SHE Level 1
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M1M225692
Module Leader Nicholas McKerrell
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject Law
  • A (September start)

Summary of Content

This module provides the student with a knowledge and understanding of selected aspects of Public Law in Scotland to include Scotland's constitutional relationship with the rest of the UK and, the UK's own particular structure. Particular attention will be paid to the Scottish parliament and the impact of the 2014 referendum. The role of lawyers in society is changing - lawyers are increasingly expected to be pro-active in the prediction and prevention of unethical as well as unlawful behaviour across all areas of society. The delivery of the module will thus embed PRME principles including: developing graduates who care about social responsibility; developing learning and teaching which enables graduates to become responsible leaders and practitioners; and developing graduates who will advise businesses and other stakeholders to explore mutually beneficial responses to social and legal challenges.


Introduction to the UK Constitution - Basic Concepts, Definition of a Constitution, Structure of the UK Constitution, Sources of Constitutional Law, The Rule of Law, Separation of Powers, Supremacy of Parliament, How these relate to Brexit and other contemporary developments Scottish Parliament: History, Background and Operation. The Law Making Process in Scotland and Westminster. The Constitutional Future. Scotland's relationship with the UK: current and future Independence Referendum: 2014 and after.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the Module the student should be able to demonstrate an understanding of the following.1. The nature of a Constitution 2. The concepts that underpin the UK Constitution 3. The relationship between the United Kingdom Parliament and the Scottish Parliament 4. The background, history and concepts of devolution 5. The legal process of the Scottish Parliament 6. The Constitutional Future of Scotland - the 204 Referendum, Brexit and Indyref Round 2? 7. Legal Method Learning Outcomes - identify and retrieve up-to-date legal information, using paper and electronic sources; use primary and secondary legal sources relevant to the topic under study; present knowledge - both orally and in writing - in a way which is comprehensible to others and which is directed at their concerns; read and discuss legal materials which are written in technical and complex language. 8. Identify accurately and formulate clearly the legal issues to be researched; undertake independent research (both paper-based and electronic) in areas of law which have not been previously studied, using paper and electronic repositories to research new topics without reference to a reading list. 9. PRME Learning Outcome: demonstrate an ability to explore ethical and socially responsible responses to issues arising within the context of public law.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The module will be delivered overone trimester. Students will attend two lectures per week and one seminar every week The structured programme of learning undertaken will encourage active, student centred learning by requiring students to access and analyse a variety of primary and secondary source material in order to address and solve set questions and case studies Internationalisation: The delivery of this module will set Scots, UK and EU law as appropriate in an international context. Feedback will be provided to students as follows: 1. Students will be provided with feedback normally within three weeks of submission of all summative assessments providing information on strengths, weaknesses and suggestions for corrective action to be applied in future submissions. The tutor will also provide generic feedback at the seminars where coursework will be handed back. Students may also discuss any points with their lecturer or tutor. 2. The virtual learning environment site will be used to feedback overall performance by students on all summative assessments highlighting overall strengths and weaknesses. Student feedback on teaching, learning and assessment will be sought at the end of the semester through a module evaluation questionnaire. .Attendance Requirement: A minimum of 80% attendance at seminars is required in this module, or the provision of satisfactory proof of acceptable reasons for absence. Failure to comply with the requirement may result in the student being barred from sitting the first diet examinations and being required to sit the resit examinations as a second attempt. GSBS will continue to use the advancement of GCU Learn as a blended learning tool through its teaching and learning as well as through engagement with students. GSBS will ensure that all modules are GCU Learn enabled and with the support of the Learning Technologists at the cutting edge of development of online materials. Academic staff and the Learning Technologists will continue to work together to develop and operate all modules on GCULearn to ensure student support and information sharing. Students are provided with formative and summative feedback via a variety of mechanisms. Feedback on coursework is normally provided within 3 working weeks of submission.

Indicative Reading

Books and articles: Required Reading Webley and Samuels: Complete Public Law: text, cases and materials . (4th edition Oxford University Press. 2018) Additional Reading Wade & Bradley, Constitutional and Administrative Law - (17h Edition, Longman. 2018). Barnett, Constitutional and Administrative Law - (12th Edition , Routledge Cavendish 2017) Loveland Constitutional Law , Administrative Law and Human Rights, -(8th Edition, Oxford University Press2018) Mitchell , Constitutional Law , (W, Green, 1968). Munro, Studies in Constitutional Law - (2nd Edition Butterworths. 1999) Himsworth Scotland's Constitution: Law and Practice - *(2nd Edition Bloomsbury 2009) Finch and Ashton, Human Rights and Scots Law (W. Green , 2004. ) McFadden & Lazarowicz, The Scottish Parliament : An Introduction - (5th Edition, T & T Clark, 2018.) Deans, Scots Public Law - (T & T Clark 1999) Online sources: Democracy Live: <> Westminster Parliament: <> Scottish Parliament: <> Legislation: <>

