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Module SXL-2211:
Equity and Trusts

Module Facts

Run by School of Law

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1 & 2

Organiser: Dr Marie Parker

Overall aims and purpose

Equity and Trusts is a compulsory module in the LLB programme. The main aim of the module is to provide the students with a sound academic knowledge of the law of trusts. The purpose which this serves is to equip the students with the skills which they will need for the study of other subjects, particularly land law and wills and succession, in which a sound grasp of equity and trusts is essential.

Course content

The module will allow the student to study the relationship between Equity and Common Law and cover areas of trusts as used for family or commercial or for public charitable purposes.

A study will be made of express, resulting and constructive trusts of property, trustees powers and obligations and the nature and scope of fiduciary obligations. The student will be able to identify the nature and scope of equitable rights and equitable remedies including tracing, freezing injunctions, search orders, specific performance, imposition of personal liability to account as constructive trustee, estoppel entitlements to property or compensation and the developing principle of unconscionability.

Assessment Criteria


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


A comprehensive 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 an 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.

Learning outcomes

  1. Demonstrate a knowledge of the distinction between the legal estate and the equitable interest and to be aware of the distinction between real and personal property

  2. Be able to identify the key requirements for the creation of a valid express trust and to be able to cite all relevant statutory authority and common law principles in connection therewith.

  3. Have an understanding of implied trusts, and to show an appreciation of the underlying conceptual and theoretical basis for such trusts.

  4. Show an understanding of the key distinction between a breach of fiduciary duty and breach of trust.

  5. Show an awareness of the differences between the personal and proprietary remedies of beneficiaries.

  6. Be able to apply their knowledge to accurately state when an account has either been surcharged or falsified and to be able to state accurately when and how beneficiaries can avail themselves of the ability to trace into assets, using common law and equitable principles.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
ESSAY Written assignment 1
EXAM Final examination 2

Teaching and Learning Strategy


Workshops will routinely require students to engage individually and in groups in acquiring, commenting upon, critically evaluating and applying the principles and details of the subject under the guidance and instruction of the teaching team.

Private study 156

The module will consist of 28 hours of lectures


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.
  • 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


Pre- and Co-requisite Modules

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: