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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Postgraduate Course: Communications Law (LAWS11300)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis module covers the regulation of communication networks and services, focusing particularly on the Internet and its most current challenges (e.g. privacy, net neutrality, digitalisation and convergence) taking into account a range of different perspectives from the liberalisation of telecommunications over the course of the 20th century to the rise of communication rights in the information society.

The course will be organised along two main directions: we will first focus on over-arching, cross-cutting questions of these days, such as policy and regulatory rationales of communications law and the interplay between national and supra-national decision-making institutions, and then move on to cover a number of specific themes among the most widely discussed within both the academic and practitioner fields such as price control, social and universal service obligation, separation and new entry, technological neutrality (e.g. between wired and wireless), cross-border agreements, and consumer protection.

The course will privilege a comprehensive multidisciplinary approach exploring perspectives on the communications industries from other disciplines (particularly the relationship between law and innovation and between communication technologies and society) and the interaction between communications law and other forms of regulation (e.g. competition, media, trade).
Course description 1. Communications law: rationales, developments, challenges
2. Why regulate communications? An infrastructure for free speech
3. Why regulate communications? Liberalisation, competition and industry efficiency
4. Who regulates communications? Global governance of communication networks and its challenges
5. Who regulates communications? The regulatory design of the communication industry at European and national level
6. Authorisation, licensing and access today
7. Universal service and consumers' rights
8. Spectrum management and the digital dividend
9. Net neutrality
10. Protecting privacy and data security
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Please contact the distance learning team at
Additional Costs Students must have regular and reliable access to the Internet.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 40, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 156 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) One essay of up to 4,000 words (60%); one individual assignment (20%); contribution to weekly online discussions throughout the semester (20%).

Requirements for all module assessments will be outlined to students within the individual modules at the start of each semester.
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a deeper understanding of the legal issues arising in the communications industry (including user/consumer perspectives)
  2. Appreciate the limits on administrative action in the UK and elsewhere
  3. Engage in debate as to the type of regulatory measures appropriate for different forms of communication
  4. Comprehend the role of international law (hard and soft) for this field
Reading List
A list of key module readings will be available in advance of the module. Detailed reading lists are then available each week.
Additional Information
Course URL
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Special Arrangements This course is taught by online distance learning
Additional Class Delivery Information This course is taught by online distance learning
KeywordsInternet,free speech,telecommunications,competition
Course organiserDr Paolo Cavaliere
Tel: (0131 6)51 5137
Course secretaryMs Clare Polson
Tel: (0131 6)51 9704
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