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.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


This unit explores how various kinds of classical and critical social theorists have contributed to our understanding of the role and nature of law. We assess what these different theoretical traditions might be able to offer to an analysis of a range of contemporary socio-legal problems.

6 points

Students are able to (1) demonstrate knowledge of and an advanced understanding of socio-legal theory; (2) critically analyse, reflect on and synthesise theories and ideas about the role and nature of law; (3) communicate information and ideas about the role of law in society, and develop coherent oral and written arguments using those concepts; and (4) demonstrate advanced research skills and ability to apply socio-legal theories to contemporary problems.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) research essay; (2) group case study presentation; and (3) class participation. Further information is available in the unit outline.

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

Unit rules
Advisable prior study
LAWS2227 Law in Action, LAWS3341 Investigating Law and Society
Contact hours
offered intensively
Students must attend every day of the intensive period.

Banakar, R. and Travers, M., ed. Law and Social Theory, 2nd edn: Oxford Hart Publishing 2013

Friedrichs, D. O. Law in our Lives, 3rd edn: OUP 2011

  • 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.