Law and Politics - LLB (Hons)

Overview

This degree offers you the opportunity to study the closely related disciplines of Politics and Law in a three-year programme

You gain a solid grounding in politics, both national and international, and are able to choose modules that reflect your interests from the extensive range on offer. Our modules reflect the research interests of our staff, and cover areas including conflict resolution, federalism, comparative politics, European integration, ethnic conflict, terrorism, the theory of international relations, political theory, and the politics of countries such as China, Japan, Russia and the USA.

You also develop an understanding of the law, taught from a critical perspective which will allow you to engage in informed debate about contemporary legal issues (with an understanding of its history and development).

Kent Law School is recognised as one of the leading law schools in the UK. It has an international reputation both for its world-leading research and for the high-quality, innovative, critical and socio-legal education that it provides.

Entry requirements

Home/EU students

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. Typical requirements are listed below. Students offering alternative qualifications should contact us for further advice. 

Please note that meeting this typical offer/minimum requirement does not guarantee an offer being made.Please also see our general entry requirements.

New GCSE grades

If you’ve taken exams under the new GCSE grading system, please see our conversion table to convert your GCSE grades.

  • Certificate

    A level

    AAA-ABB

  • Certificate

    Access to HE Diploma

    The University will not necessarily make conditional offers to all Access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis. 

    If we make you an offer, you will need to obtain/pass the overall Access to Higher Education Diploma and may also be required to obtain a proportion of the total level 3 credits and/or credits in particular subjects at merit grade or above.

  • Certificate

    BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)

    The University will consider applicants holding BTEC National Diploma and Extended National Diploma Qualifications (QCF; NQF; OCR) on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us for further advice on your individual circumstances.

    A typical offer would be to achieve Distinction, Distinction, Distinction

  • Certificate

    International Baccalaureate

    34 points overall or 17 points at HL

International students

The University welcomes applications from international students. Our international recruitment team can guide you on entry requirements. See our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country. 

However, please note that international fee-paying students cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.

If you need to increase your level of qualification ready for undergraduate study, we offer a number of International Foundation Programmes.

Meet our staff in your country

For more advice about applying to Kent, you can meet our staff at a range of international events.

English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme. 

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Course structure

Duration: 3 years full-time, 6 years part-time

The modules below are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.

Stage 1

Compulsory modules currently include

The module will introduce students to critical legal techniques grounded in critical legal and social theory. Throughout the course, concepts are introduced through socio-legal and critical investigation of selected case studies - such as new pieces of legislation, emerging political campaigns and prominent litigation - ensuring that the course maintains a focus on 'law in action'. Particular attention will be paid to developments in foreign jurisdictions and in the international arena. Accordingly, case studies will alter from year to year, and draw heavily on research projects on-going in the Law School. The course has a heavy focus on primary legal materials and core critical texts, but will also draw on film, museum artefacts, art and literature as appropriate.

Find out more about LW313

This module introduces the law of obligations, which comprises the private law of duties and rights to which individuals and organisations are subject. Traditionally, it includes the law of contract and tort (but not property). As well as introducing some of the content (which is covered more extensively in LW650 and LW651), a key focus is on the institution of the common law through which most of the law of obligations has emerged. This aspect is especially explored through the case classes, which run alongside the lectures and seminars.

Find out more about LW315

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.

Find out more about LW316

Part A: English Legal System

This module provides an overview of the English Legal System, including the following indicative topics:

1) An introduction to Parliament and the legislative process

2) The court structure and the doctrine of precedent

3) An introduction to case law, including how to identify and the importance of ratio decidendi and obiter dicta

Part B: Introduction to Legal Skills

The module also gives students an introduction to the basic legal skills that they will develop further in their other modules throughout the degree. The focus here is on specific exercises to support exploration and use of the library resources that are available, both in paper copy and electronically through the legal databases, and on understanding practices of legal citation.

Find out more about LW327

TERM 1

• Constitutionalism: history, theories, principles and contemporary significance

• Models of Government at national, local and supra-national levels

TERM 2

• Human Rights – history and contemporary significance and deployment

• The scope of governmental authority and its limits

• Judicial review and other forms of citizen redress

Find out more about LW588

This module introduces students to the empirical study of the key structures, institutions, processes, outcomes and behaviour in political systems. It familiarises students with both the content and shape of political life and how academic scholars study it. But it also introduces the data, methods and techniques that allow students to study it themselves. Students learn about political life by learning how to do basic political research.

Find out more about PO335

Stage 2

Compulsory modules currently include

Over the course of the late twentieth century the modern state was transformed in far-reaching ways. The deregulation and privatisation of national economies, the rise of risk governance, the proliferation of administrative agencies and the increasing the involvement of experts in public policy have all profoundly affected the practice of government. At the same time, states responded to global problems cutting across national boundaries (eg, in finance, security and the environment) by governing through transnational networks and global institutions far removed from conventional mechanisms of democratic and legal accountability. These changes have dramatically transformed the landscape of public law - broadly defined as 'the practices that sustain and regulate the activity of governing'.

This module helps students to navigate this shifting constitutional terrain and grapple with the key legal and political challenges it poses. In Public Law 1 (LW588) students learned about the core principles of constitutional and administrative law, exploring issues like parliamentary sovereignty, the separation of powers, judicial review, human rights and devolution. In the Law of the European Union (LW593) students were introduced to the principle of multi-level governance through which the modern state operates. Public Law 2 builds on these insights by analysing the complexity of contemporary governance in detail. The aim is to have students think critically about (i) the changing nature of the state, global governance and regulation; (ii) how globalisation is changing the ways public law problems are governed; (iii) the key challenges these shifts pose for the protection of rights and (iv) the different techniques and processes for holding states and powerful actors to account.

Find out more about LW592

This module will build on the knowledge that students will have acquired in Public Law 1, where they have been provided with an introduction to the history of the EU, the main institutions of the EU and some key constitutional issues arising from the principle of supremacy of EU law from a UK legal perspective (e.g. impact on national parliamentary sovereignty). Consequently, this module will develop student learning by focusing instead on related and non-related foundational legal aspects of EU law not addressed or only partially addressed in Public 1, including notably the core areas of substantive law of the EU common market, especially free movement of goods and persons. Where relevant, the material will be related back and compared to the relevant rules in the English legal system that the students have studied, e.g. judicial review and protection of fundamental rights.

Indicative topics:

The coverage of fundamental areas of the institutional, constitutional and administrative legal framework of the European Union in this module will build on the introduction to the EU provided in Public Law 1, and will focus on more advanced aspects. The following contains an indicative list of EU law topics addressed in this module, (taking into account that this list may be subject to amendment or be re-ordered in any given academic year for pedagogical-related reasons):

• Introduction: Evolution of the EU's institutional and legal framework

• Foundational legal principles of EU Law: direct effect, supremacy, preliminary ruling procedure

• EU single market law: notably, the free movement of goods and persons (migrant workers, self-employed and businesses)

• Individual rights under EU Law: fundamental rights and the EU, EU Citizenship

Find out more about LW593

This module will offer a one-week overview of Contract law doctrine by reviewing the essentials of contract law gained by students in Introduction to Obligations and provide an overview of the lectures to follow.

Thereafter, students will spend the majority of the time on contract doctrine and problem-solving in contract law, comprised of doctrinal topics not covered in LW315 Introduction to Obligations e.g. breach of contract and remedies, contractual terms, misrepresentation, termination and frustration of contracts and policing bargaining behaviour.

The remainder of the module will focus on contract theory (e.g. freedom of contract, relational contract theory, contract and the vulnerable, contract and consumption). This section of the module will overlay the doctrine covered in the previous section with a basic theoretical framework, and ground students' understanding of critical essay writing in contract law. It will also build on discussion of the purposes of contract law in Introduction to Obligations.

Find out more about LW650

The bulk of this module will concentrate on the Tort of Negligence in contrast to students' knowledge of the law of trespass to the person (gained in LAWS3150 Introduction to Obligations). Students will focus on the conceptual structure of the tort of negligence, its rise and dominance over other torts, its role in accident compensation, the funding of accident compensation and the role of insurance, and the system's contribution to an alleged "compensation culture". The approach is primarily doctrinal but is informed by various theoretical perspectives examining differing notions of justice.

A smaller section of this module will contrast the predominantly case-based Tort of Negligence with various statutory torts. Students will also consider the Land Torts. This draws further attention to the diverse range of harms or interests protected by tort law and to the diverse conceptual structures of different torts.

Find out more about LW651

This course introduces students to the nature and purposes of descriptive and causal analysis in politics and international relations. Students will develop skills in choosing, using and evaluating different research designs and the techniques for the collection and analysis of data.

In addition to developing a conceptual and theoretical understanding of different approaches to evidence gathering and data analysis, students will also have the opportunity to extend their skills in practical data analysis. The course builds on their knowledge of the approaches and methods used in the study of politics and international relations introduced in the first year of the degree program and the foundation in the analysis of quantitative data established in the second year. Because of the focus in prior modules on quantitative research techniques this module pays particular attention to qualitative data and how it can be used alongside quantitative approaches. Emphasis will therefore be placed on a mixed-methods approach to political analysis that enables students to integrate, analyse and evaluate both qualitative and quantitative data. Students will notably practice skills in thinking about process tracing and how this method may allow for the identifcation of causal relationships.

The first part of the course will focus on general questions and problems in the empirical study of politics and international relations. Moodle quizzes will support the consolidation of knowledge of these issues. The second part will focus on the application of different research designs to understand specific examples of research. In this second part of the course students will be asked to read carefully an article employing a particular research design and method of data analysis in order to understand and develop a practical sense of how these research designs and methods are used to generate knowledge. These readings can become the basis of the critical evaluation that students are expected to develop in the first part of the coursework project.

Find out more about PO661

The study of social and political phenomena is a vast endeavour and this class will serve as an introduction to methods for social science research. It provides a basic, non-technical introduction to the use of quantitative methods in the political sciences for students from a variety of educational backgrounds (including those with very limited knowledge of mathematical terminology and notation). The progression of this course will address scientific research design and methodology and consider many examples of such research In short, it seeks to enable students to read, interpret, and critically assess arguments drawing on quantitative methods in Politics and International Relations. Students with some prior exposure to quantitative methods will have the opportunity to improve their command of statistical software as well as apply their general statistical skills to data sets commonly found in policy and academic work.

Find out more about PO687

Optional modules may include

This module engages with the matter of asylum and refugeehood in both a national and international context. The module offers a thorough introduction to the sources of asylum and refugee law (UK and international) and a critical consideration of the relevant jurisprudence. The module employs at times interdisciplinary material to aid understanding and reflection and engages with the historical and socio-cultural evolution of the government and regulation of asylum and refugee subjects. In addition, the module devotes time to key contemporary problems in asylum and refugee law and current developments and debates in the field.

