TORT LAW - CONCEPTS AND CONTEXT (LEVEL 5) - 2023/4

Module code: LAW2101

Module Overview

The Tort module introduces key concepts of Tort Law and then considers these in the context of current litigation, legal practice and legal academic theories. The content will introduce students to the concepts, terminology and policies relevant to modern tort law (including tort as a means of compensating victims and as a loss distribution mechanism), as well as considering its historical origins, theoretical justifications, and the potential impact on tort law of Human Rights. Students will be encouraged to consider and debate practical application of tort law principles by UK courts and practitioners.

Specific doctrinal topics may include, among others: the tort of negligence, including defences and remedies; vicarious liability; discrete areas of liability such as psychiatric harm, occupiers¿ liability and pure economic harm; product liability; and torts protecting interests in personal integrity and land.

Students will have the opportunity to develop their academic skills of legal research, legal writing, critical analysis and problem solving through the use of both real case examples and tailored case studies.

The Tort module satisfies part of the Law of Obligations, as required by the qualifying law degree (QLD) and introduces students to a core component of the foundations of legal knowledge, which are relevant to the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE), Bar Training Courses and other graduate legal career pathways. It complements the other modules required by the QLD and provides a strong foundation for optional modules such as Core Issues in Private Law or Medical Law & Ethics.

Module provider

School of Law

Module Leader

PETERS Katy (Schl of Law)

Number of Credits: 30

ECTS Credits: 15

Framework: FHEQ Level 5

JACs code:

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 98

Lecture Hours: 39

Seminar Hours: 14

Tutorial Hours: 8

Guided Learning: 102

Captured Content: 39

Module Availability

Year long

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

N/A

Module content

Indicative content includes:
¿ Elements of a Negligence claim;
¿ Relevant defences and the efficacy of tort remedies;
¿ Claims against public bodies;
¿ Vicarious liability;
¿ Psychiatric harm;
¿ Pure Economic Loss;
¿ Occupiers¿ Liability;
¿ Principles governing compensation for personal injury and death
¿ Special Liability regimes, including product and employer liability.
¿ Protection of land interests (private & public nuisance)
¿ Historical and current applications of the Rylands v Fletcher principles
¿ Protection of personal interests (defamation, privacy)
¿ Interaction between Tort and Human Rights
¿ Theories of tort law
¿ Alternative compensation systems
¿ Techniques of legal research and analysis
¿ Legal reasoning and practical skills
¿ The application of tort law principles to real life events
¿ The relationship between tort law principles, tort law litigation and legal procedure

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework 3000 word coursework 50
Examination Exam 50

Alternative Assessment

NIL

Assessment Strategy

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

¿ knowledge of the topics covered;
¿ the ability to think critically and to analyse relevant areas of law and policy;
¿ the ability to think creatively, to articulate legal arguments supported by precedent and to challenge judicial or academic opinions within a legal framework;
¿ the ability to apply knowledge and critical analysis to a problem-based scenario and an essay-style question replicating real-world use of relevant legal principles and theories.

At the end of Semester 1, Students will undertake guided, independent research which can be applied to consideration and analysis of the legal issues arising in the first summative assessment.

The first summative assessment will take place at the end of Semester 1. This will consist of one piece of 3000 word coursework.

During the exam period for Semester 2, students will undertake a second summative assessment. This will consist of a 2 hour in-person closed book examination.
The assessment deadlines will be those set from time to time by the School of Law, the Faculty or the University, whichever may be the case.

Formative Assessments & Feedback

The formative assessments consist of at least one piece of submitted formative work during the academic year following which the student will receive feedback.

Feedback Generally

Students will receive feedback on their performance. Indicative methods of feedback include:
¿ General feedback in lectures, seminars and tutorials;
¿ General class discussions on guided themes/topics, with immediate (oral) feedback;
¿ General feedback on the formative assessment exercises;
¿ Formal, individual feedback on formative assessment;
¿ Formal, individual feedback on the summative coursework assessment undertaken at the end of Semester 1;
¿ General feedback on the summative coursework assessment, to link in to the semester 2 content;
¿ Individual, informal feedback, from time to time, as required.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

¿ One piece of coursework at the end of semester 1.
¿ One in-person, closed book examination, during the exam period in semester 2.

