European Law and Policy
Cover a broad spectrum of European affairs
Why take this course?
This course aims to provide you with the advanced knowledge and skills to meet the increasing demand for people with expertise in the workings of the EU and an understanding of European law in business, local and national levels of government and international organisations. You will study principles and key areas of European law alongside EU policy-making and the operation of EU institutions.
What will I experience?
On this course you can:
- Enhance your employability by extending your area of expertise beyond that of your first degree
- Boost your career within your existing area of employment by becoming a specialist in this crucial field
- Deepen your knowledge of European affairs in the area of law and policy
- Make yourself stand out in an increasingly competitive job market by acquiring skills which show an ability to research independently and study a contemporary topic at an advanced level
What opportunities might it lead to?
Former students of the MA European Law and Policy programme have already been working in or gone on to work in:
- local and regional government
- foreign embassies
- legal posts
- business and a wide range of other positions in the public and private sector
The great thing about MA level study is that courses can, to some extent, be shaped to fit a student's interests and expertise.
George Byrne, European studies student 2013
- 1 year full time, 2 years part time
A good honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject including law, social sciences, European studies, international relations, or equivalent professional experience in a relevant field, such as politics, local government, business and law.
English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 or equivalent with no component less than 6.0.
UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man full-time students: £4,500, part-time students: £2,250 p/a* (2 years)
International full-time students: £10,500, part-time students: £5,250 p/a* (2 years)
*Please note that all fees are subject to annual increase.
+44 (0)23 9284 8299
- School of Social, Historical and Literary Studies
Structure & Teaching
Our course is not a professional law qualification, but is aimed at helping you to acquire a knowledge of EU law, institutions and policy-making processes because of the career you wish to pursue or are pursuing. Since most students come without a background in law, an initial crash course (an intensive two-day programme) introduces the general principles of law that you will need.
You will take the following core units:-
- Challenges to EU Politics and Governance
- International Law, Human Rights and Corporate Responsibility
- International and European Business Law
- Dissertation/Major Project
You will also choose 1 out of the following:-
- Nation and Identity in Europe
- Europe and the World
- Negotiation and Lobbying in the EU: A simulation game
- Independent Project
- Work-based Learning
Teaching and Assessment
Teaching is conducted through a combination of lectures and seminars. In addition, you will have access to staff on an individual tutorial basis and will also be assigned a dissertation supervisor to support you in the research and writing of your dissertation.
Classes are timetabled in the afternoons and evenings. Depending on their option choices part-time students are usually able to structure their course so as to concentrate their studies on one and no more than two afternoons/evenings.
How are you assessed?
Assessment is normally in the form of an extended essay on a specific topic within a unit and an examination in the case of some law-based units.
Facilities & Features
On your Master's, you will be studying with members of CEISR, the UK's largest centre for European Studies. Rated top for research in European Studies (Research Power Index), the Centre can offer a varied programme drawing on the wide range of research expertise within the Centre.
The course draws on the combined strengths of two faculties at Portsmouth, the Portsmouth Business School and the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. The curriculum is informed by the legal background and research and scholarly expertise of the staff involved.
Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online e-journals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.
Careers & Opportunities
The course provides a good basis for those seeking careers or already working in posts where knowledge of EU law, institutions, policies and policy-making processes are required. This is now widely the case in business, local and central government as well as in non-governmental organisations. In addition there are many opportunities within EU, European and international organisations.
Our Masters degree also provides a useful basis for those who wish to go into teaching or further research in the area of European affairs, law and politics.
One of the benefits of studying at Portsmouth is the support that we provide to our Master's and Research Degrees students in career planning. Our careers and recruitment service – Purple Door – can assist you in career research and finding employment opportunities. Help is also available if you wish to find a part-time job while studying your degree. We offer our postgraduate students and alumni one-to-one appointments with a careers adviser, or an online service for those not able to travel back to the University. Our alumni can call on our career services for five years after graduation.
In addition, regular employability events offer you the chance to meet employers, find out about different career sectors and improve your applications or CV. The Graduate Summer Programme provides a range of guidance and employability seminars and workshops.