Constitutions in transition
Constitutions in transition

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Constitutions in transition


The idea of this course was to introduce a variety of constitutions in order to show different concepts of constitutional frameworks in the world. The analysis was comparative. You also explored key elements of the UK’s domestic constitutional framework.

With reference to the interactive map, the historic background of South Africa’s, Germany’s, Canada’s and the UK’s constitutions were explored. It was clear how historic developments and, in some cases, revolutionary events, impact a nation’s constitution and can explain their character to date. Finally, by comparing some of the UK’s constitutional principles with the other nations mentioned in this course, it became apparent how different constitutional concepts impact a nation’s legal framework in different ways. It can be seen that not every principle would work in an effective manner in every constitutional context.

A constitution develops from a nation’s complex history, which is often characterised by revolutionary events. Their structure and content reflects those historic developments which give each nation their own individual, unique and inimitable constitutional fingerprint.

You should now be able to:

  • understand the general concept of a constitutional framework
  • understand the factors contributing to constitutional change, both evolutionary and revolutionary, by looking at the constitutional frameworks of South Africa, Germany, Canada and the UK
  • identify and describe the key characteristics of the UK constitution
  • understand the historic aspects of the constitutional developments of the UK and their relevance in constitutional law today
  • reflect critically and comparatively on the UK constitution by studying the constitutional frameworks and history of South Africa, Germany and Canada.

If you are unsure about any of these, go back and reread the relevant section(s) of this course.


Take your learning further371

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses372.

If you are new to university level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. Find out Where to take your learning next?373 You could either choose to start with an Access courses374or an open box module, which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification.

Not ready for University study then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn375 and sign up to our newsletter376 to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371