European Union Politics & Simulation module (PO41014)

Gain insight into the formal and informal dynamics of European Union policy-making and negotiations

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Module code


This module provides students with a practical and grounded experience of politics, decision-making and negotiation in the European Union. It offers an overview of the key historical junctures in the integration process, the basic institutional structure of the EU and main EU policies such as foreign, security and defence policy, justice and home affairs, energy policy, environmental policy, enlargement and EU neighbourhood policy.

The module starts traditionally with block lectures that draw a basic picture of the main EU institutions, policy-making processes, decision-making procedures, the formal and informal nuances of negotiation dynamics as well as some central theoretical and methodological challenges.

In subsequent weeks lectures are followed by simulation sessions that stage negotiations within the Council of Ministers of the EU and the European Council. Negotiating teams prepare for their simulation role/s through work with the module scenario, briefing material (provided by the teaching staff), and the module resource list available via the library and the module page on My Dundee.

What you will learn

In this module, you will:

  • expand your knowledge of the beginnings, development and functioning of the European Union, its politics, institutions, negotiations and decision-making procedures
  • obtain practical and grounded experience of politics, decision-making and negotiation in the European Union and gain insight into current developments in the EU
  • develop an appreciation of the range of political and institutional influences that have shaped the EU's development

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • demonstrate detailed knowledge of the origins, institutions and decision-making procedures within the EU
  • critically evaluate different conceptualizations of the political, historical, cultural and sociological understandings of Europe
  • demonstrate understanding of negotiating processes that simulate the ‘real-world’ of EU decision-making
  • cooperate with colleagues to undertake complex negotiations and solve the assigned policy problem(s)

Assignments / assessment

  • essay 2,500 words (40%)
  • student performance in the simulation (10%)
  • simulation report 2,500 words (50%)

This module does not have a final exam.

Teaching methods / timetable

The module features:

  • 4x 2 hour block lectures
  • 7x 2 hour simulation workshops
  • student consultations (during office hours, by appointment or by email).


This module is available on following courses: