University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Postgraduate Course: Natural Law: An Historical Introduction (LAWS11373)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course explores the genesis and development of natural law theories, from Ancient Greece to the early modern period. It will focus on the most primary sources on natural law, which would then form the basis for debate.
Course description The course will explore the genesis and development of natural law concepts from Ancient Greece to the early modern period. It will be mainly based on primary sources, complemented by selected literature. The course will focus on natural law ideas as elaborated by the following authors:

i. Plato
ii. Aristotle
iii. Greek and Roman Stoicism
iv. St Augustine
v. Aquinas
vi. The Thomistic tradition, and especially the Second Scholasticism
vii. The early modern Natural lawyers
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  25
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) One essay worth 100% (5,000 words)
Feedback Feedback will be provided during each seminar, encouraging discussion, testing ideas and refining approaches to the texts. Written feedback will be given on the formative essay
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. critically identify, define and analyse complex concepts and appreciate their development over time
  2. acquire a deeper knowledge and understanding of important legal works and of their interaction with philosophical issues;
  3. Demonstrate advanced skills in reading, understanding and adopting an independent critical position in relation to complex material; and
  4. enhance their oral and written communication skills through essays and active participation to the debate in class.
Reading List
key readings:
Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics and Politics (selected passages)
Augustine, City of God and Confessions (selected passages)
Plato, Republic (selected passages); Laws (selected passages)
Epictetus, Discourses (selected passages)
Cicero, On duties (selected passages) and On the laws (selected passages)
Seneca, Epistles (selected passages)
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations (selected passages)
Isidore of Seville, Etymologies (selected passages)
Vitoria, On Civil Power (selected passages), On Law (selected passages) and On the Law of War (selected passages)
Suarez, On the Laws (selected passages)
Grotius, The Law of War and Peace (selected passages)
Pufendorf, Two Books on the Elements of Universal Jurisprudence (selected passages)

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills The course will encourage the students to engage with primary sources and to refine their critical and analytical skills. It will help them to develop a critical approach to texts and ideas, and to become more conscious of the historical development of the latter.
Keywordsnatural law. history of legal philosophy
Course organiserDr Guido Rossi
Tel: (0131 6)50 2052
Course secretaryMr David Morris
Tel: (0131 6)50 2010
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information