The Master of Arts in European Legal Studies is in essence a taught course, with teaching based on guided research and teaching and the presentation of a paper by the student in a teacher-led seminar. The course includes an important dissertation component. The first aim remains that of providing postgraduate specialization in European Union Law and related comparative law to holders of a good first degree which is not in law. The programme of studies ranges over a large list of subject areas which are sub-disciplines of European Law and often overlap with their counterpart domestic law, and from which the student chooses a number of study units. In principle, the comparative (national law) dimension is worked into most subjects, while also being the principal methodology employed in a number of study units. The second aim is to prepare successful students for a specialist career, whether in the European Union Institutions, in other international organizations, as advisors to government and other entities in Malta and abroad.
European Union law is an all-embracing, rapidly developing, and ever more significant and fascinating area of law. A solid and in-depth knowledge thereof is essential in all areas of legal practice today. The programme provides an in-depth education in European Union law. It establishes a balance between the economic and the constitutional aspects of European law, and emphasizes both the increasing complexity of EU law and the context in which it is evolving. As this programme is intended for non-law graduates, it includes a study-unit which introduces students to EU legal methodology and research and a number of compulsory study-units that focus primarily on the understanding of the EU Legal order.
The programme aims to provide students with knowledge that will range over the understanding of the relevant Treaty provisions and the laws and other acts adopted under them through study and critical analysis of the academic literature as well as the case law of the Court of Justice of the Union. Reference will also be made to relevant Member State legislation and court judgments. Practice is not forgotten and practitioners’ journals are frequently referred to in many of the courses. This approach develops interpretational and applicational skills against the backdrop of sound theoretical knowledge and understanding. The knowledge and skills acquired are applicable in law practice, in adjudication, and in further studies to Ph.D. level should the student wish to pursue an academic career in Malta or abroad.