Law and Philosophy - LLB (Hons)

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

Overview

Covering the foundations of law alongside compulsory and optional modules in Philosophy (taught by our highly regarded School of European Culture and Languages), you develop an understanding of the law, taught from a critical perspective which allows you to engage in informed debate about contemporary legal issues (with an understanding of its history and development). You also gain an a complementary understanding of some of the major philosophies and philosophers, contributing your own ideas to an ongoing dialogue about philosophy.

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.

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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

Please also see our general entry requirements.

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    A level

    AAA-ABB

  • medal-empty 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.

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    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.

  • medal-empty International Baccalaureate

    34 points overall or 17 points at HL

  • medal-empty 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 and 60% in the Law module.

International students should visit our International Student website for further specific information. International fee-paying students who require a Student visa cannot study part-time due to visa restrictions.

English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

If you need to improve your English language standard as a condition of your offer, you can attend one of our pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes before starting your degree programme. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme.

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Course structure

Duration: 3 years full-time

The course structure below gives a flavour of the modules that will be available to you and provides details of the content of this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation. Please note that the first year modules listed for this degree are compulsory.

Please contact us for more detail about the exact composition of this programme of study.

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 LAWS3130

Section 1 Introduction to Obligations

a) The nature of the common law and its development.

b) The idea of precedent and legal reasoning.

c) The distinction between public law and private law.

d) The main divisions of obligations.

e) Drafting case notes

Section 2 Introduction to the law of contract

a) The historical development of contract law and its functions in the modern world.

b) A special area of study in contract e.g. formation and modification of contracts.

Section 3 Introduction to tort

a) The historical development of tort. An overview of different types of tort. The centrality of the tort of negligence and its role in the modern world.

b) A special study in tort – e.g. trespass to the person.

Section 4 Conclusion

A summary; critical approaches to the study of contract and tort; guidance to legal problem solving.

Find out more about LAWS3150

Following on from 'Introduction to Contract and Tort', 'Introduction to Property Law' 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 LAWS3160

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 LAWS3270

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 LAWS5880

This module will cover classic and contemporary philosophical topics concerning what reality is like, and whether (and how) we come to know about it. A variety of topics will be covered, such as problems of scepticism, sources of knowledge, the relation between mind and body, identity of people over time, and whether there is more to reality than is discussed in natural science.

Find out more about PHIL3020

Since Plato's Dialogues, it has been part of philosophical enquiry to consider philosophical questions using logic and common sense alone. This module aims to train students to continue in that tradition. In the first part students will be introduced to basic themes in introductory formal logic and critical thinking. In the second part students will be presented with a problem each week in the form of a short argument, question, or philosophical puzzle and will be asked to think about it without consulting the literature. The problem, and students’ responses to it, will then form the basis of a structured discussion. By the end of the module, students (a) will have acquired a basic logical vocabulary and techniques for the evaluation of arguments; (b) will have practised applying these techniques to short passages of philosophical argument; and (c) will have acquired the ability to look at new claims or problems and to apply their newly acquired argumentative and critical skills in order to generate philosophical discussions of them.

Find out more about PHIL3100

Stage 2

Compulsory modules currently include

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

This module helps students to navigate this shifting constitutional terrain and grapple with the key legal and political challenges it poses. In Public Law 1 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 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 LAWS5920

This module will build on the knowledge that students will have acquired during Stage 1 (such as in LAWS5880 Public Law 1). This module will develop student learning by focusing on foundational legal aspects of EU law as well as rules governing selected substantive areas of EU law, also taking into account the relevance of these rules to the UK. The module convenor will set out specific areas of study in the relevant module guide.

Find out more about LAWS5930

This module introduces the student to the jurisprudence of equity and trusts. Building on knowledge and understanding developed in LAWS3160/LAWS5316 Introduction to Property Law and LAWS5990 Land Law, but also LAWS6500 Law of Contract and private law more generally, the module examines equity's contributions to private law and jurisprudence. The module is designed to challenge the somewhat dull image of this area of law and to encourage a critical and imaginative understanding of the subject. Departing from conventional approaches, this module does not study equity merely in regards to its role as originator of the trust. Equity is instead acknowledged to be what it really is a vital component of the English legal system, a distinct legal tradition possessing its own principles and method of legal reasoning, and an original and continuing source of legal development in the sphere of remedies. The law of equity and trusts is contextualised within a historical and jurisprudential inquiry, providing a 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 of that between legal outcomes, pragmatic concerns and policy objectives.

Find out more about LAWS5980

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 LAWS5990

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 Contract and Tort 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 LAWS3150 Introduction to Contract and Tort 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 Contract and Tort.

