Timetable information in the Course Catalogue may be subject to change.

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

Undergraduate Course: Principles of Taxation (LAWS10163)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course aims to provide students with an understanding of the general principles of taxation from a multidisciplinary perspective: legal, political, social and economic. Starting from an outline of the tax system of one jurisdiction (the UK) and the principles of public finance, a critical assessment of the various elements of the tax base will be examined, with reference to other jurisdictions. The course will conclude by looking at principles of sub-national (with particular reference to Scotland) and international taxation.
Course description Indicative teaching programme

Week 1 Introduction to UK taxation 1
Week 2 Introduction to UK taxation 2
Week 3 Principles of public finance
Week 4 The notion of the tax state - justifications for taxation
Week 5 Taxation of income and capital gains
Week 6 Taxation of wealth
Week 7 Taxation of companies
Week 8 Taxation of consumption
Week 9 Fiscal Federalism; tax under Scottish devolution
Week 10 Principles of international taxation
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
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Knowledge and Sources of Law: Students will be expected to gain a basic understanding of the central elements of UK taxation, in particular income tax, capital gains tax, inheritance tax, corporation tax and VAT. They will study communitarian and libertarian approaches to the right of the state to tax. Students will then become aware of the relative importance of the respective taxes as sources of revenue in the public finance context and develop knowledge of the contribution of each to principles such as neutrality and progressivity. In the process, students will acquire knowledge of elements of taxes in other jurisdictions. Students will then develop a framework from which to judge extra- or intra-territorial taxation.
  2. Subject-specific Skills: Students will be expected to gain - skills in critical analysis enabling them to evaluate government policy in taxation and the work of academic commentators on taxation; - an ability to analyse, evaluate and interpret relevant source material; - skills in identifying the material issue under discussion; - an advanced approach to critically addressing complex legal questions; - an ability to apply knowledge of legal rules/concepts/principles to solve legal problems; - a heightened awareness of the need to provide authority and evidence for assertions.
  3. General Transferable Intellectual Skills: The course aims to provide students with skills in: - developing complex evaluative and critical reasoning; - developing creative thinking; - developing an ability to apply knowledge outcomes to complex questions in written and oral form; - developing an advanced ability to present arguments for and against a proposition in a dispassionate manner; - developing the faculty of assessing and presenting the relative weight to be accorded to arguments.
  4. Key Personal Skills: The course should develop the following: - advanced written communication skills by way of examination; - formatting and presentation skills by virtue of word processing; - organisational skills in preparing for classes and exams; - oral communication skills developed in seminar discussions; - group work and the importance of appreciating different dynamics within a group, - an independent approach to learning.
  5. Subject-specific Legal and Ethical Values: Students will be encouraged to reflect on: - competing notions of fairness, including distributive justice and neutrality; - constitutional and philosophical underpinnings of the obligation to pay tax; - the notion of the competing interests of overlapping tax collecting 'states'.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsPrinciples of Tax
Course organiserMs Sandra Eden
Tel: (0131 6)50 2627
Course secretaryMs Olivia Hayes
Tel: (0131 6)50 2344
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