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LAWS3076 European Union Law

Module Overview

This module will provide you with a thorough understanding of European Union Law. It will focus on various aspect of EU law such as the institutional law of the European Union, the substantive law of the internal market, including free movements of goods, services, establishment and people. The module will also provide you with an insight into EU Competition Law, the protection of individuals, in particular the EU citizens within EU Law and the rights of individual to challenge EU legislation. Finally, the module will investigate the role played by the Court of Justice of the European Union (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. You will have tutorials that will 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

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 Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union. The module seeks to present 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
  • the principles of 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, in particular State liability in damages
  • the key features of the law on the internal market, including in particular the free movement of goods, the free movement of persons (including citizenship), and the freedom to provide services
  • the links between EU law and other legal topics such as UK Constitutional and Administrative Law
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • to solve factual problems applying these areas of substantive law
  • interpret, analyse and critically comment upon the (relevant) jurisprudence of the ECJ
  • 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
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 communicate arguments with appropriate evidence
  • distinguish relevant from irrelevant materials
  • locate and analyse relevant primary and secondary legal source materials


The module will cover the following topics, but not necessarily in the order listed here below as this will be a subject to the availability of the staff teaching on the module. The EU legal order This part 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. The Substantive Law of the Internal Market: Fundamental Freedoms and Competition Law This part will allow you to study the law relating to its core economic purpose. In so doing we will take a brief look at the nature and stages of economic integration before examining in some detail the rules relating to: • free movement of goods • free movement of persons (focusing upon employed persons and citizens) • free movement of establishment and services • EU Competition Law (focusing on the core elements of EU competition law in relation to the functioning of the internal market The CJEU and Judicial Dialogue This part of the module explores 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).

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The teaching of this module consists of weekly lectures and fortnightly tutorials. 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. You will be expected to actively participate in the tutorial discussion and also undertake group work during and as preparation for the tutorials. 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 sessions238
Total study time300

Resources & Reading list

Preparatory/background reading. - T.C. Hartley, The Foundations of European Community Law, 7th ed. (Oxford: OUP 2010) - Catherine Barnard, The Substantive Law of the EU, 3rd ed. (Oxford: OUP 2010)

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

Nigel G. Foster (2008). Blackstone’s EU Treaties & Legislation 2008-2009. 

Weatherill (2014). Cases and Materials on EU Law. 





MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (2500 words) 25%
Exam  (3 hours) 75%


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (2500 words) 25%
Exam  (3 hours) 75%


MethodPercentage contribution
Exam  (3 hours) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


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.

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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