European Legal Studies - LLB (Hons)
- Standard option
- with German
- with Spanish
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.
Our research-led teaching encourages you to take a critical view of the law, engaging with the latest research undertaken by expert academics. Our diverse, international community of staff and students provides a dynamic and engaging environment to gain the professional legal skills and knowledge you need to change the world we live in.
Reasons to study a European Legal Studies degree at Kent
- Top 20 in The Times Good University Guide 2023
- State-of-the-art facilities including a dedicated moot courtroom
- Study the issues that matter to you through our broad range of modules
- Prepare for a successful career – this degree helps facilitate your ambitions to work in law as a solicitor or barrister, or as a lawyer internationally and opens doors to many other legal professions
- Get involved in real legal practice and assist real clients through Kent Law Clinic
- Take part in co-curricular activities including lawyering skills modules in Mooting, Mock Trial Advocacy, and Negotiation
- Spend a year abroad with one of our many partner institutions
- Join one of our student-led law societies
- Participate in innovative and meaningful projects like Critical Law TV and the Kent Law Review
- Learn from legal professionals on our Professional Mentoring Scheme
- Study in a supportive environment with academic advisors and our Skills Hub which helps you succeed and achieve
What you’ll learn
Our law degree sharpens your thinking and your powers of persuasion whilst you gain extensive legal knowledge. You study the detail of the law, as well as its history. You analyse judgments and legal developments while considering the political, ethical and social dimensions of the law. This critical approach facilitates your ability to interrogate and investigate the law. Not only does this enhance what is already a fascinating subject, but it also enables you to build well researched evidence bases and advocate your position, which is critically and vitally important in whichever professional occupation you aim to pursue.
Our popular mooting programme develops your advocacy skills in a simulated courtroom setting before a bench comprising local judges, practising barristers, solicitors and lecturers. Our Employability Support enables you to make connections, build your network, develop an understanding of the profession and plan for your future.
This degree will help you prepare for a career in law as a solicitor or barrister. 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).
The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. All applications are assessed on an individual basis but some of our typical requirements are listed below. Students offering qualifications not listed are welcome to contact our Admissions Team for further advice. Please also see our general entry requirements.
AAB including A level Italian
Access to HE Diploma
The University welcomes applications from Access to Higher Education Diploma candidates for consideration. A typical offer may require you to obtain a proportion of Level 3 credits in relevant 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.
34 points overall or 17 points at HL including HL Italian 4 or SL Italian at 5
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.
The University will consider applicants holding T level qualifications in subjects closely aligned to the course.
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.
English Language Requirements
Please see our English language entry requirements web page.
Please note that if you do not meet our English language requirements, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme.
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; critical approaches to the study of contract and tort; guidance to legal problem solving.
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.
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.
• 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 is an intensive module for absolute beginners, Post-GCSE students and students who have not yet mastered level A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). On successfully completing the module students will have mastered level A2. The emphasis in this course is on acquiring a sound knowledge of the structure of the language as well as basic vocabulary and cultural insights while developing the speaking, listening, reading and writing skills.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This module is the natural follow-on for those who have, in the previous academic year, successfully taken an intensive beginners Italian course such as ITAL3010 (Italian Beginners A1-A2 (Intensive)), and who have covered the basics of grammar, acquired a stock of high frequency vocabulary and reached a degree of proficiency beyond GCSE and approaching A-level (A2 waystage in terms of the Common European Framework of Reference).
This module is designed to allow students, upon completion, to demonstrate a level of ability up to B2 threshold, turning students into independent users of Italian in both oral and written contexts. The course is thus also designed to prepare students for their year abroad and independent life in Italy as a foreign country. This module is an intensive course, which develops the student's active and passive aural and written skills.
This module is an intermediate level module. Its aims are to strengthen and widen the linguistic knowledge provided in ITAL3080, to consolidate students' vocabulary and improve their knowledge of written and spoken Italian through immersion in a variety of texts, and to practise translation skills both from and into Italian.
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.
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
• Defences to murder
• General defences
• Non-fatal offences against the person
• Sexual offences
• Inchoate offences
• Property-related offences
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. 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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You have the opportunity to select elective modules in this stage.
The fees for the 2024/25 year have not yet been set by the Government. As a guide, the tuition fees for undergraduate study in 2023/24 are shown below.
- 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.
Fees for year in industry
Fees for undergraduate students are £1,385.
Fees for year abroad
Fees for undergraduate students are £1,385.
Students studying abroad for less than one academic year will pay full fees according to their fee status.
Find out more about accommodation and living costs, plus general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.
We have a range of subject-specific awards and scholarships for academic, sporting and musical achievement.Search scholarships
Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details.
The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence
At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence.
The scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of A*AA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages.
Teaching and assessment
How you'll study
As well as scheduled teaching hours, students in Kent Law School are expected to do an amount of independent study. For a student studying full time, each academic year of the programme includes approximately 1200 learning hours. Our popular mooting programme develops your advocacy skills in a simulated courtroom setting before a bench comprising local judges, practising barristers, solicitors and lecturers.
Teaching and assessment
Kent Law School emphasises research-led teaching, which means that the modules taught are at the leading edge of new legal and policy developments.
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 approximately 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.
For programme aims and learning outcomes, including for Joint Honours programmes and for Law with a Foundation Year, please see the programme specification.
Law at Kent was ranked 20th in The Times Good University Guide 2023.
Law at Kent was ranked 2nd for research quality and 12th for student satisfaction in The Complete University Guide 2023.
Italian at Kent scored 91% overall in The Complete University Guide 2023.
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:
- solicitor or barrister in a private practice
- company lawyer
- legal work within government
- legal work within the charity and NGO sector
- non-legal careers, such as banking, finance and management.
Help finding a job
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:
- apply for jobs
- write a good CV
- perform well in interviews.
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:
- a detailed knowledge of the law
- sophisticated legal research and writing skills
- practical skills in mediation, negotiation and interviewing clients.
You gain intellectual, analytical and practical skills that are vital to lawyers but also useful in many other professions. These include the ability to:
- think critically
- communicate your ideas and opinions
- manage your time effectively
- work independently or as part of a team.
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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Undergraduate applications open for 2024 entry on 16 May 2023. You can still apply for courses starting in 2023 via the UCAS website.
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