Find out more about LAWS6500

This module builds on students' learning from other private law modules such as Introduction to Contract and Tort, Introduction to Property Law and the Law of Contract. A specific aim of this module is to develop students' interest and proficiency in the use of case law based legal arguments as a way of solving legal problems and/or determining liability. The module therefore continues the practice of using case classes to discuss a limited number of modern cases in depth. This in-depth focus on modern decided cases will enable students to

• become increasingly familiar with the idea that cases can be read in different ways;

• observe and analyse the idiosyncrasies of legal language and argument within judgments;

• improve crafting legal arguments in this module and beyond;

• identify some of the contested boundaries of modern tort law.

Whilst case law continues to be central to tortious liability, the module will also consider the role played by statutes in tortious liability. Examples may include the liability of

• occupiers of land towards persons harmed on their land,

• manufacturers towards consumers; and

• publishers towards the potentially defamed.

The module considers these and other topics after having explored tort law's most important tort in detail. Tort law's most important tort is the tort of negligence. Much of the module is devoted to a detailed exploration of the elements of and legal concepts related to that tort. The assessed coursework will be an extended problem question relating to the tort of negligence where students will be required to use their learning to formulate a variety of legal arguments and to predict the likely outcome.

Towards the end of the module, the law of tort(s) is placed in its contemporary context of the so-called "Compensation Culture". It considers whether the relationship between tort law and its context can explain its shape or contemporary debates about it. By reflecting on the doctrine studied earlier in the module and observing where the lines of liability are currently drawn, students will be asked to think about what this reveals about private rights and obligations, the balance between responsibility for harm and freedom of action, access to justice and different conceptions thereof. These broader topics, with consequences for law reform, will be explored in seminars and in exam essay questions.

Find out more about LAWS6510

Optional modules may include

This module introduces some of the major works in ancient philosophy in relation to ethics, aesthetics, political theory, ontology and metaphysics. Students will study substantial portions of primary texts by the Presocratics, Plato, Aristotle the Epicureans, Stoics and/or the Skeptics. The emphasis throughout will be on the philosophical significance of the ideas studied. The module will concentrate on understanding key philosophical arguments and concepts within the context of the ancient intellectual tradition. This means that students will gain a critical distance from normative and modern definitions of philosophical terms in order to understand how ancient philosophy generally approached questions and problems with different suppositions and conceptions of reality, reason and the purpose of human existence.

Find out more about CLAS7080

What is knowledge? How do we arrive at knowledge? Why is knowledge more valuable than mere belief, or even true belief? Is there some level of justification that turns a belief into knowledge? Do we really have any knowledge at all? Such questions are central to philosophy. Indeed, the theory of knowledge—otherwise known as epistemology—is often taken to be one of the three main branches of philosophy, together with metaphysics and ethics.

In this module, we will investigate various epistemological questions and consider some of the answers that have been proposed by various theories of knowledge. In particular, we will consider possible responses to the sceptical claim that it is not possible to know anything. In doing so, we will consider competing theories of a priori knowledge, knowledge by perception, knowledge by introspection, and knowledge by testimony. In addition, we will look at the debate between foundationalism and coherentism, as well as the debate between internalists and externalists about justification. Lastly, we will discuss how knowledge is related to social power by considering the theory of testimonial injustice.

Find out more about PHIL5001

Groups of marks or bursts of sound are just physical entities but, when produced by a writer or a speaker, they are used to point beyond themselves. This is the property of aboutness or intentionality. Other physical entities generally do not have this property. When you hear a sentence, you hear a burst of sound, but typically you also understand a meaning conveyed by the speaker. What is the meaning of a word – some weird entity that floats alongside the word, a set of rules associating the word with objects, an intention in the mind of the speaker….? What is the difference between what your words imply and what you convey in saying them? How are words used non-literally, how do hearers catch on to the meaning of a newly minted metaphor? How can we mean and convey so much when uttering a concise sentence? When someone says something offensive, is it part of its meaning that it is offensive, or just how it is used? In this module we shall try to find some answers to the questions listed above.

Find out more about PHIL6020

How does truth relate to existence? This module looks at the connection between truths and the things that make them true. We consider questions relating to the connection between truth and ontology (or existence) concerning time, persistence, possibility, generality, composition, and causation. We will look at how these issues are discussed in contemporary analytic metaphysics. We will explore both what solutions looking at the connections between truth and ontology might offer, whether this approach to the problems is useful, and how best to communicate the problems we discuss.

Find out more about PHIL6110

Is it right that the talented profit from their (undeserved) talents? Should the government provide compensation for people who find it hard to meet that special someone? Should we think our duties to our compatriots are more important than our duties to people in other countries?

This course is divided into two parts. The first part examines classic topics in political philosophy, such as Rawls Theory of Justice, Nozick's libertarianism and the feminist and communitarian criticism of political liberalism. The second part of the course will explore issues within contemporary political philosophy, such as equality, our obligations to those in the developing world, and the politics of immigration. We will consider whether we can make sense of political obligation between states as well as within states. We will look at these issues in the context of particular recent case studies.

