module specification

LL5060 - Law of Equity and Trusts I (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23
Module title Law of Equity and Trusts I
Module level Intermediate (05)
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
Unseen Examination 100%   Written examination (2 hours)
Running in 2022/23

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

Module summary

The Law of Equity and Trusts I is a core module for the LL.B. courses, which introduces students to the key principles of the law relating to equity, trusts and the administration of estates. It is 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 resolution of issues of property ownership.

Trusts, including settlements, charities and pension funds, play a vital part in the economic life of the country and are increasingly recognised as indispensable modes of wealth protection or asset mobilisation throughout the world.

The aims of the module are as follows:

1. Students will acquire knowledge of the basic principles of the basic principles of equity and trusts.

2. Students will develop several key transferable skills, including independent research, critical analysis and cogent academic writing in the context of the law of trusts, emphasising the use of primary and secondary sources.

3. Students will enhance their employability by the development both of these skills, and by the practice of written communication activities (including summative) and oral communication activities (formative only).


1.  Nature and Classification of Equitable Rights  LO1, LO2 and LO3

• The Nature of Equitable Rights and the relationship of Common Law and Equity
• Trusts: definition, early history, classification and functions of the trusts in the modern economy

2.  Transfers of Property Rights  LO1, LO2 and LO3

Legal Title

• Personalty and real property
• Passing of legal title to goods and to real property by sale or gift
• Assignment and negotiation of choses in action.

Equitable Title

• Dispositions of and priority between equitable interests.
• Formalities and certainties for creation of express trusts.
• Trusts and powers
• Incomplete dispositions
• Specific Performance
• Constructive trusts arising from specifically enforceable contracts to sell
• Incomplete voluntary transfers
• Resulting trusts

3. Trusts of imperfect obligation  LO1, LO2 and LO3

• The beneficiary principle
• Exceptions to the rules
• Unincorporated associations

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 the development of skills necessary to attain the module learning outcomes through:

• Written and oral questions/answers designed to reinforce fundamental rules, principles and cases;
• A range of step-by-step analytical exercises;
• Problem solving;
• 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. Demonstrate an understanding of the nature and classification of equitable rights; transfers of property rights; and trusts of imperfect obligation.

2. Demonstrate the ability to propose analytical solutions to legal problems relating to the law of equity and trusts.

3. Demonstrate the ability critically to analyse contemporary issues relating to the law of equity and trusts in a time-constrained environment.

Assessment strategy

Written examination (2 hours)

This will assess the ability cogently to discuss and critically analyse legal case studies and/or contemporary legal issues within the context of the law of equity and trusts in a time-constrained examination.


The link to the Talis reading list will be provided when the module is due to start running.