New College of the Humanities in London offers the LLB degree in its traditional three-stage format that aims to develop intellectual rigour and understanding through small group and individual tuition. It provides you with a solid grounding in the concepts and frameworks of the English legal system, focusing on those core components necessary to helping you to “think like a lawyer”.
The LLB helps you to develop an understanding of the values and ideas within the legal system as a means to acquire the skills necessary to act effectively as professionals. The focus on the core substantive elements of legal reasoning will therefore be accompanied by a strong emphasis on critical thinking, research and communication skills. You will study a total of twelve modules.
Student-centred learning towards intellectual enquiry is central to the New College of the Humanities ethos. In the Law faculty we see you as an individual and seek to cater for your individual needs in order to develop autonomous learning.
In your first year
You will study four Law LLB modules.
Common Law Reasoning & Institutions
This comprehensive introduction to the English legal system seeks to convey what is distinctive about the common law approach as a legal methodology and as it reflects the history and politics of England and Wales. It examines the sources of law, the civil and criminal court structures and the role of judges and the jury. A running concern of the course is the question of fairness: the impact of the Human Rights Act on the criminal justice system and the issues of access to justice in the civil courts. This course is also vital in initiating you into the process of legal research and the final examination has a compulsory section on research activities carried out during the year.
This module examines general principles of criminal liability, a range of fatal and non-fatal offences against the person and selected offences against property. Attempts to commit offences, secondary liability and defences also form part of the University of London criminal law curriculum. Criminal law consists of a highly developed body of precisely formulated legal rules but as criminal conduct is subject to punishment it thus engages with broad issues of morality and policy. Understanding the tension between certainty in the law and social adaptation affecting the development of criminal law will take you beyond the basic stage of understanding the substantive rules of criminal law.
Elements of the Law of Contract
Contracts are the legal basis of all commercial transactions. This module covers core topics – including formation of contracts, capacity to contract and privity, performance and breach of contract and remedies for breach of contract. The emphasis is on understanding the key underlying principles of English law. This is very much a case law subject, with judicial precedents stretching back nearly 400 years in some instances (but more usually of nineteenth and twentieth- century origin) and a small number of statutory provisions, as well as the impact of EU law. An understanding of what factors judges may, or must, take into account when exercising their discretion is crucial.
The UK constitution is famously ‘unwritten’ and thus contrasts with other constitutional models. Analysing key issues of sovereignty and the division of powers between legislature, executive and administration, one key question is how far the UK lives up to classic doctrine. Equally, membership of the European Union, and the Human Rights Act 1998, affect the overall picture of the relation between citizen and the state. To fully engage with this subject, you need to take an interest in current affairs and debates about what is involved in constitutional issues and reforms.
In your second year
You will study four Law LLB modules:
Much of the work of solicitors turns around land law in the form of conveyancing (buying and selling dwellings or commercial enterprises) or the relations between landlords and tenants. Here the central principles of English law are portrayed, including the necessary historical context, as many of the basic concepts were established in social conditions very different from today. Land law centres on the concept of the nature and quantum of the various interests that can exist in land, the principles governing the creation, transfer and extinction of these interests and the extent that those interests are enforceable against third parties.
Law of Tort*
The law of tort concerns the civil liability for the wrongful infliction of injury by one person upon another. The characteristic claim in tort is for monetary compensation or damages. There is no single principle of liability, which makes tort law complex; also there are other sources of monetary compensation for personal injuries (such as unemployment/social security payments, private insurance, criminal injuries compensation schemes, etc.) as well as the fact that the same harms may be pursued through the criminal justice system.
Negligence is a key topic and other topics include: interference with economic interest; trespass; defamation; vicarious liability as well as defences and remedies, and sources of future development including EU law.
