The UK Constitution

Ref: C2346972

Almost all countries have a constitutional document - a set of rules for how the country should be run and a set of rights enjoyed by the citizens of that country. The UK constitution is not codified in this way - it is a loose bundle of laws, prerogatives, precedents and customs that can be very hard to pin down. Is this a good thing because it is 'flexible' or a bad thing because governments can change or just bend the rules to suit themselves? Would it be better if citizens were aware of their actual rights and less prey to fantasies about Magna Carta? We will look at how our Constitution has come about, its main components and the recent constitutional crises that have tested it almost to destruction. Would we all be better off if it were codified, written down and taught in school as in many countries around the world?

Course aim

Through a series of illustrated lectures, this course will look at how the UK Constitution works and whether it remains 'fit for purpose' in the modern world.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • describe the different elements of the UK constitution
  • understand the mechanics of how laws are produced
  • understand the rules by which we are governed
  • talk about the pros and cons of producing a codified constitution for the UK
  • Relate historical information to current social and political contexts

How will I be taught?

What kind of feedback can I expect?

What else do I need to know?

Please think about how much you would like to participate in how your country is run, and how sure you are about your rights and responsibilities as a citizen.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

What can I do next?

View full course information sheet

The UK Constitution


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2021
  • You declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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