Module Descriptions for Law

  • As courses are reviewed regularly the module list you choose from may vary from that shown here.

  • Contract Law 
    The module will examine the essential principles of the formation, operation and termination of contract together with a brief consideration of the conceptual background to contract law. The module will extend and develop the processes of legal reasoning and techniques of legal analysis that the student will have been introduced to in the Foundational Legal Skills module and the Legal Method module. The module covers the fundamental principles of contract law and provides a framework for tackling case studies and legal problem solving. The syllabus includes an introduction to the purpose of contract law; formation of contract; agreement problems (e.g. mistake, misrepresentation); terms of contract; exclusion clauses; other forms of statutory control; breach of contract and damages; and third party rights.

    Foundational Legal Skills 
    The study of law requires students to have an excellent grasp of critical reading, accurate drafting, note-taking, summarisation, and time management. These skills are also indispensable to the successful practice of law. Although the acquisition and honing of jurisdiction-specific skills and knowledge are the building blocks of legal and study and will be practised in other modules, this module aims to give students the opportunity to learn and develop these more foundational disciplinary skills in a focused and direct way.

    Legal Method
    This module involves the study of statutory interpretation, judicial interpretation and the primary sources/structures of the law of England and Wales.

    Public Law
     Public Law encompasses constitutional and administrative law as well as civil liberties and human rights. It is concerned with relations between the three principal organs of the State - the executive, the legislature and the judiciary - and between the State and its citizens.

    A comprehensive study of tort law. The tort of negligence will be studied in detail, as well as employers liability; vicarious liability; occupiers liability; trespass to land; public nuisance; private nuisance; Rylands-v-Fletcher; trespass to the person; defamation and privacy. The growing influence of human rights law will be considered throughout the course

    Advanced Legal Research
    This module is concerned with the further development of legal research skills, and the deepening of knowledge and understanding of legal sources and methodologies. Part of the module consists of revisiting legal techniques and issues addressed at the beginning of Stage I (through Legal Method), in light of the student's individual experience of study of substantive law topics. The module also aims to develop the student's abilities to carry out independent legal research, and to present the results of this research in a concise, well-argued, and strategic way. The module introduces some of the key concepts of comparative legal study, to allow students to avoid improper use of the increasingly important sources of comparative law. The module prepares students for work on a final year dissertation. 

    Commercial Law
    This course concentrates on a selection of topics designed to give the student a broad understanding of the matters commonly referred to under the heading "commercial law". These include the nature and sources of commercial law; classification of transactions; obligations of the buyer and seller; the passing of title (ownership); the passing of property (risk); the condition of goods; agency and remedies.

    Communication Skills for Lawyers
    This module is concerned with communication skills and looks at the oral skills involved in advocacy and client interviewing. In the first part of the course students will learn and develop oral presentation techniques in the context of a plea in mitigation. In the second part of the course students will learn and practise the skills necessary for an effective client interview. The course will involve the use of DVD recording, playback, analysis and reflection upon learning.

    Company Law/ Business Associations
    This module focuses on the principles of company law. It traces the birth of a company to its death; from its creation, its agents, its growth, its maintenance and to its dissolution. This module aims to show the significance of the principles of company law, how these principles relate to the current socio-economic climate and how they influence other business models such as partnerships, firms, and Community Interest Organisations. A critical analysis of these principles encourages innovative thinking to recommend solutions to the current issues faced by companies and their business partners. A critical analysis of the current regulatory mechanisms in the UK, EU and the US on corporate behaviour tests the efficacy of those kinds of governance. 

    Computer Law and Intellectual Property
    As social and business activities become increasingly dependent on digital technologies, a basic understanding of these advances and the regulatory challenges they present is of key importance to the lawyer seeking to engage with the information society. This module aims to provide students with a critical awareness of the legal implications of the emergent internet technologies and associated hardware, and to encourage students to evaluate and analyse the regulatory systems employed in terms of their wider social implications. There is particular emphasis on how digital technologies have challenged the copyright law, giving the module a firm grounding in the academically rigorous discipline of intellectual property. The module is taught by a combination of lectures and seminars, and assessed by coursework. 

