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LAW2222 : Land Law

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Bronwen Jones
  • Owning School: Newcastle Law School
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


This module aims to allow the student to appreciate the purpose and context of land law and to develop a sound knowledge and understanding of the basic principles underlying land law. Land law is a technical subject, which many students find difficult at first. It requires mastery of unfamiliar terms and concepts. Over centuries English courts and Parliaments have built a richly detailed structure of great complexity. The course aims to enable students to understand this structure in its philosophical and historical context.

"Since land provides the physical substratum for all social and economic interaction, the law of land is inevitably an expression of social status and an instrument of social engineering. All of us - even the truly homeless -live somewhere, and each therefore stands in some relation to land as owner- occupier, tenant, licensee or squatter. In this way land law impinges upon a vast area of social orderings and expectations, exerting a fundamental influence on the lifestyles of ordinary people." Kevin Gray, Elements of Land Law, Butterworths, 1988, p6.

We examine the legal rules and principles underpinning people's rights over land. We look at the changes which have been made to the law in this and the last century and whether further changes might be beneficial to society. The course also directly addresses the following requirements for the SQE: Registered land; Freehold and leasehold estates, and legal and equitable interests in land; and the Landlord and tenant relationship, as well as Co-ownership.

The course will not address unregistered land as it seems unwise (based on past experience to try to teach both registered and unregistered land in such a short time. However, this leaves scope for a further optional module covering other aspects of land law (unregistered land, covenants, and mortgages e.g.)

Outline Of Syllabus

Topics covered
•       Introduction – Overview. Distinction between real and personal property – tenure and estates – ownership and possession. Legislative developments – estates and interests in land – law and equity

•       Land Registration
Registration of title – the issue of priority – overreaching– the protection of third party rights, minor interests and overriding interests – the scheme for registered title – contract and conveyance

•       Acquiring title by limitation (adverse possession)
General principles – limitation period – requirements for acquisition – elements of adverse possession – interruption – consequences

•       Co-ownership
Features of co-ownership – The trust of land including the TLATA 1996 – distinguishing between a joint tenancy and tenancy in common – severance – overreaching – sale by a surviving trustee – TLATA 1996 sections 14 and 15

•       Leases
The distinction between a lease and a licence.– creating a lease/term of years absolute – types of lease – exclusive possession –– position of the tenant – position of the landlord – security of tenure – ability to bind a purchaser

•       Easements
Easements: nature Re-Ellenborough Park; acquisition by express or presumed grant – acquisition by implication: section 62 LPA 1925 – Wheeldon v Burrows – necessity – common intention – reform proposals

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture221:0022:00N/A
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials41:004:00Pre-recorded lecture material
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching51:005:00Seminar/workshops
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1651:00165:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesScheduled on-line contact time41:004:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The use of lecturing as the principal teaching method is justified by the technical nature of the subject and the need to provide initial exposition to assist students in acquiring knowledge and understanding of: the underlying theory and basic principles of Land Law and an understanding of the foundations of Law and Equity, the reforms in Land Law that have led to the development of the two systems of unregistered and registered land, an understanding of estates and interests in land, and an understanding of the importance of adhering to the formalities of creation of estates and interests in land, including registration and the consequences of failing to do so.

Seminars/workshops focus strongly on the skills outcomes, especially the problem-solving skill, and provide the opportunity to demonstrate knowledge, understanding and application.

'Drop-in/surgery' contact 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' written 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.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination14401A10024hr take home paper. Answer 2 questions from a choice of 4.
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Summative assessment is provided by means of an examination. An examination permits students an opportunity to demonstrate understanding of the material and skills. The medium is particularly suitable for assessing problem- solving skills and allows students to demonstrate intended learning outcomes across a broad range of topics within the syllabus. The formative poster will aim to consolidate learning by enabling students to collaborate to translate some of the more abstract concepts in Land Law into a more visual format. It is an opportunity to check that they have understood these concepts and for students to receive constructive feedback. The poster will be a useful revision tool and provide a scaffold to help them prepare for the exam.

Reading Lists