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Unit information: Foundations of Law and Politics in 2020/21

Unit name Foundations of Law and Politics
Unit code LANG00045
Credit points 20
Level of study QCA-3
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Mr. Sarda
Open unit status Not open

IELTS 5.5 with a minimum of 5.0 in writing and 5.0 in each part of the test



School/department Centre for Academic Language and Development
Faculty Faculty of Arts


This is a 20-credit unit within the International Foundation Programme which aims to provide students with the knowledge, skills and intellectual background to prepare them for undergraduate studies in social sciences and law.

Specifically, students will develop an understanding of:

  • The UK’s legal system and its relationship with the EU
  • Key aspects of constitutional law, the law-making process and court system
  • Core political concepts: conservatism, liberalism, socialism; and how these relate to political realities

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of the unit, students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate an understanding of the purposes and functions of the UK constitution, its development and key institutions, as well as key institutions in the EU and their relationship with the UK.
  2. demonstrate a critical understanding the court system, the roles of judges, lawyers and lay people within the UK legal system, and the law making processes
  3. demonstrate an understanding of key political concepts and how these have developed over time
  4. analyse and evaluate the relationship between political concepts and political institutions and processes.

Teaching details

Students will attend 3 hours of study per week. Learning is facilitated in sessions involving a combination of teacher-led input, combined with practical, workshop-style exercises. On-line delivery of materials through Blackboard VLE

Assessment Details

Formative assessment:

  • Short answer questions with formative peer and tutor feedback
    * Essay (1,500 words) with written formative feedback

Summative assessment:

  • Essay (1,500 words) (40%) ILOs 1, 2
    *Coursework: 2 essays (1,500 words each) (60%) ILOs 1, 3, 4

Reading and References

Readings from a range of sources will be used to support and underpin individual activities. However, the following are indicative texts for students wishing for a general reading in the subject:

Alder J., Syrett, K. (2017) Constitutional and Administrative Law. Palgrave Macmillan

Cownie, F., Bradney, A., & Burton, M. (2013) English Legal System in Context. Oxford University Press

Jones, B., Norton, P., Daddow, O. (eds) (2018) Politics UK. Routledge.

Partington M. (2011). Introduction to the English Legal System. Oxford University Press

Syrett, K. (2011). The Foundations of Public Law: Principles and Problems of Power in the British Constitution. Palgrave Macmillan

Wright, T. (2003) British Politics: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press.