Law of Torts

Module summary

Module code: LAW1143
Level: 5
Credits: 30
School: Liberal Arts and Sciences
Department: Law and Criminology
Module Coordinator(s): Louise Hewitt / Chrisoulla Pawlowska


Pre and co requisites

Law of Contract.


The course is designed with the twin intentions of furnishing each student with knowledge and understanding of the nature and key principles of the Law of Torts in England and Wales and of developing the individual student’s skills in the application of that knowledge to problem solve and to evaluate critically the efficacy of the current law. It is intended that the knowledge and skills acquired in this course will serve to form the basis for professional practice within their discipline or may be transferable to other areas of employment. • To enable the student to become competent in the operation of the Law of Torts, in particular, to develop an understanding of the importance of case law and policy issues in the development of the Law of Torts. • To train students in problem-solving skills (the application of knowledge to factual scenarios), essay writing and preparation skills, research skills, in particular, the reading and use of legal journals both as a source of information but also as guidelines as to the purpose and nature of academic writing. • To enable the student to become a competent and confident examinee in Torts both in problem solving and in writing on issues about Tort. • To test the student’s performance against the educational objectives of breadth, depth and synthesis of knowledge in this area of law.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:
1. Have a good knowledge of the principal features of the Law of Torts in England and Wales.
2. Have continued to develop problem-solving skills by applying legal knowledge to factual scenarios and to have increased their understanding of how they may achieve their full potential with regard to degree classification.
3. Have continued to develop research skills for word-limited assignments using a variety of sources both paper and electronic.
4. Have learned to gain information from and to critique legal journal articles.
5. Have produced written assignments under both timed and word-limited conditions.
6. Have reflected on and learned from the problem-solving assignment for Term 1 and the essay writing assignment in Term 2 through class and individual feedback.

Indicative content

Students will begin with trespass to person and other intentional torts as a gentle way into the subject. They will then cover the essential elements of an action in negligence. This should include some practical consideration of the role of insurance and the importance of defences in the real running of such cases. This will be followed by more focused consideration of special problems around the duty of care, looking at the treatment of the emergency services and looking more closely at economic loss and psychiatric injury. The course will also include statutory torts like Occupiers' liability and linked torts to land like nuisance and Rylands v Fletcher. The students will also cover vicarious liability which is a very dynamic and growing tort. If there is time, issues around privacy and defamation might be explored.

Teaching and learning activity

The course will be taught through a combination of lectures workshops and seminars across both terms. Seminars will be used to reinforce the lecture programme and to provide a forum for more detailed examination of the issues raised and for problem-solving activities to encourage formative development. Seminars in both terms will be designed to help and support students in preparing for exams and developing their coursework which will require use of all legal resources, including electronic databases. At the end of the course there is revision advice and the opportunity to bring prepared, past exam questions for one to one assessment by tutors.


Method of Summative Assessment: Coursework 1.
Learning Outcomes: 1,23&4.
Grading Mode: Numeric.
Weighting: 20%.
Pass Mark: 40%.
Word Length: 2000 words.
Outline Details: This assessment is a word-processed piece of work on a problem question on Negligence and General Defences, which must be fully referenced with a bibliography.

Method of Summative Assessment: Coursework 2.
Learning Outcomes: 3,4,5&6.
Grading Mode: Numeric.
Weighting: 20%.
Pass Mark: 40%.
Word Length: 2000.
Outline Details: Assessment 2 is a word-processed essay on a term two subject, requiring independent research, which must be fully referenced with a bibliography.

Method of Summative Assessment: Examination.
Learning Outcomes: 2,3,4,5&6.
Grading Mode: Numeric.
Weighting: 60%.
Pass Mark: 40%.
Word Length: n/a.
Outline Details: The Law of Torts examination paper will be divided into three sections to reflect the work done in different sections of the course. Candidates will be required to answer at least one essay question and one problem question. 3 hours.

Students are not required to pass all elements of summative assessment in order to pass the course.

Nature of FORMATIVE assessment supporting student learning:
Seminars and practice exam questions.