Find out more about PHIL6180

This course is designed to introduce students to a number of approaches in what is often referred to as "normative ethics". We face and hear about moral problems every day. These problems range from life and death matters concerning abortion, euthanasia and the like to other types of case such as whether to tell a lie to prevent hurting someone's feelings. At some point we might wonder whether there is a set of rules or principles (such as 'Do not lie') which will help us through these tricky problems; we might wonder whether there is something more simple underlying all of this 'ethical mess’ that we can discern.

Normative ethics contains a number of theories that attempt to give us such principles and to sort out the mess. In particular, different normative ethical theories are attempts to articulate reasons why a certain course of action is ethically best; they are attempts to say what types of feature we should concentrate on when thinking about ethical problems and why it is that such features are features which have ‘intrinsic moral significance’. Of course, ethical theories do not exist in a vacuum. As we shall see, our everyday intuitions about what is morally best are both the origin of normative ethical theories and the origin of thoughts raised against them.

Find out more about PHIL6400

Many people today are reluctant to identify themselves as 'feminist': either because they see feminism as a useful political movement that has essentially served its purposes; or because they view feminism as a 'single-issue', militant ideology that they cannot identify with. This module is intended to give students an opportunity to reflect philosophically on what claims like this could mean: if we live in a post-feminist era, why do women earn, on average, two thirds of what their male counterparts earn? If we live in post-feminist era, why are women still under-represented in many fields (including politics, science and academic philosophy?). If feminism is a ‘single-issue’ ideology, why is it that feminists have proposed such a variety of solutions to the above problems, and from such a wide range of political standpoints?

The module explores some key debates in contemporary feminist philosophy, with particularly emphasis on its uncomfortable relationship with liberalism. The course draws attention to feminist critiques of key liberal concepts, such as consent, the social contract, autonomy, universal rights, and the private/public distinction. We go on to apply theoretical debates in feminist thought to the following political issues: prostitution, pornography, feminine appearance, multiculturalism, and human rights.

Find out more about PHIL6420

Philosophers have conceived of their subject in a variety of ways, as rational systematisation, as a guide to the good life, as continuous with science, as dialogue, as critique, as therapy, and so on. In this module a small sample of topics will be chosen from a range of fields, for instance, ethics, politics, and science. Through team teaching, students are shown various—sometimes competing—ways to approach, discuss and respond to the chosen topics. This will include consideration of a number of techniques adopted by philosophers, such as, the use of the history of philosophy, conceptual analysis, thought experiments, formal philosophy, public philosophy and experimental philosophy.

Find out more about PHIL6700

Stage 3

Compulsory modules currently include

In contrast to LAWS5080 (LW508) 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 LAWS6010

Optional modules may include

This module seeks to provide a sound knowledge and understanding of the concepts and principles underlying the law relating to human rights, including a grounding in the historical development and political philosophy of human rights law; to provide a detailed grasp of the current protection of human rights in English law, with particular reference to the Human Rights Act 1998 and European Convention on Human Rights; and to promote a critical discussion about the nature, function and effects of human rights as they have been, are, ought to and/or might be expressed in English law.

Find out more about LAWS5090

The module aims to provide students with: an understanding of the adversarial trial structure and its impact on the content of the law of evidence, particularly in the context of the criminal trial; an understanding of forensic reasoning skills; a familiarisation with the content of some of the key evidential rules; encouragement to identify and debate current issues within the law of evidence with confidence, including the importance of due process and how it relates to notions of truth and fact finding; and the ability to apply the legal rules and principles within a critical framework.

Find out more about LAWS5180

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

Find out more about LAWS5190

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

Find out more about LAWS5200

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

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

Find out more about LAWS5220

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

Find out more about LAWS5400

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 LAWS5420

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

Students are expected to undertake from the second week of Autumn term onwards until the end of the Spring term, under supervision, legal work in two areas of law of relevance to the objects of the Clinic. Students will normally work on cases rather than projects. A Supervisor will decide whether a student has undertaken sufficient substantial work for the purposes of this module. Students are required to carry out this work to the high professional standards expected of paralegal staff employed by solicitors.

In addition, students must carry out, also under supervision, the usual tasks associated with the conduct of legal casework such as case and file management, statement and précis drafting, legal research, interviewing, legal drafting, corresponding, negotiating, advocating, instructing counsel; and orally (or in briefing notes) presenting, explaining and discussing cases and projects (especially with Supervisors and in Clinic Seminars and Meetings).

