A two-year postgraduate programme leading to a Master’s degree in European Legal Studies. In 2006, the programme was updated to meet the new academic requirements laid down by the so called Bologna process, which aims to harmonise graduate and postgraduate studies at EU level. Since 2010, it is offered as a blended learning programme, combining face-to-face lectures, e-Learning sessions and distance learning.
This Master is a truly international study programme offered in partnership with Université de Lorraine in France. Participants who successfully conclude the programme are awarded a French Master degree: Master en études européennes – spécialité Droit de l’union européenne delivered by the University of Lorraine.
‘MELS online, a unique programme for professionals’
Tomasz Kramer, Director of the MELS online programme
The programme is designed to achieve two principal aims:
- to provide an initial background to the fundamental issues underlying the European integration process and;
- to offer progressive and increasing specialisation in the vast field of European law, with a view to enabling students to deal with legal questions in a practical way.
The legal focus of the programme is on the broader ambit of European integration, also touching upon different economic and political aspects of the integration process and duly considering their legal and practical implications.
The programme spans two years and is based on a combination of teaching methodologies. First, students attend face-to-face lectures and tutorials using interactive education methods such as group work, case studies, simulation exercises and problem-solving learning. Second, a set of web-based learning tools such as audio-video tutorials, web-conference lectures, assignments and online tests are offered. Finally, students are invited to engage in guided distance learning. Attendance is compulsory in order to be able to sit the examinations. The face-to-face tuition takes place on specific weekends per academic semester, when students gather from Friday afternoon to Sunday lunchtime. These weekends are supplemented by online work and self-study, providing students with an excellent opportunity to broaden and deepen their knowledge of the law and how it works in practice.
By virtue of the ‘Campus’ – MELS e-Learning platform – Students regularly receive up-to-date learning material, including extracts of legislation, case law and references for recommended literature designed to structure and supplement their study. Access the Campus at http://mels.eipa.eu.
Is this programme for you?
The programme is mainly intended for civil servants, EU officials, lawyers and other legal experts, as well as other professionals and graduates interested in European law. No prior degree in law is required to participate in the programme. The courses are held in English and in French. The participants must be able to speak and write in one of these two languages (active knowledge) and read and understand the other language (passive knowledge).
The Master degree in European Legal Studies is a highly valuable instrument for graduating participants in the development of their respective professional careers. For example, graduates can use it as a stepping stone to enter international and European organisations, while those already working as EU officials may use their degree to advance their career within the EU administration. The degree also allows those participants already working as lawyers to practise in the various areas of European law. Finally, the degree can also enable graduates to pursue a professional career within any of the wide range of national administrations as well as European associations and companies (consultancy firms, European federations, lobby groups, territorial representations in Brussels, etc.) involved in the various aspects and facets of the European integration process.
Structure of the programme
The Master studies are structured in the form of a 2-year programme. The first year provides the students with an introduction to the field of European studies (introduction to European geopolitics, history of the process of European integration, etc.). On that basis, the legal dimension of the process of European integration is progressively developed through substantial courses on the constitutional and legal system of the EU (institutional law, EU decision-making procedures, judicial system of the EU, etc.), the European Internal Market and the fundamental aspects of European economic law (competition law, EU company and tax law, etc.).
In the second academic year, after considering a number of other fundamental aspects within the legal core of the EU, and which originated as flanking policies to the Internal Market (intellectual property law, consumer protection law, environmental law, etc), attention will shift to the legal acquis already existing in other areas, including common foreign and security policy, the area of justice, freedom and security and human rights protection at EU level. The practical implementation of European law both at European and national level will also feature in this second year. Students will conclude this second year and the Master programme with the writing of a Master thesis.
Students are required to sit examinations at the end of each semester. Some exams may be replaced by other interim course work. Successful completion of the programme will also require each student to write – under supervision of a tutor chosen by them from among the teaching faculty – a Master thesis on a topic of their choice, which will be subject to the tutor’s prior approval.