The programme will develop students’ bibliographical skills by requiring them to
compile bibliographies for their essays and dissertation. It will encourage students
to develop their IT skills, by the use of a range of electronic databases and WWW
resources in their research for essays and dissertation. It will enhance their
presentational skills by making them present seminar papers to a group of students.
The dissertation element will develop students’ research skills and personal
initiative as well as training them in structuring and summarising complex subject
matter and in evaluating and presenting their own thoughts on a subject in a
coherent and precise manner.
The MA in European Studies combines taught courses with independent research.
The programme consists of 180 credits; a taught element (120 credits) and a
dissertation (60 credits). Students must take the core taught module, Political
Integration in Europe, which runs for two terms (Autumn and Spring). In addition,
students choose option modules totalling 90 credits from the list below, which run
concurrently with the core module. Students may take up to 40 credits in another
MA programme subject to the approval of the Director of GIPIS. The students’
dissertation is planned in consultation with their supervisor and is submitted for
assessment in September following completion of the core module and the optional
-Political Integration in Europe 30 M
-Dissertation 60 M
Option Modules (subject to availability in any given year)
-International Relations of the Mediterranean 30 M
-European Union Constitutional Law 30 M
-Economic Development in Emerging Markets 20 M
-Economic Integration in Europe I 20 M
-Economic Integration in Europe II 20 M
-The EU as a Global Actor 30 M
-Comparative Management 20 M
-The Politics of the Monetary Union 30 M
-EU Single Market Law 30 M
The programme can be followed on a part-time basis over 24 months or on a parttime
modular basis over 72 months.
Summary of teaching and assessment
The programme is taught primarily through seminars with student presentations and
structured discussion, with lectures where appropriate. Other teaching provision
includes: individual tutorials, training sessions in the library and an optional study
visit to the institutions of the European Union.
The core and option modules are assessed by course work and examination. Failed
coursework has to be re-submitted at the latest by 1st September the same year. If
the examination is failed it has to be re-sat in September the same year. A failed
dissertation has to be re-submitted within 12 months.
For Masters Degrees
To pass the MA students must gain an average mark of 50 or more overall including
a mark of 50 or more for the dissertation and have no mark below 40 in any module.
The total credit value of all modules marked below 50 must not exceed 55 credits.
Students who gain an average mark of 70 or more overall including a mark of 60 or
more for the dissertation and have no mark below 50 will be eligible for a
Distinction. Those gaining an average mark of 60 or more overall including a mark
of 50 or more for the dissertation and have no mark below 50 will be awarded
eligible for a Merit.
For PG Diplomas
To pass the Postgraduate Diploma students must gain an average mark of 50 or
more and have no mark below 40 in any module. In addition the total credit value
of all modules marked below 50 must be less than 60 credits.
Students who gain an average mark of 70 or more and have no mark below 50 will
be eligible for the award of a Distinction. Those gaining an average mark of 60 or
more and have no mark below 50 will be awarded eligible for a Merit.
For PG Certificate
To pass the Postgraduate Certificate students must gain an average mark of 50 or
more and have no mark below 40 in any module.
Support for students and their learning
University support for students and their learning falls into two categories.
Learning support includes IT Services, which has several hundred computers and
the University Library, which across its three sites holds over a million volumes,
subscribes to around 4,000 current periodicals, has a range of electronic sources of
information and houses the Student Access to Independent Learning (S@IL)
computer-based teaching and learning facilities. There are language laboratory
facilities both for those students studying on a language degree and for those taking
modules offered by the Institution-wide Language Programme. Student guidance
and welfare support is provided by Programme Directors, the Careers Advisory
Service, the University’s Special Needs Advisor, Study Advisors, Hall Wardens and
the Students’ Union.
Students meet with their Director of Studies once a term to assess their progress. A
formative essay is written by students at the beginning of the Autumn term. This
essay does not contribute to the students’ degree but enables their Director of
Studies to spot any academic difficulties at an early stage and to agree with the
student concerned appropriate strategies to resolve them.
Students with an MA in European Studies can find work, for example:
• in the diplomatic service,
• in EU institutions,
• in Non-Governmental Organisations,
• in Research Institutes,
• in Journalism for print media, radio and TV.
The emphasis in the programme on analytical abilities, the summarising and
presentation of complex arguments and empirical evidence mean that students may
go on to pursue careers in a wide range of fields such as teaching, marketing, IT,
civil service, and local government. A number of students go on to further postgraduate
studies at PhD level, both at The University of Reading and elsewhere.
Opportunities for study abroad or for placements
The programme allows for formal exchanges with the Université Libre de Bruxelles
and with Charles University, Prague.
Educational aims of the programme
To provide a detailed and challenging introduction to the politics of the European
To enable students to understand the debates surrounding the political integration of
the European Union.
To enable students to understand the debates surrounding how integration in the
European Union has altered its relations with the wider international society.
Using a range of theoretical approaches to enable students to develop an
understanding of the complexity of the above issues.
To provide the analytical and intellectual basis for further academic research on the
region or for careers that require a thorough understanding of the politics of the
To develop further students’ critical and analytical skills through their engagement
with a range of challenging theoretical and empirical literature and to demonstrate
these in essays, presentations and examinations.