Our Department of Law and Criminology and Department of Politics, International Relations and Philosophy within the School of Law and Social Sciences have excellent reputations for research and teaching.
This degree is aimed at you if you wish to study the disciplines of law and philosophy and develop a critical awareness of key moral and ethical issues relating to the law. It also demonstrates how philosophical though and methods can be applied in the analysis of key legal issues.
The degree covers all the elements required to achieve an LLB whilst offering flexibility and freedom for you to choose philosophical subjects that are of interest to you. You’ll explore topics such as the English Legal System, Law of Contract, Public Law, Human Rights and Jurisprudence whilst being able to choose modules relating to philosophy such as Empiricism and Rationalism and Aesthetics. In your first year you will study a number of core modules covering both law and philosophy whilst your second and third years will provide you with the opportunity to choose a number of optional modules tailored to your interests.
Upon completion of the course you will have acquired:
- Qualifying law degree
- An understanding of the key features of English and European law
- Key legal research and communication skills
- Key critical thinking skills to analyse and understand what informs central philosophical traditions
Core ModulesYear 1
You will take the following modules in Law:
Constitutions establish and control the powers of the state and regulate the relationship between the state and its citizens. This module examines the UK’s uncodified constitution, primarily considering the main characteristics of the British system of government, including the division of powers between the legislature, executive, and judiciary and between Westminster and the devolved regions; key constitutional concepts and their associated challenges, including Parliamentary sovereignty, conventions, the rule of law, and human rights protection before and after the Human Rights Act 1998; and how administrative law, particularly judicial review, controls the actions of the government and public authorities.
Contracts form the legal basis of commercial transactions. This module examines the legalities regarding the formation of contracts, the capacity to contract and the performance of legal obligations as well as remedies for breach of contract. In particular, you will examine the following areas: introduction to contract; invitation to treat; offer and acceptance; consideration; Promissory Estoppel; intentions to create legal relations; implied terms; express terms; exemption clauses; unfair contract terms; mistakes; types of misrepresentation; misrepresentation and remedies; duress; undue influence; frustration and force majeure; breach of contract and remedies; and third-party rights.
This module serves as an intensive introduction to the fundamentals of the legal system and legal study. It explores elements of the historical, philosophical and social context of the English Legal Systems, including issues of law, morality and justice. Additionally, various sources of law, including at national and international level, and through treaties, statute and case law will also be studied.
This module focuses on employability by involving students in practical skills sessions such as mooting, client interviewing, and negotiation. It is designed to develop core professional competencies that are required by the legal and non-legal professions.
You will take the following modules in Philosophy:
Knowledge is often thought to be the highest achievement of rational creatures, the thing that distinguishes us from other animals and is the basis of our ability to predict and control our environment. Beginning with the most Platonic of questions—‘what is knowledge?’—this course introduces you to basic topics in contemporary epistemology. Among the questions it goes on to address are: why is knowledge valuable?; how do we acquire knowledge and how do we pass it on to others?; how do we become better knowers?; is there such a thing as collective knowledge?; do animals have knowledge?; is there such a thing as knowledge at all?
In every aspect of our lives we are inundated by information and misinformation, claims and counter-claims: some people tell us we should believe this; others that we should believe that. Decisions have to be made; possible evidence has to be sifted; reasons have to be given; arguments have to be propounded; risks evaluated. All this requires the ability to reason critically: to distinguish between bad arguments and good ones, supporting evidence from mere distraction. Everybody has the basic ability to do this, but it is not always as developed we need it to be: and in this complex world being able to present your point forcefully and rationally is vitally important. The aim of this module is to help you develop the skills required to get the most out of their degree and beyond.
