Introduction

History and Legal Studies at Aberdeen is a great combination to add to your wide and deep study of all aspects of human activity in the past, with a closer look at the law, including UK, European and international law, how it affects our lives today and issues both topical and controversial. You will add legal knowledge to the transferable skills you will gain and be a sought-after Aberdeen graduate for a wide range of careers.

This programme is studied on campus.

History research at Aberdeen is rated top in Scotland for its impact and 2nd in the UK, in the latest UK Research Excellence Framework, with teaching rated ‘Highly Satisfactory’ in the last national quality assessment and student satisfaction of 95%.

You will be enthused and inspired by teachers who are leaders in their fields, with expertise as diverse as medieval Scandinavia, early-modern Poland and modern East Asia and enthralled by our wonderful collections of historic treasures collected by distinguished alumni over the centuries.

Our Law school has an outstanding reputation, ranked 12th in the UK out of more than 90 law schools, positioned in the top five for graduate prospects and scores an impressive 95% for student satisfaction.

You will add value to your studies in History by exploring what law teaches us about a society, including looking at European and international law and topical issues including human rights within the EU.

Studying law develops important academic qualities including clear, careful and independent thinking, adding value to your research and critical analysis skills from History and opening wide career options in the world of business, NGOs, charities, development, government service, marketing and much more.

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Key Programme Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
MA
Duration
48 months
Study Mode
Full Time
Start Month
September
UCAS Code
VM12

What You'll Study

Year 1

Year 1

Compulsory Courses

Legal System (LS1025) - 15 Credit Points

This course introduces the fundamental components and characteristics of the Scottish legal system. It includes a study skills programme which covers different facets of the study of law along with a series of practical workshops which introduce key legal information sources (both electronic and paper) and appropriate search strategies. Lectures and tutorials will cover topics such as the Scottish legal tradition, formal sources of Scots law, the legislative process, organisation of the courts, judicial precedent, civil procedure, alternative dispute resolution, the European legal order, legal services and access to justice.

View detailed information about this course

Legal Method (LS1522) - 15 Credit Points

This course develops key legal research skills by taking students through a research project from initial conception to final written product, including: research design; research ethics; identifying and locating primary sources; interpreting and evaluating primary sources; identifying and locating secondary sources; critically analysing secondary sources; use and interpretation of data, statistics and other (non-legal) evidence; and effective writing. It will teach students the comparative and doctrinal-historical legal methods critical to legal research. Students will develop their own research project throughout the semester in light of this learning, building their project step by step under the guidance of the teaching team.

View detailed information about this course

Academic Writing for Divinity, History & Philosophy (AW1007)

This compulsory evaluation is designed to find out if your academic writing is of a sufficient standard to enable you to succeed at university and, if you need it, to provide support to improve. It is completed on-line via MyAberdeen with clear instructions to guide you through it. If you pass the evaluation at the first assessment it will not take much of your time. If you do not, you will be provided with resources to help you improve. This evaluation does not carry credits but if you do not complete it this will be recorded on your degree transcript.

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Professional Skills Part 1 (PD1001)

This course, which is prescribed for level 1 students and optional for level 2 students, is studied entirely online and covers topics relating to careers and employability, equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing. During the course you will learn about the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes, how they are relevant to you and the opportunities available to develop your skills and attributes alongside your University studies. You will also gain an understanding of equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing issues. Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’ (non-completion will be recorded as ‘Not Achieved’). The course takes approximately 3 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks and it will be available to you throughout the academic year.This course, which is prescribed for level 1 students and optional for level 2 students and above, is studied entirely online and covers topics relating to careers and employability, equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing. During the course you will learn about the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes, how they are relevant to you and the opportunities available to develop your skills and attributes alongside your University studies. You will also gain an understanding of equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing issues. Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’ (non-completion will be recorded as ‘Not Achieved’). The course takes approximately 3 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks and it will be available to you throughout the academic year

View detailed information about this course

Making History (HI1027) - 15 Credit Points

This course will introduce students to the subject of university level history. Team taught lectures will introduce students to approaches, sources, and the dilemmas facing academic historians. Download course guide.