    Crime and Society
    The module examines how crime is defined and measured, together with theories as to the causes of crime. It considers some major forms of criminal activity in detail. 

    Criminal Evidence
    An examination of some important rules of evidence, including corroboration, identification evidence, hearsay, confessions, the right to silence, improperly obtained evidence, similar fact evidence, evidence of character, expert opinion evidence and the rules relating to the examination and cross-examination of witnesses. Students will be encouraged to evaluate the ideas behind these rules and examine any compromise between competing ideas which may be implicit in them. The module will place particular emphasis on the significance of the rules of evidence in criminal trial, in the context of the need to avoid miscarriages of justice.

    Criminal Law
    An examination of the general principles underlying criminal liability, together with a study of individual offences and defences - in particular fatal and non-fatal offences against the person and against property.

    An original piece of elementary research in Law, that has been written in dissertation form.

    Employment Law
    The aim of the module is to equip students with an understanding of the nature of employment law. We will begin by examining the distinction between the self-employed person and the employee. We will then study the nature and formation of the contract of employment, terms of employment and the 'flexibility' of the relationship before moving on to consider the wide range of employment rights which flow from statute, such as protection against unfair dismissal; redundancy rights and the discrimination protections.  

    Equality Law
    This module focuses on the Equality Act 2010 and other legislation on sex, race, sexual orientation, religion and disability discrimination and equal pay. It considers its interpretation by courts; its impact, particularly in the workplace; its interaction with the law of the EC; and proposals for extending the scope of equality law. The impact of anti-discrimination and equality law will be assessed by asking what difference it has made, who benefits, who does not benefit, and what can be done in future to improve the systems of protection.

    Equity and Trusts
    The module explains the law of equity and the use of the trust in the management of property, whether land or other assets. The module begins by considering the historical evolution of the trust, and then the requirements for creating an express trust: the formalities, the requisite 'certainties', and the necessity that the trust be duly constituted. It then goes on to consider implied trusts, both resulting and constructive, and the doctrine of proprietary estoppel, and the particular application of these to the ownership of the family home. The law relating to charitable trusts and the fiscal and other implications of charitable status are considered. The module then looks at trustees' powers and duties, breaches of trust, and tracing. The module concludes with an overview of equitable remedies.

    European Union Law
    The module aims to give students an introduction to the constitutional and institutional foundations of the EU and a number of key areas of substantive law, chosen because of their centrality in the European Union system. The philosophy underlying the EU module is the importance of studying EU law in its wider political and socio-economic context. The course will begin with an examination of the historical development of the European Union as a legal order and the operation of its Institutions. Discussion will then focus on the nature of Union Law, its relationship with national law and the role of the Court of Justice of the European Union. Exploration of substantive law will take in an overview of the internal market of the European Union, including free movement of people and citizenship. 

    Family Law
    This module examines Family Law and Child Law with a critical and case-based focus on the legal concepts and values regulating all types of family relationships, in particular the law of marriage, civil partnerships, cohabiting couples, divorce, the division of property on family breakdown, domestic violence, parental responsibility, resolution of disputes over children and child protection, child abduction, and adoption. The module will extend the technique of answering problem questions and the processes of legal reasoning and techniques of legal analysis which have been introduced in the first and second years of study. 

    Independent Study Module
    A programme of independent study which is offered in specific subjects of mutual interest, which would not otherwise be included in the Law field, such as Rape and the Criminal Justice System, Civil Justice, and Modern Slavery.

    International Human Rights Law
    The module will introduce international human rights law and the mechanisms for the protection of human rights at the international and regional levels. Throughout the module the student is invited to critically examine arguments and ideas about human rights, their philosophical underpinnings, and their contemporary legal and political meaning through an examination of the relevant law, contemporary debates and case studies. 