You will take the following modules in Law:
- International and Comparative Human Rights Law
This module provides you with an introduction to the law of tort, focusing on general principles of tort liability in the law governing reputation and misuse of private information, negligence, intentional interference with the person and the law of nuisance. Specifically, you will develop an understanding in the following areas: the function and purpose of the law of tort; an introduction to the law of negligence and its importance in the law of tort; an examination of the duty of care and its breach including how is it manifests in specific torts such as employers liability, vicarious liability, occupiers liability, economic loss and psychiatric injury; an examination of the remaining aspects of negligence such as causation and remoteness; general defences; defamation and misuse of private information; trespass to the person including harassment; and finally, interference with property rights and enjoyment in the form of nuisance and the rule in Rylands v Fletcher.
- Public International Law
You will take the following modules in Philosophy:
In this module you will develop an understanding of how the rationalist and empiricist traditions in philosophy influence contemporary thought in the philosophy of mind. You will look at the continuing relevance of the mind-body problem to the question of what it is to be a human being and consider the connections between the analytic and European traditions in philosophy with respect to language, subjectivity, and the phenomenology of experience. You will also examine the importance of consciousness to contemporary debates in philosophy, psychology and cognitive science.
You will take the following modules in Law:
This module examines the role of the European Union (EU) in the free movement of peoples, goods, services and capital. You will explore the legal enforcement of treaties on which the Union is based, with a consideration of both national and international systems. You will examine these treaties and the various EU institutions created under them (and incorporated into domestic law), examining their legal and policy-making powers. In particular, you will look at the laws and functions of the EU Institutions including the European Commission, the European Parliament, the European Council and the Court of Justice of the EU, and explore how free movement works across national borders and how the law of the EU is enforced.
In this module you will examine equity and its relationship with the common law. You will explore the concept of a trust and the laws associated with governing the creation and administration of trusts. You will explore the development of equity historically and explain how purpose trusts operate. You will look at how charitable trusts are created and consider the duties of trustees. You will consider the nature and scope of fiduciary obligations and consider when those obligations might be breached and the consequences of such. You will also consider particular types of trusts, including secret trusts, resulting and constructive trusts.
You will choose from:
- Law Dissertation
There are a number of optional course modules available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course modules that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new modules may be offered or existing modules may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. Applicants will be informed if any significant changes need to be made.Year 1
- All modules are core
Choose one Philosophy option from the following modules:
The module looks at key texts by Immanuel Kant which are the foundation of Modern European Philosophy. These texts raise questions concerning the status of human knowledge and the nature and justification of human action that have concerned philosophers ever since. The module considers Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. The core theme of the module is how philosophy responds to the situation in which it can no longer rely on theological support for its claims about truth and morality. This raises questions about the nature of the human subject that are evident in the conjunction of the massive success of the modern natural sciences with an abiding worry as to whether sceptical objections to establishing true knowledge can be overcome. Kant sees these issues in terms of 'transcendental philosophy' establishing the limits of knowledge by seeing what the necessary conditions of knowledge are.
This module will explore the central developments in modern philosophy occurring between the foundation of modern empiricism and rationalism by Locke and Descartes in the 17th century, and the emergence of Kant’s philosophical system in the late 18th century. The module will look at three of the key figures from the two traditions, exploring the key theories they expound, and the arguments used to support these theories. The figures covered will depend on the research specialisms of the module convenor, but a typical syllabus would involve reading works by Spinoza, Leibniz, and Hume. Looking at these philosophers over a number of weeks will allow you to develop your close reading skills, and to see how the arguments put forward by these philosophers work together to produce a systematic metaphysical worldview.
Optional modules in Philosophy may include:
- Philosophy and Literature
The aim of this module is to consider the main directions of eighteenth-century and post-Kantian aesthetics, in particular the issues that have arisen about what it means to consider objects—whether art or nature—aesthetically, and an analysis of concepts bound up with this “aesthetic attitude”, such as disinterestedness, beauty and the sublime. Each week will focus on one issue surrounding the question of taste, of judgements of beauty and the sublime and of the aesthetic experience, from Hume, through Kant, to the present day. Particularly attention will be paid to non-artistic aesthetic experiences, such as those of the natural world, and, as much as feasible, attention will also be paid to art and aesthetics produced outside the modern European tradition, such as aesthetics in the Islamic world.
