Common Law LLB

Land Law LAW2038

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Law
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 2 (SCQF level 8)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course introduces students to the main concepts of land law, particularly in England and Wales, with a comparative outlook into real property systems in other common law jurisdictions, including Australia and Canada. It aims to provide a good understanding of the common law principles of property, and its connection with the law of equity and trusts. The course covers - indicatively - topics such as the principles of possession and title, the doctrine of estates, co-ownership, proprietary estoppel, adverse possession, transfer of land, registration of land, lesser interests in land such as easements, covenants, security interests in land (mortgages), and the proprietary implications of licences, and the resolution of priority disputes.


Three one-hour lectures per week during semester 1, 

Four rounds of two-hour tutorials, taking place over eight weeks in semester 1.

Excluded Courses

LAW 2011 Property Law




A coursework essay of 2000 words (including footnotes) and a final (two-hour) exam, which will involve students answering two questions.

Main Assessment In: December

Course Aims

This course will introduce students to the case law, statutory-framework and key concepts required to understand land law and its place within the broader field of private law. Students will be given the opportunity to develop critical perspectives on the nature and variety of property rights, the mechanisms for the recognition and enforcement of property rights and contemporary policy-debates on how we use land. Students will also have scope to develop their research and problem-solving skills, their ability to reason with statute and case law and to craft legal arguments using those materials.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Explain and apply the principles of land law in England and Wales

■ Examine and explain the relevant priority rules for different types of interest and/or types of land (registered and unregistered).

■ Appraise key concepts such as the distinction between legal and equitable rights, freehold and leasehold estates, proprietary interests, ownership and possession.

■ Comprehend and critically analyse the policy-objectives of a system of land registration and the scheme created by the Land Registration Act 2002.

■ Critically assess the concepts and statutory-framework regulating co-ownership.

■ Critically evaluate land law's underlying policy-objectives and potential law reform.

■ Quantify co-owners' beneficial interests under common intention and resulting trusts of land.

■ Critically assess the use of statistical data relating to the operation and extent of land registration.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Passing both points of assessment for the module.