Module Catalogue 2023/24

LAW3252 : Problem Areas in Private Law (Inactive)

  • Inactive for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Christine Beuermann
  • Co-Module Leader: Dr Emilia Mickiewicz
  • Lecturer: Dr Aris Christidis, Dr Tim Dodsworth, Dr Derek Whayman, Dr Nikki Godden-Rasul, Professor Richard Mullender
  • Owning School: Newcastle Law School
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Code Title
LAW1221Contract Law
LAW2261General Principles of Tort
Pre Requisite Comment

This is an advanced module that requires students to have studied the basic areas of private law first.

Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



In this module, students will explore a small number of problematic areas in private law in some depth. The areas to be explored will differ from year to year. The object of the module is not to gain knowledge of specific content (although this will occur), but to consider more broadly why certain areas of private law remain problematic and the different approaches adopted within private law to address such difficulties. Students will improve their analytical skills in identifying the nature of specific legal problems and their broader understanding of private law by placing those problems in a broader philosophical, historical, comparative and societal context. The module will particularly enable students to explore tensions and themes within private law, an understanding of which will enable them to better consider how problems that arise in the future may be addressed

Outline Of Syllabus

An example – syllabus will change each year with what’s topical and what fits with interests of particular staff members involved in module.

1.       Contract interpretation
2.       Private -v- Public – public authority liability
3.       Illegality - defences in contract and tort
4.       Responsiveness of private law to social change – privacy (a case study)
5. Feminism and private law

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

By the end of this module students will be able to:

* demonstrate a critical appreciation of the philosophical, historical, comparative and societal context of different areas of private law;

* analyse how different jurisdictions have responded to similar problems in private law;

* demonstrate a critical appreciation of the distinctiveness of private law and the future challenges it faces.

Intended Skill Outcomes

By the end of this module students will be able to:

* Write with care and precision in the analysis and synthesis of the law;

* Structure legal argument and analysis;

* Synthesise materials from diverse sources;

* Exercise critical judgement;

* Discern between the merits or otherwise of particular arguments;

* Analyse and advance problematic areas in private law not covered in the module.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture112:0022:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion221:0042:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching52:0010:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery121:0012:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1210:00120:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

This is an advanced module, with students being challenged to develop their own ways of thinking about complex issues. Issues will be introduced in lectures and discussed in small group teaching.

Drop-in/Surgery time is provided in this module as part of the Law School assessment and feedback policy such that markers and/or module leaders will offer the opportunity for one-to-one oral feedback on students' work, in addition to written feedback on coursework front sheets and generic class feedback. The time given above is merely indicative and more time may be scheduled if necessary to meet the demand for individual feedback.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Digital Examination1202A60Inspera Digital Exam. Students required to complete two questions out of five (one on each topic covered in the module).
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise2M40Students choose a case or an article on a particular issue covered in the module from a list provided by the module leader. Students will then prepare a 1500 word note on that case or article.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Students will examine a piece of source material in depth during the course of the semester. This will enable them to hone their skills to sit the final exam.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2023/24 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2024/25 entry will be published here in early-April 2024. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.