Contemporary Europe

This information is for the 2018/19 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Simona Iammarino S410 and Dr Neil Lee


This course is available on the BA in Geography, BSc in Environment and Development, BSc in Geography with Economics, BSc in Politics and BSc in Politics and International Relations. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.

Course content

This course aims at introducing students with little prior knowledge of European issues to some of the most important economic, social, and political challenges the European Union overcame in the past, and currently faces. The course develops a sound understanding of the determinants and the evolution of these challenges and the related public policies. Students will learn about strengths, weaknesses and lessons to be drawn from the most striking example of international integration as a result of historical forces and in the context of a globalised world. The course covers issues such as economic integration, competitiveness, cohesion, innovation and growth, enlargement, Euro crisis and Brexit, social policy, employment trends, poverty, migration, ageing, and social exclusion and inequality. Particular stress is laid upon the spatial constitution of these themes, at various levels of geography: supranational, national and subnational (regional) level.


20 hours of lectures and 9 hours of classes in the MT. 18 hours of lectures and 9 hours of classes in the LT. 2 hours of classes in the ST.

The 2 hour-class in the ST is Revision Session for the exam.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce a minimum of two class essays during the year and will also be expected to give class presentations.

Indicative reading

Given the diversity of the subject, there is no one textbook that covers all of the topics. A mix of academic articles and chapters from textbooks is used in the course. Reading lists are provided electronically, and additional web sources will also be indicated during the lectures. Indicative textbooks are the following: R Baldwin and C Wyplosz, The Economics of the European Integration, 4th ed. 2012; S Senior Nello, The European Union. Economics, Policies and History, 3rd ed. 2012; J. McCormick, European Union Politics, Palgrave, 2nd ed. 2015.


Exam (75%, duration: 2 hours) in the summer exam period.
Essay (25%, 2000 words) in the LT.

Student performance results

(2015/16 - 2017/18 combined)

Classification % of students
First 17
2:1 59.2
2:2 21.1
Third 1.4
Fail 1.4

Key facts

Department: Geography & Environment

Total students 2017/18: 67

Average class size 2017/18: 17

Capped 2017/18: No

Lecture capture used 2017/18: Yes (MT & LT)

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

PDAM skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Communication
  • Specialist skills

Course survey results

(2015/16 - 2017/18 combined)

1 = "best" score, 5 = "worst" score

The scores below are average responses.

Response rate: 67%



Reading list (Q2.1)


Materials (Q2.3)


Course satisfied (Q2.4)


Integration (Q2.6)


Contact (Q2.7)


Feedback (Q2.8)


Recommend (Q2.9)