Find out more about LW647

This module will provide students with a strong grounding in the technical law relating to homelessness, as well as an understanding of some of the key policy debates which underlie this legal framework. The module opens with discussion of social understandings of home and homelessness, before moving to a detailed assessment of the current framework of England's homelessness law. It will examine statute and case law relating to the duties on local authorities to respond to homelessness, including the definition of homelessness; who is "eligible" for housing; the key concepts of priority need and the meaning of vulnerability; what happens when someone is considered to be “intentionally homeless”; and the impact of a connection to another local authority. The review of the contemporary legal structure closes with discussion of the procedure which homeless applicants will undergo and a review of the law and policy relating to allocation policies. The second part of the module places this legal structure in context by examining the history of homelessness provision and regulation; considering responses to homelessness in other jurisdictions and examining the regulation and perceptions of street homelessness.

Find out more about LW646

This course explores selected global problems in their historical, social, political and economic contexts in light of international legal frameworks. The course begins with an examination of key critical perspectives in international law, such as Third World Approaches to International Law, before moving on to specific topics of historical or contemporary concern. Attention will be paid in particular to systemic problems of the global legal order and students are encouraged to analyse the limits and potential of international law to present solutions to global problems as well as the role played by international law in framing and constituting those problems in the first place.

Find out more about LW645

This module examines the intersections between forms of legal regulation or 'government', conceptions of power and power-spatial configurations. It traces elements of such intersections accessibly with the aid of insights from a variety of the most relevant sub-fields (including legal geography, architectural history and theory, critical planning studies, urban design, spatial studies, anthropology, legal theory and philosophy). It interrogates the intersections in question both through a thorough introduction to all the contemporary relevant theories and practices of spatial power configuration and with a focused 4-week seminar preparation of a unit theme, each year, on a particular city or relevant event or project which informs the assessment set.

Find out more about LW635

The module will examine the role and function of international law in the use of force between states as well as non-state actors. It will provide students with detailed knowledge and understanding of the origins and development of international law on the use of force and of its concepts, principles and rules governing the use of force (jus ad bellum) and the conduct of armed conflict (jus in bello). The module will enable students to consider the relevance, or otherwise, of international law on the use of force to contemporary international disputes and to critically assess its limitations and effects. This will be achieved through a range of topics and case studies.

Find out more about LW643

This module introduces the origins, evolution and impact of international economic law—that is, the regulation by (primarily) states and international organisations of international economic activity, such as the movement of goods, services, capital and people.

It takes a critical sociolegal approach to the field in the sense that it considers economic, social, political and cultural dimensions; and emphasises the existence of multiples perspectives, in particular of individuals and organisations; in the public, private, and third sectors; in relatively poor and relatively rich economic contexts; in times of calm and of crisis; and on local, national, regional and global levels.

Find out more about LW632

This module considers how criminal law makes use of science. Forensic evidence is a rapidly developing area in criminal trials – new techniques are continually being developed and forensic evidence such as DNA profiling is increasingly presented as evidence. This rapid expansion has resulted in forensic evidence becoming increasingly debated in the media and by the criminal justice process – from articles hailing DNA profiling as preventing or undoing miscarriages of justice to those questioning a lay jury's ability to make a judgement in case involving highly complex scientific or medical evidence.

The module will be broken down into 4 parts:

1. Initially, analysis of the historical development of the use of forensic evidence will be made along with explanation of both what constitutes forensic evidence and the basic scientific techniques involved.

2. Consideration of the way in which forensic science has developed as a useful tool within the criminal justice process

3. Analysis of the difficulties of placing emphasis on forensic science within the trial system – cases in which forensic science has resulted in subsequently questioned decisions.

4. Current issues surrounding the use of forensic science: This section of the course will be devoted to considering the questions which arise out of the use of forensic evidence such as:

• Who should decide whether a new scientific technique should be admissible evidence,

• Who are the experts who present the evidence to juries

• To what extent does the admission of forensic evidence assists juries.

Find out more about LW584

This module allows a student to undertake a lengthy writing project on a law -related subject that interests her/him under the supervision of a KLS staff member. It is available to Stage 2 and 3 students taking single or combined honours law programmes. Students wishing to take this module must settle on their topic and find a dissertation supervisor near the end of the Spring term of the academic year previous to the start of this module. During the first term of this module, the convenor will conduct several sessions on how to research and write a law dissertation.

Find out more about LW566

The module seeks to provide an historical, legal and social understanding of the police, one of the key social and legal institutions of the modern state. The police are an integral part of the criminal justice system and as such, this module is a core element in a criminal justice programme.

Find out more about LW542

This module investigates the relationship between law and social change, and explores the political, economic and social dynamics that affect this relationship over time. We will consider questions such as:

• Why is the law a terrain of social struggle?

• How does the law respond and/or contribute to social change? How can the law be harnessed for social change?

• How do the values or worldviews that the law incorporates affect the legal advancement of social change?

• How does the character of the law change in relation to different social, economic and political dynamics?

• What are the obstacles and limitations to the law contributing to and creating social change?

• How can we engage with the law to pursue change towards social justice?

The first part of the module examines the relationship between law and social change as addressed by some key classical and contemporary social theorists. This exploration is then extended with an analysis of how and to what extent social movements can affect legal reform and contribute to social change. The second part of the module investigates a number of concepts and areas in relation to which the approaches and ideas explored in the previous part can be applied, questioned, reframed or expanded. These concepts and areas are morality, democracy, globalisation, rights and citizenship, and the role of legal professions in social change. The module wraps up with a student-led session on their essay-in progress.

Find out more about LW570

The media is full of gender controversies: there’s same-sex marriage (or not) in California, violence against women pretty well everywhere, and a whopping 17% gender pay gap in the UK. What do you think about these issues? How do you think the law should respond?

This module focuses on how law interacts with gender and sexuality. It examines, and encourages you to discuss, the interconnections between law, policy, gender, and sexuality. We will start by focusing on key concepts in feminist and queer legal theory, such as heteronormativity (the dominance of heterosexual family and social structures). We will then relate these theories to current dilemmas: same-sex marriage; transgender rights; gay refugees; diverse family formations. Finally, we tackle the really big questions. Should we use the law to change the law? Are rights really any use? What is neo-liberalism and how does this relate to gender?

Find out more about LW596

In recent times, 'alternative' forms of dispute resolution (ADR) have been widely recognised as possessing the potential to limit some of the damage caused by civil disputes. Therefore, a lawyer’s skill-set ideally should include a well-developed ability to analyse, manage and resolve disputes both within and outside the usual setting of the courtroom. Thus, the module’s primary aim is to introduce students to the legal and regulatory issues surrounding methods of dispute resolution aside from litigation. Specifically, the module focuses on the practical factors relevant to selecting appropriate dispute resolution in distinct circumstances, including, for example, the employment and family law arenas.

Students will be provided with the resources to acquire a detailed theoretical and practical understanding of the contextual constraints associated with the use of different forms of dispute resolution and will be encouraged to develop their ability to evaluate the effectiveness of particular interventions, especially when used as an adjunct to court proceedings. The module tracks historic and current developments in relation the use of ADR, highlighting how government policy and courts appear, increasingly, to sanction failure to use ADR. This may well enhance students’ opportunities to hone career-advancing expertise in the field.

Find out more about LW626

From the introduction of writing in criminal trial processes, right through to use of AI to machine-analyse legal documents, the law has always transformed its own practice through the adoption of "non-legal" technologies. Today, blockchain and other distributed ledger technologies have made possible the creation of new kinds of legal documents—for example, “smart contracts” that are self-executing and self-enforcing. Hand-held mobile devices and instant messaging have transformed lawyer-client relations. Beyond new documents or networked communication mechanisms, however, new technologies like algorithmic machine learning are changing the way lawyers, courts and intermediaries do their work. Tomorrow's lawyers, as recent scholarship has argued, will need a new set of skills and ways of working that are fit for the coming age of human-machine hybridity. This module aims to introduce students to some of the major technologies currently being integrated into legal practice, as well as the ways that they are transforming the way law works—and possibly, according to legal scholars, what we mean by “law” itself. By critically situating these new technologies in relation to previous technological (r)evolutions in legal practice—major changes precipitated by technologies like writing, the invention of forms, or the media technology of legal files—this module asks what implications those technologies might have for the lawyer, the court, and for other governmental institutions whose work has traditionally been defined by the pursuit of justice.

Find out more about LW658

"Art, law and politics" focuses not on the law relating to the sale, protection or movement of art, but on an exciting new body of contemporary art that takes law as its subject matter. Why have artists recently taken such an interest in law? How is art about law unique, and what can “law people” learn from it? This module aims to answer these questions by exploring the many ways artists have targeted law and legal themes. Socially-motivated art about law is animated by a strong critical, political spirit. But contemporary art doesn't simply “represent” law (which is often said about legally-themed literature and film): the great flexibility of art’s forms allows it to “get inside” legal practices, processes, presumptions and structures, opening them up to new perspectives and making us experience them in different ways. We will look at major examples of contemporary and modern art about law (and some of the best art-law writing, to help us to analyse them). While such art can often be read as critical of law and its institutions, we can also read it for the social and political knowledge about law it contains (what we might call an alternative kind of artistic jurisprudence). In this way, the module equips students with a solid understanding of the relations between contemporary art and law.

Find out more about LW649

The overall objective of the module is to provide a foundational exposition and appreciation of Sports Law, considering key elements of the legal and institutional framework. Sport in the UK (as elsewhere) is now subject to a very wide range set of systems of supervision involving the application of principles and institutional governance subject to a wide spectrum of legal sources, including public and private law, national and international law as well as sui generis dispute resolution systems such as the Court of Arbitration for Sport based in Switzerland. The module will develop student learning by focusing on a range of legal topics and issues, which constitute integral key components of Sports Law.

Find out more about LW655

Stage 3

Compulsory modules currently include

In contrast to LAWS5080 Criminal Law (at Level 5), this Level 6 module will consider each of the following discrete, but identical, topics to a much greater depth making use of, and improving, skills developed in earlier years of their degree programme:

• Introduction to the concept of crime, the structure of criminal justice and the general principles of liability

• Harm and the boundaries of criminal law

• Considering cases – how to effectively summarise cases and write a case note

• Murder

• Defences to murder

• General defences

• Manslaughter

• Non-fatal offences against the person

• Sexual offences

• Inchoate offences

• Complicity

• Property-related offences

Find out more about LW601

Optional modules may include

This course will give students the opportunity to explore the ways in which morality has been understood and theorised and then to trace the development of a particular moral concept (namely, that of individual rights), that is central to legal discourse today. The methodology will be historical/contextual as well as theoretical/analytical. We will look at the way in which the idea of individual rights arose (and continues to develop) in a philosophical, political and historical context and we will examine and critically evaluate modern theories of rights and their relationship to law. The concept of a right is deceptively simple. When examined closely is gives rise to all sorts of questions and problems including, for example: how is the idea of a right justified? What is its relationship to the older idea of liberty? Can it survive the discrediting of theories of natural rights tied to natural law? Can it stand alone as a moral concept or is it merely the ‘other side’ of a duty?

