LW1PL1-Public Law 1

Module Provider: School of Law
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites: restricted to LLB students
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Mr Stuart Lakin

Email: s.j.lakin@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:

The module aims to introduce students to the essential features of the British constitution and of UK and European legal and political institutions. In addition, key features of the English legal system will be explored in their constitutional context.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that students will be able to:

- recognise the extent to which Constitutional Law underpins the working of the legal system and its importance for the enactment, enforcement, change and application of laws;
- discuss the underlying principles and doctrines of the constitution;
- explain how the most important institutions of the constitution operate and relate to one another;
- appraise and assess recent constitutional reforms and proposals for reform;
- Use oral communication skills and work in a team to make a presentation.

Additional outcomes:
- To develop students' IT and legal research skills by the use of web resources and databases.

Outline content:
- Defining constitutions
- Key constitutional doctrines
- Constitutional institutions in outline.
- Devolution and practical arrangements for the distribution of power within the state
- Parliament and its functions
- The judiciary, the court system and judicial independence
- The executive and its constitutional role
- Controlling the executive
- Key constitutional statutes

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
There will be 38 lectures over two terms; detailed handouts with an indication of required and additional reading will be provided for every lecture topic. There will be 8 tutorials over the Autumn and Spring Terms. In addition there will be a team presentation in the tutorial 7 slot. Tutorial sheets indicating the questions to be prepared for tutorial discussion will be provided. There will be no formal teaching on one topic. Work on this topic will be undertaken by personal study and by a 25 minute team presentation in tutorial 7 on a set question on the topic. Each tutorial group will be divided into two teams of five/six students for this purpose. One week in the Spring Term will not have lectures to allow for this task. In addition to the presentation, each team will be required to provide a group reflective blog of the exercise. Use of electronic sources to research this topic will be expected.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20 20
Seminars 3 5
Guided independent study 77 75
Total hours by term 100.00 100.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 90
Oral assessment and presentation 10

Other information on summative assessment:

One two and a half hour examination paper requiring answers to three questions. One question will be compulsory (and will be an 'advance-notice' question chosen by the examiners from a list of two possible questions notified to students at the beginning of the module) counting for 40% of the total exam marks. The remaining two questions, each counting for 25% of the total exam marks, will be selected from a choice of questions on the paper. The examination will therefore count for 90% of the total marks.

Formative assessment methods:
This will count for 10% of the total marks. Each member of the team (whose participation has been verified by the other members) will receive the same mark based on the overall quality of the presentation.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    One two and a half hour examination paper

    Requirements for a pass:

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Re-examination and/or submission of a new piece of coursework in September. Only a failed element need be re-taken; a mark for the passed element can be carried forward.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 21 December 2016

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