Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2022-2023 (archived)


Department: Law


Type Open Level 2 Credits 20 Availability Not available in 2022/23 Module Cap Location Durham


  • Introduction to English Law and Legal Method (LAW 1121) and Law of Torts (LAW 1051) and EU Constitutional Law (LAW 1061) and Law of Contract (LAW 1071) and The Individual and the State (LAW 1081) and UK Constitutional Law (LAW 1091).


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • Building on the foundations laid in the two first-year triple modules, this module aims to explore the nature, operation and interaction of the various avenues of legal challenge to official ( or 'administrative') action in English law, together with the EC law dimension.


  • Nature and interaction of the five chief avenues of legal challenge to official action: by appeal, by application for judicial review, by suing the state in tort or in contract, by raising 'collateral' defence in criminal or civil proceedings, and by complaint to Ombudsmen.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Students should be able to:
  • Demonstrate a sound understanding of existing administrative law in England and Wales and an appreciation of the European context in which it operates
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Students should be able to:
  • apply the existing law to factual scenarios and give legally cogent advice.
  • Analyse and evaluate the existing law in the light of the legal, social and political questions raised.
  • Engage in informed debate concerning shortcomings in the existing law and options for reform.
Key Skills:
  • Acquisition of knowledge through critical analysis of primary and secondary sources.
  • Synthesis, critical judgment and evaluation of ideas and arguments.
  • Written communication skills.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Lectures are used primarily to impart knowledge - and also to suggest approaches to evaluation and critical analysis;
  • Tutorials will be used to develop and enhance students capacity for legal-problem solving in a particular factual situation, evaluative critical analysis and their appreciation of laws' linkage with broader fields of enquiry;
  • Assignments (formative) are used both to develop problem-solving skills, the ability to engage in sustained evaluation of proposed schemes of reforms, and the ability to evaluate the law in a critical and contextual way.
  • The examination tests the ability to focus on relevant legal issues and organise knowledge and argument appropriate to questions raised. The examination questions will provide the means for students to demonstrate the acquisition of subject knowledge and the development of their problem-solving skills.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 20 Weekly 1 hour 20
Tutorials 5 Normally: two in Michaelmas, three in Epiphany 1 hour 5
Other (written work "post mortem" classes 2 1 hour 2
Preparation and Reading 173
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written examination 2hrs 30mins 100%

Formative Assessment:

2 essays during the year

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University