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LS3527: JURISPRUDENCE (2017-2018)

Last modified: 25 May 2018 11:16

Course Overview

Jurisprudence is a course in legal theory. The course looks into the major theoretical traditions that shaped legal thinking in the 20th century: legal positivism, the natural law doctrine, legal realism, the economic analysis of law, etc. It is designed to help students develop a self-conscious and reflective attitude to some of the hotly contested issues of modern law, like the relationship between law and morality, or the ways in which legal education is related to the legal practice.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 3
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Dr Mátyás Bodig

Qualification Prerequisites

  • Either Programme Level 3 or Programme Level 4

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Law (LS)
  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)
  • One of Programme Level 3 or Programme Level 4 or Programme Level 5

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

The course provides a historical overview of the developments that led to the emergence of the contemporary legal theoretical discourses. It organises this history around two main themes: the normativity of law and the issue of legal pragmatism. The issue of normativity is used as a focal point to discuss the debates between legal positivism and the natural law doctrine. The students will learn to understand the basic differences between those two perspectives, and to appreciate their theoretical and practical implications. The other main theme, pragmatism will be used to provide a deeper understanding of American legal realism, process jurisprudence, and the kind of pragmatism represented by the economic analysis of law. Mainstream forms of legal pragmatism are contrasted with critical approaches. The course will consider Classical and modern naturalism, Legal positivism, American legal realism, Process jurisprudence, Economic analysis of law, Critical Legal Studies, Feminism in legal theory.

Further Information & Notes

This is an elective course for the degree of LLB or MA Legal Studies and is in addition openly available for discipline breadth study.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown


More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt: 1 two-hour examination (75%) and in-course assessment (25%).

Resit: 1 two-hour examination (75%) and in-course assessment (25% carried forward).

Formative Assessment

The students will be required to submit a written answer to one mock exam question from the previous years covering the first two topics of the course (naturalism and legal positivism).


The students will get written feedback for both their submission for formative assessment and the essay (in-course assessment) within three weeks of submission. Feedback will also be provided on an ongoing basis in the form of tutors' comments to students' contributions in tutorials. Students who fail on first attempt will be able to arrange a meeting in advance of the resit to discuss their examination performance.

Course Learning Outcomes


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