Students will read and where relevant apply the Law Clinic's Case Management Guidelines. The first purpose of these Guidelines is to facilitate the proper conduct of clients’ cases and of projects. Students will maintain a Student Folder, which will contain all drafts and research papers used by the student in respect of all casework or projects undertaken by that student. These are papers of primary relevance to the student but not the client. They will help to evidence the preparatory and research work undertaken by students, which may not be signalled in the Client Files.

Find out more about LAWS5430

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

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

• Copyright

• Patents

• Trade marks

• Passing off

• Breach of confidence

Find out more about LAWS5560

The module is taken over two terms. It begins with lectures introducing the trajectory of a research project, the use of library resources, primary and secondary material, use of citations and constructing a bibliography etc. This introduces students to a route map through the research process from an initial "problem" to formulating a suitable "research question", to choosing a method and research design, to conducting the research; from taking notes to drafting chapters; from deciding on the chapter breakdown to the writing of the dissertation; from developing an argument to presenting it in written form. However, the main experience of the module is found in the supervision process between supervisor and student, who between themselves decide on the specific plan for the research programme.

Find out more about LAWS5630

The module is taken over one term. Students will attend a small number of lectures introducing the trajectory of a research project, the use of library resources, primary and secondary material, use of citations and constructing a bibliography etc. The main experience of the module is found in the supervision process between supervisor and student, who between themselves decide on the specific plan for the research programme.

Find out more about LAWS5660

This module investigates the relationship between law and social change, and explores the political, economic and social dynamics that affect this relationship over time. The module 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 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 political, economic and social contexts?

• What are the obstacles and limitations to the law contributing to and creating social change? How is the context in which the law operates

important in this analysis?

• 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 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 eventually 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.

Find out more about LAWS5700

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

Find out more about LAWS5780

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 for students to be introduced to material they may not be familiar with as well as a chance to pursue an interest they may already have. Although the module is designed primarily for law students, it is also open to undergraduates from other degree programmes.

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

Find out more about LAWS5810

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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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 cases 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 Theory and Practice I is broadly concerned with environmental quality law, particularly the different ways in which environmentally damaging activities are addressed through legal mechanisms. The interest in environmental quality and pollution control is not merely limited to contemporary issues but includes an interest in understanding how legal responses to these problems have developed over time since the Industrial Revolution, and consideration as to whether they are currently and will continue to be fit for purpose in rising to current challenges. The module opens with a discussion of how we might define and understand the character of environmental law, following this question through the historical development of contemporary environmental law across the public / private divide and across jurisdictions from the UK through the EU towards the influences of international agreements. This is undertaken through examination of how protection the three environmental media: water, land and air has developed since industrialisation. The module finishes with consideration of cross-cutting issues such as enforcement, and through revisiting the initial question as to how we might define and understand the character of environmental law with reference to current challenges such as climate change, and radically alternative proposals for visions of the future of environmental law.

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The curriculum is in three parts:

(1) A historical, sociological and political contextualisation of argument and arguing. The aims of argument will be investigated through these perspectives, enabling students to develop a critical approach to argument, and supplementing the skills of argument by raising students' awareness of the premises and assumptions within which argument takes place. The distinction of argument from other modes of interaction and expression will be considered by relation to these contexts.

(2) The second part of the module treats argument and arguing formally, both by mapping the standard forms of argument, and by showing formally how to pick out a bad argument from a good one. This part of the module thus investigates deductive and inductive reasoning, argument by analogy, and the use of supportive evidence and the structure of justification, and attends carefully to the set of formal fallacies in argumentation. These topics are illustrated throughout by attention to real examples from law and elsewhere, with attention given to how formal argument is constructed and to the skills required to identify formal fallacies. This knowledge base is used by students to develop their own skills of formal argument and their ability to critique the argument of others.

(3) The third part of the module turns to the skills of rhetoric and persuasion, including examination of the ploys and devices that are often used to give bad or weak arguments persuasive force. Attention will be given to aspects of coherence and cogency arising from studies in linguistics and the philosophy of language, and a particular focus will be given to arguments drawing on authority, using law in illustration. Again, students will be expected to develop their own skills in these regards, using rhetoric and other devices both to support good argument and to lend weak argument greater persuasive force.

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This module will focus on the way in which the law defines and constructs the family, and the way in which it regulates family breakdown. The module will examine, broadly, the institution of marriage and relations between partners, which might include definitions of the family, marriage, civil partnerships and cohabitation, domestic violence, divorce and family dispute resolution. The module will also examine the relationship between parents, children and the state, which might include reproductive technology, parenthood, children's rights, and private law disputes over post-separation arrangements for children.

