Skip to main content

Unit information: Family Law in 2015/16

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Family Law
Unit code LAWD20036
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Professor. Hitchings
Open unit status Not open




School/department University of Bristol Law School
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

The Unit aims to develop students’ understanding of Family Law i.e. how the law regulates family relationships and the use of law to resolve disputes within families. The particular topics included relate to the creation and dissolution of family relationships (marriage, civil partnership and divorce) and parenthood (parentage, parental responsibility and children's rights). The unit will also address issues relating to the role of courts in family disputes such as contact after parental separation and protection of family members from violence. The unit will develop students’ skills in analysing and evaluating legal developments and policy initiatives relating to families.

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of this unit a successful student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of key topics within family law and the relevant statutes and case law which apply to them
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the operation of family law through study of research literature on families and the operation of the law relating to family breakdown
  • Demonstrate familiarity in handling primary legal materials
  • Apply problem solving skills to issues in family law through analysis/synthesis, critical judgment and evaluation

Teaching Information

23 lectures, including two enhancement lectures and a revision lecture, plus 7 tutorials

Assessment Information

Summative: 1 x 3 hour examination

Formative: students will have the opportunity to receive feedback on 2 x 1250 essays or the equivalent during the autumn and spring terms. The first formative assessment for this unit is mandatory; the second formative assessment is optional.

The assessments will assess all of the intended learning outcomes for this unit.

Reading and References

Probert,R Cretney's Family Law, London: Sweet and Maxwell (8th ed 2012); Family Law Statutes 2015-16; Family Justice Review 2011; George, R Ideas and Debates in Family Law Oxford: Hart; Burton, M Domestic Violence literature review, London: Legal Services Commission (2009); Law Commission (1990) The ground for divorce (LC 192), London: TSO.