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Last modified: 31 May 2022 13:05

Course Overview

Great diversity can be traced in the historical development of the legal systems of modern Europe. Nonetheless, that diversity has been shaped by various common traditions of legal ideas and intellectual movements. These were influential across the continent at different times and in different ways. One aim of this course is to understand how such traditions of legal ideas, such as those found in the scholarship of the medieval Civilians and Canonists, helped to shape contemporary law as it conceptualised, practised and taught in many different jurisdictions. It will focus on the period ca.500 BC – 1800.   

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 4
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Prof Adelyn Wilson

Qualification Prerequisites

  • One of Programme Level 3 or Programme Level 4 or Programme Level 5

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

  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)
  • Legal Studies (Ma Honours) (LX) (Studied)

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: This course examines the period 500 BC - 1800 AD. Seminar topics have been chosen both to give students an understanding of the changes in legal scholarship during this time and to allow them to study in greater detail certain time-periods, developments and laws. By the end of this course, the student should have an understanding of the general picture of European legal history as well as having had first-hand experience dealing with sources and texts from a variety of nations and periods. Main Learning Outcomes: Knowledge and Understanding By the end of the course students should have acquired: (1) Knowledge of aspects of European legal-historical development and the relevant sources; (2) An awareness of the nature of legal-historical debate and of legal historiography. Subject-Specific Skills and Concepts By the end of the course students should have acquired: (1) First-hand experience dealing with legal-historical sources from various periods; (2) The ability to successfully carry out individual research on questions of legal-historical interest, including the ability to locate and evaluate relevant legal-historical source material. Key Skills (Transferable) By the end of this course, students should have inter alia the following generic skills: (1) A developed analytic ability; (2) The ability to communicate clearly complex ideas and arguments, both orally and in writing; (3) The ability to work effectively as a group and as an individual; (4) The ability to extract, analyse and apply information from a variety of sources. Content: This course examines various important issues in European legal history covering the period from the sixth century BC to the eighteenth century AD, according to the research expertise of the teaching staff.

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

3x 2750 Word Essays (Each 33%)

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 100
Assessment Weeks Feedback Weeks

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Feedback will be provided on the feedback form within three weeks from the date of submission.

Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
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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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