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The University of Southampton

LAWS1011 Introduction to English Legal System (Part 2)

Module Overview

This programme builds on principles of law studied in the first part of the course, English Legal System 1. It runs in Semester 2 and is designed to examine more closely certain aspects of both the criminal and civil justice systems.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • the institutions, structures and rationale of the English Legal System within the context of the law of England and Wales, as well as its relation to other legal systems especially the EU and ECHR.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • demonstrate critical awareness of the wider political and social contexts of the law, the principles and values underpinning these and their implications for legal decision making and enforcement.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • think critically and contribute to informed debate on a wide variety of legal, philosophical and social issues;
  • locate and analyse relevant, applicable sources of law and relate these to solve problems or offer advice;
  • construct and defend an argument and communicate it both orally and in writing.
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • identify where to locate specific sources of law (primary and secondary), interpret and apply it;
  • develop your ability to assess and comment critically;
  • demonstrate your ability to locate, identify, use and apply diverse sources of legally relevant material.


1. Police powers in the investigation of crime. 2. The accountability of the police. 3. The role of the Crown Prosecution Service. 4. Plea Bargaining. 5. Jury trials. 6. Sentencing policy. 7. The role of the prisons in the criminal justice system. 8. Reform of the civil justice system. 9. Alternatives to formal legal action in the resolution of disputes.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The course comprises one weekly lecture and one weekly tutorial. Lectures comprise the background of the particular subject to be studied. A handout of material is provided each week at the start of the lecture and placed on Blackboard after it. A tutorial on the relevant topic is held following the lecture. Students will have been alerted to specific issues to be addressed and given appropriate reading either from the prescribed textbook, other recommended books or articles from academic journals. Teaching methods include: One lecture and one tutorial per week, offering an opportunity for detailed discussion of specific question relating to the broader issues covered by the lectures. Both the lecture and tutorial provide an opportunity for you to ask questions. Learning activities include: Attendance at lectures and tutorials is compulsory. Contribution to the content of both is encouraged, interruptions during the lectures for questions or comments are welcomed. Tutorials include group and individual analysis of specific topics which are then discussed by the whole group.

Preparation for scheduled sessions40
Follow-up work4
Wider reading or practice24
Completion of assessment task40
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Slapper, G and Kelly, D (2010). English Law. 

Huxley-Binns and Martin (2017). Unlocking the English Legal System. 

Slapper, G and Kelly, D (2018). The English Legal System. 





MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (2500 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (2500 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (2500 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Pre-req: LAWS1010


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Books and Stationery equipment

Recommended texts for this module may be available in limited supply in the University Library and students may wish to purchase reading texts as appropriate.


Recommended texts for this module may be available in limited supply in the University Library and students may wish to purchase the mandatory/additional reading text as appropriate.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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