INTRODUCTION TO LAW
This course will provide students with an understanding of the English Legal System, the machinery of justice and, where appropriate, of the impact of European law. The approach to the various topics will be divided into theoretical issues and practice and procedure. The theoretical issues will include the study of an in depth substantive area of Law such as: criminal law, the tort of negligence, law of contract, common law and equity. Practice and procedure will assess how individuals settle disputes in the English Courts system, comparing and contrasting alternative routes.
Students will become familiar with legal language and literature in addition to devoting considerable time to the background study of individual cases and examples.
Module Aims and Learning Outcomes
The module will enable students to:
- Read and assimilate legal information extracting salient points
- Present written work in an analytical and reasoned manner
- Develop and clarify arguments in an objective fashion citing relevant case authority
Knowledge and Understanding
By the end of the course you should be able to:
- Explain the history and development of the English Legal System
- Analyse and apply legal principles to different scenarios
- Use appropriate legal terminology
Unit 1 Introduction to the English Legal System. Historical background
Unit 2 Classification of the Law, The Law in Society, its role and function. Sources of Law: Common law (case law), legislation and equity
Unit 3 Precedent and statutes; delegated legislation, European Community Law, European Convention of Human Rights, Human Rights Act 1998
Unit 4 Legal institutions; Courts and Tribunals; Alternative Dispute Resolution
Unit 5 The Legal Profession: Organisation and training
Unit 6 Law of Contract: Formation, offer and acceptance, intention to create legal relations and consideration
Unit 7 Law of Tort: Negligence, Donoghue v Stevenson 
Unit 8 Essential elements of a crime: Actus reus and mens rea. Classification of Criminal Assaults
Unit 9 Murder and Manslaughter: Specific defences to a homicide charge
Unit 10 Overview
Means of assessment
Assessment one (40 per cent)
- Students are required to write an essay of not more than 2,500 words.
Assessment two (40 per cent)
- Advising a hypothetical client by means of a case study.
Assessment three (20 per cent)
- Presentation on a subject of the student’s choice.
The following criteria will be used to assess your assignments and you need to ensure that you have covered all of these aspects before you submit work.
- Analysis and argument, including explanation of the law; use of authorities/cases to support legal principles and reasoned conclusions
- Academic communication; presentation; use of English and referencing
This class is normally delivered over one term, with 90 teaching hours or equivalent in Michaelmas term, and 60 teaching contact hours for Hilary and Trinity terms. For students requesting credit, we recommend the transfer of three college credits for Michaelmas and two college credits for Hilary and Trinity, on successful completion of the class and the final project.
Essential Course Text:
- AQA AS Law Ian Yule and Peter Darwent (Phillip Allan updates) 2008
or the following text as an alternative:
- AQA Law for AS (A Level Law) (Paperback) Jacqueline Martin 2008