Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024 (archived)


Department: Law


Type Open Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Not available in 2023/24 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • Law of Torts (LAW 1051) 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 LAW 1081 in particular, this module aims to develop an advanced understanding of administrative law and the administrative state in the United Kingdom. It will focus on key issues of contemporary academic debate and/or practical significance, as well as seeking to give students a solid grounding in administrative law theory.


  • The module will consist of six topics in administrative law theory and practice, encompassing administrative institutions and administrative decision-making; judicial review and administrative justice; and other regimes of administrative control.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Students will have:
  • A thorough knowledge of the major strands of administrative law theory in the United Kingdom;
  • An in-depth knowledge of key topics in administrative law, including relevant theoretical, doctrinal, empirical and contextual perspectives;
  • A familiarity with the relevant primary and secondary legal materials, and the dimensions of relevant academic and practical debates surrounding key issues.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Students should be able to:
  • Understand the relevance of theories about the historical and potential future development of administrative law in the United Kingdom;
  • Analyse and evaluate aspects of contemporary administrative 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:
  • Students should be able to:
  • Demonstrate an ability to understand and critically analyse primary and secondary legal sources;
  • Develop expertise in conducting research into legal issues, drawing upon a variety of primary and secondary materials;
  • Demonstrate an ability to explore complex issues in writing in a clear, well-structured and scholarly manner.

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

  • The module will be taught through a series of twelve two-hour seminars (in groups of up to 30 students). The seminar format is intended to encourage pre-session reading and preparation followed by in depth discussion. Two seminars will be devoted to each of the six topics, with the first topic normally being devoted to administrative law theory. This is intended to allow students to develop an in-depth understanding of a range of topics in administrative law, but also to understand the connections between them;
  • The module will be assessed by two, 3,000 word summative essays, plus a 2,000 word formative essay. This mode of assessment is intended to ensure that students meet the knowledge, analysis, research and communication skills outcomes.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
seminars 12 Normally: six per term 2 hrs 24
Preparation and reading 176
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Summative Essay Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
summative essay 3000 words 100% N
Component: Summative Essay Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
summative essay 3000 words 100% N

Formative Assessment:

One 2,000 word essay.

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