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European Politics and Policy - MSc

Course Description

In the current political and economic climate, and the reconfiguration of Britain’s relationship with Europe, a deep understanding of EU governance and institutional structure is critical for those working in government, media and economics.

Our programme will provide you with a detailed overview of key contemporary debates in European politics and policies, and insights into cross-national and comparative perspectives.


The MSc in European Politics and Policy offers students two pathways. The European Politics and Policy pathway explores in detail the EU’s main policy areas. The second pathway, European External Relations, offers the opportunity to focus on the EU as an international actor.

Both pathways involve a common set of compulsory modules, including Research Methods and Politics of the European Union. Each pathway has two further compulsory modules, in addition to three optional modules from a range of European and/or international politics topics.

Students are required to complete either a dissertation or placement project on a topic of their choice.


This programme is studied full-time over one academic year and part-time over two academic years. It consists of eight taught modules and either a dissertation or placement. The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.
-Introduction to Research
-Research in Practice
-Institutional Architecture of the European Union
-Policies of the European Union
-Comparative Regional Integration
-Foundations of EU Law
-Global Governance
-EU External Relations
-Politics of International Intervention 1
-International Political Economy
-EU and Neighbourhood
-European Social Dimension
-Theorizing European Integration
-Global Governance
-Theories of International Relations
-Key Issues in International Relations
-International Security and Defence
-Politics of International Intervention 2
-EU Counter-Terrorism Law
-EU Employment Law and Social Policy
-Law of International Organizations


The aims of the programme are:
-To enable students to understand and evaluate contemporary debates in the study of European politics and policy, concerning the relationship between the European and national levels, institutional structures and the external relations of the EU
-To deepen students’ knowledge of theoretical aspects of European politics and policy, including different theories of European integration and external relations
-To enable students to develop their knowledge and understanding in at least three sub-fields of international politics: students take fiveprogramme compulsory modulesand three further modules from a list of optional modules available in the postgraduate curriculum
-To provide students, with the opportunity, through the placement option, to spend three months working in a field related to their degree (this will not only provide students with new insights into European Politics and Policy but also develop a broad array of transferable skills)


The programme provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, skills, qualities and other attributes in the following areas:

Knowledge and understanding
-A critical knowledge of contemporary debates in the study of European politics and policy studies with particular reference to the relationship between European and national levels and institutional structures
-An in-depth understanding of theoretical aspects of European politics, including different theories of European integration
-A detailed knowledge and understanding within at least two sub-fields of European politics and policy, for example in-depth understanding of policy evolution and historical change in relation to European politics
-An understanding of processes of knowledge creation and contestation within European politics
-An understanding of techniques of research and enquiry and their application to the study of politics

Intellectual / cognitive skills
-Gather, organise and deploy evidence and information from a range of different sources
-Analyse and synthesise a wide range of material in verbal and numerical formats
-Deal with complex issues systematically and creatively
-Make sound judgements on the basis of incomplete evidence
-Demonstrate self-direction and originality in solving problems and analysing evidence
-Construct reasoned argument
-Apply theoretical frameworks to empirical analysis

Professional practical skills
-Make appropriate use of information and communications technology
-Form effective arguments
-Organise own workload to meet deadlines
-Formulate research questions
-Use software packages to analyse qualitative and quantitative data
-Present research findings orally and in writing

Key / transferable skills
-Communicate and present ideas effectively
-Reason critically
-Use information and communication technology for the retrieval and presentation of material
-Organise and plan their own work
-Adopt a proactive approach to problem-solving
-Collaborate with others to achieve common goals
-Deploy a range of relevant research skills
-Make decisions in complex situations
-Take responsibility for their own learning


We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.

In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.

Visit the European Politics and Policy - MSc page on the University of Surrey website for more details!

Student Profiles

Discounts for Surrey graduates - No. of awards TBC

If you are a self-funded UK, EU or international student who has studied for an undergraduate degree at the University of Surrey campus in Guildford, you could be eligible for a ten per cent discount on our taught postgraduate Masters programme fees. This scheme is for applicable to Postgraduate Taught entry students only and is reviewed annually.Students who graduated in 2013 are eligible, as well as alumni from previous years, on receipt of evidence of the award from Surrey and where we can identify that you actually studied in Guildford. Students from SII-DUFE are eligible for this scheme.Associated Institution students are not eligible. Not available to modular self-pacing students.

Value of Scholarship(s)

10% tuition fee discount


If you are a self-funded UK, EU or international student who has studied for an undergraduate degree at the University of Surrey campus in Guildford

Application Procedure

If you have any enquiries regarding this matter please contact the Student Fees and Funding Office on [email protected]

Further Information


Entry Requirements

A first or 2.1 undergraduate degree in a relevant social science or humanities discipline (or an equivalent qualification).

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Recipient: University of Surrey

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