LLB for Graduates first year modules

Legal Skills and Methods for Graduates

Legal Skills & Methods will introduce students to key legal skills as well as developing their study skills in transitioning from their previous graduate studies to Birmingham University Law School, to the assessment regime and to the pastoral care available. This module will allow students to begin to develop their employability skills and attributes. This module will use a combination of plenary lectures alongside practical seminars.

Indicative content is as follows:

  • Introduction to Legal Study.
  • The English Legal System.
  • Cases and Precedent.
  • Legislation.
  • Solving Legal Problems.
  • European Legal Frameworks.
  • Presenting Legal Arguments.
  • International Law and Human Rights.
  • Law and Justice in the Real World.
  • Writing about the Law.
  • Life in the Law School (including inter alia, orientation of personnel, differing types of assessments, welfare services, personal tutoring, inclusivity, academic skills).
  • Self-reflection skills.
  • Careers; employability skills including writing a CV.

In addition, to recognise that this module is offered at a graduate level, it will also allow students to undertake more advanced legal writing tasks in the academic sense – skills necessary for instance in writing essays and dissertations and answering problem questions.

Criminal Law for Graduates

The module provides an exploration of substantive criminal law (ie, how the law defines and applies offences and defences). The following topics will be covered in a typical year: introduction to theories of criminalisation and punishment; actus reus; mens rea; homicide; offences against the person; sexual offences; property offences; denials of offending; and defences.  

Public Law for Graduates  

This module examines core public law principles, and seeks to enable students to further develop within the context of a substantive law subject, the academic and legal skills which they will have learned in the Legal Skills and Methods module in the first semester.

The substantive material covered in the module involves two components (each of which may involve the following topics):

Section A examines foundational constitutional principles and issues including: the purpose of constitutions and the sources of constitutional rules; the evolution of the UK constitution including reference to international law, the European Union, devolution and the Human Rights Act 1998; and the distribution, use and control of legislative, judicial and executive powers in the UK.

Section B is concerned with the grounds, procedure, remedies and constitutional foundations of judicial review in England and Wales.

Law of Contract for Graduates 

The course covers a range of core issues in contract law, which may include the following areas: the nature of contract law and key ideas; contract formation (offer and acceptance, consideration, intention to create legal relations, certainty); contents and scope of the agreement; setting the contract aside; variation including promissory estoppel; performance, discharge and remedies for breach of contract.

The module discusses the development of contract law in some of its wider social, historical and economic context. Aspects of the module explore the theories and critiques about contract law.

Law of Torts for Graduates

This module is an introduction to the law of tort, including its historical origins, its theoretical underpinnings and its aims and functions; negligence, including public authority liability and liability in respect of omissions, psychiatric harm and pure economic loss; and nuisance.

In addition at least one of the following topics will be covered: alternative compensation systems; intentional torts; defamation.

Decolonising Legal Concepts for Graduates

Decolonising Legal Concepts critically examines key legal constructs in their social, economic, historical and political contexts. It will equip students to reflect critically on the way legacies of empire, inequality and oppression intersect with and continue to inform law’s subjects, objects, and its construction. The module will do this by examining, both theoretically and empirically, critical questions such as: 

  • Who/what is a person under the law?
  • What is the public (interest/domain)?
  • What is the United Kingdom and how did it come about?
  • What is the nation state and how did it come about?
  • What is the rule of law and how is it (if at all) distinct from or linked to domination?
  • What is law enforcement and how is (if at all) distinct from or linked to illegitimate coercion?