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Contemporary Issues in Europe

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This course casts a critical eye at contemporary Europe. In ten weeks, this module takes a view at Europe’s current state of affairs, actors and environment.

By discussing nine major themes it offers a broad stock-taking of post-Cold War Europe, its people and its institutions, and its environment.

This is a 10 credit module on the Pathway to a degree in International Relations and Politics.

It is also open to all as a stand-alone course.

Learning and teaching

The course is taught through a mix of lectures and small group sessions.

On successful completion of the module a student will be able to:

On completion of this module you should be able to:

  • Identify and evaluate current political, economic and social developments within Europe
  • Analyse historical processes of convergence and divergence
  • Evaluate the importance of Europe’s institutions in relation to European integration, and Europe’s international role.
  • Perform a comparative analysis of two sources
  • Discuss the different experiences across Europe with regard to current European affairs

Coursework and assessment

The assessment for the module will consist of an essay plan (30%) and an essay (70%).

Reading suggestions

  • Chad Damro, Elke Heins, Drew Scott (eds), 2021. European Futures. Challenges and Crossroads for the European Union of 2050 (London: Routledge),
  • The Spotlights Series by the journal Contemporary European History
  • Darian Meacham, Nicolas de Warren, 2021. The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy and Europe (London: Routledge)

Library and computing facilities

As a student on this course you are entitled to join and use the University’s library and computing facilities. Find out more about using these facilities.


Our aim is access for all. We aim to provide a confidential advice and support service for any student with a long term medical condition, disability or specific learning difficulty. We are able to offer one-to-one advice about disability, pre-enrolment visits, liaison with tutors and co-ordinating lecturers, material in alternative formats, arrangements for accessible courses, assessment arrangements, loan equipment and dyslexia screening.