Module Provider: School of Law
Number of credits: 40 [20 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring / Summer term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Mrs Lyn Newdick

Email: l.f.newdick@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:
This module introduces students to the English legal system, together with an examination of the key principles relevant to Contract and the Tort of Negligence.


To prepare students for undergraduate programmes which involve the study of law by providing a foundation in the structure of the English legal system, Contract Law and the Tort of Negligence.

Assessable learning outcomes:
On completion of this module students are expected to be able to:
•Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the structure, personnel and functions of the English legal system and the law of negligence and contract;
•Show evidence of the ability to apply techniques of ordered thinking and the skills necessary to analyse and solve legal problems;
•Communicate legal arguments clearly and succinctly and to draw appropriate conclusions;
•Present arguments effectively in writing, by producing prepared assignments.

Additional outcomes:
The development of library and research skills and the ability to make use of available resources.

Outline content:

The module begins with an introduction to some basic principles of the constitution, including: the rule of law; sources of law; parliamentary sovereignty and separation of powers. These principles provide a background to a more detailed study of the English legal system: sources of law to include the legislative process, statutory interpretation, judicial precedent, common law and equity, EU law, the European Convention on Human Rights and the Human Rights Act 1998; institutions and process to include civil and criminal proceedings, the hierarchy of the courts, the judiciary and the jury. Two areas of substantive law are included, the law of contract and the law of negligence. The module introduces students to the principles of formation of a contract: offer, acceptance, intention and consideration, together with an overview of the terms (both express and implied) of a contract, the types of terms and remedies for breach of contract. The study of the law of negligence is more detailed and includes duty of care, breach, causation and remoteness of damage. The duty situation is exemplified through an examination of psychiatric injury. The module also introduces students to the concept of Vicarious Liability and an examination of policy considerations in the Tort of negligence.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Topics are introduced through a combination of lectures, seminars and tutorial work. Independent learning is encouraged through reading based on textbooks, articles and case studies. Case and statute exercises assist in the development of skills in legal reasoning.

The module is taught across three terms:
Term 1 Spring term
Term 2 Summer term
Term 3 Summer vacation.

It should be noted that the Contact Hours shown in the following table for the Summer term are the total hours for Terms 2 and 3.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 40 46
Seminars 10 11
Tutorials 10 11
Guided independent study 99 173
Total hours by term 159.00 241.00
Total hours for module 400.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 70
Written assignment including essay 20
Class test administered by School 10

Summative assessment- Examinations:
Two three hour written examination papers.

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:
Coursework made up of the following:

End of Term 1 Test: 5%.
Term 2 Coursework Assignment : 10%.
End of Term 2 Test: 5%.
Term 2/Term 3 Coursework Assignment: 10%.

Total percentage of coursework: 30%

Formative assessment methods:
There is a test at the end of term 1 and 2; the 2 assignments; seminar preparation - analysis of problems and concepts; debating issues in class; answering pre-seen questions on an area of law - verbally and in writing.

Penalties for late submission:

The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.
• where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
• where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.
The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

Assessment requirements for a pass:
Requirements for a pass:
60% to get into a Law degree programme,
40% to get into a non-Law degree programme.

Reassessment arrangements:
By written examination only in August / September.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

1) Required text books: 2) A laptop is useful for taking notes in class but this is optional.3) Travel accomodation and subsistence

Last updated: 20 April 2018


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