Family Law (DPLP) LAW5025

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Law
  • Credits: 15
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

An elective course within the Diploma in Professional Legal Practice. The course is designed to equip students with the professional skills necessary to practise Family Law in Scotland.


10 x 1 hour lectures 

11 x 2 hour tutorials

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses






1. Tutorial preparation, participation and performance. 30%

2. Initial Writ 35%

3. Hearings on Interim Protective Orders 35%


The following cannot be reassessed:

1.Tutorial preparation, participation and performance. 30%

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. 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 aims of the course are to:

1. Develop critical awareness and understanding of the application of law in the four main practice areas within family law (collaborative practice, mediation, negotiation and litigation);

2. Develop the advocacy skills required to address the problems which commonly arise in family law matters;

3. Develop interviewing, listening, negotiating and drafting skills relevant to the practice of family law; 

4. Develop an understanding of the practical application of the law in relation to marriage and divorce, civil partnerships, cohabitation and children;

5. Integrate core professional and ethical considerations with regard to the practice of family law.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

Course Outcomes:

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

1. Apply knowledge of the law relating to financial provision on divorce and separation, parental rights and responsibilities, children and the Children's Hearings system, and the requirements of adoption procedures;

2.  Critically assess the legal rights of cohabitants in order to be able to draft a cohabitation agreement and demonstrate an awareness of the effects of such an agreement;

3. Demonstrate an awareness of the sensitivities of working in the field of family law together with the need to manage clients' expectations;

4. Demonstrate general knowledge of the legal aid system including the obligations of the solicitor to prepare an application for Legal Aid;

5. Communicate effectively with both clients and other professionals, explaining complex legal issues relating to family law orally and in writing to different audiences;

6. Advise on the different methods of dispute resolution available in family cases in order to provide the client with the opportunity to make informed choices.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Attendance at tutorials is compulsory. Credit will be refused if a student fails to attend a tutorial without good cause.

The requirements for the award of the Diploma in Professional Legal Practice is 120 credits:


(a) candidates to achieve a grade D or better in all courses.


(b) candidates to achieve a grade D or better in each component part of each course.