Newcastle University
Teaching in The Jean Monnet Center

EU Modules

There is a wide variety of modules taught at Newcastle University touching on European affairs, mostly within the HASS (Humanities and Social Sciences) Faculty. Some modules are of a generalist/introductory nature and many reflect the significant level of expertise and experience of teaching staff at the University. The modules listed below, at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, are those that are focused on the affairs of the European Union, its Member States and/or a particular theme arising out of the history, politics, laws or other policies of the EU.

In addition to the taught programmes, the academic staff at Newcastle provide an extensive range of postgraduate supervision for EU topics. Research students form a vital part of the research and teaching culture in the University and its European Union projects. Prospective students wishing to apply should consult the University Postgraduate website/ and the Schools in which they are interested.

In addition to the modules listed below, a number of schools within the University operate strong ERASMUS exchange schemes, which will have their own module number. These EU-supported schemes involve Newcastle University Schools exchanging undergraduate and postgraduate students with preeminent higher education institutions elsewhere in Europe (for example the University of Copenhagen in Denmark and the University of Trento in Italy). Normally these exchanges will last one semester and count for the Newcastle degree. Students should consult their Personal Tutor and the International Office in the first instance.

HASS Modules

ECO1013 - European Economy

A module covering major economic events and policy decisions in Europe, both East and West, since 1900.

ECO2014 - The Economics of European Integration

The module starts by introducing the students to the history and institutions of the European Union and then continues with the microeconomics of European integration (for example we discuss the microeconomic tools needed to understand trade liberalisation, the effects of the increase in market size on firms and the effects of integration on migration and the labour market). The module also covers the theory of monetary integration and its application to monetary and fiscal policy in the EU.

HIS1045 - Themes in European History

The module aims to provide an opportunity of investigating in some depth selected problems in the history of Europe, by appraising selected source material and critically examining current historiography. In particular the module aims to provide background for more specialised study of individual themes and/or relatively short periods in the history of various European societies.

HIS2124 - A History of Contemporary Britain

Rather than offering a conventional narrative or survey, this module will analyse the historical background and context of the contemporary United Kingdom. It will also offer some insights into the distinctive methodologies of contemporary history.

HIS3120 - British Foreign Policy since Suez

This module seeks to explain British foreign policy since the Suez crisis of 1956, after which point Britain's reduced global status was finally undeniable, and the country was infamously accused of having "lost an empire, but not yet found a role". It considers Churchill's conception of Britain at the centre of three concentric circles - the US, Europe, and Commonwealth - and the determinants of foreign policy, both external and internal.

LAW2051 - French Law

This module provides an introduction into the French legal system, with a focus on French constitutional law and the law of contract, as well as consideration of the historical and political context for key constitutional principles. The module is taught in both English and French and is primarily taken by students enrolled in the BA Law with French degree programme.

LAW2062 - EU Law

Citizens within the EU enjoy a variety of rights as a result of EU law, and which cannot be taken away by national law. People and the media may have an opinion on whether EU law should prevail over national law when the two conflict, but this is a long standing principle that was accepted when the UK joined the (then) EEC in 1973. This module looks at the EU legal system as a whole including the sources of EU law, the institutions and fundamental principles. The module also considers substantive areas of law in detail such as EC competition law, free movement of goods, persons and services and also looks at EU citizenship. His module is one of the seven foundations of legal knowledge, which students interested in practicing as a solicitor or barrister in England or Wales must study and pass.

LAW3003 - Competition Law

The proper functioning of the EU's Internal Market is central to the economic well being of the EU and to meeting the economic objectives of the Union. Competition law and policy is fundamental to providing a level-playing field for companies operating in the world's largest free trade area. This module considers how EC and UK competition law attempts to deal with anti-competitive behaviour from both within and beyond their jurisdictional borders from both a civil law, and increasingly, criminal law perspective. Essentially the module will focus on the legal scrutiny of three broad categories of behaviour: monopolistic behaviour; anti-competitive agreements; and merger control. The module will also cover the legal regime for the control of state aids within the European Community.

LAW3034 - Human Rights

This module considers how human rights are protected and given effect in three distinct but closely inter-related legal orders and in particular the international, European and the national legal orders, including coverage of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). It provides an opportunity to engage in a critical evaluation of contemporary challenges concerning the effective implementation of human rights in a pluralistic society, and to obtain knowledge on the rights and duties of individuals. It further provides in-depth consideration of the content of specific human rights.

LAW8037 - European Environmental Law

European Environmental law is the driving force behind most new environmental regulation in the UK, and across the other member states of the EU. This module will examine the principles of European environmental law, the ways in which environmental "law" is generated within the EU, and will look at several discrete areas of environmental regulation as case studies in the application of European law in practice.