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The Law, Science and Technology module explores different ways of thinking about the connections between law, science, and technology. The Law, Science and Technology module is an interdisciplinary module that introduces students to several interrelated fields including, law and anthropology studies that engage Science and Technology Studies (STS), the philosophy of technology, as well as the growing literature on law and technology. The module will be critically engaging with recent examples, using the literature to not only frame debates but to find ways of challenging the dominant paradigm of technology. The module engages with key texts from differing traditions to explore other possible ways of thinking about technology and technologies. New technological advancements are transforming law and placing a demand on us to re-imagine it. During this course, we will be taking a closer look at techno-regulation, discussing the possible opportunities and limits of the deployment of technology to solve problems traditionally dealt with by law. We will be exploring the role of experts and technology in law, using the recent Post Office Horizon system as a use case. We will be exploring questions of objectivity and truth both in law and science, including whether STS can provide new insights in the 'post-truth' age.

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Block 1. Critical introduction to major theories of morality: virtue theory (incl. feminist ethics of care), deontological theory (incl. natural law theory and 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

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The module is taken over one term. Students will attend a small number of lectures, introducing the trajectory of a research project, the use of library resources, primary and secondary material, use of citations and constructing a bibliography etc. The main experience of the module is found in the supervision process between supervisor and student, who between themselves decide on the specific plan for the research programme.

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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 afford students the opportunity to explore the moral and ethical questions surrounding legal practice in both a theoretical and a practical way. Starting with some philosophical arguments about whether and how lawyers might have specifically moral responsibilities, they will then be equipped to test such arguments in the context of case studies from real legal practice. This course will provide an intellectually demanding introduction to the academic study of legal ethics, which will push students to hone their skills of argumentation, analysis and critique.

Block 1. Why Legal Ethics? The course will start with an exploration of the moral reasoning and arguments that justify the notion of 'legal ethics'. This first block of seminars will introduce students to the theoretical questions which precede any acceptance of the practice of law as having a moral dimension.

Block 2. Case Studies and the Ethical Issues they raise. Starting with the case of the so-called 'torture lawyers' from the 'war on terror' of the American Bush administration, students will be asked to reflect on and discuss several case studies as starting points for discussion of issues in ‘legal ethics’ broadly conceived, including: responsibility for ‘doing wrong’, complicity, upholding human rights, conflicts of interest, integrity, the adversarial system as an excuse for moral neutrality or worse and confidentiality.

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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. 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 to 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 peculiar problems that emerging business and financial jurisdictions face in their involvement in international trade. It broadly explores the inequities of global integration of international trade law and considers the influences of European Community 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.

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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 socio-legal 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.

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Is there anything distinctive about legal reasoning? This question is posed from the perspective of a potential legal practitioner, in particular, an advocate. With that question in mind, the aim of the module is to equip students – as potential advocates, but also in general – with a range of transferrable reasoning skills. In short, seeks to teach transferrable critical thinking skills within a legal context.

It is a premise of the module that any competent lawyer, must be able to demonstrate a proficient grounding in reasoning. The module introduces students to different forms of inferential reasoning. It explores the role and limits of inference in legal reasoning and more generally. It considers both logical and psychological factors that may lead to flawed reasoning. The module also touches on various forms of argument of relevance to law including practical, statistical, policy-based argument as well as rhetoric.

The aim of argument, 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, in particular, to understand and construct effective (legal) arguments and to practice the skills learned in a variety of contexts including the drafting of skeleton arguments and in mooting.

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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. This will be achieved through a range of topics and case studies.

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

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

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

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The module will provide an introduction to immigration law in the United Kingdom. It covers key concepts; the development of the field of law viewed in historical and political context; questions of nationality and the system of immigration control and enforcement. It also considers the relationship between human rights and UK immigration controls. In particular, the course covers: The Immigration Debate in the UK: Are Immigration restrictions justified?; The Evolution of Immigration Law and Policy in Britain; the multiple sources of Immigration Law; The Immigration Acts and the Framework of Immigration Control including an appreciation of the Appeals Process and Judicial Review; The Immigration Rules; relevant aspects of EU Free Movement and Residence Rights including the consequences of Brexit; an outline of Labour Migration; Family Migration and Article 8 ECHR; Deportation Law and Foreign National Offenders; Long-term Residence Rights and "Illegal" Migration. Drawing on a range of contextual accounts, policy documents, case law and critical analysis of developments at the national, regional and to a more limited extent the international level, the module enables students to acquire both sound knowledge of the law and critical awareness of the biases, gaps and challenges in the current immigration system.

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The module will assume prior knowledge and understanding of the foundational levels of tort law taught in LAWS3150 and LAWS6510. 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.

