Common Law System and Method LAW1028

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Law
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 1 (SCQF level 7)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

The course provides an introduction to the key features of common law systems, with a particular focus on the English legal system. It introduces students to the various forms of law making found in these systems, and methodologies for legal reasoning. Significant attention is given to the development of key legal skills that are foundational for the whole LLB programme.


Lectures are twice weekly. Tutorials run weekly from week two.

Requirements of Entry

Admission to LLB (Common Law) or admission as a visiting student

Excluded Courses

Common Law System and Method for Graduates




The course is 100% assessed by way of a 90 minute exam that will take place in the December examination period.

Main Assessment In: December

Course Aims

The course aims to:


■ introduce key features of common law legal systems

■ explore the different forms of law making (legislative and judicial), the doctrine of precedent, statutory interpretation and the role of the judiciary;

■ outline court structures and provide an opportunity to see how cases develop through various courts;

■ develop the skills necessary to engage in legal argument.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Explain the structure and operation of the key institutions in common law legal systems;

■ Evaluate the different forms of law making (by way of legislation and through the courts);

■ Read and evaluate cases, and identify key issues and summarise points clearly and accurately;

■ Appraise how the courts interpret legislation;

■ Apply the techniques of legal reasoning, including the doctrine of precedent;

■ Engage in clear and coherent legal argument, based on legal authority;

■ Develop law reform proposals, and evaluate the different types of law reform.

■ Conduct legal research with primary and secondary sources.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Completion of Summative Assessment.