Advanced EU Constitutional Law

Course content

This course aims to give students an in-depth understanding of the development, structure and techniques of EU constitutional law, while learning how to strategically use EU constitutional law to address contemporary challenges of statecraft, politics and social change.


This course will provide students with the opportunity to examine the relevance of EU constitutional law in addressing questions such as economic inequality, climate sustainability, migration, health, global politics, and peacekeeping. The course places methodological emphasis on the interaction between academics and practitioners, legal theory and the practise of law, to build students’ capacity to use law to achieve social change.


More broadly, the course will equip Master students beginning to think about their future careers, for instance as practising lawyers or within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, EU or UN institutions, with ideas about how to make a difference in Europe and beyond and ways of harnessing an interest in leadership.


This course is divided into two parts:


In the first part, we study the core components of EU constitutional law in context. What distinguishes the EU institutions in comparative perspective and how do they interact with national and international institutions? Who are the state and non-state actors using EU constitutional law in their daily practise? How can we read EU legal sources, legal principles and legal reasoning contextually, i.e. from historical, political and economic perspectives?


In the first part students will also be encouraged to think critically about how EU constitutional law has developed from 1957 until today. This involves understanding the way in which the Treaties are written, the democratic legitimacy of the institutions and how to reform them, the role of the Court and the development of its case law, as well as the constitutional implications of the enlargements of the EU and the gradual expansion of policy areas covered by EU law. We will pay particularly close attention to the legal status of the individual, and the development of EU citizenship rights.


In the second part, we study how the tools and techniques offered by EU constitutional law can be used to solve large scale societal issues such as economic inequality, climate sustainability, migration, health, global politics, and peacekeeping.


We will study the construction and reception of new legislative proposals from the EU institutions, as well as the construction and reception of case law from the Court of Justice of the EU. Each student will also work on a short paper, which will ultimately be used as their exam synopsis, outlining the ways in which EU constitutional law can address a societal problem that they are interested in solving. During the second part of the course each student will present the main points of their papers in class and receive feedback from a colleague, as well as the teacher. This exercise is meant to prepare students for the final exam and allow each student to begin to explore a topic, which could later be developed into a master’s thesis, an idea for an internship position or simply an opportunity to think creatively about the possibilities offered by EU constitutional law.

Learning outcome
  • Knowledge of the ways in which EU constitutional law can be strategically used to address contemporary challenges of statecraft, politics and social change.


  • Knowledge about the relevance of EU constitutional law in addressing questions such as economic inequality, climate sustainability, migration, health, discrimination and peace-keeping.


  • Skills in contextual legal analysis with the aim of using EU constitutional law strategically and creatively to achieve desired ends.


  • Skills in constructing impactful and transformative legal argumentation for an audience of academics and practitioners.

In class we will encourage participation and dialogue, while being respectful of every student’s different strengths and modes of contribution. Students should come to class prepared, having read the assigned materials.
Teaching and learning activities will include:
• Reflection paragraph (one paragraph written ahead of class reflecting on the main points of the reading material).
• Case law deconstruction (exercise in highlighting main points in a case).
• Group work on case-based problem solving.
• Training in legal argumentation, presentation and rhetorical skills.
• Training in how to give constructive peer-feedback.

  • Excerpts from the Treaty on European Union, the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights
  • Selected EU secondary legislation
  • Selected case law from the Court of Justice of the EU
  • Compendia of academic articles, primary texts and excerpts from text books
  • News media and social media


It is illegal to share digital textbooks with each other without permission from the copyright holder.

• English language skills.
• Basic knowledge of EU Law and Constitutional Law. (To foreign students, who are not familiar with EU law, we recommend to follow the Introduction to EU law, which is offered in parallel.)

The courses 'Advanced EU Constitutional Law' and 'Global Challenges, Europe’s crises, and EU law' are mutually exclusive. It is therefore only possible to follow and be examined in one of these two courses.

Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
Type of assessment
Oral exam on basis of previous submission, 20 minutes
Type of assessment details
Oral exam based on synopsis, 20 minutes
Exam registration requirements

In order to attend the oral examination, it is a prerequisite to hand in the synopsis before the specified deadline.
The deadline is agreed upon with the course lecturer.


Read about the descriptions of the individual exam forms, including formal requirements, scope and deadlines in the exam catalogue


Read about practical exam conditions at KUnet

Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
Exam period

Week 51 - Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday


Week 5 - Wednesday, Thursday, Friday

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Preparation
  • 356,5
  • Seminar
  • 56
  • English
  • 412,5


Course number
Programme level
Full Degree Master
Full Degree Master choice

1 semester

  1. Students enrolled at Faculty of Law or holding a pre-approval: No tuition fee
  2. Professionals: Please visit our website  
Please see timetable for teaching hours
Contracting department
  • Law
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Law
Course Coordinator
  • Helle Krunke   (12-506d74746d36537a7d76736d48727d7a36737d366c73)
Saved on the 30-04-2024

Are you BA- or KA-student?

Are you bachelor- or kandidat-student, then find the course in the course catalog for students:

Courseinformation of students