Foundations of Property - LW316

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2018-19 2019-20
Canterbury Spring
View Timetable
4 15 (7.5) DR WA White


Co-requisite - This module is to be taken with LW315 Introduction to Obligations. Only available to students following a Law programme of study (either single or joint honours).


Only available to Law students.



Following on from 'Introduction to Obligations', 'Foundations of Property' continues the study of private law by introducing students to property law. 'Property' is something we tend to presume we know about, and rarely examine as an idea or practice closely. Most often we use it to connote an object or ‘thing’, and presume that it has something to do with ‘ownership’ of that object; we use expressions such as, 'This is mine,' and often do not examine the detail of what that really means.

This module begins to unpack and examine the ideas and practices of property more closely, looking in particular at land to ask questions such as: what do we mean by ‘ownership’? What happens when a number of competing ‘ownership claims’ in one object exist? What are the limits of 'ownership'? Does 'ownership' entail social obligation?

When preparing for the module it will be useful to think about (and collect material on) current debates over contested ownership (or use) of property and resources, especially in relation to land.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

10 hours of lectures, 10 hours of seminars, 10 hours of case classes (approximately)

Method of assessment

50% coursework (consisting of one essay); 50% written examination

Preliminary reading

Preliminary Viewing - Its a Wonderful Life, 1946, Dir F.Copra
Preliminary Viewing - The Truman Show, 1998, Dir P Wier
Preliminary Viewing - District 13, 2004, Dir P Morel
Preliminary Viewing - La Terre Parle Arabe, 2007, Dir M. Gargour
Preliminary Viewing - The Inner Tour, 2002, Dir R. Alexandowicz
Preliminary Viewing - All That Remains, 2005, Dir Nada El-Yassir
N Blomley Unsettling the City, 2004, London: Taylor and Francis.
M Davies Property: Meanings, Histories, Theories, 2007, London: Glasshouse.
C Dickens Bleak House
H Lim and A Bottomley (eds) Feminist Perspectives on Land Law, 2007, London: Glasshouse.
C Rose Property and Persuasion: Essays on the History, Theory and Rhetoric of Ownership, 1994, Bolder, California: Westview Press.
T Murphy et al Understanding Property Law, 2004, London: Sweet and Maxwell.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the concepts, principles and rules of a range of property law topics.
Demonstrate an understanding of the foundational role of equity and trusts in the development of property law.
Identify and explain property-related issues.
Appreciate the historical, cultural, political and economic contexts relevant to the discussion of 'property', and situate and discuss these elements through an examination of specific property law issues and case material.

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