LAW4228 - Problem based learning seminar - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Not offered in 2017


The unit is a problem based seminar where students simulate a team of lawyers acting on a complex project, requiring them to consider the interplay between legal systems and discrete areas of substantive and procedural law. The seminars involve discussion and simulations. The lecturer will provide background lecturing and information on key areas, but the essence of the unit is student centred learning. Students will be broken into groups to undertake the research, engage in discussions and report back to the seminar as they would in legal practice when assisting an employer in an activity such as this.

The lecturer will provide feedback on presentations (which would provide ongoing and regular formative assessment), and direct the research and thinking for the next stage of the project.

While the pedagogical approach to the unit will remain constant, the actual problem to be used will vary in each year. The problem may be primarily commercial or non-commercial although it could equally combine elements of each. Students will be advised of the content of the problem prior to enrolment.


The objective of the unit is to have students engage in problem-based learning with a view to developing their skills in:

  • identifying relevant areas of law,
  • researching and reporting on appropriate areas of law,
  • integrating questions of evidence, procedure and substantive law,
  • considering the relevance of international and comparative perspectives and determining how to prioritize and integrate differing legal norms,

and to develop the students' methodological skills in approaching any complex problem in all areas of legal practice.


Assessment will be out of the following range:

  1. Class participation (optional up to 10%);
  2. Class simulation (10%);
  3. Preliminary written submission (500 word - 10%%);
  4. Oral presentation of preliminary submission (15 minutes - 10%
  5. Final report and presentation/simulation (10% per 500 words - comprising 60 or 70% of the marks depending on whether the student opts for a class participation mark)

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. The unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)