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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Undergraduate Course: Law, Democracy and Citizenship (LAWS10064)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits40 ECTS Credits20
SummaryThe aim of this course is to encourage students to think critically about the ways in which law relates to the formation and legitimation of the political communities in which we live. In particular, it asks how law contributes both to the 'who' and the 'how' of political community. In what ways is the construction of legal and constitutional order at different sites important to the various different levels of political community formation in the contemporary world - the state, the sub-state nation or region, the supranational (e.g. EU) and even the international or global? How, more generally, does law help to generate, or impede, understandings and practices of citizenship, or 'membership', and how does it encourage, or impede, democratic decision-making, more generally? Behind these questions lie even more general and deeper questions about the contemporary role of law and its relationship to politics. One the one hand, is law better able to reflect and convey some models of political community (e.g. liberal models) and the ideas of citizenship and democracy associated with these, than it can others (e.g. socialist or other communitarian models)? On the other hand, does the increasing dispersal of law to sites other than the traditional state site place a new and perhaps unmanageable burden upon law in general in the formation and legitimation of political community?
There are a number of possible affinities and synergies between this course and other Honours options - including Constitutional Law and Justice, Ethics and the Law
Course description Not entered
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Spaces on this course are allocated as part of the Law Honours Course Allocation process. Places are generally only available to students who must take Law courses. To request a space on this course, please email
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesThis course is only open to visiting students coming through a direct exchange with the School of Law (including Erasmus students on a Law-specific Exchange). Exchange students outside of Law and independent study abroad students are not eligible to enrol in this course, with no exceptions.

**Please note that 3rd year Law courses are high-demand, meaning that they have a very high number of students wishing to enrol in a very limited number of spaces.**
Priority will be given to students studying on exchange within the Law department, and it is highly unlikely that there will be additional spaces for general exchange students & independent study abroad students to enrol; we will look into this on a case-by-case basis in September/January. Visiting students are advised to bear in mind that enrolment in specific courses can never be guaranteed, and you may need to be flexible in finding alternatives in case your preferred courses have no available space.

These enrolments are managed strictly by the Visiting Student Office, in line with the quotas allocated by the department, and all enquiries to enrol in these courses must be made through the CAHSS Visiting Student Office. It is not appropriate for students to contact the department directly to request additional spaces.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Full Year
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 400 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 40, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 8, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 352 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 67 %, Coursework 33 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Essay (33%) and exam (67%)
Feedback Each course includes the opportunity for students to participate in a formative feedback exercise or event. The formative feedback events for this course will be:
(a) Oral presentations at the beginning of each class, and
(b) the opportunity to submit a short 'practice' essay during the first semester.

Individual feedback will also be provided on the summative essay (worth 1/3 of the total marks) which is submitted at the beginning of semester 2.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)3:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of how law contributes to the formation and practice of citizenship and to the development of democracy.
  2. Critically to discuss and evaluate for themselves value positions with regard to the relationship between law and politics.
  3. Communication Skills: The course requires students to submit written work for assessment, to a deadline and within a word limit and thereby encourages them to develop the technique of writing in a clear and concise fashion. The course also provides the opportunity for students to extend their oral skills by requiring them to take a full part in the discussion of the seminar; this may involve students in making presentations to the class.
  4. Intellectual Skills: The course encourages students to develop the intellectual skills of collecting, organising and evaluating evidence. The course requires students to develop their skills in presenting evidence in a balanced way and in analysing the weak and strong points of arguments and to synthesise these in the process of solving problems.
  5. General Skills: The requirements of the course, including the essay and examination, encourage students to develop skills in managing time, working independently and taking responsibility for their own work.
Reading List
There are no prescribed texts. However, some books will be used fairly frequently and provide useful general background, including:

Derek Heater, A Brief History of Citizenship (Edinburgh, 2004)

Dora Kostakopolou, The Future Governance of Citizenship (Cambridge, 2008)

Richard Bellamy, Citizenship: A Very Short Introduction (2008)

Gershon Shafir (ed), The Citizenship Debates (Minnesota, 1998)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsLaw,Democracy,Citizenship,Political Communities
Course organiserProf Neil Walker
Course secretaryMiss Susie Morgan
Tel: (0131 6)50 2339
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