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Prize-winning undergraduate students on Law modules - 2015

The Open University Law School awards prizes to the top student in each of our modules.

The following students have been selected based on their outstanding performance whilst studying their respective modules/qualifications. They will be able to include this information on their CVs and refer to it in future interviews. Congratulations to all the prize-winners.

Read their comments and stories:

Photo of David Webber

W101: David Webber

W101 has been my third OU module and it rounds off level one of my LLB. I have always been interested in studying law and at 39 years of age I decided it was time to go ahead and get stuck in. It has been challenging but also immensely interesting and rewarding. I work full time and have a three month old son so finding the time to study can be tough but I do think that these difficulties only add to the satisfaction of completing and submitting assignments. Receiving feedback, encouragement and advice from my tutor was a big help and I am looking forward to continuing my studies in October.

Photo of Luke Oliver

W102: Luke Oliver

I've loved OU study. It's really boosted my confidence to do well after previous unsuccessful study attempts years ago. I also work part time as a Debt Caseworker for Citizens Advice and found the W102 content really complimented my knowledge and skills for work. It's definitely been a challenge juggling study, work, and caring for our baby daughter but it's been great.

Photo of Ross Freck

W150: Ross Freck

I am 18 years old from Inverness. I am a keen runner and do the 100m and 200m. I got the opportunity to take an Open University module at my school, Culloden Academy, instead of taking more highers in sixth year. I chose “Introduction to Law in Contemporary Scotland” as it is very relevant to politics and modern studies. I found that the admissions officers at university open days thought my choice was worthwhile as it made me stand out from other applicants because it was different. I am going to Aberdeen University in September to study Politics and International relations.

Photo of Joseph Thomas

W200: Joseph Thomas

Studying W200 alongside W201 has been extremely challenging whilst working part time as secondary teacher. However, thanks to the support of my tutor, Jessica Giles, I was able to keep on top of things. Thanks to the excellent feedback, guidance and tutorials I was able to focus on my areas for development. My advice for any students would be to don't fall behind with the manuals and read around the subject. For example, I found the UK Supreme Court blog interesting and useful and was able to apply cases mentioned there in my essay.

W201: Diane James

After five years of retirement I wanted a new intellectual challenge. During my previous life in medicine I had thought of studying law but some work or family event had always intervened. The OU graduate entry law degree allowed me to go straight to areas that most interested me and gives the flexibility to continue all the activities that have filled my retirement.

Writing three hour exams after a gap of more than thirty years was not a pleasant prospect, especially as I am aware that my recall of names is not what it was, and I had some reservations about how easy it would be to learn the different approaches needed to produce legal essays and answer problem questions. The OU approach to studying was instantly appealing and if you also acknowledge that new learning techniques may be more effective than those you have used for years it all becomes surprisingly rejuvenating. It did take a few months to get back into effective studying but the gentle approach of the OU was just right. Attending tutorials is great although it is disconcerting to realise that cases and events you remember from the news, or even participated in, are viewed as historical by other students.  The old skills needed for exams are returning with some realistic practice although the first exam felt very stressful. I would encourage anyone who considers themselves too old to pursue a new discipline, or did not like the old approaches to learning to try with the OU and persevere if the first module is daunting.

The whole OU experience and the study of law have been totally fascinating. Pursuing a career in law does feel a step too far, although the idea of challenging preconceptions around age is appealing. I am training to be a Citizens Advice Bureau adviser and that is likely to be the main may of using these new skills and knowledge but if all goes well with W300 and W301 I will consider a LLM.

Photo of Chris Quinn

W221: Chris Quinn

I began studying with the Open University in 2010 and having successfully attained 330 points, W221 was the final module prior to gaining the LLB (Hons) degree. I found learning how the law regulates the employee (or worker)/employer relationship both interesting and stimulating. Whilst the subject matter did not directly affect my current employment, W221 has provided a useful insight into employment rights and responsibilities which will be beneficial in the future.  The usual ‘juggling’ exercise of managing my time between work, family and study remained a challenge, although the longer course duration of 9 months did mean I found I had more time to really absorb the content thoroughly. I would recommend completing the law degree with a level two course to other students.

