BACHELOR OF LAWS DEGREE (LLB)
Over the last 100 years, the LLB has provided the first step on a career route for many practicing lawyers within the Commonwealth and internationally.
The wide variety of topics provides an important foundation, not only for those intending to practice law as attorneys, but also for court clerks, paralegal personnel and all individuals who are seeking further knowledge of the law and enhancement of their qualifications. For the undergraduate student, the LLB consists of twelve courses and the student has between three to eight years in which to complete; the Postgraduate consists of nine courses and the student can complete in two to five years. The additional time allows the student to work at his/her own pace comfortably.
The entry requirements for this programme are stipulated by the University of London.
What is an LLB?
The LLB provides you with a solid grounding in the concepts and frameworks of the English legal system. The University of London LLB has long been recognised as providing an international ‘gold standard'. In all jurisdictions you need to undertake an additional professional practice course to learn all the practical skills to qualify to work as a solicitor or barrister.
This qualification is for you if:
1. You want to obtain an LLB degree of international standing which has provided the first step on a career route for many thousands of practising lawyers worldwide.
2. You wish to develop a critical awareness of the common law legal tradition and be able to apply analytical and problem-solving skills in a range of legal and non-legal settings.
3. You would like to enhance key skills of communication, information literacy, analysis and argument.
Features of the LLB
1. The LLB is examined according to the same standards as applied to College-based students studying the LLB.
2. You can complete the LLB in a minimum of three years or a maximum of eight years.
3. If you are already a graduate, you can complete the LLB in a minimum of two years and a maximum of eight years.
4. For a Qualifying Law Degree, you must satisfactorily complete the Law Skills Portfolio.
Bachelor of Laws (LLB) Structure and Syllabus
The LLB degree† is offered under four schemes of examination:
No. of subjects
This is the LLB degree in its traditional three-stage format.
This is the LLB degree taken in four stages. Unless you are studying full time at an independent teaching institution we strongly advise you to choose Scheme B. The stages are called ‘Years' but you may take longer than one chronological year to complete each stage.
Graduate Entry Route A
Enables graduates with a degree awarded by an institution acceptable to the University to follow a shorter route, with nine subjects taken in two stages.
Graduate Entry Route B
Intended for graduates who wish to study at a more measured pace, with nine subjects taken in three stages. Unless you are studying full time at an independent teaching institution, we strongly advise you to choose Graduate Entry Route B. The stages are called ‘Years' but you may take longer than one chronological year to complete each stage.
Scheme A (12 subjects)
Intermediate examination (4 subjects)
Common law reasoning and institutions
(a) The nature of the common law tradition.
(b) Sources of law and principles of legal research.
(c) The role and operation of courts.
(d) Judicial reasoning in relation to (i) cases, and (ii) statutes.
(e) The judiciary and magistracy.
(f) The criminal process (in outline) and the role of rights in the process with particular attention to the operation of the jury.
(g) The civil justice process (in outline) with particular attention to reform.
(h) Legal services and access to justice with particular attention to the legal profession and legal aid.
1. Introduction to criminal liability
Aims: To develop a sound understanding of the general principles of criminal liability and an ability to critically analyse the rules of substantive criminal law.
Objectives: On completion of this course, students should have an awareness of the principles of criminal law, a sound working knowledge of the main criminal offences and defences and the factors affecting criminal liability. Students will be expected to demonstrate knowledge, understanding and an ability to apply the rules which make up the criminal law to problem situations of some legal complexity. In addition, they will be expected to show that they are able to express their considered views on whether the aims and objectives of the criminal law are appropriate in a modern legal system.
