Programme Specification – MSc Politics and Government in the European Union
1. Awarding Body LSE
2. Details of accreditation by a N/A
professional/statutory body, e.g. ESRC;
3. Name of final award MSc
4. Programme Title Politics and Government in the European
5. Duration of the course 12 months full-time, 24 months part-time
6. Based in the Department/Institute: European Institute, Government Department,
7. Relevant QAA subject benchmark N/A
8. UCAS Code M1UM
9. First written/last amended Nov 2007
10. The programme aims to:
Provide a world-leading study programme of politics and government in the European
To elaborate, and substantiate, a comparative perspective on European politics
To explore the wider processes and effects of European integration and policy-making in
the European Union
Provide an academically challenging education, in a research-active environment, to
intellectually able students from a wide range of countries;
Enable students to focus their studies on one of the programme’s two streams: (1)
European Government and Policy or (2) The International Relations of Europe
Enable students intending to pursue higher degrees to develop the necessary analytical
and theoretical sophistication, and breadth and depth of understanding, within their field
Enable students who go directly into non-academic careers (e.g. government, the voluntary
sector, international organisations, business and media) to become articulate, clear thinking
individuals, able critically to analyse complex bodies of material.
11. Programme outcomes: knowledge and understanding; skills and other attributes
Programme Outcomes, Knowledge and Skills
An advanced, critical, understanding of the main theoretical and policy debates
surrounding European comparative politics, European integration and EU policy-making;
A detailed knowledge of the main findings and theories associated with these debates
The ability to work independently, employing empirical and analytical knowledge in the
planning and presentation of succinct, precise arguments;
The ability to design and independently execute a dissertation on an approved subject of
their own choice
The ability to engage with the central political and social theories surrounding the
European Union and apply them to research.
Information relating to careers can be accessed here
12. Teaching, learning and assessment strategies to enable outcomes to be achieved
Students acquire their detailed knowledge and understanding of the course through lectures,
seminars and guided independent study.
Many of those involved in programme delivery are international experts at the forefront of
research in the field – and as such, students have direct insight into current thinking in the
field. This aspect of provision is further enhanced through specialist Departmental visiting
lecturers that discuss on-going research, as well as the array of LSE public lectures, which
include senior national and international policy makers, politicians and researchers in this and
Students are strongly encouraged to make extensive use of electronic information sources
available through the BLPES; in particular the extensive resources for international
bibliographical research and on-line publications.
All course reading lists include references to current research, and other primary sources
including official documents and web references, as well as original academic works.
Teaching and learning strategies
Skills are developed through guidance and feedback from lecturers in the context of:
Regular lectures, seminars, and the preparation of course essays and the dissertation.
Key integrative courses set out a robust core, theoretical underpinnings and set out the
threads to be developed in options. In the first term, students are required therefore to take
general courses on comparative European politics and the history and theory of European
integration. In the second term, students build on these foundations with their choice of
options available to them within the programme’s two streams: (1) European Union
Government and Policy and (2) The International Relations of Europe. For each of the two
streams, there is a third compulsory course that student are required to take.
Most courses are assessed by 2 hour unseen written examinations (3 hours in the case of full
Formative assessment takes the form of feedback from tutors on course work and within
classes and is central to student development.
Students are required to write a dissertation that draws together a number of their intellectual
skills as well as their understanding of fundamental issues. This piece of work may be based
on one or all of the following: original data collection analysis, original fieldwork, or novel
conceptual and theoretical critique. It is also an opportunity for students to practically
demonstrate their research skills as applied to a specific topic.
13. Programme structures and requirements, levels, modules and awards
See the MSc Politics and Government in the European Union programme regulations.
14. Criteria for admission to the programme
We consider applicants with good first degrees (2:1 or GPA of 3.5) in any discipline, but prefer
applicants with a degree in one of the social sciences.
15. Indicators of quality
Steady demand for the programme and high qualifications required for admission.
The high fees paid by students taking the programme.
Consistently good examination results and favourable remarks by External Examiners.
Student questionnaires and feedback via staff student liaison committees.
The LSE Careers Centre website provides data on career destinations of LSE graduates.
16. Methods for evaluating and improving the quality and standard of teaching and
- formative essays, mock exams, assessed essays, final exams;
- student evaluation forms, student questionnaires;
- meetings of the staff-student liaison committee (3 per year)
- meetings of the programme’s teaching committee (3 per year).
- regular staff appraisal and review;
- improvements in teaching technique by the Teaching and Learning Centre through
observations, advice and further training;
- induction programme and mentoring scheme for new members of staff;
- centrally administered questionnaires by the Teaching Quality Assurance and Review
- a system for ensuring that External Examiners’ comments/recommendations are fed
through to Departments and acted upon;
- the School’s Teaching Learning and Assessment Committee which regulates all aspects
of teaching quality;
- LSE’s Graduate Studies Sub-Committee which oversees all postgraduate programmes
and ensures that significant changes to programmes and courses pass through a
sequence of formal stages so that curricular changes are appropriate and compatible
with other developments.