Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Law & Social Theory LAW4034

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Law
  • Credits: 30
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Runs Throughout Semesters 1 and 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

Amongst the most powerful of contemporary analyses of law and legal institutions are those which draw on the tradition of social theory. These trends now constitute a discrete area of academic enquiry that is of growing importance and relevance.


The course is taught by means of 16 two-hour seminars. The seminars are held on Tuesdays between 1 and 3pm.

Requirements of Entry

This course is only available to LL.B students


1. Book review: one 3,500 word book review worth 30% of the final mark.
2. Students must submit a research paper of no longer than 5000 words by the end of the second semester (date to be confirmed), the mark for which will constitute 50% of the final assessment.
3. There will be a compulsory oral examination lasting 20-30 minutes worth 20% of the final mark. This will be held in May (dates to be announced).

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

· To introduce the student to the basic paradigms of social theory as it relates to law
· To place the development of law in social theoretical and historical context
· To develop a critical understanding of the relationship between law and social theory
· To enhance the student's understanding of contemporary law and legal institutions

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of the course students should:
· Be familiar with a range of sociological analyses of law and legal institutions
· Be able to assess critically the differences between diverse theoretical approaches
· Understand and assess trends in the development of legal and social theory
· Be able to develop and articulate their own understanding of the appropriate paradigms for analysis in legal and social theory

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits