LLM International Business and Commercial Law / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Academic Skills for Legal Studies

Course unit fact file
Unit code LAWS50000
Credit rating 0
Teaching period(s) Full year
Available as a free choice unit? No


Academic Skills for Legal Studies is an optional programme delivered by the University Language Centre. The course is tailored to the needs of taught postgraduate students in the School of Law, particularly those for whom English is not the first language, those who come from other academic cultures or those who are returning to study.

The main focus of the course is on skills, stylistic devices and language related to producing written assignments. Topic areas include:

Semester 1

  • Analysis of question / task requirements
  • Identification and critical use / reporting of sources
  • Academic style
  • Essay organisation, coherence and argumentation

Semester 2

  • Dissertation planning process
  • Review of structural and stylistic elements of academic writing
  • Self and peer review of writing


    • To familiarise students with features of academic writing in English and increase awareness of related skills required at Master’s level.
    • To foster accuracy and sophistication in written work.
    • To provide assistance in adjusting to the demands of studying in a different academic culture.

    Learning outcomes



    Teaching and learning methods

    Weekly classes of 1.5 hours, during which students will be expected to contribute to group activities and to undertake short practical tasks. Related material is available on Blackboard.

    Knowledge and understanding

    On completion of the unit, students should:

    • gain improved awareness of the style and conventions of academic legal English
    • develop confidence in analysing and organising written assignments effectively
    • develop their ability to reflect more critically on their own writing skills 


    Transferable skills and personal qualities

    On completion of the unit, students should:

    • be able to respond to the requirements of different types of written assignments
    • be able to plan and organise answers to written assignments
    • know how to access assistance and support in language matters

    Feedback methods

    There will be opportunities to receive general, formative feedback from the tutor and through peer review of writing.



    Recommended reading

    Students will be directed to a range of materials throughout the course, which will be available via Blackboard or accessible online.

    No specialist reading is required in advance of starting the course.

    Teaching staff

    Staff member Role
    Claire Everett Unit coordinator

    Additional notes

    Available to: all taught postgraduate students in the Department of Law.  Priority will be given to students for whom English is not the first language or students coming to their course from other academic cultures, subject areas or working backgrounds.

    Further information about the module, including how to sign up, will  be provided during Induction Week.

    Students should register online for LAWS50000 at the beginning of the academic year in order to have access to the module materials on Blackboard.

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