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Study information

Constitutional and Administrative Law

Module titleConstitutional and Administrative Law
Module codeLAW2035B
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Dr Raphael Girard (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks



Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

The constitution of the UK is extremely dynamic and developing incrementally through changes in relationships with Europe, devolution to Scotland, Wales and the regions and human rights legislation. This module will help you to analyse and challenge some of the basic tenets of the constitution of the UK. Developments in judicial review will enable you to understand the relationship of judges and the government and the impact of this relationship on both the law and the state. You will also study and analyse the impact of human rights on the laws of the United Kingdom.

This module will develop your analytical skills and your ability to understand the role of public law that although complex and technical allows for exciting discussion on issues which are both current and shifting.


Module aims - intentions of the module

  • An understanding of the concepts, traditions and principles underpinning the constitution of the United Kingdom.
  • An understanding of the main recent constitutional developments, especially in relation to the European Union, devolution, and the Human Rights Act 1998.
  • An understanding of the application of the ECHR within the United Kingdom via the HRA and common law.
  • An understanding of the Westminster constitutional paradigm and its variants.
  • An understanding of the nature, basis and continuing development of judicial review in the United Kingdom.
  • An ability to see the links between public law and the exercise of political and judicial power.
  • An ability to begin to use, analyse and critique materials and texts.
  • An ability to articulate and discuss issues relating to public law.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. demonstrate knowledge of the law relating to the nature and practices of the concepts of constitutional democracy, the rule of law, the protection of individual liberties and judicial review within the UK and a range of major concepts, values and principles relevant to its application;
  • 2. explain/evaluate the main legal institutions and procedures relevant to constitutional and administrative law;
  • 3. identify, explain and discuss key issues in both constitutional and administrative law and to apply relevant rules and theories.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 4. demonstrate knowledge and understanding of a range of legal concepts, values, principles, institutions and procedures, and the capacity to explain the relationships among them;
  • 5. demonstrate knowledge of legal concepts and their contextual/social/political implications;
  • 6. select and explain relevant information from primary and secondary legal sources using appropriate interpretative techniques.

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 7. demonstrate effective and accurate communication skills in a manner appropriate to the discipline / different contexts;
  • 8. identify, retrieve and use efficiently a range of resources with guidance;

Syllabus plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the syllabus will cover some or all of the following topics:

  • The nature of constitutions and the purposes of constitutionalism;
  • The constitution of the United Kingdom: institutions; legal and non-legal rules underlying principles: parliamentary sovereignty, the rule of law and separation of powers;
  • The impact of European law on parliamentary sovereignty and the constitution of the United Kingdom;
  • The impact of devolution on the constitution of the United Kingdom;
  • The Human Rights Act 1998, ECHR and the protection of rights and freedoms within the United Kingdom;
  • Judicial review of administrative action; and
  • Where appropriate comparisons with similar legal systems law based on the Westminster constitutional paradigm (e.g. Canada, New Zealand and Australia). 

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching activities5522 x 2.5 hour Seminars
Guided independent study151Individual reading and seminars preparation
Guided independent study94Assessment preparation

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay 1000 words1-8Individual written feedback (with and oral feedback

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay 401500 words1-8Individual written feedback (with and oral feedback
Examination (take-home, open book)602 hours intended duration (within a 24-hour submission window)1-8Individual written feedback (with and oral feedback

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
EssayEssay 1500 words1-8August/September reassessment period
Examination (take-home, open book)Examination (take-home, open book; same as above)1-8August/September reassessment period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

M Loughlin, The British Constitution: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (OUP, 2013)

C. Turpin & A. Tomkins, British Government and the Constitution, 7th ed. (Cambridge University Press, 2016)

Andrew Le Sueur, Maurice Sunkin, and Jo Eric Khushal Murkens, Public Law - Text, Cases, & Materials, 4th  ed (OUP, 2019).




Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

You are expected to keep up to date with topical events. This is best done by reading newspapers such as The Times or The Independent. Tabloid newspapers are not suitable.

You may also find recent and current editions of specialist journals, such as Public Lawand Modern Law Review, which are available in the Law Library (physical and electronic), useful for this purpose.

Key words search

Public law, European law, constitutional law, administrative law

Credit value30
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date