Surrey University Stag


Module code: LAW1053

Module Overview

In order to study law, it is necessary to understand what the law is, where it comes from and how it operates. This module will equip students with a foundation of knowledge of the English legal systems and its personnel, practices and policies and introduce the skills needed to study the law effectively. It will also situation the legal system of England and Wales within the context of other legal systems allowing students to understand the interrelation between English law, European law and international law.

Module provider

School of Law

Module Leader

FINCH Emily (Schl of Law)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 4

JACs code:

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

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 8

Independent Learning Hours: 42

Lecture Hours: 22

Tutorial Hours: 8

Guided Learning: 48

Captured Content: 22

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

The module will cover a range of contemporary issues related to the English legal system such as:


  • What is the law?

  • Sources and types of law: statute, delegated legislation, case law, equity.

  • Parliament and the law-making process.

  • Introduction to the EU legal order (nature of EU law, law-making in the EU, relationship between EU law and national law).

  • Introduction to Public International Law (nature of international law, treaties and customary international law, international law in the UK).

  • Understanding comparative law: the relationship between England and Wales and other legal systems.

  • The structure of the courts and the personnel of the legal system.

  • The criminal justice system and the jury decision-making process.

  • Civil justice, tribunals and alternative dispute resolution.

  • The hierarchy of the courts and the doctrine of precedent.

  • Understanding statutory provisions and the canons of statutory interpretation.

  • Finding and understanding case law.

  • Legal research and legal writing.

  • Critical evaluation and legal analysis.


Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Critical Analysis (1000 words) 25
Coursework Case Note (1000 words) and Problem Question (1000 words) 75

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate that they have understood the way in which the legal system operates as well as providing an opportunity to demonstrate key legal skills in research, case analysis and critical evaluation.

Accordingly, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • An essay demonstrating the ability to engage in critical analysis.

  • A research exercise and case evaluation.

  • An answer to a problem question.


The formative assessment consists of verbal feedback during case evaluation workshops and written feedback on a piece of written work that allows students to practice their skills of critical analysis.

Module aims

  • ¿ To provide a foundation of knowledge and understanding of the operation of the English legal system
  • ¿ To outline the structure of the courts and the personnel of the legal system
  • ¿ To explore the relationship between English law and other legal systems including European law and international law including the European Convention on Human Rights
  • ¿ To outline the legislative process and the passage of a Bill through Parliament.
  • ¿ To equip students with knowledge of core legal concepts such as the doctrine of precedent and the canons of statutory interpretation
  • ¿ To ensure that students are able to find, use, understand and evaluate the law.
  • Instill core legal skills in critical reasoning, legal writing and problem solving.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Understand the operation of the English legal system.
002 Identify a range of sources of law.
003 Understand the operation of the civil and criminal justice systems.
004 Awareness of the legislative function of Parliament and the passage of an Act of Parliament. KPT
005 Understanding of the nature of International law, and how International law and national law can interrelate KPT
006 Ability to find, use, understand statute law and case law. CPT
007 Create a legal argument and engage in critical analysis of the law.
008 Awareness of the nature of the EU legal order and the relationship between EU and national law KCP
009 Engage in liability analysis and develop an effective and methodical approach to problem solving 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 support students in the acquisition of a foundation of knowledge of the operation of the English legal system, both as a topic of study in its own right and as the foundation for the study of a range of other substantive areas of law. It aims to facilitate active engagement with the subject matter and to encourage students to look outwards to see the principles and policies of the law in operation in wider society. It places an appropriate level of emphasis on independent learning and will provide students with opportunities to develop the skills that they will need to study law successfully.


The learning and teaching methods will include:

  • two-hour interactive lectures in which core information and ideas will be disseminated.

  • one-hour tutorials in which facilitate the exploration of ideas and concepts in greater depth.

  • two-hour practical workshops in students are guided in the development of a range of essential legal skills.

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: LAW1053

Other information


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Law (Law and Technology Pathway) LLB (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law (Philosophy, Politics and Law Pathway) LLB (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law LLB (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law with Criminology LLB (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law with International Relations LLB (Hons) 1 Compulsory 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 2022/3 academic year.