Introduction to EU Law

Key information

Start date
End date
Year of study
Year 2
Term 2
Module code
FHEQ Level
School of Law

Module overview

This module offers an introduction to European Union (EU) law, including the history of EU integration, its institutional framework, law-making process, the nature of EU Law and its relationship with national law, the role of the Court of Justice of the EU and an insight into the concept of internal market.

The course also explores several other relevant topics within the EU structure, including EU Citizenship, Human Rights and Migration. It examines key principles of EU law and encourages a critical reflection on the many challenges facing the European Union and its Member States to date. 

We consider the EU in its wider political and socio-economic context and students will be required to keep abreast of current developments in EU law and policy. In particular, we look at the ‘Brexit’ process and its impact on the EU, its policies and Member States. Drawing on a range of documents, case law and critical analysis of developments at national, regional and international levels, the module enables students to acquire both sound knowledge of the law and critical awareness of the biases, gaps and challenges in the EU legal and political scene.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

The course content is designed to enable students, at the end of the module, to:

  • demonstrate knowledge and awareness of various legal concepts, rules, institutions, policies and procedures in the field of EU law
  • critically assess the role of law and the institutions in the processes of European integration and in its application within EU policies
  • understand the relationship between the Court of Justice of the European Union, the national courts and the EU Institutions
  • read accurately, analyse and apply EU case law and legislation
  • develop cogent arguments in the relevant field based on theoretical, practical and comparative sources;
  • have a systematic understanding of the key aspects of EU law and policies, including knowledge of contemporary debates and leading scholarship in the field
  • identify and critically appraise the multiple factors, including doctrines and biases, that influence the development and application of EU Law
  • reflect critically on the role of EU law and institutions in shaping policies, such as asylum and migration and how they impact on asylum seekers, refugees and migrants’ rights
  • competently apply this knowledge in practical settings


  • Weekly 2 hour lecture
  • 1 hour tutorial (please see syllabus for details of when tutorials are scheduled)

Method of assessment

  • Essay: 20% (2000 words)
  • Seminar participation: 10%
  • Unseen Written Examination: 70%

Suggested reading

  • Barnard C and Peers S, European Union, 2020
  • Chalmers, D, Davies, G and Monti G, European Union Law, 2019
  • Craig P & G de Burca,G,  EU Law, 7th ed, 2020


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules.