Law is a stimulating degree that sharpens your thinking and your powers of persuasion while giving you extensive legal knowledge. The European Legal Studies programme gives valuable added depth and a European dimension to your degree, as well as offering an unforgettable experience in another country, without any requirement to learn another language.
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.
Students on the European Legal Studies degree spend their first two years at Kent, their third year at one of our European partner universities, and the fourth year back at Kent. During your year abroad you are taught entirely in English.
You study the detail of the law, as well as its history. You analyse judgments and legal developments while taking into account the political, ethical and social dimensions of the law. This ‘critical approach’ enhances what is already a fascinating subject. It helps you to fully understand the law and there are many chances to discuss and debate its role in society.
Teaching is via lectures, small group seminars and case studies. Our popular mooting programme, hosted in a dedicated space within the £5m Wigoder Law Building, gives you the chance to develop advocacy skills in a simulated courtroom setting before a bench comprised of local judges, practising barristers, solicitors and lecturers.
Kent Law School has a supportive environment and your lecturers have office hours where they provide guidance on a one-to-one basis. We also provide:
If you are interested in developing your skills in a modern European language, we also offer the following three-year programmes:
All of our undergraduate Law degrees contain the foundations of legal knowledge required by the Bar Standards Board to satisfy the academic component of professional training for intending barristers, and provide a strong foundation for students who wish to take the Solicitors Qualifying Examinations (SQE).
In addition to the European Legal Studies programme, we also offer English and French Law, which includes a year at one of our partner universities in France, where teaching is in French.
Alternatively, you can study for a year in Asia or Canada on our International Legal Studies with a Year Abroad programme. Teaching on this programme is in English.
Kent Law Clinic is based within our new, purpose-built building. It is ideal for developing your practical skills and has a replica courtroom for mooting.
Our academic resources are extensive. You have access to a wide range of materials, including:
There are plenty of activities related to your studies, including:
Kent Student Law Society and Kent Temple Law Society arrange events that are attended by members of the legal profession, many of them Kent alumni. They include QCs, judges, barristers, solicitors and members of the Bar Council and Law Society.
In previous years, events have included the:
Kent Critical Law Society has also put on events where students, academics and practitioners can debate topical – and often controversial – legal issues.
We have approximately 100 legal professionals registered on our Professional Mentoring Scheme, and leading law firms visit the campus to attend the annual Kent Law Fair, offer mock interviews, or run workshops.
We regularly hold careers talks given by practising lawyers (many of whom are Kent alumni) and host guest lectures given by some of the leading legal figures of our time.
You are more than your grades
At Kent we look at your circumstances as a whole before deciding whether to make you an offer to study here. Find out more about how we offer flexibility and support before and during your degree.
The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. Some typical requirements are listed below. Students offering alternative qualifications should contact us for further advice. Please also see our general entry requirements.
If you are an international student, visit our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country, including details of the International Foundation Programmes. Please note that international fee-paying students who require a Student visa cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.
Please note that meeting the typical offer/minimum requirement does not guarantee that you will receive an offer.
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.
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.
34 points overall or 17 points at HL
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.
Please see our English language entry requirements web page.
Please note that if you do not meet our English language requirements, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme.
Duration: 4 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. Contact us for more detail about the exact composition of this programme of study.
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.
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; guidance to legal problem solving.
Following on from 'Introduction to Obligations', 'Foundations of Property' continues the study of private law by introducing students to property law. 'Property' is something we tend to presume we know about, and rarely examine as an idea or practice closely. Most often we use it to connote an object or 'thing', and presume that it has something to do with 'ownership' of that object; we use expressions such as, 'This is mine,' and often do not examine the detail of what that really means.
This module begins to unpack and examine the ideas and practices of property more closely, looking in particular at land to ask questions such as: what do we mean by 'ownership'? What happens when a number of competing ‘ownership claims’ in one object exist? What are the limits of 'ownership'? Does 'ownership' entail social obligation?
When preparing for the module it will be useful to think about (and collect material on) current debates over contested ownership (or use) of property and resources, especially in relation to land.
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.