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

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

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This module will provide students with the underlying theoretical framework for exploring a range of perspectives on the concepts of race, religion, gender and sexuality, and their intersections, including with other social relations. In doing so, the module will serve as a forum for discussion, debate, asking questions, and considering diverse perspectives on the concepts being studied, including relating them to specific case studies. The module will encourage students to choose an essay question or research project, and will help prepare them for it by; introducing and guiding students through key legal and interdisciplinary texts, stimulating debate on and engagement with these texts; developing students' skills in the areas of analysis and argumentation, and considering a range of sometimes conflicting perspectives on issues. Students will formulate a plan for their independent research project. The plan will provide an opportunity for students to critically engage with, and reflect upon, substantive feedback. This will be further supported by an oral assessment, in the form of an in-class presentation on a contemporary case study.

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The overall objective of the module is to provide an 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.

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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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Surveillance Platform Capitalism (SPC) is the use of highly sophisticated algorithms and artificial intelligence to "mine" or extract commercial value from personal data and information about the behaviour of consumers online. The aim of the module is to examine SPC through a socio-legal lens and to provide students with key concepts and interdisciplinary insights to understand and reflect critically on the on the nature and effects of SPC on individuals and society.

The module is divided into three parts. The first section will define and place SPC in historical and socioeconomic context. It will place SPC within the context of the emergence of the surveillant society, drawing on scholarship from Surveillance and Critical Surveillance Studies. It will then define and explore its ideological logic and algorithmic techniques (e.g., online behavioural tracking and targeting, personalisation and recommendation systems, choice-engineering, nudging) informed by scholarship from Algorithmic Governance Studies.

The second part of the module will look at the effects of SPC on individuals and society, using social media as a case study and drawing on New Media & Society Studies. It will examine the effects of SPC on mental health and self-representation and explore its intersection with questions of identity, particularly gender and race. It will then examine the effects of SPC on the production and consumption of journalistic and political communication (e.g. the challenges of echo-chambers, fake news, political advertising).

The final part of the module will look at the regulatory and governance challenges SPC poses, focusing on social media as a case study. It will examine the potential and limitations of different governance models (e.g., state vs self-regulation) to regulate the algorithmic techniques, operators, and digital content of SPC.

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This module builds on the understanding developed in 'LW641Privacy, Data Protection and Cybersecurity Law', which introduces students to the key concepts and issues in the regulatory framework governing including privacy, data protection, and developments in cyber-crime and cyber security. The module promotes in depth, critical enquiry and insight in the subject area using current issues and case studies as a platform for developing specialist knowledge. The module adopts a research led approach engaging students in more tightly focussed study of emerging current issues in the area of data and cyber law than is possible in LW641. The topics treated each year will be subject to annual revision to meet and engage with current issues in the areas of data protection and cyber law.

These topics will take the form of several case studies during the course of the term and will cover such issues as:

• Changes to the use and understanding of privacy.

• Emerging issues in data protection – how do we use of data and what can we consent to?

• For example - tracking apps and health data

• International developments in the protection of data.

• Ethical issues in AI and machine learning

• Cyber law – issues in regulating the internet

• Understanding cyber-crime – prosecuting cyber enabled and cyber dependent crime

The choice of specific case studies in the module will be made annually by colleagues involved in delivery of the module, based on current cases, issues and research projects.

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The law of succession (also known as inheritance) is a core area of legal and socio-economic practice enabling, and sometimes mandating, the transfer of wealth from one generation to another. Common law jurisdictions, such as England, Australia and America, are often described as upholding the principle of 'freedom of testation'. This course provides a critical introduction to the law of succession, in particular the nature of wills, will formation, and the administration of estates; it will assess the problem of intestacy (dying without a will); it will critically evaluate the principle of ‘freedom of testation’ with regard the limitations placed on freedom of testation and through comparative analysis with other jurisdictions.

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What is knowledge? How do we arrive at knowledge? Why is knowledge more valuable than mere belief, or even true belief? Is there some level of justification that turns a belief into knowledge? Do we really have any knowledge at all? Such questions are central to philosophy. Indeed, the theory of knowledge—otherwise known as epistemology—is often taken to be one of the three main branches of philosophy, together with metaphysics and ethics.

In this module, we will investigate various epistemological questions and consider some of the answers that have been proposed by various theories of knowledge. In particular, we will consider possible responses to the sceptical claim that it is not possible to know anything. In doing so, we will consider competing theories of a priori knowledge, knowledge by perception, knowledge by introspection, and knowledge by testimony. In addition, we will look at the debate between foundationalism and coherentism, as well as the debate between internalists and externalists about justification. Lastly, we will discuss how knowledge is related to social power by considering the theory of testimonial injustice.

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The module will enable students to acquire knowledge and understanding of Wittgenstein's approach to philosophy, and to acquire familiarity with major themes especially in the areas of epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of language. The module will give students practice in deploying their critical philosophical skills.

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The aim of this course is to engage in the study of specific topics in the philosophy of mind, language, or action and to engage with the criticism of contemporary approaches as it is found in the works of Wittgenstein, Ryle, Anscombe, and/or Austin.

