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Module SXL-3432:
Intro to EU Public Procurement

Module Facts

Run by School of Law

10 Credits or 5 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Miss Miriam Mbah

Overall aims and purpose

The module aims to introduce students to the basic EU rules (Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and the core rules contained in Directive 2014/24) and policies on Public Procurement, including their implications for procurement strategy. European case law will be examined in detail to enabe students understand their effects on public procurement.

The module focuses on enabling candidates to gain in-depth understanding of the rationale for regulating public procurement in the European Union and the main principles and legal rules applicable to public procurement including their legal implications for procurers and suppliers.

On completion of the module, students will understand the scope, coverage and application of national and European public procurement rules and their application to the tendering procedures and the procurement process (timescales, documentation, advertisement, prequalification, invitation to tender and evaluation, standstill, contract award and dispute resolution etc). The module will also explore the application of the rules to practical issues and scenarios faced by public procurers and suppliers. A strategic element of module is the presentation of learning from the perspectives of both the public procurement function and private sector supplier organisations, to help advance understanding of the complex issues organisations involved in public sector tendering face, and to develop more creative legally compliant public procurement solutions.

The module will help prepare students for a career in developing and applying legal insights and techniques of analysis to EU public procurement law issues.

Course content

The main areas to be studied include:

• Introduction to Public Procurement and EU Procurement Policy.

• Procurement under the EU Treaty: objectives and the application of Treaty principles to public procurement: o free movement o equal treatment o transparency and o proportionality

• European Union Procurement Directives o evolution of procedural rules on Public Procurement; o the rules on coverage (public sector and utilities) and types of contracts; o the tendering procedures and methods; o the procurement process including specification, advertisement, qualification, invitation to tender and evaluation; o the standstill requirements; o debrief and contract award; o the remedies regime and enforcement.

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. Develop a clear and thorough understanding of the objectives, main principles and rules of European Union Public Procurement Law.

  2. Analyse the main rules in the European Union Procurement Directives.

  3. Understand and appreciate how the Court of Justice of the European interpret Public Procurement legislation, and what this means for those who operate procurement in practice.

  4. Appreciate the implications of the legal rules for regulated procurement practice, including the legal risks involved and the enforcement mechanisms for securing compliance with the rules.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
EXAM 24 hour exam 100

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Private study 78

The module will be taught using a 2 hourly seminars each week over 11 weeks. The module will be taught using leading expert Procurement Law academic staff and Guest lecture series using expert legal and public procurement practitioners from the public sector, leading law firms, in-house legal departments and businesses.

Case studies will be used to help students to contextualise active procurement legal problems against a background of realistic scenarios with the opportunity to apply the relevant rules of law that they will have been lectured on. Students will be expected to have prepared essential reading on case law, legislation, and other procurement rules prior to the seminar, and will discuss the legal issues raised by the reading in an interactive fashion in order that the class can engage in problem solving facilitated by the lecturer. Further reading will be recommended after each seminar to progress and further the student’s Procurement Law knowledge and skills.


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.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • 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


Courses including this module

Optional in courses: