LLM Programme

The taught modules offered on the LLM programme vary from year to year. Please check the full list of taught modules list for details of modules running in specific academic years. We make every effort to ensure that every module will be offered, but modules are subject to change and cancellation. You are therefore advised to check this site regularly for further updates throughout the year preceding entry to the LLM programme.

Credit value: 15 credits (6 ECTS)
Module Convenor:
Dr Ingrid Boccardi
Intercollegiate teaching: No
Teaching Method: 10 x two-hour seminars
Who may enrol: LLM students, Other UCL Masters students
Prerequisites: None
Barred module combinations: None
Core module for specialism: European Union Law, Public Law
Practice Assessment: Individual appointments to discuss outline of module essay – feedback on detailed table of contents for module project
Assessment method for Masters students: 3,000 word coursework essay
Module Overview

Module summary

The European Union is currently the most advanced example of international regional integration in the world. EU law is a fast-moving, multifaceted area, combining economic analysis and political influences. It has developed its own jurisprudential foundations and is an important legal force worldwide.

This module will explore the rapid evolution of EU Treaty reform in order to provide a sound knowledge and understanding of the institutional and constitutional law of the European Union and possible future developments in this field. The seminars will focus on the founding concepts of the EU constitutional order as revised by the Lisbon Treaty, the EU institutional setting, the system of judicial review and the complex relationship between the EU and national legal orders.
Please note that the module is not intended to be an 'apology' for the European agenda – students are strongly encouraged to adopt a critically informed approach to studying EU law.

This module is suitable both for students who are new to this field as well as those who are intent on acquiring a more in-depth critical understanding of the complex context of this subject area.

By the end of the module, you should be in a position to:

• comment and substantiate your views on the content of EU law and the institutional framework of the European Union;

• explain and critical comment upon the main features of the ‘new legal order' of the EU and its relationship to the legal systems of member states;

• critically evaluate the processes of political and administrative decision-making, legislation and adjudication within the European Union;

• predict future directions of EU law and have developed an individual reform perspective

Module syllabus

The European Legal Order: Treaty reform and the development of the European project

The EU institutional balance: architecture, decision-making and theoretical approaches to EU integration

WEEKS 5-6-7
The EU legal order: complementary or contrasting approaches to systemic vigilance? Preliminary rulings, direct effect and centralised enforcement

Managing complex legal pluralism: the relationship between the EU and Member States

Judicial protection against EU Institutions

Fundamental Rights in the EU - Treaty evolution and the future

Recommended materials

Damien Chalmers et al., European Union Law. Cases and Materials (Cambridge University Press, 2nd edition, 2010)

Preliminary reading

For those who have no previous knowledge of this field:
Ian Ward, A Critical Introduction to European Law (3rd ed) (CUP, 2009) - highly readable and concise account of the EU from a critical lawyer's perspective

For more advanced students:
Paul Craig, The Lisbon Treaty: Law, Politics, and Treaty Reform (OUP, 2010) – especially chapters 1-3

Other information

The module will consist of a weekly two-hour seminar. Detailed hand-outs containing each week’s topic, questions for discussion and the relevant reading list will be placed on moodle (virtual learning environment). Students are expected to familiarise themselves with the topic in advance and contribute to discussions in the seminars.

Prizes for this module: There are currently no prizes available for this module.


The application process for the 2014-15 academic session, for entry in September 2014, is now closed.

Information regarding applications for September 2015 will be updated on the website in September 2014.

IMPORTANT NOTICE : Updated 28 May 2014

The Home Office issued an update about the acceptance of ETS tests (including TOEFL). They have now confirmed that Higher Education students applying for a Tier 4 visa may use a TOEFL test taken after 17 April, if a Higher Education Institution is willing to use its academic discretion. For those students entering in September 2014, UCL will continue to accept the TOEFL even if it was taken after 17 April. However, if an applicant still needs to book a test then we recommend that they take an alternative test to TOEFL. Those who have already arranged to take a different test following the previous advice from the Home Office, we encourage you to go ahead with taking the alternative test.

The TOEFL test will continue to be accepted for 2014 entrants who have been asked to take an English language qualification as part of their offer condition, and do not need to apply for a visa to study in the UK.