Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Research and Methodology for European Union Law

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course


DEPARTMENT European and Comparative Law

DESCRIPTION The study-unit introduces the concept of legal studies with particular emphasis on EU legal studies. It then deals with how legal research is undertaken, how to look for sources of law, both primary and secondary, as well as how to research and analyse case-law and academic legal writing.

The second part deals with legal research and how to present it in proper academic writing, including training in the necessary legal writing skills and presentations. The third part of the syllabus is primarily on how to prepare, write and present a legal dissertation. This is essential for those who, while they have acquired such skills at undergraduate level, have to adjust to the requirements of legal studies. Throughout the study-unit, students are taught to acquire the right skills for studying legal studies as well as prepare them for jobs where legal skills are required.

Study-Unit Aims:

The study-unit is intended for students without a law undergraduate degree to complete the MA in European Legal Studies. It seeks to enable students to learn what is law, how to study law and how to do research in law, as well as legal academic writing in particular with reference to EU law.

It also enables students to understand EU legal concepts and be in position to use them in practice. The study-unit is designed to develop a cadre of legal scholars who are critically aware of EU legal developments, and who have the skills to analyse such developments in terms of their impact on individuals, groups and societies at large.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
1. develop a deeper knowledge and understanding of chosen areas of European law and policy, and their interaction with Member State law and policy;
2. get schooling in the academic literature, and trends in the case-law of the European Court of Justice.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
1. demonstrate acquisition of advanced legal research skills;
2. communicate the results of research through presentations, debating and writing of term papers and dissertations;
3. identify and analyse problems from a legal perspective;
4. be in a position to understand and advise on new legislation;
5. transpose legislation into national legal orders;
6. possess the necessary IT skills to facilitate these tasks including the use of bibliographic software and the use of data bases and search engines;
7. read beyond legal doctrine and evaluate the relevance and importance of other disciplines for legal analysis;
8. compete successfully in EU competition exams.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Texts:

- T. Hervey et al., (2001) Research Methodologies in EU and International Law, Bloomsbury Publishing.
- M. Van Hoecke, (2013) Methodologies of Legal Research: Which Kind of Method for What Kind of Discipline? Bloomsbury Publishing.

Supplementary Readings:

- Michael Quinn Patton (2015). Qualitative Research & Evaluation Methods: Integrating Theory and Practice. 4th edition. Sage.
- Mike McConville and Wing Hong Chui. ed. (2007) Research Methods for Law, Edinburgh University Press.
- Peter Levin (2010). Write Great Essays. Open University Press.
- Derek Swetnam, Ruth Swetnam (2001). Writing Your Dissertation. 3rd edition. Little Brown Book Group.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Independent Study

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM1 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Jelena Agranovska
Simon Busuttil
Ivan Sammut (Co-ord.)

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2019/0, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.