European Health Law and Policy

Course summary

This course introduces students to those areas of European laws applicable to health care, health systems, and health policy. Using examples of the European Union and the Council of Europe, in the wake of the Brexit decision, the course explores examples of health care law in transition. From an understanding of the EU Competence Framework and relevant European structures and bodies, the course considers the impact on health policies of the four freedoms of movement: of goods, services, capital, and people. In particular, the course examines the ongoing legal and policy implications for European states, as the UK is poised to leave the European Union.


  1. Introduction to EU law & health care
  2. The EU health care law matrix
  3. Economic & other drivers designed to shape national health policies
  4. The internal market, competition law & free movement
  5. Health care delivery & free movement of goods 
  6. Health care delivery and free movement of services & data 
  7. Free movement of patients I: principles 
  8. Rights & regulation of health professionals and EU social & employment law
  9. Free movement of patients II: mechanisms 
  10. Free movement of patients III: effects

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • demonstrate a critical understanding of free movement of goods, services, persons and capital as they apply to European health care law;
  • apply knowledge, skills and understanding of the roles played by principles such as exclusive, shared or supporting competence; supporting, community and subsidiary powers; harmonisation; margin of appreciation and proportionality, as they apply to health care law;
  • develop well-reasoned arguments in response to health care law issues arising from the transition away from membership of the European Union;
  • utilise concise and effective communication skills to engage in debates with colleagues from different backgrounds;
  • manage complex legal and professional issues to make informed judgements on the role of European frameworks in health care law.


4,000 word essay (60%) and 1,000 word written memorandum writing exercise (40%).

Terms and conditions

Please note the University reserves the right to make variations to the contents of programmes, including the range of courses offered, and the available choice of courses in any given year may change.

Find out more about the University's terms and conditions