Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Public Law for GDL Students
Academic Year
Semester 2 (Taught over 2 semesters)
LP30105, LP30220, LP30320, LP30520, LP30620, LP30720, LP30820, LP30920
Mutually Exclusive
LA16220, LA36220, GF16220, LA30310, GF30310
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 40 Hours Total
Seminars / Tutorials 16 Hours. 4 x 2 hour seminars each semester.
Other Self test questions on Blackboard


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Exam 2 Hours   Exam  80%
Semester Assessment Essay  of 1,000 words  20%
Supplementary Assessment Resit failed element(s)  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Explain how the British constitutional system works and be able to discuss proposals for reform;
2. Critically analyse the existing system and evaluate strengths and weaknesses;
3. Deal with constitutional legal materials in a critical and analytical manner;
4. Identify problems in the constitutional system and apply their knowledge in suggesting possible solutions (for example, with reference to comparative material);
5. Apply legal principles to factual situations in order to suggest possible outcomes to cases;
6. Identify and appreciate the constitutional law implications of general developments in law and politics, and demonstrate understanding of the relationship between UK constitutional law and European / international law as well as the interaction between central and devolved elements of the constitution.
7. Demonstrate a knowledge of the regulation of administrative activities in Britain and be able to critically analyse key legislation and cases.
8. Demonstrate an understanding of contextual factors, such as the political dynamics that shape the role and legal powers of the executive.
9. Demonstrate an understanding of the judicial review process and its consequences.

Brief description

Public law is conventionally divided into constitutional and administrative law. The United Kingdom is unusual in that it does not have a written constitution. Whether this has an impact in practice and the way in which the Constitution has adapted and accommodated to changing circumstances are important themes of the course. What this means, why it is the case and whether it makes a difference in practice are among the questions which we look at in this course which seeks to introduce students to the study of constitutional law in general and to the basic doctrines of the British Constitution in particular. Administrative law is concerned with the exercise of state power, and the impact of governmental activities upon the citizen including education, the running of our prisons, planning, transport, welfare benefits system and much more.


1. General introduction to constitutional law
2. Sources of the British Constitution
3. The doctrine of Parliamentary Sovereignty
4. The rule of law
5. Separation of powers
6. The territorial structure of the United Kingdom and devolution
7. Law-making institutions and processes
8. Executive power and accountability
9. The protection of human rights in the United Kingdom.
10. The nature and purpose of administrative law.
11. The modern administrative state - rolling back the frontiers and the rise of New Public Management.
12. Introduction to judicial review.
13. Non-judicial grievance mechanisms - the Ombudsman system.
14. The role of local government

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number
Communication Preparation for and discussion in seminars
Improving own Learning and Performance Post lecture research and seminar preparation
Information Technology Post lecture research and seminar preparation
Personal Development and Career planning Learning throughout the module will be relevant to a career in the legal profession
Problem solving Preparation for and discussion of problem solving questions in seminars
Research skills Post lecture research and seminar preparation
Subject Specific Skills
Team work Seminar work: preparation and group discussion


This module is at CQFW Level 6