LL4AQ      Half Unit
Constitutional Theory

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Martin Loughlin NAB 7.12


This course is available on the LLM (extended part-time), LLM (full-time) and University of Pennsylvania Law School LLM Visiting Students. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

This course will be relevant to the following LLM specialisms: Human Rights Law, Legal Theory, Public Law.

This course is capped at 30 students. Students must apply through Graduate Course Choice on LSEforYou.

Course content

This course examines the role of constitutions and the nature of constitutional discourse. It considers the ways in which theorists have advanced understanding of constitutions and devised solutions to a range of constitutional questions. The course addresses the following topics: constitutions, constitutional order, constitutional foundation; constitutionalism; constitutional exception; constitutional rights; constitutional democracy; constitutional adjudication; constitutional recognition; and cosmopolitan constitutionalism.


20 hours of seminars in the MT. 2 hours of seminars in the ST.

There will be a reading week in week 6. 

Formative coursework

All students are expected to produce one 2,000 word formative essay during the course.

Indicative reading

Much of the reading for the course consists of readings available online and the course is delivered through Moodle. A background text is Martin Loughlin, The Idea of Public Law (OUP, 2003).


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours, reading time: 15 minutes) in the summer exam period.

Key facts

Department: Law

Total students 2018/19: 21

Average class size 2018/19: 22

Controlled access 2018/19: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information