Module details for Family Law


An introduction to the legal principles governing family relationships and their breakdown, children and parenthood in Scotland.


The aim of this Module is to examine the key legal principles governing family relationships and their breakdown, children and parenthood in Scotland.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module the student should be able to:

1.  Define and analyse the requirements for a valid marriage or civil partnership.

2.  Explain and discuss the legal rights of spouses, civil partners and cohabitants to property brought into and acquired during the relationship.

3.  Explain and discuss the legal rights, duties and obligations which arise as a result of the legal relationship between parents and their children.

4.  Identify the grounds of divorce and dissolution and understand the statutory legal principles governing the division of property on relationship breakdown.

5.  Demonstrate skills of comprehension and application of legal principles, negotiation and reflection.

Indicative Content

1 Parent and Child

Parental responsibilities and rights; adoption; local authority intervention; human rights of family members.

2 Marriage and Civil Partnership

Regular and irregular marriage; Same sex marriage; validity of civil and religious marriages; prohibitions and legal impediments to marriage; void and voidable marriages. Civil Partnerships and Gender Recognition.

3 Rights Arising out of Marriage and Civil Partnership

Aliment, separate property rights.

4 Family Homes and Family Protection

Occupancy rights of spouses, civil partners and cohabitants, exclusion orders.

5 Relationship Breakdown

Grounds in divorce & dissolution actions. Division of property on relationship breakdown including financial provision, property transfer orders and decrees regulating occupancy rights.

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Teaching and Learning Method Hours
Lecture 26
Tutorial/Seminar 13
Practical Activity 0
Assessment 40
Independent 121
Total 200

Guidance notes

SCQF Level - The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework provides an indication of the complexity of award qualifications and associated learning and operates on an ascending numeric scale from Levels 1-12 with SCQF Level 10 equating to a Scottish undergraduate Honours degree.

Credit Value – The total value of SCQF credits for the module. 20 credits are the equivalent of 10 ECTS credits. A full-time student should normally register for 60 SCQF credits per semester.


We make every effort to ensure that the information on our website is accurate but it is possible that some changes may occur prior to the academic year of entry. The modules listed in this catalogue are offered subject to availability during academic year 2021/22 , and may be subject to change for future years.