Legal Philosophy - Master

Postgraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content

The course gives an introduction to international legal philosophy. The course provides advanced knowledge about select perspectives in legal philosophy on the character and objectives of law as a functioning element of a modern democratic society founded on the rule of law. It also gives thorough insight into select debates concerning the character and role of legal argumentation.

Learning Outcomes


After successful completion of this course, students will have:

  • advanced knowledge of key debates in legal philosophy generally, and specialized insight into debate about the rule of law
  • thorough knowledge about critical perspectives on law, about debates about the role of precedents in and about reason-giving for legal argumentation.
  • Knowledge about debate about the methodology of legal philosophy.

Skills and general competence

Students will also have developed certain skills and general competence, including:

  • the ability to analyse, distinguish clearly and discuss critically central positions in and texts about legal philosophy, and to use such sources to present arguments in the course
  • compare and evaluate differences between central positions and texts in international discourse of legal philosophy
  • identify, discuss and state thoroughly substantiate opinions about the character and role of legal argumentation in a modern democratic society based on the rule of law.
  • the ability to apply their knowledge and skills when thinking about new problems in legal philosophy
  • use such competence and skills both orally and in writing
  • refer correctly in writing.

ECTS Credits


Level of Study

Master level

Semester of Instruction


Place of Instruction

Faculty of Law, University of Bergen
Required Previous Knowledge
Three years of law studies
Recommended Previous Knowledge
Good level of English language
Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap

Combined with Legal Philosophy JUS273-2-A or JUS2312 Legal Philosophy this course will generate no new credits.

The course combines well with any of the elective courses offered at the Faculty of Law, but in particular with:

Access to the Course

The course is available for students:

  • admitted to the five-year master programme in law
  • admitted to the two-year master programme in law
  • admitted to the Master of Laws (LLM) in EU and EEA Law
  • granted admission to elective courses at the Faculty of Law
  • granted additional right to study following completed Master in Law degree at UiB
  • exchange students at the Faculty of Law

The pre-requirements may still limit certain students' access to the course

Teaching and learning methods
Discussion-based lectures/seminars.
Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

Participation in both master classes.

A student presentation as part of a master class.

Mandatory paper of maximum 2000 words (excluding footnotes), of a topic announced during the course. The paper will be awarded a pass/no pass. No grade will be given. Students who have failed the paper will be given an opportunity to write a new paper prior to the exam.

Forms of Assessment
4-hour digital school exam
Grading Scale
A-E for passed, F for fail
Assessment Semester
Reading List
The reading list will be ready 1 December for the spring semester.
Course Evaluation
According to the administrative arrangements for course evaluation at the Faculty of Law
Examination Support Material

Hjelpemidler til eksamen

Support materials allowed during school exam

See section 3-5 of the Supplementary Regulations for Studies at the Faculty of Law at the University of Bergen.

Special regulations about dictionaries

  • According to the Regulations for Studies, one dictionary is permitted support material during the examination. Bilingual dictionaries containing for example both Norwegian-English and English-Norwegian are considered as one dictionary.
  • Bilingual dictionaries to/from the same two languages - for example Norwegian-English/English-Norwegian - in two different volumes are also considered as one dictionary (irrespective of publisher or edition).
  • Dictionaries as described above cannot be combined with any other types of dictionaries.
  • Any kind of combination which makes up more than two physical volumes is forbidden.
  • In case a student has a special need for any other combination than the above mentioned, such combination has to be clarified with/approved by the course coordinator minimum two weeks before the exam. Students who have not been granted permission to have a special combination minimum two weeks before the exam will be subject to the usual regulations (Section 3-5) about examination support materials.
Programme Committee
The Academic Affairs Committee (Studieutvalget) at the Faculty of Law is responsible for ensuring the material content, structure and quality of the course.
Course Coordinator
Professor Synne Sæther Mæhle
Course Administrator
The Faculty of Law¿s section for students and academic affairs (Studieseksjonen) is responsible for administering the programme.