Course outline

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

  • 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

Course Structure

  • 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 [1932]
  • Unit 8: Essential elements of a crime: Actus reus and mens rea. Classification of Criminal
  • Unit 9: Murder and Manslaughter: Specific defences to a homicide charge
  • Unit 10: Overview

Assessment Process

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.


Assessment Criteria
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


Grade A
Excellent communication with respect to clarity of expression, and appropriate use of examples. Content accurate and highly relevant, with highly developed and reasoned argument and excellent use of analysis.
Grade B
Good communication with respect to clarity of expression, some use of examples. Content accurate and relevant, with well reasoned arguments and good use of analysis.
Grade C
Satisfactory communication with respect to clarity of expression, may include use of examples. Content generally accurate and relevant, with a good attempt to develop a reasoned argument, with some evidence of
Grade D
Ineffective communication with respect to clarity of expression, limited use of examples. Content generally accurate and relevant, with some attempt to develop a reasoned argument, but with little or no analysis.
Fail Failure to reach a minimum standard of communication, content and argument .

Course texts

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