At Edinburgh Law School, we encourage an interactive approach to teaching so that you not only learn from academic teaching staff but also discuss your ideas with your fellow students.
During your studies, you will experience a range of teaching styles while you are studying on the programme, depending on the subject matter and the courses you are taking.
Most of our postgraduate courses are taught by way of two-hour interactive seminars. These take place weekly over a 10-week period (in the case of 20-credit courses) or over a 20-week period (in the case of 40-credit courses). These give you the chance to examine in detail the topics and subjects relevant to your studies through intellectually rigorous discussions that are guided by experienced academics.
All students are expected to actively participate in discussions and must prepare for classes in advance by reading the materials that have been assigned. Questions for reflection and discussion, or other exercises, will also be provided in advance along with assigned preparatory readings.
Please do not worry if you are not familiar with this form of learning. We understand that you may not have studied in seminars previously, and you will receive guidance from your Programme Director and from your seminar leaders as to how to participate.
Classes may also involve lectures, class debates, individual presentations, or group exercises for example. Class sizes are limited to ensure that everyone gets a chance to take part.
Benefits of this interactive approach
Our aim is to enable you to think for yourself, helping you to learn how to make and develop your own arguments.
This dynamic style of learning is more intensive than traditional lecturing, and we believe that it helps to give you a deeper understanding of the law and its practical application. At the same time, it requires you to prepare for classes based on the reading lists made available in advance. Only then can you engage fully and make the most of your time with us.
This approach will develop your problem solving and communication skills, helping you prepare for your future career in the legal profession, business, government, non-governmental organisations or academia after successfully completing your degree.
Courses at postgraduate level are not assessed through written exam. Instead, our courses use a range of take-home assessments (e.g. essays, reports) or in-class work (oral presentations, class participation).
These assessments will help you develop your writing, analytical, and legal research skills that will be essential in professional life after completion of your degree.
At Edinburgh Law School, academic staff teaching on your programme are also engaged in high-quality research. This enables a research-led approach to teaching ensuring course material that you study is drawn from the most up-to-date research and engages with the latest issues in the field.
Some courses also feature input from senior practitioners from relevant industry or government sectors providing practical insights to real-world challenges.