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Unit information: Law of Tort in 2019/20

Please note: Due to alternative arrangements for teaching and assessment in place from 18 March 2020 to mitigate against the restrictions in place due to COVID-19, information shown for 2019/20 may not always be accurate.

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 Law of Tort
Unit code LAWD10011
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Professor. Joanne Conaghan
Open unit status Not open




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


This unit will consider the following elements: introduction to case law and doctrines of precedent; introduction to tort law and its role in society; general principles of tortious liability; forms of tortious liability; standards of liability; causation and remoteness of damage; vicarious and joint liability and defences; torts relating to personal injuries, economic losses and land.

Intended learning outcomes

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

  • Display a knowledge of the principles of tort law and apply the results to the solution of legal problems.
  • Engage in theoretical and conceptual analysis of the legal framework from an informed and critical perspective.
  • Demonstrate the acquisition of skills relating to common law method (case-law and statutory interpretation).
  • Apply the law relating to torts to complex situations, noting any areas of legal or factual uncertainty;
  • Recognise the strengths and weaknesses of existing case law;
  • Present complex legal arguments in a coherent and persuasive fashion;

Teaching details

The unit will be taught by a combination of 30 (x 1 hour) lectures and 8 (x 1 hour) tutorials.

Assessment Details

1 x formative assessment (submitted for marking), plus additional informal formative feedback opportunities as indicated by the unit coordinator.

Formative assessments do not count towards final mark and can be optional.

Summative assessment: 1 x 2 hour exam in the Summer Examination Period.

Summative assessments do count towards final mark.

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

Reading and References

The core unit text is: Paula Giliker, Tort (6th edn, 2017). An alternative would be Horsey & Rackley: Tort Law (5th edn, 2017).

Steele, Tort Law: Text, Cases & Materials (4th edn, 2017)

Lunney, Nolan & Oliphant, Tort Law: Text & Materials (6th edn, 2017).

Students might also usefully refer to Atiyah‘s Accidents, Compensation and the Law (9th edn, 2018), Conaghan & Mansell, The Wrongs of Tort (2nd edn, 1998) and Weir, An Introduction to Tort Law (2nd edn, 2006).