module specification

LL5004 - Property Law (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24
Module title Property Law
Module level Intermediate (05)
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 50%   Written Coursework (2,000 - 2,500 words)
Unseen Examination 50%   Time Constrained Examination
Running in 2023/24

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
No instances running in the year

Module summary

Property Law is a core module for the LL.B. courses, which introduces students to the key principles of the law relating to real property, one of the foundation subjects of English Law, as identified by the professional legal bodies, the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Bar Standards Board.

It introduces and builds up a critical understanding of the legal concepts regarding the ownership and co-ownership of land in England and Wales and the control of assets.  Students study the system of registered and unregistered land; the rules relating to the transfer of title; and the controls on land use. 

Leases, licences, mortgages, easements, restrictive freehold covenants, adverse possession, conveyancing, human rights and torts relating to property will likewise be explained and analysed.

The module aims to develop several key transferable skills including independent research, critical analysis and academic writing in the context of land law, emphasising the use of primary and secondary sources of land law.

Student employability will be enhanced by the development both of these skills, and by
the practise of written and oral communication skills and group participation skills.

Prior learning requirements

Students must have passed LL4001 and LL4002 or equivalent modules

Module aims




1.  Nature and Classification of Property Rights    LO 1 and 2

Legal Rights
Ownership, possession, custody/occupation
Classification of property rights
The foundation concepts of land law
Divisibility of ownership of land - tenures and estates, third party rights
The physical extent of land - airspace, substrata, fixtures
Proprietary estoppel

2. Transfers of Property Rights   LO 1 and 2

The principle of assignability.
The problem of reconciling property rights with the interests of purchasers

3. Legal Title to Land     LO 1 and 2

The 1925 legislation
Registration of title - minor and overriding interests.
An introduction to registered conveyancing.

4. Security & Restitution   LO 1 and 2

Concept of Security

Land Mortgages
Rights and remedies of mortgagee
The equity of redemption
Priority of mortgages.

Other Proprietary Securities
Mortgages of personality
Equitable charges, express and implied


5. Leases  LO 1 and 2

Nature and type of leases, legal and functional.
Distinction from licence.
Rights and obligations implied by law and under common express terms.
Assignments, of lease and of reversion.
Termination at common law.
Statutory Protection of Leases (in outline)

6. The Family Home   LO 1 and 2

Co-ownership of land
Joint tenancy, tenancy in common, severance
The statutory trust of land: enforcing a sale, the effect of insolvency
Protections against dealings by sole trustee
Licences at common law, equitable or contractual licences, protection by proprietary estoppel

7. Controls on Land Use in Private Law   LO 1 and 2

Natural rights
Profits a prendre
Covenants affecting land

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Learning & 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 blackboard 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
Critical analysis
Legal writing

Blended Learning

All learning materials, previous examination questions and sample Q/A’s will be on blackboard 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.



Employability strategy will aim to acquaint students with a range of employment avenues both in the legal profession and in those professions into which legal qualifications and skills are transferable.

Student’s 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. Independently research, critically analyse and appraise the fundamental principles of land law.

2. Demonstrate the ability to solve legal problems and critically analyse contemporary issues relating to land law in a time-constrained environment.

Assessment strategy

1. Written Coursework (2,000 – 2,500 words)

Research based essay and/or problem-based question involving critical analysis and appraisal of fundamental principles of land law.

2. Time Constrained Examination

Written examination to demonstrate the ability to solve legal problems and analyse contemporary issues relating to land law in a time-constrained environment.


Core Texts:
Gray, K and Gray, SF, Elements of Land Law (OUP)
Mackenzie, J-A and Phillips, M, Textbook on Land Law (OUP)

Other Texts:

Smith, R, Property Law (Longman)
Stevens, J, Pearce, R and Jackson N, Land Law (Sweet & Maxwell)
Stroud, A, Making Sense of Land Law (Palgrave MacMillan)


Law Quarterly Review

Electronic Databases:

Westlaw and Lexis Library