module specification

LL3100 - Legal and Political Institutions in UK & EU (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title Legal and Political Institutions in UK & EU
Module level Foundation (03)
Credit rating for module 30
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 300
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
219 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
In-Course Test 35%   In class test
Oral Examination 15%   Short presentation of one area of interest developed in the first half of the module and response to discussion
In-Course Test 35%   In class test
Oral Examination 15%   Short presentation of one area of interest developed in the module and response to discussion and questions
Running in 2024/25

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Not applicable -

Module summary

This module is designed to introduce students to the major legal processes and structures and institutional framework of the United Kingdom and European Union, in preparation for progressing to their undergraduate degree.

Module aims

This module aims to:  
1. introduce students to major legal processes and institutions in the UK

2. introduce students to the history and development of UK legal systems, the ratification of legislation and its implementation

3.  provide students with knowledge of policy formulation, law making and the judicial process as operative at European Union level

4. demonstrate the degree to which the structures of UK policy and law-making necessarily make reference and link with European Union institutional machinery

5. provide students with enough information about different areas of study and the opportunity to assess their own aptitudes and interests to make an informed choice of progression pathways within Law, Governance and International Relations at LondonMet


• The nature and sources of the constitution
• The executive
• Parliament, Parliamentary sovereignty and the separations of powers, Legislature / executive relations.
• Legislation and the policy process
• Statute law, common law, tort law
• The courts and the judiciary
• Territorial government
• Interest groups and pluralism
• The European dimensions of British law

• Genesis of a legal system – the emergence of a constitution
• The treaty of Rome as a constitutional document – the single European Act (1987) – the treaty of European Union (Maastricht, 1991) – the treaty of Amsterdam, 1997, the Treaty of Lisbon 2009
• Institutional structure – explanation and analysis of the respective roles of the European Commission, Council of Ministers and European Parliament
• Policy formulation and legislative drafting – the European Commission, the role of the directorate generals, the committee system, the role of individual Commissioners, the lobby industry and the impact of pressure groups on EU Policy
• The legislative processes – delegated powers of the European commission (comitology), voting procedures within the council of Ministers
• Institutional struggle – the battle for control of policy and legislative initiative between the commission and European Parliament
• The legislative instruments – regulations, directives and decisions – direct and indirect impact of EU legislation on national law making
• The role of the European Court of Justice – judicial review, and the preliminary reference system

Learning and teaching

The module is delivered through a range of different mechanisms including lectures;  tutorials; workshops;  organised visits;  guest speakers; individual work;  pair work;  small group work;  seminar-based discussions;  and  online materials.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the module students should be able to:
1. demonstrate an understanding of the key features of UK legal systems
2. show an awareness of the impact of the European Union on UK legal systems
3. understand the constitutional basis of the European Union
4. identify the basic institutions of the Union and their respective roles in the policy and legislative process
5. identify the legislative instruments of the Union
6. understand the relationship between the Union and national government functions
7. show a contextual awareness of the degree to which the policy and legislative instruments of the EU have direct effect on European citizens
8. demonstrate good practice in relation to written work, information retrieval and presentation & communication skills in this subject area sufficient to progress to level 4
9. make an informed choice of progression opportunities within London Met


Dinan, D.   Ever Closer Union, (Macmillan)
Dunleavy, P. et al   Developments in British Politics 5 (Macmillan, 1997)
Harris, P.   An Introduction to Law 4th ed (Butterworths, 1994)
Heywood, P.   Politics (Macmillan, 1997)
James, S.   British Government: A Reader in Policy Making (Routledge, 1997)
Jones, B. et al   Politics U.K 3rd ed (Prentice Hall, 1994)
Kent, P.   European Community Law
Thompson, B. Constitutional and Administrative Law 3rd ed (Blackstone Press, 1997)

Other Sources
Additionally students will be encouraged to read broadsheet newspapers and The European. They will also be expected to refer to the European Union's Internet site and access additional materials on the university VLE.