Block 1: A critical introduction to the major theories of moral philosophy: virtue theory, duty based (deontological) Kantian theory and consequentialism (utilitarianism).

Block 2:. A historical/contextual examination of the development of a particular moral concept; that of individual rights.

Block 3.Oral presentations by students in pairs.

Block 4.An analytical examination and critique of modern theories of rights and their relationship to law (incl. ‘interest’ and ‘will’ theories and the legal analysis of Wesley Hohfeld)

Find out more about LW604

This module allows a student to undertake a lengthy writing project on a law -related subject that interests her/him under the supervision of a KLS staff member. It is available to Stage 2 and 3 students taking single or combined honours law programmes. Students wishing to take this module must settle on their topic and find a dissertation supervisor near the end of the Spring term of the academic year previous to the start of this module. During the first term of this module, the convenor will conduct several sessions on how to research and write a law dissertation.

Find out more about LW611

The first half of the module will provide students with detailed knowledge and understanding of the idea of development, the international development project, the main international development institutions and the international context in which they developed; the national effects of the development project; and the movement of Law and Development. The second half of the module will examine contemporary topics in law and international development, including (but not limited to) human rights and development; decentralization and local development; sustainability and development; law and the informal sector; rule of law promotion; and the intersection between security and developmental concerns and discourses.

Find out more about LW616

This course will give students the opportunity to explore the ways in which moral reasoning can inform the study and practice of lawyering. Students will be asked to think and argue about the (possible) moral dimension of the practice of law. The course will include a theoretical component during which we will explore ways in which we might justify (or deny) a moral dimension to the practice of law. In the practical component we will use case studies (including that of the US government lawyers who provided legal justifications for the use of torture on ‘War on Terror’ prisoners). This case study and others will be used to discuss and debate issues in legal ethics, broadly conceived. The methodology will combine theoretical discussion of the principles that should inform the notion of legal ethics with analysis and discussion of actual moral and ethical dilemmas faced by lawyers and their resolution.

Block 1: Why Legal Ethics? An exploration of the moral reasoning and arguments behind the idea of ‘legal ethics’. Do lawyers have moral responsibilities as well as legal ones?

Block 2: Case studies and the ethical issues they raise. Answers to moral questions and dilemmas in legal practice.

Find out more about LW617

This module is concerned with contemporary labour law. It combines legal analysis and the transmission of practical legal skills with a highly contextual and interdisciplinary understanding of the labour law and regulatory debates around labour regulation. To that end, workshops will feature extended discussion on key aspects of contemporary labour legislation using scholarly texts. Students will also study key legal aspects of the modern employment relationship including the contract of employment, statutory employment protection provisions (for example unfair dismissal and redundancy protection), anti-discrimination legislation and provisions for reconciling work and family life (e.g. pregnancy protection and parental leave). The module will also explore selected aspects of collective labour law including the role and status of trade unions, the legal regulation of collective bargaining and/or the regulation of industrial conflict. The module seeks to combine a detailed knowledge of fundamental key aspects of labour law with the development of broader conceptual, critical and evaluative perspectives on workplace regulation.

Find out more about LW624

In recent times, 'alternative' forms of dispute resolution (ADR) have been widely recognised as possessing the potential to limit some of the damage caused by civil disputes. Therefore, a lawyer’s skill-set ideally should include a well-developed ability to analyse, manage and resolve disputes both within and outside the usual setting of the courtroom. Thus, the module’s primary aim is to introduce students to the legal and regulatory issues surrounding methods of dispute resolution aside from litigation. Specifically, the module focuses on the practical factors relevant to selecting appropriate dispute resolution in distinct circumstances, including, for example, the employment and family law arenas.

Students will be provided with the resources to acquire a detailed theoretical and practical understanding of the contextual constraints associated with the use of different forms of dispute resolution and will be encouraged to develop their ability to evaluate the effectiveness of particular interventions, especially when used as an adjunct to court proceedings. The module tracks historic and current developments in relation the use of ADR, highlighting how government policy and courts appear, increasingly, to sanction failure to use ADR. This may well enhance students’ opportunities to hone career-advancing expertise in the field.

Find out more about LW626

90% of English cases involve a statute. For obvious reasons, it is crucial that you should know how to interpret and apply a statute. Through a series of fascinating examples both from the UK and elsewhere, this module teaches you these skills, which all employers highly value. Skills in interpretation are also very useful when you have to deal with judicial precedents. This module will make a difference on your résumé!

Find out more about LW594

The media is full of gender controversies: there’s same-sex marriage (or not) in California, violence against women pretty well everywhere, and a whopping 17% gender pay gap in the UK. What do you think about these issues? How do you think the law should respond?

This module focuses on how law interacts with gender and sexuality. It examines, and encourages you to discuss, the interconnections between law, policy, gender, and sexuality. We will start by focusing on key concepts in feminist and queer legal theory, such as heteronormativity (the dominance of heterosexual family and social structures). We will then relate these theories to current dilemmas: same-sex marriage; transgender rights; gay refugees; diverse family formations. Finally, we tackle the really big questions. Should we use the law to change the law? Are rights really any use? What is neo-liberalism and how does this relate to gender?

Find out more about LW596

This module investigates the relationship between law and social change, and explores the political, economic and social dynamics that affect this relationship over time. We will consider questions such as:

• Why is the law a terrain of social struggle?

• How does the law respond and/or contribute to social change? How can the law be harnessed for social change?

• How do the values or worldviews that the law incorporates affect the legal advancement of social change?

• How does the character of the law change in relation to different social, economic and political dynamics?

• What are the obstacles and limitations to the law contributing to and creating social change?

• How can we engage with the law to pursue change towards social justice?

The first part of the module examines the relationship between law and social change as addressed by some key classical and contemporary social theorists. This exploration is then extended with an analysis of how and to what extent social movements can affect legal reform and contribute to social change. The second part of the module investigates a number of concepts and areas in relation to which the approaches and ideas explored in the previous part can be applied, questioned, reframed or expanded. These concepts and areas are morality, democracy, globalisation, rights and citizenship, and the role of legal professions in social change. The module wraps up with a student-led session on their essay-in progress.

Find out more about LW570

The overall objective of the module is to provide an exposition of Environmental Law which seeks to assess the functioning of the law alongside the environmental problems that it seeks to address. Many of these problems admit scientific, economic and administrative responses as readily as legal ones. However, the underlying premise is that, alongside other disciplines, law has an essential part to play in the protection of the environment. Within law, various strategies that may be applied to environmental problems have different strengths and weaknesses. In each case the options must be reviewed and it must be asked, which is the most appropriate legal approach to a particular kind of environmental problem?

To some extent this eclectic perspective spans traditional legal boundaries emphasising features which may be overlooked in customary treatments of subjects such as criminal law, tort, administrative law and European Union law, but it is a subject which has a distinctive identity determined by the specific problems that the law seeks to address. Environmental Law seeks to examine and assess laws, of widely different kinds, from a uniquely environmental perspective. Taking the broadest possible view, it must be asked what legal mechanism is best used to restrict emissions causing deterioration in the quality of the three environmental media of water, air and land and how the law can provide appropriate redress for environmental harm.

Environmental Law I is broadly concerned with environmental quality law, particularly the different ways in which environmentally damaging activities are addressed through legal mechanisms. The module commences with a discussion of foundational issues concerning basic concepts in Environmental Law and the range of legal approaches that are adopted in national, European Union and international law. Thereafter, the main focus is on the protection of the environmental media of water, land and air to prevent pollution and to secure environmental quality objectives. The module concludes by examining some cross-cutting issues, such as enforcement, information access, participation and alternative strategies for environmental protection.

Find out more about LW585

The overall objective of the module is to provide an exposition of Environmental Law which seeks to assess the functioning of the law alongside the environmental problems that it seeks to address. Many of these problems admit scientific, economic and administrative solutions as readily as legal ones. However, the underlying premise is that, alongside other disciplines, law has an essential part to play in the protection of the environment. Within law, various strategies that may be applied to environmental problems have different strengths and weaknesses. In each case the options must be reviewed and it must be asked, which is the most appropriate legal approach to a particular kind of environmental problem?

To some extent this eclectic perspective spans traditional legal boundaries emphasising features which may be overlooked in customary treatments of subjects such as criminal law, tort, administrative law and European Union law but it is a subject which has a distinctive identity determined by the specific problems that the law is designed to address. Environmental Law seeks to examine and assess laws, of widely different kinds, from a uniquely environmental perspective. Taking a broad view, it must be asked what legal mechanisms are best used to restrict environmentally damaging land use and development, and how may the law be used most effectively to conserve wild fauna and flora and the habitats upon which they depend?

Environmental Law II (LW586) is intended to complement Environmental Law I. Whilst Environmental Law I is primarily concerned with protection of the quality of the environmental media of water, air and land, Environmental Law II is concerned with the environmental land use controls and specific mechanisms for conservation of species and habitats (ecological quality law).

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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.

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This module seeks to provide a sound knowledge and understanding of the concepts and principles underlying the

law relating to human rights, including a grounding in the historical development and political philosophy of human

rights law; to provide a detailed grasp of the current protection of human rights in English law, with particular

reference to the Human Rights Act 1998 and European Convention on Human Rights; and to promote a critical

discussion about the nature, function and effects of human rights as they are, or might be, expressed in English law.

Find out more about LW509

The role of evidence in a courtroom (civil and criminal) is technical but its rules reflect core principles of the due process of law. This is critically examined with reference to the right to a fair trial as guaranteed under Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The module considers matters such as the functions of judge and jury, standards and burdens of proof, the competence and examination of witnesses, the exclusionary rules relating to character, opinion and hearsay, improperly obtained evidence. The module also introduces students to the process of inferential logic through its unique case classes. The law of evidence is a mandatory subject in the vocational stages of training and so a thorough, critical examination at this stage will provide students with an advantage if they intend to enter the legal profession.

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This module considers the legal regulation of medical practice in its ethical, socio-economic and historical context, drawing on a range of critical, contextual and interdisciplinary perspectives. Students will be introduced to fundamental principles of medical ethics and the law, before moving on to discuss the wider aspects ethical theory within selected topics. We concentrate on issues at the beginning of life (including abortion, surrogacy, assisted conception, genetics and embryo research) and at its end (euthanasia, futility and withdrawal of treatment), as well as body ownership, transplantation and organ donation.

