Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
European Union Law

Course unit fact file
Unit code LAWS20900
Credit rating 30
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Full year
Available as a free choice unit? No


EU Law: Introduction and History. Legal Research Skills. Essay-writing and Problem-solving Skills. Sources of EU Law. EU Institutions. EU Law-making. Internal Market: Concept and EU Law-making Competence. Supremacy and Brexit. Direct Effect and Indirect Effect. State Liability. Preliminary Reference. International Agreements and EU Law. Free Movement of Goods. Free Movement of Services. Free Movement of Persons (including Free Movement of Workers, EU Citizenship, and Freedom of Establishment). Enforcement/Infringement actions.


- To provide students with in-depth knowledge and understanding of the European Union and its legal system, including both EU constitutional law and the law of the EU internal market, and a wide range of areas or concepts at the forefront of the discipline.
- To equip students with the required knowledge and skills which will allow them to proceed to professional legal training and/or further specialist optional undergraduate or postgraduate studies.

Teaching and learning methods

The course, which runs for 20 weeks, will be taught by way of two weekly one-hour lectures, and eight fortnightly one-hour seminars.

Lectures will provide students with a basic introduction to the subject and its component parts, including the main provisions of EU law (or, where appropriate, national law) and the key cases of the Court of Justice of the EU (or, where necessary, national courts). Lectures will, by their nature, be led by the members of staff responsible for the particular sessions. However, staff will use any appropriate methods in order to make a lecture more interactive; and students should feel free to interject and ask or answer questions as the lectures proceed. The introductory lecture will include information about the module. There will also be four revision lectures, including a special lecture on legal writing skills.

Seminars will be led by the tutors and are designed to provide an opportunity for a most pronounced interaction between staff and students. Students are expected to be well-prepared and able to present and discuss in seminars the issues raised in the lectures and in the reading on the given topics in a knowledgeable manner. The seminar questions will mirror in knowledge, format and skills the questions that will form part of the summative assessment of the module.  The emphasis of seminar assignments will be placed on student presentations. A group of students will be allocated every fortnight on a rotating basis 5-10 min. presentations on the seminar topic(s). These will be followed by a discussion and Q&A session, which will offer a platform for discussing the preceding student presentations, asking and answering questions and receiving feedback from peers. Preparation for each of the seminars will require study of the set reading, including the lecture materials available on Blackboard (such as handouts, outlines, slides or flowcharts) and the relevant sections of the textbook(s), and/or, where necessary or appropriate, the cases listed in connection with the relevant topic(s) or further reading.




Knowledge and understanding

Acquire, foster and demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

- the history of the EU;

- the roles and powers of the principal EU institutions;

- the sources of EU law;

- the nature and the key features of the EU legal system and its interaction with the domestic legal systems of the Member States, including the impact of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU;

- procedures available to the EU to enforce compliance with EU law by Member States;

- remedies available to individuals to enforce EU law, or clarify the meaning of EU law, or challenge the validity of EU law in national courts;

- the principle of precedent as it operates within the EU legal order;

- the approach of the EU judiciary (CJEU) to statutory interpretation;

- the effect of international agreements on EU law;

- the concept of the EU internal market, and the scope and the limits of the EU’s law-making competence in this field;

- the scope, the effect, the limitations and the interaction of three of the four fundamental freedoms of the internal market, i.e. the free movement of goods, the free movement of services and the free movement of persons, including workers, EU citizenship and establishment;

- the scope of discretion left to the Member States by (primary and secondary) EU law and by the case law of the CJEU to restrict any of the fundamental freedoms in their territory on public interest grounds;

- how to find and use primary and secondary sources of EU law in both electronic and paper format;

- how to conduct research into relevant learning resources (including legislation, case law and literature) in order to address or discuss a legal question or support a legal argument or counter-argument;

- how to identify, in the context of essay and/or problem-based questions, the relevant questions or area(s) of EU law, and critically assess and/or apply the relevant law and learning resources in detail and/or with precision and accuracy.

Intellectual skills

- Understand critically the principal features of the law of the European Union and its interaction with the national legal systems (including the UK legal system before and after Brexit) in their philosophical, historical, political and comparative contexts

- Develop and demonstrate problem solving skills

- Develop and demonstrate analytical and essay writing skills

- Identify accurately issues that require research

- Identify and retrieve up-to-date legal information, using hardcopy and electronic sources

- Use relevant primary and secondary legal sources

- Recognise and rank information and materials from a variety of different sources in terms of relevance and importance

- Synthesise doctrinal and policy issues in relation to a topic

- Judge critically the merits of particular arguments

- Make and present a reasoned choice between alternative solutions

- Make and present a reasoned judgement based on an informed understanding of standard arguments in the area of law in question

- Reflect on own learning and proactively seek and make use of feedback

- Use English proficiently in relation to legal matters

- Present knowledge and/or structure and present an argument in a way that is comprehensible to others, both orally and in writing

- Read and discuss legal materials which are written in technical and complex language

- Develop and demonstrate written and oral communication skills




Practical skills

- Act independently and/or as part of a team in planning and undertaking tasks

- Use English proficiently in relation to legal matters

- Develop or improve time management skills

- Produce word-processed work and present it in an appropriate form

- Use E-Learning, the Web, and Email

Transferable skills and personal qualities

- Multi-task

- Conduct independent research

- Assess and evaluate own and/or others’ work

- Deal with obstacles and problems

- Identify and manage legal issues

- Plan and undertake tasks

- Produce and present written material

- Present material orally

- Manage time

- Take notes and keep records

- Engage in independent learning

- Reflect on own learning and proactively seek and make use of feedback

- Speak and write English proficiently

- Utilize computer software and E-learning resources




Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 100%

Feedback methods

A. Summative Assessment

 Written examination paper 100% (End of Semester Two, 2 questions to answer, max. 3,000 words, 2 hrs).

