SHE Level 3
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M3M125990
Module Leader Ben McConville
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject Law
  • B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge


Summary of Content

This module introduces the student to regulation of ownership of communications media and their activities and the legal constraints on what information such media may obtain and disseminate. In particular it examines contemporary issues in communications and media law, such as appropriate and effective regulation of competition in the light of convergence of various forms of communications media and regulating dissemination of information in the light of the emergence and growth of the internet. 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 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


-360 1. The Scottish legal system (delivered via directed learning) -360b7 how law is made -360b7 how crime is prosecuted b7 how disputes are resolved b7 the role of the media in reporting -360 2. Structure and regulation of communications media -360b7 Legal context and Licensing -360b7 Funding - regulation of advertising, sponsorship, product placement b7 Governance : Government; Law, Regulation and self-regulation b7 Communications - a human right? - b7 Ownership; distribution; competition considerations b7 Regulation of broadcast standards: programmes b7 Political speech: advertisements; elections/referenda -360 3. Regulation of dissemination of substantive content -360b7 freedom of expression -360b7 defamation b7 contempt of court b7 restrictions on reporting government and the courts b7 copyright and passing off b7 privacy and confidential information b7 unlawful interception of information and data protection b7 Freedom of Information b7 taste and decency b7 advertising -360 4. Jurisdiction issues - -360b7 international dissemination -360b7 regulation of the internet

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, the student should be able to:1. evaluate regulation of communication media ownership in respect of competition issues 2. identify and synthesise the legal issues arising in practical problems 3. apply legal methodology to evaluating regulation of substantive content of media products 4. appraise and synthesise legal concepts so as to construct a persuasive argument using recognized legal sources in justifying their application to a given set of facts 5. communicate confidently with legal experts on a range of legal matters 6. update their acquired knowledge in order to keep pace with changes in relevant areas of law 7. Identify and retrieve up to date legal information using paper and electronic repositories; use primary and secondary legal sources which are relevant to the topic under study and current at the point of assessment; present knowledge and information using sources to support arguments and conclusions; provide recognised methods of citation and reference. 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 communications law.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

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 provided within 3 working weeks of submission. The module will be delivered via a combination of lectures, seminars and directed learning. Students will attend three hour long lectures per week and one two hour seminar per fortnight over a twelve week period. Lectures will commence during week one and seminars will commence during week three. Lectures will concentrate on introducing the students to the legal concepts and regulatory structure. Students will be required to apply this to specific areas of black letter law by directed learning activities. Students will be expected to consider prescribed case studies prior to seminars, so as to be able to discuss issues in groups or within teams. Seminar programmes will distinguish between the different degree programmes accessing the module and will be tailored to match the requirements of students undertaking respective degree programmes. 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: -360 1. Students will be provided with feedback 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. -360 2. The virtual learning environment site will be used to feedback overall performance by students on all summative assessments highlighting overall strengths and weaknesses. -360 3. Discussion boards will be used to encourage teacher and peer-to-peer dialogue on certain topic areas where this form of communication would be regarded as effective. Student feedback on teaching, learning and assessment will be sought at the end of the semester through a module evaluation questionnaire.

