Public Law 1


An introduction to the key doctrines and legal principles of constitutional law in the United Kingdom with particular reference to Scotland.


The aim of this Module is to introduce students to the key principles of constitutional law in the United Kingdom with particular reference to Scotland.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module the student should be able to:

1.  Understand the rule of law, separation of powers and parliamentary sovereignty.

2.  Identify and explain the Institutions of the UK Constitution.

3.  Identify and explain the government of Scotland pursuant to the Scotland Act 1998.

4.  Identify, state and apply legal principles and demonstrate skills of written communication legal reasoning and reflection.

Indicative Content

1 UK Constitution

What is a Constitution? Structure of the UK. Sources of UK constitutional law. Prerogative powers. Constitutional conventions. The Human Rights Act 1998. Scottish Independence - constitutional issues.

2 Doctrines of the UK Constitution

The Rule of law, the Separation of Powers, Parliamentary Sovereignty, Parliamentary Sovereignty post European Communities Act 1972 & post Scotland Act 1998.

3 UK Parliament and the UK Executive

House of Commons, House of Lords, Parliamentary Supremacy, the UK Government, the Monarch, Prime Minister, Cabinet, Ministers, UK Government departments, Civil service.

4 Scotland's Government, Scottish Parliament

Scotland Acts 1998 etc, Scottish Ministers & Government, Scottish Parliament, legislative competence, First Minister, Advocate General for Scotland, reserved powers, protected enactments, devolution issues.

Statement on Teaching, Learning and Assessment

The module is delivered by lectures and tutorials. Classes strive to be interactive and students have opportunities to participate. Especially for tutorials, students are expected, individually and in groups, to reflect on study and research strategies for Public Law, by reference to research skills, directed reading and to review written material and to synthesise research findings. Students are given examples of previous cohort's course works to critique to enable them to develop their writing and critical thinking skills. The module is assessed by a portfolio. Students will be required to engage with an electronic personal development planning and portfolio system to facilitate their learning and develop as reflective learners and practitioners. Week 7 activity will be the provision of feedback on elements from the portfolio which will have been submitted via Pebble.

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Total 200
Lecture 26
Tutorial/Seminar 13
Supervised Practical Activity 0
Unsupervised Practical Activity 0
Assessment 40
Independent 121

Guidance notes

Credit Value – The total value of SCQF credits for the module. 20 credits are the equivalent of 10 ECTS credits. A full-time student should normally register for 60 SCQF credits per semester.


We make every effort to ensure that the information on our website is accurate but it is possible that some changes may occur prior to the academic year of entry. The modules listed in this catalogue are offered subject to availability during academic year 2019/10 , and may be subject to change for future years.