[skip to content]

School of Law

Family law

Course Code:
Unit value:
Year of study:
Year 3 of 3 or Year 4 of 4
Taught in:
Full Year
Family law - the main emphasis is on family law in England and Wales. The course deals with marriage, divorce and children, but also considers topics such as domestic violence and advances in fertilisation.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

At the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Provide grounding in family law in England and Wales.
  • The student will understand the marriage law including nullity, divorce and post divorce property settlement. The student will also understand how law treats those who are unmarried and those who are in registered civil partnerships. The student will become aware of issues pertaining to violence within the home and family from the perspective of both adults and children. The course will also facilitate an understanding of the multiple ways in which reproductive technologies have changed our understanding of who is a child's parents. Similarly the relationships, obligations and responsiblities ¬†between parents and children. The State's duty to protect the rights of children will also be a focus.
  • The course aims to help the student to interrogate the concept of "family" from legal, religious and cultural perspectives.

Scope and syllabus

The Family and legal system; sources of the law of the family in the legal systems of selected countries: Africa or Asia. The nature and the different forms of marriages: formation of a valid marriage; the effect of a valid marriage on the status of the parties and on property; dissolution of marriage. The law relating to parent and child: including guardianship, adoption and affiliation.

Where appropriate, the received laws, local statutory laws, religious and customary laws in the field of marriage and domestic relations, their comparison and interaction will be studied. The course includes the law of family property and succession and both the traditional and modern law will be studied.

Method of assessment

Assessment weighting: 20% coursework (two essays, each worth 10%); 80% unseen examination. Resubmission of coursework regulations do not apply to this course.