module specification

LL4003 - Law of Tort (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Law of Tort
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 300
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
219 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 30%   Course work
Unseen Examination 70%   Examination
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year (Spring and Summer) City Tuesday Afternoon
Year City Tuesday Afternoon

Module summary

This module focuses on developing skills of analysis, communication and reasoning. It introduces students to the law of torts through a detailed study of negligence and the social context in which this tort operates. This is followed by a study of other forms of tortious liability. Students will learn to apply their understanding to problem solving, as well as to communicate in a concise, accurate and effective manner.

Module aims

The module aims to:

  • inculcate a substantial body of knowledge about the law of torts;
  • provide a critical and evaluative understanding of the societal functions of tort law;
  • cultivate skills of legal reasoning; 
  • enhance students’ employability by fostering cognitive flexibility, creativity and fluency in spoken and written communication, and the capacity for effective teamwork. 


• Introductory: overview of the law of torts; strict and fault-based liability; introduction to negligence and its societal functions; overview of the development of negligence and the principal areas of difficulty encountered by the courts.

• Alternative Compensation Regimes: economic and moral implications of the UK’s negligence regime; consideration of alternative means of compensating accident victims.

• Duty of Care: outline of basic principles and policy concerns; omissions and liability for actions of third parties; liability for psychiatric harm; rescuers; liability for economic loss caused by negligent activities and negligent statements; negation and reduction of duty on grounds of public policy.

• Breach of Duty: factors generally relevant in determining the standard of care; children; defendants acting in emergencies; participants in sport; medical and other professionals.

• Causation and Remoteness: basic principles; cumulative causes; consecutive causes; causation and the standard of proof; lost chances; remoteness of damage in relation to property damage and personal injury.

• Occupiers’ Liability: consideration of relevant legislation and case law.

• Defences to negligence claims: voluntary assumption of risk; contributory negligence; not profiting from wrongdoing.

• Protection of the person from intentional interference: Physical and threatened harm to the person protected by the torts of assault and battery.

• Protection of the person from intentional interference: Wrongful deprivation of liberty protected by the tort of false imprisonment.

• Protection of property interests: The tort of trespass to land.

• Protection of property interests: The tort of private nuisance and an overview of public nuisance and the rule in Rylands v. Fletcher.

• Protection of trading interests: inducing breach of contract, interference by unlawful means, conspiracy, passing off and the protection of goodwill.

• Protection of reputation: defamation.

• Protection of privacy.

• Liability for the activities of others: vicarious liability.

• Remedies: injunctions, financial remedies and restitution.

Learning and teaching

The module is taught by lectures and seminars. Students are required to prepare by reading from case law and legal journals, and are given the opportunity to discuss theoretical issues as well as to solve practical legal problems.  Students are supported in undertaking on-line research using electronic law databases and encouraged to use Westlaw. There is a virtual learning environment (VLE) containing a handbook,  weblinks, past assessments, study skills guidance, lecture aids and notes. This provides the basis for students to achieve a high level of competence in engaging with materials delivered electronically.

Two formative assessments are set and marked promptly with opportunities for feedback both in class and individually.

Knowledge of the topics covered will enhance students’ employability both within the legal profession and more generally in a range of professions (e.g. Human Resources, the caring professions) which require an understanding of employers’ liability, and/or interpersonal rights and responsibilities under the civil law.

Students’ study responsibilities are to attend all classes, research and prepare for seminar discussion and academic debate, engage in interactive IT-related activities and to undertake all formative and final assessments.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

• Demonstrate an understanding of the tort of negligence by identifying plausible judicial and legislative approaches to a range of situations where a person may have suffered a wrong at the hands of another.

• Describe some of these approaches in a piece of writing that is coherent, makes reference to relevant case law and/or legislation, and conforms with instructions as to its presentation.

• Students attaining higher marks will demonstrate a critical appreciation of how judicial reasoning in negligence cases seeks to reconcile competing values and will express an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the negligence regime.

• More generally, students will demonstrate development of their personal and professional attributes in terms of the qualities and transferable skills necessary for career and personal development, lifelong independent learning and employment, including information management, autonomy, self evaluation and communication.

Assessment strategy

The module outcomes will be assesed by one piece of summative coursework and a final examination.

In addition, there will be two formative in-class assessments which will not be formally assessed.


• Blackstone's Statutes on Contract, Tort and Restitution, Blackstone Press

• Giliker, P. and Beckwith, S., Tort, Sweet and Maxwell Textbook Series

• Jones, M.A., Textbook on Torts, Blackstone Press

• Lunney, M. & Oliphant, K., Tort Law: Text and Materials, Oxford University Press

• Rogers, W.V.H., Winfield and Jolowicz on Tort, Sweet and Maxwell

• Westlaw and other law databases