Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2014-2015 (archived)

Module LAW41430: Selected Issues in European Law

Department: Law

LAW41430: Selected Issues in European Law

Type Open Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Not available in 2014/15 Module Cap
Tied to M1K116
Tied to M1K616


  • None


  • Introduction to EU Law

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • This module is aimed at providing students with knowledge several areas of European Union law not covered by other options on the LLM, and which cannot individually support an entire module. In addition, the module seeks to introduce students to research materials and methods applicable to the study of European Union law. Although the course can be taught by a single teacher, it is designed to allow for different issues to be taught by different members of staff, to allow exposure to several areas of specialisation and teaching styles. Finally, the course is also intended to serve as a foundation that can prepare students to choose, from among the topics taught in the module, a topic for their LLM dissertation that they might otherwise lack the awareness or confidence to choose otherwise.


  • The module is a flexible one and each year we will analyse in detail 5 topics selected from the list below.
  • The constitutional structure of the EU and democracy;
  • The relationship between EU and Member States: theories of integration and constitutional principles;
  • The relationship between EC and Member States: constitutional theories from national and European perspectives;
  • The relationship between the EU and other international organizations: the UN and the Council of Europe;
  • The relationship between the EU and the WTO;
  • The Common Foreign and Security Policy
  • The Fundamentals of the Internal market;
  • Environmental Law
  • The Free Movement of Goods
  • The Free Movement of Persons
  • The Free Movement of Services (including the services directive)
  • Free Movement v. Social and Workers protection: finding a balance in times of crises.
  • Creating the Union Citizen: rights, duties and challenges for the EU;
  • Fundamental rights
  • The Charter of Fundamental Rights
  • Social Rights
  • Co-operation in criminal law: sovereignty, accountability and fundamental rights.
  • Counter-terrorism in the EU

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Students will:
  • (a) acquire advanced knowledge of specific areas of constitutional and substantive law of the EU;
  • (b) acquire a in-depth understanding of the functioning and dynamics of European law
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Students should:
  • (a) Demonstrate familiarity with all the main constitutional principles underpinning the EU;
  • (b) Be able to critically assess the main problems in each of the areas studied;
  • (c) Be able to discuss in an in-depth and informed way at least one area studied.
  • (d) Be able to conduct independent research of both primary and secondary EU sources
Key Skills:
  • understanding of complex materials
  • ability to describe accurately and comprehensibly the arguments and analysis of other commentators
  • ability to write in a clear and structured way and to put forward their ideas in a scholarly manner
  • ability to use the electronic and hard copy research tools relevant to their research

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

  • The module will be taught through seminar classes; students will be required to do advanced reading so as to be able to engage in discussion. Students will progressively acquire the knowledge necessary to engage in a more sophisticated analysis of the problems under consideration and to critically assess both primary sources (legislation, case law, Treaties) and secondary sources (scholarship, reports etc). The module will be assessed by means of one 6000-word essay, which will be based on common themes developed in the seminars, and will require independent research. The formative .

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Seminars 10 Weekly 2hrs 20
Preparation and reading 280
Total 300

Summative Assessment

Component: Summative Essay Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 6000 words 100% Yes

Formative Assessment:

One 1500-word draft section of the final assessed essay

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