I teach on the W200, Understanding Law course in the south and southwest of England. This is really the foundation course to anyone wishing to pursue a law degree. It’s a great course academically - easily on a par with similar courses at other Universities - but is also a superb foundation to learning the skills of law. And that’s my passion.
My background is academic - I have a PhD in public international law - but my profession is as a skills trainer in higher education. It is this sort of development that really stimulates me. And that’s why I really enjoy tutoring on this course. It offers me a chance to work with students to help them develop the skills of thinking from a Law based perspective, which is an essential step to the successful study of law, in whatever specialty, and irrespective of whether there is any intention to become a lawyer in the future. And we do this while delving into a variety of substantive areas of law, allowing students to begin to explore what specialties they might wish to pursue in the future - contract or criminal law, UK constitutional or European Union law, and so on.
Working for the OU on this sort of course also means the students I meet come from a great variety of backgrounds, with a real diversity of experience, academic skills and motivations for study. This is where the stimulation really comes from. Of course there are challenges too, but that’s where the OU comes to the fore. They have 40 years of supporting learners who have lives that get in the way occasionally. As a tutor, knowing you can refer your students to an expert in a learner support capacity, and knowing they will get good advice and sympathetic support is a real boon.
The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA
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