An introduction to law in contemporary Scotland
- This course looks at law making in contemporary Scotland. It considers the role of both the Scottish Parliament and Courts in law making, looking at the structure of the court system and the role of the judiciary. It explores the relationship between the law making power of the Scottish and Westminster Parliaments. It introduces you to some specific areas of Scots law, including the law relating to human rights and children. This course will be of particular interest to anyone needing an overview of the Scottish legal system, and will provide an excellent beginning for students who want to understand how modern Scotland works.
What you will study
The course begins by asking you to think about the question ‘What is law?’ It introduces you to the legal history of Scotland before moving on to look at the role of the Scottish Parliament in the law-making process and its relationship with the Westminster Parliament. You will then be introduced to the structure of the court system in Scotland. This includes an overview of court procedure, how different courts relate to each other and the role of the judiciary.
The course moves on to consider specific topics such as child law where you will learn about parental rights and duties and the unique Children’s Hearings System. You will also explore employment law, human rights and unlawful conduct.
At some point in the course, there is usually an opportunity for you to visit a Sheriff court in Edinburgh or Glasgow accompanied by your tutor. These visits are arranged during the course and you will be expected to pay for your own travel.
As part of this course you will be provided with opportunities to develop your general study skills, including those specifically relevant to studying law. You will undertake a number of activities to develop both your knowledge and skills. The course concludes in bringing together your knowledge and skills by looking at a number of legal topical issues.
During the course, you will learn to define and use some legal terms and concepts; and to identify characteristics of a legal argument. As well as some specific legal skills, you will learn to:
- take notes efficiently and effectively
- select and summarise material in your own words
- apply information accurately and carefully to a well-defined problem
- apply appropriate knowledge and skills to the solution of an issue
- analyse tasks and make plans for tackling them
- identify and critically evaluate relevant information
- communicate effectively in an appropriate and accurate written form.
The course develops vocationally orientated skills that are transferable to the job market: good written and communication skills; critical thinking; ability to analyse, synthesise, reflect on and present arguments; and problem solving.
An introduction to law in contemporary Scotland is designed to provide an introduction to the law and legal system in Scotland, and is not part of the direct route to qualification as a solicitor in Scotland. It does however provide an excellent foundation for a wide range of further study with The Open University.
As this is an OU Level 1 introductory course, we do not require you to have prior experience of studying law. If you have any doubt about the suitability of the course, please contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service.
Outside the UK
Please note that this course is only concerned with the law of Scotland.
As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the Module Regulations and the Student Regulations which are available on our Essential documents website.
If you have a disability
PDF versions of printed material may be available. Some components may not be fully accessible using a screen reader. Other alternative formats of the study materials may be available in the future. OurServices for disabled students website has the latest information about availability.
If you have particular study requirements please tell us as soon as possible, as some of our support services may take several weeks to arrange. Visit our Services for disabled students website for more information, including:
- help to determine your study requirements and how to request the support that you need
- Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs)
- using a computer for OU study
- equipment and other support services that we offer
- examination arrangements
- how to contact us for advice and support both before you register and while you are studying.
A study calendar, course manuals, assessment guide and a website.
You will need a computer with internet access to study this course as it includes online activities, which you can access using a web browser.
- If you have purchased a new desktop or laptop computer since 2007 you should have no problems completing the online activities.
- If you’ve got a netbook, tablet or other mobile computing device check our Technical requirements section.
- If you use an Apple Mac you will need OS X 10.6 or later.
You can also visit the Technical requirements section for further computing information including the details of the support we provide.
Teaching and assessment
Support from your tutor
You will have a tutor with whom you can communicate by email, telephone and post, who will help you with the study material and mark and comment on your written work, and whom you can ask for advice and guidance.
Contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.
The assessment details for this course can be found in the facts box above.
You will be expected to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) and end-of-module assessment (EMA) online through the eTMA system unless there are some difficulties which prevent you from doing so. In these circumstances, you must negotiate with your tutor to get their agreement to submit your assignment or EMA on paper.
These pieces of assessed work are an essential part of the course and you should attempt all of them. You will be given more detailed information about assessment and feedback when you begin the course.
If you are intending to use this course as part of the free choice for the Bachelor of Laws (Honours) (LLB), and you hope to enter the legal professions, you should read carefully our Recognition leaflet 3.13 Law. There are different entry regulations into the legal professions in England and Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. You should read the Recognition leaflet as it is your responsibility to ensure that you meet these requirements.
The details given here are for the course that starts in October 2013. We expect it to be available once a year.
Students also studied
Students who studied this course also studied at some time:
How to register
To register a place on this course return to the top of the page and use the Click to register button.
“The course was very insightful and provide a basis of knowledge surrounding the Law in scotland. It provided me with …”
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