UCL Faculty of Laws


Jurisprudence and Legal Theory (LAWS0208)

The module provides the opportunity for careful and rigorous study of selected topics in analytical and normative Anglo-American jurisprudence.


  • To raise students’ critical awareness of some major issues in legal and moral philosophy in the Anglo-American tradition
  • To develop and discipline students’ analytical and critical abilities by having them engage in both oral and written abstract arguments
  • To enable and encourage students to evaluate legal doctrines and institutions, and to theorize about particular areas of law and their normative foundations

Module syllabus

This module is subject to change.

The Module is divided in two parts: general jurisprudence (Term 1) and particular jurisprudence (Term 2). General jurisprudence (Term 1), broadly speaking, is an inquiry into the nature of law, and deals with some of the relevant issues such as the nature of legal adjudication, the relation between law and morality, the difference between norms and values on the one hand and natural and social facts on the other, etc. Particular jurisprudence (Term 2) will explore the philosophical foundations and normative questions within specific areas of law.  Both some classical and contemporary readings will be assigned.  For both halves of the Module, some background in philosophy (as that discipline is studied in the Anglo-American universities) would be very helpful, though not necessary or essential.

Recommended materials

  • H.L.A. Hart The Concept of Law, 2nd or 3rd ed. (1994 or 2012)

Module reading lists and other module materials will be provided via online module pages, available at the beginning of term once students have enrolled.

Preliminary reading

  • Jeremy Waldron, “Law”, in The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Philosophy, edited by Frank Jackson & Michael Smith (2005)

Key information

Module details
Credit value:30 credits (15 ECTS, 300 learning hours)
Convenor:Kevin Toh;
Prince Saprai
Other Teachers:George Letsas
Teaching Delivery:20 x 2-hour weekly seminars, 10 seminars per term, Term One and Two
Who may enrol:Any UCL Master’s student
Prerequisites:None, although a background in analytic philosophy is highly desirable
Must not be taken with:Jurisprudence and Legal Theory A (LAWS0054)
Qualifying module for:LLM in Jurisprudence and Legal Theory
Practice Assessment:Opportunity for feedback on one optional practice essay per term (two in total)
Final Assessment:Two essays (100%)