Introduction to European Law

Academic year: 2022-23 
Course: Foundation Course Science 
Period: Second semester 

Number of hours: 24 

Teacher(s): Federico Ferri (

Language of instruction: English 

Learning outcomes 

The module ‘Introduction to European Union Law’ is addressed to students who have never studied this subject before. The module first aims to introduce the European Union (EU) as a “supranational” organisation and an “integration process”, especially by focusing on its institutional apparatus, competences and sources. It also aims to briefly explain further core aspects of the EU, such as the main procedures put in place to reach primary goals, the status and rights of European citizens, the structure of the internal market, the interaction of the Union with third States. 


Students who successfully complete the course will acquire the basic knowledge about the nature, structure, and functioning of the EU. More specifically, at the end of the module the class will know the reasons why this cooperation mechanism was introduced, and who does what, how and why within the EU. 

Assessment criteria of knowledge 

Students’ knowledge will be assessed through reasoned discussions covering multiple contents of the module (with the appropriate terminology). Q&A sessions, debates, and group exercises will take place during the module. At the end of it, there will be a final knowledge verification test, in the form of an oral exam

Students who successfully complete the course will be able to distinguish the EU from other international and regional organisations; they will be also able to put topical events into a new context and to find out how and to what extent the EU can make an impact on its citizens’ life. 

Assessment criteria of skills 

Students will be assessed on their ability to interact with other colleagues and the teacher and show critical thinking regarding the contents of the module throughout the course, also by mean of mid-term reading and comprehension exercises, in the form of written quizzes


No prerequisites are required for this course. 

Teaching methods 

The module will cover a period of 9 weeks and will be divided into 9 lessons of 2 hours per week. The lessons will be held using, inter alia, digital presentations and reading material. Any communication with the teacher will ordinarily take place by e-mail. Preliminary and subsequent tests in the form of quiz could be presented to the students to facilitate the organization of the lectures. 


1. The origins and developments of the European integration process. 

2. Differences between the European Union and other international organisations. 

3. Membership: accession and withdrawal to/from the EU Treaties. 

4. The competences of the EU

5. The institutional framework of the EU. 

6. The sources of EU law and the relations between EU and Member States legal orders. 

7. To be an EU citizen: related rights and freedoms. 

8. The EU internal market and the antitrust legislation. 

9. The external action of the EU: the relations with third States. 

Students are encouraged to indicate topics to be discussed in class. These suggestions will be followed in particular to provide practical examples aimed at completing theoretical explanations. In this way, students can contribute to “designing” the module.


All the necessary studying material will be provided by the teacher in an electronic form on the Moodle of the course. The didactic resources will be available at the beginning of the module and/or of each lesson. 

Assessment methods 

The examination of the knowledge and skills acquired by the students will be carried out in two different and complementary ways: firstly, by means of 2/3 reading & comprehension exercises, which will be held throughout the course in the form of written quizzes; secondly, by means of a final oral examwith the aim to assess the outcomes of the course. As for the final exam, each student can choose to prepare a presentation on a topic of interest or to answer questions posed by the teacher.

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