Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit


LAWS104 Foundations of Law and Legal Research

Teaching organisation

4 hours per week for twelve weeks or equivalent.

Unit rationale, description and aim

This unit introduces students to contemporary issues in law through a series of focused topic-specific workshops on a selected issue. Up to three topics of focus will be selected each semester. These may include such areas of the law as:

  1. Law of the United Nations;
  2. Family Law;
  3. Immigration Law;
  4. Environmental Law.

Students will additionally complete workshops designed to advance their legal research, writing and analytical skills, and then apply these skills to their chosen research topic in order to articulate a legal issue, analyse and apply relevant law and reach appropriate conclusions.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Critically discuss and appreciate contemporary legal issues arising in highly dynamic areas of the law (GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7) 

LO2 - Identify and critically apply domestic and international law relevant and applicable to a selected topic of focus (GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8, GA9) 

LO3 - Further develop legal research skills using a library and electronic resources to comprehensively describe the law in a selected topic of focus (GA6, GA7, GA8,GA10) 

LO4 - Communicate effectively to others the outcome of legal analysis and research (GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10) 

Graduate attributes

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


 Topics will include: 


  1. Core legal and policy concepts in selected areas of law 
  2. Contemporary issues in the selected areas of laws: 
  3. Law of the United Nations; 
  4. Family Law; 
  5. Immigration Law; 
  6. Environmental Law 
  7. Domestic and international legal research tools and skills 
  8. Effective legal writing and communication skills 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Mode:Lectures, tutorials, electronic consultation, library tasks and presentations or Online lectures and activities.  


Duration:3 hours per week over 12 weeks or equivalent.  Students are expected to spend 150 hours in total for this unit. 


This level two elective unit allows students to demonstrate advanced knowledge, skills and understanding in a specialist area of law building on knowledge developed in the compulsory units.  


Our strategy is to encourage students to creatively engage with unit content and to apply Priestley knowledge in a specialist area of law.  


The unit is designed to be delivered in intensive, weekly mode or online mode. We have taken a blended learning approach to provide accessibility and flexibility to our students and a student focused approach that increases depth of learning and engagement through actively utilising LEO.   

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment strategy is designed to assess knowledge, skills and understanding in a specialist area of law, and to apply knowledge developed in the compulsory law units to a specialist area of law.  


The assessment tasks for this unit are designed to demonstrate achievement of each of the learning outcomes listed. Theses may include but are not limited to essays, exams, problem questions, participation and presentations.  

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Research essay: students are required to demonstrate their ability to research assigned topic and critically evaluate the relevant legal systems and laws 


LO1, LO3, LO4 

GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10 

Final Assignment: students are required to answer hypothetical problems and short answer questions that will be based on the material presented in lectures and tutorials. 


LO2, LO3, LO4 

GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10 

Representative texts and references

This will change depending on the nature of the contemporary legal issues addressed.  

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