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Study information

The Law of Torts

Module titleThe Law of Torts
Module codeLAW2015
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Dr Timon Hughes-Davies (Lecturer)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks



Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

This module introduces you to tort law, which is concerned with non-contractual civil wrongs. In this area, the law imposes duties and standards of conduct, breach of which will permit an action for damages or some other remedy. The module examines negligence, as the most widely pleaded tort, and the torts of trespass to the person, torts against land, defamation and breach of privacy.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The aim of this module is to develop your understanding of the law of torts, including the different types of tort and their responsibility bases, the kinds of damage for which it permits a remedy and those for which it does not offer a remedy. Consideration will be given to the aims of tort law and some assessment made of its efficacy in achieving those aims.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

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

  • 1. Understand and critically reflect upon the operation of the contemporary law of torts within its social context;
  • 2. Use relevant information to understand how the law of torts operates and to apply their understanding to a range of different perspectives and concepts relating to tort law;

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

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

  • 3. Demonstrate knowledge of legal concepts and their contextual, social and political implications;
  • 4. Apply legal knowledge to a problem / case study and to discuss it;
  • 5. Select and present in a coherent way, relevant law and legal / theoretical arguments.

ILO: Personal and key skills

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

  • 6. Demonstrate effective and accurate communication skills in a manner appropriate to the discipline / different contexts;
  • 7. Identify, retrieve and use efficiently a range of resources with some guidance;
  • 8. Interact effectively within a team / learning group and to share information and ideas.
  • 9. Work independently to complete a specified task.

Syllabus plan

It is envisaged that the syllabus will include the following topics in the following order, although precise content and order may vary according to the availability of specialist teaching staff.

  • Introduction to Tort
  • Trespass to Person
  • Trespass to Land
  • Private Nuisance
  • Rylands v Fletcher
  • Public Nuisance
  • Defamation
  • Privacy
  • Introduction to Negligence
  • Duty of Care
  • Breach
  • Causation of Damage
  • Remoteness of Damage
  • Defences
  • Public Bodies
  • Omissions
  • Psychiatric Harm  
  • Vicarious Liability          

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 & Teaching Activities3020 x 1.5 hour lectures
Scheduled Learning & Teaching Activities2010 x 2 hour seminars
Scheduled Learning & Teaching Activities88 x 1 hour Q & A sessions
Guided Independent Study149Individual reading, research and study
Guided Independent Study62Summative assessment preparation
Guided Independent Study31Formative assessment preparation

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay800 words1-9Individual indicative mark and individual written feedback, with supplementary oral feedback available. General comments given to the whole cohort.

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
Examination (take-home, open book)502 hours intended duration (within a 24-hour submission window)1-9Individual written feedback, with supplementary oral feedback available
Essay502500 words1-9Individual written feedback, with supplementary 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
Examination (take-home, open book)Examination (take-home, open book; same as above)1-9August/September re-assessment period
Essay (2,500 words)Essay (2500 words)1-9August/September re-assessment period

Re-assessment notes

If the module is failed and cannot be condoned you will:

i) retake the assessments and be capped at the pass mark (40%)

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

(1) J Murphy and C Witting, Street on Torts (13th ed, 2012)

(2) M Lunney and K Oliphant, Tort Law: Text and Materials (5th ed, 2013)

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Key words search

Torts, duty of care, human rights act

Credit value30
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites

Students are normally required to have taken at least one of the following modules LAW1003, LAW1004, LAW1022

Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date