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Learning and assessment

At Edinburgh Law School, we encourage an interactive approach to learning. Not only do you learn from academic staff, but you develop your learning through online discussion and collaboration with your fellow students.

What do we mean exactly by participation? In general, it means contributing in a meaningful way to online discussion, focused around a specific topic suggested by your course leader. In a typical week on our Online Learning programmes, you will:

  • read about a particular subject
  • reflect on the questions and issues raised
  • post your responses and comments in online discussions
  • read and respond to contributions from fellow students and your tutor.

We strongly believe that students in our programmes can learn a great deal from each other. Our students welcome the exchange of views and experience, and value the different perspectives and diversity of fellow students. The more you can engage with other learners and your tutors, the more productive and enjoyable your learning will be.

While a strong focus of our programmes is on students' active, self-directed learning, academic staff play a key role in designing and tutoring each of our online courses. They have the in-depth knowledge and understanding of their discipline, but they are also experienced teachers - in the online environment and on-campus.

You will meet them regularly in the VLE where they will be stimulating discussion, answering questions, and helping to weave individual contributions into coherent new directions. From time to time, we also involve specialist guest tutors, who come in alongside the regular tutors to lead a focused discussion on a particular topic.

Our courses are assessed using a range of different assessments. Each course will have a number of different summative assessments, which may include

  • an essay to be submitted at the end of the semester;
  • a coursework assignment to be completed during the semester;
  • a contribution to a debate on a particular topic;
  • a reflective blog post;
  • a problem-based exercise; or
  • contributions to online discussions throughout the semester.

Each assessment element on a course will test your knowledge and skills and will ensure that the course’s learning outcomes are met. None of our online courses are assessed by a formal examination.

Students on our online programmes have full access to all University of Edinburgh services available online, including a full range of academic journals and e-books, and access to key legal databases including Westlaw, LexisNexus and HeinOnline.

Before joining our degree programme, you may have been away from formal education for some years, and you may never have studied online before. You may have an educational or professional background in a non-legal discipline, or you may have completed your legal training and practice in a different jurisdiction. At Edinburgh Law School, we recognise and celebrate this diversity. To help you make the most of your studies, we provide self-study materials which outline essential background knowledge and can help you to develop critical legal research and study skills, to help you be successful on your programme.

Contact us

If you have any questions about our entry requirements please don't hesitate to contact us.