EUR2201 - Theories and Methods in European Studies


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Research paper
Grade: Letter grades

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
Research paper 100/100

Course content

Why have European nation states voluntarily pooled sovereignty within the framework of what is now the European Union? How can we account for both the big steps in integration through Treaty change as well as the more incremental integration in between? Who are the main actors driving integration forward? How can we explain that some European countries have decided to be full members of the EU while others remain less integrated? The course presents central theoretical approaches to study European integration within the framework of the European Union and other forms of cooperation among European countries. These approaches are used to assess, explain and understand European integration, and to analyze the system of the EU as it functions today. At the same time, the course teaches students how to select an appropriate theoretical framework for their own research, and to apply that framework to a research topic of their own choosing.

Simultaneously, the course exposes students to the dominant methods in the field of European studies, ranging from historical process tracing, multiple case study analysis, content analysis, and (light) statistical analysis. Students will learn how these various methods are used to evaluate the theoretical approaches in the study of European integration, with the goal of preparing them for conducting their own research during the BA thesis. Students will learn how to formulate research questions, carry out a literature review, and justify their methods selection for their own research projects.

Learning outcome

Successful candidates are expected to have acquired the following knowledge and skills:



  • are familiar with normative theories on European integration
  • have knowledge of theoretical approaches to the study of the process of European integration (EEC/EC/EU), with emphasis on what explains integration
  • have knowledge of the different ways to explain and analyse how the EU functions as a political system, with emphasis on the interaction between the different levels of governance (supranational, national, regional/local)


Candidates are able to:

  • utilize theoretical approaches to analytically discuss the reasons for European integration
  • use theoretical approaches to analytically discuss how the EU functions -link theories on European integration to historical and contemporary events and developments in the process of European integration
  • write a concise literature review that discusses major schools of thought on their chosen topic
  • select an appropriate theory for a research project of the student’s choosing
  • analyze which methodological approaches are best suited to empirically evaluate their research questions and hypotheses

Learning methods and activities

Lectures. Obligatory written assignment (approved/not approved).

Compulsory assignments

  • Individual Assignment

Further on evaluation

You must pass the semester assignment to sit the exam.

Course materials

Available at the start of the semester.

Credit reductions

Course code Reduction From To
EUR2001 7.5 AUTUMN 2008
More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Intermediate course, level II


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  AUTUMN 2024

Language of instruction: English, Norwegian

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • European Studies and Foreign Languages
  • European Studies
Contact information
Course coordinator:

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Historical and Classical Studies


Examination arrangement: Research paper

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Autumn ORD Research paper 100/100 INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
Spring ORD Research paper 100/100 INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

For more information regarding registration for examination and examination procedures, see "Innsida - Exams"

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