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Counter-Terrorism & Media (Case Study) - LAW00060H

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  • Department: The York Law School
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Joanna Gilmore
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25

Module summary

This module provides students with an opportunity to apply and develop further their problem-based learning skills in the context of a complex case study that focuses on issues of transparency, fairness, access to information and reporting of information in relation to terrorism and counter-terrorism. Students will work through the scenario in student law firms carrying out a deep analysis of a range of legal, practical and ethical issues, and agreeing learning outcomes such as to develop their required knowledge across a number of areas of law that arise in these areas, which may include media law, counter-terrorism law, and related areas (eg, public law). From their final analysis, students will individually choose to work in more depth on two different outputs - developing writing and presentation skills for different audiences - examining issues of their choice arising from the case study. Students will also be able to choose the perspectives, e.g., practice-focused, academic, international/comparative, socio-legal, from which they address their selected issues. Students will receive feedback from their tutor and peers on their choices of issues, outputs and perspectives, and also on their outputs as they develop them.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 1 2024-25

Module aims

The module will use a complex counter-terrorism case study to enable students to develop to a higher level their problem-based learning skills, particularly those of analysis and research, including in substantive areas that they may not have previously studied. In addition, students will develop and apply higher level holistic knowledge of interconnected areas of counter-terrorism law, media law and other possible areas (eg, public law) as they arise from the case study. Students will also develop written and presentation skills in producing a compact, high quality body of work, including the ability to review, edit and improve initial drafts based on peer and tutor feedback, and the ability to write for and present to different audiences. The module will feature both collaborative and independent learning. As part of the latter, following an in-depth analysis of the case study, students will have the opportunity to choose the specific forms of written output, issues and perspectives on which they will be assessed against the module learning outcomes.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

Analyse a complex counter-terrorism scenario

Identify a range of legal, practical and ethical issues arising

Explain a range of substantive and procedural legal and ethical concepts applicable to those issues

Prepare a detailed, critical, legal and practical analysis

Evaluate legal and practical issues from a number of chosen perspectives

Write a number of varied pieces of work informed by detailed research

Present a draft of a piece of work to a conference of peers

Review peers' developing work and provide feedback, whilst receiving and acting on feedback on their own work

Edit, improve and prepare finalised versions of pieces of written work

Module content

This module develops from core PBL learning the complexity, number of issues and types of legal and other issues within case studies, to facilitate development of higher level knowledge and a range of higher-level intellectual skills, both academic and practice-focused. Within these scenarios, students will have the scope to define their own written assessment outputs, aligned to the assessment requirements and module aims and learning outcomes. Through these outputs, students will be able to demonstrate interconnected knowledge, skills, attitudes, objectivity and understanding, in a high quality, compact body of work. The latter could include any of:

  • Essay for academic audience
  • Op-ed piece for media outlet
  • Article for professional journal
  • Research memo for counsel
  • Research memo for the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation
  • Presentation for client, community group or media professionals
  • Panel debate for public audience
  • Case comment
  • Legislation and procedural rules analysis
  • Briefing for MPs and Peers
  • The legal issues developed through the case study will include aspects of many of the following:

  • Counter-terrorism law
  • Criminal procedure
  • Civil procedure
  • Media law and ethics
  • Freedom of information law
  • Human rights law, including freedom of speech
  • Constitutional law and the rule of law


Task Length % of module mark
Case study analysis
N/A 30
N/A 70

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

Formative work is embedded through the preparation of the assessed items as noted above. Formative feedback from tutors and peers then informs students in reviewing, editing and preparing final versions for summative assessment.


Task Length % of module mark
Case study analysis
N/A 30
N/A 70

Module feedback

Students will receive feedback on development of their case study analysis from their tutor and peers during workshops in weeks 2, 3 and 4 of the module. They will then receive feedback on their written body of work - to form their final assessed portfolio - through a series of interactions with peers and tutors.

Feedback will be provided within the Policy Turnaround Time.

Indicative reading

Given the problem-based learning nature of this module, the focus on research skills, and the flexibility in choice of issues and perspectives on which students can prepare their written body of work, there are no key texts for this module.

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.