Introduction to the Law of the European Union

The details
Law (School of)
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 4
Thursday 08 October 2020
Friday 18 December 2020
27 October 2020


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 and there are no pre-requisites. 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:
• Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the basic principles of EU law.
• Critically evaluate the institutional, substantive and constitutional dimensions of European integration.
• Explain the different roles of the institutions of the EU, and the allocation of competences between the EU and its Member States.
• Explain the fundamental principles of EU law, such as the doctrine of direct effect, supremacy of EU Law and state liability.
• Illustrate and apply the substantive principles of EU Law which are common to the law of the Member States.
• Understand the changing relationship of the UK with the European Union

Module information

Syllabus outline
Week 2 - Lecture 1: Introduction & Development of the EU (Dr. Karatzia)
WSyllabus outline
Week 2 - Lecture 1: Introduction & Development of the EU
Week 3 - Lecture 2: Actors of EU law (EU institutions) & the law-making process
Week 4 - Lecture 3: Sources of EU law (Competences)
Week 5 - Lecture 4: Supremacy and Direct Effect
Week 6 - Lecture 5: Public Enforcement of EU law (Article 258-260 TFEU)
Week 7 - Lecture 6: Private Enforcement by individuals in National Courts - Preliminary Reference
Week 8 - Lecture 7: Free Movement
Week 9 - Lecture 8: Free Movement
Week 10 - Lecture 9: Free Movement
Week 11 - Lecture 10: UK, EU, and Brexit & Revision

Learning and teaching methods

This module is taught through a mixture of pre-recorded lectures and 10 weekly 50-minute small group tutorials. Each week before your tutorials, the module teaching team will make available on Moodle two or more pre-recorded video lectures that they have prepared and produced. In total, the duration of each week’s video lectures will be approximately 50 minutes .In most teaching weeks, you will be expected to have watched these lectures before the tutorials, although some of these lectures may be designed to be watched after the tutorials to recap on material discussed there. The module teaching team will also produce and make available on Moodle short guidance notes for each weekly tutorial. These notes will introduce the readings that must be completed in advance of each tutorial and will contain tips to help you understand and analyse those texts.

You will be expected to have completed the readings in advance of your tutorials. Your tutorials will enable you to discuss the readings in the context of specific tutorial questions, to obtain feedback on your pre-class preparation and to deepen your understanding of key concepts. To help you prepare in the best possible way for your tutorials, you will be completing regular Multiple-Choice Quizzes on Moodle. The quizzes will be based on the reading set for that week so that the quiz forms part of your preparation for each tutorial. The quizzes will enable you to track your progress, understand what you are doing well, and give you clear feedback to help you manage your studies and your progress.


  • Noreen O'Meara. (no date) Cases and Materials on EU Law by N. O'Meara.
  • Costa, Marios; Peers, Steve. (2020-08-05) Steiner & Woods EU Law: Oxford University Press.
  • (no date) Time line of the EU.
  • (2020-09-04) European Union Law: Oxford University Press.
  • The Future relationship between the UK and the EU, https://global.oup.com/uk/orc/law/eu/eulaw/resources/relationship/
  • Treaty on European Union, https://eur-lex.europa.eu/resource.html?uri=cellar:2bf140bf-a3f8-4ab2-b506-fd71826e6da6.0023.02/DOC_1&format=PDF
  • Europarltv, https://multimedia.europarl.europa.eu/en/home?referer="www.europarltv.europa.eu"
  • Treaty on the Function of the European Union, https://eur-lex.europa.eu/resource.html?uri=cellar:41f89a28-1fc6-4c92-b1c8-03327d1b1ecc.0007.02/DOC_1&format=PDF
  • (no date) European Commission - YouTubeEuropean Commission.

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework   Summative Essay - Intro to EU Law (LW430)    80% 
Practical   Weekly Tutorial Preparation - Intro to EU Law (LW430)    20% 

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Anastasia Karatzia, email: a.karatzia@essex.ac.uk.
Dr Anastasia Karatzia, Professor Steve Peers
Law General Office, lawugadmin@essex.ac.uk



External examiner

Dr Hedvig Katherine Schmidt Moutsatsos
The University of Southampton
Associate Professor
Available via Moodle
Of 722 hours, 0 (0%) hours available to students:
722 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information
Law (School of)

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