Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2011-2012 (archived)

Module LAW53430: European Discrimination Law

Department: Law

LAW53430: European Discrimination Law

Type Open Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Available in 2011/12 Module Cap
Tied to


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • an in-depth study of the development of legal methods of addressing issues of discrimination based on sex, race, religion, sexual orientation and other grounds in the law of European regional organisations and European states.


  • introduction, including a historical and theoretical perspective on the problem of discrimination;
  • sex discrimination law in European Community law: Article 141 EC, the equality directives; the role of the reconciliation of work and family life in eliminating discrimination; the problem of positive discrimination;
  • European Community law on discrimination on other grounds; Article 13 EC, the race discrimination directive and the framework discrimination directive;
  • Council of Europe developments: Article 14 ECHR and Protocol 12 of the ECHR: the European Social Charter; other conventions relating to discrimination and minorities;
  • case studies on national approaches to discrimination problems within European states.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • a critical understanding of the theoretical, social, economic and political issues underlying problems of discrimination and the different approaches of supranational and national policy makers to such problems;
  • a critical understanding of the methods of interpretation and application of anti-discrimination law by the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Students will be able to work with a variety of European Union, Council of Europe, international and comparative law materials in the area of discrimination law. They will be able to analyse discrimination issues from both a theoretical and practical perspective. They will be able to understand the historical, political, economic and social contexts in which discrimination issues arise and are addressed in Europe.
  • They will be able to research legal questions independently and develop critical thinking.
Key Skills:
  • Students will learn to use the materials on discrimination law emanating from the European Union, European states and other regional organisations. They will be able to construct valid legal arguments in the area of discrimination law.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Through an in-depth knowledge of the substantive and procedural rules of law relating to anti-discrimination policy and remedies for illegal discrimination in European Community law under the European Convention on Human Rights and its Protocols.
  • Through examination of theoretical and social scientific literature relating to problems of discrimination.
  • Through a comparative examination of the approaches to discrimination of the European Union, the Council of Europe, other European regional organisations and European states.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Seminars 15 Weekly, interspersed with several reading weeks 2 30
Preparation and Reading 270
Total 300

Summative Assessment

Component: Essay Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 3000 words 100%
Component: Unseen Written Examination Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 3000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

One assignment of 2,000 words in Michaelmas Term.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University