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Unit information: Family Law 1: Adult Relationships in 2021/22

Unit name Family Law 1: Adult Relationships
Unit code LAWD20047
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 and the foundational elements of the Family Justice System in relation to adult relationships i.e. how the law regulates adult family relationships and the use of law to resolve disputes between adult family members within families. The particular topics included relate to the creation and dissolution of family relationships (e.g. marriage, civil partnership and divorce), the extent to which individuals are able to make their own financial arrangements for themselves or their children when entering or leaving formal or informal relationships (e.g. marriage/civil partnership/cohabitation) and the protection of family members from abuse. The unit will address issues relating to the role of solicitors, mediators and the courts in assisting the resolution of these family disputes. The unit will also develop students’ skills in analysing and evaluating legal developments and policy initiatives relating to adult family relationships within families.

Intended Learning Outcomes

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

  • Explain the legal provisions for the creation of adult family relationships and for the dissolution of those relationships.
  • Discuss the way family law and the family justice system operates to resolve disputes about the relationships between adults.
  • Select and employ relevant statutory provisions and case law to provide advice on legal issues and problems in relation to the creation and dissolution of adult family relationships.
  • Analyse and critique the way in which the law responds to particular issues in relation to the creation and dissolution of adult family relationships.

Teaching Information

Teaching will be delivered through a variety of asynchronous and synchronous activities

Assessment Information

1 x summative assessment: coursework with a specified word count (100%)

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


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. LAWD20047).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.