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Last modified: 25 May 2018 11:16

Course Overview

This course is an introduction to the law about government. The course covers three main areas of law: constitutional law; human rights law; and, to a lesser extent, administrative law. Major topics include parliamentary sovereignty, Britain's membership in the European Union, the rule of law, the separation of powers, devolution (especially in Scotland), the Human Rights Act, freedom of expression, and the right to protest. This area of law is fast-moving, and an effort is made to address current issues such as prisoner voting, the deployment of armed forces, and the impact of the referendum on Scottish independence.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 1
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Dr Robert Taylor

Qualification Prerequisites

  • One of Programme Level 1 or Programme Level 2 or Programme Level 3 or Programme Level 4

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

  • LS1512 Civil Liberties and Human Rights (Studied)

Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

The course will cover: the concept of constitutional law and constitutions; human rights as a control on government; UK constitution and sources of the UK constitution; Parliamentary supremacy; the rule of law; the separation of powers; Human Rights Act 1998 & European Convention on Human Rights and their operation in practice; freedom of information; composition, powers and functions of the UK Parliament and government; devolution and its impact on the UK; composition, powers and functions of the Scottish Parliament and government; local government in Scotland; right to protest; role of the courts in public law; freedom of expression.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt: 1 two-hour written examination (75%) and continuous assessment (1500-word essay) (25%).

Resit: 1 two-hour examination (75%) and in-course assessment (25%) (carried forward from previous sitting).

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.


Summative assessment essay feedback is to be provided on an individual basis by comments on each student's essay. A feedback sheet will be produced that will contain details of the appropriate approach and information concerning commonly encountered errors. There will also be a feedback session for the whole class where the feedback will be discussed and questions answered.
Individual feedback on exam performance is available on request.

Course Learning Outcomes


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