Public Law

Module summary

Module code: LAW1098
Level: 4
Credits: 30
School: Liberal Arts and Sciences
Department: Law and Criminology
Module Coordinator(s): Dragana Spencer



First this course aims to impart a sound understanding of the nature and sources of the UK constitution. It will provide students with functioning legal knowledge of the role and workings of the executive, legislature and the judiciary with particular reference to the issues of scrutiny and accountability. Students will examine key constitutional principles, sources and rules on the supremacy of parliament, separation of powers, prerogative powers and devolution; this will provide the basis for understanding the constitutional and administrative significance of the operation of the constitution and EU, the Human Rights Act 1998 and the Equality Act 2010. In Term 2 students proceed to acquire functioning legal knowledge of key redress mechanism and legal remedies within administrative law, focusing on judicial review and the Ombudsmen system. These aims are consistent with SQE proposed objectives.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:
1 Identify relevant, core public law legal principles and rules, derived from various constitutional sources (statute, case law, prerogative powers, constitutional conventions, rule of law).
2 Have a functioning knowledge of the current working of the UK constitution, the legislature, monarchy, executive and judiciary.
3 Recognise the issues of scrutiny, accountability, protection of human rights and proposals for constitutional reform.
4 Have functioning legal knowledge of the relationship between the UK constitution and EU law.
5 Have developed legal essay writing skills.
6 Understand the purpose and mechanisms of administrative law.
7 Have functioning legal knowledge of judicial review and ombudsmen systems, processes and corresponding legal remedies.

Indicative content

Term 1
1. What is Public Law
2. The Law of the Constitution
3. Sources of the Constitution
4. Supremacy of Parliament
5. ECHR, HRA and Equality Act
6. Reading Week
7. UK Constitution and the European Union
8. The Executive and Prerogative Powers
9. The Judiciary
10. Separation of Powers
11. Coursework Guidance Session
12. Devolution
13. Policing and State Security

Term 2
14. Judicial Review I (Procedure and Standing)
15. Judicial Review II (Illegality)
16. Judicial Review III (Fairness, Bias and Legitimate Expectations)
17. Judicial Review IV (Unreasonableness and Proportionality)
18. Judicial Review (Application and Remedies)
19. Public Inquiries I
20. Public Inquiries II
21. Ombudsman
22. Ombudsman
23. Tribunals and Executive Liability
24. Mock exam
25. Revision (I & II)

Teaching and learning activity

The course will be taught through a combination of lectures and seminars. In addition it will be supported by workshops in the application of core skills.


Coursework: 50% weighting, 40% pass mark.
Learning outcomes 1, 2, 3 & 5.
Outline Details: Examination of key aspect(s) of constitutional law. 1500 words.

Exam: 50% weighting, 40% pass mark.
Learning outcomes 1, 2, 4, 6 & 7.
Outine Details: 3 hours unseen examination containing 6 questions (essay and problem solving questions).

Nature of FORMATIVE assessment supporting student learning:
Mock exam