As always, my tutor was first class and provided focussed support and helpful guidance along the way.  I particularly enjoyed the research project submitted for the End of Module Assessment and was extremely happy with the results.  Having now completed the law degree with first class honours, I intend to progress onto the vocational stage of legal qualification in the coming academic year.

W222: Linda Kirby

I’ve been studying law now for five years and am about to begin the final year of my degree. I’m now 46 - so was 41 when I started. This seems quite late to be doing a law degree, particularly as there will be further study afterwards, but I’d always found the law interesting and I figured that time was going to pass anyway, so why not! I decided that after 6 years I’d rather be able to say to myself - ‘I’ve done a law degree’ than what I’d always previously said - ‘I’ve always fancied a law degree’.

I’ve found all of the modules very interesting. W222 considered the law around Commercial Transactions, and this has been of particular interest because I’ve never worked in a commercial setting and as such the law in this area was almost completely new to me. The module included the practicalities - it was good to find out how the ‘real world’ works.

I’ve really enjoyed studying with the Open University but the time has literally flashed by – it’s taken pretty much the full five years up to now to properly develop my discipline and confidence – so I feel like I’ve only just gotten the hang of things and now I’ve only got one year left! I’m very proud to have done well. I already apply the law in my job (I’m a Fire Safety Inspector) and so the degree in itself will be useful. If at all possible though I intend to continue with my legal studies and properly qualify as a solicitor.

W223: Cat Grinter

My husband and I planned that when we had children, I would take an extended break from work until our children were at school. However, I thought it prudent to study during this time in order to improve my prospects of employment afterwards. I undertook W223 Company Law & Practice in addition to W221 Employment Law & Practice because I am aiming to find employment within an administrative field such as human resources & feel that potential employers will regard each subject as beneficial. It is challenging studying whilst looking after a two-year old but the manuals break down each topic in a structure that makes it easy to plan and work to a schedule.

Photo of Helen Dolphin

W300: Helen Dolphin

It was an absolute delight and a real surprise to discover I had achieved the highest mark in W300. I am really enjoying studying law and it's very different to my first degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology which I gained nearly 20 years ago. I never really used my first degree as a few months after leaving University I became seriously disabled after contracting Meningococcal septicaemia. With no hands there was not really anything I could do in the laboratory and so I retrained as a journalist and worked as a TV reporter for Anglia News for a number of years. 

However, I was becoming increasingly interested in campaigning for equal rights for disabled people and so I left my TV job to work for the charity Disabled Motoring UK where I am still working at the moment. The charity's main objective is to campaign for better access and mobility for disabled people. I was very proud to have been awarded an MBE for my charitable work in this year’s Birthday honours list. Through my work at the charity I have been involved in a number of disability discrimination cases which have been taken by the law firm Unity Law, the dispute over who gets to travel in the wheelchair space on the bus is something people may remember. They encouraged me to study for my law degree and I very much hope to become an Equality lawyer. 

The OU has been absolutely fantastic in helping me to study. Simple things like having my books ring bound have made such a difference to me. My typing is incredibly slow but somehow I've always managed to get my assignments in on time. Studying for a law degree is incredibly hard work especially when combined with a full time job but when I complete my degree next summer I am sure the hard work will be well worth it.

Photo of Sarah Longley

W301: Sarah Longley

I was absolutely thrilled to be awarded the prize of Top Student in W301.  This was the last module in my law degree, having studied with the Open University for the last four and a half years.  Although very hectic at times, juggling study with numerous other work and family commitments, I have really enjoyed my time with the OU and had some wonderful tutors and met some great people.

It’s been extremely hard work and required a mammoth amount of effort and dedication.  I found this final module to be very intense and a real challenge as you would expect from the final compulsory module, but it was also very interesting and to have my efforts rewarded with this prize has definitely made all the hard work worth it.