View detailed information about this course

Optional Courses

  • Select 30 credit points from the courses listed below.
  • Select a further 30 credit points from level 1 courses in History and/or History of Art.
  • Select a further 15 credit points from courses of choice.
Criminal Law (LS1020) - 15 Credit Points

This course is a compulsory course on the LLB degree introducing students to Scottish Criminal Law including its sources and current law. It examines various aspects of substantive law including crimes against the person, crimes of dishonesty, crimes against property and criminal defences enabling students to understand and apply the law in these areas. The course also develops student’s written, verbal and analytical skills utilising written course work and problem solving exercises in tutorial groups.

View detailed information about this course

Foundations of Private Law (LS1022) - 15 Credit Points

The course provides firstly a map of private law as drawn from the institutional scheme. It then progresses to an equivalent of the medical student’s study of anatomy in the sense that, concentrating on the law of property and obligations, it examines the main concepts of private law and how they operate together as a system to solve everyday legal problems.

View detailed information about this course

Contract (LS1520) - 15 Credit Points

Contract is one of the central subjects of private law and is one of the main branches of the law of obligations. Contract Law covers obligations which are voluntary in nature. Every day we make contracts from buying a newspaper to buying a house. Contract Law is an area where Scots law and English law are very similar and this course will cover Scots contract law but also highlight where English law differs with the aim of giving students a working knowledge of contract in both countries.

View detailed information about this course

Public Law and Human Rights (LS1521) - 15 Credit Points

This course is an introduction to the law about government. The course covers three main areas of law: constitutional law; human rights law; and, to a lesser extent, administrative law. Major topics include parliamentary sovereignty, Britain's membership in the European Union, the rule of law, the separation of powers, devolution (especially in Scotland), the Human Rights Act, freedom of expression, and the right to protest. This area of law is fast-moving, and an effort is made to address current issues such as prisoner voting, the deployment of armed forces, and the impact of the referendum on Scottish independence.

View detailed information about this course

Alternative Methods of Dispute Resolution (LS1523) - 15 Credit Points

Alternative Methods of Dispute Resolution is a very practical course designed to give students a first-hand interaction with a number of the different structured ways to resolve disputes that exist. The course is taught by way of a weekly lecture which focuses on an explanation of theory and rationale followed by role play tutorials, where students engage in negotiations and mediations in particular.

View detailed information about this course

Case Studies on Law in Society (LS1026) - 15 Credit Points

This module examines, through the use of current, high-profile case-studies, the varying role played by law in wider society. The course departs from the traditional ‘black letter’ approach to studying law and will focus primarily upon current legal problems facing society and the related ethical, economic and social arguments. It will be seen that law is not merely a static body of rules but a mechanism for facilitating and inspiring change in all aspects of our society.

View detailed information about this course

English Criminal Law (LS1527) - 7.5 Credit Points

This course is a compulsory course on the LLB with English Law degree introducing students to English Criminal Law including its sources and current law. It examines various aspects of substantive law including offences against the person, offences of dishonesty, offences against property and criminal defences enabling students to understand and apply the law in these areas. The course also develops student’s written, verbal and analytical skills utilising written course work and problem solving in tutorial groups.

View detailed information about this course

Introduction to English Legal System (LS1528) - 7.5 Credit Points

This 7.5 credit course introduces key elements of the English legal system, building on points considered in the Legal System course. It considers sources of law (with a focus on the common law and doctrine of precedent), key institutions and personalities (eg police, jury, Lord Chancellor), criminal and civil processes, key controversies (eg the future of legal aid, the place of social media and the diversity of judges) and the present and developing nature of the different branches of the legal profession, particularly in the face of evolving technologies. Assessment is by research exercises OR an exam at the student’s choice.

View detailed information about this course

Year 2

Year 2

Optional Courses

Select 60 credits from level 2 courses in History.

