SOAS University of London

School of Finance and Management

Introduction To Law And Legal Method (Preparatory course)

Module Not Running 2022/23

The two pre-sessional courses are Introduction to Financial Analysis and Introduction to Law and Legal Method and these are taught in early September before the formal start of the academic year. Each course is 8-hours per week for three weeks, concluding with a 2-hour examination. Attendance is strongly recommended since the concepts covered in these two courses will be assumed when you begin your degree programme.

This course provides the foundations of legal knowledge necessary for those students with no knowledge of law, as well as an introduction to the common law for those students with a civilian law qualification. The emphasis is on the fundamental commercial subjects.

For the course schedule please see the pdf file on the right-hand side of this page.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

The main objective of the course is to provide a grounding in the fundamental concepts of law and in particular commercial law as seen from a common law point of view. The course is aimed both at students with no previous knowledge of law and those with knowledge of civilian legal systems. By the end of the course, students will have the necessary conceptual tools to deal with the law modules of the Finance and Financial Law Degree and other degrees requiring a minimum of commercial legal knowledge.

Syllabus of the course:

  • Introduction: Functions of law in society;  subject areas of law.
  • Jurisdictions of the world and ‘legal families’.
  • Contrast between English (common) law and civilian system.
  • Sources of law: Precedent;  Statutes and statutory interpretation;  Doctrine;  Law and Equity.
  • Fundamentals of contract law: Definition of a contract;  The function of contract law;  Freedom of contract: its advantages, limitations and limits;  'Agreement' and the objective method of contract;  Offer and acceptance;  Privity and consideration; interpretation of contracts.
  • Fundamentals of property law:  Definition and categorisation of property;  Categorisation of property;  Transfers of rights and obligations.
  • Elements of tort law

Method of assessment

This course is assessed 100% by examination only

Suggested reading

  • Contract and commercial law: Roy Goode and Ewan McKendrick, “Goode on Commercial Law” (5th edition), Penguin Books, 2016
  • James Holland and Julian Webb, "Learning Legal Rules: A Student's Guide to Legal Method and Reasoning", 9th edition, Oxford University Press, 2016
  • Introduction to Law: John N. Adams and Roger Brownsword, “Understanding Law” (4th revised edition), Thomson Sweet & Maxwell, 2006
  • William Twining and David Miers, “How to do Things with Rules” (5th edition), Butterworths, 2010
  • Robert Duxbury, "Nutshells Contract Law", 10th edition, Thomson Sweet & Maxwell, 2015
  • John N Adams and Roger Brownsword, “Understanding Contract Law” (5th revised edition), Thomson Sweet & Maxwell, 2007

Other references and books will be supplied


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules