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2023/24 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

LAW1200 Foundations of Law

30 creditsClass Size: 500

Module manager: Dr Nick Cartwright

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

Module replaces

LAW1160 Legal Skills LAW1040 English Legal Systems

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module is designed to equip students with the fundamental tools to study law, including study skills, basic legal foundations, and legal theory and ethics.


The key objective is to prepare students for the successful study of law as an academic discipline through the development of skills within a core of substantive legal content. This will cover expectations and demands of the degree; essential skills for effective study; basic legal foundations and theory. A further objective will be to develop students from passive recipients of research materials and teaching content to proactive, engaged participants able to discuss subject content through recognising the value of research and problem solving.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students should be able to:
- demonstrate a range of key basic study skills including the ability to extract relevant legal issues from a case or scenario and define and identify solutions; use IT to support research techniques and synthesise a range of research materials;
- apply appropriate terminology and legal reasoning to produce a coherent legal account of issues within the legal system;
- identify and discuss the different approaches adopted and underlying values attached to the interpretation of legislation and use of cases across the English and European Union jurisdictions;
- discuss and reflect upon different aspects of the criminal and civil legal processes;
- demonstrate effective oral communication and presentation skills and the ability to work effectively within a group;
- demonstrate independent study skills.


Intensive first five weeks dealing with ‘skills’. The skills sessions will be delivered by way of lectures, seminars and workshops and will cover: succeeding on the LLB; effective writing; time management; note taking; group work; research; using the law library; seminar preparation and participation; presentations and mooting; approaching essays and problem questions; exam preparation; career planning and preparation; legal ethics.

The substantive law content will cover, from a domestic perspective, sources of law; judicial precedent and statutory interpretation and aspects of criminal and civil process. It will also introduce the legal system of the European Union, covering sources of law and the relationship between domestic and EU law, as well as the EU court system. These will be delivered throughout semester one by lectures and seminars (the latter beginning as the intensive skills section draws to a close).

The aim of any jurisprudential inquiry is a greater understanding of the law in terms of its sources, its nature, its application, operation, institutions and boundaries. This semester of Jurisprudence tuition will equip students with analytical skills that will facilitate their critical engagement with the law.

The substantive content will cover the role of morality in the creation, identification and application of the law; the difference between descriptive and normative approaches to legal reasoning; the means by which legal authority and legitimacy are established and perpetuated; the reasons we obey the rule of law and allow it to guide and restrict our behaviour; the differences between utilitarian, positivist and rights-based approaches to legal reasoning; the means by which we recognise valid laws; and the development of rights discourse.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
On-line Learning151.0015.00
Private study hours252.00
Total Contact hours48.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)300.00

Private study

The online learning element is broken down into 15 minute tasks, there will be 60 x 15 minute tasks overall.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

A formative assessment opportunity will be provided.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
In-course MCQ20 Multiple Choice Questions20.00
Essay1,500 word80.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Students must attempt both components of assessment and gain a mark of over 40% in each element. Where a student receives a mark of 39% or less for either assessment they will not be awarded the credits for the module and must resit the failed assessment(s) to achieve these credits.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 10/08/2023


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