Indicative Reading

Essential Reading: McInnes, Rosalind, 2010. Scots Law for Journalists, 8th ed, Edinburgh: W. Green OR Carey, Media Law, 5th ed, Sweet & Maxwell, 2010 OR -567 Hadwin & Bloy, Law & The Media, Sweet & Maxwell, 2nd ed, 2011 Other Reading: -567 Armstrong, Broadcasting Law, Palladian, 2010 Banks & Hanna, McNae's Essential Law for Journalists, 21 st ed, OUP, 2012 Barendt, Freedom of Speech, 2nd ed, OUP, 2007 Barendt & Hitchens, Media Law, Cases & Materials, Longman, 2000 Barendt et al, Libel and The Media; The Chilling Effect, OUP, 1997 Black, Publicity Rights & Image: Exploitation & Legal Control, 2011, Hart Publishing Bleakley et al, Intellectual & Media Law Companion, 4th ed., Bloomsbury, 2010 Boyfield, Regulating Communications: The Future Regulation of UK Communications and Broadcasting, European Media Forum, 2006 Caddell & Johnson, Blackstone's Media Law Statutes, 3rd ed, OUP, 2010 Carey, Data Protection - A Practical Guide to UK and EU Law, 2nd ed, OUP, 2004 Carey & Turle, Freedom of Information Handbook, 2nd ed, Law Society, 2008 Christie, Moreham & Warby, Tugendhat & Christie: The Law of Privacy & The Media, 2nd ed, OUP 2011 -567 Clayton & Tomlinson, Privacy & Freedom of Expression, 2nd ed, OUP, 2010 Collins, The Law of Defamation and the Internet, 3rd ed, OUP, 2010 Crook, Comparative Media Law & Ethics, Routledge, 2010 Crown & Farmer, Advertising Law & Regulation, 2nd ed, Bloomsbury, 2010 Feintuck & Varney, Media Regulation, Public Interest & The Law, 2nd ed, Edinburgh University Press, 2006 -567 Fenwick & Philipson, Media Freedom Under The Human Rights Act, OUP, 2006 Gibbons, Regulating the Media, 2nd ed, Sweet & Maxwell, 1998 Goldberg et al, Media Law & Practice, OUP, 2009 Kenyon et al, New Dimensions in Privacy Law: International and Comparative Perspectives, CUP, 2006 -567 Nicol, Millar & Sharland, Media Law and Human Rights, 2nd ed, OUP, 2009 Nihoul & Rodford, EU Electronic Communications Law, OUP, 2004 Nikolinakos, EU Competition Law and Regulation in the Converging Telecommunications, Media and IT Sectors, 2006, Kluwer Law International -567 Quinn, Law for Journalists, 3rd ed, Pearson Longman, 2011 Reid, Personality, Confidentiality and Privacy in Scots Law, W Green, 2010 Robertson & Nicol, Media Law, 5th ed, Sweet & Maxwell, 2007 Rozenberg, Privacy and The Press, OUP, 2005 Smartt, Media and Entertainment Law, Routledge, 2011 Spilsbury, Media Law, Routledge, 2003 Tomlinson, Privacy & The Media, Matrix Chambers, 2002 Wadham, Griffiths & Harris, Blackstone's Guide to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 4th ed, OUP, 2011 Whitty & Zimmerman (eds), Rights of Personality in Scots Law, DUP, 2009 Wylie & Crossan. Introductory Scots Law, Theory & Practice, 2nd ed, Hodder Gibson, 2010 -567 Online sources: <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> -567 Newspapers: Monday's Guardian; Tuesday's The Times; The Scotsman; The Herald

Transferrable Skills

By the end of this module students will have gained competence in the following key areas: 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: -360b7 Preparing for and participating in seminars/tutorials -360b7 Preparing for and delivering coursework b7 Answering questions in the final examination 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: Preparing for lectures -360b7 Consolidating material delivered at lectures -360b7 Supplementing delivered material with additional reading b7 Reflecting on lecture, handout and self-searched material b7 Preparing for and participating in seminars/tutorials b7 Preparing for final examination 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: -360b7 Consolidating material delivered at lectures -360b7 Supplementing delivered material with additional reading b7 Reflecting on lecture, handout and self-searched material b7 Preparing for and participating in seminars/tutorials b7 Preparing for and delivering coursework b7 Reflecting on feedback from seminar contributions, coursework and examination performance b7 Preparing for final examination b7 Answering questions in the final examination 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: -360b7 Consolidating material delivered at lectures -360b7 Supplementing delivered material with additional reading b7 Preparing for and participating in seminars/tutorials b7 Preparing for and delivering coursework Preparing for final examination

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Assessment (FT) 40.00
Independent Learning (FT) 111.00
Lectures (FT) 33.00
Seminars (FT) 16.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Exam (Exams Office) 4.00 50.00 35% Aggregate of marks achieved in NCTJ Essential Media Law AND Diploma Court Reporting Exams subject to multiplier of 0.8
Coursework 1 0.00 50.00 35% Coursework: Essay (2000 words) Tri B Week 8