Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Public Law - Visiting Students Only
Academic Year
Semester 1
Exclusive (Any Acad Year)
Exclusive (Any Acad Year)
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 30 x 1 Hour Lectures
Seminar 1 x 1 Hour Seminar
Workshop 2 x 2 Hour Workshops


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 3000-word coursework assignment  (combination of problems and discussion questions)  100%
Supplementary Assessment 3000-word coursework assignment  (combination of problems and discussion questions)  100%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Explain how the UK constitution works and be able to discuss and analyse proposals for reform
2. Demonstrate an understanding of the UK constitutional system and an ability to 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. 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
6. Apply legal principles to factual situations in order to suggest possible outcomes to cases

Brief description

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.


The overall aim of the module is to provide students with a good grounding in the constitutional law of the UK and to enable them to place this in the context of general the constitutional law principles which are seen in many other states' constitutions. In addition to providing a sound knowledge base, the module also aims to develop students' ability to identify, locate, read and analyse a range of primary and secondary constitutional and legal material.


  • General introduction to constitutional law
  • Sources of the British Constitution
  • The doctrine of Parliamentary Sovereignty
  • The rule of law
  • Separation of powers
  • The territorial structure of the United Kingdom and devolution
  • The protection of human rights in the United Kingdom
  • Law-making institutions and processes
  • Executive power and accountability
  • Seminar - Human Rights Act Whole-class workshops - European Convention on Human Rights case law on restrictions on rights

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number
Communication Encouraged and developed throughout the module, especially in seminar discussion and giving small-group presentations in workshops. Clear communication and literacy required in coursework.
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will be encouraged throughout to reflect on their performance throughout the module. This will not be assessed as part of the module assessment but there will be formative assessment throughout the module in the form of quizzes, in-class tests and Q&A sessions in order to provide feedback to students on their performance throughout the module.
Information Technology Use of legal and other databases for material will be demonstrated in lectures and used in workshops.
Personal Development and Career planning Students will be encouraged throughout to reflect on their performance throughout the module.
Problem solving The ability to apply legal principles to factual situations and solve problems is developed in the lectures, workshops and seminar.
Research skills Yes - required for preparation of seminar and for workshop-follow up work.
Subject Specific Skills The ability to deal with constitutional legal materials in a critical fashion; to research and communicate on legal questions and problems .
Team work This is developed in the workshops which require students to work in small groups and present a short presentation to the rest of the group.


This module is at CQFW Level 6