Short Course Online

An introduction to law

The Open University UK

7 months
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This key introductory OU level 1 An introduction to law module from The Open University UK is taught entirely online and considers the nature and role of law.


This An introduction to law module from The Open University UK examines the role and function of a legal system by considering why laws develop, how laws are created, interpreted and applied and the role that law plays in regulating and administering justice within a society. The relationship between law, judicial reasoning, public policy and politics is also explored. 

The key aspects of law making in England and Wales are covered, including the mechanisms created for the administration and enforcement of justice in these jurisdictions. The module also considers a number of fundamental legal concepts such as liability, culpability, evidence and sanctions. You'll work through the module using a blend of online text materials, audio, video and interactive online activities.

What you will study

The module covers a range of substantive legal principles and the law making framework in England and Wales. Throughout your studies you will develop a number of key legal academic skills and learn to interpret and apply the laws which have been created by the Westminster Parliament, the Welsh Assembly, the courts and European institutions.

The module begins by asking you to consider the nature and sources of law. Why do we have law and what role does law play. It then examines the fundamental principles which form the UK’s constitution before considering law making in England and Wales. Through your studies of the law making process you'll learn about the range of institutions and bodies which have power to make law which impacts directly or indirectly in the UK.

You'll look at the role of the Westminster Parliament, the Welsh Assembly and the wider impact of devolution, secondary legislation and the role of common law. You'll also explore the relationship between common law and equity, law making processes in the EU and the European Convention of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

Programme Structure

You will learn:

In addition to the knowledge you will gain from this module you will also develop essential legal study skills. This includes the ability to:

  • interpret, describe and apply legal principles in a logical and coherent way 
  • interpret, describe and apply legal authority in a logical and coherent way 
  • identify the characteristics of a legal argument
  • identify and analyse conflicting accounts, interpretations or points of view.
  • read and discuss legal information
  • use legal authority, legal material and other sources appropriately 
  • identify and use appropriate primary and secondary sources of law and legal information
  • reference and cite relevant material including case and statute law.

Key information


  • Part-time
    • 7 months

Start dates & application deadlines




60 alternative credits



Academic requirements

We are not aware of any academic requirements for this programme.

English requirements

We are not aware of any English requirements for this programme.

Other requirements

General requirements

  • This is a key introductory OU level 1 module. OU level 1 modules provide core subject knowledge and study skills needed for higher education and distance learning. 
  • It will give you the foundation knowledge and study skills to study law at a more advanced level (levels two and three). 
  • By the end of the module you will be expected to be working at the level required of first-year undergraduate students.

Tuition Fee


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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An introduction to law
The Open University UK


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