Select 60 credits from Law courses listed here and below:

  • Criminal Law (LS1020)
  • Land Law (LS3027)
  • Delict & Unjustified Enrichment (LS2025)
  • EU Inst. & Law (LS2026)
  • Scottish Legal History (LS2028)
  • Public Int'l Law (LS2032)
  • Intro to Legal Theory (LS2527)
  • Intro to German Law (LS2530)
  • Intro to Spanish Law (LS2531)
  • Bus. Law (LS2533)
  • Intro to French Law (LS2539)
  • Contract (LS1520)
  • Family Law (LS2526)
  • Energy Law (LS3531)
Foundations of Private Law (LS1022) - 15 Credit Points

The course provides firstly a map of private law as drawn from the institutional scheme. It then progresses to an equivalent of the medical student’s study of anatomy in the sense that, concentrating on the law of property and obligations, it examines the main concepts of private law and how they operate together as a system to solve everyday legal problems.

View detailed information about this course

Case Studies on Law in Society (LS1026) - 15 Credit Points

This module examines, through the use of current, high-profile case-studies, the varying role played by law in wider society. The course departs from the traditional ‘black letter’ approach to studying law and will focus primarily upon current legal problems facing society and the related ethical, economic and social arguments. It will be seen that law is not merely a static body of rules but a mechanism for facilitating and inspiring change in all aspects of our society.

View detailed information about this course

The Law of Property (LS2031) - 15 Credit Points

This compulsory LLB course is all about things. What items can you own? How do you become owner of property? What can you do as an owner of property? What can you do with the property of other people? And so on. An understanding of Scots property law is crucial to markets, commerce and domestic life. This course will give students a broad overview of the regulation of land, moveable items and incorporeal rights like intellectual property in Scotland.

View detailed information about this course

Evidence (LS3025) - 15 Credit Points

This course deals with the rules of evidence as they apply in the courtroom. The rules in both criminal and civil cases will be analysed. The legal requirements for leading real evidence, documentary evidence and witness testimony are considered. Topics include: relevancy, the corroboration rule, hearsay evidence, expert evidence, lawyer-client privilege, vulnerable witnesses, confession evidence and search evidence. Debate on the more controversial areas of the subject, such as sexual history evidence and admissibility of previous convictions, is encouraged. The subject is highly topical, controversial and practically important to all lawyers. Assessment is by a mixture of coursework and examination.

View detailed information about this course

Land Law (LS3027) - 15 Credit Points

The course will build upon student's existing knowledge of property law. The course will use the legal issues arising when land is to be commercially developed as a means of teaching a range of topics pertaining to title to land, land registration, the planning system and rights in land. The precise topics selected may vary from year to year.

View detailed information about this course

The Law of Equity and Trusts of England and Wales (LS3030) - 15 Credit Points

This course considers Equity and Trusts, which in its content, teaching, and nature of its development makes clear key differences between Scots law and English law. We will consider the history of Equity and its relationship with the common law; the meaning, creation and practical impact of trusts (express, implied, resulting and constructive) with both family disputes and commercial sagas having a key role; charitable and non-charitable purpose trusts; rights of beneficiaries; appointment and responsibilities of trustees; fiduciary relationships, and equitable remedies (in particular injunctions, and freezing and search and seize orders). Assessment is by an essay and an exam.

View detailed information about this course

Public Law and Human Rights (LS1521) - 15 Credit Points

This course is an introduction to the law about government. The course covers three main areas of law: constitutional law; human rights law; and, to a lesser extent, administrative law. Major topics include parliamentary sovereignty, Britain's membership in the European Union, the rule of law, the separation of powers, devolution (especially in Scotland), the Human Rights Act, freedom of expression, and the right to protest. This area of law is fast-moving, and an effort is made to address current issues such as prisoner voting, the deployment of armed forces, and the impact of the referendum on Scottish independence.

View detailed information about this course

Alternative Methods of Dispute Resolution (LS1523) - 15 Credit Points

Alternative Methods of Dispute Resolution is a very practical course designed to give students a first-hand interaction with a number of the different structured ways to resolve disputes that exist. The course is taught by way of a weekly lecture which focuses on an explanation of theory and rationale followed by role play tutorials, where students engage in negotiations and mediations in particular.

