You are here:

Equity and trusts in context


This course examines Equity and Trusts in a deeper context than is often covered in University courses in England and Wales and acts as an introduction to students from other jurisdictions. This fits together with two other courses on this programme: International Comparative Trusts Law and Commercial Trusts Law. This course covers primarily English and Welsh rules, although not exclusively as there are several common wealth comparisons.

Module A: The constitution of express trusts


  • The intellectual basis of equity and the history of the law of trusts
  • The foundations of express trusts
  • The constitution of express trusts
  • The paradox in express trusts law.

Module B: Trusts implied by law


  • Resulting trusts
  • Constructive trusts
  • Constructive trusts and secret profits
  • Constructive trusts and bribes
  • Issues with trusts implied by law
  • Secret trusts.

Module C: Trustees’ duties and breach of trust


  • Trustees' duties
  • Trustees’ liability for breach of trust
  • Tracing
  • Strangers and breech of trust.

Module D: Trusts of homes


  • Establishing rights in the home
  • Commonwealth approaches to rights in the home
  • Trusts of land
  • Proprietary estoppel
  • Theoretical perspectives on ownership of the home.


Each module is assessed by a 45-minute unseen written exam.


The modules can be completed in any order, but students without a firm understanding of the foundations of trust law are advised to take Module A first.

How to apply

You can apply to study a module individually as a standalone unit or as part of a Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma or Master of Laws qualification. (In either scenario, they must be studied in order.)

These modules also contribute towards the following specialist pathways for Laws:

  • Common Law
  • Equity and Trusts
  • Family Law

Apply via Postgraduate Laws

Academic Co-ordinator

Professor Alastair Hudson

Professor Alastair Hudson

Professor Alastair Hudson FHEA, FRSA, is the Course Convenor for: Commercial Trusts Law, Securities Law, Equity and Trust in Context, International and Comparative Trusts Law, Law on Investment Entities, Private Aspects of the Law and Finance and Law of Financial Crime.

Alastair is an English barrister and academic. He was Professor of Equity & Law at Queen Mary University of London for fourteen years. Between 2012 and 2014, he was Professor of Equity and Finance Law at The University of Southampton. He is a National Teaching Fellow, a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He was voted UK Law Teacher of the Year in 2008 and was awarded the Excellence in Teaching Award 2014 by the University of Southampton for "Overall Outstanding Lecturer."