Module code: LW3410
Module co-ordinator: Dr Stephen Riley

Module outline

Jurisprudence is the philosophy of law. The nature of justice, the origins and authority of the state, and the legitimate extent of legal authority are some of the issues considered. The approach adopted is an historical one, and the module will examine in some detail the ideas of a number of philosophers from Plato to the present day.

On completion of this module, students are expected to be able to: outline the views of the legal philosophers studied in the module; expound and criticise the ideas of selected schools of thought in jurisprudence; articulate and justify a position on issues concerning the relationship between law and society; demonstrate systematic reading and clarity of expression; and, demonstrate an ability to develop a coherent argument in support of a theoretical position on the nature and functions of law.


  • 44 one-hour lectures
  • Eight one-hour tutorials


  • Essay 1, 4,000 words (40%)
  • Essay 2, 4,000 words (60%) 

Excluded combinations

  • Not available to semester only visiting students