STV4229B – European Foreign Policy: The EU and the Major States.

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Choose semester

Course content

Changes this semester due to the Corona situation: The school part of the exam will be replaced by a home exam, the time and extent of the exam will be the same.

This course analyses the role of the EU and the major member states in foreign policy, broadly conceived. We examine the actors France, Germany, and the United Kingdom as well as the EU’s actors in general and in four case studies (security and defence policy, trade and development policy, migration and border control policy, and the US-EU relationship, using Iran as a case).

The main theme of the course is to study the role of Europe in international politics after Brexit with particular attention paid to the EU and its future as a foreign policy actor. Brexit amputates the EU and protests about a common migration policy from the Visegrad states implies that integration cannot continue like before. Yet much foreign policy power still resides in the EU Commission due to the changes made by the Lisbon treaty. Moreover, the EU now openly calls for ‘hard power’, trying to become an actor that can play a role in a realist political landscape.

We will examine the actual role of key member states and of EU actors in the four cases, asking whether Brexit means that the major states play an increasing role in general. Moreover, we will ask whether theories of EU studies are fruitful, especially integration theory.

Students will delve into in-depth study of recent foreign policy in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom as well as of the EU. We will pay attention to the changes wrought by Brexit and study recent policy cases. As students will write a term paper for the course they are encouraged to explore such cases, probing theories of foreign policy-making.

Learning outcome


You will:

  • become well acquainted with how the EU Works in Foreign policy, its role and that of the major member states Germany, France, and the UK
  • develop knowledge about the main policy substance as well as relevant FP theory


You will:

  • be able to discuss and analyse the above at an Advanced Level, something important Beyond the EU, e.g. in Norway, which depends on the EU very much in its Foreign Policy


You will:

  • obtain In-Depth Knowledge of the EU and its Foreign Policy


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.

Students enrolled in other Master's Degree Programmes can, on application, be admitted to the course if this is cleared by their own study programme.

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

Apply for guest student status if you are admitted to another Master's programme (deadline 1 August / 5 January). 

For incoming students

All Master's courses in Political Science must be registered manually by the Department, they will not appear in Studentweb. Contact your international coordinator at UiO.


10 lectures will be given. The lectures are held intensively for a period of 5 weeks, with the exam in the sixth week.


One written essay (3500 - 5000 words), and a 3-hour written exam.

In order to receive a passing grade on the essay, your topic will have to reflect the course readings and curriculum. All chosen topics should be approved by the course instructor before the deadline.

The final exam counts 60 percent of the grade, and in order to pass the course, your essay and your written exam must be passed in the same semester as the course is taught. You will receive one overall grade for the course.

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.

Examination support material

Students may use dictionaries at this exam. Dictionaries must be handed in before the examination. Please read regulations for dictionaries permitted at the examination.

Language of examination

You may write your examination paper in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or 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

Ask for a grade explanation.

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.

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.


This course is evaluated half way through every semester and every four year the course undergoes a thorough evaluation.

An external auditor regularly evaluates the academic quality of the course and he/she makes a written report every year.

Facts about this course






Spring 2020

This course is not given on a regular basis


Spring 2020

This course is not given on a regular basis

Teaching language