LLB Law with International Study

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Family Law and Relationships

Course unit fact file
Unit code LAWS30771
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


This unit focuses on the law regulating family life and relationships, both formally and informally created. It considers the challenges in using law in the context of family life, as opposed to law in other contexts. The module covers the formalities in the creation of marriage and civil partnerships, and the difference between these legally managed relationships from other forms of family relationship. It considers the issue of family abuse and the specific remedies for domestic abuse and forced marriage. It also examines the law relating to the granting of a divorce, and the property consequences of relationship breakdown where the family assets have to be divided on divorce, or at the end of a cohabitation relationship. It considers the approach to family justice in England and Wales, and the encouragement of the mediation of private family disputes.


To critique the role of the law in regulating family relationships and identify the social policy objectives underpinning family law

To develop research, critical and analytical skills in identifying major policy concerns as they appear in family legislation, and to evaluate the current law and proposed reforms

Learning outcomes

Students should be able to identify the difficulty in defining and regulating the family through law and legal processes.

Students should be able to discuss the policies underpinning family law in England and Wales and critique the current legal frameworks.

Students should be able to reflect academic commentary to highlight the impact of the wider social context on the practise of family law.

Teaching and learning methods

Three hours of lectures a week, provision of online feedback/clarification sessions (optional), 5 one hour seminars

Knowledge and understanding

Students should know the fundamental principles governing the regulation of family relationships in England and Wales

Students should know and apply the relevant statutory materials and case law

Students should be familiar with law reform processes as it pertains to the family

Intellectual skills

Students should be able to analyse legal and socio-legal information and recognise its implications and assumptions to draw links between social policy and legislation

Students should be able to analyse case law to critique judicial interpretation of law and policy

Students should be able to evaluate and criticise the dominant legal and social models in law of family relationship

Students should present effective written and oral argument analysing the legal problems affecting family life

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 100%

Feedback methods

Online open book examination. Choice of 2 questions from 6 available. Submission of answers 7 days after publication through Blackboard. 1500 word limit on each answer declared on the paper.

Recommended reading

Lamont, R. (editor) Family Law (OUP 2018).

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 30
Seminars 5
Independent study hours
Independent study 162.7

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Isabel Lamont Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Restricted to: Students in the School of Social Sciences studying at level 3

This course is available to incoming study abroad students providing they have some knowledge of the law.


See Law School timetable

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