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Study information

Employment Law

Module titleEmployment Law
Module codeLAW3026
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Mrs Kim McDonald (Lecturer)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks



Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

When working relationships break down it can have serious financial and societal implications. Due to this the law has evolved to develop the discipline of employment law which has a vital role to play in the UK.


This module will introduce you to the legal regulation of working relationships. We will focus particularly upon the creation, regulation and termination of the employment relationship, the rights and responsibilities of employers and employees, anti-discrimination, and the role of modern trade unions.


We will consider these issues in their wider political, historical, and socio-economic context. You will also get the opportunity to present your own arguments for law reform in an assessed presentation. You will develop a critical perspective of the law and you will be trained to apply the law to factual situations.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The aim of the module is to introduce you to the key  elements of employment law within the UK legal system.

Through our discussions, you will consider the role of work within society, the appropriate relationship between statute and common law (and thereby Parliament and the courts) and the effectiveness of the rights that are granted to individuals at work.

You will also build upon your presentation skills by giving a presentation on a central issue within employment law and how the law should be analysed and reformed.

Our learning will incorporate a range of primary and secondary materials, and you will be given the opportunity to conduct independent research in order to prepare for your presentation. In addition to materials such as textbooks, journals and law reports, there are a great deal of interesting and contemporaneous online resources, such as those provided by government and law practice-generated material.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

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

  • 1. identify, explain and critically analyse issues arising in the context of working relationships and apply relevant legal rules to those issues
  • 2. handle a variety of materials particular to this area of law from a variety of sources such as case-law, domestic and international legal frameworks and statutory Codes of Practice

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

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

  • 3. demonstrate detailed knowledge and understanding of a range of legal concepts, values, principles, institutions and procedures, and the ability to explain the relationships among them, as well as their limits
  • 4. select and explain relevant information from primary and secondary legal resources, independently and efficiently using appropriate techniques
  • 5. demonstrate ability to select, integrate and present coherently and reflectively relevant law and legal or theoretical arguments

ILO: Personal and key skills

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

  • 6. identify, retrieve and use a range of resources with minimal guidance
  • 7. demonstrate ability to keep up-to-date regarding developments in a fast-moving area of law and politics
  • 8. demonstrate ability to work independently and to manage time efficiently in preparing for scheduled learning activities and assessments

Syllabus plan

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


  • An introduction to employment law including its judicial and administrative structure, sources and materials
  • The contract of employment and the personal scope of employment law
  • Issues surrounding termination of contract and breach of contract
  • Unfair dismissal law and its remedies
  • Discrimination law
  • Other employment rights
  • The role of trade unions in modern industrial relations
  • The relationship between unions and members

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 activities3322 x 1.5 hour lectures
Scheduled learning and teaching activities2010 x 2 hour workshops
Guided independent study22 x 1 hour drop-in sessions
Guided independent study80Individual reading and lecture preparation
Guided independent study30Workshop preparation
Guided independent study80Assessment preparation for examination
Guided independent study40Assessment preparation for presentation
Guided Independent Study15Formative assessment preparation

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay or problem question1,000 words1-8Individual written comments from lecturer and general feedback to cohort
Written outline of an evaluative opinion500 words1-8Individual oral feedback from lecturer and general feedback to 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) 672 hours intended duration (within a 24-hour submission window) 1-8Result and written feedback, with discussion upon individual request
Individual presentation3310 minutes1-8Individual feedback and general feedback to cohort

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Examination Examination (take-home, open book) Examination (2 hours take-home, open book; same as above) 1-8August/September re-assessment period
Individual presentation Individual presentation (10 minutes)1-8August/September re-assessment period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

H Collins, K Ewing, A McColgan, Labour Law (CUP 2019)

ACL Davies, Employment Law (Pearson 2015)

S Deakin and G Morris, Labour Law (Hart Publishing 2011)

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources


Key words search

Employment Law

Credit value30
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites

Law of Contract

Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date