Module code: LAW2084

Module Overview

LAW2084 provides a critical introduction to law and economics.  It explores the distinctive approach of this academic movement and considers normative issues raised by its foundations.  It is one of the Level 5 and Level 6 modules in the Philosophy, Politics, and Law Pathway, introducing a distinctive, systematic basis for deeper critical reflections and discussions about what the law ought to be. It introduces an influential type of analysis relevant to the justification and interpretation of laws and policies. It also hones skills in developing, expressing, and evaluating arguments and digesting complex abstract subjects.



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

Independent Learning Hours: 56

Lecture Hours: 22

Tutorial Hours: 6

Guided Learning: 44

Captured Content: 22

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative topics and their more specific issues include:


Welfare economics:

  • Consequentialism

  • Welfarism

  • Interpreting individual utilities as degree of preference satisfaction

Micro-economic topics:

  • Pareto and Kaldor-Hicks efficiency

  • Game theoretic concepts

  • The Coase Theorem

Law-and-economic applications:

  • Analysis of foundational issues in contract law and tort law

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 aims of law and economics

  • A grasp of basic law-and-economic concepts and methods

  • The ability to engage in economic analysis of legal rules

  • An understanding of some criticisms of law and economics

  The summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • 3000 word coursework consisting of responses to a number of different prompts


  Formative assessment

  • Several questions that ‘preview’ and ‘clarify’ the nature of the questions asked in the coursework.

Feedback will be provided during class discussions in lectures and tutorials and in the written and/or oral feedback that students will receive for their formatives.  The feedback will enhance the students’ resourcefulness and resilience. They will become self-aware of any limitations of their current ability to construct their own arguments and offer clear and careful explanations of abstract concepts and will improve in these crucial areas significantly.

Module aims

  • Provide knowledge of the aims of law and economics
  • Encourage critical reflection on the question of what role economic analysis should have in the evaluation of legal rules
  • Enable students to deploy economic concepts in written and verbal communication
  • Enable students to use economic methods to understand and evaluate analyses of legal rules

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Develop a critical appreciation of abstract normative and moral issues that law raises. KCT
002 Develop the ability to use economic methods to understand and evaluate analyses of policies and legal rules. KCPT
003 Understand, explain and critically engage with the normative framework at the heart of law and economics in class discussions and assessments. KCT

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:

  • Enable students independently to understand and reflect on the issues covered in the module and develop the ability to provide arguments in support of their considered views.

  • Enable students to defend their considered views by anticipating and preempting possible criticisms and possible objections from different backgrounds and perspectives during class discussions.

  • Engage students with different learning backgrounds and perspectives and maximize their learning by critically drawing out their own views and perspectives in class discussions.

  • Critically engage doctrines learned in the first-year of the curriculum from an alternative perspective.

To achieve this, the following learning and teaching methods will be used: lectures and tutorials.

Lectures follow a broadly Socratic method, with visual aids where appropriate to break down the concepts being taught. At various points during the lectures, questions will be posed to students in order to enable students to critically engage with the material, the views and arguments of their peers, and to develop their own independent views and arguments in response to them.

Tutorials will also follow a broadly Socratic method and serve to consolidate understanding of the material covered and discussed during the lectures. During the tutorials, students will be encouraged to explain and defend their views confidently and professionally, and to defend and/or critically engage with others in an informed and constructive way.  Such skills readily transfer to more concrete legal contexts and issues a student is likely to engage with during their employment.

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

Other information

As one of the level 5 optional modules for the law programs, Law and Economics is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills, and capabilities in the following areas:


Key to being a good lawyer is the ability to make rigorous legally-informed arguments and to defend them both verbally and in writing. Building on the critical thinking and critical engagement skills that were introduced and developed in the Law and Contemporary Social Issues module, this module will further advance students’ abilities and competence in critical thinking and critical engagement by encouraging (through class discussions) and requiring (through assessments) students clearly to explain and critique abstract and sophisticated microeconomic and philosophical material. Students will be invited, during class discussions, to develop their own views in relation to the issues discussed in the module and construct informed arguments in support of them. Students will be encouraged to not only critically consider and engage with the material, but also with each other’s arguments. Through such exercises, students learn how to construct rigorous arguments and the ability to defend their arguments by anticipating and preempting potential criticisms and objections. Students will be able to engage in these exercises verbally during discussions in the lecture and the tutorials. By the end of the module, student will be in the position to readily transfer these critical thinking and engagement skills to more concrete legal issues during their employment.

Global and Cultural Capabilities

The issues that are covered in this module will be explored from a variety of different perspectives during the lectures. We have a rather diverse background within our student body. Students will therefore be invited to bring in their own perspectives that are unique to their backgrounds to critically engage with the taught material. They will also be asked to engage with each other’s views critically but respectfully and to consider the limits of their own arguments, both during class discussions and in the assessment. This will enable students to appreciate and carefully consider the different perspectives that different people from different backgrounds and cultures take towards the same issues and how limited their own perspectives can be. Requiring students to anticipate and preempt possible objections and criticisms also train students to think in others’ shoes, especially those who disagree with them.


Resourcefulness and Resilience

There is no single obviously correct answer to many of the legal-philosophical questions covered in this module. It all depends on the quality of one’s arguments and defence. In that way, it is very similar to legal litigation in real life. Students will learn to be resourceful in their argumentation in this module. Through the critical engagement they will receive during class discussions, students will learn to be agile in their thinking and when constructing and defending their own arguments and clear and careful in their explanations of abstract concepts. They will learn to be reflective and self-aware of the limitations of their own perspectives through the critical discussions with others and by anticipating and preempting criticisms from others. To do well in this module, students must be proactive in engaging with the material. Given the diverse opinions and views that can be brought to bear on the issues covered in this module, students will also learn how to regulate themselves properly during debates about contentious issues.  Finally, this module enables students to develop the resilience not only to argue for their view in an informed and sophisticated manner but also accept and properly respond to criticisms from those who disagree.

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
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

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 2024/5 academic year.