View detailed information about this course

English Criminal Law (LS1527) - 7.5 Credit Points

This course is a compulsory course on the LLB with English Law degree introducing students to English Criminal Law including its sources and current law. It examines various aspects of substantive law including offences against the person, offences of dishonesty, offences against property and criminal defences enabling students to understand and apply the law in these areas. The course also develops student’s written, verbal and analytical skills utilising written course work and problem solving in tutorial groups.

View detailed information about this course

Introduction to English Legal System (LS1528) - 7.5 Credit Points

This 7.5 credit course introduces key elements of the English legal system, building on points considered in the Legal System course. It considers sources of law (with a focus on the common law and doctrine of precedent), key institutions and personalities (eg police, jury, Lord Chancellor), criminal and civil processes, key controversies (eg the future of legal aid, the place of social media and the diversity of judges) and the present and developing nature of the different branches of the legal profession, particularly in the face of evolving technologies. Assessment is by research exercises OR an exam at the student’s choice.

View detailed information about this course

The Governance of Scotland (LS2535) - 15 Credit Points

The focus of this level 2 course is the background to, and the significance of, recent developments in the governance of Scotland, together with the implications of proposals for further change. The topics studied include the historical background to the present position; the political factors which led to devolution; the Scotland Act 1998; developments since the implementation of the 1998 Act; the outcome and consequences of the referendum; and the ongoing debate regarding the governance of Scotland. Because of the topicality of the course, the precise syllabus may be subject to change in the light of developing circumstances.

View detailed information about this course

Introduction to Comparative Law (LS2536) - 7.5 Credit Points

This is a foundational course that introduces students to the two dominant legal traditions of the world - the civil law tradition and the common law tradition. The first half of the course provides an introduction to Comparative Law with a focus on the civil law tradition. The second part of the course is concerned with the common law tradition, whilst exploring also the differences between the Scots and English legal systems. In addition, the course examines the interaction between the civil law tradition and the common law tradition within the European Union.

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Commercial Organisations and Insolvency (LS2525) - 15 Credit Points

This is a second level course, which is compulsory for LLB students planning to become professional lawyers. The course consists of four elements: the law of agency, the law of partnership, company law and insolvency law. The lectures will focus on the creation of agency, partnership and companies of different types; the rules that enable these commercial organisations to function; and the law concerning the termination of these commercial organisations. One reason for these organisations coming to an end is that they become insolvent. The rules on insolvency and bankruptcy will be a significant element of the course.

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Succession and Trusts (LS2528) - 7.5 Credit Points

Students studying for the Aberdeen LLB are required to take this course if they wish to use their degree to enter the Scottish legal profession. The course will examine both testate and intestate succession, in the context of the general principles of the law of succession, including legal rights. Furthermore, it will introduce the functions of trusts, the rights of beneficiaries and the powers and duties of trustees. The course is available only to LLB students in Programme year 2 or above and graduates on the 2 year degree.

View detailed information about this course

English Property Law (LS3529) - 15 Credit Points

This course will explore and critically evaluate the concepts of land and property in the law of England and Wales; estates and interests in land (freehold, leasehold, licence, mortgage and easement); freehold covenants; registered and unregistered land and conveyancing of registered land; trusts in land (including co-ownership); adverse possession; landlord and tenant relationships, leasehold covenants, leasehold enfranchisement, and commonhold.

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Year 3

Year 3

Compulsory Courses

Thinking History (HI356J) - 30 Credit Points

This course looks at how history is written. It considers the problems involved in studying and explaining the past, and the many dilemmas faced by historians in reconstructing it. By examining the ways in which history has been written from the Ancient Greeks to Postmodernism, it considers the limits of historical study, asks whether history can ever be a science, and reveals the assumptions behind the various approaches to history that inform its writing. It is designed to provide honours history students with an essential understanding of what they are doing when they study history.

