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PAIR3056 Imagining European Futures

Module Overview

The European integration project has achieved a point, at which fundamental questions concerning its near and long-term future need to be urgently addressed. Unfortunately, the current debates are often hindered by the loud and dominant voices of extremist political groupings, or by path-dependency and incrementalism, stemming from the perceptions of what appears feasible in the current political, economic and social context. The proposed module Imagining European Futures will seek to overcome these shortcomings by inviting students of all disciplines to come up with bold, creative and innovative ideas concerning the desired shape of European integration, whilst teaching students how to ground these ideas in a thoroughly researched empirical context. The module will introduce students to the key dilemmas of European integration, followed by the thorough training in creative, yet analytically sound research enquiry and discovery. The module will be based around the revolutionary pedagogy of research-based teaching and learning. It will offer students the opportunity to engage with the most important and interesting questions of European integration in the context of the learning structure replicating real-world research activities, such as peer-review or presenting at conferences.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The primary objective of this module is to allow students of different disciplines engage with the key challenges facing the EU and the European integration process and to develop bold ideas for re-imagining European integration to make Europe more secure, more prosperous, more inclusive and a welcome place to live for future generations. Through the pursuit of this objective, the module will also aim to: 1. challenge students to move beyond what appears possible or feasible in the present context in order to research bold, creative and innovative ideas, whilst grounding these ideas in a thoroughly researched empirical context. 2. allow undergraduate students experience a research-based module (arguably ‘the pedagogy for the 21st century’), rather than a teaching-based module, and become immersed in discovery and enquiry. The experience of this kind will also enhance student employability. 3. mainstream and deepen the teaching and learning of the EU and European integration at the University of Southampton by offering students the space to explore and reflect on the current state of European integration and contemplate bold, yet empirically-sound ideas for the future. 4. diversify the methodologies for teaching and learning EU subjects through: (a) shifting the paradigm from teaching and learning to research-based discovery and enquiry; and (b) moving beyond a ‘gap-filling’ approach to constructing research questions to the one centered around problematizing assumptions underpinning current research.

Learning Outcomes

Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Identify key scholarly contributions on a topic of their interest in the field of EU and European integration studies.
  • Organise scholarly literature into a coherent review and analyse the arguments shaping the debates on students’ selected topic related to the EU and European integration studies.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the contemporary challenges facing the EU and the European integration process.
  • Argue the way forward for the EU and European integration in a selected integration area based on research and with the view to make Europe more secure, more prosperous, more inclusive and a welcome place to live for future generations.
  • Report research findings in the written, visual or oral forms as to replicate the process of academic research production and dissemination.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to report research findings in the written, visual and oral forms as to replicate the process of academic research production and dissemination.

Syllabus

Example of Research Session Topics: Researching the EU and European integration - This session exposes students to different kinds of research in European Studies. Challenges of European Integration - This session exposes students to the central problems of European integration, including their historical and theoretical context. Conducting Literature Review - Students learn how to review literature on a given topic. Arguments, Assumptions and Evidence in Literature - Students continue to work on literature review as they practice recognising arguments and assumptions of authors, and learn how to search for evidence. Constructing Interesting Research Questions - Students learn about, and practice, different kinds of research questions. Developing an Argument in a Research Paper - Students learn how to develop an argument in a research paper and practice it in relation to their own conference papers.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

This module will be underpinned by the innovative principle of student-based research – an approach to undergraduate education hailed as ‘the pedagogy of the 21st century’. In this module, instead of lectures, student learning will be organised around guided research sessions, which will contain elements of lectures, seminars and on-line learning. Instead of being a lecturer, the module leader will perform the role of a research mentor. The teaching and learning activities for this module will be organised as to give students experience of undergraduate research and enquiry with the appropriate level of independence. The module will allow students to experience ‘doing research’ in the field of EU and European integration studies by: (a) building motivation through experience of guided and open inquiry; (b) developing capacities by focusing on methods and techniques; (c) offering students greater control to undertake a semi-independent project.

TypeHours
Independent Study100
Demonstration6
Guided independent study22
Blended Learning22
Total study time150

Assessment

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Individual Presentation 10%
Literature review  (1500 words) 40%
Research paper  (2000 words) 50%
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