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: 30 credits (12 ECTS)
Module Convenor:
Prof Richard Rawlings
Other Teachers:
Professor Carol Harlow, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)


This course focuses on the administrative law of the European Union as it has developed and currently operates within its system of governance. The course deals with EU administration in the sense of administration by the European Commission and agencies, shared administration with Member States acting on behalf of the EU, and in particular the use of multiple administrative cooperative ‘networks’.

Who then might want to take the course? Our experience has been that it is attractive and interesting to a wide variety of students. Many of our students come from outside the EU and are interested in comparative administrative law or understand that, in an age of globalisation, they need to know about the public law of the European Union. Given the importance of the EU as a trading block, this is a matter of some importance for those specialising in commercial subjects. Our course therefore adds an important dimension to competition law for example. Students from common law jurisdictions may like to experience something of continental administrative law; conversely, students from a continental European tradition get a flavour of public law in the common law world. Students from China and South America, from Finland to Malta and the UK, have all told us that they have profited from this course. The European Union is the most advanced transnational regime but organisations of a more or less similar type are developing around the world, for example in South East Asia, Southern Africa and in South America; there are many useful lessons to be learned.


The course is divided into two main parts. Term I is devoted to Law and Administrative Procedures in the EU. We are particularly interested here to identify and evaluate the principles and values of administrative law and their application to different types of administrative procedure (broadly defined). We pursue our inquiry by a combination of theoretical and practical discussion, involving both ‘horizontal’ or general procedures and ‘vertical’ or sector-specific ones. Our choice of procedures is deliberately wide-ranging, with a view to considering the different techniques of direct, indirect and composite administration and the contributions of different types of institutions and agencies. The term’s work culminates in discussion of current proposals for a codification of European administrative procedures.

Our work in Term 2 focuses on Legal Accountability and Redress of Grievance in the EU. We naturally pay close attention here to the work of the Community Courts in developing those principles of EU law, notably the proportionality principle, which are most relevant to administrative law. We consider too the extent to which the Community Courts have been able to provide an effective system of judicial review appropriate for a multi-level system of public administration. This will include consideration of the courts’ potentially expanded role in human rights consequent on the Lisbon Treaty. The course teachers also see it as a goal for administrative law to develop alternative machinery for dispute-resolution, and we will also look closely at the contribution of the European Ombudsman to high standards of public administration.

EU Administrative Law is a rapidly developing subject and the course content changes from year to year to reflect this. The following is a provisional outline (particular seminar topics may be added or subtracted):

TERM 1: Law and administrative procedures in the EU

Seminar 1 Law and Administrative Procedures
Seminar 2 EU Governance Structures
Seminar 3 Rights and Principles
Seminar 4 Access to Information: Building Administrative Procedures
Seminar 5 Executive law-making: Input and Output Values
Seminar 6 The Pathways Model and Steering: Public Procurement
Seminar 7 Follow the Money: Structural Funds
Seminar 8 Agencies, networks and accountability: case studies
Seminar 9 Integration and Crisis: Financial Services Regulation
Seminar 10 Codification: to be or not to be?

TERM 2: Legal Accountability and Redress of Grievance in the EU

Seminar 1 Discretion and Rules: the Commission and Enforcement
Seminar 2 Enforcement: the case of competition
Seminar 3 Protecting citizens? The European Ombudsman
Seminar 4 Networks for accountability and redress
Seminar 5 Gateways to the Community Courts
Seminar 6 General principles of review: proportionality and duty of care
Seminar 7 Intensity of review - precautionary principle
Seminar 8 Human rights and due process: a case study
Seminar 9
Remedies - the judicial toolkit 1
Seminar 10 Remedies: the judicial toolkit 2
Seminar 11 Revision

Background Reading (optional):

We strongly recommend that those needing an introduction to, or refresher on, the history and political and institutional development of the EU, do some background reading prior to starting the course. The following book is excellent for this purpose:

J Pinder and S Usherwood, The European Union: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 3rd edn 2013).

Module reading lists and other module materials will be provided via online module pages, once students have made their module selections upon enrolment in September.

Delivery and enrolment
Lectures/Seminars: 21 x 2-hour seminars
Tutorials: None
Previous module enrolments: Small – less than 20 students
Who may enrol: LLM students, other UCL Masters students
Prerequisities: None
Barred module combinations: None
Core Module for LLM specialism: European Union Law; Public Law
Final Assessment: 3-hour and 15 minute unseen written examination
Practice Assessment: Opportunity for feedback on one optional practice essay per term
Other Information

Intercollegiate Teaching:

This module is jointly taught with the London School of Economics (LSE) (so we have a mix of students from the two colleges). The seminars take place at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS). The module starts on Monday 6th October with a full 2 hour seminar and will run throughout term 1, including reading week. UCL students are expected to attend class during reading week. In term 2, teaching starts on Monday 12th January and will run throughout term 2, including reading week. UCL students are expected to attend class during reading week.

Course Textbooks:

There are two:

  • the course teachers’ new book: C Harlow and R Rawlings, Process and Procedure in EU Administration (Hart Publishing, which should be published in November/December 2014)
  • P Craig, EU Administrative Law (Oxford University Press, 2nd edn 2012).

This page was last updated on 8 July, 2014


The application process for the 2015-16 academic session is now open.

Please note, for the 2015-16 intake, we are not accepting the TOEFL test. If you have an English condition to meet, you must take one of the alternative tests listed here instead.