LA0547 - EU Law [CPE FT, CPE DL]


The module is designed to introduce students to the law and institutions of the European Union. It begins with an historical overview of the development of the EU from its origins in the 1951 European Coal & Steel Community to the present day EU. This is followed by a look at the EU’s institutions, with an emphasis on the European Court of Justice, and the various sources of EU law (this is consolidated in a special IT-based seminar on researching EU law). The module continues by examining the preliminary rulings procedure, the extent to which EU law can be enforced in national courts, state liability, European Citizenship – a rapidly developing area – and substantive EU law in the form of the free movement of goods, persons, establishment and services. A critical approach is fostered throughout.
The module is designed to develop students’ skills in legal research, critical analysis, and problem-solving.
The module is delivered by a combination of large group sessions, small group sessions and independent learning. Where appropriate, the module makes use of real and realistic scenarios and activities to add practical context to the students’ learning.

The module is assessed by a 3-hour, unseen, closed-book examination.


Core Reading
Storey, T. & Turner, C., Unlocking EU Law 2nd edition (2008), Hodder Education

Additional Reading
Arnull, A. et al, Wyatt & Dashwood’s European Union Law, 5th edition (2006), Sweet & Maxwell

Barnard, C., The Substantive Law of the EU, 2nd edition (2007), Oxfrdo University Press

Craig, P. & De Búrca, G., EU Law: Text, Cases & Materials, 4th edition (2007), Oxford University Press

Fairhurst, J., Law of the European Union, 6th edition (2007), Pearson Longman

Foster, N., Foster on EU Law, 2nd edition (2009), Oxford University Press

Hartley, T., The Foundations of European Community Law, 6th edition (2007), Oxford University Press

Horspool, M. & Humphresy, M., European Union Law, 5th edition (2008), Oxford University Press

Mathijsen, P., A Guide to European Union Law, 9th edition (2007), Sweet & Maxwell

Steiner, J. & Woods, L., EU Law, 10th edition (2009), Oxford University Press

Weatherill, S., Cases & Materials on EU Law, 8th edition (2007), Oxford University Press

Foster, N. (ed), EU Treaties & Legislation (2009), Oxford University Press

Busby, N. & Smith, R. (eds), Core EU Legislation (2009), Palgrave Macmillan


1. The development of the European Community and the European Union.

2. The Institutions of the EU

3. Sources of EU Law

4. The legislative process in the EU

5. The Preliminary Rulings Procedure

6. EU Law in the national courts: Direct effect and Indirect effect

7. State Liability

8. The Free Movement of Goods

9. European Citizenship

10. The Free Movement of Workers

11. Limitations on the Free Movement of Persons

12. The Freedom of Establishment and the Freedom to Provide Services


To enable students to recognise the impact of EU law on the domestic legal system and to appreciate those areas of EU Law which confer/impose legally enforceable rights and obligations

To introduce and develop knowledge and understanding of:

• the institutions of the EU and the EU’s law-making procedures;

• fundamental principles of EU law (direct effect, indirect effect, state liability);

• the purpose and operation of the preliminary rulings procedure;

• the meaning and scope of European Citizenship;

• substantive EU law on the free movement of goods, persons, establishment and services.

To critically analyse certain aspects of EU Law.

To develop students’ research skills, including use of IT.


Students should be able to

• Appreciate the impact of EU law on the Member States and on individuals

• Understand the relationship between the European Court of Justice and national courts

• Recognise the EU law dimension in a given factual scenario and consider the possibility that EU law may confer legally enforceable rights and obligations

• Identify, find and use sources of EU law, including electronic sources

• Apply EU legal principles to a given factual scenario in order to solve problems and offer advice

• Critically analyse certain areas in EU Law


Not Applicable.


Students will be required to comply with:

1. The Learning Contract issued by the School.
2. IT protocols in existence at University level.


• A workbook is provided on the e-Learning Portal which guides students, in conjunction with the recommended textbook, through the substantive law
• A Study Schedule is provided, indicating the chapter(s) that students should be reading through, on a week-to-week basis. The Schedule also includes a seminar programme and indicates which seminars students should be preparing at any given time
• The workbook also contains a number of self-test questions at the end of each Chapter. An Answer book is provided on the e-LP so that students can check their knowledge and understanding before moving on to the next chapter
• The e-Learning Portal contains a number of written work exercises, and several past exam papers, so that students can submit answers for feedback
• All lecture materials used during the Study Days are made available to Distance Learning students – in advance – via the e-LP


The module will be delivered through a combination of large and small group sessions, directed and independent learning.

Large group sessions

These will be delivered to the entire module cohort and will be used in part to introduce students to the major principles of each topic. They will place these principles in context by examining them against relevant factual scenarios and raise matters of current topical interest where possible.

Small group sessions

The small group sessions will be small group seminar discussions. They will, in conjunction with the independent learning, expand on the material covered in the large group sessions with emphasis on student research. One small group session takes place in the School computer lab and involves introducing students to the resources available on the official EU legal resource website, Eur-Lex.

Directed Learning

Students will be expected to undertake directed learning in preparation for the small group sessions. Specific reading (from the textbook, case law and other sources) will be indicated.

Independent Learning

Students will also be expected to carry out independent learning to both expand on the materials covered in the large group sessions and to prepare for the tasks in the small group sessions. Examples of independent learning include locating and reading relevant legal source material.



Summative assessment and rationale for tasks

Unseen, closed-book, 3-hour examination

b. Additional formative assessment – detail of process and rationale

Self-test questions and past exam papers are all be made available via the e-LP. Students are encouraged to submit answers to past exam papers for feedback.

c. Indication of how students will get feedback and how this will support their learning

Detailed feedback on the self test questions is available on the e-LP. Students submitting answers to past exam papers will receive individual feedback. Group feedback will also be given to students in the small group sessions

Course info

Credits 15

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 1 year full-time

Department Northumbria Law School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing.

Full time Courses starting in 2023 are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but may include elements of online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future. Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.


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