Module code: POLM028

Module provider


Module Leader

CHAPPELL LC Dr (Politics)

Number of Credits


ECT Credits



FHEQ Level 7

JACs code


Module cap (Maximum number of students)


Module Availability

Semester 1

Overall student workload

Seminar Hours: 22

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework ANALYTICAL ESSAY - (2000 WORDS) 40
Coursework ANALYTICAL ESSAY - (3000 WORDS) 60

Alternative Assessment


Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module overview

This module examines the political dynamics of the European Union as an actor in global politics from the perspective of the Member States, the EU itself as a unique political entity and the rest of the world. To that extent, the module explores the nature of the EU leverage in world affairs and how it can exercise its pressures, as well as its impact on the foreign policies of the Member States. By using theories of European integration as well as more traditional foreign policy analysis and theories the module examines the development of a common foreign, security and defence policy framework for the EU and its wider external relations such as, the relations with NATO and other global powers and issues of the immediate neighbourhood, trade and development, the environment, security and terrorism, as well as specific regional contexts.


Module aims

Understand the perspective of the Member States, the EU as a unit and other global powers

Examine how the EU can exercise pressures to other regions of the world

Explore how the EU frameworks for its external relations affect its Member States

Frame the debates within the theoretical context of European integration and International Relations

Gain in-depth knowledge of specific policies, cases of EU involvement in the world and positions on global issues

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
Demonstrate knowledge of how the EU exercises power in the world, how it affects its immediate neighbours and its member states
Analyse critically the process of EU foreign policy and how it shapes up after the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty in 2009
Develop a normative understanding of the EU common foreign policies and strategies
Synthesize and comment critically on the EU foreign policy literature

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Module content

The module covers a range of topics and it is split in three sections. The first section deals with the theoretical understandings and frameworks of the EU’s external relations asking the question “Is the EU a global actor?” and thus, examines:

The actors of EU foreign policy and its institutions
The EU foreign policy-making system
The role of the member states

The second section is looking at the global dimension:

The original CFSP and CSDP and the post-Lisbon frameworks
Beyond the common foreign policy: Enlargement, trade and development, security and terrorism, environmental issues and climate change

The third section turns to the regional focus of the EU’s external relations by zooming into:

Europe, the Middle East and Africa
Relations with NATO and other international organizations
Relations with other global powers

The module concludes by discussing the challenges ahead based on the most current affairs.

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Ensure that students are well prepared for class by providing the key literature which connects with the core debates.
Give students an opportunity to discuss specific questions pertaining to the issues scheduled for discussion on weekly topics.
Enable all students to participate in the discussion. Hence a range of techniques are used including whole glass and small group discussions.
Develop students’ oral skills through student presentations as well as reporting back from seminar discussions and engaging in debates.
Ensure that all students connect with the topic being discussed and can understand and utilise the key analytical arguments to explain/understand it.


The learning and teaching methods include: Lectures, seminars, discussions, debates, presentations, independent reading.


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their theoretical and empirical knowledge of a particular topic by enabling them to apply relevant analytical frameworks, including theory to complex issues in EU External Relations. The assessment pattern enables students to analyse and critique two areas in more depth and to make evident their ability to conduct research and construct a reasoned argument. Hence the assessment strategy is closely aligned to the module aims and learning outcomes as specified above.

Reading list

Reading list for EU EXTERNAL RELATIONS :

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2017/8 academic year.