Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Combined Autumn and Spring Terms 6 30 (15) Julie McCandless checkmark-circle


This module will focus on the way in which the law defines and constructs the family, and the way in which it regulates family breakdown. Autumn term deals broadly with the institution of marriage and adult relationships. Spring term deals with the relationships between parents, children and the state.


Contact hours

Total study hours: 300
Contact hours: 40
Private study hours: 260


All KLS undergraduate programmes

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

This module will be assessed by coursework worth a total of 30% and a final examination worth 70%:
Written assessment, 2000 words (30%)
Exam, 3 hours (70%)

Reassessment methods

Reassessment instrument: Exam (100%)
Students must achieve a mark of 40% in the exam in order to pass this module on reassessment.

Indicative reading

• Doyle, R., The Woman Who Walked Into Doors (Vintage, 1997)
• Gilmore, S., and Glennon, L., (2016). Hayes and Williams' Family Law (5th edition, Oxford University Press)
• Harris-Short, S., J. Miles, and R. George, Family Law: Text, Cases and Materials (3rd edition, Oxford University Press, 2015)
• Herring, J., Family Law (8th edition, Pearson, 2017)

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate a critical knowledge of the concepts, principles, policies, issues, debates and legal doctrine associated with various areas of
family law
2. Critically identify the ideological and policy underpinnings of the legal rules; and to critically evaluate how well the policies and law work in
3. Demonstrate critical thinking about family law: to take nothing at face value, to go beneath the surface of the law to critically analyse and
evaluate it

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate critical thinking when discussing and applying the law
2. Critically evaluate conflicting decisions and viewpoints
3. Demonstrate ideas with conviction
4. Present observations, ideas and opinions persuasively


  1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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