Module Catalogue 2023/24

LAW1262 : The UK and EU Law

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Sylvia de Mars
  • Lecturer: Dr Francesco De Cecco
  • Owning School: Newcastle Law School
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Code Title
LAW1210Legal Institutions and Method
LAW1220Constitutional Law
Pre Requisite Comment

The module follows on logically from the Stage 1 Semester 1 Constitutional Law and Legal Institution and Methods modules.

Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



Following the Stage 1 Semester 1 Constitutional Law and Legal Institutions and Methods modules, to start situating the UK as a legal actor in the rest of the world by examining its relationship with the European Union on a legal level. This module particularly focuses on the constitutional effects of ‘Brexit’ on the UK.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module will be framed by the overarching question of what Brexit has meant for the UK. Several case studies of topics of constitutional law will be addressed, examining first the UK’s situation when it was still a Member State and then considering the ‘future relationship’ between the EU and the UK.

Case studies will vary from year to year, but may include topics such as:

•       EU institutions and decision-making: how were decisions affecting the UK taken when the UK was a Member State, and how are they taken now that it is not?
•       The role of the Court of Justice in developing EU law: to what extent did CJEU activism affect the UK as a Member State, and to what extent will it do so in the future?
•       ‘Retaining’ EU law: what happens when ‘retained’ EU law changes at the EU level? (This will follow on from Stage 1 teaching.)
•       The End of EU Free Movement of Persons: a substantive case study of changes wrought by Brexit

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

Students will be able to demonstrate a thorough knowledge and understanding of the basic legal
principles underpinning the European Union and how these have interacted with UK law, both when it was a Member State and now that it is no longer a Member State.

By the end of the year, students should be able to demonstrate detailed knowledge and understanding of:
The EU’s Treaty Framework and the Framework of the ‘Brexit’ Agreements (the WA, TCA, and Protocol on Ireland/NI)
The role and functioning EU Institutions and Institutions operating under the ‘Brexit’ Agreements
‘Brexit Law’, or retained EU law sources and how EU continues to operate in Northern Ireland
Specific taught ‘case study’ aspects of the ‘Brexit’ Settlement

Intended Skill Outcomes

Subject specific skills:
- ability to identify key components of EU law and how those interact with UK law
- ability to structure argument and to convey contextual understanding of EU law and its relationship to UK law
- ability to identify issues for research in EU law and how it interacts with UK law

Cognitive Skills:
- ability to identify and order issues by relevance and importance
- ability to synthesize materials from different sources
- ability to discern merit in intellectual argumentation
- ability to make reasoned choices between alternative interpretations and arguments

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials21:002:00Pre-recorded lecture materials
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture221:0022:00In person lectures (FLEX – could be moved online sync or async)
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion140:0040:00Suggested: 20 hours for coursework, 20 hours for exam
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities100:152:30Multiple Choice Quizzes with formative feedback (all weeks except first and last)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching41:004:00Small Group Seminar
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery31:003:00Feedback
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1126:30126:30Independent reading/research
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures (which, depending on circumstances, will be either live in person, live online, or pre-recorded online) will set out the knowledge base that students will need to explore the case studies tackled in the subject, which will be done in detail in the small group seminars. The small group seminars will have a dual function: to have the students critically consider and develop their own opinions about the debates introduced by the lectures, and to help them hone their practical skills by means of peer review and analysis of written work. The quizzes in relevant teaching weeks are there to for the students to check their understanding and to enable the teaching team to provide targeted further feedback on complex topics.

Private study is directed so as to broaden student knowledge and understanding and prepare them for research assignments, seminars, and assessment. Assessment preparation time gives an indication of the level of research or revision expected for each of the two assessments in this module.

'Drop-in/surgery' contact time is provided in this module as part of the Law School assessment and feedback policy such that markers and/or module leaders will offer the opportunity for one-to-one oral feedback on students' written work, in addition to written feedback on coursework front sheets and generic class feedback. The time given above is merely indicative and more time may be scheduled if necessary to meet the demand for individual feedback.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination14402A10024 hr take-home written exercise. 2 out of 5 questions. 1000 words per question
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Written Examination2M24 hr take-home written exercise. 2 question 750 words per question; the 2 questions will be identical to seminar questions
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The use of examination is justified in order to test the basic knowledge base conveyed in the module, which is structured around four bespoke but related topics that introduce students to how EU law works and what Brexit has meant for EU law’s role in the UK. The specific preference for take-home examination lies in the fact that it enables the students to avoid memorising material and to instead work up their notes on the material they have been taught throughout the year, and the recommended reading they have explored in addition to the required reading, with the ability to rely on those notes when they sit their end of year examination.

The formative exam will reflect questions posed to the students in Seminars 1 and 2, so that they can focus on how they present and structure their work in the ‘take-home paper’ format rather than worry about “the answer” to the question – they will have discussed this over the course of the seminar. This will give them appropriate practice and feedback for their final exam. The length of the take-home exam is shorter than the final exam per submission so as to reflect that the students will not have had extensive time before sitting the formative exam to get their notes exam-ready, and so as to reduce the pressure on this mock exam exercise. The take-home exam format is in many ways a halfway house between coursework assessment and ‘blind exam’ assessment and so enables students to build on both their written skills and analytical abilities, without requiring them to do extensive research beyond the recommended reading list – which is appropriate for a Stage 1 module.

On a broader level, both forms of assessment are intended to test the stated subject-specific and cognitive skills.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2023/24 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2024/25 entry will be published here in early-April 2024. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.