LAW8050 - The Movement of Persons in a Global World

While nationality constitutes the strongest legal link between an individual and a State, the movement of persons is as old as mankind. The 20th Century has seen an increase in the extent and complexity of the transnational movement of capital, goods, and persons and with it, international agreements (universal and regional) on the status of individuals have proliferated in the past hundred years, often linked to agreements on international trade and commerce and to the protection of internationally recognised human rights. The significance of these developments is further enhanced by the challenges posed by the multiplicity of competing legal orders (international (universal & regional)/EU/national) that characterises a globalised world and the complex relationship between them. This module examines the movement of persons in historical perspective and analyses critically the international legal responses (universal and regional) thereto. Nationality & citizenship, freedom of movement under international and regional agreements (including the UN and the EU), diplomatic status, statelessness, refugee status, international human rights law, and other treaty-based status, are thus examined within this context. The role of international human rights law as a foundation of universal transnational citizenship is considered.

POL 1017 - European Political Systems

This first year BA module provides a foundational understanding of the key institutions in liberal democratic political systems and an awareness of the variety of forms these may take via study of the UK political system and the European Union. The module provides a thematic understanding of the history, evolution, character and effectiveness of these key political institutions in these political systems and explores the interactions between the two political systems, via the concept of multi-level governance.

POL2034 - The Politics and Policy of the European Union

This module aims to introduce students to the key challenges facing the European Union in the 21st century. It will outline key internal and external policy areas, discuss the political debates surrounding these debates and examine the challenges facing the European integration process.

POL3063 - European Union: Decision-Making Simulation

In this module students simulate how the European Union actually works by role play. Students act as a representative of a European Union member state, and simulate how these actors make decisions at the European Union level. They first receive specific training required for understanding the European Union decision-making process and how it makes policy and for conducting the necessary research.

POL3078 - Britain and the European Union

This module examines Britain's multi-faceted relationship with the European Union and Britain's approach to the issue of European integration since the 1950s. It explores why the 'European question' has not been settled in British politics after more than fifty years of national debate and focuses on key themes such as the Euro, the costs and benefits of membership, the sovereignty issue, party divisions and public opinion.

POL3079 - The Government and Politics of Italy

This module explores the fascinating politics of contemporary Italy and the causes and consequences of the political upheavals that have characterised the state since the mid-1990s. The Italian case will be examined using key concepts and theoretical perspectives relating to state-building, political transition and electoral change.

POL3087 - Democratization in Central Europe (1989-2004)

This third stage BA module introduces the theories and concepts of democratization, which are applied to the case of Central Europe. In particular, it covers the historical context, political developments and institutional structures in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia in the period spanning the end of socialist regimes in 1989 to their accession to the EU in 2004.

POL8003 - Integration in Europe

The MA module focuses on the processes of political and economic integration in the European Union. The module examines the factors, which have led European nation-states to seek solutions to political and economic problems at the transnational level and analyses how successful this co-operation has been.

POL8012 - Public Policy in the European Union

This MA module aims: 1) To give students an in-depth understanding of how the process of European integration impacts upon member states in key areas of public policy; 2) to examine the process of EU policy-making; 3) to examine the policy constraints and opportunities for Western European states operating within the context of international interdependence and European integration; 4) to examine key areas of public policy in a comparative European framework; and 5) to evaluate major theoretical frameworks for understanding policy convergence/ divergence in the EU.

POL8036 - The European Union as an International Actor

This MA module examines the position of the European Union an increasingly important actor on the world stage. The EU's international presence challenges many of the traditional assumptions of IR theory but its external policy development (particularly now that a security policy element has been added) is not easily explained by established EU integration theory either. The EU as an international actor therefore offers analytical and theoretical challenges to scholars.

SOC2065 - Ethnography and Change in Europe

The states in Eastern Europe have faced fundamental changes with the fall of socialism. The module seeks to explore the experience of this 'transition' anthropologically by focusing on aspects of social structure, culture, identity, memory and conflict. It does so through the study of ethnographies and seeks to explore these texts critically.

SOC3068 - Sociology of Contemporary Europe

This module aims: 1) to introduce students to the social diversity of Europe;
2) to examine different analytical approaches to the conceptualisation of European society; 3) to foster critical awareness of current developments in European society; and 4) to reflect on the ways in which Europe has been represented.

SPA1017 - Comparative History and Politics of Spain and Portugal since the Reconquista

This module surveys the contemporary political history of Spain and Portugal, including a focus on the transitions from Franco and Salazar to democracy and EU membership.