Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024 (archived)


Department: Law


Type Open Level 3 Credits 10 Availability Not available in 2023/24 Module Cap Location Durham


  • 80 credits of Law modules at level 2. Approval by the module convenor, in consultation with Education Committee, that the activities arranged between the student and the placement provider will be of a kind that can meet the learning outcomes in terms of legal inquiry skills.


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To provide students with an understanding of the practical applications of undergraduate legal education in the legal professions, legal academia, business, NGOs, or the public sector;
  • To help induct students into the legal community of practice by allowing them to work within that community and learn from their self-reflection on that experience.


  • This module contains a key element of practical experience in a law-related vocational setting acquired through a placement carried out at some time before Epiphany Term of Level 3, but usually during the summer between Levels 2 and 3;
  • During the following term the students reflect on their experience on their placement to develop an understanding of the practical knowledge and skills they acquired.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Understanding of the role and value of legal knowledge and skills in the world of work;
  • Appreciation of the inter-relationship of theory and practice legal work;
  • An understanding of how various forms of inquiry employed by the legal community of practice produce valuable real-world insights.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Legal interpretive, inquiry, and problem-solving skills pertaining to the placement undertaken;
  • An ability to reflect on the connections between legal knowledge and inquiry skills on one hand, and practical business/workplace outcomes on the other
Key Skills:
  • Competence in a wide range of transferable skills, including reading, assimilating, investigating, and criticising complex organisational or institutional systems;
  • The ability to communicate academic knowledge in a practical setting using modes appropriate to the placement, including oral, written, and electronic communication.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • The module is taught through a pre-placement briefing, a practical placement, and a tutorial in which students feedback and reflect on their experience.
  • The placement must be completed at some point prior to the start Epiphany Term of the student’s final year of the LLB, normally in the summer before the final year.
  • Placements will generally be arranged by the students themselves, because legal practitioners prefer to arrange their own placement schemes and do not involve Law Schools in the process. The Law School will provide opportunities to be placed with members of academic staff as research assistants. The module will also recognise participation in Pro Bono activities, or placements in settings other than law practice with the approval of the Director of UG Studies. For a placement to be recognised it should be of at least two weeks duration (equivalent to a minimum of 75 hours of placement work). The module convenor, in consultation with Education Committee, will vet each proposed placement to ensure that the activities arranged between the student and the placement provider will be of a kind that can meet the learning outcomes in terms of legal inquiry skills; no student will be allowed to take this module without having a placement that meets this standard.
  • Tutorial presentations will provide the students with practical experience in making oral/visual presentations.
  • The placement report assesses the student's understanding of the project in which they have been involved and their ability to reflect on the outcomes of the placement. Research is embedded into the teaching of this module through practical work where students experience the process of legal inquiry and develop skills in conducting legal research and providing legal advice. Students develop research skills in the specialist area of the placement and have the opportunity to acquire a research ethos.
  • Marking of placement reports will be sensitive to the context of the placement, and will account for differences between student experiences with regard to the work they do/opportunities to develop skills and knowledge.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Briefing session 1 once in preceding year 1 hour 1
Tutorial 1 once in Epiphany Term 1 hours 1
Placement 1 one block of 15 days in the summer 6 hours per day 75
Preparation and reading 23

Summative Assessment

Component: Placement report Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
placement report 2,000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

Formative 1500 word work experience diary

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University