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.

Legal History (Semester Two) LAW4152

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Law
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

This aims to assess Scotland's place within the early modern European historical context.


Tuesdays 1500-1700, semester one only, or at such time as the full-year Legal History course is scheduled.

Requirements of Entry

Entry is open to visiting Law students. No previous knowledge of history is required.

Excluded Courses

Legal History (Law 4019).




The exam will be 90 minutes. It will take place in the April/May diet.

The essay will be up to 3000 words. It must be submitted in week 9 of semester two.

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? No

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. Where, exceptionally, reassessment on Honours courses is required to satisfy professional/accreditation requirements, only the overall course grade achieved at the first attempt will 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

The aim of the course is to provide students with a thorough understanding of the historical development of early modern law while also giving an insight into the sources and methods of legal historical research. This aim will be achieved by addressing the major influences, foreign and domestic, which directed the development of law in Scotland and Europe more generally, and by considering in detail particular legal disputes and developments.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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


■ Contextualise and understand the later development of Scots law;

■ appreciate the significance of historical sources of law and use them with discernment;

■ construct a cogent and coherent written argument using historical and contemporary sources.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.