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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 31/03/2022 10:38:03

Title of Module: Succession and Trusts

Code: LAWW08018 SCQF Level: 8
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Business & Creative Industries
Module Co-ordinator:Clive  Mitchell

Summary of Module

The module will consider the role and duties of an executor. The module will also consider the current statutory and common law provisions in Scotland for the distribution of a person’s estate on death, whether they leave a will (testate) or not (intestate). Consideration will be given to the legal mechanisms which apply where there is a presumed death or a common calamity. The common law and statutory provisions relating to disqualification from inheritance will be examined. Beyond this, the application of prior rights and legal rights will be considered in regard to intestate succession as well as the statutory provisions relating to a cohabitant’s rights in succession.

In relation to testate succession, the application of legal rights will be examined as well as the effects of collation inter libros and renunciation of legitim. Essential and formal validity of testamentary writing will be considered together with common testamentary provisions and construction and interpretation of testamentary deeds and the effect of testamentary devices. The different forms of legacy will be considered in detail as will revocation of testamentary writing.

The module will examine the role and duties of trustees. The various classifications and purposes of trusts and administration of trusts will also be considered. The appointment, assumption and resignation of trustees will be examined. Beyond this, the investment duties of trustees, conflict of interest and issues of liability to beneficiaries will be considered. Variation and termination of trusts will be examined.


  • This module is developed in accordance with the UWS Graduate Attributes and helps students to develop the range of skills, qualities and abilities which will prepare them for success both outwith university and beyond their period of study at UWS. This module will help the student develop academic skills such as gaining knowledge, being a critical thinker, being analytical, being a problem solver, being digitally literate and being an autonomous learner. The module also helps to develop many of the personal and professional attributes found at

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
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Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

A mode of delivery of a module or a programme that involves online and face-to-face delivery of learning, teaching and assessment activities, student support and feedback. A programme may be considered “blended” if it includes a combination of face-to-face, online and blended modules. If an online programme has any compulsory face-to-face and campus elements it must be described as blended with clearly articulated delivery information to manage student expectations

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

Online with mandatory face-to-face learning on Campus

Online with optional face-to-face learning on Campus

Work-based Learning
Learning activities where the main location for the learning experience is in the workplace.

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance/Online Learning: (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Lanarkshire:London:Distance/Online Learning:Other:
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Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1


Term 2check markTerm 3


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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

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

L1. Explain and analyse the principles of the Law of Succession pertaining to testate and intestate estates.

L2. Apply the law of Succession to given legal problems whether relating to testate or intestate estates.

L3. Explain the creation and administration of Trusts and apply the law to given legal problems.

L4. Make effective use of library and electronic resources to acquire legal information to analyse problems in terms of legal concepts and to apply legal principles to propose solutions.

Employability Skills and Personal Development Planning (PDP) Skills
SCQF Headings During completion of this module, there will be an opportunity to achieve core skills in:
Knowledge and Understanding (K and U) SCQF Level 8.

Understanding the ways in which the law of Trusts and Succession has developed in Scotland.
Understanding a range of legal concepts and demonstrating detailed knowledge of the law of Trusts and Succession.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 8.

Carrying out routine lines of enquiry, or investigation into professional level problems, using primary and secondary legal sources.
Applying knowledge and understanding of legal principles to practical situations in order to draw reasoned conclusions.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 8.

Undertaking critical analysis and evaluation of ideas, concepts, information and issues which are within the common understandings of the subject.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 8.

Using a range of routine skills, including the use of information and communications technology, for the gathering, basic analysis and presentation of routine legal information, ideas and concepts to convey complex information to a range of audiences and for a range of purposes in a well-structured and coherent form.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 8.

Exercising autonomy and initiative in some activities at a professional level. Managing resources within defined areas of work. Identifying, reflecting upon and addressing personal learning needs.

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Law of Property & Conveyancing Practice
Other:or an appropriate module equivalent to the Law of Property and Conveyancing Practice module noted above. The appropriateness of any such module will be determined by the Module Co-ordinator.
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
Student Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Lecture/Core Content Delivery24
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity12
Asynchronous Class Activity30
Independent Study134
200 Hours Total

**Indicative Resources: (eg. Core text, journals, internet access)

The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:

Barr, A., Biggar, J. & Dalgleish, A., Drafting Wills in Scotland (2nd edition, Bloomsbury Professional 2009)

Bartos, D. & Meston, M.C., The Succession (Scotland) Act 1964 (6th edition, W Green 2015)

Chalmers, J., Trusts: Cases and Materials (W Green 2002)

Finlay, J., Trusts Law Essentials (Edinburgh University Press 2012)

Gibb, A., Succession and Trusts (W Green 2017)*

Gibb, A. & Gordon, A., Succession LawBasics (4th edition, W Green 2018)

Gretton, G.L. & Steven, A.J.M., Property, Trusts and Succession (4th edition, Bloomsbury Professional 2021)

Hiram, H., The Scots Law of Succession (2nd edition, Bloomsbury Professional 2007)

Kerrigan, J., Drafting for Succession (2nd edition, W Green 2010)

Kessler, J. & Grant, W., Drafting Trusts and Will Trusts in Scotland: A Modern Approach (2nd edition, W Green 2017)

Norrie, K. & Scobbie, E.M., Trusts (W Green/Sweet & Maxwell 1991)

Any resources above with an asterisk symbol (*) next to them are recommended for purchase. Essential resources, including textbooks, journals and online resources will be identified at the beginning of each delivery on the Succession and Trusts Aula site.

(**N.B. Although reading lists should include current publications, students are advised (particularly for material marked with an asterisk*) to wait until the start of session for confirmation of the most up-to-date material)

Engagement Requirements

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement procedure

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardAccounting, Finance and Law
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelAccounting, Finance & Law
ModeratorColin McFadyen
External ExaminerMumtaz Hussain
Accreditation Details
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
One piece of coursework worth 40% of the final mark.
One class test worth 60% of the final mark.
(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each component) can be found below which clearly demonstrate how the learning outcomes of the module will be assessed.
(ii) An indicative schedule listing approximate times within the academic calendar when assessment is likely to feature will be provided within the Student Handbook.)

Assessment Outcome Grids (Footnote A.)

Component 1
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Essaycheck markcheck markcheck markcheck mark400

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Class test (written)check markcheck markcheck markcheck mark602.5
Combined Total For All Components100% 2.5 hours

A. Referred to within Assessment Section above
B. Identified in the Learning Outcome Section above

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  1. More than one assessment method can be used to assess individual learning outcomes.
  2. Schools are responsible for determining student contact hours. Please refer to University Policy on contact hours (extract contained within section 10 of the Module Descriptor guidance note).
    This will normally be variable across Schools, dependent on Programmes &/or Professional requirements.

Equality and Diversity
The Equality, Diversity and Human Rights policy underpins student engagement. We aim to make UWS a fair and equal place to study an institution which addresses specific issues covering all aspects of equality, diversity and human rights. Where required module assessment will be adapted to meet student requirements.
UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

2014 University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity.

Charity number SC002520.