Family Law

Module summary

Module code: LAW0817
Level: 6
Credits: 30
School: Liberal Arts and Sciences
Department: Law and Criminology
Module Coordinator(s): Farhana Begum



The aim of the course is to enable students to acquire substantial knowledge of the basis and operation of family law. This will allow students to understand the theoretical and practical framework of the family justice system, which is in practice today. The historical development of family will be covered to provide an overview of the policy direction of family law. It will allow students to questions the concepts of law and basis of family law, as it stands, and challenge students to consider alternative pathways and directions in family law practice and policy. It will provide an in-depth understanding about the sources of family law, and discuss the internal and wider application and impact of family law cases. Through the course, the students will be challenged to think and formulate coherent judgements against the current practice and policy of family law, within the social and political framework.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:
1 Demonstrate a sound knowledge and understanding of the fundamental principles of family
2 Demonstrate problem-solving skills by applying legal knowledge to factual scenarios and providing
3 To be able to present arguments in a logical and coherent manner
4 Make a critical judgement of the merits of particular legal arguments and appraise sometimes controversial issues in an objective manner and reached a reasoned and non-judgemental conclusion

5 Demonstrate an awareness of the sociological and economic framework within which the law
6 Demonstrate the ability to undertake independent research in areas of law, some of which they may not have studied before.

Indicative content

Adult Relationships:
• Introduction – nature and scope of family law, trends in family law, a comparison between marriage and cohabitation, the implication of the Human Rights Act 1998;
• The dissolution of adult relationships;
• Protection from domestic violence and the family home;
• Money and property distribution on marriage breakdown;
• Financial relief on divorce, nullity and judicial separation;
• Child Support obligation.

• The Children Act 1989 and the application of the welfare principle;
• Parental Responsibility;
• Parenthood: the changing nature of the parent-child relationship, the unmarried father, proof of parentage, assisted reproduction and surrogacy;
• Section 8 orders;
• Children and local authorities;
• International Child Abduction.

Including: scheduled time: project supervision, demonstrations, practical classes and workshops, supervised time in studio or workshop, scheduled lab work, fieldwork, and external visits.

Teaching and learning activity

The course will be taught through an even mixture of lectures and seminars the latter concentrating on developing problem-solving skills and encouraging self-directed learning.

In the first part of the course students will study the legal principles required to advise on common family law problems by using a long case study. Use of the case study will encourage students to analyse the law in a way that demonstrates understanding of the complex relationships and connections between different aspects of family law.

The second part of the course will taught through writing and research workshops which will guide students through the process of research and writing a long essay. The workshops will be designed to encourage student participation with lots of opportunities for students to share ideas and support one another in their research. Emphasis will be placed on developing personal communication skills by means of individual presentations and group work. Case studies will be used as a learning tool.


Coursework 1 - Paper 1: 40% Weighting, 40% Pass Mark.
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3, & 4.
Outline Details: Problem based essay question Term 1. 2000 words.

Coursework 2 - Extended Essay: 60% Weighting, 40% Pass Mark.
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6.
Outline Details: Essay based question on research topic developed in Term 2. 4,000 words.

Formative Assessment: Essay plan.