As one of the Foundations of Legal Knowledge, these modules have a direct contribution to qualification as a solicitor or barrister in England and Wales). The content of these modules is informed, therefore, by the requirements of the Solicitors Regulation Authority and Bar Standards Board and each serves to provide students with substantive knowledge of English criminal law. The module therefore covers the following:
• 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
• Defences to murder
• General defences
• Non-fatal offences against the person
• Sexual offences
• Inchoate offences
• Property-related offences
• Constitutionalism: history, theories, principles and contemporary significance
• Models of Government at national, local and supra-national levels
• Human Rights – history and contemporary significance and deployment
• The scope of governmental authority and its limits
• Judicial review and other forms of citizen redress
This module will offer a one-week overview of Contract law doctrine by reviewing the essentials of contract law gained by students in Introduction to Obligations and provide an overview of the lectures to follow.
Thereafter, students will spend the majority of the time on contract doctrine and problem-solving in contract law, comprised of doctrinal topics not covered in LAWS3150 Introduction to Obligations e.g. breach of contract and remedies, contractual terms, misrepresentation, termination and frustration of contracts and policing bargaining behaviour.
The remainder of the module will focus on contract theory (e.g. freedom of contract, relational contract theory, contract and the vulnerable, contract and consumption). This section of the module will overlay the doctrine covered in the previous section with a basic theoretical framework, and ground students' understanding of critical essay writing in contract law. It will also build on discussion of the purposes of contract law in Introduction to Obligations.
The bulk of this module will concentrate on the Tort of Negligence in contrast to students' knowledge of the law of trespass to the person (gained in LAWS3150 Introduction to Obligations). Students will focus on the conceptual structure of the tort of negligence, its rise and dominance over other torts, its role in accident compensation, the funding of accident compensation and the role of insurance, and the system’s contribution to an alleged "compensation culture". The approach is primarily doctrinal but is informed by various theoretical perspectives examining differing notions of justice.
A smaller section of this module will contrast the predominantly case-based Tort of Negligence with various statutory torts. Students will also consider the Land Torts. This draws further attention to the diverse range of harms or interests protected by tort law and to the diverse conceptual structures of different torts.
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.
This module will build on the knowledge that students will have acquired during Stage 1 [such as in LAWS5880 (LA588) Public Law 1] on the legal impact of the EU on the UK's legal system. 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.
This module introduces the student to the jurisprudence of equity and trusts. Building on knowledge and understanding developed in LAWS3160/LAWS5316 Foundations of Property 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.
The module begins with the problem of equity as a problem of definition, of jurisprudence, and of jurisdiction – and identifies a set of questions that will animate the course, before turning to the nature and range of equitable remedies. Students will then examine equitable remedies concerned with reviewing intentions so as to undo or unwind transactions, such as gifts and contracts, and remedies concerned with enforcing informally expressed intentions. The course then turns to the trust and fiduciary obligations, looking at the transformation of the trust, both in terms of its functions and its management, and the remedies available to enforce trust and fiduciary obligations. The course ends by returning to the problem of equity and asking, in the context of restitution and contemporary understandings of the role of law, the extent to which equity continues to have a role in modern law.
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.
Going abroad as part of your degree is an amazing experience and a chance to develop personally, academically and professionally. You experience a different culture, gain a new academic perspective, establish international contacts and enhance your employability.
Students on a four-year degree programme spend a year between Stages 2 and 3 at one of our partner universities in Europe. For a full list, please see Go Abroad. Places are subject to availability, language and degree programme.
You are expected to adhere to any academic progression requirements in Stages 1 and 2 to proceed to the Year Abroad. If the requirement is not met, you will be transferred to the equivalent three-year programme. The Year Abroad is assessed on a pass/fail basis and will not count towards your final degree classification.
Students normally take the equivalent of 120 Kent credits worth of modules during their year abroad (which is 60 European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) credits under the EU's ERASMUS arrangements). Accordingly, students are required to undertake the equivalent amount of studies during their year abroad as at Kent. The majority of modules taken during the year abroad should be Law modules.
The year abroad involves the delivery of taught content (and the assessment of that content) at a partner institution, which will enable students to achieve the intended specific and generic learning outcomes of this module. Students will take modules equivalent to a full-time load (e.g. a full-time year of academic study, or as otherwise defined by the host institution). The exact composition will be as agreed with the appropriate Programme Director, or as set out in the learning agreement ('the agreed modules'). The curriculum will vary depending on the partner institution and the agreed modules, but will be relevant to the student’s programme of study, and will contribute to achievement of the programme’s educational aims and learning outcomes.
