Exploring legal boundaries
This module will give you the opportunity to research a legal topic of your own choice. It will support your research of your chosen topic and help you to present your findings as a written report of your research methods and in poster format. You will work with other students to prepare your poster and will be encouraged to help each other in your academic endeavours.
What you will study
This module will enable you to develop critical research skills, and present your findings in relation to a topic of your choice that has a legal focus. You'll be encouraged to explore the interrelationships within law and across disciplines. The aim is to enable you to explore legal boundaries by selecting your own choice of legally relevant subject matter. The module provides teaching and support for the development of a skills base to enable you to develop as a researcher. It will provide the scope to research comparative and interdisciplinary issues of relevance to law. Additionally it will enable you to develop your skills of academic critique and to mature as a researcher. This will be achieved by a variety of means, including reflecting on peer-to-peer critique, tutor critique and personal reflection on research performance.
The type of skills covered will be relevant to:
- planning, designing, and researching a legal topic in depth
- the presentation of your ideas relating to the choice of a research topic in an appropriately focused and structured manner
- reflection on your own research, presentation and interpersonal skills
- the formulation of an appropriately focused research question.
These skills are directly relevant to Personal Development Planning, so this module will help you to gain skills for whatever you plan to do after you have graduated.
The choice of question for study and research will be key to your success on this module. From the outset you will be encouraged to engage with the process of choosing a research topic suitable for exploration in a research poster. You'll be encouraged to post an image to prompt discussion in OpenStudio in the first two weeks of the module to start a discussion with your peers about a topic that you might like to research. It is anticipated that you will not have experience of framing research questions and therefore support in the form of written and interactive materials will support you through the mechanics of making a choice of topic to research. This support will continue throughout your research. This will assist you in formulating the topic appropriately and presenting your initial thoughts about your research.
The first assignment will enable dialogue between peers and tutors regarding your choice of question to research and the thinking behind selecting the topic; permitting you to adjust the research topic and question in the light of feedback. The second assignment enables you to reflect on your research for your poster and to present and critique both the methodology of your research and its findings.
As this is a research module, you will need to have completed 120 credits at Stage 1 and 120 credits at Stage 2 or, if you were a graduate entrant to your degree programme, at least 60 credits at Stage 2.
If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, please speak to an adviser.
You’ll have access to a module website, which includes:
- a week-by-week study planner
- module guide and materials
- audio and video content
- assessment guide
- small group online tuition, booked directly with your tutor.
You’ll need broadband internet access and a desktop or laptop computer with an up-to-date version of Windows (10 or 11), or macOS (11 'Big Sur' or higher).
Any additional software will be provided or is generally freely available.
To join in spoken conversations in tutorials, we recommend a wired headset (headphones/earphones with a built-in microphone).
Our module websites comply with web standards, and any modern browser is suitable for most activities.
Our OU Study mobile app will operate on all current, supported versions of Android and iOS. It’s not available on Kindle.
It’s also possible to access some module materials on a mobile phone, tablet device or Chromebook. However, as you may be asked to install additional software or use certain applications, you’ll also require a desktop or laptop as described above.