Introduction to Law

The details
Essex Pathways
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Foundation/Year Zero: Level 3
Thursday 05 October 2023
Friday 28 June 2024
23 August 2023


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),
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),
BA VM11 History and Law (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 the 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 and the hierarchy of the courts and explores the alternatives to the court system. The Spring term builds upon this knowledge and introduces students to the personnel involved in the legal system. The Summer term is geared toward revision and reinforcing students' learning skills.

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

  • To develop students` knowledge of the scope and nature of English law, and enable them to understand and 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 students to identify the liabilities within the topic.

  • To promote students` ability to formulate a legal argument in a given situation.

  • To equip students to critically analyse case law and identify the judicial interpretation of statutes.

  • To foster good practice that enables students to construct and defend legal arguments.

Module learning outcomes

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

  1. Gain knowledge of the 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 critique case law and utilise their ability to identify the judicial interpretation of statute law within cases.

  5. Construct legal arguments and defend arguments. 

Skills for your professional life (Transferable Skills)

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

  1. 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.

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

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

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

  5. 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.

  6. People – capacity for personal effectiveness, interaction, intercession, empathy, compassion, negotiation, team work, collaboration, flexibility, conflict management, etc.

  7. Commercial and sector awareness – gain insights and critical knowledge of key/current developments within selected practice areas and contexts.

  8. 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 legal system.

  • Legal research and writing.

  • The nature and function of law.

  • Classification of law.

  • Sources of law.

  • The legislative process.

  • The court system.

  • .Statutory interpretation.

  • Judicial precedent.

  • Legal reasoning (IRAC).

  • Mooting and debating.

  • Legal personnel.

  • Legal services.

  • UK constitution.

  • Tribunals and judicial review.

  • UK law in an international context.

  • Culpability and consequences of wrongdoing.

  • Sentencing and punishment.

  • Criminal and civil wrongs.

  • Alternative methods of dispute resolution.

  • Law reform (and the future of 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 competencies, 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 in legal application, analysis and problem-solving through a variety of activities including quizzes, problem scenarios and essay-style questions.

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   1 Hour Test     20% 
Coursework   1500 Word Essay   12/02/2024  25% 
Practical   Participation    5% 
Written Exam  In Person Test    50% 

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

  • A one-hour in-person, open book (restricted) test - 30 multiple-choice questions. This will test students’ knowledge and understanding of the material delivered in the lectures, and their developing abilities to apply this to practical scenarios.
  • Essay 1,500 words including footnotes. This essay will test the student’s knowledge and understanding of the legal material covered in 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 essay will also serve to test the development of the student’s writing skills in preparation for the take-home exam.
  • Participation mark. 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, such as the debating/mooting competition.
  • A 2.5 hour in-person, open book (restricted) test. Students will be given the choice of six questions, of which they must answer three. Questions may take the format of both essay-style questions and problem scenarios. These questions will measure not only the students’ knowledge and understanding of the subject but also their skills of analysis, application and critique. 

Reassessment strategy

  • Failed coursework - Resubmit 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.

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
Ms Gemma Cowling-Hearn, email: glcowl@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 100 hours, 94 (94%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
6 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s), module, or event type.


Further information
Essex Pathways

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