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Module SXL-2127:

Module Facts

Run by School of Law

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Dr Sarah Nason

Overall aims and purpose

Jurisprudence is an optional module in the LLB programme. The aim of the module is to enable students to acquire and demonstrate knowledge and appreciation of fundamental questions concerning the nature of law, the relationship of law and morality, theories of justice and rights and other related topics. The module will also enable students to develop an ability to identify and understand particular jurisprudential theories and relate these to key contemporary legal, moral and political issues.

Course content

This course examines key issues in jurisprudence and legal philosophy such as legal positivism and natural law, the relationship of law and morals, theories of justice and rights and the nature of the good life. Students will examine selected legal philosophies with reference to key current concerns such as the relationship between different branches of the State, domestic and international political issues including terrorism and security, the right to privacy and the rule of law principle.

Assessment Criteria


A comprehensive answer, containing all the material relevant to the question and no irrelevancy, all the material references being accurate and correct, there being no inaccuracy or error, the whole presented in argument which, while clear, logical and critical leaves room for improvement in its construction and presentation. An answer which shows complete competence in the subject.


An outstanding, possibly brilliant, answer, containing all the material relevant to the question and no irrelevancy, all the material and references being accurate and correct, there being no inaccuracy or error, the whole presented in a clear, logical, critical argument with little room for improvement. An answer which demonstrates a complete mastery of the subject.


An answer which, while predominantly correct in its presentation of material, contains a significant level of error and is therefore not entirely reliable.

Learning outcomes

  1. Relate relevant jurisprudential theories to contemporary legal and political issues, demonstrating an awareness of the place of legal and moral philosophy in the broader political, social and cultural context.

  2. Apply knowledge of selected jurisprudential theories and the works of key legal philosophers to actual or hypothetical scenarios.

  3. Relate relevant jurisprudential theories and the works of key legal philosophers to selected legal issues such as the relationship between law and morality, the nature of justice and the concept of the good life.

  4. Identify the core components of selected jurisprudential theories and the works of key legal philosophers.

  5. Demonstrate knowledge of the works of key legal philosophers both ancient and modern.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
EXAM Final Examination

strong text

ESSAY Written assignment 40

Teaching and Learning Strategy


This course will be taught by way of 20 seminars, two hours per week over two semesters. Seminars will routinely require students to engage individually and in groups in acquiring, commenting upon and applying the principles and details of the subject under the guidance and instruction of the tutor. Students will be expected to engage in substantial private reading around the key issues presented in seminars.

Private study

8 one hours tutorials, once a week over one semester.


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Subject specific skills

  • Develop the ability to interpret legal rules and employ techniques of legal reasoning competently and efficiently in order to offer a range of solutions and conclusions to actual or hypothetical complex legal problems, all supported by relevant academic literature, jurisprudence and legislative research. Such solutions will be clearly communicated and presented
  • Develop the ability to analyse complex legal issues, set against the background of the political, social, economic or cultural contexts in which they may arise
  • Develop those skills which are necessary for scholarship and research in legal subjects, namely the ability to identify relevant primary and secondary legal sources and to retrieve accurate legal information using paper and electronic sources


Reading list

Central Issues in jurisprudence: justice, law and rights - N. E. Simmonds 2018

The concept of law - H. L. A. Hart 1997, c 1994

Law's empire - Ronald Dworkin 1998

Pre- and Co-requisite Modules

Courses including this module