What you will study
The module is divided into two parts.
During the first part there is an element of choice. You'll choose three of the following topics to study before moving on to consider study and legal skills in more detail.
Scottish courts and the law
Here you consider the role courts play society in ensuring that justice is done and seen to be done. You'll explore the function and purpose of the courts in Scotland and consider the way in which cases come to court, the difference between the criminal and civil justice systems, the separation of powers, how individuals may become involved with the court system, the alternatives to courts that have emerged in recent decades and possibilities for the future.
The Scottish Parliament and law making
In this topic you'll consider the role of the Scottish Parliament in its law making. You explore how, and why, laws are made by both the Scottish and UK Parliaments. You'll learn about the meaning of specific terms such as devolved matters, reserved matters, legislative competence, subordinate legislation and consider the changes in the legal culture of Scotland which took place at the end of the twentieth century. You'll also be introduced to the skills of reading Bills and Acts of Parliament and learn about how citizens can become involved in the law-making process.
Legal skills and debates in Scotland
Legal skills are an important and transferable aspect of legal study. Here you consider the role of law and legal skills and consider how the development of new laws reflects changes in society. You'll learn to read legislation, court judgments, and explore the art of legal writing and providing reasoned opinions. You'll consider a leading case in the law of delict and using this as a basis you'll explore how laws are applied and interpreted by lawyers and the judiciary.
Society and the law: Scottish legal heroes
Law plays an important role in society. A role that extends beyond parliaments and the courts. Here you consider how law has been used to respond to developments in society and explore whether it should influence them. You'll look at how Scotland has influenced the development of laws at a national and global level, with examples of how individuals, institutions and organisations have made a difference by challenging the law or legal system. In this you'll learn how the Scottish Legal System is highly regarded on the international stage. You'll consider how words such as principled, integrity, conscience, duty, justice, fairness are used in relation to law and legal systems and their relevance in contemporary Scotland.
The second part of the module is divided into five blocks. Each block is designed to consolidate knowledge and develop important transferrable study skills. The blocks cover evaluating sources of information, reading for academic study, critical thinking and persuasive writing. Reflective skills from an important start of study and opportunities are also provided for reflection.
Studying this module
To provide you with greater flexibility Part 1 of the module is available on the OU’s free to access platform OpenLearn and can be accessed at any time. This approach has been chosen as it enables students to choose to study over a timeframe that meets their individual study needs.
Studying Part 1 should be completed prior to the February in which you intend to enrol. You will need to keep your completion badges as proof of study.
You will learn
From studying this module you will be able to:
- demonstrate knowledge and understanding of how law is made in Scotland
- analyse, explain and evaluate Scottish law making and Scottish legal culture
- select, interpret, communicate information relevant to law making in Scotland in a way appropriate to your subject, purpose and audience
- digital literacy, use digital tools for learning and working
- articulate and engage with relevant legal and ethical issues
- demonstrate insight into personal goals, preferences and aptitudes.
This module develops a number of key transferable skills such as developing a persuasive argument, digital literacy skills and reflective learning.