LLB Law with International Study

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Constitutional Reform

Course unit fact file
Unit code LAWS30252
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? No


The course will be of special interest to students who enjoyed studying Constitutional Law within the Public Law course.

Are referendums, as used for example over Brexit, a good idea? Should the system that is used in the election of MPs be changed, so as to make the House of Commons more representative? How should the House of Lords be reformed? Given the setting up of the Scottish Parliament, the Northern Ireland Assembly and the Welsh Parliament, should there be a federal United Kingdom constitution? What is the case for the United Kingdom becoming a republic? How should changes to the British Constitution be considered and made? How do other countries keep their constitutions up to date? These and many other similar questions are considered in this course, which will be especially rewarding for students who are interested in constitutional and political change.

The lectures are given mainly by Luke Graham and also by Javier García Oliva.



This course gives students an understanding of the main methodologies involved in changing constitutions, particularly the British constitution, and of the current arguments about the ways in which the British constitution requires change (or further change).

Learning outcomes


Teaching and learning methods

30 hours of lectures, and five hours of (fortnightly) seminars and feedback drop-in sessions. The delivery of lectures will be traditionally led. Seminars will be seminar- taker led.


Knowledge and understanding

Students should know and understand the statutory, official, academic, and political materials which are relevant to the subject.

Students should understand and be able to assess the main arguments about reform methodologies and particular reforms.

Intellectual skills

- Students should be able to analyse information and to assess the strengths and weaknesses of arguments.

- Students should be able to consider questions from governmental and political standpoints as well as from a purely legal standpoint.

- Students should be able to engage in reasoned arguments and to arrive at independent conclusions.


Practical skills

- An ability to collect information mainly from internet sources.

- An ability to argue orally and cogently using knowledge acquired and assessed.


Transferable skills and personal qualities

- An ability to think logically, to assess competing arguments, and to solve problems.

- An ability to argue a case orally and in writing.

- An ability to organize time and to meet deadlines.


Assessment methods

Assessment is through an unseen exam, answering three questions from a choice of seven.

The examination will broadly follow the lecture and seminar programme, and will test understanding and the degree to which relevant skills have been acquired. The examination will be at the end of semester two.

Outlines of Issues will be provided after the examination.

Feedback methods

Feedback will be given in seminars, based on performance, and through one formative essay which, although not compulsory, is strongly recommended for submission and feedback.


Recommended reading

The set text is Rodney Brazier, "Constitutional Reform", which is available on Blackboard.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Assessment written exam 1.5
Lectures 30
Seminars 5
Tutorials 10
Independent study hours
Independent study 153.5

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Luke Graham Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Open book examination.


This course is available to incoming study abroad students provided they have prior knowledge of Constitutional Law.


See Law School undergraduate timetable page

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