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Module SXL-3210:
European Union Law

Module Facts

Run by School of Law

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Prof Dermot Cahill

Overall aims and purpose

European Union Law is a compulsory module in the LLB programme. The aim of this module is to enable students to state, apply and analyse the rules of the European Union law dealt with in the course accurately and relevantly, and to make assessments of that law and the scholarship pertaining thereto. It will enable the students to compare and contrast that law accurately and relevantly with the equivalent areas of any other legal system with which the student is familiar.

Course content

The module will provide the student with a comprehensive overview of the political institutions and law-making processes of the European Union and will include the European Court of Justice and the General Court, their its jurisdiction; the sources and general principles of the Law of the European Union; the relationship between the Law of the European Union and National Law, and the main substantive areas of the Law of the EU's Internal Market, namely the Four Freedoms of Free Movement of Goods, Services & Establishment, Customs Duties and Internal Taxation.

Assessment Criteria


An answer which, while predominantly correct in its presentation of material, contains a significant level of error and is therefore not entirely reliable.


A comprehensive answer, containing all the material relevant to the question and no irrelevancy, all the material and references being accurate and correct, there being no inaccuracy or error, the whole presented in an argument which, while clear, logical and critical, leaves room for improvement in its construction and presentation. An answer which shows complete competence in the subject.


An outstanding, possibly brilliant, answer, containing all the material relevant to the question and no irrelevancy, all the material and references being accurate and correct, there being no inaccuracy or error, the whole presented in a clear, logical, critical argument with little room for improvement. An answer which demonstrates a complete mastery of the subject.

Learning outcomes

  1. Demonstrate a critical appreciation of the ways in which the national laws and legal systems of the European Union’s Member States have had to adapt in order to accept the acquis communautaire upon accession to the Union.

  2. Critically apply a detailed knowledge of substantive European law to a range of complex actual or hypothetical factual scenarios.

  3. Critically compare, contrast and evaluate different perspectives and points of view on the effect enlargement has had on key legal processes within the European Union.

  4. Critically show intensive familiarity with the case law and literature related to substantive European Union law.

  5. Critically analyse and comment on the key legal principles of European Union law - including supremacy, direct effect, free movement of persons, goods and services - relating them to their social and economic causes and effects.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Written assignment (in class essay) 1
Final examination 2

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Private study

Self directed study will comprise 152 hours of students' time.


40 hbours of lectures taught over one semester.


The module will be taught by means of 40 hours of lectures and 8 hours of tutorials, both taught over the course of one semester. Tutorials will routinely require students to engage individually and in groups in acquiring, commenting upon, critically evaluating and applying the principles and details of the subject under the guidance and instruction of the tutor.Tutorials will be held on a weekly basis starting in week 3


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Subject specific skills

  • Develop the ability to interpret legal rules and employ techniques of legal reasoning competently and efficiently in order to offer a range of solutions and conclusions to actual or hypothetical complex legal problems, all supported by relevant academic literature, jurisprudence and legislative research. Such solutions will be clearly communicated and presented
  • Develop the ability to analyse complex legal issues, set against the background of the political, social, economic or cultural contexts in which they may arise
  • Develop those skills which are necessary for scholarship and research in legal subjects, namely the ability to identify relevant primary and secondary legal sources and to retrieve accurate legal information using paper and electronic sources


Pre- and Co-requisite Modules

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: