Introduction to the Law of the European Union

The details
Essex Law School
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 4
Thursday 03 October 2024
Friday 13 December 2024
13 July 2022


Requisites for this module



Key module for


Module description

This module is designed to provide a comprehensive introduction to the law of the European Union.

It will commence with a study of the constitutional law of the EU and conclude with an examination of the substantive law of the EU. Students are able to take this module ab initio; no preliminary study of law is required. Students will have one teaching session per week during the autumn term starting in week 2 and are expected to attend it.

Module aims

The module seeks to provide a basic understanding of the institutional, constitutional, and substantive law of the European Union. It seeks to introduce students to the workings of the European Union and enable them to understand how the European Union institutions engage in law-making processes, what the result of these processes are, and how the outcome of EU legislation directly affects the day-to-day life of citizens residing at EU Member States. The module does not cover aspects of EU law in depth but instead seeks to equip students with a broad understanding that can be used as a starting point for further studies on the subject of European Union law.

Module learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of the module, the students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the basic principles of EU law
2. Critically evaluate the institutional, substantive and constitutional dimensions of European integration
3. Explain the different roles of the institutions of the EU, and the allocation of competences between the EU and its Member States
4. Explain the fundamental principles of EU law, such as the doctrine of direct effect, supremacy of EU Law and state liability
5. Illustrate and apply the substantive principles of EU Law which are common to the law of the Member States
6. Understand the changing relationship of the UK with the European Union

Module information

Indicative Syllabus

Lecture 1: Introduction & Development of the EU
Lecture 2: Actors of EU law (EU institutions) & the law-making process
Lecture 3: Sources of EU law (Competences)
Lecture 4: Supremacy and Direct Effect
Lecture 5: Public Enforcement of EU law (Article 258-260 TFEU)
Lecture 6: Private Enforcement by individuals in National Courts - Preliminary Reference
Lecture 7: Free Movement
Lecture 8: Free Movement
Lecture 9: Free Movement
Lecture 10: UK, EU, and Brexit & Revision

Learning and teaching methods

The module is based predominantly on the lecture method and your participation in the classroom is essential. The lectures are designed to be interactive hence you will be expected to have some familiarity with the work to be covered in each lecture so that you can meaningfully participate. In the weekly schedule of the module, which is attached below, you will find the relevant reading per lecture as well as some questions. You should try and answer the questions or have a few things to say about each of them, before coming to class. The power point slides for each lecture will be uploaded on Moodle. All the relevant information, including a week-by-week timetable of the lectures and the questions to prepare beforehand, is available in this module handbook and on the Moodle channel of the course.


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography for this year.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Continuous Assessment (LW430 EU Law)    20% 
Coursework   Essay (LW430 EU Law)    80% 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Prof Steven Peers, email: speers@essex.ac.uk.
Prof Steven Peers
Law UG Education Administrators - schooloflawug@essex.ac.uk



External examiner

Dr Panagiotis Kapotas
Available via Moodle
Of 565 hours, 0 (0%) hours available to students:
565 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information
Essex Law School

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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