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The module will study some of the major works in the history of modern philosophy of cognitive science and artificial intelligence. An indicative list of topics is: The Turing test; the Chinese Room argument; the frame problem; connectionism; extended and embodied cognition; artificial consciousness. The approach will be philosophical and critical, and will involve the close reading of texts. Students will be expected to engage critically with the works being studied and to formulate and argue for their own views on the issues covered.

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Groups of marks or bursts of sound are just physical entities but, when produced by a writer or a speaker, they are used to point beyond themselves. This is the property of aboutness or intentionality. Other physical entities generally do not have this property. When you hear a sentence, you hear a burst of sound, but typically you also understand a meaning conveyed by the speaker. What is the meaning of a word – some weird entity that floats alongside the word, a set of rules associating the word with objects, an intention in the mind of the speaker….? What is the difference between what your words imply and what you convey in saying them? How are words used non-literally, how do hearers catch on to the meaning of a newly minted metaphor? How can we mean and convey so much when uttering a concise sentence? When someone says something offensive, is it part of its meaning that it is offensive, or just how it is used? In this module we shall try to find some answers to the questions listed above.

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How does truth relate to existence? This module looks at the connection between truths and the things that make them true. We consider questions relating to the connection between truth and ontology (or existence) concerning time, persistence, possibility, generality, composition, and causation. We will look at how these issues are discussed in contemporary analytic metaphysics. We will explore both what solutions looking at the connections between truth and ontology might offer, whether this approach to the problems is useful, and how best to communicate the problems we discuss.

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Is it right that the talented profit from their (undeserved) talents? Should the government provide compensation for people who find it hard to meet that special someone? Should we think our duties to our compatriots are more important than our duties to people in other countries?

This course is divided into two parts. The first part examines classic topics in political philosophy, such as Rawls Theory of Justice, Nozick's libertarianism and the feminist and communitarian criticism of political liberalism. The second part of the course will explore issues within contemporary political philosophy, such as equality, our obligations to those in the developing world, and the politics of immigration. We will consider whether we can make sense of political obligation between states as well as within states. We will look at these issues in the context of particular recent case studies.

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The curriculum will focus on an important classic texts on reason and metaphysics in the European tradition. The relation between reason and metaphysics has been a focus of philosophy ever since Plato. This includes questions concerning the nature of the mind, the scope and limits only knowledge, the essence of reality, of space, time and existence, and the possible existence of the soul, free will and God. Students will be expected to read such classic texts (for example, Kant's Critique of Pure Reason), but also contemporary critical commentaries.

Find out more about PHIL6240

This module concerns ideas of two of the most interesting of Western philosophers: Arthur Schopenhauer and Friedrich Nietzsche. Both thinkers developed ideas that transformed much of the intellectual landscape of the twentieth century, and both wrote books that prove fruitful for successive generations. They wrote on many themes: ethics, religion, aesthetics, metaphysics, and epistemology. Both take their starting point from those thinkers that came before, notably Kant and Hegel. However, they are interesting to compare because they have such different views on philosophical thought and various themes. In particular, some of Nietzsche's thought is framed explicitly in opposition to Schopenhauer's, with the former casting the latter as the great pessimist. An appreciation of their ideas is an important part of the education of many philosophy students. However, both Schopenhauer and Nietzsche can be hard writers to read and understand. This module is designed both to introduce some of their ideas and develop a student’s appreciation of them such that he or she can discuss them with confidence and critical insight.

The module will not cover all of the writings of either or both thinkers. Students will typically read selections from Schopenhauer’s The World as Will and Representation, and his essays, and then selections from a variety of Nietzsche’s works, or one work in full. These will be read on their own, with ideas from both thinkers compared. Modern writers and commentators will be read in addition to help reveal the importance of Schopenhauer’s and Nietzsche’s ideas.

Find out more about PHIL6390

This course is designed to introduce students to a number of approaches in what is often referred to as "normative ethics". We face and hear about moral problems every day. These problems range from life and death matters concerning abortion, euthanasia and the like to other types of case such as whether to tell a lie to prevent hurting someone's feelings. At some point we might wonder whether there is a set of rules or principles (such as 'Do not lie') which will help us through these tricky problems; we might wonder whether there is something more simple underlying all of this 'ethical mess’ that we can discern.

Normative ethics contains a number of theories that attempt to give us such principles and to sort out the mess. In particular, different normative ethical theories are attempts to articulate reasons why a certain course of action is ethically best; they are attempts to say what types of feature we should concentrate on when thinking about ethical problems and why it is that such features are features which have ‘intrinsic moral significance’. Of course, ethical theories do not exist in a vacuum. As we shall see, our everyday intuitions about what is morally best are both the origin of normative ethical theories and the origin of thoughts raised against them.

