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Last modified: 28 Jun 2018 10:27

Course Overview

This course examines the relationship between the law and the exercise of public power.  Topics covered include: consideration of the state in the United Kingdom and its changing nature; the character of public administration and the evolution of administrative law; the development, role and impact of judicial review in both Scotland and England; and non-judicial mechanisms by which public administrative power is regulated, by reference to particular topical case studies.  This is a skill-based course: students are expected to undertake significant personal research focused on the coursework and pre-released examination questions.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 4
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Mr Michael Radford

Qualification Prerequisites


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

  • LS1521 Public Law and Human Rights (Passed)
  • Legal Studies (Ma Honours) (LX) (Studied)
  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

Course Aims: This course examines the ways in which public administration is regulated. Topics covered include: the nature of public administration and administrative law; mechanisms by which public administrative power is regulated, by reference to particular topical case studies; the development, role and impact of judicial review in both Scotland and England. Main Learning Outcomes: Knowledge and Understanding A developed knowledge and understanding of: a) The meaning and role of administrative law in the British constitution. b) The nature of judicial review, the respective procedures for judicial review in England and Scotland, and its constitutional significance. c) Four topical case studies focusing on non-judicial regulatory mechanisms. Subject-Specific Skills and Concepts 1. Differentiate between and use appropriate primary and secondary sources and identify and retrieve up-to-date legal info using paper and electronic sources; 2. Use recognised methods of citation and referencing; 3. Use sources to support arguments and conclusions; 4. Recognise, analyse and rank arguments and evidence in terms of relevance and importance by identifying and selecting relevant legal sources and selecting key material to construct written or oral answers; 5. Identify the legal significance of an issue from information provided; 6. Address legal and political issues by reference to relevant material; 7. Bring together and integrate information and materials from a variety of different sources; 8. Present arguments for and against propositions; 9. Be aware that arguments require to be supported by evidence; 10. Apply knowledge and analysis creatively to complex situations in order to provide arguable solutions to concrete problems by presenting a range of viable options from a set of facts and law; 11. Think critically and make critical judgements on the relative and absolute merits of particular arguments and solutions; 12. Reflect on their own learning and apply advice and feedback to improve their performance; 13. Communicate orally and in writing using English language by creating work in a permanent format that is understandable by the intended audience (through submission of a course essay, exam answers and tutorial discussion); 14. Communicate in plain English, with legal terminology only as needed; and 15. Display informed knowledge and understanding of the social, economic, and political contexts in which law operates by demonstrating legal knowledge in association with related political considerations. Key Skills (Transferable) 1. The course places particular emphasis on developing research skills. 2. Communicate orally and in writing; 3. Ability to work effectively in small groups to contribute to the group's task; 4. Ability to work independently, to organise and manage time, stress and effort in performance of tasks; 5. Problem solving skills; 6. Critical analysis; 7. Logical argument; 8. An ability to synthesise and organise complex materials and arguments; 9. With limited guidance act independently, and where appropriate as part of team, in planning and undertaking tasks; 10. Conduct formal and informal oral presentations; 11. Make appropriate use of technology in research, writing and oral presentations; and 12. Reflect on own learning and to seek and make use of feedback. Content: a) The meaning of administrative law and its form and role within the British constitution. b) The changing nature of the state. c) The relationship between law, politics, and administration. d) The nature and significance of judicial review. e) Administrative law doctrines developed by the courts. f) Four specific non-judicial case studies which are decided upon each session in consultation with the class.

Further Information & Notes

In relation to the MA programme, this is a 30 credit course which is reflected in the length of the summative essay. This course places particular emphasis on developing research skills and there is no detailed reading list.

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 three-hour examination (75%) and in-course assessment (25%): one 2,500 word essay for candidates registered for the LS course; one 3,500 word essay for candidates registered for the LX course. The question paper is released to candidates in advance of the examination. Resit: Normally, no resit is available.

Formative Assessment

Individual and small group feedback during seminars and by appointment with the course co-ordinator.


Feedback will be provided on the feedback form within three weeks from the date of submission.

Course Learning Outcomes


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