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.
The module will assume prior knowledge and understanding of the foundational levels of tort law taught in LAWS3150 and LAWS5970/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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A central question of this module is whether, and to what extent, there is anything distinctive about legal reasoning compared to other forms of reasoning. That question is posed from the perspective of a legal practitioner, in particular, an advocate. The aim of the module is to equip students – as potential advocates, but also in general – with a range of tools and skills of argument that are easily transferrable across legal and non-legal contexts. In short, to teach transferrable critical thinking skills within a legal context.
It is a premise of the module that any competent advocate, or indeed lawyer, must demonstrate a proficient grounding in basic logic. The module introduces students to basic forms of logical argument and explores the role and limits of logical inference in legal reasoning and generally. It considers both logical and psychological factors that may lead to flawed reasoning. The module also touches on other forms of reasoning of particular relevance to law including practical, statistical, policy-based and rhetorical forms.
The aim of most reasoning, including legal reasoning is to persuade. The module will therefore introduce students to the skills of legal persuasion via written and oral advocacy.
The theoretical background will provide the basis upon which students will learn to construct effective (legal) arguments and to practice the skills learned in a variety of written and oral contexts including skeleton arguments and mooting.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"Art, law and politics" focuses not on the law relating to the sale, protection or movement of art, but on an exciting new body of contemporary art that takes law as its subject matter. Why have artists recently taken such an interest in law? How is art about law unique, and what can “law people” learn from it? This module aims to answer these questions by exploring the many ways artists have targeted law and legal themes. Socially-motivated art about law is animated by a strong critical, political spirit. But contemporary art doesn't simply “represent” law (which is often said about legally-themed literature and film): the great flexibility of art’s forms allows it to “get inside” legal practices, processes, presumptions and structures, opening them up to new perspectives and making us experience them in different ways. We will look at major examples of contemporary and modern art about law (and some of the best art-law writing, to help us to analyse them). While such art can often be read as critical of law and its institutions, we can also read it for the social and political knowledge about law it contains (what we might call an alternative kind of artistic jurisprudence). In this way, the module equips students with a solid understanding of the relations between contemporary art and law.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
• Trade marks
• Passing off
• Breach of confidence
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.
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.
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.
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.
The module addresses the regulation of consumer markets. This module is aimed at students who wish to have an understanding of substantive law, policies and institutional framework concerning the regulation of consumer markets.
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.
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.
This area of law considers a developing jurisprudence that involves international treaties, laws, ethics, and policy considerations relating to the art market and cultural heritage. This module aims to define art and cultural heritage/cultural property; to identify the need for national and international regulation of the art trade (theft, illegal export, trafficking) both in time of peace and in time of war as well as the issue of restitution of wrongfully displaced objects. It will also explore areas of the art trade that need regulation such as consumer protection (fakes and forgeries); the role of experts (opinion and liability), artists (his rights, his freedom and his life), dealers (auction houses and private dealers), and museums (role and collection management) in the trade. Finally, the module addresses the essential question of the need to change the law to accommodate the specific needs of protection of cultural heritage and it aims to give coherence to a complex body of rules at the intersection of civil law, property law, criminal law, public law, private international law and public international law.
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.
The overall objective of the module is to provide an exposition of Environmental Law which seeks to assess the functioning of the law alongside the environmental problems that it seeks to address. Many of these problems admit scientific, economic and administrative responses as readily as legal ones. However, the underlying premise is that, alongside other disciplines, law has an essential part to play in the protection of the environment. Within law, various strategies that may be applied to environmental problems have different strengths and weaknesses. In each case the options must be reviewed and it must be asked, which is the most appropriate legal approach to a particular kind of environmental problem?
To some extent this eclectic perspective spans traditional legal boundaries emphasising features which may be overlooked in customary treatments of subjects such as criminal law, tort, administrative law and European Union law, but it is a subject which has a distinctive identity determined by the specific problems that the law seeks to address. Environmental Law seeks to examine and assess laws, of widely different kinds, from a uniquely environmental perspective. Taking the broadest possible view, it must be asked what legal mechanism is best used to restrict emissions causing deterioration in the quality of the three environmental media of water, air and land and how the law can provide appropriate redress for environmental harm.
