Introduction to Law

The details
Essex Pathways
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Foundation/Year Zero: Level 3
Thursday 03 October 2024
Friday 27 June 2025
08 May 2024


Requisites for this module



Key module for

LLB M101 Law (Including Foundation Year),
LLB MM30 Law with Human Rights (Including Foundation Year),
LLB MV06 Law with Philosophy (Including Foundation Year),
LLB ML26 Law with Politics (Including Foundation Year),
LLB MN03 Law with Business (Including Foundation Year),
LLB MN13 Law with Finance (Including Foundation Year),
LLB MM03 Law with Criminology (Including Foundation Year),
LLB M1Q4 Law with Literature (Including Foundation Year),
LLB M1V2 Law with History (Including Foundation Year)

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 provide a sound foundation on which students can build their knowledge and understanding, throughout their undergraduate degree at the University of Essex.

The module firstly introduces the basic legal skills required to undertake the Law Pathway, and undergraduate law study. It then moves on to consider the foundations of the legal system including the law-making process, the hierarchy of the courts, and statutory interpretation. The module then considers several substantive areas of law, providing students with an opportunity to apply the skills and processes they have developed in the first part of the module, to real world and hypothetical scenarios. As the modules draws to a conclusion, students will be introduced to key assessment and assessment preparation skills to help them prepare for their assignments on this module, and future modules on their undergraduate programme.

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

  • To introduce students to the fundamental principles of law and provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the basic principles of English law, including the legal system, sources of law, and the hierarchy of the court system.

  • To develop students’ critical thinking skills by encouraging them to analyse legal issues, construct legal arguments, and apply legal principles to a range of scenarios.

  • To develop students’ research skills by providing them with opportunities to conduct independent research and produce written work that demonstrates their understanding of legal concepts.

  • To develop students’ practical legal skills by providing them with opportunities to practise legal research, problem analysis, interviewing, advising, writing, advocacy, and negotiation. These transferable skills are relevant to many professions and will ensure students become more effective undergraduate students and eventual graduate employees.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be expected to be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the fundamental principles of English law, including the legal system, sources of law, and the hierarchy of the court system.

  2. Identify and analyse a range of substantive and procedural legal issues.

  3. Undertake appropriate legal research and critique a range of legal and non-legal sources.

  4. Construct, evaluate and defend legal arguments through written discussion and/or oral presentation.

  5. Identify and apply appropriate legal processes and substantive law to a range of scenarios.

  6. Have an awareness of, and utilise, the necessary skills, knowledge, and understanding required to proceed to more complex legal studies.

Skills for your professional life (Transferable Skills)

By the end of this module, students will have practised the following transferrable skills:

  • Critical thinking – ability to recognise/verify reliable information, data or sources, and collate, synthesise or draw (logical) conclusions or lessons based on independent (complex) analysis of facts and evidence.

  • Presentation and communication – ability to clearly explain and coherently convey ideas or argue a point or challenge/defend a decision/position in verbal or written form.

  • Problem solving – ability to create, produce and/or advocate actionable solutions or recommendations and critical decisions for resolution of difficult or complicated situations (especially by ‘thinking outside the box’ or ‘on your feet’).

  • Organisation management – personal planning for setting targets and prioritisation, managing goals/tasks/expectations, attention to detail, measuring and monitoring progress/outputs.

  • Resilience and adaptability – capacity to deal with criticism, assess risks, build/retain confidence, appropriately respond/adjust and work/overcome/thrive in diverse, challenging, new or high-pressure environments and conditions.

  • People skills – capacity for personal effectiveness, interaction, intercession, empathy, compassion, negotiation, teamwork, collaboration, flexibility, conflict management, etc.

  • Commercial and sector awarenessgain insights and critical knowledge of key/current developments within selected practice areas and contexts.

  • Sustainability awareness – understanding and learning to leverage legal thinking, tools or practices to drive transformative action and promote systemic change or meaningful impact for sustainable development; integrate principles of sustainability (justice) into a wider understanding of the interrelationship between social, economic and environmental impacts, especially in the context of the global economy.

Module information


The syllabus on this module is divided into three core sections: Legal Skills, Legal Systems, and an Introduction to Law.

