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Constitutional and institutional law of the European Union

Module information>

Academic Direction
UCL, Queen Mary University of London
Modes of Study

This course aims to provide you with advanced knowledge of the constitutional framework of the European Union. You will enjoy studying the Constitutional and Institutional Law of the EU if you like politics, if you’re a pragmatist, if you’re interested in law beyond stereotypical classifications. The study of the EU constitutional framework is more topical than ever before, it is at the forefront of the most intractable problems of our times: the Eurozone crisis, the refugee crisis, climate change, Brexit. These issues are a challenge to modern economies and societies. This course explores this very dynamic field in depth.

Module A: The European Union institutional outline


  • The EC/EU distinction
  • Institutions: Council, Parliament, Commission, Court (ECJ and CFI)
  • The ‘Democratic Deficit’ debate
  • Subsidiarity
  • The European Constitution and its ratification

Module B: Sources of European Union law


  • Treaties
  • Secondary legislation: Regulations, Directives
  • Law-making procedures
  • Direct effect
  • Supremacy
  • Agreements with third countries

Module C: Remedies and procedures in European Union law


  • Enforcement proceedings by the Commission
  • Preliminary references
  • Direct actions before the ECJ
  • Actions for failure to act
  • Member State liability for failure to comply with European Union law

Module D: General principles of European Union law


  • Human rights
  • Citizenship
  • Rule of law
  • Discrimination
  • Proportionality


Each module is assessed by a 45-minute unseen written exam.


The modules can be attempted in any order.

How to apply

How to apply

You can apply to study a module individually as a standalone unit or as part of a Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma or Master of Laws qualification. (In either scenario, they must be studied in order.)

These modules also contribute towards the following specialist pathways for Laws:

  • European Law
  • Public International Law
  • Public Law

Apply via Postgraduate Laws.

Study Material