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.

Constitutional Law LAW4007

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Law
  • Credits: 30
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Runs Throughout Semesters 1 and 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

This level 4 honours course enables students to deepen and broaden their understanding of constitutional law and also to develop certain skills in research and writing.


This course is taught by way of weekly seminars. Meetings take place on Tuesdays at 1100-1300.

Requirements of Entry

Students will not normally be admitted to the course unless they have obtained at least a C pass in Sources and Institutions of Scots Law and in Law and Government at the first attempt.


3 hour unseen examination (60%); research essay (40%)

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

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

■ to enable students to develop a deep understanding of a variety of key concepts in constitutional law and the major debates surrounding them


■ to introduce students to some of the leading scholarly literature on constitutional law and to encourage reflection on academic debate in constitutional law


■ to enable students to engage in critical debate concerning the relationship between law and government in the UK and, where appropriate, to make some comparative analysis


■ to enable students to apply their general understanding to particular areas of public law


■ to enable students to develop oral and written communication skills through participating in seminar discussion and submitting essay and dissertation work

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

■ outline the key concepts of, and the main approaches to the study of, constitutional law, both in general terms and with respect to the constitution of the United Kingdom 


■ evaluate the changing roles of the principal actors within UK and other constitutional practice


■ critically assess the relationship between constitutional law and politics


■ summarise some of the major issues of constitutional law in the UK and elsewhere, and understand and critically assess the key debates surrounding them


■ demonstrate a detailed knowledge of aspects of contemporary constitutional law and theory

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits