STV2500 – EU decision-making processes and policy areas

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

In this course, you will learn to analyze decision-making in the European Union. The course consists of three parts; Government, Politics, and Policies. The premise for the course is that although the EU is not a state, it can be analyzed using standard theoretical tools from mainstream political science. The empirical focus is on how the EU is currently operating. We expect you to follow EU current affairs, and be able to interpret contemporary developments in light of the theoretical tools. Moreover, you will develop the ability to find and extract relevant material for the EU political system.

Learning outcome


You will

  • master central theoretical concepts in institutional rational choice
  • know where to find relevant information about the EU institutions, politics in the EU and development in the various policy-areas
  • be able to explain the main decision-making processes in the EU


You will

  • be able to apply concepts from institutional rational choice in substantive analysis of EU government, politics, and policy-making
  • learn to obtain and utilize primary and secondary EU information in your own analysis
  • be able to analyze the consequences of decision-making procedures and the policy positions of actors for policy-outcomes
  • be able to structure academic texts with research questions that the student has chosen him-/herself or that are pre-defined.
  • be able to relate a research question to the academic literature in the area and assess how the choice of research question determines the choices of research design, the need for sources/data and the research method.
  • be able to communicate academic knowledge in writing and orally and provide constructive criticism of other students’ assignments.


You will

  • develop the ability to conduct, present, and evaluate research on EU politics and policy-making


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.

This course is not available for single course students.


Recommended previous knowledge

Students should be familiar with the EU institutions and have basic knowledge of integration theory. This may be achieved by taking one of the following courses: STV1201 – EU som politisk systemHIS2372 – Fra Marshallplanen til Maastricht. Historien bak Den europeiske union. (discontinued), EAS1000 – EU-systemet og EU-landenes europapolitikk (discontinued), or STV1200 – Internasjonal politikk.


This course will not have any standard lectures. Instead, it consists of an online-component and a series of seminars. The online-component is delivered via OpenEdX, an online learning platform. The students will find a series of short introductory videos, some written text, and a series of quizzes.

These quizzes may range from multiple-choice questions to short open-ended questions. The quizzes will have deadlines spread over the duration of the course.

In the seminars, the replies to the quizzes will guide the initial discussion, but we will also introduce new material and activities. Each seminar will have a strong element of student participation combined with shorter presentations by the course team.

Access to teaching

A student who has completed compulsory instruction and coursework and has had these approved, is not entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework. A student who has been admitted to a course, but who has not completed compulsory instruction and coursework or had these approved, is entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework, depending on available capacity.


Portfolio and oral examination.

The portfolio will consist of:

  • a series of quizzes
  • three essays of maximum 2500 words, of which one will be revised and resubmitted after having received feedback. The revised essay has limit of 4000 words
    • The essays will be peer-reviewed by three other students based on the double-blind peer-review approach common in academic journals. The reviewers will offer an evaluation of the quality of the essay and give constructive suggestions on how to improve the paper
    • A member of the course team will read the essay and the reviews and then give suggestions of improvement

There will be one overall grade on the portfolio. This grade forms the basis for the oral exam, which will determine the final grade.

The oral exam will start with a presentation of the extended essay, followed by a general discussion about the essay topic and the material covered in the course more generally.

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Language of examination

Both portfolio examination and oral examination will be in English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals


You can not appeal the grade in this course due to oral examination.


Due to oral examination, explanation for your grade should be requested immediately after the oral examination.

Resit an examination

If you are sick or have another valid reason for not attending the regular exam, we offer a postponed exam later in the same semester.

See also our information about resitting an exam.

If you want to improve your grade you must follow the course in its entirety. This is due to the form of assessment of the course. You are not guaranteed to get accepted to the course if you have already passed it.

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course






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