Module code: LAW1031

Module Overview

This module introduces students to constitutional law, whilst integrating training in the development of legal skills and provides a solid foundation for their further study of core modules on the programme.  This module analyses governance in context in the United Kingdom. Understanding public authority and protections against its abuse is the primary objective of the module.  Comparisons are made with other constitutional and administrative systems.  Public institutions at European, national, devolved and local levels are explained. The relationships between the legislative, executive and judicial authority are examined.

Module provider

School of Law

Module Leader

CLAPHAM Nick (Schl of Law)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 4

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 120

Lecture Hours: 22

Tutorial Hours: 8

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

  1. Introduction to Public Law

  2. The law-making process

  3. Sources of Constitutional Law

  4. Royal Prerogative

  5. Constitutional Conventions

  6. Parliamentary Sovereignty

  7. The Rule of Law

  8. The Separation of Powers

  9. The Impact of European Union membership

  10. Human Rights: The Human Rights Act and the European Convention of Human Rights

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework 2,500 WORD COURSEWORK 100

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment addresses all learning outcomes listed above.

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their thorough understanding of constitutional law.  The formative assessment focuses on the key principles which underpin all themes on the module, and tests students’ legal research and drafting skills.  The summative assessment is designed to test a variety of the module’s learning outcomes, identifying and rewarding students’ analytical skills and demonstration of knowledge.  This module encourages students not to see topics in isolation, and to creatively make connections between principles and themes on the course.  The summative assessment provides an opportunity for students to practice the skills developed during the module and to draft coursework drawing on the themes covered in the module, as appropriate.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • 2500 word coursework

Formative assessment and feedback

  • 1250 word coursework.

  • Individual and general feedback provided to students.

  • Other formative exercises may be set in or outside class.

Module aims

  • The module aims to provide students with an understanding of the UK constitution and the various contexts in which it operates.  Students address such questions as: Where does power lie in the UK constitution? Who has ultimate constitutional power? What is the relationship between UK and EU law? What principles govern the UK? What is the relationship between the state and the individual in the UK? What role should judges play in upholding the constitution? What are the issues influencing the development of Public Law in the UK?

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Demonstrate their understanding of the nature, sources and operation of the UK constitution KC
2 Demonstrate their knowledge of the doctrines and concepts which inform an understanding of the UK constitution KC
3 Demonstrate an understanding of the law-making process in the UK KC
4 Compare and contrast the UK's constitution with the constitutions of selected comparative jurisdictions CT
5 Identify and the main organs of government in the UK and examine critically the relationships between them KC
6 Analyse the impact of membership of the European Union on the UK's legal system KC
7 Apply acquired knowledge to problems and issues KCPT
8 Apply constitutional theories and principles to substantive issues KPT
9 Undertake legal research to locate and deploy relevant materials CPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to complement the programme learning and teaching strategy in fostering knowledge and understanding of Public Law I topics through a diverse range of teaching methods.  As such, students are offered learning and feedback opportunities through lectures, tutorials, online and in tutors’ consultation hours.  Students are encouraged to practice and improve their legal skills (e.g. legal research, case-reading and analysis, drafting, appropriate referencing) during their preparation for tutorials and when completing their formative and summative coursework.

The learning and teaching methods include:

The delivery format of the module is: one 2-hour lecture per week (11 weeks) and one 1-hour tutorial per week (8 weeks).  The module delivery is supplemented by guided learning during Reading Week, guidance provided via the SurreyLearn module area, consultation hours during the Semester, and extended consultation hours prior to the summative assessment.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: LAW1031

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Law with Criminology LLB (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law LLB (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law with International Relations LLB (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2020/1 academic year.