Taught course

European Politics

University of Portsmouth · School of Social, Historical and Literary Studies

Entry requirements

A good honours degree in a Social Science, Humanities or related subject. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

Months of entry


Course content

Why take this course?

If you are interested in contemporary European affairs such as nationalism, security, governance and policymaking, democratisation in Eastern Europe and the external relations of the EU, you will enjoy this course's attention to themes such as nationalism and citizenship, integration, transition and security. The course is very much informed by research undertaken in the highly regarded Centre for European and International Studies Research, which was rated in the top 4 universities in the UK for research power in Area Studies in REF2014.

We are the only university in the UK that offers an internship with the BBC Afrique World Service in Senegal. This opportunity is available to students with French language skills on MA International Relations or MA European Politics.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

  • Enhance your employability by extending your area of expertise beyond that of your first degree
  • Deepen your existing knowledge of European Studies and specialise in particular areas such as security or policymaking
  • Make yourself stand out in an increasingly competitive job market by acquiring skills which show an ability to research independently and study a contemporary topic at an advanced level
  • Go on to more advanced research and doctoral study

What opportunities might it lead to?

This course provides an excellent basis for careers where a knowledge of European affairs is required, and provides advanced training in a range of transferable skills.

Former students have gone on to work in various areas including:

  • Local government
  • The UK civil service
  • Foreign government and European institutions
  • Teaching and further research

Module Details

The units on the course are designed to provide a wide range of approaches to the study of Europe. The interdisciplinary nature of the degree means that students can combine political and contemporary history perspectives with those from international relations and area studies. While students can choose to specialise in the study of the EU the course also encourages the study of Europe in its wider sense including the former Soviet Union and Europe’s relations with the wider world.

The structure of core units and options on the degree is designed to maximise the ability of students to fashion a course which best suits their needs and interests. For example, if you wish you can choose to specialise in the area of European politics and governance or you can concentrate on Europe’s external relations and foreign and security perspectives. However, you can also design a more mixed selection.

All students take the following core units:-

  • Challenges to EU Politics and Governance
  • Dissertation/Major Project

You will also choose 3 out of the following:-

  • Europe: Integration and Democratisation
  • Global Governance
  • Nation and Identity in Europe
  • Europe and the World
  • Negotiation and Lobbying in the EU: A simulation game
  • Contemporary Security in International Relations: Providers and Challenges
  • Independent Project
  • Work-based Learning

Programme Assessment

Teaching is conducted through a combination of lectures and seminars. In addition, you will have access to staff on an individual tutorial basis. You will also be assigned a dissertation supervisor to support you in the research and writing of your dissertation.

Classes are timetabled in the afternoons and evenings. Depending on their option choices part-time students are usually able to structure their course so as to concentrate their studies on one and no more than two afternoons/evenings.

Assessment is normally in the form of an extended essay on a specific topic within a unit, allowing you to specialise on a subject that particularly interests you within the broad topic area of the unit.

Student Destinations

The current processes of enlargement of the EU to the East and the further integration of the EU have meant that more than ever there is a demand for people with an advanced knowledge of European affairs and the workings of the EU. This applies to a whole range of areas such as business, local and central government and international institutions.

This course therefore provides an excellent basis for those seeking careers in such areas where a knowledge of European affairs is required. It can be used by students coming from a different background to gain the necessary expertise in European Studies or it can be used by those with an existing background to deepen their area of expertise with a particular career focus on European affairs in mind.

In addition the course provides advanced training in a range of transferable skills which can be applied in different areas of employment.

Fees and funding

UK students
full time: £4,700 part time: £2,350 p/a* *Tuition fee is subject to annual increase.
International students
full time: £12,600 part time: £6,300 p/a* *Tuition fee is subject to annual increase.

Qualification and course duration


part time
24 months
full time
12 months

Course contact details

Admissions Team
023 9284 5566