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This module seeks not only to familiarise students with the basic concepts and structure of modern British company law, but also to provide them with a critical understanding of the nature and dynamics of modern capitalism and of the historical development of industrial organisation and the emergence of company law within it. In addition to a selection on modern company law, therefore, the module also traces the rise of the joint stock company in the nineteenth century and the emergence of company law in its wake. It moves on to trace the twentieth century rise of the modern multidivisional, multinational company and its impact on company law. In this context, it also considers the nature of the share and of shareholding, and the role of the Stock Market, and explores contemporary debates about corporate governance. Key aspects will include exploring the contractual relations between, on the one hand, the company and its agents and on the other hand, third parties who deal with the company, tracing the evolutionary changes from the Common Law to the modern predominantly statutory framework. It will also deal with aspects of corporate management and control, including directors’ duties, shareholders’ rights and the increasingly important issues pertaining to market abuse and how the law seeks to deal with such practices. Students are encouraged to familiarise themselves with current issues in the commercial world by reading the financial pages of the newspapers, as reference will frequently be made to current events to facilitate the learning process. The module will address a range of inter-related questions: How well suited is modern company law to the regulation of the large modern corporation? What do shareholders do? What does the Stock Market do? In whose interests are modern corporations run? In whose interest should they be run? How do companies contract and what are the relationships between the organs of the company?

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In the current context of globalization, postcolonialism and transnationalism, not to mention the Europeanization of laws, every law student in the UK will almost inevitably encounter foreign law in the course of his or her professional life. For one thing, the legislator shows itself more and more open to the influence of foreign legal ideas in the legislative process. Also, appellate judges increasingly refer to foreign law in the course of their opinions. Further, private parties often enter into legal arrangements, such as contracts or wills, presenting an international dimension. In sum, nowadays, foreign law is everywhere and cannot be circumvented.

This module intends to provide law students with the necessary intellectual equipment allowing them to approach any foreign law (not only European laws) in a meaningful way. In particular, the module will heighten students' sensitization to the specificity of foreign legal cultures and encourage them to reflect in depth upon the possibilities and limits of cross-border interaction in the law. Another feature of this module will be a critical introduction to hermeneutics, deconstruction and translation studies with specific reference being made to law as these lines of thought are most relevant for comparatists. Throughout the course, concrete examples will be developed from a range of different national laws.

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The Philosophy of Law module is designed for those who think they might be interested in philosophical reflection and enquiry into law. The module assumes no prior knowledge of either philosophy or law. The module uses the tools of analytic philosophy in order to promote understanding and criticism of current and historical understandings of law and legal practice, and to promote students' own critical, reflective understandings concerning these topics. Module learning divides into two parts. The first part occupies Autumn Term learning and teaching, and comprises an introduction to philosophy of law and to the major school of thought in jurisprudence that have dominated reflection on the nature of law. A significant theme of this programme of study is to develop understanding of the relation of ideas in philosophy of law to a wider scholarship that includes historical and sociological understandings of legal practices. The second part occupies Spring Term learning and teaching, and is taken up with the close critical reading of a single monograph in the philosophy of law. The aim of this part of the module is to build upon and supplement Autumn Term learning through the focussed and detailed examination of a single, sustained argument offered within the subject field, thereby deepening earlier understandings and also enabling students to develop and refine their skills of philosophical reading and critique.

Find out more about LW540

The module seeks to provide an historical, legal and social understanding of the police, one of the key social and legal institutions of the modern state. The police are an integral part of the criminal justice system and as such, this module is a core element in a criminal justice programme.

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Students on this module must become members of the Kent Law Clinic, and work under Supervisors on ‘live’ cases for clients of the Clinic under the supervision of solicitors, or other experienced legal practitioners working alongside them. All Supervisors are members of the academic staff at Kent Law School. Students will develop their knowledge and understanding of specific areas of English law and procedure, and some specific skills. Students are encouraged to view their clinical work as a means to an end – not just the acquisition of important legal skills but primarily a better understanding and critical analysis of law and of legal practice. The excellent opportunity which clinical work provides for active learning, and for studying the interface between theory and practice, is placed firmly in this context.

Students are expected to undertake from the second week of Autumn term onwards until the end of the Spring term, under supervision, the conduct of at least two substantial cases (or the equivalent), involving proceedings in courts or tribunals or other legal forums, or projects on an area of law of relevance to the objects of the Clinic. Students will normally work on cases rather than projects. A Supervisor will decide whether a student has undertaken two substantial cases (or the equivalent) for the purposes of this module.

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The course aims to provide students with abilities to develop an understanding of the following issues: (a) Foundational principles, justificatory arguments and theoretical frameworks of intellectual property law; (b) Key legislation and case law and the relationship of levels of law making in intellectual property law; (c) A basic understanding of UK intellectual property law (copyright, breach of confidence, trade marks and patents)

This module will focus on the leading topic areas of intellectual property law (including practical aspects), namely:

• Copyright

• Patents

• Trade marks

• Passing off

• Breach of confidence

Find out more about LW556

This module allows a student to undertake a lengthy writing project on a law -related subject that interests her/him under the supervision of a KLS staff member. It is available to Stage 3 students taking single or combined honours law programmes. Public Law II is a compulsory prerequisite module. Entry to this module will be based on gaining a Merit in stage 1, however, if they achieve a 2:1 in the Public Law 2 special study they may be admitted subsequently. Students wishing to take this module must settle on their topic and find a dissertation supervisor near the end of the Spring term of the academic year previous to the start of this module. During the first term of this module, the convenor will conduct several sessions on how to research and write a law dissertation.

Find out more about LW563

This module allows a student to undertake a lengthy writing project on a law -related subject that interests her/him under the supervision of a KLS staff member. It is available to Stage 2 and 3 students taking single or combined honours law programmes. Students wishing to take this module must settle on their topic and find a dissertation supervisor near the end of the Spring term of the academic year previous to the start of this module. During the first term of this module, the convenor will conduct several sessions on how to research and write a law dissertation.

Find out more about LW566

This module is designed to provide an understanding of the interrelationship between political theory and law in modernity. Drawing upon political theory it explores ideas of law, power, resistance, community, sovereignty and the subject. The objective is to build a solid understanding of political theory in relation to these key concepts, and then use this understanding to examine contemporary political and juridical questions such as those of democracy and citizenship; multiculturalism, bio-politics, secularism, terrorism, post-colonialism and contemporary formations of Empire. In so doing, the module seeks to equip students with the necessary intellectual tools for deploying insights from political theory and philosophy to the study of law.

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The module addresses the regulation of consumer markets. This module is aimed at students who wish to have an understanding of substantive law, policies and institutional framework concerning the regulation of consumer markets.

Find out more about LW580

So much of law is about text and the manipulation of language: Becoming sensitive to the construction of narratives in judgements, learning to read argument in its many forms, recognising the ways in which words, and patterns of words, can be used to create effect, playing with ambiguities or seeking to express an idea with clarity, all these are fundamental skills for a lawyer. Law is also about performance, the roles which are assigned to us and the drama of the court room. And law, as text and performance, carries fundamental cultural messages about the society we live in and the values we aspire to. During this module, we will examine some of the many ways in which reading, viewing and listening to, 'the arts' helps us to think more concisely as well as more imaginatively about law. We welcome on to the module anyone who shares, with us, an enjoyment of reading, viewing and listening – this is a chance to be introduced to material you may not be familiar with as well as a chance to pursue an interest you may already have. Although the module is designed primarily for law students, it is also open to undergraduates from other degree programmes.

The module focuses on a small number of key texts through which to explore the themes and develop student skills. These vary from year to year.

Find out more about LW581

The module will be divided into three main sections. The first section will involve an examination of the banker-customer relationship, including the rights and obligations of the parties in that relationship, the use of different methods of payments and remedies. The second section will focus on the provision of credit by banks to customers. This section will look at the types of credit facilities provided by banks, the taking of security by banks and the enforcement of such security. The final section will focus on money laundering regulation within the banking industry.

Find out more about LW582

This area of law considers a developing jurisprudence that involves international treaties, laws, ethics, and policy considerations relating to the art market and cultural heritage. This module aims to define art and cultural heritage/cultural property; to identify the need for national and international regulation of the art trade (theft, illegal export, trafficking) both in time of peace and in time of war as well as the issue of restitution of wrongfully displaced objects. It will also explore areas of the art trade that need regulation such as consumer protection (fakes and forgeries); the role of experts (opinion and liability), artists (his rights, his freedom and his life), dealers (auction houses and private dealers), and museums (role and collection management) in the trade. Finally, the module addresses the essential question of the need to change the law to accommodate the specific needs of protection of cultural heritage and it aims to give coherence to a complex body of rules at the intersection of civil law, property law, criminal law, public law, private international law and public international law.

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This module considers how criminal law makes use of science. Forensic evidence is a rapidly developing area in criminal trials – new techniques are continually being developed and forensic evidence such as DNA profiling is increasingly presented as evidence. This rapid expansion has resulted in forensic evidence becoming increasingly debated in the media and by the criminal justice process – from articles hailing DNA profiling as preventing or undoing miscarriages of justice to those questioning a lay jury's ability to make a judgement in case involving highly complex scientific or medical evidence.

The module will be broken down into 4 parts:

1. Initially, analysis of the historical development of the use of forensic evidence will be made along with explanation of both what constitutes forensic evidence and the basic scientific techniques involved.

2. Consideration of the way in which forensic science has developed as a useful tool within the criminal justice process

3. Analysis of the difficulties of placing emphasis on forensic science within the trial system – cases in which forensic science has resulted in subsequently questioned decisions.

4. Current issues surrounding the use of forensic science: This section of the course will be devoted to considering the questions which arise out of the use of forensic evidence such as:

• Who should decide whether a new scientific technique should be admissible evidence,

• Who are the experts who present the evidence to juries

• To what extent does the admission of forensic evidence assists juries.

Find out more about LW584

Argument occurs across the full spectrum of human interaction - in pubs, at home, in seminar classes, and in professional contexts such as those provided by law, science and medicine. However, despite the importance allotted to argument and the desire of those engaged in arguments to win them, little systematic attention is given to the nature of argument and the practical skills required to argue successfully, even though this information is readily available. The ambition of the module is to equip students with this knowledge base and skills, thereby enabling them to enter into argument more confidently and with a greater prospect of success. The module divides into three parts, the first being a very brief historical and theoretical contextualisation of the topic. The second part of the module treats argument and arguing formally, by mapping the standard forms of argument and by developing the skill of picking out a bad argument from a good one, and by showing how to spot the set of common but typically unnoticed mistakes in one’s own argument or in those of others. The third part of the module turns to the skills of rhetoric and persuasion, including examination of the ploys that are often used to give bad or weak arguments persuasive force. The themes of the module are illustrated throughout using real examples from law and elsewhere.

