Gold CoastSession 1Session 1
LismoreSession 1Session 1
OnlineSession 1,3Session 1

Unit description

Identifies and evaluates some of the theoretical frameworks that inform legal knowledge and legal practice. Analyses a number of philosophical perspectives having implications for law, legal institutions and legal practices. Enables us to better appreciate the ethical and socio-political consequences of our practice as lawyers.

Unit content

Topic 1: Philosophical pursuits and the law 
Topic 2: Ethical and political frameworks
Topic 3: Traditional common law theory
Topic 4: Traditional jurisprudence: Legal positivism 
Topic 5: Traditional jurisprudence: Natural law 
Topic 6: Legal realism and Critical Legal Studies
Topic 7: Law and social theory
Topic 8: Poststructuralism, postmodernism and deconstruction
Topic 9: Feminism, race and colonialism
Topic 10: Historical and anthropological jurisprudence
Topic 11: Ecological jurisprudence
Topic 12: The concerns of legal theory

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

Learning outcomes and graduate attributes

Prescribed texts

Session 1

  • Davies, M, 2017, Asking the Law Question, 4th edn, Thomson Reuters.
  • Wacks, R, 2017, Understanding Jurisprudence, 5th edn, Oxford University Press.

Session 3

  • Prescribed text information is not currently available.
Prescribed texts may change in future study periods.

Teaching and assessment

Gold Coast

Teaching method
Lecture online 1 hour
Workshop on-site 2 hours
Exam: open book50%


Teaching method
Lecture online 1 hour
Workshop on-site 2 hours
Exam: open book50%


Teaching method
Lecture online 1 hour
Workshop online 2 hours
Exam: open book50%

Intensive offerings may or may not be scheduled in every session. Please refer to the timetable for further details.

Southern Cross University employs different teaching methods within units to provide students with the flexibility to choose the mode of learning that best suits them. SCU academics strive to use the latest approaches and, as a result, the learning modes and materials may change. The most current information regarding a unit will be provided to enrolled students at the beginning of the study session.

Fee information


Commonwealth Supported courses
For information regarding Student Contribution Amounts please visit the Student Contribution Amounts.
Commencing 2020 Commonwealth Supported only. Student contribution band: 1

Fee paying courses
For POSTGRADUATE or UNDERGRADUATE full fee paying courses please check Domestic Postgraduate Fees OR Domestic Undergraduate Fees


Please check the international course and fee list to determine the relevant fees.