LAW-20038 - Law and ethics
Coordinator: Stella Coyle Room: CBC1.028 Tel: +44 1782 7 34363
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 5
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 733218

Programme/Approved Electives for 2024/25


Available as a Free Standing Elective





LAW-10039 (Legal Essentials)

Barred Combinations


Description for 2024/25

Cynics may suggest that the words 'ethics' and 'lawyers' are not commonly seen together. This module will ask you to cast aside such cliched prejudice and to examine the important role of ethics within the law. This examination will include both abstract consideration of "ethics" and ethical argumentation from a strict philosophical viewpoint, but also how ethics influences, and should influence, law-makers in practice. Topics covered in previous years have included issues relating to punishment, decriminalisation, autonomy at the end of life, and abortion and reproductive rights. Ethical engagement and the ability to draw on ethical reasoning is increasingly signalled as a key area of concern for the legal profession by its regulators and as a key attribute for future lawyers. This module enables you to develop these skills and attributes, in advance of it being required as a formal part of a Qualifying Law Degree.

To introduce students to the major ethical frameworks required to understand and reflect on the relationship of ethics and law.
To encourage students to reflect critically on ethical arguments with reference to challenging ethico-legal issues.

Talis Aspire Reading List
Any reading lists will be provided by the start of the course.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Recognise and evaluate the major philosophical traditions underlying the structure of ethical thinking.: 1
Understand and critically appraise those ethical principles and their development and offer a reasoned analysis of the nature of their application to the law and the legal system in Britain.: 1
Critically reflect on the intellectual and personal issues raised by a range of challenging ethico-legal questions.: 2
Understand and assess the new challenges that are being offered to the major philosophical traditions in the twenty-first century.: 1

Study hours

Seminar attendance 24 hours
Seminar preparation 60 hours
Independent study 26 hours
Assessment preparation 40 hours
Total = 150 hours

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Essay weighted 80%
2000 word research essay
A 2000-word essay on a choice of questions related to topics covered during the module.

2: Reflective Analysis weighted 20%
Critical Reflection
A 500-word personal critical reflection on students' responses to the ethico-legal issues raised by the module, and how their engagement with the module has informed their responses.