(a) General principles of actus reus and mens rea
(b) Structure of criminal liability
2. Homicide and ‘special' defences
(i) Elements of the offence of murder
(ii) Defences of:-
provocation – section 3 Homicide Act 1957; and
diminished responsibility – Section 2 Homicide Act 1957
(i) Constructive manslaughter
(ii) Gross negligence manslaughter
(iii) Reckless manslaughter
3. Non-fatal offences against the person
(a) Assault and battery
(b) Assault occasioning actual bodily harm contrary to section 47 Offences Against the Person Act 1861 (OAPA 1861)
(c) Malicious wounding and maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm contrary to section 20 OAPA 1861
(d) Wounding with intent and grievous bodily harm with intent contrary to section 18 OAPA 1861
(e) Administering poison offences contrary to sections 23 and 24 OAPA 1861
(f) Harassment contrary to section 2 Protection from Harassment Act 1997
(g) Racially aggravated assaults contrary to section 28 Crime and Disorder Act 1998 4. Sexual offences and the issue of consent as it relates to those offences
(a) Rape contrary to section 1 Sexual Offences Act 2003 (SOA 2003)
(b) Assault by penetration contrary to section 2 SOA 2003
(c) Sexual assault contrary to section 3 SOA 2003
(d) Causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent contrary to section 4 SOA 2003
(e) Consent Sections 74, 75 and 76 SOA 2003
(a) ‘Defences' of lack of mens rea
(ii) Force used in the course of preventing crime or arresting offenders: section 3 Criminal
Law Act 1967
(i) Duress by threats
(ii) Duress of circumstances
(d) Mental ‘disorder' defences
(e) Impact of mistake and intoxication on defences generally
6. Inchoate offences
(b) Conspiracy / statutory conspiracy contrary to section 1 Criminal Law Act 1977
(c) Attempt contrary to section 1 Criminal Attempts Act 1980
7. Secondary liability. Section 8 Accessories and Abettors Act 1861
Offences against property
8. Offences contrary to the Thefts Acts 1968 and 1978
(a) Theft contrary to section 1 Theft Act 1968
(b) Robbery contrary to section 8 Theft Act 1968
(c) Burglary contrary to section 9 Theft Act 1968
(d) Aggravated burglary contrary to section 10 Theft Act 1968
(e) Blackmail contrary to section 21 Theft Act 1968
(f) Selected offences contrary to the Fraud Act 2006
(i) Fraud contrary to section 1 Fraud Act 2006
- by false representation section 2 Fraud Act 2006
- by failing to disclose information section 3 Fraud Act 2006
- by abuse of position section 4 Fraud Act 2006
(ii) Obtaining services dishonestly contrary to section 11 Fraud Act 2006
(g) Making off without payment contrary to section 3 Theft Act 1978
9. Offences contrary to the Criminal Damage Act 1971 and specific defences relating to criminal damage
(a) Criminal damage contrary to section 1(1) Criminal Damage Act 1971
(b) Aggravated criminal damage contrary to section 1(2) Criminal Damage Act 1971
(c) Arson contrary to section 1(3) Criminal Damage Act
(d) Racially aggravated criminal damage section 30 Crime and Disorder Act 1998
(e) Defence of belief in consent section 5(2)(a) Criminal Damage Act 1971
(f) Defence of defence of property section 5(2)(b) Criminal Damage Act 1971
Elements of the law of contract
(a) The formation of contracts. Offer and acceptance. Consideration. Certainty of agreement. Intention to create legal relations. [ Note: Questions will not be set on requirements as to the form of contracts].
(b) The content of the contract. Conditions, warranties and intermediate terms. Exemption clauses. Implied terms at common law. Collateral contracts. Statutory implied terms with regard to the quality of goods sold and goods or services supplied.
(c) Vitiating factors. Mistake. Misrepresentation. Duress and undue influence
(d) Illegality and public policy (excluding gaming and wagering). Contracts illegal at common law. Consequences of illegality. Contracts in restraint of trade.
(e) Capacity to contract, with particular reference to the capacity of minors.
(f) Privity of contract (excluding agency and assignment).
(g) Performance and breach. Substantial performance. Repudiation and anticipatory breach. Discharge by breach. Discharge under the doctrine of frustration.
(h) Remedies for breach of contract. General principles governing the assessment of damages. Remoteness of damage. Damages for non-financial loss. Mitigation. Restitutionary remedies. Liquidated damages and penalties. Specific performance.
[ Note: The subject will also take account of relevant European Union legislation and how this is applied in the UK].
(a) Introduction. Characteristics of the constitution. Sovereignty of Parliament. Separation of powers. Rule of Law. Sources of the constitution. The structure of the United Kingdom. Central government, devolution and local government.
(b) Parliament. House of Commons: Composition and functions: Electoral law and reform. Composition and procedure. Functions (i) Legislative (ii) Financial (iii) Control of the Executive (iv) Role of the MP as an individual (v) Parliamentary privilege. House of Lords:
Composition and functions.