Civil & Criminal Procedure
Focused on the substantive issues and values that underpin Civil and criminal procedure, the module is divided equally between Civil and criminal procedure. You will be expected to compare and contrast Civil and criminal procedure and will need to have a good working knowledge of the court system and the way in which civil and criminal justice is organised and dispensed. Specific topics include: civil process before trial, commencement of proceedings, jurisdiction, responding to a claim, case management, summary disposals and trials, remedies and criminal procedure, police powers and bail, commencement of proceedings, pleas and plea bargaining, ID and other evidence and sentencing.
The European Union (EU) is a relatively new legal system that combines characteristics of international law and national legal systems. EU institutions and law-making powers are examined as well as the key questions of the impact of EU law on national law and its overall consequences for a) business enterprises and b) individuals. As EU law is highly responsive to economic and social changes, legal rules and judicial decisions are studied in their wider context. The subject will appeal to students who enjoyed studying Public law or who have an interest in public affairs, politics, economics or international relations.
In your third year
You will take two remaining compulsory Law LLB modules:
Law of Trusts*
A part of Equity law, the law of Trusts deals with the rules and principles governing the creation and operation of trusts – a particular method of holding property that developed historically primarily to preserve family wealth, particularly by minimising liability to taxation. The syllabus focuses on three broad areas: 1) the requirements for establishing a valid trust (including express private trusts; charitable trusts; implied and resulting trusts; constructive trusts); 2) the powers and obligations of trustees under a valid trust (including appointment, retirement and removal of trustees); 3) the remedies available when trustees act improperly.
Jurisprudence & Legal Theory*
This module provides a grounding in the nature of jurisprudence: methodology, analysis, theory and the idea of definition, the relevance of language and ideology.
And your choice of two Law LLB modules from the list below:
This area of law is fast moving with frequent legislative change due to pressures for reform from the UK Department of Trade and Industry and from the EU with its policy of harmonising the company law of its member states. The syllabus centres on the way law regulates companies and the facilities company law offers, such as limited liability and transferability of shares, as well as the corresponding burdens (duties of disclosure, compliance with statutory procedures and common law duties) and the dynamics of the often tense relationship between shareholders and management. A vital course for anyone intending to operate in the commercial field; you will benefit from knowledge of Contract, Tort, Trusts and Public law.
Labour law has key consequences both for individuals in their job settings and the operation of the labour market in general. The module begins with matters that may be pursued by individuals, covering contracts of employment, unfair dismissal, redundancy, equal pay, and sex and race discrimination. (Understanding of contract law and a willingness to grapple with EU law is important here.) The second part deals with ‘collective’ labour law: the protection of the worker re trade union membership and activities; the status and organisation of trade unions; trade union recognition; the legal regulation of collective bargaining and the law relating to trade disputes. This module will appeal to students interested in industrial relations and their historical and political contexts.
Intellectual property is a rapidly expanding body of law that has come into increasing domestic and international prominence. Involving both artistic and scientific concerns, intellectual property underpins a wide variety of everyday activities for individual consumers – hence in turn its immense economic and industrial significance. The law of intellectual property rights seeks a difficult balance between rewarding the right owner and the needs of society to gain access to scientific, technological or cultural benefits. It includes copyright, patent and trade-mark law. The course examines the range of different domestic and international legal categories involved in regulating this form of intangible property, and pays specific attention to the ways in which English law, lacking any discrete law of unfair competition, frequently relies on 'press-ganging' a range of independent rights (such as confidentiality) to serve that purpose.
The Dissertation module option offers final-year students the opportunity to undertake in-depth legal/sociolegal research. Students design their own research question – and submit a research proposal online – on a topic they have not previously (or concurrently) studied in depth. The Dissertation option will be examined a) by electronic submission of a 10,000 word Dissertation and b) a short final examination. The Dissertation is a module in its own right and it may be used to complete the Laws Skills Portfolio.
*These modules are required for the Qualifying Law Degree.
Depending upon staffing and faculty availability, modules may be subject to change. All programme structures are subject to confirmation in the 2015-2016 Programme Regulations to be published by the University of London. University of London International Programmes syllabus reproduced with permission.