Law School Module Details

The information contained in this module specification was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change, either during the session because of unforeseen circumstances, or following review of the module at the end of the session. Queries about the module should be directed to the member of staff with responsibility for the module.
Code LAW109
Coordinator Prof MJ Gordon
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2020-21 Level 4 FHEQ First Semester 15


Public Law I seeks to:
Explore the nature and functions of constitutional law;
Provide students with a knowledge and understanding of the fundamental principles and institutions of the UK constitution;
Identify and analyse selected key issues that are of critical importance to the UK’s constitutional arrangements;
Enable students to develop a range of core legal and transferable skills, and become effective independent learners.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of, and the ability to analyse critically, the following topics: - the law, practice and theory of the UK constitution;

(LO2) The key institutions of the UK constitution, their functions, and the relationship between them;

(LO3) The doctrine of the sovereignty of Parliament, and its present status within the UK constitution;

(LO4) The nature and purpose of legal accountability, through the principles of the rule of law and the separation of powers;

(LO5) The nature and purpose of political accountability, through the notions of ministerial responsibility, parliamentary accountability, and open government.

(LO6) Students should be able to demonstrate the ability to consult, engage with, and respond to feedback.

(S1) Critical thinking and problem solving - Critical analysis

(S2) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Academic writing (inc. referencing skills)

(S3) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Presentation skills – oral

(S4) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Presentation skills - written

(S5) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Influencing skills – argumentation

(S6) Information skills - Evaluation

(S7) Research skills - All Information skills

(S8) Improving own learning/performance - Reflective practice



Basic Principles of the UK Constitution – including functions and form of a constitution; institutions and characteristics of the UK constitution; sources of UK constitutional rules; constitutional reform / codification in the UK;
The Doctrine of Parliamentary Sovereignty – including historical development; the traditional understanding of the sovereignty of Parliament; alternative approaches to the doctrine; challenges to the orthodoxy, including EU law, devolution and human rights;
Legal Accountability – including introduction to accountability; basic principles of the rule of law; rule of law in the UK constitution; basic principles of the separation of powers; separation of powers in the UK constitution;
Political Accountability – including collective ministerial responsibility; individual ministerial responsibility; mechanisms of parliamentary accountability; freedom of information.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Teaching Patterns

Learning and teaching on this module will be structured in accordance with the principles of Hybrid Active Learning with asynchronous materials and synchronous seminar sessions. Asynchronous recordings provide material previously addressed in physical lectures, suitably broken down (‘chunking’) and augmented (e.g. quizzes etc) so as to enhance student engagement. Synchronous sessions will run on a fortnightly pattern across the semester (i.e. 6 in total) and will each have a duration of 2 hours.

Contact Hours

Synchronous material (equivalent to 24 hours of lecture coverage)

12 hours of tutorials

Module Delivery

This will be via combination of asynchronous and synchronous sessions for i.e. Hybrid Active Learning as outlined in the teaching pattern section above

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours 24


Timetable (if known) 60 mins X 1 totaling 11
  60 mins X 1 totaling 5
Private Study 114


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Examination - ‘open book’, 2 questions from 4 – worth 95% of module mark Assessment Schedule (When) :Semester 1  2 questions from 4    95       
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Assessment 2 Feedback Response Statement - 500 words; Edited Essay - 1,200 words There is a resit opportunity. Standard UoL penalty applies for late submission. Assessment Schedule (When) :S  Feedback Response St         

Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at Click here to access the reading lists for this module.

Other Staff Teaching on this Module

Dr AJ Tucker Law
Miss SC Coakley Law
Miss H Hirst Facilities, Residential & Commercial Svcs
Dr K Sowery Law
Mr AW Woodhouse Law

Modules for which this module is a pre-requisite:


Pre-requisites before taking this module (other modules and/or general educational/academic requirements):


Co-requisite modules:


Programme(s) (including Year of Study) to which this module is available on a required basis:


Programme(s) (including Year of Study) to which this module is available on an optional basis:


Additional Programme Information