module specification

LL4053 - English Legal System (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23
Module title English Legal System
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 15
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 150
114 hours Guided independent study
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 20%   Learning reflection 500 words A written report on a topical issue of legal significance.
In-Course Test 80%   1 hour Multiple choice in-class test. This will assess knowledge of a wide range of factual topics and situational jud
Running in 2022/23

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Tuesday Morning

Module summary

English Legal System is a core module for the LL.B. courses and the BA in Law, which introduces students to the workings of the English Legal System in its historical, contemporary and international context.

It includes the study of the sources of law; the law-making process; the institutional and court structure; and basic issues of procedure within the English Legal system.

It also enables students to start to acquire the fundamental academic and professional skills necessary for the undergraduate study of law. In this way, it provides a solid support both for the other Level 4 modules, and also for the remainder of the degree course and beyond into professional practice.

The aims of the module are to introduce the following to students:

1. Reflective thinking in the context of contemporary legal issues.

2. A working knowledge of legal language, sources of English law and legal procedure;

3. How to locate legal material;

4. How to read and understand primary and secondary sources of law (paper based and electronic);

5. How to recognise and develop at an introductory level the practical and professional legal skills of advocacy, legal research and legal writing.

Prior learning requirements




1 The Categories of Law      
2 The Language of the Law     
3 The Overlap of Criminal and Civil Law 
4 The Hierarchy of the Criminal and Civil Courts  

LO1 & LO2


5 Statute Law       
6 The Common Law: Introduction   
7 The Common Law: The Operation of Judicial Precedent     
8 The Doctrine of Equity

9 European Union Law       
10 Subsidiary Sources of Law    
11 Statutory Interpretation: The General Rules   
12  Statutory Interpretation: Human Rights

LO2 & LO3


13 Sources of Criminal Law    
14 Categories of Crime       
15 The Police and the Crown Prosecution Service     
16 The Magistrates’ Courts    
17 The Crown Court

18 The Court of Appeal (Criminal Division)

19 The Supreme Court

20 Appeals by way of Case Stated

21 Elements of Criminal Procedure


22 Categories of Civil Law

24 Civil Litigation: Introduction

25 Civil Litigation: Alternative Dispute Resolution

26 Civil Litigation: Arbitration

27 Civil Litigation: Mediation and Conciliation

28 Civil Litigation: Going to Court

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Learning and Teaching Strategy

Weekly two-hour lecture and one-hour seminar. 

The lecture will be used for:

Dissemination of knowledge through an overview of each topic with detailed guidance on appropriate aspects;
An introduction to relevant academic literature;
Guidance on learning strategies;
Use of Weblearn and IT resources;
Whole group questions and discussion.

The seminar will be used for:

Development of skills necessary to attain the module learning outcomes through:
Written and oral questions/answers designed to reinforce fundamental rules/principles/cases;
A range of step by step writing exercises;
IT tasks such as research of cases and statutes
Legal writing

Blended Learning

All learning materials, previous examination questions and sample Q/A’s will be on Weblearn for use in directed private study.

Student engagement will be encouraged in both lectures and seminars through weekly use of Weblearn for access to all of the above materials.

There will be required use of the professional legal databases, especially Westlaw and Lexis Library, for legal research

Opportunities for reflective learning/pdp

Each weekly seminar will contain space for students to reflect on what they have learnt in relation to the overall syllabus. There will be frequent feedback opportunities structured into the timetable and a range of sample answers posted onto Weblearn.

Students’ Study Responsibilities

The need for attendance, punctuality, preparation and engagement will be emphasised with particular reference to written and IT research, problem-solving, team-work, discussion, debate and critical awareness of the subject.

Learning outcomes

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

1. Reflect on how legal principles affect contemporary society.

2. Demonstrate a basic knowledge of the key elements of the English Legal System.

3. Demonstrate a working knowledge of primary and secondary source legal materials.

4. Demonstrate a basic knowledge of the elements of criminal and civil litigation.

Assessment strategy

1. Learning Reflection (LO1) 500 words

A summative assessment given in the week 7 of the course by which the students will locate and report on a news story with a legal edge. This will enable them to consider, and to reflect upon, how the learning they have so far achieved in this module already enables them to apply legal principles within a real social context.

It will also be an early indication of the progress they are making on the course.

2. Multiple choice in-class test (LO2, LO3 and LO4) I hour

This will assess knowledge of a wide range of factual topics and situational judgment.