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2012/13 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

COMM3631 Media Law

20 creditsClass Size: 50

Module manager: Dr Paul Wragg

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2012/13

This module is not approved as an Elective


On completion of this module, students will be able to:
- demonstrate and articulate both orally and in writing an understanding of the key elements of broadcasting law in the UK;
- use their knowledge of broadcasting law to provide solutions to problems of a legal nature frequently encountered in the media world;
- demonstrate independent and critical thought in relation to broadcasting law matters;
- research broadcasting law topics using legal materials, computer-based resources and other materials.


This module commences by outlining the key features and terminology of the English legal system, after which the broad constitutional framework of broadcasting law in the United Kingdom is examined. Of particular interest is the manner in which claims to freedom of speech have been treated in the constitution both pre and post the Human Rights Act 1998.

Reference will also be made to the treatment of free speech claims in the US Constitution and international treaties such as the European Convention on Human Rights.

The rest of the module is focused upon an in-depth study of some central laws restricting media freedom, such as the laws relating to contempt, defamation (libel and slander) and the variety of legal devices used to protect privacy-type interests in domestic law. Reference to the impact of the Human Rights Act 1998 will be made at all appropriate junctures.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours178.00
Total Contact hours22.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Formative practice exam question week 7

Methods of assessment

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)3 hr 100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 08/05/2013


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