Studying online

There are now 3 possible online modes for units:

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

Units available in Online Restricted mode have been adapted for online study only for those students who require the unit to complete their studies and who are unable to attend campus due to COVID border closures. To be enrolled in a unit in Online Restricted mode, students should contact their Student Advising Office through askUWA and include which of the below criteria applies:

  • You are a student who is currently offshore and unable to enter Australia.
  • You are a student in Australia who is impacted by state or regional border closures.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

LAWS4227 Foundations of Law and Legal Institutions

6 points
(see Timetable)
Non-standard teaching periodUWA (Perth)Face to face
Non-standard teaching periodUWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Honours core unit in Law and Society [Bachelor of Arts (Honours)]
This unit examines the fundamental principles and concepts of law, legal institutions and government in Australia (including the role of international law) in historical and political context. It studies the principle sources of law in Australia and the key aspects of relevant areas of law. The unit explores some key theories and debates associated with law and legal institutions which provide context for policy processes.
Students are able to (1) critically analyse the principles and sources of Australian law and the role and nature of state and commonwealth government institutions; (2) critically analyse the position of the Australian legal and constitutional systems and institutions within the world legal order; (3) apply principles of law and governance to a variety of factual situations, including available courses of action; (4) employ legal research skills, including the evaluation of relevant secondary sources, in developing a persuasive argument and responding to real and/or hypothetical legal problems; and (5) communicate evaluations and critical analysis of foundations of law and legal institutions both orally and in writing to address complex law and government issues.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) quizzes

; (2) research essay; and (3) class participation. Further information is available in the unit outline.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Claire Kaylock
Unit rules
Advisable prior study:
For Law and Society Honours students: LAWS1111 Law, Conflict and Change, LAWS2227 Law in Action; LAWS3316 Law, Advocacy, Activism and Change
Students with a recognised Law degree or LAWS5227 Foundations of Law and Governance.
Contact hours
This unit is delivered intensively in 'flipped mode' and is offered twice a year.
10 online modules are to be completed in advance (opening two weeks before) of two face-to-face sessions which will run 24-25 February and 21-22 July.
Students must attend the face-to-face sessions.
  • 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.