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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 09/04/2021 12:59:31

Title of Module: Intro to Legal Theory

Code: LAWW07015 SCQF Level: 7
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 10 ECTS: 5
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Business & Creative Industries
Module Co-ordinator:Dr Carolynn  Gray

Summary of Module

The purpose of this module is to provide students with an introduction to legal philosophy. The module will introduce students to key legal theorists and legal debates thus encouraging students to take a critical approach to the study of Law. The module will explore ongoing debates in law such as the relationship between law and morality, the concept of justice, how the law is structured, one's obligation to obey the law, and the authority of law.

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. demonstrate knowledge and understanding of key philosophies of law

L2. demonstrate knowledge and understanding of tensions between the different philosophies of law

L3. demonstrate knowledge and understanding of how legal philosophy can be used to critique particular laws.

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 7.

understanding alternative ways of thinking about law
understanding the role of law within society.

understanding how society and politics influence law
understanding basic principles of legal theory and philosophy.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 7.

demonstrating awareness of the role of law within society.

demonstrating knowledge of basic principles of legal theory and philosophy.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 7.

Use basic and routine legal skills, techniques, practices and materials to give reasoned opinions.

Bring together information from a variety of sources, including textbooks, journal articles, scholarly monographs, case law and legislation.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 7.

Utilise a wide range of skills, including the use of information and communications technology, for the gathering, basic analysis and presentation of routine legal information, ideas and concepts.

Convey complex ideas in well structured and coherent form by defining accurately and explain clearly the legal issues in complex problems, supported by the appropriate authority.

Develop and hone written and oral presentation skills through work in the tutorials and preparation of written assignments.

Develop an ability to carry out independent research into primary and secondary legal material.

Demonstrate an ability to plan how to resolve problems and rank competing arguments.

Research, extract and combine information from a variety of sources.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 7.

Working effectively with others in groups or teams, exercising initiative in both tutorials and assignments. Preparing for, and working with others in, tutorials.

Work to deadlines and plan work accordingly, Systematically identifying and addressing their own learning needs.

Work independently through preparing for seminars and through completion of the assessment.

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
The module will be delivered by means of 12 lectures and six tutorials. The purpose of these teaching sessions is to encourage debate and critical thinking. To supplement these face-to-face classes students will be provided with online teaching resources and reading material which will be explored through discussion during class time.
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)
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity6
Independent Study82
Lecture/Core Content Delivery12
100 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:

I McLeod Legal Theory (6th Ed, Palgrave, 2012)

(**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

Where a module has Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Body requirements these will be listed here:
attendance at scheduled teaching sessions, engagement with learning activities outlines on the VLE, and submission of coursework

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardAccounting, Finance and Law
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelAccounting, Finance & Law
ModeratorDale McFadzean
External ExaminerS Wood
Accreditation Details
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
The module is assessed by means of one critical essay worth 100% of the overall mark for the module.
(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) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Essaycheck markcheck markcheck mark1000
Combined Total For All Components100% 0 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.