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Undergraduate Module Descriptor

LAW3174: Legal Charity

This module descriptor refers to the 2018/9 academic year.

Module Content

Syllabus Plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the syllabus will cover some or all of the following topics:


  • Legal forms of civil society or non-profit organisations and the significance of charity in the not-for-profit sector; the role of charity trustees and the fiscal treatment of charities
  • The legal meaning and definition of charity; the advantages and disadvantages of a statutory definition; alternative approaches to defining ‘charity’, for example based on notions of altruism or public goods or autonomy
  • Religion and charity: the historical connection; judicial approaches towards religion; the definition of religion; the meaning of ‘advancement of religion’ and the merits of its inclusion as a charitable purpose
  • The impact of charities charging fees for their services; the place of poverty in charity
  • The interface between politics and charity: the meaning of ‘political purposes’ and the rationale for their exclusion from charity
  • Alternative approaches to charity (including in relation to questions concerning religion, politics and fee-charging) in other jurisdictions, such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland
  • Regulation of the charitable sector: the Charity Commission; registration and the Charity Tribunal

Learning and Teaching

This table provides an overview of how your hours of study for this module are allocated:

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

...and this table provides a more detailed breakdown of the hours allocated to various study activities:

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities18Lectures (9 x 2 hours)
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities10Seminars (5 x 2 hours)
Guided Independent Study8Reading in advance of lectures
Guided independent study40Reading and preparation for seminars
Guided independent study8Consolidating learning post-seminar
Guided Independent Study10Reading and preparation for case comment
Guided Independent study56Research, planning and execution of summative essay

Online Resources

This module has online resources available via ELE (the Exeter Learning Environment).