Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024


Department: Geography


Type Open Level 3 Credits 10 Availability Available in 2023/24 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • Any Level 2 BA Geography Module


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To develop students’ advanced knowledge and understanding of the changing political geography of Europe and the European Union
  • To enable students to understand how space, place and territory are implicated in processes of European integration and disintegration
  • To encourage students to reflect critically on the pasts, presents and futures of Europe and the EU and on the role of geography therein


  • The growth and development of the European Union has been one of the most significant geopolitical developments of the period since the end of the Second World War. For fifty years from the Treaty of Rome (1957), which established the European Economic Community, to the signing of the Lisbon Treaty in 2007, the narrative of continuous European integration held sway. Since 2008, however, a series of political shocks, including the global financial crisis, the debt crisis affecting some Eurozone countries, increased migration across the Balkans and the Mediterranean, heightened nationalism, Brexit, and military conflict have disrupted, and perhaps even reversed, the apparent trend towards ‘ever closer union’. Geography – understood as the role that space, place and territory play in politics – has been central to processes of both integration and disintegration. This module will examine the geographies of European integration and disintegration by focusing on:
  • European geopolitics and Europe in the world
  • The smooth space of the single market
  • Uneven development and ‘cohesion’
  • EU expansion and soft power geopolitics
  • Regionalism, nationalism, and populism
  • The Euro and the debt crisis
  • Territory, migration and new borders
  • Brexit

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:
  • Demonstrate advanced knowledge and understanding of processes of European integration and disintegration
  • Demonstrate advanced understanding of the role of space, place and territory in processes of European integration and disintegration
Subject-specific Skills:
  • On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:
  • Use geographical and political concepts effectively to analyse political issues and make arguments
  • Think critically about the relationship between politics, space, place and territory
Key Skills:
  • On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:
  • Synthesise and analyse information from academic and non-academic sources
  • Demonstrate good academic written communication skills

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

  • Readings will be provided for each topic. Active reading and note-taking will be the main mode of learning and will develop advanced knowledge and understanding of the themes of the module and allow students to practise synthesising information from different sources.
  • Lectures will provide a structured synthesis of ideas and concepts covered in the readings, supplemented by case studies and additional material.
  • Each weekly topic will be accompanied by a study package, comprising guided learning activities to help student engage actively with the lectures and readings. The study packages will help to ensure that students are developing knowledge and understanding and the ability to use concepts and think critically about the relationships between politics, space, place and territory.
  • The workshop will provide an opportunity for students to discuss and receive formative feedback on a practice essay plan.
  • Summative assessment will comprise an online examination. The assessment requires students to develop knowledge and understanding across the breadth of the module and enables them to demonstrate their ability to synthesise and analyse information, to use concepts, to think critically, and to communicate effectively in writing.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 9 Weekly 2 hours 18
Study packages (self-study) 9 Weekly 1 hour 9
Workshop 1 1 hour 1
Reading and preparation 72
Total 100

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Online 24 hour unseen examination (in January of academic year and administered by Department) 2 hours (recommended) 100%

Formative Assessment:

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