Law and Politics - LLB (Hons)

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

Overview

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 renowned for its world-leading research and an approach which enables you to think critically about law within the broader context of society, considering it's role and impact, and the potential it has to change the world we live in.

93%
Law at Kent scored 93% overall in The Complete University Guide 2021.

Entry requirements

You are more than your grades

At Kent we look at your circumstances as a whole before deciding whether to make you an offer to study here. Find out more about how we offer flexibility and support before and during your degree.

Entry requirements

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. Some typical requirements are listed below. Students offering alternative qualifications should contact us for further advice. Please also see our general entry requirements.

If you are an international student, visit our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country, including details of the International Foundation Programmes. Please note that international fee-paying students who require a Student visa cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.

Please note that meeting the typical offer/minimum requirement does not guarantee that you will receive an offer.

  • A level

    AAA-ABB

  • 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.

  • 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

  • International Baccalaureate

    34 points overall or 17 points at HL

  • International Foundation Programme

    Pass all components of the University of Kent International Foundation Programme with a 60% overall average including 60% in Academic Skills Development, 60% in the Law module and 60% in the Politics module if taken.

English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

Please note that if you do not meet our English language requirements, 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

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

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

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

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 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

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 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 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

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

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

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 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

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

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

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 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 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

"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

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

This module, normally taken in Stage 2, introduces the student to the main principles and doctrines of equity and trusts. It is designed to challenge the somewhat dull image of this area of law and to encourage a critical and imaginative understanding of the subject. The law of equity and trusts is contextualized within a historical, social and jurisprudential inquiry thereby providing a much wider range of possible interpretations of its development and application. What then becomes central to the module’s approach is the complex interrelation of law with ethical, political, economic and jurisprudential considerations, and that between legal outcomes, pragmatic concerns and policy objectives.

Drawing upon the student’s experience of the study of law, in particular that gained from Foundations of Property Law and Property Law, this module examines the trust both as a private legal institution (the trust in family and commercial settings) and a public one (the charitable trust), placing special emphasis on the management of the trust and the powers, duties and obligations of the trustee. Yet in departing from conventional approaches this module does not study equity merely in regards to its role as the original creator of the trust. Equity is instead acknowledged to be what it really is - a vital and fruitful component of the English legal system; a distinct form of legal interpretation possessing its own principles and method of legal reasoning, and comprising an original and continuing source of legal development in the sphere of remedies.

Find out more about LW598

The focus of the module is private property in English land: title by registration; squatting; owner-occupation; leases; covenants and land development. It builds on the Foundations of Property module to develop an in-depth understanding of English land law, its conception of property and its politics and effects. And it gives experience in how to advise clients on land law problems – and on how to avoid problems for clients.

Find out more about LW599

Optional modules may include

This course 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 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 different thinkers.

Find out more about PO669

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

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

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 examining foreign policy, including the contributions of IR theory to Foreign Policy Analysis. Historical antecedents of foreign policy as a practice are examined via exploring international actors, the system they inhabit (both internal and external), and the motivations that inform their individual actions and collective interactions. FPA is not as a single theory, capable of generating an overarching framework that can explain or help to understand actors' choices in all situations. The module will instead compare and contrast different FPA theories, often derived from IR theories, and critically assess their analytical advantages and weaknesses in applying them to "real world" examples. The module explores some major events or crises, such as the Iraq War and the South China Sea dispute, attempting to get an overview of the foreign policies of different states across international society, such as China, the United States, Japan, and Britain.

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We examine the main challenges facing post-communist Russia and in particular assess the development of democracy. We discuss the main institutions and political processes: the presidency, parliament, federalism, elections, party development and foreign policy, as well as discuss Yeltin's, Putin’s and Medvedev's leadership. We end with a broader evaluation of issues like the relationship of markets to democracy, civil society and its discontents, nationalism, political culture and democracy and Russia's place in the world.

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In western countries feminism has had a considerable impact on the conduct of practical politics. The purpose of this module is to consider the ways in which feminist thought has influenced political theory. Returning to some of the earliest feminist critiques of modern politics by Mary Wollstonecraft and John Stuart Mill, 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?

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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.

