Module Database Search

Module Title
Media Law

Scots law and legal system, court reporting, contempt, privacy, access to information.

SCQF Points15
ECTS Points7.5
CreatedApril 2008
ApprovedJuly 2008
AmendedAugust 2012
Version No.2

This Version is No Longer Current
The latest version of this module is available here
Prerequisites for Module

None in addition to SCQF 11 entry requirements or equivalent.

Corequisite Modules


Precluded Modules


Aims of Module

To enable students to understand how the law impacts on journalism, exploring the role of key legal institutions and their constraints on media activity.

Learning Outcomes for Module

On completion of this module, students are expected to be able to:

1. Analyse and justify the process of court reporting identifying relevant proceedings, terminology, restrictions, and defences.
2. Critically compare and discuss how other legal forums operate including hearings and tribunals and any limitations on reporting that apply.
3. Identify and critically discuss key issues relating to official secrets, interdicts, elections and the role and code of practice of the Press Complaints Commission.
4. Analyse and evaluate the basic structure and power of the Scottish legal system.

Indicative Module Content

The structure of Scottish legal system; restrictions on reporting proceedings in civil and criminal courts; tribunals, fatal accident inquiries and children's hearings; official secrets; election law; press complaints commission.

Indicative Student Workload

Contact Hours

Full Time
Court Visits

Directed Study

Directed Study

Private Study

Private Study

Mode of Delivery

This will be delivered in a series of lectures supported by tutorials.

Assessment Plan

Learning Outcomes Assessed
Component 1 1,2
Component 2 3,4

2. 2000 word essay that critically examines aspects of General Reporting

1. 2000 word essay that critically examines aspects of Court Reporting (50%)

Indicative Bibliography

1.ASHTON, C. et al., 2007. Fundamentals of Scots law. Edinburgh: Thomson/W.Green.
2.BLOY, D. and HADWIN, S., 2011. Law and the media. 2nd ed. London: Sweet & Maxwell.
3.McINNES, R., 2010. Scots law for journalists. 8th ed. Edinburgh: W Green.
4.QUINN, F., 2015. <I>Law for journalists.</I> 5th ed. New York: Pearson. <I>ebook</I>
5.SMARTT, U., 2006. <I>Media law for journalists.</I> London: Sage
6.SMARTT, U., 2014. <I>Media and entertainment law.</I> 2nd ed. Abingdon: Routledge. <I>ebook</I>

Robert Gordon University, Garthdee House, Aberdeen, AB10 7QB, Scotland, UK: a Scottish charity, registration No. SC013781