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Property law

Module information>

Academic Direction
Laws Consortium
Modes of Study

This module centres on the various interests that can exist in land, the principles governing the creation, transfer and extinction of these interests.

This module also looks at the extent to which those interests are enforceable against third parties.

Topics covered

  • General principles. The concept of land. Doctrine of tenures and estates. Freehold and leasehold estates. Legal and equitable rights. Principles of the 1925 legislation.
  • Transfer of land, with reference to the conveyance of registered and unregistered titles in land. Formalities and proprietary estoppel. Doctrine of notice. Land Charges Act 1972. Law of Property Act 1925. Land Registration Acts 1925 and 2002. Concept of overreaching.
  • Ownership of land. Trusts of land under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996. Co-ownership of land.
  • Landlord and tenant. The term of years absolute. Its nature, creation, assignment and forfeiture. Enforceability of leasehold covenants. The lease/licence distinction.
  • Licences. Bare licences. Contractual licences, their revocability and enforceability against third parties. Estoppel licences.
  • Easements. Characteristics, extinguishment and extent. Creation of express and implied easements but excluding easements arising by prescription.
  • Non-leasehold covenants of land. The common law and equitable rules relating to the running of the burden and benefit of covenants between neighbouring estate holders.
  • Mortgages and charges, with particular reference to land. Nature and creation. Position and rights of the mortgagor. Rights and remedies of the mortgagee.
  • Adverse possession.

Learning outcomes

If you complete the module successfully you should be able to:

  • Compare and contrast the functions of the rules of common law and statute, and common law and equity
  • Explain how rights and interests in land are acquired, protected and transferred
  • Describe and illustrate how property law adapts to social and economic conditions
  • Identify the moral and ethical questions arising in this area of law
  • Analyse moderately complex land-related problems by reference to relevant legal authority
  • Critique standard legal materials and arguments relating to land law, with particular reference to topics of contemporary social and economic significance
  • Use appropriate legal terminology specific to Property law.


4hr 15 mins unseen examination

Essential reading

Dixon, M. Modern land law. (Abingdon: Routledge, 2023) 13th edition [ISBN 9781032395753].