Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Children's Rights (Semester One) LAW3028

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Law
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 3 (SCQF level 9)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

This course is designed to provide students with an overview of the developing law concerning children's rights in the domestic, European and international contexts. To that end, the course will consider international legal instruments such as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), as well as the position of children's rights within Scots law.


Weekly 2 Hour Seminars (with reading weeks) throughout semester 1.

Requirements of Entry

Admission as a visiting law student.

Excluded Courses

Children's Rights

European Human Rights Law




Essay (50%) and Examination (50%).


2000-word essay.


90-minute examination - this will involve students answering 2 questions from a choice of 4.

Main Assessment In: December

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? No

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

The course aims to develop the students' understanding of the law as it relates to children's rights, particularly in the context of the relationship between international treaties and domestic law in Scotland. This will allow students to critically engage with law and policy as it relates to children's lives.


Further aims are:


(i) to enhance the analytical and critical skills of students by detailed examination of the relevant legal instruments (both domestic and international) and cases concerning children's rights.

(ii) to develop the students' ability to constructively criticise current law and practice in this area and to evaluate possible reforms.

(iii) to provide the students with a critical understanding of contemporary issues and ongoing debates in the context of children's rights.

(iv) to give the students an opportunity to undertake independent research on topics of current relevance and interest.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:


(i) show an awareness of the major contemporary issues relating to children's rights law, policy and practice in Scotland.

(ii) show an understanding of the role of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child within Scots law and evaluate how that international instrument impacts upon children's rights in Scotland.


(iv) demonstrate an ability to critically assess the current legal position in Scotland in relation to children's rights and certain key issues.

(v) identify and comment upon areas of debate and controversy in the context of children's rights.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Completion of 75% of assessment