Introduction to Law

The details
Essex Pathways
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Foundation/Year Zero: Level 3
Thursday 03 October 2019
Friday 26 June 2020
15 August 2019


Requisites for this module



Key module for

LLB M101 Law (Including Foundation Year),
BA MVC8 Philosophy and Law (Including Foundation Year),
BA VM58 Philosophy and Law (Including Foundation Year and Year Abroad)

Module description

This module is designed for students who have not had any previous knowledge of UK law. Students will be introduced to the general principles of the legal system and develop an understanding of how the law operates in practice. This module will provide them with knowledge and skills at foundation level upon which to build their undergraduate programme. The topics in this module complement the topics taught in the Legal Theory module and the Human Rights module.

The Autumn Term introduces the basic concepts of law, the hierarchy of the courts and introduces students to the personnel involved in the legal system. The Spring Term builds upon this knowledge and starts by exploring the alternatives to court before looking at civil law and criminal law in depth. The Summer term is slanted toward revision and reinforcing students' learning skills.

Module aims

- To develop students' knowledge of the scope and classification within English law and enable them to define the relevant legal concepts within the syllabus
- To encourage discussion within the class regarding legal issues by providing practical scenarios in order to enable the student to identify the liabilities within the topic.
- To promote students to create a legal argument in a given situation
To inspire students to critically analyse case law and identify judicial interpretation of statute law
- To foster good practice in order for students to be able to construct and defend legal arguments

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module a student will be expected to be able to:

1. Gain knowledge of law and be able to define the relevant legal concepts within the syllabus.
2. Discuss legal issues raised in practical scenarios and identify the liabilities within each topic.
3. Demonstrate their ability to apply the law in a given situation.
4. Analyse and criticise case law and utilise their ability to identify judicial interpretation of statute law within cases.
5. Construct legal arguments and defend the arguments.

Module information


Autumn Term

Introduction to research methods
Rules and Law
The courts
Criminal Law
Civil Law
Alternatives to Court

Spring Term

Sources of Law: Case law, statute law, European Union law
Legal personnel
Legal services
Consequences of wrong doing

Summer Term

Revision classes


Formative assessment

A formative essay consisting of a maximum of 500 words will be set in the second week of term and returned to the student within two weeks. The essay will indicate the students' ability to use the Oxford referencing system.

Students will also be encouraged to participate in a debating competition. The Department will award a prize (book-tokens) to the winners and runners up.
Summative assessment

Coursework will consist of:
Essay 1: 1,500 words including footnotes (20%)
Essay 2: 1,500 words including footnotes (25%)
Participation mark: (5%)

All titles will be available on Moodle in the first week of term.

A final exam of three hours in length.

Reassessment strategy

Failed Exam -
Resit the exam which is re-aggregated with existing coursework mark to create a new module aggregate.

Failed Coursework -
Resubmit a piece of coursework (1,500 words) which is re-aggregated with existing exam mark to create a new module aggregate. The reassessment task will replace the coursework component and will enable the relevant learning outcomes to be met.

Failed Exam and Coursework -
Resit the exam and resubmit one piece of coursework (1,500 words) to be aggregated to create a new module aggregate.

Learning and teaching methods

The module is delivered by four teaching hours per week over 22 weeks Two hours will be dedicated to lectures covering the subject matter and two hours for seminars where students are expected to have already read the relevant reading matter. Students can find further information about the module on Moodle.


  • Wild, Charles; Weinstein, Stuart; Smith, Kenneth; Keenan, Denis J. (2013) Smith & Keenan's English law: text and cases, Harlow, United Kingdom: Pearson Education Limited.

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework   500 Word Formative Essay     0% 
Coursework   1500 Word Essay - Assignment 1     40% 
Coursework   1500 Word Essay - Assignment 2    50% 
Practical   Participation    10% 
Exam  1440 minutes during Summer (Main Period) (Main) 

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
50% 50%


Coursework Exam
50% 50%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Akalemwa Ngenda, email: an19470@essex.ac.uk.
Akelemwa Ngenda, Gemma Cowling
Lucy Anthony (lanthony@essex.ac.uk)



External examiner

No external examiner information available for this module.
Available via Moodle
Of 450 hours, 196 (43.6%) hours available to students:
254 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information
Essex Pathways

Disclaimer: The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its Module Directory is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to programmes, modules, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to modules may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery or assessment of modules and other services, to discontinue modules and other services and to merge or combine modules. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications and module directory.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.