Module aims

  • Evaluate, examine and analyse the rules of law to a good level (comprising both the common law principles and relevant legislative provisions) which provide the legal framework of tort law both generally and in the example areas covered by the indicative content (as indicated below)
  • Consider, examine, analyse and demonstrate a knowledge of the considerations of policy which underlie tort law generally and in the areas covered by the indicative content outlined below
  • Consider, analyse and evaluate the objectives of tort law in relation to the areas of tort law covered by the indicative content outlined below
  • Appreciate how tort law operates as a compensation and loss distribution mechanism
  • Satisfy part of the Law of Obligations, as required by the qualifying law degree (QLD) and introduces students to a core component of the foundations of legal knowledge which are relevant to the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE), Bar Training Courses and other graduate legal career pathways

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Explain and demonstrate understanding of the central principles, concepts and history of tort law generally CK
002 Demonstrate knowledge of the content of key legal areas as studied in this Module, such as the tort of negligence and trespass CKPT
003 Use and engage with the sources of tort law, including common law, statute, the law of the ECHR and comparative jurisdictions CKPT
004 Explain the competing policy concerns and values which inform tort and its development generally and in the areas studied in this Module CKPT
005 Explain major tendencies within scholarly discussions of tort law generally and in the areas studied in this Module CKPT
006 Apply knowledge of tort law as covered by this Module to solve problems and answer essay questions about its goals and content CPT

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:

¿ Introduce topics, with particular emphasis on key areas of the syllabus, in lectures - using appropriate visual aids together with other with supporting materials (e.g. news clips)

¿ Facilitate a more detailed study of the syllabus by directed independent study of selected legislation, case law and other texts, and directed preparation of focused seminar/tutorial material.

¿ Enhance student¿s understanding and awareness by group discussion and case studies in seminars/tutorials.

¿ Facilitate student¿s revision of the Module by the submission of formative assessments (see below) and by interactive consolidation and revision.

¿ Ensure students have the opportunity to obtain constructive feedback which they can use to develop their legal learning skills.

The learning and teaching methods include:

Semester 1 (Weeks 4 ¿ 11, to fit with new LLB architecture for L4)

Lectures (2 hours per week x 8 weeks; plus an introductory 2h lecture in Week 3)

Seminars (2 hours per week x 7 weeks)



Semester 2

Lectures (2 hours per week x 11 weeks);

Tutorials, (1 hour per week x 8 weeks)

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.

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

https://readinglists.surrey.ac.uk
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: LAW2101

Other information

¿ Employability: Students will be encouraged to develop current awareness & the ability to discuss how news stories relate to practical application of the law. The practice experience of the module lecturers will bring a professional perspective to the application of academic legal principles; for example, encouraging students to prepare answers as though presenting them in court. Tort is a key foundation of legal knowledge, which will be of value to students pursuing a legal career across a variety of practice areas and is a core component of the Solicitors Qualifying Examination and Bar Training Courses. The legal research, reading and analysis skills which students develop during the course are transferable skills which are greatly valued by prospective employers and placement providers. This is of particular importance to L5 students who may be applying for placement opportunities or completing their Law-specific Employability Award during their timetabled Professional Training Preparation programme. ¿ Global & Cultural Capabilities: Students will be able to participate in discussions about the ways in which public policy can impact upon judicial interpretation of legal principles. The course materials also invite consideration of the ways in which normative values have changed over the years, and the impact this has on the use and development of the common law (Eg actions against the police/vicarious liability). The course draws on a wide body of case law which involves litigants and situations from a diverse variety of cultural backgrounds. ¿ Digital Capabilities: Students will have access to a core textbook through the BibliU platform and will be expected to make use of online databases (including the library¿s SurreySearch) to source case law and academic articles as part of their legal research. Coursework and formative assessments will be submitted online which will enable access to digital similarity check tools and online feedback. ¿ Sustainability: Students are encouraged to think about the purpose and efficacy of Tort law and procedure; as well as scope for future reform. For example, in relation to the use of strategic litigation on social and environmental issues. L5 students, who are undertaking a joint honours LLB, are encouraged to consider how their ¿joint¿ subject can enhance and vary their perspective on relevant legal and academic debate. ¿ Resourcefulness & Resilience: Students are encouraged to think about how ¿the law¿ works in the context of fluid, real-life situations; building confidence in their doctrinal expertise and analytical skills. The course involves a substantial amount of independent reading and research; for example, students are encouraged to learn how to locate relevant case law and other legal resources independently. Assessment and feedback are designed to encourage students to identify areas of improvement, learn from mistakes, and develop the ability to incorporate constructive criticism effectively.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Law with Criminology LLB (Hons)(YEAR LONG) Year-long Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law with International Relations LLB (Hons)(YEAR LONG) Year-long 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 2023/4 academic year.