Environmental Law I is broadly concerned with environmental quality law, particularly the different ways in which environmentally damaging activities are addressed through legal mechanisms. The module commences with a discussion of foundational issues concerning basic concepts in Environmental Law and the range of legal approaches that are adopted in national, European Union and international law. Thereafter, the main focus is on the protection of the environmental media of water, land and air to prevent pollution and to secure environmental quality objectives. The module concludes by examining some cross-cutting issues, such as enforcement, information access, participation and alternative strategies for environmental protection.
The overall objective of the module is to provide an exposition of Environmental Law which seeks to assess the functioning of the law alongside the environmental problems that it seeks to address. Many of these problems admit scientific, economic and administrative solutions as readily as legal ones. However, the underlying premise is that, alongside other disciplines, law has an essential part to play in the protection of the environment. Within law, various strategies that may be applied to environmental problems have different strengths and weaknesses. In each case the options must be reviewed and it must be asked, which is the most appropriate legal approach to a particular kind of environmental problem?
To some extent this eclectic perspective spans traditional legal boundaries emphasising features which may be overlooked in customary treatments of subjects such as criminal law, tort, administrative law and European Union law but it is a subject which has a distinctive identity determined by the specific problems that the law is designed to address. Environmental Law seeks to examine and assess laws, of widely different kinds, from a uniquely environmental perspective. Taking a broad view, it must be asked what legal mechanisms are best used to restrict environmentally damaging land use and development, and how may the law be used most effectively to conserve wild fauna and flora and the habitats upon which they depend?
Environmental Law II (LW586) is intended to complement Environmental Law I. Whilst Environmental Law I is primarily concerned with protection of the quality of the environmental media of water, air and land, Environmental Law II is concerned with the environmental land use controls and specific mechanisms for conservation of species and habitats (ecological quality law).
The 2022/23 annual tuition fees for Home undergraduates have not yet been set by the UK Government. As a guide only full-time tuition fees for Home undergraduates for 2021/22 entry are £9,250.
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.*
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.
The 2022/23 annual tuition fees for UK undergraduate courses have not yet been set by the UK Government. As a guide only full-time tuition fees for Home and EU undergraduates for 2021/22 entry are £1,385.
The 2022/23 annual tuition fees for UK undergraduate courses have not yet been set by the UK Government. As a guide only full-time tuition fees for Home and EU undergraduates for 2021/22 entry are £1,385.
Students studying abroad for less than one academic year will pay full fees according to their fee status.
Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details.
You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.
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.
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.
Kent Law School emphasises research-led teaching which means that the modules taught are at the leading edge of new legal and policy developments. You are taught by as many of our leading researchers as possible. We also have one of the best student-to-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.
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.
The programme aims to
You gain knowledge and understanding of:
You gain the intellectual abilities to:
On successful completion of the programme students will be able to:
On successful completion of the programme students will be able to:
On successful completion of the programme students will be able to:
All University of Kent courses are regulated by the Office for Students.
Based on the evidence available, the TEF Panel judged that the University of Kent delivers consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the UK.
Please see the University of Kent's Statement of Findings for more information.
Law at Kent scored 93% overall and was ranked 9th for research intensity in The Complete University Guide 2021.
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Law at Kent was ranked 13th overall and 8th for research quality in The Times Good University Guide 2021.
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:
Kent Law School has an active careers programme – leading law firms and prominent members of the legal profession visit the University to meet our students. We also work with employers to create work placement opportunities for our students.
The Law School's dedicated Employability and Careers Development Officer can give you advice on how to:
You also have access to the University's friendly Careers and Employability Service.
Our award-winning Kent Law Clinic gives local people access to free legal advice and representation. As a student, this gives you the chance to work on real cases under the guidance of qualified lawyers. You take on clients and sometimes have the chance to act as the client’s advocate in court or at a legal tribunal.
Our approach to law helps you to develop:
You gain intellectual, analytical and practical skills that are vital to lawyers but also useful in many other professions. These include the ability to:
You can also gain extra skills by signing up for one of our Kent Extra activities, such as learning a language or volunteering.
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. 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.
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