The module will provide the opportunity for you to apply theoretical skills developed in relation to philosophy of art and aesthetics to practical problems in some of the following domains: curating, gallery education, artistic practice, art criticism and the management of cultural institutions. After an initial five weeks of theoretical discussions around historical and contemporary art, you will work closely with the curators of Royal Holloway's art collection to gain familiarity with and apply knowledge and skills to the exhibition of and reflection on situated artworks.
German idealism sets itself the task of satisfying three main aims: systematizing Kant’s philosophy by finding necessary premises for its conclusions; providing a rigorous demonstration of the laws of thought; and ensuring that satisfying these aims satisfies the third aim of proving that reason is not the product of a purposeless, mechanistic world, but is itself an absolutely free purposive activity. This module investigates Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit as an attempt to satisfy these aims. We will explore Hegel’s distinctive and influential criticisms of Kant, his development of dialectic as a method of deriving the laws of thought, and his argument that reason is absolutely free. We will pay special attention to his successive, unfolding theses for the essentially self-conscious character of consciousness, the essentially recognitive character of self-consciousness, and the essentially historical character of recognition.
Teaching & assessment
We use a variety of methods of teaching and assessment, including:
- Personal tutor in Law
- 75% modules in Law (core modules for qualifying degree) plus 25% modules in Philosophy
- Lectures, seminars, small-group tutorials, workshops, moot practice, fieldtrips, etc
- Diverse assessment methods from essays and exams to multiple choice questions, reports, reflective logs and oral presentations
- Emphasis on continuous feedback both orally and in writing
Assessment is both summative and formative, and you will be provided with detailed comments on essays and other coursework. Many modules also have a written examination.
Progression to the next year is dependent on passing the mandatory modules. The combination of quality and range of assessments helps our students to develop a wide portfolio of skills and learning helps students to achieve excellent degrees.
A Levels: AAB-ABB
- At least five GCSEs at grade A*-C or 9-4 including English and Mathematics.
Where an applicant is taking the EPQ alongside A - levels, the EPQ will be taken into consideration and result in lower A-level grades being required. Socio - economic factors which may have impacted an applicant's education will be taken into consideration and alternative offers may be made to these applicants.
Other UK and Ireland Qualifications
International & EU requirements
English language requirements
All teaching at Royal Holloway is in English. You will therefore need to have good enough written and spoken English to cope with your studies right from the start.
The scores we require
- IELTS: 6.5 overall with 6.0 in reading and writing, no other sub score less than 5.5.
- Pearson Test of English: 61 overall. 54 in writing. 54 in Reading. No subscore lower than 51.
- Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English (ISE): ISE III.
- Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) grade C.
For more information about country-specific entry requirements for your country please visit here.
For international students who do not meet the direct entry requirements, we offer an International Foundation Year, run by Study Group at the Royal Holloway International Study Centre. Upon successful completion, you may progress on to selected undergraduate degree programmes at Royal Holloway, University of London.
Your future career
A law and philosophy degree at Royal Holloway makes you highly employable in the UK and Internationally. As well as a career in law, the transferable skills gained will form the basis of a career in the criminal justice agencies. You will be equipped with the knowledge, skills and experiences essential to advance your future career or move onto further study and pursue a career in research and evaluation in an academic context.
Our graduates have entered into a range of professional careers including:
Police, Prison and Probation Officers
- Social Worker
- Adult Guidance Worker
- Further Education Lecturer
- Housing Manager
- Local Government Officer
- Social Researcher
- Youth Worker
Organisations employing our law graduates include John Lewis Partnership, BAA, Reed and Panasonic.
Fees & funding
Home and EU students tuition fee per year*: £
International students tuition fee per year**: £
Other essential costs***: TBC