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The purpose of the module is to introduce students to the European Union, how it has evolved since its creation and how it works. In this module, students gain an understanding of the dynamic of European integration over time, analyse the functioning and roles of the EU's main institutional bodies as well as key political questions underpinning the decision-making structures of the EU. The module will address topics including: the history of European integration, the EU’s institutions and decision-making processes, how EU decisions are implemented, interest group activity in the EU and how this affects

EU decision-making, public opinion on the EU, the EU’s democratic deficit and the future of the European integration project.

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Since 2009, the European Union (EU) has been grappling with a crisis in the Eurozone, a refugee crisis, terrorist attacks, the rise of challenger parties and heightened tension with Putin's Russia. This has led to increased questioning of the purpose and trajectory of European integration and policy-making. The Brexit decision by the UK electorate in June 2016 plunged the EU further into crisis, sending shockwaves throughout the world as for the very first time an EU member state chose exit over voice or loyalty. Membership of the EU is now clearly contingent and the reverberations of this decision will affect both the EU and the UK for many years to come. 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, how it is driven by both the politics and economics of its member states and the global system and how its policy-making capacity may evolve in the future. 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, monetary union, environmental policy, agriculture policy, regional policy, justice and home affairs, foreign policy and trade policy. As well as analysing the effectiveness of EU policy-making in these policy areas, we also evaluate the impact of Brexit on their operation, how it is being managed by the UK and the EU27 and its implications for the future of the EU.

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This module provides an introduction to some of the major developments in Western political thought from the seventeenth century onwards by discussing the life, work and impact of key figures such as Nicolo Machiavelli, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Mary Wollstonecraft, JS Mill, and Karl Marx. While these thinkers will be studied mostly in terms of their respective self-understanding, the overall concern of these studies is to examine the problems which 'modernity' poses for political theory in Western societies.

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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.

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This module introduces students into the study of the Middle East as a region and an arena of international conflict. Against the background of a historical review of the developments in the 20th century, the module will focus on the colonial past of the region, the imperial legacy, the emergence of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the origins of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the impact of sub-state loyalties – i.e. factors which have shaped the Middle East as a region and as a security complex. In this context, the 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 consolidation of the Israeli right. Adopting an international relations perspective, the module will also cover the impact of outside state actors, such as USA, Russia and EU on the Middle East as a whole and on the relationships among those states that compose this region. Finally, the students will study the debate about "Orientalism" and the problematic aspects of the Western academic study of the Middle East and the Islamic world. These issues will be addressed with a special focus on the problem of bias involved in the academic study of the Middle East.

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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, as 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 decline collapse of imperial China from the mid-19th to 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.

The narrative of modern China starts from the late 16th century when China, ruled by the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), was the regional hegemon. The demise of the Sino-centric regional order began in the early 19th century. Since then, Chinese rulers, officials and intellectuals have repeatedly groped for ways to modernise their country to counter mounting pressures from the West. Seen in this perspective, this module will be primarily focused on how China adapted itself to the modernising West in order to be accepted as a full and respected member of the international society while preserving its own non-Western identity. With this, you should be able to understand towards the end of this module why China now values the respect for national sovereignty, territorial integrity and the right of all nations to freely choose their own paths to development. 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 China’s 'peaceful rise’ can continue.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 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.

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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.

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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.

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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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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)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

"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

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

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

Fees

The 2021/22 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

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

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

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 A*AA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages.

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.

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Independent rankings

Law at Kent scored 93% overall and was ranked 9th for research intensity in The Complete University Guide 2021.

Law at Kent was ranked 13th overall and 8th for research quality in The Times Good University Guide 2021.

Politics at Kent scored 89% overall in The Complete University Guide 2021.

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 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 2021 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 wish to take the Solicitors Qualifying Examinations (SQE).

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 this course

Any applicant to Law (this includes all Law programmes, including all joint programmes) who is currently studying or has previously studied law at university level, even if the qualification was only partly completed or is incomplete, must state this clearly in the qualifications section of the UCAS form, and provide transcripts detailing this study direct to the University where available.

If you are from the UK or Ireland, you must apply for this course through UCAS. If you are not from the UK or Ireland, you can choose to apply through UCAS or directly on our website.

Find out more about how to apply

All applicants

Apply through UCAS

International applicants

Apply now to Kent

Contact us

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United Kingdom/EU enquiries

Enquire online for full-time study

Enquire online for part-time study

T: +44 (0)1227 768896

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International student enquiries

Enquire online

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

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