View detailed information about this course

Optional Courses

  • Select a further 30 credit points from level 3 courses in History.
  • Select a further 60 credit points from Legal Studies LX Honours courses.
Year 4

Year 4

Optional Courses

One of the following Options:

Option 1:

  • Dissertation in History (HI4516)
  • 30 credits from History Special Subject Courses (listed below).
  • Select a further 60 credit points from4 courses in Legal Studies.

Option 2:

  • Dissertation in Legal Studies (LX4025)
  • History in Practice II (HI4518)
  • 30 credits from History Special Subject Courses.
  • Select a further 30 credit points from level 4 courses in Legal Studies.
Undergraduate Dissertation in History (HI4516) - 30 Credit Points

The undergraduate dissertation is the final-year major research undertaking, based on primary and secondary material and providing a critical analysis of a specific subject chosen by the student. It is obligatory for Single Honours students, whereas Joint Honours students choose to write their dissertation in either of the two subjects. After initial sessions about the nature of the dissertation and research approaches, students develop a topic with the help of a member of staff, who will also supervise their project throughout. Download Course Guide

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Dissertation (LX4025) - 30 Credit Points

This course, that is only available to final year honours students, allows you to write a 10,000 word piece on an aspect of law that you choose with the help of a supervisor. Once your topic and plan are approved by the law school you work independently and hand in the dissertation shortly before the Easter Break.

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History in Practice II (HI4518) - 30 Credit Points

History is not simply a dry, academic study of the past; it shapes a host of contemporary political, economic and cultural attitudes and is a central underpinning to the tourist and heritage industries - now one of the largest sectors of employment among mature western economies. This course is designed to give a critical understanding of the theoretical and practical links (as well as clear distinctions) between the practice of 'academic' History and 'public' History. This is done by having students assess how heritage and tourist businesses project a particular version of the past.

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Special Subject: Irish Troubles (HI4001) - 30 Credit Points

This course examines the events known collectively as the “Irish Troubles”. That is, the origins, development and partial conclusion of non-violent and violent opposition to the continuation of Northern Ireland within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the mid-1960s until the present day. Download course guide.

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Special Subject: Enlightenment Compared: Ireland, Scotland, Central Europe (HI4003) - 30 Credit Points

This course examines the emergence and the variations of Enlightenment thinking in Scotland and Central Europe (with particular emphasis on the German and East Central European Enlightenment, to which the Scottish Enlightenment had strong historical links). It emphasises the varieties of the European Enlightenment, against the traditional assumption that the Enlightenment was exclusively 'located' in France. Download course guide.

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Special Subject: French Revolution (HI4006)
Special Subject: Women and Men (HI4007) - 30 Credit Points

This course will address a number of themes, including modern studies of marriage; the western medieval church and marriage law, sexuality and gender in the middle ages; attitudes to love, marriage and the family; and sex roles and gender differences. We will examine the way in which gender and ideology influence the lives of both ordinary and not-so-ordinary people in the middle ages by examining a variety of primary and secondary sources. Download course guide.

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Special Subject: Hitler (HI4008) - 30 Credit Points

Hitler is omnipresent in modern life. He appears everywhere in the media and he is invoked all the time in public and private discourse. Yet Adolf Hitler remains an enigma. While he tends to be reduced to a one-dimensional cardboard cutout villain outside of academia, inside academia there has been a tendency in recent years to diminish Hitler’s importance and to push Hitler to the sidelines. Download course guide.

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Special Subject: the Scottish Wars of Independence, 1286 - 1328 (HI4009) - 30 Credit Points

In 1286 Alexander III of Scotland was found dead at the foot of a cliff and Scotland was engulfed in a period of political instability and eventually war that was to have a profound impact on the future development of the British Isles. The course considers key stages of the ‘wars of independence’ period in chronological sequence until the final triumph of Robert I in 1328. Due consideration will be given to international perspectives in trying to understand the Anglo-Scottish struggle, notably in relation to Ireland, France, Flanders and the Papacy. Download course guide.

