Master Programmes  >  MAEIS Applied European Policy and Governance Studies  >  Teaching Modules
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Five fundamental modules form the framework of teaching and research

Each module is directed by a permanent faculty member. Additionally, guest lecturers from other countries, experts from various European and international organisations, as well as researchers from partner institutions contribute to these modules.

1. European Integration and Governance

At the beginning of the 21st century, the European Union can look back at considerable achievements such as its enlargement from 6 founding members to 27 member states today, or the completion of the monetary union. On the other hand, the EU still faces enormous challenges. Processes of disintegration must be managed, the EU institutions require reform, a common identity for foreign and security policies need to be reinforced, acceptance of the EU amongst its member states' populations has to be strengthened and finally, the first ever withdrawal of a member state from the United Kingdom requires substantial and institutional adaptations.

This module aims at familiarising students, who could well become the next generation of European and international decision-makers, with the complexity of the European integration process and with the main features of EU policy making. The dynamics of European integration will be studied from a historic perspective and current and future challenges will be discussed. This includes federalist approaches that do not see the EU as a process of integration, but rather analyse it in a comparative federal institutional approach, and which study European integration from a perspective of multi-level governance. The module addresses EU law and legal procedures, as well as dynamics and concepts such as differentiated integration, participation, political change and Euroscepticism.

2. EU Policies and Flagship Initiatives

The EU has been active in a wide array of policy fields since its beginnings, and has over the decades expanded its policy scope. It is engaged in a wide range of policies with exclusive, shared and supporting competences, ranging from economic and social policy to domestic and external security, enlargement, development policy, research, agriculture and fisheries, transport, energy, climate...

Students will gain insight into key policies such as enlargement, cohesion or competition policy, including various aspects such as the dynamics of decision-making and national interests of the member states, implementation, budget, etc. In addition, students are equipped with methods that enable them to acquaint themselves independently with unfamiliar policies, based on knowledge of the competences of the EU and its institutional structures. In this module, experts and decision-makers will be invited to discuss current issues in relevant policy fields. This includes flagship initiatives of the EU and topics of political relevance, such as climate policy, the digital agenda and migration.

3. EU Neighbourhood and External Relations

The module focuses on the EU's policy towards its direct and wider neighbourhood in the East and the South, as well as its relations with relevant regions and important international players including the United States, China, Russia and further emerging countries. Complex interdependence and dynamic power figurations lead to increasing uncertainties and imbalances that characterise today's world politics. This arena is influenced by diverse actors in a multi-level structure and is often described as an emerging multipolar order with an uncertain role that the EU and its member states might play within in the future. We will explore the major schools of thought regarding international order and conflict that draft a comprehensive and holistic explanation of international politics, in order to understand public discourses and discuss solutions to today's challenges for international cooperation and security.

The EU's neighbourhood policy and external action will be elaborated and assessed through various case studies with a particular focus on future scenarios and challenges. Studying in different European countries - while international politics is taking place and being debated - will enrich students' understanding of the similarities, differences and interactions of diverse players in a globalised world. International guest lecturers coming from universities, think tanks, diplomacy and politics will be invited to discuss prevalent and emerging issues of EU external action and international politics, including migration, conflict resolution, globalisation and the future of transatlantic relations.

4. The European Economy and Globalisation

The European economy, embedded in a globalised world, has to face new emerging competitors. With the rise of many Asian countries, we are witnessing a shift in the centre of the world and the major challenge is to remain a key player in the production of goods and services and in the creation of wealth. While the European economy, including the eurozone countries, has considerable strengths, it must meet major challenges, including deepening economic and social integration. In a context of uncertainties linked to global warming, the pandemic, threats to territories and people and demographic decline, it is imperative that solidarity prevails over national retreats and that economic and monetary cooperation be the rule.

The module deals, among others, with the following subjects: EU economic integration, the EU in the world economy, the strengths and limitations of globalisation, the key players in globalisation, the European economy and globalisation, economic interdependence, EU regional trade agreements and the rise of emerging countries.

5. Professional Skills Workshops

This module equips the participants with professional skills and competences that will enable them to work in the context of the European and international organisations. They will actively take part in several simulation games and workshops on topics such as:
- Negotiation Skills
- European Council Simulation
- Intercultural Communication
- EU Policies at Work: Policy Tracking
- Political Communication in the EU
- Project Cycle Management
- Presentation Skills
- Writing Minutes, Summing Up and Reporting
- Writing Position Papers, Policy Briefs and Recommendations



The MAEIS Applied European Policy and Governance Studies programme combines comprehensive academic studies with a sound preparation for career entry. Participants study at three different locations in two of the three official languages of the EU, boosting their professional profile in less than a year. By applying the gained knowledge to current challenges of European and international politics and with practitioners in the faculty, the programme participants dive deep into European affairs and experience European integration at first hand. A particular asset of CIFE’s Master programmes is the intercultural composition of the groups and their limited size, allowing for intensive academic care and intercultural exchange among the students."

Susann Heinecke-Kuhn, Director MAEIS Applied European Policy and Governance Studies 



"CIFE's Master programme is remarkable on several counts:
1. It is multidisciplinary, which ensures tolerance and reflection, thus avoiding the one-dimensional approach too often associated with false certainties.
2. It is open to the world, even if the European Union is more "present" than other spaces. In a context that is sometimes one of wariness of the outside world, this is a major plus.
3. Coming from varied backgrounds, students are given the opportunity to compare ideas and analyses for their mutual benefit, and they eagerly seize it!"

Jean-Claude Vérez, Lecturer at the University of Artois, Director MAEIS Mediterranean Studies



"CIFE is one of my favourite clients.  After many rounds of teaching jaded business executives or militant union leaders the art of negotiation, what a pleasure to be with this energetic, motivated and highly international group of students. Our sessions together are not only highly enjoyable, but also rich in learning, also for me. What a great programme!"

Mark Young, Negotiation Expert, Founder of Rational Games 

Teaching Methods

Our programmes are designed to offer a teaching method which is academic and at the same time directed towards the professional world. We aim to give students the ability to enter into dialogue with decision-makers from both the economic and the political world, stakeholders, diplomats as well as officials from international and European organisations. This broad outlook is made possible by the wide variety of our lecturers, the visits organised to different European countries and our relationship with our carefully selected international partners. Our in-house panel of experts contributes to the rich content of the modules.

The international composition of our groups enables our students to gain maximum advantage from participating in various role games to enhance their understanding of problems of collective action and the art of negotiation in different environments such as the EU, the UN and federal states. Research for the thesis at the end of the programme will enable students to delve into a specific subject in more detail and acquire important skills for the job market. In our documentation centre, reviews, books and a great number of electronic resources are at the students’ disposal. Our lectures are accompanied by an online learning management system, facilitating communication between students, lecturers and staff.

Teaching consists of diverse formats, including lectures and seminars, briefings with professionals and experts, workshops, conferences, individual coaching and self-study. A variety of teaching methods encourage the students to learn independently and apply their knowledge in a future professional environment, such as debating exercises, case studies, role plays, presentations and group work.

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