Legal Skills introduces the following topics which will be further developed during the Research and Academic Skills Development module:

  • Critical Skills

  • Legal Research

  • Legal Writing (IRAC)

  • Referencing and Citations

Legal Systems

  • Core aspects of the legal system

  • Law making in the UK (Statute Law)

  • The Court System (Hierarchy, precedent, and statutory interpretation)

An Introduction to Law

  • Public Law

  • Criminal Law

  • The Law of Obligations (including Contract and Tort Law)

  • Property Law

  • Human Rights Law

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be delivered via:

  • One 2-hour lecture per week.
  • One 2-hour seminar per week.

Teaching and learning on the Law Pathway offers students the ability to develop the foundation knowledge, skills, and competences, to study an undergraduate LLB course, through a curriculum that is purposely designed to provide an exceptional learning experience. All teaching, learning and assessment materials will be available to both staff and students via Moodle in a consistent and user-friendly manner.

Students will be expected to undertake the guided reading, preparation, and research, necessary for the module.


The lectures will primarily focus on sharing of academic theory and concepts to ensure students develop a sound knowledge and understanding of their discipline and master an appreciation of current and relevant research in the subject area.


Seminars aim to bring legal knowledge and understanding ‘to life’ by relating it to current issues and practice. In seminars students will develop skills of legal application, analysis and problem solving through a variety of activities including quizzes, problem scenarios and essay-style questions. During the seminars students will also undertake activities developing their writing and presenting skills in preparation for the modules assessments.

Learning will be supplemented by essential and supplementary reading materials that should be completed prior to the seminars.

Academic support hour

Each week students have the opportunity to meet with the Module Leader to discuss any aspect(s) of their study in relation to this module. Students are encouraged to attend in order to clarify any questions, issues or concerns they may have.


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography for this year.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   1500 Word Essay    40% 
Practical   Presentation    30% 
Practical   Participation    5% 
Practical   Moodle Test 1    2.5% 
Practical   Moodle Test 2    2.5% 
Practical   Moodle Test 3    2.5% 
Practical   Moodle Test 4    2.5% 
Practical   Moodle Test 5    2.5% 
Practical   Moodle Test 6    2.5% 
Practical   Moodle Test 7    2.5% 
Practical   Moodle Test 8    2.5% 
Practical   Moodle Test 9    2.5% 
Practical   Moodle Test 10    2.5% 

Additional coursework information

Formative assessment

A formative essay of 750 words will be undertaken during the first term, relating to the topics already covered. The essay will be self-marked, in class, giving students instant feedback. Further one-to-one feedback will be available from the Module Leader upon request.
Students will also be encouraged to participate in a debating/mooting competition. This will also count towards the participation mark.

Summative assessment

Multiple Choice Tests (25%)

  • Ten multiple-choice questions per topic.
  • This will test students’ knowledge and understanding of the material delivered in the lectures, and their developing abilities to apply this to practical scenarios. It will encourage students to engage with the learning materials in a timely manner and seek appropriate support where necessary.

Individual presentation (10 minutes, 30%)

  • This presentation will test the students’ knowledge and understanding of the legal material covered on the module and their ability to apply it to given situations. Students will be required to construct sound legal arguments and analyse the current state of the law. The presentation will also serve to test the development of the students’ presentation skills.

Participation mark (5%)

  • Participation marks will be awarded based on engagement with set-reading and homework. This will be assessed against students’ ability to utilise the material explored outside the classroom during classroom-based activities.

Essay 1,500 words (40%)

  • This assignment will test the students’ knowledge and understanding of the legal material covered on the module and their ability to apply it to given situations. Students will be required to construct sound legal arguments and present the material in an appropriate format and standard commensurate with the level of study.

Reassessment strategy

  • Failed courseworkResubmit a piece of coursework (1,500 words) which will be marked as 100% of the new module mark. The reassessment task will enable the relevant learning outcomes to be met. 
  • If the individual oral presentation has been failed or has not been attempted, students will also be required to submit a pre-recorded individual presentation of no longer than 10 minutes. The weighting will be divided equally between the assignment and the presentation.

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
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

Ms Linda Hurley
University of Southampton
Senior Teaching Fellow
Available via Moodle
Of 104 hours, 90 (86.5%) hours available to students:
10 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
4 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s), module, or event type.


Further information
Essex Pathways

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