module specification

LL5001 - Public Law (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Public Law
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 30
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 300
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
219 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Oral Examination 30%   Oral presentation test
Seen Examination 70%   Part seen examination
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year City Thursday Afternoon

Module summary

This module provides a contextual introduction to the central areas of UK public law. First, it provides an introduction to the principles and practice relating to the legal foundations of the constitution. Second, it considers the principles of administrative law with particular reference to judicial review and other non-legal remedies available to the citizen. 

Module aims

Provide students with a knowledge and understanding of the evolving framework of legal and non legal constitutional obligations which apply between the state and the citizen and between different organs of government

Within that framework to enable students to acquire a knowledge of relevant case law and legislation and to develop an ability to interpret and analyse these

To develop a critical understanding of the extent and efficiency of control on governmental bodies, in particular, the legitimacy and extent of parliamentary and judicial oversight mechanisms.

To provided students with the ability to apply legal principles to theoretical examples in order to draw conclusions and give advice to the citizen.


Sources of the constitution, constitutional principles: sovereignty of parliament, rule of law, separation of powers, the constitutional and the European Union, Human Rights Act and the Constitutional protection of human rights, the electoral system, the role of Parliament and the reform of Parliament, the executive: Prime Minister, ministers and civil service, collective and individual ministerial responsibility. Devolution and territorial governance. Freedom of information.

Introduction to administrative law, modern administrative state, red and green light theory, ombudsman, tribunals and informal grievance resolution. Introduction to judicial review, the nature of the remedies, public private law divide, locus standi, the grounds of judicial review, purpose, relevance, fettering, legitimate expectations, the Wednesbury principle, human rights and the proportionality principle, the principles of natural justice.


Learning and teaching

Seminar workshops allowing student participation

In delivering the module full use will be made of on-line research using electronic law databases e.g., Westlaw. Students are assisted by a virtual learning environment (VLE) containing handbooks, lecture notes, weblinks, discussion groups, past assessments, study skills materials and assessment criteria.  Blended learning is also a feature of delivery where appropriate. For example, it is actively encouraged as students engage with digital materials, use on-line discussion groups (blogs) and achieve a competent standard of digital literacy during their studies.
Skills related to employability are incorporated as part of the module. The students are required to undertake research skills in law related areas. Fluency in using electronic sources will be enhanced in preparing for assessments. Aspects of the content of the module, for example, the principles of natural justice and human rights, provide a grounding in understanding fair treatment which will assist in law related employment. Further, their capacity to present a reasoned argument both orally and in written form is a skill which is integrally related to employment in a managerial or law-related work environment.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module:

Students will have knowledge and understanding of the basic concepts of constitutional and administrative law and of the nature of the debates over the locus of power in the constitution of the United Kingdom.

Students will be capable of problem solving by having able to apply legal principles and decided law to problem situations relating to judicial review in the final assessment.

Students will be aware of the functional workings of the component parts of the constitution from an historical / contextual perspective, and evaluate the ethical implications of these arrangements.

Students will have acquired the written communication skills necessary to tackle the final assessment in this module, including familiarity with the terminology relevant to public law.

After tackling a compulsory seen question on a problematic aspect of public law students will have demonstrated the ability to undertake legal research and use sources appropriate to this subject.

As a result of completing the module students will have developed the practical skill of oral communication. This will be achieved by preparing and delivering an oral presentation in public law which could be replicated for any area of law or as a transferable skill to another discipline.

Analysis, synthesis, critical judgment and evaluation will be developed essential skills in preparing to write essays/presentations for the formative and summative assessments


Assessment strategy

Oral presentation based on set constitutional law topic

Part seen written examination covering both constitutional and administrative law and including at least one seen question and one compulsory question on judicial review.


Barnett H Constitutional & Administrative Law Routledge
Bogdanor V        The New British Constitution Hart Publishing
Cane P                 Administrative Law, Oxford University Press,
Elliott M              Beatson, Mathew and Elliott’s Administrative Law, Oxford U Press,
Elliott M and      Public Law Oxford  U Press,
Thomas R
Leyland P  The Constitution of the UK: A Contextual Analysis Hart
Leyland P and    Textbook on Administrative Law, Oxford University Press
Ryan M                Unlocking Constitutional & Administrative Law, Hodder
Turpin and          British Government and the Constitution: Text, Cases and
Tomkins              Materials, , CUP,
Young A              Parliamentary Sovereignty and the Human Rights Act, Hart Publishing, (UK Parlt); (Euro Parlt) (seeks to strengthen Parliamentary government  (Cabinet Office) – links to Cabinet and PM  (10 Downing St)