Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

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Unit Overview


This unit explores how Australian law regulates and protects creative expression. It surveys the law relating to copyright, trademarks, designs, patents, trade secrets, defamation, privacy, trade practices, contract and censorship laws, and investigates how those laws can both protect and impede creative expression. Examples of creative content considered in the unit include artworks, films, multimedia creations, advertisements, musical creations, designs (architectural, industrial, engineering, product design, web design, trademark logos), computer software, literary and dramatic works (articles, books, poems and plays), performances, inventions and industrial secrets (agricultural, scientific and engineering). Students gain an understanding of, and critically reflect on, how a mix of Australian laws regulate what we can express, how we can protect what we express, and how those expressions can and cannot be used by the creator and others.

6 points
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 elective

Students have knowledge of the major Australian laws regulating the protection and use of creative content; and how those laws protect, impose liability and control the use of creative expression. Students also have skills in (1) identifying, applying and critically evaluating legal, ethical and policy issues relating to the regulation of creative expression; (2) proposing solutions to problems concerning the legal regulation of creative expression; and (3) written and oral communication.


Students demonstrate achievement of the outcomes in a variety of assessment methods which may include a research essay, a presentation and a final examination. Further assessment information is provided in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Robert Burrell
Unit rules
LAWS1104 Introduction to Law
or LAWS1111 Law, Conflict and Change (formerly LAWS1111 Legal Systems)
or LAWS1120 Australian Legal Principles and Institutions
This unit has replaced by LAWS3221 Creative Expression and the Law.
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.