Government, Politics and Public Policy in the European Union

This information is for the 2021/22 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, social and employment 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

H Wallace, M Pollack & A Young (Eds), Policy-Making in the European Union, 8th edn (2020); N Nugent, Government and Politics of the European Union, 8th edn (2017); S Hix and B Hoyland, The Political System of the European Union, 3rd edn.


Online assessment (100%) in the ST.

Online (take home) exam (100%), in the summer exam period.  Estimated amount of effort required: 3 hours in a one-week 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.

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Student performance results

(2018/19 - 2020/21 combined)

Classification % of students
First 36.1
2:1 56.4
2:2 5.3
Third 1.5
Fail 0.8

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 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 differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching 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 2020/21: 53

Average class size 2020/21: 13

Capped 2020/21: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Communication