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LS401V: FAMILY LAW (HONOURS) (2021-2022)

Last modified: 31 May 2022 13:05

Course Overview

This course considers a number of important topics in contemporary Scots family law. An underlying theme is whether the law in these areas is satisfactory or in need of reform, and what shape reform might take. Topics include: domestic violence, the welfare test, divorce law, assisted reproduction, adoption, and international family relocation. There is a comparative element to some of the seminar topics as relevant Scots law is compared with the position in England and/or other jurisdictions. The effects on Scots family law of the European Convention of Human Rights are also explored.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 4
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 25 credits (12.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Dr Katarina Trimmings

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

  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)
  • Law (LS) (Studied)
  • One of Programme Level 3 or Programme Level 4 or Programme Level 5
  • LS2526 Family Law (Passed)

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

Course Aims

The course aims to provide a deeper and more critical analysis of certain topics that are covered in the level 2 course of Family Law, to assess the strengths and weaknesses of contemporary Scots Family Law, to consider proposals for improving family law (drawing upon the experience of other jurisdictions where appropriate), to improve students’ research and writing skills through essay work, and to develop a range of important intellectual and transferable skills.


Main Learning Outcomes

- Students will acquire a knowledge and understanding of why Scots family law has developed in the way that it has and an appreciation of some of the current debates in contemporary family law, including a coverage of divorce law reform, domestic abuse, the resolution of residence and contact disputes in respect of children and the issue of legal parentage in cases involving assisted reproduction.

- Students will be able to apply the knowledge to specific legal questions of a complex nature and evaluate different approaches to such problems in the areas they have studied.


Key Skills (Transferable)

Students will be able to:


  • Distinguish the relevant from the irrelevant;


  • Synthesise issues;


  • Develop critical judgment;


  • Analyse issues;


  • Problem solve;


  • Argue logically;


  • Think conceptually;


  • Communicate clearly, both orally and in writing; and


  • Use feedback to reflect upon their understanding of the subject.



  • The evolution of contemporary Scots family law;


  • The welfare principle in resolving parental disputes over children (in particular in relation to international family relocation);


  • Legal parentage in cases involving assisted reproduction (in particular surrogacy);


  • Relocation and contact orders;


  • Divorce law reform;


  • Adoption.

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

Alternative Assessment

2x 2500 word essays (50% each)

Alternative Resit Assessment

Resit failed element in same format


Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
FactualRememberILO’s for this course are available in the course guide.

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