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Study information

Land Law

Module titleLand Law
Module codeLAW3017C
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Dr William White (Lecturer)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks



Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

The law relating to land (so-called ‘real’ property) inescapably shapes social relationships – but at its heart lies a tension: although we all need access to land in order to live, some of the fundamental and arguably central mechanisms within land law revolve around the power to exclude others. This gives often unquestioned credence to the notion that private property is ‘normal’ property.

On this module, you will study fundamental principles and doctrines that underpin land law. You will scrutinise various rights and estates that arise in registered and unregistered land, and consider the extent to which those interests might impact third party purchasers. Throughout the module, you will encouraged to look beyond the wording of the rules and consider them in social and political context.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The aims of this module are

  • to provide you with a clear and in-depth understanding of different types of rights in land, and of the rules and principles governing acquisition and transfer of such rights;
  • to provide you with an understanding of the social and political dimensions of some aspects of land law;
  • to provide you with opportunities to develop legal skills

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

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

  • 1. Identify and define various rights that exist in relation to land.
  • 2. Explain and apply principles and rules governing land law.
  • 3. Critically assess the present state of aspects of land law in social and political contexts.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

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

  • 4. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of a range of complex and technical legal concepts and principles.
  • 5. Identify key elements of legal problems and select appropriate methods for investigating and evaluating them.
  • 6. 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...

  • 7. Demonstrate effective and accurate written communication skills in a manner appropriate to the discipline / different contexts.
  • 8. Identify, retrieve and use efficiently, a range of library-based and electronic resources.
  • 9. Reflect upon your own skills development and set and achieve skills development goals.

Syllabus plan

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

  • The distinction between real and personal property
  • Registered land:
    • The register
    • Registrable interests
    • Minor interests
    • Overriding interests
    • Overreaching beneficial interests
  • Unregistered interests in land
  • Leases and licences
  • Housing and homelessness
  • Planning
  • Covenants
  • Easements
  • Mortgages
  • Co-ownership
  • Proprietary estoppel
  • Adverse possession

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 Activities1818 x 1-hour lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities25.517 x 1.5-hour teacher-led seminars
Guided Independent Study816 x 0.5-hour peer led 'law firm' meetings
Guided Independent Study85Lecture preparation
Guided Independent Study95Seminar preparation
Guided Independent Study68.5Summative assessment preparation

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Oral contributions during seminars17 x 1.5-hour seminars1-6, 8Oral feedback from tutors and peers
Project planTwo pages maximum1-8Written 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
Project603,500 words1-8Written feedback
Legal problem302,000 words1, 2, 4-8Written feedback
Skills assessment101,000 words9Written feedback

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
ProjectProject (3,500 words)1-8August/September reassessment period
Legal problemLegal problem (2,000 words)1, 2, 4-8August/September reassessment period
Skills assessmentSkills assessment (1,000 words)9August/September reassessment period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Chris Bevan, Land Law (OUP 2020).
  • Ben McFarlane, Nicholas Hopkins & Sarah Nield, Land Law (2nd edn, OUP 2020).
  • Meryl Thomas (ed), Blackstone’s Statutes on Property Law (29th edn, OUP 2021).

Key words search

Land, property, law, Cornwall 

Credit value30
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


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NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


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Last revision date