    International Law and Institutions
    This module focuses on the law and legal framework governing the international community. Examined in depth are the underpinnings of international law including the nature, origins and basis of international law and the sources of international law, including treaties and customary norms. A special focus is given to the nexus between international and municipal law, subjects of international law and the concept of territory/jurisdiction. The core principles governing the use of force and the conduct of armed conflict are also explored. Finally, the law of state responsibility and individual accountability are taught in the context of violations of international rules. 
    International Trade Law
    This module focuses on international trade law. It highlights the legal and institutional framework as well as the nature of international sales transactions. This will be achieved through the analysis of the general treaties of international law, such as the GATT, WTO, and related agreements (INCOTERMS); specific trade laws; case histories; and dispute settlement procedures. It will familiarize students with the nature and structure of international rights and obligations in the field of international trade, the relationship between domestic law and international rules and obligations, the nature of international trade agreements. As a result, students should be able to identify how such rules and obligations can - or cannot - help to resolve specific problems relating to international trade, and advise on international trade practices or other rights and obligations.

    Land Law
    Land law, at heart, is a distinctive and fascinating attempt to solve a set of co-ordination problems arising from the different, potentially conflicting, interests which can exist in relation to land. The module begins by introducing key structural elements of the scheme of English land law, and identifies the central concerns of the law, before seeking to integrate each of the more specific topics on the curriculum into this framework. The module will thus cover the nature of law, property and land, the division of estates and interests into legal and equitable, and the overall structure of land registration, before moving on to consider the more specific elements of the curriculum: freehold and leasehold estates, co-ownership and trusts of land leases, licences, mortgages, freehold covenants and easements. The increasing importance of the Human Rights Act 1998 to Land Law will also be covered.

    Law and Religion in the 21st Century
    The 21st century has begun with religion taking a new place on the public policy and legal agenda. This module takes a legal perspective on how law and religion interact, focusing on the individual believer, the religious organisation, and the State. Discussion focuses on contemporary English law, including the implications of the Human Rights Act 1998, but making some use of comparative material, particularly the mature jurisprudence of the US Supreme Court on religious liberty. Questions considered include: Should religious beliefs have a special place in the law? How does the law deal with religiously motivated terrorism? How should the law deal with deaths during negligent exorcisms? What is the position of the Lords Spiritual in the House of Lords? The module is taught by a combination of lectures and seminars, and assessed by coursework.

    Law, Environmentalism and Society
    'Law, Environmentalism and Society' seeks to explore the relationship between law and environmentalism as a form of social and political thought and practice in historical and contemporary debates. Instead of simply acknowledging the law as a technical tool to be modified for environmental issues, the module will consider the many ways that the relationship between nature and society can be conceptualized and politicized.

    Legal Theory and Critique
    This module explores classic and contemporary themes in law and social theory through students' own independent study and research. Instead of simply acknowledging the law for what it is, students will be challenged to produce enquiries as to why the law exists as it does, embedded in its current forms, narratives, and ideologies.

    Medical Law
    The module examines the structure of the NHS, access to health care, autonomy and consent, responsibility, accountability and negligence, birth and its regulation, death, dying and the incurably ill patient.

    Nationality, Immigration and Asylum
    This module examines concepts, influences and obligations relating to policies of nationality and national identity, migration of individuals and movement of peoples. It offers the opportunity for students to consider the composition of British society within a framework of the law relating to nationality and immigration. An understanding of issues of migration within the domestic and international context will enable students to make their own informed critique of issues of current concern. Current UK law will be considered in its detail, with the historical, social and political factors that have shaped its development.

    Understanding Criminal Justice 
    This module will examine some of the main issues in Criminal Justice. It will provide an overview of the Criminal Justice system, and will consider in detail topics such as punishment, sentencing, crime prevention and community safety, policing, youth crime, prisons and the criminal court system. As part of this module, students will be required to observe at first hand an aspect of the criminal justice system in order to locate some of the current theoretical concerns into a practical context.