(c) The Executive and Administration. Crown and the Privy Council. Prime Minister and the Cabinet. Civil Service. Sources of executive power including the Royal prerogative. Delegated legislation. Ministerial responsibility. Control of Executive power: (i) Parliamentary: Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration. (ii) Judicial: Judicial review. Remedies.
(d) The European Union. Institutions of the European Union: (i) The Council (ii) The Commission (iii) The Parliament (iv) The Court of Justice. Sources of Community law. Community law and national law.
Community primacy and Parliamentary sovereignty.
(e) The citizen and the state. Statutory protection of human rights in the United Kingdom. European Convention on Human Rights and the Human Rights Act 1998. Public Order Law. State Security.
Final Examination Part I (4 subjects)
(a) General principles. Definition of land. Doctrine of tenures and estates. Fee simple estates. Legal and equitable rights. Principles of the 1925 legislation.
(b) Unregistered and registered conveyancing. Land Charges Act 1972. Doctrine of notice. Land Registration Acts. Concept of overreaching.
(c) Settlements and trusts. Trusts of land under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996. Co-ownership of land.
(d) Landlord and tenant. The term of years absolute. Its nature, creation, assignment and forfeiture. Enforceability of leasehold covenants. The lease/licence distinction. (e) Licences. Bare licences. Contractual licences, their revocability and enforceability against third parties. Proprietary estoppel, the nature of the doctrine, remedies and enforceability against third parties.
(f) Easements. Characteristics, creation, extinguishment and extent.
(g) Covenants running with freehold land. The common law and equitable rules relating to the running of the burden and benefit of covenants.
(h) Mortgages. Nature and creation. Position and rights of the mortgagor. Rights and remedies of the mortgagee.
(i) Adverse possession.
Questions will not be asked on the application of the rules against perpetuities and accumulations.
Law of tort (amended syllabus)
The scope and function of the law of tort; the bases of liability; the interests protected by the law of tort; sources of development of law including the Human Rights Act and the European Convention on Human Rights. Negligence: the concepts of duty, breach, causation and remoteness of damage. Negligent infliction of personal injuries; the assessment of damages. Occupiers' liability; liability of employers; product liability. Negligent infliction of other physical damage and of economic loss. Negligent misstatements. Assault, battery, false
imprisonment and other intentional physical harm. Interference with economic interests: deceit, inducing breach of contract, intimidation, conspiracy. Nuisance; the principle in Rylands v Fletcher ; liability for animals. Liability under statutory duties and powers. Defamation. Vicarious liability. The effect of death on liability. Defences.
Law of trusts
(a) Definition and distinction from other legal concepts. Classification of trusts. Equitable rights and remedies.
(b) Express private trusts. Statutory requirements for creation. Secret trusts. Incompletely constituted trusts. Certainties of a trust. Protective trusts. Discretionary trusts. Purpose trusts.
(c) Charitable trusts. Definition. Distinctions from private trusts. Classification of charitable trusts. Doctrine of cy pres .
(d) Implied and resulting trusts. Purchase in the name of another. Joint purchase and joint accounts. Contributions to purchase price. Adding value to another's property. Mutual wills – both types. Beneficial interest not completely disposed of.
(e) Constructive trusts. General nature. Comparison with proprietary estoppel. The contractual vendor as a constructive trustee. The express trustee as a constructive trustee. Trustee profiting from trust. Remuneration of trustees
(f) The appointment, retirement and removal of trustees. Delegation of trustees' powers and discretion's.
(g) Trustees' powers and duties. Investment of trust funds. Maintenance and advancement. Accumulation of income
(h) Variation of trusts.
(i) Remedies for breach of trust. Personal and proprietary remedies. Tracing.
(j) Trustees' liability for breach of trust. Trustees' right of indemnity or contribution.
[ Note: Questions will not be set on apportionment's (e.g., the rule in Howe v Lord Dartmouth ) or on the application of the perpetuity rule but they may be set on the application of the rules against accumulation of income].
AND one optional subject
Final Examination Part II (4 subjects)
Jurisprudence and legal theory
The nature of jurisprudence: methodology, analysis, theory and the idea of definition, the relevance of language and ideology.
Legal positivism and its critics: the command theory, Hart-Fuller debate, Dworkin's criticism of positivism, Kelsen (including the use of Kelsenian principles in revolution cases), Raz's theory of law.
