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Student Perspectives on Skills-Based Learning in Law

26 March 2021 - 31 December 2021

PI/s in Exeter: Dr Ben Hudson

Funding awarded: £ 2,959

Sponsor(s): Association of Law Teachers (ALT)

About the research

Skills development is integral to student undergraduate learning. This is especially so in subjects such as law that have a strong practice-based element. However, employers often report that law graduates do not possess the full breadth of skills (i.e. transferable, not only academic) needed to succeed in legal practice and other sectors. This sentiment is also anecdotally reported by students themselves.

This project concerns the place, weight and quality of skills-based learning in law at undergraduate degree level. This is examined through empirical quantitative and qualitative research conducted with current and past undergraduate students at the University of Exeter.

This research seeks to unearth these student insights and locate them within the broader literature on the subject. Also central to this project is a more incisive analysis and precise determination of what might be the proper scope and role of undergraduate programmes in the development of students’ skills-based learning, conscious that undergraduate study is but only one part of an individual’s legal skills journey.

The overarching aim of this project is to develop and critique understanding and practice around skills-based learning in law at undergraduate level. Central to this examination are the actual perspectives of students themselves, not only as recipients but as partners in the delivery of skills-based learning in law.