It is recommended, although not obligatory, that you do a certain amount of preparatory reading, both to start thinking about legal systems and other forms of regulation or discipline and to prepare the ground for the subject matter of the first year. The module outlines include references to introductory textbooks and to course texts. These are suggested books and reading but it is not recommended to purchase a textbook until after the introductory lecture in the subject in question. Programmes will be taught by a combination of lectures and seminars or tutorials. Lecturers and tutors will provide you with additional reading materials as well as essay and problem questions.
- F Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment (Penguin)
- F Kafka, The Trial (Penguin)
- J Griffith, The Politics of the Judiciary (Fontana Press)
- H Kennedy, Eve was Framed (Penguin)
- D Rose, In the Name of the Law (Vintage) 1996.
During your LLB, you will encounter a range of assessment methods. These include essays, problem questions, seen and unseen examinations, open and closed book examinations, group projects, dissertations and oral presentations. The reason for this is that we are keen to ensure you acquire a toolkit of skills over time.
The LLB examinations are usually scheduled during the period mid-May to early June, although dates are not confirmed until early March. Resit examinations usually take place in the first week of September. Examinations take place during the day, starting either at 10am or 2.30pm.
For those with little recent experience of writing academic essays or sitting examinations, the academic support officer runs workshops throughout the year to help students brush up on their skills.
Each year the School awards a number of prizes to those students who have been particularly successful.
As a student here, you will get a range of study skills support:
- Induction course: this is held during the first weeks of term and introduces you to the reading and understanding of a case, following a legal argument and judgment, and reading and drafting legal language. These are skills that are necessary throughout the 3 years of the course. Very few students will have any prior knowledge of these skills, so this course aims to introduce you to some of the techniques specific to the discipline of law. First-year students will be given an induction pack which contains a lot of useful advice about studying law.
- Mentoring: our mentoring scheme pairs current students with Birkbeck law graduates and provides additional support for those students who would most benefit from it. Mentors can provide advice and guidance on how to manage work and study and how to draft curricula vitae and prepare for employment interviews. They also give general support.
- Personal tutors: all students are assigned a personal tutor for the duration of their studies. In your first year, you will see your tutor at least 3 times, and in subsequent years at least twice. The function of the personal tutor is to provide one-on-one academic support and guidance.
- Developing your skills: during your time with us, we expect you to acquire a number of different skills that will allow you to use your knowledge effectively. Our programme is based on the notion that we should introduce you to skills, give you time to acquire and practise them and then assess you. During induction, we undertake a skills audit. Students who find that they need extra support in study or computer skills will be advised as to where they can go to get additional help by a member of the induction team. Each course focuses on a particular set of skills to be acquired or matured. However, over time we have discovered that some students need additional help in skills acquisition. Our students can get help from their lecturer, seminar tutor, personal tutor or the academic support officer, as all of these will provide practical support and advice.
- Residential weekend for LLB students: every September, the School of Law organises a residential weekend away at Cumberland Lodge in Windsor Great Park. The Lodge is the ideal location for students to find time to reflect on the broader themes emerging across the LLB programme. Each year we choose a topic such as the ‘environment’ or ‘children’ and invite specialists to come and talk to our students about current legal debates in the area. As well as providing intellectual stimulation, the weekend provides an excellent opportunity for students to meet with each other and staff in informal surroundings. A different theme is selected for each year and past seminars have included: Law and Discrimination; Access to Justice; Asylum; Privacy; Law and Violence; Human Rights; Law and the Environment; Law, Culture and Crime and European Law; Children and the Law; Law and Film; Dispute Resolution; Judges and Judging.
You can also get the following support through Birkbeck services: