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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Postgraduate Course: Communications Law (LAWS11300)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course covers the regulation of communications networks and services, and aims to discuss the most relevant provisions that govern the sector against the background of the different rationales and policy concerns that are relevant to the sector. The focus of the course is mainly European, although comparative and international perspectives will be explored as well.
The course explores a range of legal and policy questions, including 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 interaction between communications law and other forms of regulation (e.g. competition, media, trade) is explored, as are perspectives on the communications industries from other disciplines, particularly the relationship between law and innovation.

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 regulatory perspectives (e.g. competition, trade, convergence).
Course description Weekly sessions are as follows:
Week 1: Communications law: rationales, developments, challenges
Week 2: Liberalisation, competition and industry efficiency
Week 3: From licensing to general authorisation
Week 4: Access and interconnection
Week 5: Universal service and users' rights
Week 6: Privacy in electronic communications
Week 7: Spectrum management and the digital dividend
Week 8: The regulatory design of the communication industry at European and national level
Week 9: The global governance of communication networks and its challenges
Week 10: An infrastructure for free speech: ISP liability and net neutrality
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Please contact the online learning team at
Additional Costs Students must have regular and reliable access to the Internet.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2019/20, 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) - A literature review (35%) to be submitted half-way through the course;
- A case-note (45%) to be submitted after the end of the course and
- A portfolio of contributions made to weekly online discussions throughout the semester (20%)

Requirements for all course assessments will be outlined to students within the individual courses at the start of each semester.
Feedback Students will have the opportunity to obtain formative feedback over the course of the semester. The feedback provided will assist students in their preparation for the summative assessment.

Details of the School's feedback policy will be available at the start of the course.
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 detailed list of key resources will be available at the start of the course.
Additional Information
Course URL
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Special Arrangements This course is taught by online learning
Additional Class Delivery Information This course is taught by online 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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