Law, Religion and the Rights of the Child TRS4115

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Critical Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

The course will focus on the right of the child to freedom of religion, conscience, opinion and belief as set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989. It will look at how the Convention works through the Committee on the Rights of the Child to advance and vindicate rights. It will examine the ways in which some State Parties have implemented the Convention's principles.


2 x 2.5 hour seminars a week, over four weeks, as scheduled on MyCampus. This is one of the Honours options in Theology and Religious Studies and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Available to all students fulfilling requirements for Honours entry into Theology and Religious Studies, and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Honours programmes who qualify under the University's 25% regulation.

Excluded Courses





Two 2,000 word essays - 50% each

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

The aim of this course is to:


■ familiarise students with the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) regarding children's rights to freedom of religion, conscience, opinion and belief;

■ introduce students to the work of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC);

■ examine some of the issues and problems which have arisen in implementing the UNCRC's provisions in confessional and non-confessional State Parties (subscribing political units, e.g. nations);

■ examine in detail the interface between the UNCRC and the sole State Party which is a faith system, the Holy See (Vatican).

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course, students will be able to:


■ evaluate international public law provisions regarding the rights of children to freedom of religion, conscience, opinion and belief;

■ assess the structure and processes of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC);

■ effectively access and utilise the State Party reports to the CRC;

■ analyse how the CRC has dealt with children's rights to freedom of religion, conscience and belief, and associated issues.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.