Find out more about PHIL6400

Many people today are reluctant to identify themselves as 'feminist': either because they see feminism as a useful political movement that has essentially served its purposes; or because they view feminism as a 'single-issue', militant ideology that they cannot identify with. This module is intended to give students an opportunity to reflect philosophically on what claims like this could mean: if we live in a post-feminist era, why do women earn, on average, two thirds of what their male counterparts earn? If we live in post-feminist era, why are women still under-represented in many fields (including politics, science and academic philosophy?). If feminism is a ‘single-issue’ ideology, why is it that feminists have proposed such a variety of solutions to the above problems, and from such a wide range of political standpoints?

The module explores some key debates in contemporary feminist philosophy, with particularly emphasis on its uncomfortable relationship with liberalism. The course draws attention to feminist critiques of key liberal concepts, such as consent, the social contract, autonomy, universal rights, and the private/public distinction. We go on to apply theoretical debates in feminist thought to the following political issues: prostitution, pornography, feminine appearance, multiculturalism, and human rights.

Find out more about PHIL6420

This module will introduce students to classical as well as contemporary discussions in the intersection between politics, philosophy, and economics. Topics to be covered will vary from year to year, in light of the expertise of the person convening it and student feedback from previous years. Topics that may be covered include Authoritarianism, Behavioural economics, Rational Choice Theory, Game Theory, Libertarianism and Paternalism, Markets and Trade, Private Property and the Legitimacy of Organ Sale.

Through these and related topics, students will gain a good understanding of the complementary and in some cases conflicting perspectives and methodologies contained in politics, philosophy, and economics, and enable them to evaluate contemporary issues in a manner that's informed by a comprehensive set of relevant traditions.

Find out more about PHIL6530

In this module we consider what it is that history studies—individual actions, social structures, states, empires, religious movements, social classes, periods and regions, civilizations, large causal or law-governed processes. We explore whether history as a whole has meaning, structure, or direction, beyond the individual events and actions that make it up and the nature of causal influence among historical events or structures that underwrites historical explanations.

We continue by examining what is involved in our knowing, representing, and explaining history by asking what role is played by the interpretation of the "lived experience" of past actors in our historical understanding, and how the historian arrives at justified statements about this lived experience. Can we arrive at justified and objective interpretations of long-dead actors, their mentalities and their actions, or does all historical knowledge remain permanently questionable?

Finally, we consider the extent to which human history is constitutive of the human present. Can historical understanding of events in the past inform our policies and actions in current situations judged in important respects to be sufficiently similar?

Find out more about PHIL6690

Fees

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

  • Home full-time TBC
  • International full-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

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.

We have a range of subject-specific awards and scholarships for academic, sporting and musical achievement.

Search scholarships

Teaching and assessment

Law

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. We also have one of the best student-staff ratios in the country, which allows small, weekly seminar-group teaching in all of our core modules, where you are actively encouraged to take part.

Most modules are assessed by end-of-year examinations and continuous assessment, the ratio varying from module to module, with Kent encouraging and supporting the development of research and written skills. Some modules include an optional research-based dissertation that counts for 45% or, in some cases, 100% of the final mark. Assessment can also incorporate assessment through oral presentation and argument, often in the style of legal practice (such as mooting), and client-based work and reflection through our Law Clinic.

Philosophy

Teaching is by lectures, seminars, class discussions, and individual and group research, which is discussed in class.

All modules are assessed by 100% coursework (essays, in-class assignments, seminar participation) throughout the year.

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

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.

Philosophy at Kent was ranked 1st for research intensity and scored 87% overall in The Complete University Guide 2021.

Careers

Law

The University has an excellent employment record, with Kent Law School graduates commanding some of the highest starting salaries in the UK.

Law graduates can go into a variety of careers, including working as: solicitors or barristers in private practice; lawyers in companies, local authorities, central government and its agencies, or in the institutions of the European Union; non-legal careers, such as banking, finance and management.

Kent Law School has an active careers programme that sees a number of leading law firms and prominent members of the legal profession (including Kent alumni) visit the University to meet and speak with students. The Law School also gives students the opportunity to develop legal skills while at Kent, through modules in mooting and negotiation, and through involvement in the Law Clinic. We also actively work with employers to create work placement opportunities for our students.

Philosophy

Through your studies, you gain the key transferable skills considered essential by graduate employers. These include excellent communication skills, both written and oral, the ability to work in a team and independently, the ability to analyse and summarise complex material and devise innovative and well thought-out solutions.

Recently, our graduates have gone into areas such as teaching, publishing, journalism, media, marketing, the civil service and the legal profession.

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.

Applications

We are no longer accepting applications for the 2021/22 academic year. Please visit the 2022 entry course pages.

Contact us

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United Kingdom/EU enquiries

Enquire online for full-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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