Find out more about LW589

The module focuses on current issues in the law and practice of international business and trade law from critical perspectives. This includes exposing deficiencies in the regulation of international trade finance, international marketing operations, Countertrade, international commercial dispute settlement mechanisms and corruption in international business. The module considers the involvement of emerging business and financial jurisdictions in international trade. It broadly explores the inequities of global integration of international trade law and considers the influences of European Union law and those of leading developed economies and financial jurisdictions on regulation and actual practice of the field of international business transactions. Attention will be given to specialist and emerging areas of law such as international mergers and acquisition as well as philosophical aspects of international trade such as the Lex Mercatoria. It seeks to provide a comparative overview of emerging trends in international business regulation and aims to make students aware of ethical dimensions of international business transactions. Topics to be covered include International Trade within the contexts of public and private international law and international politics; Development and underdevelopment of commercial laws in international trade; mergers and acquisitions; counter trade as an alternative to current system of international business and trade; international franchising and agencies abroad; international commercial dispute settlement mechanisms; international corruption and the bribery of foreign officials; doctrine and practice of the New Lex Mercatoria.

Find out more about LW629

This module introduces the origins, evolution and impact of international economic law—that is, the regulation by (primarily) states and international organisations of international economic activity, such as the movement of goods, services, capital and people.

It takes a critical sociolegal approach to the field in the sense that it considers economic, social, political and cultural dimensions; and emphasises the existence of multiples perspectives, in particular of individuals and organisations; in the public, private, and third sectors; in relatively poor and relatively rich economic contexts; in times of calm and of crisis; and on local, national, regional and global levels.

Find out more about LW632

The module will cover the historical development of mental health law (in brief), the Mental Health Act 1983, civil and criminal admissions to hospital, consent to treatment, capacity, sections of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 relating to deprivation of liberty, discharge (including the role of the Mental Health Review Tribunal) and care in the community; proposals for reform; interaction with the criminal justice system.

Find out more about LW636

A central question of this module is whether, and to what extent, there is anything distinctive about legal reasoning compared to other forms of reasoning. That question is posed from the perspective of a legal practitioner, in particular, an advocate. The aim of the module is to equip students – as potential advocates, but also in general – with a range of tools and skills of argument that are easily transferrable across legal and non-legal contexts. In short, to teach transferrable critical thinking skills within a legal context.

It is a premise of the module that any competent advocate, or indeed lawyer, must demonstrate a proficient grounding in basic logic. The module introduces students to basic forms of logical argument and explores the role and limits of logical inference in legal reasoning and generally. It considers both logical and psychological factors that may lead to flawed reasoning. The module also touches on other forms of reasoning of particular relevance to law including practical, statistical, policy-based and rhetorical forms.

The aim of most reasoning, including legal reasoning is to persuade. The module will therefore introduce students to the skills of legal persuasion via written and oral advocacy.

The theoretical background will provide the basis upon which students will learn to construct effective (legal) arguments and to practice the skills learned in a variety of written and oral contexts including skeleton arguments and mooting

Find out more about LW640

This module will focus on the way in which the law defines and constructs privacy, breach of confidence, cybersecurity threats, and e-surveillance in the UK, EU and elsewhere as appropriate (e.g. North America, Australia) and how the law regulates data protection, freedom of information, consent for digital and personal information collection, use and sharing, and e-surveillance. Students will be asked to critically examine whether privacy protection laws, consent, and confidentiality measures are fit for purpose and proportionate given demands of the market, the state, and public administrations to collect, use, and share personal information for reasons of commerce, service provision, and security protection. Students will be challenged to critically examine how personal, financial, health, and economic transactional data are managed, who has access to this information, and for what purposes. The module will require students to assess emerging legal, regulatory, data protection and personal privacy issues raised by widespread access to personal information, including data generated by social media, electronic commerce, state security agencies, and health administrations. The curriculum will explore rapidly changing privacy and data protection issues including the 'right to be forgotten', the Internet of Things (IoT), cybersecurity law in a post-Snowden world including Safe Harbours, data retention and reuse implications of the UK National DNA database, biobanks, and digital interconnectivity of social media.

Find out more about LW641

The module will examine the role and function of international law in regulating relations between States and resolving international disputes. It will introduce students to a number of theoretical frameworks through which to understand and critically evaluate international law historically and in context. It will provide students with knowledge and understanding of the origins and development of international law and of its key concepts, principles and rules. The module will enable students to consider the relevance, or otherwise, of international law to contemporary international problems and to critically assess its limitations and effects.

Find out more about LW642

The module will examine the role and function of international law in the use of force between states as well as non-state actors. It will provide students with detailed knowledge and understanding of the origins and development of international law on the use of force and of its concepts, principles and rules governing the use of force (jus ad bellum) and the conduct of armed conflict (jus in bello). The module will enable students to consider the relevance, or otherwise, of international law on the use of force to contemporary international disputes and to critically assess its limitations and effects. This will be achieved through a range of topics and case studies.

Find out more about LW643

This module examines the intersections between forms of legal regulation or 'government', conceptions of power and power-spatial configurations. It traces elements of such intersections accessibly with the aid of insights from a variety of the most relevant sub-fields (including legal geography, architectural history and theory, critical planning studies, urban design, spatial studies, anthropology, legal theory and philosophy). It interrogates the intersections in question both through a thorough introduction to all the contemporary relevant theories and practices of spatial power configuration and with a focused 4-week seminar preparation of a unit theme, each year, on a particular city or relevant event or project which informs the assessment set.

Find out more about LW635

The module will examine the evolution, principles, institutions and functions of international human rights law in their political, social and economic contexts. It will provide students with detailed knowledge and understanding of the origins and development of human rights law through critical study and analysis of key theoretical perspectives and debates. The module will enable students to consider the relevance, or otherwise, of international human rights law to historical and/or contemporary challenges and to critically assess its limitations and effects.

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This course explores selected global problems in their historical, social, political and economic contexts in light of international legal frameworks. The course begins with an examination of key critical perspectives in international law, such as Third World Approaches to International Law, before moving on to specific topics of historical or contemporary concern. Attention will be paid in particular to systemic problems of the global legal order and students are encouraged to analyse the limits and potential of international law to present solutions to global problems as well as the role played by international law in framing and constituting those problems in the first place.

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This module will provide students with a strong grounding in the technical law relating to homelessness, as well as an understanding of some of the key policy debates which underlie this legal framework. The module opens with discussion of social understandings of home and homelessness, before moving to a detailed assessment of the current framework of England's homelessness law. It will examine statute and case law relating to the duties on local authorities to respond to homelessness, including the definition of homelessness; who is "eligible" for housing; the key concepts of priority need and the meaning of vulnerability; what happens when someone is considered to be “intentionally homeless”; and the impact of a connection to another local authority. The review of the contemporary legal structure closes with discussion of the procedure which homeless applicants will undergo and a review of the law and policy relating to allocation policies. The second part of the module places this legal structure in context by examining the history of homelessness provision and regulation; considering responses to homelessness in other jurisdictions and examining the regulation and perceptions of street homelessness.

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This module engages with the matter of asylum and refugeehood in both a national and international context. The module offers a thorough introduction to the sources of asylum and refugee law (UK and international) and a critical consideration of the relevant jurisprudence. The module employs at times interdisciplinary material to aid understanding and reflection and engages with the historical and socio-cultural evolution of the government and regulation of asylum and refugee subjects. In addition, the module devotes time to key contemporary problems in asylum and refugee law and current developments and debates in the field.

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The module will assume prior knowledge and understanding of the foundational levels of tort law taught in LW315 and LW597/LW651. In the module, students will focus on contentious areas of tort law from a critical perspective. They will look at areas such as those in the following (not exhaustive or all-inclusive) list: reproductive harms, wrongful birth/life, 'toxic torts' and developments in the law on causation, invasion of privacy and/or autonomy, feminist perspectives/critiques on torts, negligent policing (and of other public bodies), tort law and human rights, access to justice, conceptions of justice in/philosophy of tort. Teaching of these areas may be undertaken by ‘experts’ in a particular topic, so the availability of each topic may vary on an annual basis to account for e.g. periods of study leave.

Find out more about LW652

This module is designed to provide an understanding of the interrelationship between postcolonial theory and law in modernity (late nineteenth century to the present). More specifically, drawing upon postcolonial theory and critique it explores the historical relationships of power, domination, practices of imperialism, colonialism and globalization and the role of law in this context. In particular, the module pays attention mainly to two aspects of the relationship between law and postcolonial studies: the ways in which law and legal technique have been utilised in the context of European colonization and what the contemporary implications of this may be, and the ways in which postcolonial theory has influenced critical legal studies, and aided in the development of post-colonial legal theory.

The objective is to build a solid understanding of the relationship between postcolonial theory and law through some of the key texts that have shaped the field of postcolonial studies and law from the Subaltern Studies School to postcoloniality, and to more recent approaches such as globalization and decolonization. The texts used in the module are situated in a diverse range of disciplines, including history, social theory, philosophy, literature, cultural studies and law. They cover key themes such as race, community, identity, 'otherness' gender, sexuality, sovereignty/border making, governmentality, bio-politics, epistemic violence of western regimes of knowledge including legal knowledge, and justice. To students who are interested in undertaking research in the areas of human rights, international law, indigenous rights, jurisprudence and critical legal theory, an understanding of these texts is indispensable.

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The overall objective of the module is to provide a foundational exposition and appreciation of Sports Law, considering key elements of the legal and institutional framework. Sport in the UK (as elsewhere) is now subject to a very wide range set of systems of supervision involving the application of principles and institutional governance subject to a wide spectrum of legal sources, including public and private law, national and international law as well as sui generis dispute resolution systems such as the Court of Arbitration for Sport based in Switzerland. The module will develop student learning by focusing on a range of legal topics and issues, which constitute integral key components of Sports Law.

Find out more about LW655

The module will provide an introduction to immigration law in the United Kingdom. It covers key concepts; the development of the field of law viewed in historical and political context; questions of nationality and the system of immigration control and enforcement. It also considers how EU law and human rights standards impact(ed) UK law governing immigration. In particular, the course covers: The Immigration Debate in the UK: Are Immigration restrictions justified?; The Evolution of Migration Law and Policy in Britain; an appreciation and understanding of the subjects to Immigration Control; the multiple sources of Immigration Law; the case of Long-term Residence Rights; the matter of Family Migration; an outline of Labour Migration; relevant aspects of EU Migration and Free Movement; case studies on Detention and Deportation; as well as an appreciation of the Appeals Process and Judicial Review. Drawing on a range of contextual accounts, policy documents, case law and critical analysis of developments at the national, regional and to a more limited extent the international level, the module enables students to acquire both sound knowledge of the law and critical awareness of the biases, gaps and challenges in the current immigration system.