Transferrable Skills

By the end of this module students will have gained competence in the following key areas: Subject specific: Sources and Research Differentiate between and use appropriately primary and secondary sources, and identify and retrieve up-to-date legal information using paper and electronic sources by: b7 Using sources that are up-to-date from paper and electronic repositories b7 Using sources (primary and secondary) that are appropriate to the context b7 Using recognised methods of citation and reference b7 Using sources that are current at the point of assessment b7 Using sources to support arguments and conclusions Undertake independent research (both paper-based and electronic) in areas of law which he or she has not previously studied by: b7 Use paper and electronic repositories to research new topics without reference to a reading list Identify accurately the issue(s) which require researching and formulate them clearly. Sourcing and research skills are developed within this module through the following activities: b7 Preparation for, presentation at and participation in researched seminar activity; b7 Preparation for, presentation at and participation in researched assessment activity; b7 Carrying out directed learning tasks; b7 Solving well defined ( typically hypothetical) problems through essays, seminars and group work Communication and Literacy The ability to communicate information, ideas, advice and choices in an effective and succinct manner and in plain English without losing focus on key issues. The ability to listen and question effectively, to give and receive feedback and to make presentations addressing an allocated topic within the prescribed time frame. The ability to communicate both orally and in writing (and, where appropriate, by the use of electronic means) using the English language accurately by creating work which is comprehensible to the intended audience. The ability to create documents which are analytical, descriptive and inquisitive using appropriate terminology and recognised methods of citation and reference. Such skills are developed within this module through the following activities: Examples: b7 Creating work in a permanent format which is understandable by the intended audience b7 Create documents which are analytical, descriptive and inquisitive. Using Legal Language Examples b7 Using appropriate legal terminology in all work. b7 Using recognised methods of citation and reference Communicate information (including discussing technical and complex legal materials), ideas, advice and choices in an effective manner appropriate to the context, individually or with others by: b7 Giving face-to-face presentations with seminar leaders which addresses the allocated question within the prescribed time frame. b7 Listening and questioning effectively. b7 Giving and receiving feedback and responding effectively to others. b7 Ensuring that all communications (either face-to-face or in permanent form) are succinct without losing focus on key issues or information. b7 Communicating in plain English, with legal terminology only as needed. b7 Contributing effectively to group work. Communication and literacy skills are developed within this module through the following activities: b7 Preparing and discussing workbook materials b7 Preparing exam questions. b7 Preparing for seminars b7 Engaging in group work in seminars Analysis, Synthesis, Critical Judgement and Evaluation The ability to identify issues, assimilate, evaluate and analyse information to construct written or oral solutions to a problem by bringing together and integrating relevant information, and selecting key material, from a variety of different sources. The ability to present arguments for and against propositions, acknowledging ranking of sources and relative impact in context. Such skills are developed within this module through the following activities: Examples b7 Solving well defined ( typically hypothetical)problems through seminars and group work. b7 Managing, analysing and rating a large volume of legal sources in, exam and seminar presentation b7 Application of the law and problem-solving in a legal context. Personal Management, Independence and Ability to Learn The ability to organise and prioritise effectively the expenditure of time and effort in the performance of all aspects of student work. The ability to learn effectively and be aware of their own learning strategies; to manage their own learning development and to reflect upon their learning, seeking and making use of feedback. Such skills are developed within this module through the following activities: Examples of individual independence: b7 Meeting deadlines for assessments b7 Completion of preparatory work for seminars which will require students to identify and access primary and secondary source materials. Numeracy, Information, Technology and Teamwork Where relevant and as the basis for an argument, the ability to present and evaluate information provided in numerical or statistical form. The ability to produce and present in an appropriate form a word-processed essay or other appropriate format. The ability to conduct efficient searches of websites to locate relevant information; and exchange documents by E-mail. The ability to work productively and cooperatively in different kinds of groups; to establish working relations with others, defining, sharing and delegating responsibilities within the group. Such skills are developed within this module through the following activities: Examples b7 Word processed essays; b7 Use of Internet - general and specific - to research legal materials b7 Seminar tasks requiring retrieval of information using electronic databases eg Westlaw b7 Communication with module team via e-mail. Participation in seminar discussions and role play.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Independent Learning (FT) 103.00
Tutorials (FT) 11.00
Assessment (FT) 50.00
Lectures (FT) 36.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 1 n/a 40.00 35% Online Wiki Workbook covering curriculum
Exam (Exams Office) 2.00 60.00 35% End of semester exam 2 hours