Core Module Information
Module title: Media Law and Regulation

SCQF level: 11:
SCQF credit value: 20.00
ECTS credit value: 10

Module code: JAC11138
Module leader: Simon Pia
School School of Arts and Creative Industries
Subject area group: Media and Humanities


Description of module content:

The module will cover libel, defamation, copyright, criminal and civil courts, criminal procedure, reporting of minors, reporting of sexual crimes and contempt of court. The module gives a basis of a legal understanding for student journalists. The principles of court reporting are also covered, including reporting restrictions.

Learning Outcomes for module:

Upon completion of this module, you will be able to:
LO1: Critically engage with a contemporary criminal court case
LO2: Write a court report on a recent court decision, which complies with Scottish reporting constraints.
LO3: Critically analyse reporting restrictions for journalists
LO4: Evaluate the dangers of defamation and libel for journalists.
LO5: Demonstrate the ability to self- legal written copy and video/audio pieces.

Full Details of Teaching and Assessment
2022/3, Trimester 1, Face-to-Face, Edinburgh Napier University
Occurrence: 001
Primary mode of delivery: Face-to-Face
Location of delivery: MERCHISTON
Partner: Edinburgh Napier University
Member of staff responsible for delivering module: Simon Pia
Module Organiser:

Learning, Teaching and Assessment (LTA) Approach:
Learning & teaching methods
The students will combine experiential learning, by visiting and observing a live court case or sentencing diet with lectures self study and peer learning by discussion of the main themes. Through reading and discussion, students will critically engage with a recent court decision and write a report which will demonstrate their critical engagement and knowledge of reporting constraints (LO 1 & 2). In the essay students will be able to evaluate the dangers of defamation and libel for journalists and the media and this will be discussed in the tutorials LO 3 & 4). Lastly lectures, reading and practice in the tutorials will enable students to self-legal their own and others’ written copy for legal errors and reporting transgressions (LO 5).

Embedding of employability/PDP
A good working knowledge of the law is an essential requirement for any journalist and the better the understanding then the more employable the journalist is.

Formative Assessment:
As work on your project progresses you will receive formative feedback and practical input from your tutor. Learners will critically engage with a contemporary criminal court case and write a court report on a recent court decision, which complies with Scottish reporting constraints. The court report will demonstrate a basic understanding of the Scottish judicial system by discussing a case. This will make up 40% of your summative assessment (LO 1,2 & 3). A further short essay outlining the reporting restrictions on journalists in Scotland will provide a general wider context on media law for journalists and will make up a further 30% of the summative assessment. This will enable learners to critically analyse reporting restrictions for journalists and evaluate the dangers of defamation and libel for journalists LO 2, 3, & 4). The remaining 30% is made up of a self-legalling exercise where a pre-given feature is legalled for breaches in reporting restrictions. ‘Self-legalling’ is a journalistic term which means being able to assess the legality and suitability of a piece of journalism within Scottish and UK reporting conventions. Learners will demonstrate the ability to self-legal (LO 4 & 5).

Summative Assessment:

Student Activity (Notional Equivalent Study Hours (NESH))
Mode of activityLearning & Teaching ActivityNESH (Study Hours)
Face To Face Lecture 12
Face To Face Tutorial 12
Independent Learning Guided independent study 76
Total Study Hours100
Expected Total Study Hours for Module100

Type of Assessment Weighting % LOs covered Week due Length in Hours/Words
Practical Skills Assessment 40 1-3 9 HOURS= 0, WORDS= 800
Essay 30 2-4 14 HOURS= 0, WORDS= 1000
Oral Assessment 30 4-5 15 HOURS= 0, WORDS= 1000
Component 1 subtotal: 40
Component 2 subtotal: 60
Module subtotal: 100

Indicative References and Reading List - URL:
Contact your module leader