Government, Politics and Public Policy in the European Union

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Eiko Thielemann


This course is available on the BSc in Government, BSc in Government and Economics, BSc in Government and History, BSc in International Relations, BSc in International Social and Public Policy with Politics, BSc in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, BSc in Politics, BSc in Politics and Economics, BSc in Politics and History, BSc in Politics and International Relations, BSc in Politics and Philosophy and BSc in Social Policy with Government. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.


Students must have completed Introduction to Political Science (GV101).

Course content

The course is divided into two parts; (i) Government and Politics: the EU as a political system, the Council, the Commission and the European Parliament, the Court of Justice and Judicial politics, public opinion and EP elections, parties and Europe, interest representation; (ii) Public Policy. Policy sessions usually include: the policy-making process, the Single Market, budgetary policies, redistributive policies, EMU, asylum, migration and refugee policies, external relations policies, and others.


This course is delivered through a combination of classes and lectures totalling a minimum of 41 hours across the Michaelmas, Lent and Summer Terms. This year, some or all of this teaching will be delivered through a combination of online and on-campus lectures and classes. This course includes reading weeks in Week 6 of both the MT and LT.

Formative coursework

Two essays per term; students' preparedness for the examinations will depend on this written work and on private reading.

Indicative reading

S Hix and B Hoyland, The Political System of the European Union, 3rd edn; H Wallace, M Pollack & A Young (Eds), Policy-Making in the European Union, 6th edn; N Nugent, Government and Politics of the European Union, 8th edn (2017).


Online assessment (100%) in the ST.

Online 24 hour (take home) exam (100%), in the summer exam period.  Estimated amount of effort required: 3 hours in the 24 hour period.



The Class Summary Grade for General Course students will be calculated as follows: 15% class participation, 80% formative coursework (each formative essay counts for 20%) and 5% attendance.

Student performance results

(2017/18 - 2019/20 combined)

Classification % of students
First 33.3
2:1 57.7
2:2 6.3
Third 1.8
Fail 0.9

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Government

Total students 2019/20: 61

Average class size 2019/20: 13

Capped 2019/20: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Communication