School of Law

Welcome week and the start of your undergraduate studies at Queen Mary


August 2019

Dear New Student


Congratulations and welcome to the School of Law at Queen Mary University of London!  We are delighted that you will be joining our vibrant and cosmopolitan student community.

We are one of the largest law schools in the UK, with more than 800 undergraduate students, high quality teaching and internationally renowned research. Much of our global success lies in our ability to attract world leading academics as well as outstanding students.

By combining expert academic knowledge with practical legal skills, we will be working with you to realise your full potential. Our expert academics will help you learn how to practice law, not just study it. The Legal Advice Centre and George Hinde Moot competition are just two examples of ways that you will be able to experience law and legal ethics in a professional context at this early stage in your careers.

By applying creative legal thought and practical skills with a passionate student and staff body, the School of Law successfully creates the legal minds of tomorrow.  By undertaking innovative research, we influence the development of laws and judicial systems around the world.

We hope, therefore, that you take every advantage offered during the course of your degree with us.

Below are details of your first meeting with us and suggested preparatory readings:

Your first obligatory attendance is an Introduction to the Law Department and the Undergraduate Law Programmes and it will begin on Thursday 19th September at 12.00 noon in the Bancroft Mason Lecture Theatre on the main campus.

You should find your way to the Bancroft Mason LT (follow the sign-posts) and be in your seat by 12.00 noon.  This will not clash with any of the College events on that day.  The aim of this and the following two days, is to introduce you to the University generally and to the Law School; the undergraduate law programmes; and some very basic legal concepts, in particular.


You are not required to purchase any of your module texts before arriving in September.  However, if you would like to do some preparatory reading we suggest the following texts:

  • Acing the LLB, Capturing your full potential to improve your grade, by John McGarry (Routledge, 2016)
  • What about Studying Law? Studying Law at University, by Catherine Barnard, Janet O’Sullivan and   Graham Virgo (Hart, 2nd ed., 2011)
  • Introduction to the English Legal System 2018-19 by Martin Partington (OUP, 2018)
  • Letters to a Law Student: A Guide to Studying Law at University, by Nicholas McBride (Pearson, 4th ed., 2017)

You do not need to do any reading in preparation for either of the Contract Law modules. However, if you would like to do so, we suggest as introductory reading either The Law of Contract by Ewan McKendrick (Palgrave, 13th ed., 2019) or The Law of Contract by Janet O’Sullivan and Jonathan Hilliard (OUP, 8th ed., 2018). Neither is a core text. Guidance on choosing which core text is best for you will be given when the autumn term module begins.

For Public law, please spend some time listening to this podcast of the Reith Lectures, given on BBC Radio 4 earlier this year by Lord Jonathan Sumption, a recently retired Supreme Court judge.  There are 5 lectures in total.  They cover a wide range of topics which will give you some context to the study of Public law and highlight some of the key topics we will cover this year.  Lectures 1 and 2 consider the role of law in society and its relationship with politics.  Lectures 3, 4 and 5 in particular focus on human rights, and the nature of the UK constitution. You can access the lectures here.

For Land Law you might look at one or other of two excellent introductory books (neither will be recommended as core texts); Introduction to Land Law by Roger Smith, (Pearson, 3rd ed., 2013) and Land Law Elizabeth Cooke, (Clarendon Law Series, OUP, 2nd ed., 2012). Recommendations on the core text will be given when the module begins.

There is no advance reading required in preparation for European Union Law.  However, you may find ‘European Union Law: A Very Short Introduction’ by Anthony Arnull  (OUP, 2017) useful to get a sense of what EU Law is about. Please note that this is not a core text and that recommendations for the core text will be given when the module begins. EU law is an area which is often affected by current affairs. If you do not already do so, it is therefore a good idea to get into the habit of regularly reading quality newspapers, ideally across the political spectrum to get a range of perspectives while retaining a healthy critical outlook on what you read.

For Senior Status students only, in preparation for Criminal Law, we recommend Herring Great Debates in Criminal Law, Macmillan.  The module textbook is Jonathan Herring, Criminal Law – Text Cases and Materials.

It may well be that you can buy second-hand books from current students who completed the relevant modules last year and this could save you a considerable amount. Guidance will be offered when you begin the semester.

We look forward to meeting you in September.

Professor Penny Green

Head of Department