Common Law (graduate entry) LLB

Common Law System and Method for Graduates LAW1040

  • Academic Session: 2021-22
  • School: School of Law
  • Credits: 15
  • Level: Level 1 (SCQF level 7)
  • Typically Offered: Runs Throughout Semesters 1 and 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

The course provides an introduction to the key features of common law systems, with a particular focus on the English legal system. It introduces students to the various forms of law making found in these systems, and methodologies for legal reasoning. Significant attention is given to the development of key legal skills that are foundational for the whole LLB programme, as well as material enabling students to develop commercial awareness and certain related professional skills.


Semester 1: Lectures are twice weekly. Tutorials weekly from week two, with eight tutorials in total.


Semester 2: no lectures but seven tutorials in semester 2.

Excluded Courses

Common Law System & Method (Common Law LLB)




The course is 100% assessed by way of a 90 minute exam that will take place in the December examination period.

Succesful completion of the course will however be dependant on obtaining a pass in both of the following two exercises, based on the content covered in semester 2:

a) a submitted portfolio. This will be based on a semester two project and will include a legal research / drafting exercise incorporating legal advice in the form of a report to the partner in a law firm, a client letter and the preparation of court forms; and

b) a group negotiation. This will also be based on the semester two project.

Main Assessment In: December

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. 


In this course, there will be one attempt at the interview. Failure to achieve a grade in this assessment for good cause will allow the overall grade to be based on the remaining examination and coursework under the rule on incomplete assessment.

Course Aims

The course aims to:

■ introduce key features of common law legal systems

■ explore the different forms of law making (legislative and judicial), the doctrine of precedent, statutory interpretation and the role of the judiciary;

■ outline court structures and provide an opportunity to see how cases develop through various courts;

■ develop the skills necessary to engage in legal argument;

■ to develop awareness of the branches of the legal profession and the business dimension of legal practice;

■ to provide students with opportunities for independent legal research, working as part of a team, and expressing legal arguments in verbal and written form; and

■ to introduce students to legal drafting and negotiation.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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


■ explain the structure and operation of the key institutions in common law legal systems;

■ evaluate the different forms of law making (by way of legislation and the courts);

■ read and evaluate cases, and identify key issues and summarise points clearly and accurately;

■ appraise how the courts interpret legislation;

■ apply the techniques of legal reasoning, including the doctrine of precedent;

■ engage in clear and coherent legal argument, based on legal authority;

■ conduct legal research with primary and secondary sources;

■ demonstrate the ability to undertake independent legal research;

■ demonstrate the ability to work effectively as part of a team;

■ demonstrate an understanding of the current profile of the legal profession and aspects of its function and regulation;

■ demonstrate some understanding of the place of commercial awareness in legal practice, and the business needs of the legal sector; and

■ demonstrate an ability to draft professional correspondence.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Completion of assessment