Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2020-2021 (archived)

Module LAW40215: Introduction to European Union Law

Department: Law

LAW40215: Introduction to European Union Law

Type Open Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2020/21 Module Cap


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • The Community Legal Order (LAW53045)


  • the aim of this module is to provide a focussed overview of the fundamental principles of European Community law;
  • the module aims to provide a platform for further study or research into the more specialised areas of European Community law;
  • the module will be taught in such a way that it will enable students to acquire a proper grounding in basic principles, features and institutions of the European Community legal system.


  • Sources of European Community law;
  • Relationship between European Community law and the national legal orders of the Member States;
  • Remedies for breach of European Community law before national course;
  • The competence of the Court of Justice of the European Communities.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • have an understanding of the structure, features and fundamental characteristics of the European Community legal order;
  • have an understanding of the role European Community law plays within the national legal orders of the Member States;
  • be able to explain the way in which rules and principles of European Community law are made and develop;
  • be able to demonstrate knowledge of the methods by which European Community law is implemented;
  • be able to recognise European Community law issues/problems and be able to construct arguments as to how these problems may be resolved.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Students will be acquainted with the constitutional core of the European integration project. They will be brought in contact with the key concepts in European law (supermacy, direct effect, competences, judicial cooperation), the main methodological assumptions underpinning the European legal order (autonomy, federal or sui generis nature) as well as the great jurisprudential milestones.
Key Skills:
  • Demonstrate the ability to undertake legal reseach using a variety of resources, including on-line resources;
  • Utilise research material to support and develop their analysis and critique of legal principles and institutions.

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

  • Lectures are designed to provide a structure for the module and to introduce basic principles and features of the European Community legal order.
  • Seminars will provide opportunity for the exploration and discussion of issues raised in lectures and in assigned readings.
  • Written work requires a demonstration of students' analytical, problem-solving and communication skills.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 2 One at the beginning of the course, one at the end of the course 2 4
Seminars 6 Weekly, interspersed with some free weeks 2 12
Preparation and Reading 134
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Essay Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 3000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

One assigment of approximately 1000 words.

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