Module code: LAW3136

Module Overview

The law mediates relations between individuals and the state, but it also mediates individuals’ relations with one another. The criminal law, for instance, intervenes in the relation between wrongdoer and victim by in some sense appropriating the victim’s right of retribution. The law of contract facilitates promissory relations by acting as an enforcer of certain voluntarily undertaken obligations. The law of tort establishes relations of mutual accountability by providing individuals with an avenue of recourse against those who have wronged them. In each of these cases, and in many others, the law transforms the meaning and substance of our interpersonal relations, and often embodies an ideal of what our relations with one another ought to be.

This module, which will be conducted as a seminar, will consider these legal transformations of our interpersonal relations through engagement with a range of literary, philosophical, and legal texts and materials. We will examine doctrinal and theoretical issues that arise in specific areas of law (including, but not necessarily limited to, the traditional private law subjects) by situating these issues in the context of more general and fundamental questions about the character and proper conduct of interpersonal relations. Throughout, the aim will be to better understand what the law’s role in shaping our interpersonal relations is, and to envision what it could and should be.

Module provider

School of Law

Module Leader

BERO Stephen (Schl of Law)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 61

Lecture Hours: 15

Tutorial Hours: 9

Guided Learning: 50

Captured Content: 15

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Module content will focus on core issues in private law and related subjects. Indicative topics include:
• Contract law and norms of promising
• Tort law, corrective justice, and relational repair
• The foundations of property and ownership
• Criminal law and victim/offender relations
• The relation between personal and legal obligations
• Social norms and social order beyond law
• Character, virtue, and legal relations

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework 3,000 word summative essay 100

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

• Formative (essay, 1500 words)
• Summative (essay, 3000 words)

Module aims

  • To familiarise students with some of the main issues and arguments in the theory of private law and related subjects.
  • To train students in reading complex texts from a variety of disciplines, for the purpose of identifying and reconstructing their main ideas and arguments.
  • To develop students' ability to critically evaluate challenging ideas and arguments and to present their evaluations clearly and effectively.
  • To develop students’ ability to engage thoughtfully with and think creatively about fundamental questions in private law and related subjects.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Read and comprehend challenging texts relating to core issues in private law and related subjects
002 Critically and independently evaluate positions and ideas relating to core issues in private law and related subjects
003 Develop insight into how the law and legal institutions interact with and shape interpersonal relations
004 Develop the ability to reason cogently, clearly, and creatively about fundamental issues and to identify their potential practical implications
005 Conduct directed research

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

This module will be delivered through a combination of lectures and tutorials. Advance preparatory will be expected, and active student participation will be encouraged through seminar discussions and activities.

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: LAW3136

Other information


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Law (Law and Technology Pathway) LLB (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law (Philosophy, Politics and Law Pathway) LLB (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law LLB (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law with Criminology LLB (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law with International Relations 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 2022/3 academic year.