module specification

LL4055 - Constitutional Law (2020/21)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2020/21
Module title Constitutional Law
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 15
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 150
 
114 hours Guided independent study
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Other 20%   Presentation 20 minutes
Coursework 80%   Individual Report 1,000 words
Running in 2020/21
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Wednesday Morning

Module summary

Constitutional Law provides a contextual introduction to some of the central areas of UK Public Law. It provides a detailed examination of the principles of constitutional law with particular emphasis on constitutional principles; the rule of law; the sovereignty of Parliament; human rights; and the UK state.

The aims of this module are to provide students with a working knowledge and
understanding of constitutional law, and to develop several key transferable skills in this
context, including:

1. An understanding of the extent and efficiency of control on governmental
bodies;

2. An ability to apply legal principles to theoretical examples in order to draw
conclusions and give advice to the citizen;

3. To engage in independent research, basic analysis and academic writing, using both primary and secondary sources of law.

Prior learning requirements

N/A

Syllabus

 1. Nature of Constitutions

Types, written, unwritten, others.

LO1 & LO2

2. Sources of the UK Constitution

Constitutional principles
The idea of the separation of powers
The rule of law
Conventions
Sovereignty of Parliament
The impact of EU law (pre & post Brexit)
The Human Rights Act

LO1 & LO2

3. The UK State

Parliament and reform of the House of Lords
The Executive including the Civil Service
Powers of the Prime Minister
Responsible government
The independence of the judiciary including judicial control of prerogative power (‘Miller’).

LO1 & LO2

4. Presentational skills for the lawyer

LO3

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Learning and Teaching Strategy

Weekly two-hour lecture and one-hour seminar. 

The lecture will be used for:

Dissemination of knowledge through an overview of each topic with detailed guidance on appropriate aspects;
An introduction to relevant academic literature;
Guidance on learning strategies;
Use of Weblearn and IT resources;
Whole group questions and discussion.

The seminar will be used for:

Development of skills necessary to attain the module learning outcomes through:
Written and oral questions/answers designed to reinforce fundamental rules/principles/cases;
A range of step by step writing exercises;
IT tasks such as research of cases and statutes
Problem-solving
Legal writing
Presentational skills

Blended Learning

All learning materials, previous examination questions and sample Q/A’s will be on Weblearn for use in directed private study.

Student engagement will be encouraged in both lectures and seminars through weekly use of Weblearn for access to all of the above materials.

There will be required use of the professional legal databases, especially Westlaw and Lexis Library, for legal research

Opportunities for reflective learning/pdp

Each weekly seminar will contain space for students to reflect on what they have learnt in relation to the overall syllabus. There will be frequent feedback opportunities structured into the timetable and a range of sample answers posted onto Weblearn.

Students’ Study Responsibilities

The need for attendance, punctuality, preparation and engagement will be emphasised with particular reference to written and IT research, problem-solving, team-work, discussion, debate and critical awareness of the subject.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, the students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate a basic knowledge of the key elements of, and issues relating to, constitutional law.

2. Review and discuss primary and secondary source legal materials relating to constitutional law with a view to solving practical problems.

3. Make a cogent presentation relating to aspects of constitutional law.

Assessment strategy

1. Presentation (20 minutes)

To demonstrate the ability to communicate and discuss legal problems and to analyse contemporary issues relating to constitutional law in a presentation.

Students may do this exercise either individually or as a group, but they will be assessed on their individual performance in either case.

2. Individual Report (1,000 words)

A written analysis in report form of the issues raised by the presentation/debate.

Bibliography

TBC