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Unit information: Law in Action in 2020/21

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Law in Action
Unit code LAWD10018
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Short
Open unit status Not open




School/department University of Bristol Law School
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

This unit introduces students to the essential knowledge and skills needed for effective study of law at university, provides opportunities to test, practice and develop these, and introduces students to some current themes in legal thinking, legal practice and the professions. The unit will explore key characteristics of law, the legal system, and legal practice and processes in England & Wales, including the court structure, the doctrine of precedent, legislation, dispute resolution and legal ethics. The unit will introduce and develop key skills of issue identification, logic and reasoning, case and statutory interpretation, finding and citing of legal and other materials, legal writing, application of legal rules, and constructing arguments, as well as further skills such as working effectively in groups, reflection and reflective writing, and communicating clearly and effectively in different formats.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On completion of this unit, successful students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate an awareness of the key characteristics of the legal system and court structure of England & Wales
  • Appreciate key differences between legal sources and demonstrate an ability to read cases and statutory material effectively
  • Identify and locate relevant legal and other sources, and reference and cite them correctly
  • Use relevant legal materials to construct a basic argument in response to a legal issue or problem, using clear and appropriate language
  • Work, in a group and individually, to create an output that communicates research findings to a defined recipient
  • Reflect on learning experiences and provide evidence of development of autonomous learning, using clear and appropriate language.

Teaching Information

Teaching will be delivered through a variety of asynchronous and synchronous activities

Assessment Information

1 x summative assessment: coursework with a specified word count (100%)

The assessment will assess all of the intended learning outcomes for this unit.

Reading and References

Students will be referred to a range of sources, primary and secondary, which may include but is not limited


  • Finch & Fafinksi, Legal Skills (Oxford)
  • Gillespie & Weare, The English Legal System (Oxford)
  • Cottrell, Critical Thinking Skills (Macmillan)
  • Barnard et al, What about Law (Hart)
  • Moore & Newbery-Jones, The Successful Law Student (Oxford)
  • Wacks, Law: a very short introduction (Oxford)

There is no set course textbook and no requirement for students to purchase texts or materials for this unit