The Law of Secured Finance LAW5019

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Law
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

This course will provide students who proceed into legal practice - whether in the UK or abroad - with a solid understanding of the English law of secured finance transactions. In particular, in this course, students will analyse the different legal mechanisms that creditors can use to protect themselves against the risk of their debtor's default under English law; namely, property rights in security (such as mortgages and charges) and quasi-security rights (such as transfer and retention of title mechanisms, guarantees and indemnities). The course will also examine how these mechanisms are used in practice, including in the context of insolvency.

This course is taught following the flipped-classroom method. Students will be asked to prepare some materials before each class, which will typically include reading selected materials from reference books, academic articles, and/or cases, and preparing tentative answers to a series of "Discussion Questions" identified in advance by the instructor. This preparatory work will form the basis of the activities during class time. For example, the instructor will moderate a discussion amongst the students about the different ways in which they have approached a legal problem identified in the Discussion Questions. This teaching method allows students to adopt a deeper approach to learning. By relying on students' own work to shape class time, this method also allows students to become more active and responsible learners.


10 x 2 hours seminars in semester 2.

Requirements of Entry

The course is open to all LLM students subject to the requirements of the LLM Programme on which a student is enrolled.

Excluded Courses





The course is assessed by an essay of 1500 words (25%) and a 2 hour final examination (75%).

Main Assessment In: April/May

Course Aims

This course will provide an introduction to the concept and functions of secured debt in an economic context, and an in-depth examination of the main legal concepts of secured transactions under English law, with a particular emphasis on the techniques, processes and effects of taking security interests as collateral for debt. The course will also examine the key characteristics of quasi-security interests such as mechanisms for the transfer or retention of title, guarantees and indemnities. The implications of insolvency will be a common theme running through the course.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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


1. Explain the reasons that may lead financiers to opt for secured or unsecured debt finance instead of other financial instruments.

2. Judge the different theoretical arguments that underpin the regulation of secured credit.

3. Recognise the different protective mechanisms available to creditors under English law.

4. Compare the efficacy of those protective mechanisms at various stages in the life of a debt finance transaction, and particularly in the case of the debtor's default.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

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