Module code: LAW2084

Module Overview

This module will introduce students to law and economics—a robust intellectual movement devoted to the use of economic concepts and methods to analyse and evaluate legal rules. The module will begin by introducing the normative framework of the law-and-economics movement, explaining how it developed from classical utilitarian thinking. Basic microeconomic concepts will be presented along with the Coase Theorem, which initiated the modern law-and-economics movement. The module will then engage a number of specific legal areas from the point of view of law-and-economics, including property, contracts, torts, and criminal law. Throughout, the module will also raise various philosophical and jurisprudential criticisms of the law-and-economics movement.



Module provider

School of Law

Module Leader

TAGGART Christopher (Schl of Law)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 5

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Module Availability

Semester 2

Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • The history and aims of the law and economics movement

  • Conceptions of utility

  • Price theory

  • Assumptions about rationality in neoclassical economics

  • Behavioralism

  • Choice architecture and default legal rules as nudges

  • Critiques of law and economics from jurisprudential, egalitarian, and critical perspectives

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework 3000 WORD COURSEWORK 100

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate:

  • Knowledge of the history and aims of the law and economics movement

  • A grasp of basic economic concepts and methods

  • The ability to engage in simple economic analysis of legal rules

  • An understanding of criticisms of the law and economics movement

  • Reflection on the question of what role economic analysis should play in the evaluation of legal rules

The summative assessment for this module consists of one 3,000-word coursework exercise.

A formative assessment and feedback will also be provided before the coursework prompt is distributed.

Module aims

  • Inculcate knowledge of the history and aims of the law and economics movement.
  • Induce critical reflection of the question of what role economic analysis ought to have in the evaluation of development of legal rules.
  • Enable students to confidently and accurately deploy economic concepts in written and verbal communication.
  • Teach students to use economic methods to produce their own analyses of legal rules.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Demonstrate critical knowledge of the history and aims of the law and economics movement K
002 Accurately deploy basic economic concepts in written and verbal communication CPT
003 Reflect thoughtfully on the question of what role economic analysis should play in the evaluation or creation of legal rules CPT
004 Use economic methods to analyse the likely effects of legal rules KCPT
005 Evaluate legal rules in economic terms KCPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

  • Require students to learn economic principles as a mode of analysis rather than as a body of knowledge.

  • Inspire reflection on the foundational assumptions of conventional economic analysis and on critiques.


The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Lecture

  • Discussion

  • Tutorial exercises involving the creation and manipulation of economic models

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: LAW2084

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Law LLB (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2020/1 academic year.