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Study information

Legal Foundations 1

Module titleLegal Foundations 1
Module codeLAW1023C
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Mrs Camilla Gee (Lecturer)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

This module gives you a dynamic introduction to the law and to legal practice. By working towards and taking part in a mock tribunal or court hearing, you will:

  • start to develop key academic, study and legal skills, using real world examples, practical experience, and role-play;
  • explore the primary sources of English law and the role of lawyers within the legal system;
  • begin your development of the important legal practice skills of interviewing and the giving of advice, within a framework of professional ethics and teamwork.

Moreover, this module supports you in recognizing the importance of self-reflection in study and professional practice.

The skills and learning on this module can be further developed in the module ‘Legal Foundations 2’ (LAW1023C).

Module aims - intentions of the module

The aims of this module are:

  1. to introduce you to the sources of law and their use in legal argument;
  2. to begin the process of equipping you with the practical legal skills of client interviewing, advocacy, and the giving of advice;
  3. to equip you with teamworking skills;
  4. to equip you with the skill of critical self-evaluation in relation to skills development;

to provide you with an understanding of two areas of substantive law.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. explain and apply foundational principles and rules governing one specified area of substantive law

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 2. conduct legal research to inform argument
  • 3. demonstrate understanding of foundational principles and structure of the English legal system
  • 4. employ legal principles and rules in argument in a manner appropriate to the discipline
  • 5. explain and apply foundational principles of client interviewing
  • 6. explain and apply foundational principles of client letter-writing

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 7. critically evaluate your personal contribution to teamwork and take steps to strengthen it

Syllabus plan

Please note that this module is exclusively available to students on the Cornwall campuses and differs materially from the Legal Foundations module available on the Streatham Campus.


 Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the syllabus will cover at least some of the following topics:   

  • Structure of the English legal system
  • Sources of law and statutory interpretation
  • Judicial precedent and reading cases
  • Client interviewing
  • Writing letters of advice
  • Trial advocacy
  • Witness cross-examination
  • One area of substantive law


Legal principles, particularly equality and justice, professional ethical behaviour and teamwork skills are embedded throughout the course.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities99 x 1-hour lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities189 x 2-hour teacher-led seminars
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities22 x 1-hour skills workshops
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities3.51 x 3.5-hour mock legal hearings
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities44 x 1-hour online case reading meetings
Guided Independent Study99 x 1-hour ‘law firm’ peer-led meetings
Guided Independent Study36Individual reading and preparation for tasks
Guided Independent Study36Seminar preparation (individual and with groups)
Guided Independent Study32.5Assessment preparation

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Multiple Choice ExerciseUp to 30 minutes3Automated feedback
Peer assessment of contribution to teamworkConducted once by ‘law firm’ peers7Moderated written peer feedback

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Portfolio of autumn term work1002,750 words1-7Supplementary oral feedback available.

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Portfolio of autumn term workResubmission of portfolio (2,750 words)1-7August/September reassessment period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • J. Holland and J. Webb, ‘Learning Legal Rules’ (10th edn, OUP 2019).
  • R. Hyams, S. Campbell & A. Evans, ‘Practical Legal Skills: Developing Your Clinical Technique’ (4th edn, OUP 2014).
  • E. Finch and S. Fafinski, Legal Skills, (8th edn, OUP, 2021)
  • E. Higgins and L. Tatham, Successful Legal Writing, (3rd edn, Sweet & Maxwell, 2015)
  • S. Wilson, H. Rutherford, T. Storey, N. Wortley, and B. Kotecha, English Legal System, (4th edn, OUP, 2020).
  • M. Partington, Introduction to the English Legal System, (15th edn, OUP, 2021)
  • S. Taylor and A. Emir, Employment Law: An Introduction, (5th edn, OUP, 2019).

You may also find Imogen Moore and Craig Newbery-Jones, ‘The Successful Law Student: An Insider's Guide to Studying Law’ (2nd edn OUP 2022) very useful.

There are other more specific books, which will be referred to for different stages of the module, and multiple copies of these are available in the Penryn Campus Library.

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

  • ELE –
  • An online reading list suggesting further reading and resources can be accessed via the Legal Foundations ELE page, and will be updated throughout the year. You are encouraged to make use of these resources to further your knowledge and understanding.

Key words search

Law, foundations, legal skills

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date