Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitSchool of Social Sciences
Monash Passport categoryInternational Short Field Experience (Explore Program)
OfferedNot offered in 2015
Coordinator(s)Dr. Ben Wellings


This is an international study program that requires an application to be enrolled - see the Arts Prato page for further information http://www.arts.monash.edu.au/prato/


This unit provides an introduction to the European Union and its relevance to Australia and the Asia-Pacific. Now enlarged to 27 countries, the EU is a significant presence in the world. Students will study its origins, institutions and decision-making process. They will explore the interplay between its institutions, member states, agencies, regions and civil society. They will gain an understanding of some of its key policies in various fields including trade, agriculture, the environment, development and security. They will discuss recent developments and debates and consider EU successes and failings. The unit includes short videos about recent and past events in the evolution of the EU.


Students will gain:

  1. an understanding of the origins and evolution of the European Union
  2. an informed appreciation of the EU's functions and powers, and the composition of its institutions and agencies, including the European Council, the Council of Ministers, the European Commission, the European Parliament, the European Court of Justice, the European Central Bank, the Committee of the Regions, the European Environment Agency
  3. an understanding of EU policies including Competition Policy, the Common Commercial Policy, the Common Agricultural Policy, Economic and Monetary Union, Environmental Policy, Social Policy, Common Foreign and Security Policy/European Security and Defence Policy, Development Policy, Justice and Home Affairs
  4. an understanding of key internal and external challenges to the European Union, including enlargement, social policy, debates on the constitutional treaty and relations between European citizens, EU institutions and EU member states
  5. an appreciation of the functioning of EU institutions in EU external relations
  6. an understanding of the relations of the EU with key countries and regions, including the United States, Asia and Australia
  7. strong skills in the critical reading of a variety of texts and the academic scholarship based upon those texts
  8. strong skills in critical oral and written assessment of the academic scholarship, including methods, assumptions and uses of evidence, and in organising and defending a verbal and written argument based upon those assessments
  9. a capacity to devise, plan and successfully complete a research essay
  10. a capacity to reflect upon and make critical use of a range of resources including, where relevant, on-line materials.


Within semester assessment: 56%
Exam: 44%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study