Find out more about LW648

"Art, law and politics" focuses not on the law relating to the sale, protection or movement of art, but on an exciting new body of contemporary art that takes law as its subject matter. Why have artists recently taken such an interest in law? How is art about law unique, and what can “law people” learn from it? This module aims to answer these questions by exploring the many ways artists have targeted law and legal themes. Socially-motivated art about law is animated by a strong critical, political spirit. But contemporary art doesn't simply “represent” law (which is often said about legally-themed literature and film): the great flexibility of art’s forms allows it to “get inside” legal practices, processes, presumptions and structures, opening them up to new perspectives and making us experience them in different ways. We will look at major examples of contemporary and modern art about law (and some of the best art-law writing, to help us to analyse them). While such art can often be read as critical of law and its institutions, we can also read it for the social and political knowledge about law it contains (what we might call an alternative kind of artistic jurisprudence). In this way, the module equips students with a solid understanding of the relations between contemporary art and law.

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The law of inheritance (also known as succession) is a core area of legal and socio-economic practice enabling, and sometimes mandating, the transfer of wealth from one generation to another. Common law jurisdictions, such as England, Australia and America, are often described as upholding the principle of 'freedom of testation'. To the extent that testators’ intentions are given primacy over other considerations, such as provision for family members and dependents and other ‘public policies’, particularly in putting conditions on bequests, the more the dead can be understood as governing the living – as such, the law of inheritance is sometimes known as the law of the dead hand. This course provides a critical introduction to the law of inheritance and practices of ‘estate planning’. It will analyse the key legal structures involved in estate planning in English succession law, including the nature of wills, will formation, the use of trusts in wills, and the administration of estates; it will assess the problem of intestacy (dying without a will); it will critically evaluate the principle of ‘freedom of testation’ with regard the limitations placed on freedom of testation and comparative analysis with other jurisdictions; and it will evaluate the law and practice of estate planning through an introduction to the principles of taxation relevant to inheritance and the socio-economic implications of estate planning.

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From the introduction of writing in criminal trial processes, right through to use of AI to machine-analyse legal documents, the law has always transformed its own practice through the adoption of "non-legal" technologies. Today, blockchain and other distributed ledger technologies have made possible the creation of new kinds of legal documents—for example, “smart contracts” that are self-executing and self-enforcing. Hand-held mobile devices and instant messaging have transformed lawyer-client relations. Beyond new documents or networked communication mechanisms, however, new technologies like algorithmic machine learning are changing the way lawyers, courts and intermediaries do their work. Tomorrow's lawyers, as recent scholarship has argued, will need a new set of skills and ways of working that are fit for the coming age of human-machine hybridity. This module aims to introduce students to some of the major technologies currently being integrated into legal practice, as well as the ways that they are transforming the way law works—and possibly, according to legal scholars, what we mean by “law” itself. By critically situating these new technologies in relation to previous technological (r)evolutions in legal practice—major changes precipitated by technologies like writing, the invention of forms, or the media technology of legal files—this module asks what implications those technologies might have for the lawyer, the court, and for other governmental institutions whose work has traditionally been defined by the pursuit of justice.

Find out more about LW658

The purpose of the module is to enable students to critically engage with the International Society (or “English School”) approach to International Relations. Combining political theory, IR theory, philosophy, sociology, and history this approach seeks to understand the theory and practice of international politics by reference to the historical development of relations between large scale political entities (from empires, hordes, kingdoms, to the modern nation-state and beyond) and the discourses that have emerged (Machiavellian, Grotian, Kantian) in response to the development of first European international society and eventually world society. The course focuses on the central features of international society - war and peace - as they have been conceived by the three traditions and members of the English School from Martin Wight to more contemporary figures.

Find out more about PO667

The curriculum is intended to familiarise students with the conservative tradition in modern politics. This is achieved by reference to a range of key conservative thinkers selected by the module convenors to help students understand the diversity of the conservative tradition and consider what factors help to cohere it. Comparison within the tradition and across a variety of thinkers is achieved by examining these thinkers' views on four basic categories of modern politics, namely the state, the market, society and international relations. In order to meet these broad learning outcomes, essay questions will be designed in order to ensure that students have to compare at least two thinkers. The module is structured around lectures and seminars.

Find out more about PO669

One of the most striking developments in established Western democracies has been the rise of radical right politics, as reflected in the growth of parties in Europe like the National Front in France, the Freedom Party of Austria, the UK Independence Party and then Brexit Party, and in the election of Donald Trump in the United States. In this module, students will investigate the nature and rise of populism and explore related issues such as national populism and racially-motivated violence and/or terrorism. This module will familiarise students with conceptual and theoretical debates within the academic literature, and introduce students to methodological debates. Students will be encouraged to think critically about concepts, classifications, ideologies, electoral behaviour and the broader implications of the rise of these parties and social movements in areas such as public policy and social cohesion. More broadly, the module will enable students to strengthen their communication and presentational skills, critically assess academic debates and improve their understanding of theory and methods.

Find out more about PO676

The research dissertation module aims to give students of politics and international relations the opportunity to do independent and original research on a topic of their choice. While we try to give students as much freedom as possible in their choice of topic, the final thesis title will require approval by the module convenor in order to ensure that (a) the title falls within the subject area of politics and international relations (broadly conceived) and that (b) the learning resources and expertise available in the School allow us to supervise the dissertation.

Many PO679 students already know the general area of their dissertation topic at the time of their registration for the module but there is still a long way to travel from your 'interests' in a particular topic or research area to a suitable and feasible dissertation title. In PO679 you will go through the entire process of writing a dissertation (8,000 words long): from the original 'problem' to a suitable research 'question', to choosing a method, to designing your research, to conducting the research; from taking notes to drafting the dissertation, to revising and writing the dissertation, and finally to submitting the dissertation. Lectures, supervision and a conference will help you along the way.

We recommend PO679 to all students considering postgraduate studies. Most postgraduate programmes – at MA, MPhil and PhD level – require you to write a substantial dissertation.

PLEASE NOTE: PO679 is worth 45 credits. If you wish to take PO679, please keep this in mind when choosing your other modules. PO679 is worth 15 credits in autumn term, and 30 in spring. The module is weighted more to the Spring term to enable you to dedicate the time needed to produce your dissertation.

As you can chose the equivalent of 4 x 15 credits in the autumn and 4 x 15 in the Spring, picking PO679 would look like this:

Autumn:

PO679

XX

XX

XX

Spring:

PO679

PO679

XX

XX

Find out more about PO679

This module prepares students both to think about the ways in which the landscapes are evolving and being shaped by contemporary developments in technical, scientific, and theoretical fields; and to think about how they want to take part in these developments in their own lives, through professional activity or further study. It will prepare students to think critically about the opportunities and dangers that come with the future, notably through the changes taking place in production techniques (through three-dimensional printing), ecological change and planning, scientific advancements and their impact on the humanities and social sciences (such as quantum theory's challenge to historical studies). By building on bodies of work that have already discussed the potential impact of new technologies and scientific innovations on our understanding of the human, this module will demand intellectual reflection on the potential for change and transformation, with reference to past events and how transformation has occurred to this day. In additional, the module will provide practical guidance on how to think about the student’s own future, whether professionally or for further studies. It will guide students through the possibilities open to them, and give them practical skills to secure an interview and present themselves successfully.

Find out more about PO681

The module provides an overview of some of the core arguments and issues that arise within the context of debates on political resistance: moral justifications of resistance to political authority, the techniques of resistance employed in historical examples, the presuppositions underpinning these techniques, the tensions and difficulties that typically arise in any act of resistance. Starting with Socrates, sent to the Athenians to act as a 'gadfly', the module will look at selected historical examples of resistance, identify and analyse aims and methods, and review and discuss outcomes and consequences. A special feature of this module is that students can submit a ‘documented practice of resistance’ for assessment.

Find out more about PO682

This module will address the politics and international relations of East Asia since 1945. We will analyse the causes and significance of events such as the Korean War, the Cultural Revolution, the economic take-off of both Japan and South Korea, China's economic reforms, democratisation and violence across the region, and the growing importance of populism and nationalism.

A central theme of the module will be uncovering the decisions that leaders take in order to hold onto power – from conflict to corruption, purges to propaganda – and how these decisions continue to influence the domestic and international politics of this vitally important region. We will explore differences in the countries’ domestic political systems and their economic and security considerations to shine a light on major historical and contemporary policies.

In seminars and their policy report, students will develop their own expertise on one East Asian country, in order to provide cutting-edge political analysis of the policy challenges that East Asian leaders face today.

Please note that this course covers a wide range of countries and time periods, so to succeed students will need to spend time engaging fully with the readings, lectures, and seminars. Students are expected to read at least two articles/chapters per week, and seminar grades will depend on having carried out these readings.

Find out more about PO683

The Asia-Pacific is one of the world's most economically and politically dynamic regions. But despite nuclear, territorial, and historical tensions, growing superpower competition, and cross-border threats from crime to the environment, the region has remained relatively peaceful and stable since 1945.

In this module we will begin by explore the puzzle of the region’s stability using approaches drawn from Western and non-Western international relations theories. We will then use these theories to help understand the causes of the region’s most pressing security and development concerns, analyse the likelihood that they will lead to instability and conflict, and evaluate policy measures that might resolve them. We will look at the risk of war over the Taiwan Straits, a nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula, territorial disputes in the South China Sea, and historical grievances with Japan, before analysing regional solutions to cross-national security and economic challenges. The module will conclude by examining whether the region’s stability is likely to continue in the face of major shifts in the regional balance of power.

Please note that to succeed in this course students will need to spend time engaging fully with the readings, lectures, and seminars. Students are expected to read at least two articles/chapters per week, and seminar grades will depend on having carried out these readings.

Find out more about PO684

This module functions as a 'great books' module: students are expected to read a significant portion of a great book every week (averaging around fifty pages each week). These books will introduce students to important debates in a series of different fields in the humanities and social sciences, as well as key debates in the philosophy of science. While the content of the module will vary from year to year depending on guest lecturers, a balance will be struck to enable students to learn widely and develop a critical outlook on literary, social, political, economic, and epistemological works. Students will be encouraged to make connections between all of these areas of knowledge and critically evaluate the works of the authors read in their written work.

Find out more about PO685

PO686 explores the political biographies of three icons of 20th and 21st century politics: Mohandas Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Aung San Suu Kyi. All three have arguably changed the course of history not just in their home countries, and we will be studying how their lives brought them to the forefront of the historical struggles which they came to represent. In particular, we will be looking at how they came to make the personal commitment to engage in these struggles and how they came to accept and deal with the sacrifices that their involvement entailed. We will be particularly interested in the self-understanding of these figures as political actors. Did they intend or plan to have the impact they had? Or did political fame catch them by surprise? Did they understand themselves as political leaders, and if yes, what notions of leadership did they develop as part of their political struggles? How did they understand the resistance they offered to colonial oppression, racial discrimination and oppressive military regimes? What were the philosophical and spiritual underpinnings of their resistance? What influenced them to offer this resistance? How did they reflect on their acts of resistance? What gave them the courage they needed in order to offer this resistance? And what were their methods? Were the means of their struggles appropriate for achieving their ends? What was the role of violence in these methods?