Moral theory and the law: the history of natural law, Finnis's natural law theory, liberalism and the Hart-Devlin debate, moral rights, utilitarianism and its critics, utilitarianism and the economic analysis of law.
Legal reasoning: Dworkin's theory of law as integrity, Dworkin's methodology, practical reasoning, Hohfeld's analysis of legal rights.
Social theory and critical accounts of law, including the American Critical Legal Studies movement, Marxist theories of law and state, feminist jurisprudence.
A study in depth of a text prescribed by the examiners on which there will be one compulsory question in the examination. For 2005 and 2006 the prescribed text is Hart, HLA, The Concept of Law (second edition).
AND three optional subjects
Scheme A optional subjects Part I or II
Company law (amended syllabus)
(a) The nature of legal personality and lifting the veil of incorporation. Incidents of corporate personality; differences between incorporated and unincorporated associations. The rule in Salomon v Salomon & Co Ltd and its development.
(b) The formation of the company. The memorandum and articles of association. Pre-incorporation contracts. The duties and liabilities of promoters. The requirements for prospectuses and listing particulars and liabilities for defective prospectuses and listing particulars. Different
types of companies.
(c) The relations between the company and outsiders. The growth and decline of the doctrines of ultra vires and constructive notice; the Turquand rule and the application of principles of agency. The commission of crimes and torts by the company. Vicarious liability and
the Alter Ego doctrine.
(d) The relations between the company and its members and among the members inter se. The nature of and principles governing the contract between the company and its members. Different capacities of members and the relations between one member and another. Alteration of the contract and remedies for breach.
(e) Management of the company. Directors and other officers. Appointment, retirement, dismissal, disqualification. Meetings, voting, resolutions. Division of functions among officers and organs of the company.
(f) Directors duties and the protection of Minority Shareholders. Statutory duties of directors - including criminalisation of insider trading - and their enforcement. Common law duties of directors (fiduciary
duties and duty of care and skill) and their enforcement. The rule in Foss v Harbottle . Statutory remedies for the protection of minority shareholders. Company disclosure and investigations by the Department of Trade and Industry.
(g) Corporate Governance. Corporate accountability (stakeholder v shareholder issues), The corporate governance committees (Cadbury, Greenbury, Hampel, Turnbull). The Government responses (Higgs and the Company Law Review Steering Group).
(h) Shares and Debentures. Differences between shares and debentures. Registration. Different classes of shares. Rights of different classes and the7 June, 2007Raising, maintaining and reducing the capital of the company. Discounts, premiums, payment of dividends and purchase by the company of its shares. Financial assistance for the purchase of its shares.
(j) Winding-up. Types of winding-up; the powers and duties of the liquidator.
1. Objectives and methods of criminology. Defining crime: legal and criminological conceptions. Nature, scope and objects of criminology.
Historical development of criminology (in outline only). Classical and positivist schools. The idea of a science of criminology. Dichotomies/controversies in criminology: theoretical or applied criminology; treatment or punishment; free will or determinism.
Sources of data. Official statistics: uses, defects and limitations of official data for purposes of research. Measures of law enforcement. Moral panics and the media. Self report studies. Victimisation surveys. Crime prevention.
2. Criminological Theory
(a) Crime as an individual phenomenon: Twin studies; biochemical factors; chromosome studies. Psychological and psychiatric explanations: Psychopathy. Eysenck and ‘learning theory'. Theories of child development. Research on socialisation of children: school and home experiences.
(b) Crime as a social phenomenon: Social disorganisation and social ecology. Area studies. Class, culture and subculture. Gang studies. Anomie theory: Durkheim and Merton. Differential association theory. Matza's theory of delinquent ‘drift'. Interactionist perspectives. Labelling theory. Control theories. Theories of corporate crime. Radical or Critical criminology. Marxism, Feminism and criminology. New Realism.
3. Institutional Framework of Law Enforcement
(a) Philosophy and aims of punishment. Developments in penal policy. Treatment model versus ‘justice' model. Community and official attitudes to punishment and treatment of offenders. Role of imprisonment and its consequences. Conditions in prison. Alternatives to prison: sanctions in the community; strategies of constructive recompense.
(b) Police organisation and attitudes.
