Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2020-2021 (archived)


Department: Government and International Affairs


Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Not available in 2020/21 Module Cap
Tied to M1K807
Tied to L2K707
Tied to M1K507
Tied to M9K607
Tied to M9L007
Tied to M1K607


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To develop advanced knowledge and understanding of the efforts to create a 'European' security identity in the context of the processes of post-war European integration with particular attention to the constraints imposed by the Cold War, and the opportunities/problems presented by its demise.


  • Business meeting.
  • Cold War: origins, conduct and endings.
  • In search of the European Army.
  • NATO: A marriage of convenience?
  • EU Crisis Management: A Case Study.
  • Terms of (Dis) engagement: The future of Europe-US relations.
  • The 21st Century Agenda.
  • National perspectives, European Solutions.
  • Conclusion: Conceptualising European Security.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • An advanced knowledge and understanding of the history, development and structures of European security organizations and systems in the context of cold war and post cold war situations.
  • A critical understanding of the issues raised by the attempts to create a 'European' security identity through the Organisation for Security and Co-Operation in Europe.
  • An advanced understanding of security concerns including international terrorism, cross-border crime and defence.
  • Advanced knowledge of the scholarly literature on European security.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • The ability to focus critically on key issues in European security.
  • The ability to interpret, analyse and situate such issues in the context of different approaches within the disciplines of politics and international relations.
Key Skills:
  • Independent learning within this defined framework of study at an advanced level.
  • Independent thought in analysing and critiquing existing scholarship on the subject area and in evaluating its contribution.
  • Skills in identifying and using scholarly literature.
  • The ability to work to a deadline and complete written work within word limits.
  • Advanced essay-writing skills.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Students are taught in 9 two-hour classes.
  • The module begins with a lecture session outlining the aims and objectives of the module and discusses the factors affecting, and perceptions about, European security.
  • Subsequent seminars are based on individual student presentations followed by guided discussion and finally tutor feedback. These seminars enable the students to acquire knowledge and understanding of the subject matter and develop their abilities to communicate and to develop their own skills in argumentation. The presenting student is required to produce a written summary. The oral and written presentations represent the formative work of the module to which the tutor responds with written feedback, in addition to any oral comments.
  • Students are required to submit a summative essay at the end of the module. This enables them to demonstrate that they have sufficient subject knowledge (1-3) and understanding to meet the assessment criteria, that they have achieved the subject skills (1-2), and that they have acquired the key skills 1, 2, 4 and 5.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 1 First week 2 hours 2
Seminars 8 Weekly 2 hours 16
Preparation and Reading 132
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Essay Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 4,000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

Student presentation in seminars supported by written summary of 1,500 to 2,000 words in length.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University