Apart from asking questions about their political lives and the impact these lives had on world history, we will also be able to ask more general questions about political reality itself: Can individuals really affect the course of national and world history? What enabled these figures to have such an impact? Personality? Charisma? Luck? Or were the circumstances such that anyone in similar positions could have provoked change? In fact, how did these figures relate to the world of politics? For example, was Gandhi a 'politician'? Did they have the impact they had because they stood in some sense ‘outside’ conventional politics? And also what does it say about us, about our political present, if we today revere these figures as icons of righteous resistance? Why is there a Nelson Mandela building on Campus? Why is his picture in the Rutherford Dining Hall? What is it that we admire in Mandela? And is the fact that Aung San Suu Kyi failed to live up to our expectations enough to justify her recent fall from grace? These are just some examples of the kinds of questions we will discuss in PO686.

Find out more about PO686

This module provides an overview of key theories, concepts and debates in the discipline of international relations: examples of such theories include liberalism, realism, international society approaches, Marxism, critical theory, post-structuralism and feminism. The theories will be introduced and evaluated in terms of their weaknesses and strengths. This will require some discussion of how theories contribute to the formation of knowledge and how they are to be 'tested' or evaluated.

Find out more about PO690

This module provides an overview of the degree to which cyberspace continues to revolutionise the operations of both state and non-state actors, and the challenges of governing this 'fifth sphere' of power projection. Whilst this module is not entrenched in International Relations or Security Studies theory, students will have the opportunity to apply both traditional and non-traditional approaches to the politics of cyberspace. Key themes include: 21st century technology, cyber warfare, espionage, surveillance, deterrence theory, cyberterrorism, and representation of threatening cyber-entities. Students will develop a toolkit to critique the existing state and NGO-based governance regime for cyberspace, and will convey arguments both for and against a ‘Geneva Convention’ for cyberspace.

Find out more about PO691

The aim of the module is offer an understanding of nationalism as a political phenomenon, approached from different perspectives and appreciated in its manifestations across time and space. The module first introduces and discusses the concepts of nations and nationalism and their distinctions from related concepts such as state, ethnic group, region etc. It then charts the emergence of nationalism, its success in becoming the dominant principle of political organisation, and its diffusion around the world. Subsequently, it engages with the main theories seeking to account for this process, discussing their respective strengths and weaknesses. It then explores the tensions between state and regional nationalism and some of the theories put forward to explain the latter. In a further step, it discusses some of the key aspects of nationalism, such as nation-building, national identity, nationalism and state structures, nationalism and secession, and the challenge of supra-national integration. It concludes by discussing some of the key normative questions raised by nationalism and assessing the likely trajectory of nationalism in the foreseeable future. By so doing, the module offers an analysis of the past, present, and future of nationalism and its significance in contemporary politics.

Find out more about PO692

This module explores the origins, evolution and role of the United Nations (UN) in world politics. The aim is to understand how and why states and other actors participate in the UN. The module further explores the extent to which the United Nations is able to achieve its stated goals of maintaining peace and security, achieving cooperation to solve key international problems, and promoting respect for human rights. The module examines the work of key UN organs, agencies, and member states in a variety of issue areas, with the aim of critically assessing the successes, challenges, and failures of the United Nations.

Find out more about PO555

This module examines the complex relationship between foreign policy analysis and foreign policy practice. It does so by exploring shifting approaches to making and examing foreign policy, including the contributions of IR theory to Foreign Policy Analysis. Historical antecedents of foreign policy as a practice are examined via observations of traditional bilateral and multilateral diplomacy, followed by traditional state-based actors, non-state actors, and the nature of the structure they inhabit. FP decision-making is then examined, followed by the process of foreign policy implementation. The issue of motivation is tackled through analyses of the largely domestic impact of culture, interests and identity and broader effect of intra-state norms, ethics, the issue of human rights. Case studies of key countries reinforce the practical implications of above-mentioned issues throughout the module.

Find out more about PO563

This module focuses on European Union foreign policy, i.e. the 'external dimension' of EU politics, exploring the relationship between Europe and the rest of the world. Following the creation of the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the position of the High Representative, the EU has greater capacity to pursue foreign policy in its neighbourhood, and beyond. Definitions and different strands of European foreign policy will be identified.

Thereafter, the foreign policy tools of the EU will be looked at, after moving into an in-depth thematic treatment of the key foreign policy issues facing the EU vis-à-vis its security, defence, economic, trade and development relations, Brexit and its dynamics with ‘rising powers’, the US, its eastern and southern neighbours in Central Europe, Asia and North Africa. Other issues include its burgeoning military capacity and the impact of institutional reform.

Broader themes will include the impact of global developments on Europe, the international significance of European integration and the more general role of the EU in the new world order. This course will draw on theories from political science and international relations as well as making use of concepts of culture and identity in determining Europe’s connections with the world.

Find out more about PO566

This module explores the origins and evolution of post-Communist Russia. It covers the period from the late 1980s and Mikhail Gorbachev's attempts to reform the Soviet Union, but the main focus is on the years since 1991, starting with the failed putsch against Gorbachev and the rise of Boris Yeltsin and ending with the dilemmas facing Vladimir Putin in his fourth presidential term from 2018. The module examines political developments in post-Communist Russia, with a glance backwards to the decline and fall of the Soviet Union and also analysis of relations with the former Soviet states and the international system. The theoretical focus is on the problems of the transition from authoritarianism to democracy, coupled with the broader problem of establishing a new political order in the context of problematic relations with the West. Linked to this are constitutional developments, economic transformations and social changes. The degree to which the legacy of the past affects contemporary Russia will be examined, with particular attention to questions of political culture, geopolitical determinism and economic interdependence.

Specifically, we will discuss issues such as democratisation, the role of the presidency, the emergence and evolution of the multi-party system, electoral and parliamentary politics, federalism and regionalism, as well as economic, foreign, security and defence policy. We will also look at problems of leadership, evaluating the achievements and failures of Mikhail Gorbachev (1985-1991), Boris Yeltsin (1991-1999), Vladimir Putin (2000-2008 and 2012-present) and Dmitry Medvedev (2008-12 as president and 2012-present as Prime Minister). We will study empirical issues to provide the knowledge and evidence against which conceptual questions can be addressed and rival theories tested.

Find out more about PO579

The purpose of this module is to consider the ways in which feminist thought has influenced political theory. We examine a range of feminist approaches to politics, asking what unifies them and where and why they diverge from one another. Throughout, we ask how meaningful it is to speak of feminism in the singular: given the immense variety displayed by feminist thinking, should we talk about feminisms? Another guiding question will be the extent to which these approaches pose a fundamental challenge to traditional political theory. Can feminist theories of politics just 'add women and stir'? Or do feminist approaches compel us to new or different methodologies, conceptual tools and even definitions of politics?

Find out more about PO593

This module aims to provide students with a critical introduction and review of China's political development from 1949 to today. Following a brief historical review of the evolution of the Chinese political system since 1949, this module is designed around two core blocks of study.

The first block looks at the principal political institutions. They include the Communist Party, the government (State Council), the legislature (National People’s Congress) and the military (People’s Liberation Army). The second block examines the socio-political issues and challenges the country is facing in its ongoing development. They range from political participation and state-society relations, the cost of economic growth to environment and public health, tensions with ethnic minorities, the issues of nationalism and the relationship with Taiwan and Hong Kong, irredentism and territorial disputes with neighbouring countries, and finally China’s grand strategy of the Belt and Road Initiative.

A theme running through various lectures of this module is to ask why post-Mao China has performed better than many other authoritarian regimes in achieving both economic growth and political stability and acquiring international influence, despite the fact that China faces numerous mounting development challenges.

Find out more about PO597

The decision by a small majority of the British electorate in June 2016 to leave the European Union (EU) sent shockwaves throughout Europe and the world and created a political earthquake within the political system of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK). For the first time, a member state signalled its desire to exit the EU. From an EU perspective, this decision is yet another challenge the EU has faced since the Euro-crisis erupted in Greece ten years ago. The EU has also experienced a refugee crisis as well as a number of terrorist attacks and a rule of law crisis in Poland and Hungary. Changes in the international system have also affected the EU with heightened tension with Putin's Russia over the ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and Syria. Finally, the election of Donald Trump as US President with an accompanying weakening of the liberal international order and an increase in trade wars and disputes has added further instability. In response, EU member state governments, parliaments and the EU’s institutions have begun a dialogue on ideas to recast the EU in this changing environment.

In this module we will endeavour to learn and understand how the EU has reached where it is today, how its political system works, its strengths and weaknesses and how it is driven both the politics and economics of its member states and the global system at this time of uncertainty and flux. We will also look at the process of how the UK is exiting the EU, how it has been managed by the UK government and the EU27 and its implications for the future of the EU and the future of the UK. There has certainly never been a more challenging or interesting time to learn about the EU and its politics!

Find out more about PO611

Since 2009, the European Union (EU) has grappled with a crisis in the Eurozone, a refugee crisis, terrorist attacks in France, Belgium and the UK, the rise of challenger parties, heightened tension with Putin's Russia, the UK’s Brexit decision and rule of law disputes with Hungary and Poland. This has led to increased questioning of the purpose and trajectory of European integration and policy-making. The focus of this module is on assessing the capacity of the EU as a system of public policy-making as it faces these myriad challenges. In so doing we endeavour to understand how the EU’s system of governance works and how it is driven by both the politics and economics of its member states and the global system. This module focuses on the EU’s 'outputs’ in terms of public policy in this context, with particular attention paid to the fields of market regulation, economic and monetary union, environmental policy, agriculture policy, regional policy, justice and home affairs policy (internal security), foreign policy and trade policy. As well as analysing the effectiveness of EU policy-making in these policy areas, where appropriate we also explore the impact of ongoing political events on their operation.

Find out more about PO612

With the world's largest economy and most powerful armed forces, the United States bestrides the world stage. Culturally, politically, diplomatically and intellectually, it is the most important player, too. To understand the world, one must understand America and its politics. Yet, according to many critics, the US’s own political system is in crisis and turmoil, not least because of the ascension to power of an outsider president who revels in his disruptive capabilities. Trump challenged our notions of who could be elected to the most powerful job in the world and he is currently challenging long established theories about how the US government can and should work. His presidency is layered on top of an ongoing 'war’ over cultural issues and the deep-seated antipathy between the political parties and between the presidential and congressional branches. All this has further reinforced perceptions about the system’s dysfunctionality. The US, like many other nations, also faces serious public policy questions on the economy, health, energy, education, guns, crime, poverty and immigration, among others. But good, politically viable solutions seem remote. George Bush left office as one of the most unpopular presidents since polling began, and the bubble of expectation surrounding Barack Obama on his election in November 2008 quickly burst. Now the American people have chosen a neophyte populist to govern them. How will he do? More broadly, how will, or even can, the US political system rise to the challenges facing it when its political institutions and actors appear deeply divided?