1. EU Institutions
(a) The Framework Treaties
(b) Basic institutions
2. Constitutional and Administrative Law
(a) Legislative acts and processes
(b) Judicial remedies and judicial review
(c) EU law and national law
3. Impact on business enterprises
(a) Free movement of goods
(b) Competition policy
4. Effect on individuals
(a) Free movement of workers
(b) Freedom of establishment and services
(c) Freedom from discrimination
5. Completion of the internal market
[ Note: In England and Wales the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Bar Standards Board require students who registered in or after September 2001 to pass EU law in order to obtain a Qualifying Law Degree].
Evidence (amended syllabus)
(a) Basic concepts of relevance, admissibility and weight. Nature and classification of various types of evidence: circumstantial evidence, collateral facts, documentary evidence, facts in issue, original evidence, real evidence, testimony. Development and current objectives of evidence law.
(b) Competence and compellability of witnesses. Effect of failure to testify.
(c) Examination-in-chief. Cross-examination, including common law restrictions and restrictions under the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999, ss 41-43. Re-examination. Previous consistent statements.
(d) Burden and standard of proof. Evidential burdens.
(e) Hearsay in civil and criminal trials, including provisions of the Criminal Justice Act 2003. Justifications for excluding hearsay.
(f) Judicial warnings to the jury: discretionary warnings after Makanjuola ; compulsory warnings, including warnings about a defendant's lies and Turnbull warnings.
(g) Identifications inside and outside court, including Code D of the Codes of Practice issued under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984.
(h) Confessions and improperly obtained evidence. Provisions of the Codes of Practice relating to detention and questioning of suspects, and recording of interviews. Failure to mention facts under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, ss 34, 36 and 37.
(i) Character evidence and similar fact evidence in civil trials. Character evidence in criminal trials, including provisions of the Criminal Justice Act 2003. The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
(j) Opinion evidence.
(k) Privilege against self-incrimination; legal professional privilege; 'without prejudice' statements. Public interest immunity.
(a) Marriage and divorce. Requirements of a valid marriage: form and capacity. Nullity. Divorce. Judicial separation.
(b) Domestic violence. Remedies for molestation and orders relating to occupation of the matrimonial home.
(c) Financial provision. The powers of the superior courts concerning financial provision for spouses and children, during marriage and on divorce. Types of order available and their duration and variation. Matrimonial proceedings in the magistrates' courts. Social security aspects of financial provision (in outline). The Child Support Acts 1991 and 1995. Mediated Settlements under Family Law Act 1996.
(d) The law relating to children. Parent and child; proof of parentage, legal aspects of developments in artificial insemination, in vitro fertilisation and surrogacy; children's rights; children born within and outside marriage; orders under s.8 of the Children Act 1989. Adoption; the powers of the local authority under the Children Act 1989; the inherent jurisdiction and wardship.
Public international law
The nature and significance of public international law.
The sources of public international law.
International law and municipal law.
International personality: states, international organisations and others.
Legal criteria of statehood.
Principles of state jurisdiction.
International criminal law.
Peaceful settlement of disputes.
Use of force.
Law of the sea.
International environmental law.
Optional subjects Part II only
(a) Introduction. Outline of the history of Succession; testate and intestate. Theory and context of inheritance in modern family property law.
(b) Intestate Succession. Historical introduction. Twentieth century legislation. The rules relating to total and partial intestacy.
(c) Making Wills. The general nature and characteristics of wills. Capacity to make wills. Amimus testandi . Knowledge and approval; effect of undue influence, suspicious circumstances, fraud, mistake. Formalities required for making wills. Incorporation by reference. Alterations. Revocation, revival and republication of wills.
(d) Special Wills. Statutory wills for mental patients. Privileged wills. International wills. Nominations. Donatio mortis causa . Mutual wills. Conditional wills.
(e) Family provision. The concept of testamentary freedom: arguments for and against. Historical and comparative aspects. Fixed rights versus discretion. The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Art 1975. [ Note: There will be a compulsory question on this topic in the examination paper].
(f) Construction. General principles of construction, common law and statutory. Descriptions of persons and property. Class closing rules. Rectification. Extrinsic evidence.
(g) Entitlement. Types of testamentary gift. Characteristic features of legacies and devises. Failure of gifts: ademption, lapse, uncertainty, forfeiture, disclaimer, witnessing a will, commorientes.