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Diploma of Higher Education in Law - Learning outcomes

Educational aims

This diploma aims to provide you with the opportunity to explore and develop your interest in the law and legal system of England and Wales. Upon completion of your studies you should be able to explain how the legal system operates and understand and be able to apply the law in a range of specialist areas including criminal law, tort law, public law and contract law. You will also have had an opportunity to study a range of different areas of law of interest to you. You will be able to explain what the law means for you individually and the society in which you live in the areas studied. You will also be able to identify how the law affects others and recognise some instances where the law is enabling social justice, fairness or equal opportunities in society or is failing to protect the vulnerable.

Your legal studies will:

  • provide you with the opportunity to gain some knowledge and familiarity with the legal system of England and Wales
  • provide you with the opportunity to gain some knowledge of the role and function of law in an increasingly globalised world
  • enable you to become an independent learner and develop associated and transferable skills and attributes
  • provide those who wish to continue their education with the intellectual and practical skills necessary to do this effectively.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

On completion of this qualification, you will have knowledge and understanding of:
  • the concepts, values, rules and principles of the legal system of England and Wales, and some awareness of the powers exercised by the devolved legislatures in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales
  • a range of areas of substantive law of England and Wales and their impact on individuals and society
  • a number of the social, political, economic, historical and ethical dimensions of law. 

Cognitive skills

On completion of this qualification, you will be able to:
  • ask and answer appropriate questions about your chosen area of law and legal systems, identifying gaps in your knowledge
  • combine and criticise a range of sources of legal authority, identify their merits and shortcomings, and make a reasoned choice between them
  • apply legal principles and authority to start to develop reasoned answers to questions.

Practical and/or professional skills

On completion of this qualification, you will be able to:
  • conduct some independent legal research
  • identify, retrieve and evaluate legal information from a range of electronic or other sources
  • acknowledge the sources of information that you have used, in a style appropriate to the task.

Key skills

On completion of this qualification, you will be able to demonstrate the following skills:
  • communicate relevant ideas clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing,
  • work with a range of textual, numerical and statistical data,
  • reflect on your own learning and development, making effective use of feedback, and demonstrating a willingness to acknowledge and correct errors.

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

You’ll be supported throughout by the OU’s unique style of teaching and assessment – which includes a personal tutor to guide and comment on your work; top quality course materials; elearning resources like podcasts, interactive media and online materials; tutorial groups and community forums.