Module descriptions

Level 1 Core (click to expand)

Criminal law

The module introduces students to English Criminal Law. It covers critical evaluation of the definition and scope of serious criminal offences and the underlying philosophies. Furthermore, it explores the general principles applicable in Criminal Law and the range of Criminal Law.

Contract law

The module provides explanations of the legal principles applicable to legally binding agreements between parties and the effects of any defects in their formation or performance. Furthermore, the module considers the nature of a valid contract and identifies its essential characteristics. It also explores how a contract may be discharged and the available remedies in such situations.

The Criminal Justice System

This course introduces students to the criminal justice institutions. It provides students with an overview of the pre-trial and trial stages of the criminal process. It familiarises students with practical applications of English criminal law theory.

Public Law

This module introduces students to theoretical and practical foundations of Public Law. It familiarises students with the historical and political sources of constitutional and administrative law and of civil liberties. It situates Public law in its political and practical context by focusing on, in addition to fundamental concepts, current constitutional developments and applied learning in the form of structured problem solving. It enables  students to evaluate current constitutional developments in light of the UK Constitution overall, including, in particular, developments and evolution in: (a) the relationship of the UK to the EU and Council of Europe legal systems, (b) internally in the UK in the devolution framework, (c) the classic institutions of State of Monarchy and Parliament.

Level 2 Core (click to expand)

European Union law

Since the UK’s accession to the EEC in 1972 (now the European Union), European Community Law has had a dramatic and ever increasing influence over the English legal system. Not only has EC Law fundamental constitutional implications for the UK, it also brings with it numerous important rights for European Union citizens.

Level 3 Options (click to expand)

Consumer Law

This course is primarily concerned with consumer transactions between business suppliers and private customers viewed from the consumer's perspective. The obligations of suppliers of goods and services and of producers are considered along with the corresponding rights and remedies of consumers.

Criminology

The aim of this module is to introduce students to current criminological discourses that focus primarily on the causes of and control of crime. Students will develop an understanding of the main theoretical perspectives and theories of crime, and they will gain an appreciation of how the perceived causes of, and perceived solutions to, crime interlink. A key aspect will be to highlight crime problems of topical concern that include how much crime there is and how best to measure it; drugs, alcohol and crime; media and crime; youth crime; organised and e-crime; risk management and surveillance; gender and crime; ethnicity and crime; and road crime.

Evidence

This option is essential to students who desire to obtain a deeper understanding of criminal trials. In particular, students taking evidence will study the rules pertaining to the admissibility of evidence in court (witnesses, confessions, identification evidence, evidence of prior convictions, evidence obtained by telephone interceptions and surveillance). They will also examine the issue of how the jury evaluates the weight of evidence admitted in court and will study the fundamental rules relevant to who bears the burden of proof in criminal trials. Most importantly, students will seek to explore the theoretical principles underpinning the law of evidence. In that respect, the focus will be on the perennial criminal justice dilemma between convicting the guilty and protecting individual rights of those involved in the criminal process.

Family Law

This course examines the law regulating family relationships. It covers marriage, civil partnership and cohabitation and explores not only the law itself but also the social context within which it has developed. It examines the nature of the family and issues such as domestic violence. It also looks at the breakdown of relationships and the consequences of breakdown, both financial and child-related.

International Law

You all probably have views about international law. You may think that in the absence of a world state or a world police force, international rules – such as those against the use of armed force – are not worth the paper they are written on. You may believe that international law is not law at all. Or you may think that it simply reflects the interests of powerful governments. The purpose of this module is to put these thoughts to the test by deepening and broadening your understanding of the nature and working of international law. We will ask: how is international law made? What are its basic rules and principles? Is it really binding? What is the relationship between rules of international law – such as human rights law – and English law? In tackling these questions, our module will focus on the core topics of international law, including the creation of States; the nature of customary international law; the law governing agreements between States; the relationship between States’ rights and human rights (e.g., a state’s right to territorial integrity vs. peoples’ right to self determination); the responsibility of States for their wrongful acts and the various peaceful and forcible methods of international dispute resolution and enforcement.

Jurisprudence

This module encourages critical reflection on the nature of law, the central issues of jurisprudence and the concepts and techniques used in the operation of the legal system. Topics to be covered may include some of the following: the relationship between law and morality, natural law, legal positivism, Ronald Dworkin’s jurisprudence, justice, liberty, rights, adjudication and legal reasoning, critical legal studies and feminist jurisprudence.

Sentencing and Penology

This module examines the theory and practice of sentencing and punishment. This entails an analysis of the nature of the sentencing process, the rules constraining the discretion of those who sentence and the range and use of outcomes, as well as an examination of the main theories of punishment. In addition there will be discussion of community and custodial penalties in practice. The module will be taught by lectures and seminars covering topics such as the development of penal policy, seriousness and dangerousness, restorative justice, prisons and the death penalty.

Taxation

This module presents an analysis of the general principles of income tax law. It involves a detailed examination of the legal principles (legislation and case law) relating to the taxation of business and personal income. The module’s emphasis is on the analysis of legal rules and principles, and not on tax calculations. Specific skills sought to be developed in the module include legal research and writing, case analysis, statutory interpretation and problem solving."

Page last updated: Wednesday 18 February 2015