The University of Southampton

LAWS2048 European Union Law (Visiting Students Only)

Module Overview

This module is dedicated to the Law of the European Union. It covers the main features of the European integration process, the institutional law of the European Union parts of the substantive law of the internal market: free movements of persons and services, EU competition law. The module ends with an analysis of the role played by the CJEU as a key actor of the integration process and a critical overview of the competences of the CJEU. Throughout the module emphasis is placed on the case law and you are encouraged to read from primary sources. The tutorials focus on the analysis of judicial decisions, the discussion of practical questions and the development of essay-writing and problem-solving techniques.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The aims of this module are to provide you with the essential elements of the EU legal order, namely its distinct methodology, its constitutional structure, the law of the internal market and the system of judicial protection established by the EC Treaty. The module seeks to present European Union law in its economic, political and social context.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • the salient features of the foundations treaties of the EU: the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union
  • the role and workings of the EU institutions
  • some of the key the principles, such as primacy, direct, indirect and incidental effect; competence and subsidiarity
  • the remedies available before national courts for the protection of EU rights and the enforcement of EU obligations,
  • the key features of the law on the internal market
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • to solve factual problems applying the areas of EU law covered in the Semester
  • interpret, analyse and critically comment upon the (relevant) jurisprudence of the CJEU
  • critically assess the nature and role of law in the European Union
  • engage with and research in primary sources of EU law.
  • produce a clear, orderly, and well-structured account of aspects of the law and of proposed solutions to questions of EU law, especially in areas where solutions are open to question and argument
  • recognise and appreciate the limits to certainty in legal principle, and some of the sources of uncertainty in the law
  • locate and analyse relevant primary and secondary legal source materials
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • identify strengths and weaknesses in competing arguments, including academic and policy arguments
  • critically evaluate specific rules studied and others’ arguments
  • develop and present written arguments with appropriate evidence


EU Law Syllabus The module will study three different components of EU Law – the order of these may change from year to year based on staff availability The EU legal order In this component we will focus upon the institutional law of the EU. We will introduce the EU and its legal order, describing its key institutions as well as the law-making process. We will then explore the founding principles of the whole normative structure - supremacy and direct effect - and their implications for the relationship between EU law and National law, as well as the general principles of EU Law. Substantive Law of the Internal Market (I): Fundamental Freedoms We will study the law relating to its core economic purpose. The focus on the module will be on • free movement of persons I (focusing upon employed persons and citizens) • free movement of persons II (freedom of establishment and provision (and receipt) of services) Finally, we will compare this with EU Competition Law, an area of exclusive competence essential for the functioning of the internal market – “the establishing of the competition rules necessary for the functioning of the internal market”- and we will engage for this purpose in a detailed analysis of the core elements of EU competition law. The CJEU and Judicial Dialogue In this component of the module we will explore the crucial role played by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in establishing the enforcement of European Law, establishing the distinctive claim of the EU to autonomous legal and political authority and in prompting the evolution of EU substantive law. We will focus in particular upon preliminary rulings and judicial review. Finally we will assess the nature of judicial dialogue (between the EU and national courts).

Special Features

Development of team working and presentational skills through the use of group presentations throughout the module.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The teaching of this module consists of weekly 2-hour lectures and fortnightly 2-hour tutorials. Detailed lecture and tutorial handouts, which contain module outlines, lists of cases, bibliography, and questions, are made available. Emphasis is placed on the case law and students are encouraged to read from primary sources. The tutorials focus on the analysis of judicial decisions, the discussion of practical questions and the development of essay-writing and problem-solving techniques. There is a significant element of group work – students prepare brief group presentations for each tutorial. Lectures will develop: • The structure of the subject and the key applicable principles and rules of law in the field of EU law • The key areas of controversy and doubt concerning the European Union • The EU legal order (including within the wider legal and political context) • Proposals for reform Preparation for and participation in tutorials will develop: • Your knowledge of the substantive principles and rules on EU law • Your ability to manage and access a diverse range of sources of law, notably cases and the EU Treaty as well as secondary legislation • Your ability critically to evaluate those sources and to participate constructively in oral discussions concerning them • Your ability to assess reform proposals and comment critically on them • Team working and presentation skills • Your time management and research skills

Preparation for scheduled sessions120
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

T.C. Hartley (2010). The Foundations of European Community Law. 

Nigel G. Foster (ed.). Blackstone’s EU Treaties & Legislation. 

Dadomo and Quenivet (2017). EU Law. 

Craig de Burca (2015). EU Law: Text, Cases, and Materials. 

Catherine Barnard (2013). The Substantive Law of the EU. 


Assessment Strategy

Summative assessment is by way of an essay. Formative assessment is by one piece of written work of approximately 1200- words (depending on the nature of the assignment). Link between assessment methods and learning outcomes: The formative assignment will develop: • Your ability to use diverse range of sources of EU law, notably cases, Treaties and secondary legislation and literature • Your ability critically to evaluate those sources and present clear, coherent and analytical arguments based upon them The summative assessment will develop: • Your knowledge and understanding of substantive principles and rules of EU law • Your ability critically to analyse those principles and rules and to present clear, coherent and analytical written arguments based upon them, • Your problem solving skills


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (2500 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (2500 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:


Recommended texts for this module may be available in limited supply in the University Library and students may wish to purchase the core/ recommended text as appropriate, approximately £33 - £43 per textbook.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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