It is not hard to see why many observers believe that the US has become harder to govern and increasingly interesting as a subject for academic study. In order to answer some of the questions outlined above, PO617 offers a comprehensive introduction to the politics and government of the United States.

Find out more about PO617

This module examines the politics of transition and change in Eastern Europe over the last three decades, with an emphasis on processes of disintegration and integration, international cooperation and the challenges of post-communist internal political reform. Accordingly, the module consists of three parts.

Part One (Weeks 1-4) examines the region's recent political inheritance, with a focus on the communist system, the subsequent collapse of the USSR and the end of socialism in Central and Eastern Europe.

Part Two (Weeks 6-8) looks at the political re-orientations of Central and Eastern Europe during the 1990s and 2000s, with a focus on transition processes, political change, economic change, and the different challenges that came with these transitions.

Part Three (Weeks 9-12) reflects on more recent developments, including international cooperation, new forms of regional integration, and discussions about the feasibility and the future of socialism.

Find out more about PO618

The module aims to introduce students to the major developments in Western political thought from the 16th century onwards. More generally, it aims to make students aware of the historical dimension of political thought and to enable them to distinguish those aspects of an idea which are contingent upon the concrete historical circumstances of its emergence from those which transcend its historical context.

Students who successfully complete this module will be familiar with the standard canon of modern Western political theory. They will be able to summarize the main ideas of the key thinkers in these traditions and place them in their respective historical context. They will be able to appreciate that contemporary political concerns are often the result of long-term historical processes. In addition, students will be aware of the specific problems which 'modernity' poses for political theory in Western societies and beyond.

Find out more about PO623

This module provides an introduction to the scholarly study of terrorism and political violence. It aims to thoroughly deepen students' existing knowledge of this controversial subject. The initial series of lectures pertain to key debates in the field of terrorism studies: the definitional challenges around the concept of 'terrorism’ itself; competing perspectives on the causes of terrorist violence; and disagreements as to the efficacy of terrorism as an expression of political agency. After the reading week, the module focuses in greater detail on various forms of terrorism and political violence: dissident/non-state terrorism; counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency; state terrorism; ‘new terrorism’; and torture. The module examines terrorism and political violence in a variety of historical, political and geographical contexts, and through a variety of theoretical lenses. It addresses methodological problems in the study of terrorism and the potential link between religion and political violence. The course also examines the implications of the ‘War on Terror’ for democracy, human rights and international security.

Find out more about PO629

This module introduces the students to the study of the Middle East as a region, a conflict and a security complex. Against the background of a historical review of the gradual decline of the Ottoman Empire and European rule in the region after the First World War and in order to understand the imperial legacy, the emergence of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the origins of the Palestinian refugee problem and the impact of the sub-state loyalties, the module will focus mainly on the various dimensions of the modern Middle East. In this context, students will explore the ideological developments in the region, most important among them, the rise and fall of Arab nationalism, the emergence of Islamic radicalism and the major regional crises and their consequences.

Adopting an international relations perspective, the module will also cover the impact of the outside state actors, such as USA, EU and Russia on the Middle East as a whole and on the relationships between the states that compose this region.

Here, special attention will be paid to the emergence of the Middle East as a security complex immediately after the Second World War and the establishment of the Israeli state, the developments during the Cold War and the limits and consequences of hegemonic power after the end of the Cold War.

The students will be introduced to the important issue of 'Orientalism', the problematic aspects of the Western academic study of the Middle East and the Islamic world. The course will conclude with the discussion of the critical matter of the democratization of the region.

Find out more about PO630

The module examines the nature of political behaviour in Britain today. It focuses on two key issues. The first is the way that citizens participate in politics. The module explores the nature of political participation, and how this has changed in the last few decades. It also examines the characteristics of people who participate, and the factors that motivate individuals to engage in different forms of political participation. The second key issue examined is voting behaviour. The module considers how far electoral decisions are shaped by stable ‘sociological’ factors, and how far voters today are less closely aligned with parties and more open to the influence of particular policy messages, personalities and media coverage. Alongside this focus on the behaviour of citizens, the module also considers the activities of key intermediary organisations, such as legislators. Throughout, the module seeks to develop students’ understanding and analytical skills, by considering theories and models of political behaviour along with the way data and other evidence can be brought to bear in testing the validity of these models.

Find out more about PO638

The module is aimed to introduce students to Marxist theory and to enable them to assess both the contemporary and historical significance of Marxism in world politics. Students are expected to read some of the key texts of Karl Marx and Fredrick Engels and to consider varied interpretations and critiques of Marxist methods, writings and theories. Students are also expected to consider the political contexts in which these theories and debates emerged and their implications for political practice. Students are not expected to demonstrate any detailed knowledge of the history of Marxist-inspired governments, regimes or political movements.

Find out more about PO653

A thread running through this module is a belief that to understand today's China we have to know how it has come to the present. Present-day China is a product of its deep imperial past and of its revolutions in the 20th century, the Republican, the Nationalist and the Communist. Before studying the 'rise' of contemporary China, we must therefore understand the collapse of imperial China in the early 20th century. We can perceive the said rise of China as the process of regaining its rightful place in the Western-dominated international system and of mutual accommodation between China and the rest of the world.

Also, for many students of international relations, China's entry and integration into the international society since the 1970s has been strikingly non-violent. A secondary focus of this module will be on how China and other key members of the world have been mutually accommodating to each other and whether the 'peaceful rise' can continue.

Overall, the module is built on a historical study of China’s foreign relations and theoretical study of International Relations concepts/theories of hegemony, hierarchy, (social) legitimacy and national identity.

Find out more about PO658

The course provides an overview of the broad field of international conflict analysis and resolution. Students have the opportunity to explore the motivations driving different forms of conflict, including interpersonal, group and civil violence. Students will also be exposed to a range of theories and approaches used to understand violent conflict, and a number of different methods of conflict resolution (e.g. negotiation, mediation, peacekeeping operations, and transitional justice). The approach is interdisciplinary and juxtaposes traditional approaches used to study conflict management with new scientific studies of conflict and cooperation.

Find out more about PO660

Fees

The 2020/21 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

  • Home/EU full-time TBC
  • International full-time TBC
  • Home/EU part-time TBC
  • International part-time TBC

For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.

Full-time tuition fees for Home and EU undergraduates are £9,250.

For students continuing on this programme, fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* 

Your fee status

The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.

Additional costs

There are no compulsory additional costs associated with this course. All textbooks are available from the library, although some students prefer to purchase their own.

General additional costs

Find out more about accommodation and living costs, plus general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.

Funding

University funding

Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details. 

Government funding

You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.

Scholarships

General scholarships

Scholarships are available for excellence in academic performance, sport and music and are awarded on merit. For further information on the range of awards available and to make an application see our scholarships website.

The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence

At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence. 

The scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of AAA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages

The scholarship is also extended to those who achieve AAB at A level (or specified equivalents) where one of the subjects is either mathematics or a modern foreign language. Please review the eligibility criteria.

Teaching and assessment

Kent Law School emphasises research-led teaching, which means that the modules taught are at the leading edge of new legal and policy developments. Kent Law School is renowned nationally for research quality, being ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. All of our research active staff teach so you are taught by influential thinkers who are at the forefront of their field.

Our main teaching methods are lectures, seminars, working groups, PC laboratory sessions and individual discussions with your academic adviser or module teachers. Assessment is through continuous feedback, written examinations, assessed essays and oral presentations.

Assessment can also incorporate assessment through oral presentation and argument in in the style of legal practice (such as mooting), and client based work and reflection through our Law Clinic.

Contact Hours

For a student studying full time, each academic year of the programme will comprise 1200 learning hours which include both direct contact hours and private study hours.  The precise breakdown of hours will be subject dependent and will vary according to modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Methods of assessment will vary according to subject specialism and individual modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Programme aims

For programme aims and learning outcomes please see the programmes specification for each subject below. Please note that outcomes depend on your specific module selection:

Teaching Excellence Framework

All University of Kent courses are regulated by the Office for Students.

Based on the evidence available, the TEF Panel judged that the University of Kent delivers consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the UK.

Please see the University of Kent's Statement of Findings for more information.

Independent rankings

Law at Kent was ranked 16th in The Guardian University Guide 2020 and 17th in The Times Good University Guide 2020. Law was also ranked 9th for research intensity in The Complete University Guide 2021.

In The Guardian University Guide 2020, over 93% of final-year Law students were satisfied with the overall quality of their course and over 90% were satisfied with the quality of teaching on their course.

Of Politics graduates who responded to the most recent national survey of graduate destinations, over 95% were in work or further study within six months (DLHE, 2017).

Careers

Combining Politics and Law opens up a wide range of career opportunities, including legal practice. Kent Law School has a specialist Law Clinic and Mooting programme, which allow you to experience both real and simulated legal practise. The School of Politics and International Relations and the Law School each have a dedicated Employability Officer to help and support students in finding suitable careers and making the most of the skills they have developed through the programme.

Recent graduates have gone into areas such as local and central government, the diplomatic service, EU administration, financial services, non-governmental organisations, journalism, international business or international organisations.

Professional recognition

Our degree programmes in Law contain the foundations of legal knowledge required by the Bar Standards Board to satisfy the academic component of professional training for intending barristers. For entrants in 2019 and 2020 only who wish to qualify as a solicitor, our programmes can lead to the award of a Qualifying Law Degree, validated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. They also provide a strong foundation for students who may wish to take the Solicitors Qualifying Examinations (SQE) in the future.
 
Our critical approach to law and legal practice enables students to develop creative intellectual and transferable skills which prepare them for contemporary legal practice – in the UK and worldwide, and for successful careers in many fields.

Apply for Law and Politics - LLB (Hons)

Full-time study through Clearing

The Start now button below takes you to Kent's short form, which you need to fill in and submit. We'll review your application and let you know if we can offer you a place. If you wish to accept our offer, you need to confirm this via UCAS Track. To do so, you'll need the following:

  • Your UCAS Track login details
  • UCAS code LM21
  • Institution ID K24
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Part-time study

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United Kingdom/EU enquiries

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T: +44 (0)1227 768896

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International student enquiries

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T: +44 (0)1227 823254
E: internationalstudent@kent.ac.uk

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Discover Uni is designed to support prospective students in deciding whether, where and what to study. The site replaces Unistats from September 2019.

Discover Uni is jointly owned by the Office for Students, the Department for the Economy Northern Ireland, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales and the Scottish Funding Council.

It includes:

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Find out more about the Unistats dataset on the Higher Education Statistics Agency website.