Law and Politics of Regulation

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Martin Lodge, Prof Veerle Heyvaert and Dr Paolo Belardinelli


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Regulation. This course is not available as an outside option.

Course content

The course aims to give students an essential grounding in theories of regulation encountered in the legal, political science and law and economics literatures. It examines competing explanations of the origins, development and reform of regulation; the styles and processes of regulation; issues surrounding enforcement; the inter-organisational and international aspects of regulation; and questions of evaluation and accountability. Some specific cases will be explored through the medium of an additional practitioner seminar series, which will be led by experienced practitioners invited on a one-off basis.


This course will be delivered through a combination of seminars and lectures, amounting to a minimum of 38 hours across the Michaelmas and Lent terms. This year, some or all of this teaching will be delivered through a combination of on-campus and online lectures and seminars. This course includes a reading week in week 6 in both terms.

Formative coursework

All students are expected to produce three written essays.

Indicative reading

R Baldwin, M Cave and M Lodge Understanding Regulation (2012); M Moran, The British Regulatory State (2003); A Ogus, Regulation (2004); R Baldwin & C McCrudden, Regulation and Public Law (1987); C Hood, H Rothstein & R Baldwin, The Government of Risk (2001); R Baldwin, Rules and Government (1994); J Black, M Lodge and M Thatcher, Regulatory Innovation, (2005), C Sunstein, Risk and Reason (2002), R. Baldwin, M. Cave and M.Lodge Oxford Handbook of Regulation (2010), M Lodge and K Wegrich, Managing Regulation (2012), D. Carpenter and D. Moss, Preventing Regulatory Capture (2013).


Online assessment (75%, duration: 7 days) in the ST.
Essay (25%, 2500 words) in the ST.

The summative assessment is composed of:

  • Online assessment (75%) in ST.
  • Individual research paper (25 per cent, 2500 words), to be submitted in Week 1 of ST.

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Student performance results

(2017/18 - 2019/20 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 5.8
Merit 82.7
Pass 9.6
Fail 1.9

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Government

Total students 2020/21: 27

Average class size 2020/21: 13

Controlled access 2020/21: Yes

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Specialist skills