The details
Essex Law School
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 6
Thursday 03 October 2024
Friday 13 December 2024
14 September 2022


Requisites for this module



Key module for

LLB MV06 Law with Philosophy (Including Foundation Year),
LLB MV16 Law with Philosophy,
LLB MV18 Law with Philosophy (Including Year Abroad),
LLB MV19 Law with Philosophy (Including Placement Year)

Module description

Jurisprudence is a module that enables you to think in depth about how law works and the impact it has on the society around us.

For example: How is law different to other rules and principles? Should law reflect moral opinion, and if so, how do we decide what is moral? Can judges really be objective when they make decisions? How do we judge if law is making society fairer?

The module covers many key theoretical approaches to understanding what law is and how it functions. In doing so, we will look at the relationship (and conflicts) between law, on the one hand, and politics, markets, and social justice on the other. You will be asked to think for yourself about these issues, and reflect on which perspectives provide us with the most accurate, and the most useful, ways of thinking about law.

Module aims

The aim of the module is to introduce students to the main currents of thought about the nature and social functions of law and its relationship to morality and politics. A related aim is to improve students’ ability to reason critically and to argue.

Module learning outcomes

Students should gain a basic understanding of the currents of thought referred to under ‘module aims’ above. They should also develop their capacity to reason critically and to demonstrate this ability in written work.

Module information

The syllabus is likely to include the following:

1. Natural law
2. Classical Legal Positivism
3. Legal Realism
4. Modern Legal Positivism, especially the theory of H.L.A. Hart
5. The legal theory of Lon Fuller
6. The legal theory of Ronald Dworkin
7. Marxist approaches to law
8. Critical Legal Studies
9. Feminist legal theory
10. Postmodernism and law

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be taught via weekly lectures and fortnightly tutorials. The module teaching team will upload all relevant teaching materials on Moodle. You will find reading lists, the textbook, weekly handouts and PPS notes on Moodle. The materials in question are designed both to help you navigate the material to be covered in the lectures and tutorials and to equip you to analyse the required readings. You will be expected to have completed the required readings in advance of your tutorials. Your tutorials will enable you to discuss the material covered in lectures and the required readings, obtain feedback on your pre-class preparation and deepen your understanding of key concepts. To help you prepare in the best possible way for your tutorials, you will be completing regular Multiple-Choice Quizzes on Moodle. The quizzes will be based on the reading set for that week so that the quiz forms part of your preparation for each tutorial. The quizzes will enable you to track your progress, understand what you are doing well, and give you clear feedback to help you manage your studies and your progress.


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   Formative Essay (LW301 Jurisprudence)    0% 
Coursework   Multiple Choice Questions - Continuous Assessment (LW301 Jurisprudence)    20% 
Coursework   Essay (LW301 Jurisprudence)    80% 

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 Tom Cornford, email: tomc@essex.ac.uk.
Tom Cornford, Dimitrios Kyritsis, Dr. Konstantinos Kalliris, Ms. Ronit Matar
Law UG Education Administrators - schooloflawug@essex.ac.uk



External examiner

Dr Paolo Sandro
University of Salford
Lecturer in Law
Available via Moodle
Of 824 hours, 15 (1.8%) hours available to students:
754 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
55 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information
Essex Law School

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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