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Unit information: Land Law in 2015/16

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Unit name Land Law
Unit code LAWDM0075
Credit points 30
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Professor. Chris Willmore
Open unit status Not open




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


What exactly is land? How does Land Law affect Generation Rent? What happens to the family home when cohabitees’ relationship breaks down? Right to roam, right to a home…all of these matters, and more, are the concerns of this subject. During the course you will learn that Land Law is not an arid set of laws and doctrines, but is thoroughly intertwined with human experience in the living world.

This unit explores the core principles of English land law. While developing a strong grounding in doctrinal land law, you will discover the historical development of those principles, the policies that have driven their development, socio-political perspectives on their form and operation, as well as the future scope for law reform in the area.

Core topics will be: the history, structure and concerns of land law; the registered title regime; formal and informal acquisition of interests; co-ownership and successive ownership; leases; licences; easements; covenants; security; adverse possession, human rights and future challenges.

Intended learning outcomes

Develop unit-specific knowledge and understanding of the system of English land law. By the end of the unit, you should be able to:

  • explain how estates and interests in land are created and transferred
  • explain the characteristics of the major interests in land
  • identify when transactions involving land present priority problems
  • explain how such priority problems will be resolved
  • show an understanding of the forces that have shaped the development of the law
  • show an understanding of the defects of the current law and it might be reformed

Using statutory materials Develop generic legal skills in using statutory materials. By the end of the unit, you should be able to:

  • cite any relevant statutory provisions accurately, when stating or discussing the law
  • analyse and explain the meaning of these provisions, in light of case law interpreting them
  • use that understanding in the resolution of complex land law problems

Develop generic legal skills in solving multi-issue legal problems. By the end of the unit, you should be able to:

  • analyse complex land law problems, to identify the legal issues raised
  • identify the applicable legal principles
  • use those principles in a well-ordered and well-reasoned manner to resolve the legal issues raised.

Teaching details

10 two-hour seminars and attendance at 30 undergraduate lectures

Assessment Details

Summative assessment: a 3000 word essay (33%) will assess the candidate's ability to research a topic within the scope of this unit. The remaining Intended Learning Outcomes will be assessed in a 3 hour written examination (67%).

Reading and References