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Special Subject: European Constitutional Monarchies in the Long 19th Century (HI4023) - 30 Credit Points

On the eve of the First World War Europe was a continent of monarchies. A long 19th century of revolutions, wars, growing literacy, an expanding public sphere, changes in social, economic, intellectual and technological life and imperial expansion lay behind them, but the continent’s monarchical systems had survived in surprisingly rude health. That monarchies had flourished throughout these profound transformations points to their suppleness and ingenuity. This course offers new perspectives on the political cultures of the states and societies of 19th-century Europe. Download Course Guide

View detailed information about this course

Course Availability

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

How You'll Study

Learning Methods

  • Individual Projects
  • Lectures
  • Research
  • Tutorials

Assessment Methods

Students are assessed by any combination of three assessment methods:

  • Coursework such as essays and reports completed throughout the course.
  • Practical assessments of the skills and competencies they learn on the course.
  • Written examinations at the end of each course.

The exact mix of these methods differs between subject areas, years of study and individual courses.

Honours projects are typically assessed on the basis of a written dissertation.

Why Study History and Legal Studies?

Why History

  • Ranked top University in Scotland for the impact of its History research, and second in the UK in the latest UK Research Excellence Framework.
  • Teaching rated ‘Highly Satisfactory’ in the last national Teaching Quality Assessment, and with student satisfaction of 95% – way above the national average of 86%.
  • Particular strengths in Irish and Scottish studies, Scandinavia, late medieval/early modern period, and research centres studying global empires, history and philosophy of science, technology and medicine, and Russian and Eastern European history.
  • The inspiration of our beautiful historic campus in Old Aberdeen, where King’s College Chapel, begun in 1495 by University founder Bishop Elphinstone, is a treasure-house of history and religious turbulence.
  • Major international treasures including 7,000 early printed books, the magnificent 12th century Aberdeen Bestiary, large Jacobite collection, works of the Scottish Enlightenment, and fascinating local records dating from the middle ages.
  • A packed campus programme of student and public events, exhibitions, seminars, invited speakers and the annual May Festival which welcomes world-famous authors, broadcasters and personalities including well-known historians to campus every spring.
  • Spectacular, award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library, combining top-class study facilities with state-of-the-art technology, and an online catalogue giving you access to thousands of books and millions of journal articles on the web.

Entry Requirements

You will find all the information you require about entry requirements on our dedicated 'Entry Requirements' page. You can also find out about the different types of degrees, offers, advanced entry, and changing your subject.

Qualifications

SQA Highers - AABB
A Levels - BBB
IB - 32points, including 5, 5, 5 at HL
ILC - 5H with 3 at H2 AND 2 at H3 OR AAABB, obtained in a single sitting. (B must be at B2 or above)

Further detailed entry requirements for Arts and Social Sciences degrees.

English Language Requirements

To study for a degree at the University of Aberdeen, it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Fees and Funding

You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.

Fee Waiver

For international students (all non-EU students) entering in 2017/18, the 2017/18 tuition fee rate will apply to all years of study; however, most international students will be eligible for a fee waiver in their final year via the International Undergraduate Scholarship.

Most RUK students (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) on a four year honours degree will be eligible for a full-fees waiver in their final year. Scholarships and other sources of funding are also available.

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU £1,820
All Students
RUK £9,250
Students Admitted in 2018/19 Academic Year
International Students £14,600
Students Admitted in 2018/19 Academic Year

Additional Fees

  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.

Careers

There are many opportunities at the University of Aberdeen to develop your knowledge, gain experience and build a competitive set of skills to enhance your employability. This is essential for your future career success. The Careers Service can help you to plan your career and support your choices throughout your time with us, from first to final year – and beyond.

Our Experts

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

Key Information Set (KIS)

Unistats draws together comparable information in areas students have identified as important in making decisions about what and where to study. The core information it contains is called the Key Information Set.

You can compare these and other data for different degree programmes in which you are interested.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Address
Student Recruitment & Admissions Service
University of Aberdeen
University Office
Regent Walk
Aberdeen
AB24 3FX