Contemporary Europe

This information is for the 2017/18 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Simona Iammarino (on sabbatical for 2017-18)

Dr Neil Lee

Dr Alex Jaax


This course is available on the BA in Geography, BSc in Environment and Development and BSc in Geography with Economics. 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: A Rodriguez-Pose, The European Union: Economy, Society and Polity, 2000; R Baldwin and C Wyplosz, The Economics of the European Integration, 3rd edition, 2009; S Senior Nello, The European Union. Economics, Policies and History, 2nd edition, 2009; W Molle, European Cohesion Policy, 2007.


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

Student performance results

(2014/15 - 2016/17 combined)

Classification % of students
First 24.8
2:1 55
2:2 17.8
Third 1.6
Fail 0.8

Key facts

Department: Geography & Environment

Total students 2016/17: 57

Average class size 2016/17: 14

Capped 2016/17: No

Lecture capture used 2016/17: Yes (MT & LT)

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

PDAM skills

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