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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Centre for Open Learning : Social and Political Science

Undergraduate Course: European Politics and Policies (Credit Plus) (SSPS07005)

Course Outline
SchoolCentre for Open Learning CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 7 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis course is for HSS International Foundation Programme students only. It is not available to undergraduate students.

The course aims to provide an understanding of the way policies and politics have developed in different European countries by utilising the study of social policy, as well as to introduce the crucial role of the European Union in the policies and politics of Europe. A study skills component will be offered alongside the main course content to enable students to develop skills for successful undergraduate study.
Course description Part I European States: Development, Diversity and Challenges

Week 1 The Origins and Development of the State in Europe
Study skill: Using WebCT and library resources

Week 2 Welfare State Types and Typologies
Study skill: Downloading, printing and analysing a journal article

Week 3 Challenges to European States: Economic and Demographic
Study skill: Essay writing practice.

Formative essay planning exercise set.

Part II Policies in Europe: Characteristics and Reform Dynamics

Week 4 The Bismarckian States: Germany and France
Study skill: Developing critical argument

Week 5 The Nordic States: Sweden and Norway
Study skill: Referencing and avoiding plagiarism

Week 6 After Dictatorship: Italy, Spain, Greece and Portugal
Study skill: Developing debating skills

Week 7 UK in International Perspective
Study skill: Reading tables and understanding comparative statistics/ Group exercise

Part III The European Union: Structures and Processes

Week 8 The Institutions of the EU
Study skill: Writing exam answers

Formative exercise return

Week 9 The Institutions of the EU
Study skill: Practice unseen assessment

Week 10 Policies of the EU
Study skill: Exam revision

Week 11 Course Conclusion
Study skill: Exam revision
Unseen assessment in class this week.

Final essay to be submitted by the published due date.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 78 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Assessment 1: unseen classroom assessment in the final week of the course, worth 25% of the total course mark.
Assessment 2: 2000 word essay (seen assessment) submitted after the course finishes, worth 75% of the total course mark.
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate knowledge and understanding of different political and social systems across Europe;
  2. understand the challenges faced by states and the ways in which these are being addressed;
  3. show a basic understanding of the impact of the EU on European politics and policy;
  4. use some of the skills that are integral to the study of politics and social policy such as understanding and assessing arguments, evaluating evidence and utilising theory; and
  5. draw on a range of good study skills and habits which will help realise academic potential.
Reading List

Cousins, M., 2005. European Welfare States. Comparative Perspectives. London: Sage.
Hay, C. and Menon, A. eds., 2007. European Politics. Oxford: OUP.


Bale, Tim, 2008. European Politics: a Comparative Introduction. 2nd edition.
Basingstoke: Palgave Macmillan.
Geyer, R., 2000. Exploring European Social Policy. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Web sources

There are extensive web resources including the EU website and many academic journals including:

Comparative European Politics
Journal of Common Market Studies
Journal of European Public Policy
European Integration On-Line Papers and ERPA and
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Through interactive teaching, class participation and dedicated study skills sessions, students will develop skills in using library and online resources, developing an argument, referencing and avoiding plagiarism, debating and discussing, writing exam answers, and working in a group.
Special Arrangements Students must only be enrolled by the Office of Lifelong Learning
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserMs Kate Mchugh
Tel: (0131 6)51 1589
Course secretaryMr Benjamin Mcnab
Tel: (0131 6)51 4832
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