Introduction to Law and Legal Processes

Key information

Start date
End date
Year of study
Year 1
Term 1
Module code
FHEQ Level
School of Law

Module overview

Introduction to Law and Legal Processes (ILLP) is a 2-week intensive module taught from the beginning of Term 1 and is mandatory for all incoming first year law students at SOAS.

International students who require a visa to enrol at SOAS are advised to begin their visa application process early to allow enough time for them to obtain their visa before the start of Term. Students whose visa applications are delayed and are likely to miss the ILLP module should contact the Module Convenor, Dr Gina Heathcote, as soon as possible.

This intensive 2-week module “primes” students for the substantive study of law throughout the rest of the Programme. It will equip students with the requisite analytical skills to engage meaningfully with the substantive legal subjects they study in first and subsequent years.

This module introduces students to the basic concepts and skills that are necessary to engage meaningfully in the study of law. Students will be introduced to the "idea" of law, given a foundation in the composite elements and structures of the English legal system, as well as an understanding of the global/comparative dimension in which any domestic legal system exists.

The module will also give students a grounding in the key skills necessary for undertaking legal studies, including an understanding of judicial reasoning and precedent, statutory interpretation and how and when to draw on appropriate academic commentary.

Objectives and learning outcomes

  • Be able to demonstrate knowledge of the core concepts and analytical skills necessary for the study of law as a distinct discipline, and to interpret and evaluate the operation of the key rules and principles of the subject
  • Have developed the capacity to present and evaluate arguments on the basis of these key rules and principles
  • Be able to evaluate the appropriateness of different approaches to solving legal problems
  • Demonstrate an ability to communicate clear, structured and coherent arguments pertaining to different aspects of the law
  • Have the ability to proceed to further and more complex study in the field of law

Method of assessment

The module will only use formative assessment methods, including in classes quizzes and legal research and writing tasks.

Suggested reading

  • Catherine Elliott and Frances Quinn, English Legal System (15th edn. Pearson Longman 2014).
  • Glanville Williams, Learning the Law (15th edn. Sweet and Maxwell 2013).
  • Steve Foster, How to Write Better Law Essays: Tools & Techniques For Exams and Assignments (3rd edn. Pearson Longman 2012).


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules.