HA6000 - Equity and Trusts

What will I learn on this module?

This module introduces you to the substantive law of Equity and Trusts. It begins with an historical overview of the development of equity. This is followed by study of the creation of trusts (both express and implied). The next topic is Charitable trusts, an area which lends itself well to critical analysis. Next is a non-charitable purpose trust where students study the situations in which these trusts can be valid. You will then study the powers and duties of trustees, breach of trust and the remedies for this including tracing and equitable remedies. A critical approach is fostered throughout. Topics covered are:

• The creation of express trusts (including capacity, formalities, certainty and constitution)
• Resulting and constructive trusts
• Charitable trusts
• Non-charitable purpose trusts
• Trustees’ powers and duties
• Breach of trust
• Fiduciary relationships and fiduciary obligations
• Tracing and Equitable remedies

How will I learn on this module?

The module will be delivered through a combination of large and small group sessions, tutor guided independent learning and student independent learning and clinical and experiential learning

Large group teaching
The large group lectures, available in advance via Panopto will address the major concepts and principles of substantive trusts law. Lectures are also intended to facilitate the students’ development of legal analysis and problem solving skills, for example by applying the legal principles to factual scenarios via the use of Turning Point. Students will be expected to undertake independent learning (for example by reading primary and secondary sources of trusts law) in consolidation of the lecture programme and the related programme of tutor guided independent learning.

Small group teaching
The small group sessions will expand on the material covered in the large group lectures, and where appropriate will focus on the application of the legal principles to realistic problem based scenarios. The small group sessions will also give you the opportunity to critically analyse areas of trusts law through addressing essay questions and undertaking tasks based on academic articles. In preparing for the small group sessions, you will need to undertake directed and independent learning, perform legal analysis, identify relevant principles of trusts law and apply those principles to the problems raised by the factual scenarios. You will also be required to demonstrate your ability to find and use legal source materials. These sessions will also give you the opportunity to work in groups of three or four doing hands-on activities and exercises.

Clinical and experiential learning
Clinical and experiential learning will be a feature of the small group programme. You will be given documents relating to trusts and these will be used in a number of the seminars allowing you to become familiar with trusts documentation and how principles of academic trusts law work in practice.
There will be opportunity for formative feedback on your knowledge and understanding as well as opportunities in lectures and seminars to engage with particular methods of assessment used.

Work Based Learning
Importantly, you will also learn at work, through reflecting on your experiences and applying your knowledge to your practice in the workplace. The seminars, workshops and lectures will introduce you to theories and concepts and allow you to discuss with the tutors and your peers how these relate to your own work based experiences and practice.

You will be building a portfolio of evidence that illustrates your continued development as a solicitor throughout the third year of the programme. This portfolio will enable you to demonstrate how you have applied your learning from across all third stage modules into your workplace practice.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

This module will be managed by your designated Module Tutor who will be responsible for guiding you in your engagement and learning on the module. All relevant materials and instructions will be accessible on-line through the module elp site, maintained by your Module Tutor, who will also provide updates on issues of current legal significance. Extensive use is therefore made of the elp at module level to facilitate discussions between you and your Module Tutor, to provide materials, make announcements and to highlight recent developments in the law. You will also have seminar tutors and you may communicate with your seminar or module Tutor by e-mail, telephone or face to face and are encouraged to make contact if you encounter any difficulties relating to any aspect of the module.

Academic support is also available through summative and formative feedback on assignments. At programme level you will be supported by the Programme Leader who will provide pastoral support throughout the module and the programme as a whole.
As above, your module is also supported by an e-learning portal, which houses all the module learning materials, workshop resources, interactive activities, assessment details and various other support facilities which are provided by the University. In addition, in order to assist you in developing knowledge, you will have access to the University’s library facilities, including extensive electronic resources, eBooks and electronic academic journal articles.
Support will also include opportunities to gain feedback from your Guidance Tutor. The Programme Leader can be contacted in addition to your Guidance Tutor in respect of any problems.

The Programme Administration Team and Student Progress Team are responsible for the non-academic administration of the module, such as receiving your completed assignment, returning your marked assignment and recording your marks. They and the module tutor will contact you throughout the duration of your module with important dates and other issues.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
At the end of the module you will have:
• Developed in depth and detailed knowledge and understanding of the major principles of substantive trusts law.
• Critically analysed factual scenarios so as to identify relevant trust law principles, and applied those principles to finding solutions to a problems raised in a practice orientated scenario or in an essay.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• Developed an ability to conduct independent legal research and apply the relevant material to identify issues, construct rational arguments and present accurate legal information clearly, coherently and substantiated by authority.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• Gained a critical awareness of the legal and ethical issues surrounding the establishment of a trust and the administration of trusts and reflected on how those legal and ethical values align with your own personal values.
• Gained an understanding of the law in relation to you as a professional practitioner.

How will I be assessed?

a) Summative assessment and rationale for tasks

The module will be assessed by a two-hour exam that combines MCQs and written answers to legal questions. There will be ten MCQ questions. The use of MCQs enables detailed knowledge of trusts law to be assessed. You will then have to answer one legal problem question and one essay question. The problem question will enable your understanding of the law and application of the law to factual scenarios to be assessed. The essay question will assess understanding and application of the law together with assessing your ability to critically analyse the law. Both questions will assess your ability to write a well constructed legal answer with all that this entails. The MCQ will constitute 20% of the total exam mark and the written answers will be 80%.

b) Additional formative assessment - detail of process and rationale

MCQ questions will be used in lectures (via turning-point) and samples will also be made available on the eLP for you to work through.

Seminars will be used to allow you to prepare some written work and receive feedback on that work by peer review in the seminar and Points to Note on the eLP.

c) Indication of how students will get feedback and how this will support their learning.

Group feedback will be given during the small group sessions this includes exercises undertaken in these sessions to which you will receive immediate oral feedback

Answers will also be given to MCQ questions on the eLP.





Module abstract

This module aims to examine the creation and administration of express trusts, the operation of constructive and resulting trusts and the operation of particular equitable remedies. The module will provide an opportunity to further develop your skills in utilising paper and electronic sources to pursue legal research and to be able to critically evaluate the current law and apply your knowledge to practical scenarios.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 6 years Part Time

Department Northumbria Law School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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