Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

The European Union and International Relations POLITIC4130

  • Academic Session: 2021-22
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

This course aims at providing an informed understanding of the European Union as an actor in the international arena.


This course may not be running this year. For further information please check the Politics Moodle page or contact the subject directly.

Requirements of Entry

Mandatory Entry Requirements

Entry to Honours Politics requires a grade point average of 12 (Grade C) over Politics 2A and Politics 2B as a first attempt.


Excluded Courses






Summative: final mark is composed of two components:

■ A final essay of 3,000 to 3,500 words (75% of final mark). For specific submission dates please refer to the Honours Course Guide.

■ The better two of three quizzes taken in class during the course (25% of final mark). If a student is absent for one of the quizzes, the remaining two quizzes will count. If a student misses two quizzes, the remaining quiz will count, provided that the student has been granted good cause. If a student misses three quizzes, the final essay will count for the entirety of the summative assessment, provided that the student has been granted good cause.

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable


Course Aims

This course aims at providing an informed understanding of the European Union as an actor in the international arena. The first part looks at how globalisation, the rise of new powers, new security threats, and the expansion of foreign policy agendas have changed the nature of the EU's action in international politics. The second part looks more specifically to the relations between the EU and the developing world, paying attention to issues such as foreign aid, security and development, trade and development, and the promotion of human rights, democracy, and good governance.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ have a firm command of leading theoretical approaches to European integration and European foreign policy;

■ understand the historical development of the EU as a global actor;

■ evaluate all the policy instruments the EU uses in international politics;

■ appreciate the main factors shaping the main determinants of policy-making and behaviour in European foreign policy;

■ assess the role that the EU plays in various regions of the world.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.