves a 5-day (excluding transportation) study tour in Brussels.  

Ordinary class discussions (10 classes of 2x45 minutes) will be supplemented with field visits and structured dialogue with selected EU practitioners and organizations in Brussels / or an equivalent program in case of cancellation of the study tour.

This course is based on active learning, involving a high degree of individual and group interaction and class participation.

Face-to-face teaching (lectures): 20 hours
Preparation (including intro meetings in April/May): 210 hours
Study tour: 28 hours
Examination: 12 hours
Total: 270 hours



The course is an intensive summer course comprising two weeks of lecturing and a one week study tour in the last week of August.

Examination regulations





The examination will take place in September. Re-examination in September.  
Examination form at the re-exam can be changed.


-3 is not allowed, 00 is not allowed





Form of examination

Home assignment


Second examiner: External


7-point grading scale


Student Identification Card - Exam number




12 hours. Date for submission will appear from the examination plan


The following limitations are required: The paper must be approximately 4-6 pages, maximum 6 pages. The page limit for group exam is 6-8 pages (each with 2400 strokes spacing, appendix and notes included, but table of content and bibliography excluded).

Examination aids

All exam aids allowed.

Assignment handover

In the course's page in Blackboard.

Assignment handin

Via SDU-assignment in the course in Blackboard.

ECTS value


Additional information

12 hour take-home examination; the take-home examination may be written in English or in Danish. It may be written in groups of max. 2 students or individually. If written in groups, the exam paper must include a clear description of the division-of-labor among the authors. The take-home examination will test students’ ability to identify and analyze salient political issues in complex, real-world EU processes and negotiations, and reflect on the challenges ahead. 



External comment

NOTE - This course is identical with the former course 97000101, Politics of the European Union / Politics of the European Union.

Used examination attempts in the former identical course will be transferred.
Courses that are identical with former courses that are passed according to applied rules cannot be retaken.

The student is automatically registered for the first examination attempt when the student is registered for a course or course element with which one or more examinations are associated. Withdrawal of registration is not possible, and students who fail to participate in an examination have used one examination attempt, unless the University has made an exemption due to special circumstances. 
If a student does not meet the established university prerequisites for taking the exam, he or she has used one examination attempt, unless the University has made an exemption due to special circumstances.

Courses offered

Period Offer type Profile Programme Semester

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