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Celebrating 25 years of The Open University Law School

Milestones of the past 25 years

Infographic showing timeline, starting in 1997 The Open University launches the OU's Law programme, which is the UK's first distance taught law degree in partnership with the College of Law. Professor Gary Slapper joins the OU in the same year and is instrumental in its inception. 1998: The first intake of law students begin their OU study. 2006: The introduction of the first OU developed law module W100 - Law rules, rights and justice: an introduction to law. 2011: The 'Centre for Law' becomes 'The Open University Law School'. 2011: The Master of Laws LLM launches. 2014: The Law School's first fully home grown undergraduate Law degree was launched. 2016: The Open Justice Centre opens, empowering law students to deliver the social justice mission of the University by instilling a commitment to public service. 2018: The first modules designed by the OULS specifically for OpenLearn, the OU's free laerning platform. 2018: The Open Justice Centre's Law Clinic is shortlisted in the LawWorks Annual Pro Bono Awards. 2019: OULS joins the European Distance Education in Law Network. 2020: The book 'Law in Motion 50 Years of Legal Change' launches in celebration of 50 years of The Open University, written by members of OULS. 2021: The first REF submission from OULS recognises that one one third of the school outputs are considered as internationally excellent (3 star rating) or world-leading (4 star rating). Two-thirds of the impact cases are rated as internationally excellent. 2022: Hugh McFaul is appointed as the new head of OULS, now the largest law school in Europe. 2023: OULS celebrates 25 years of teaching law at The Open University. Finally the infographic concludes with 'The future' with the following bullet point list: New LLB in 2004 with more choice, 17 new or updated modules, Consideration of post-Brexit legal landscape, EDI informed, SQE pathway - 3 additional modules. LLM review, growing PhD programme, and more world leading research. With the Twitter hashtag #OULS_25 at the top right hand corner.

Founded in 1997, The Open University Law School launched the UK's first distance taught law degree in partnership with the College of Law.

Check out this timeline to learn more about our journey over the last 25 years.

View the timeline

This year marks the 25th anniversary of The Open University Law School (OULS) and we want to celebrate with you!

Keep an eye out for fascinating student and staff stories dating back over the past 25 years.

Over the course of this milestone year, we hope you will join us as we marvel at the unstoppable nature of our flourishing alumni, recognise the research that is contributing to a better future, and observe how truly impactful our work is.

Plus, if you have a great story or picture from your time with OULS, then we would love to hear from you.

Infographic showing both the OU Law School logo with the celebrating 25 years logo in the top centre. With the following statistics and interesting facts around the main logo from left to right, starting with: OULS academics supported BAFTA nominated BBC/OU co-productions. The number of countries OULS alumni are located in are 57. 11,500 graduates with a LLB and/or Bachelor degree in Law. 12,000 alumni. The Open Justice Centre established in 2016 empowers students to deliver social justice. 60,000 students over 25 years. The first OULS Research Excellence Framework submission resulted in two-thirds of OULS impact cases rated as internationally excellent. The largest Law School in Europe. With the Twitter hashtag #OULS_25 at the bottom right hand side corner.

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Study with us

We offer a variety of study options, from undergraduate and postgraduate degrees to short courses or free, informal learning.

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Update your details

Keep up-to-date with our latest news, alumni offers and events by updating us with your current contact details.

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Share your story

Tell us where your studies have taken you and help inspire people to become our next Business School students.

Hear from some of our amazing alumni

Photograph of Sarah Tutsel Buse

I’ve done this to change my career. I never wanted to go back to pubs and bars! I’d love to stay on with the Open Justice Centre, or to help people in some capacity, perhaps with Citizen’s Advice or in HR or contract law.

I’d also like to be an Associate Lecturer with the OU … and I’m now considering doing an OU Master’s Degree too. Watch this space!

Sarah Tutssel-Buse

 Read her story
Photograph of Harry Goodwin

My tutors really inspired me during my studies as they championed people sharing ideas and values.

It enabled great discussion, whilst building everyone’s confidence and realising that different backgrounds just means different experiences, and that we should embrace our differences and utilise these for the greater good and our own personal development.

Harry Goodwin 

Read his story

How you can get involved

We'd love to hear about your journey with The Open University Law School: