BSc Planning and Real Estate / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Principles of Real Estate Law

Course unit fact file
Unit code PLAN10622
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


This unit is designed to introduce a student to law without any previous knowledge of the subject. It will offer a general overview of how the legal system works. Following this, it will deal more specifically with legal topics that are relevant to students who wish to study real estate law in more depth.


  • Introduce different international legal systems - civil law, common law, customary law, religious law and hybrid or mixed systems.
  • Build an understanding of how the legal system works in England and Wales including statute, common law, and equity.
  • Introduce the principles of law applicable to real property.
  • Develop students’ abilities to identify and apply legal principles of landlord and tenant law [leaseholds] and land law [freeholds].
  • Outline some of the ethical and moral opportunities and challenges associated with real estate law

Learning outcomes

The intended learning outcomes of this course unit provide an important foundation to real estate law for students that want to enter real estate professions. The course is designed to introduce the fundamental legal principles and areas of law that underpin real estate practice and that must be understood in order to operate effectively. As such, this course unit provides an introduction to content that would be considered a fundamental requirement for students wishing to pursue careers in real estate. Students that have acquired this knowledge will be able to add this to their CVs as an important asset valued by employers. In addition to the core knowledge and understanding that will enhance student’s employability, the course unit also enhances students’ transferable skills including the ability to read a range of complex works and summarise arguments succinctly and identify and use appropriate information retrieval systems.

Student should be able to:


Syllabus (indicative curriculum content):


1. The system of the courts and function of participants.

2. Contract law – formation and terms.

3. Contract performance and breach remedies.

4. Leases – commercial, agricultural and residential.

5. Land law.

6. Easements.

7. Restrictive covenants.

8. Conveyancing.

9. Tort (public nuisance, trespass and negligence).

10. Private nuisance

11. Occupiers liability.

Teaching and learning methods

Principles of Real Estate Law uses a range of teaching and learning methods, including lectures, self-directed workbooks, seminars, case studies, and problem-based learning exercises. Students have weekly tasks to complete, which are then discussed and debated in small groups and then with the wider course. The course uses case-law and other examples to demonstrate key themes.

Knowledge and understanding

  • Identify the principles of different international legal systems
  • Evaluate the application of statute, common law, and equity in the law of England and Wales and provide their application
  • Explain the law of real property, particularly landlord and tenant and land law

Intellectual skills

  • Identify the salient facts, legal principles and precedents in a legal case or situation
  • Analyse the legal effect and associated legal risks of a legal opinion

Practical skills

  • Identify and apply different sources of legal information to propose solutions to legal problems
  • Produce oral or written professional reports for specific purposes
  • Identify and apply ethical and moral principles in a professional context

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Identify and evaluate a range of information sources
  • Develop structured arguments
  • Classify sources using the Harvard Law referencing convention

Assessment methods

Assessment task


How and when feedback is provided

Weighting within unit


Provide solution to complex scenario.




2,000 words or equivalent

Written or audio feedback via Turnitin within the standard timeframe specified by the University


Feedback methods

Formative: Verbally during the classroom sessions with written model answers provided after the class.

Summative: Written or audio feedback via Turnitin within the standard timeframe specified by the University

Recommended reading

Bright, S. ed., 2006. Landlord and tenant law: past, present and future. Bloomsbury Publishing, London.

Garner, S. and Frith, A., 2010. A practical approach to landlord and tenant. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

McFarlane, B., Hopkins, N. and Nield, S., 2021. Land Law: Text, Cases and Materials. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Miles, M.E., Netherton, L.M. and Schmitz, A., 2015. Real Estate Development - Principles and Process (5th Edition):. Urban Land Institute, available at: http://ebookcentral. proquest. com/lib/itup/detail. action.

Smith, R., 2014. Property Law. Pearson Higher Ed.

Stockdale, M. et al (2011) Galbraith’s Building and Land Management Law for Students (6th edn.) Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford.

Wood, D., Chynoweth, P., Adshead, J. and Mason, J. (2011) Law and the Built Environment (2nd ed.) Wiley-Blackwell, Chichester.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 22
Practical classes & workshops 2
Independent study hours
Independent study 76

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Mark Shepherd Unit coordinator

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