EU421      Half Unit
Policy-Making in the European Union

This information is for the 2023/24 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Niina Vuolajarvi


This course is available on the MSc in Environmental Policy and Regulation, MSc in Environmental Policy, Technology and Health (Environmental Policy and Regulation) (LSE and Peking University), MSc in European and International Public Policy, MSc in European and International Public Policy (LSE and Bocconi), MSc in European and International Public Policy (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in International Migration and Public Policy, MSc in International Migration and Public Policy (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in Media and Communications (Media and Communications Governance), MSc in Political Economy of Europe, MSc in Political Economy of Europe (LSE and Fudan) , MSc in Political Economy of Europe (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in Public Administration and Government (LSE and Peking University) and MSc in Public Policy and Administration. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

This course has a limited number of places (it is controlled access). In previous years we have been able to provide places for all students that apply but that may not continue to be the case.


A solid knowledge of the role and functions of EU institutions is required.

Course content

This course offers the theoretically informed study of the EU policy-making across a selection of key issue areas. The principal aim of the course is to provide a detailed knowledge of how national and EU institutions interact in European policy making. To achieve this, the course starts with a short summary of the actors and institutions governing the process of EU policy-making. The main part of the course analyses the evolving role of the EU and its policy-making dynamics in key policy areas such as the single market, regional policies, immigration and asylum policies, foreign policies, social and anti-discrimination policies, economic and monetary policies.


This course is delivered through a combination of lectures and seminars totalling a minimum of 25 hours across Winter Term. This course includes a reading week in Week 6 of Winter Term, and a review session will be held at the start of the Spring Term to prepare for the online assessment.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to submit two formative essays.

Indicative reading

  • H Wallace, M Pollack, & A Young, Policy-Making in the European Union
  • S Hix &.and B. Hoyland, The Political System of the European Union;
  • M Pollack, The Engines of Integration: Delegation, Agency and Agenda Setting in the European Union;
  • J J Richardson & S Mazey, European Union: Power and Policy-making. 


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours) in the spring exam period.

The summative assessment will take the form of an e-exam in the Spring Term. E-exams are assessments run under invigilated exam conditions on campus. Students will complete the assessment using software downloaded to their personal laptops.

Key facts

Department: European Institute

Total students 2022/23: 58

Average class size 2022/23: 14

Controlled access 2022/23: Yes

Lecture capture used 2022/23: Yes (LT)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

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.

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Communication