A. Summative Feedback

1. Depending on whether the exam will be taken on campus or electronically, individual feedback on the students’ performance will be provided either on the hardcopy paper or electronically. All assessment is marked in accordance with the School of Law’s published marking criteria, available on Blackboard.

2.a) Following the confirmation of the assessment results by the School’s Exam Board, students will be able to access an "outline of issues", which will highlight, in the form of bullet points, the main issues that they should have addressed in their exam paper. This collective feedback will be made available on Blackboard. This collective feedback is designed as a guide only. There may be many other ways of answering the exam paper questions well. Similarly, if students have simply included the issues identified in this outline, there may still be other things they could do to improve their mark.

2.b) Following the confirmation of the assessment results by the School’s Exam Board, students will be provided with a breakdown of their results in both questions of the exam, and and may, upon request, receive further clarification on their individual feedback by their examiners/markers.

B. Formative Assessment

One optional, non-graded mock exam question (1,000-word essay or problem question) to be submitted online (Semester Two).

B. Formative Feedback

1. Non-assessed coursework assignment. Students are strongly encouraged, if they so desire, to answer a mock exam question on a given topic (to be announced on Blackboard), and submit their word-processed answer online by the designated deadline (no later than the middle of Semester Two - details about the submission of the non-graded coursework will be made available on Blackboard). The maximum word limit is 1,000 words. Their tutors will comment on their coursework and provide feedback on their performance in the light of the School’s  assessment criteria.

Please note that tutors will not provide assistance with respect to the outline or the content of the non-graded coursework prior to its submission. The aim of this formative assessment is to enable students to test their ability to work independently and test their knowledge.

2. Eight fortnightly seminars.

3. The introductory lecture.

4. Revision lectures, including a lecture on legal writing skills.

6. Student communication and interaction with lecturers and tutors (in classes, office hours and/or electronically).




Recommended reading

Recommended reading



P. Craig and G. de Búrca, EU Law: Text, Cases and Materials UK Version (7 ed., Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020);

T.C. Hartley,The Foundations of European Union Law (8 ed., Oxford: OUP, 2014);

C. Barnard,The Substantive Law of the EU - The Four Freedoms (6ed., Oxford: OUP 2019);

D. Chalmers, G. Davies and G. Monti, European Union Law: Text and Materials (4 ed., Cambridge: CUP, 2019);

A. Dashwood, M. Dougan, B. Rodger, E. Spaventa and D. Wyatt,Wyatt & Dashwood’s European Union Law (6 ed., Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2011);

C. Barnard and S. Peers (eds.) European Union Law (3 ed., Oxford: OUP, 2020);

C. Barnard and S. Peers (eds.) European Union Law (2 ed., Oxford: OUP, 2017);

A. Arnull, European Union Law - A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: OUP, 2017);

A. Arnull and D. Chalmers (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of European Union Law (Oxford: OUP, 2015/2017);

M. Costa and S. Peers,Steiner and Woods EU Law (14ed., Oxford: OUP, 2020);

R. Schütze, European Union Law(2 ed., Cambridge: CUP, 2018);

R. Schütze, European Constitutional Law (2ed., Cambridge: CUP, 2018);

J. Shaw et al.,Economic and Social Law of the European Union (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007);

S. Weatherill,Cases & Materials on EU Law(12ed., Oxford: OUP, 2016);


R. Schütze, An Introduction to European Law(3 ed., Oxford: OUP, 2020);

D. Edward and R. Lane, Edward and Lane on European Union Law (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2013);

T. Storey and C. Turner, Unlocking EU Law (5 ed., London and New York: Routledge, 2018);

N. Reich, A. Nordhausen-Scholes and J. Scholes, Understanding EU Internal Market Law (3rd ed., Intersentia, 2015);

I. Solanke, EU Law (Pearson, 2015);

P. Drury, Core EU Legislation 2020-2021 (5 ed., Palgrave MacMillan, 2020);

R. Schütze, EU Treaties and Legislation (2 ed., Cambridge: CUP, 2018);

N. Foster, Blackstone’s EU Treaties & Legislation 2020-2021 (31 ed., Oxford: OUP, 2020).


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 40
Seminars 8

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Dimitrios Doukas Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Restricted to 2-year (LAWS20900) or 3-year (LAWS30990) LLB students for whom this course is compulsory.

Pre-requisites: Compulsory year one (LAWS20900) or two (LAWS30990) courses studied by Law School students.

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