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Constitutional Law & Theory - LAW00028M

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  • Department: The York Law School
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Dimitrios Tsarapatsanis
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2020-21

Module summary

The module addresses a number of theoretical issues at the crossroads of legal, constitutional and political theory. Its aim is to help students think politically about constitutional law. 

Professional requirements


Related modules

There are nor pre-requisites for this module.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Spring Term 2020-21

Module aims

This course examines and evaluates some aspects of the way in which the UK constitution allocates authority to and between state institutions. It also places the UK constitution in a comparative context.

We will discuss the demands of constitutional principles (such as democracy, the separation of powers and the rule of law) and ask how, if at all, they are accommodated or honoured by the UK constitution and other constitutions.

We will explore and evaluate some features of the contemporary UK constitution (such as its enthusiasm for unwritten regulation, parliamentary sovereignty and parliamentary privilege) and compare them with the way other constitutions function.

No prior legal knowledge is expected (although you will acquire some as the course progresses.)

Module learning outcomes

Learning Outcomes : By the end of the module, you will be able to:

  • Defend your conception of the demands of various constitutional principles.
  • Describe and evaluate the institutionalisation of those principles in the UK constitution.
  • Engage with legal materials concerning the UK constitution.
  • Engage with theoretical materials concerning constitutionalism.
  • Describe and evaluate some key features of the UK constitutional landscape.
  • Engage in comparison of the UK constitution with other constitutions.



Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

Formative assessment shall take the form of presentations by students during week 6. 


Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Module feedback

Students shall receive feedback on their assessment, which is essay-based, in the normal way, i.e. within the University's Policy on Assessment Feedback Turnaround time and in the form of written comments to their essays.

Indicative reading

Jeremy Waldron, Political Political Theory: An Inaugural Lecture (2013) 21 Journal of Political Philosophy 1 23

Jeremy Waldron, Constitutionalism: A Skeptical View

Dimitrios Kyritsis, Where our Protection Lies, OUP, 2017

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.