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Housing, Justice and the Law (level 5)


  • Credit value: 15 credits at Level 5
  • Convenor: Sarah Keenan
  • Tutors: Sarah Keenan, Craig Reeves
  • Assessment: a 1000-word reflective writing piece (25%) and a 2000-word research essay (75%)

Module description

This module gives an in-depth introduction to housing law and policy in England and Wales, and the ways in which this law and policy operate as a form of social control. The module provides an overview of the legal framework for housing law and the theories of property which inform that framework. You will study topics including the effects of the Housing and Planning Act 2016 on social housing and tenants and migrants, the criminalisation of squatting and the London housing crisis. The module will give you an understanding of how housing law and policy affects different populations and spatial areas, in terms of poverty, security and criminalisation.

Indicative module syllabus

  • The changing legal basis of title to land
  • Criminalisation of squatting
  • Self-defence of the home
  • Marketisation of housing
  • Erosion of tenants’ rights
  • ‘Rights of homeowners’ and ideas of autonomy /personhood
  • Belonging and entitlement under the 2016 Housing and Planning Act/Migration act
  • Mortgages
  • Modes of resistance

Learning objectives

By the end of this module you will be able to:

  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the legal framework for housing law in England and Wales
  • apply critical theories of society and autonomy to evaluate ideas of homeownership and the marketisation of land
  • critically analyse English and Welsh housing law and policy since the Thatcher government
  • critically reflect on the causes of the London housing crisis
  • demonstrate communication skills, organisational skills and an ability to conduct research independently.