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The first cohort of students on the new law and business programmes in Cornwall

New Law programmes in Cornwall blend together law and business

Dr Caroline Keenan, Director of the Law & Businesses programmes in Penryn explains what is unique about these new courses.


‘In September 2019 the Law School launched a programme of Law and Business degrees, delivered in partnership with the Business School on the Penryn Campus, Cornwall. These include qualifying law with business degrees which can also include a professional or industrial placement.  The programmes blend together law and business in ways which encourage students to learn how law influences business and business influences law. These students will be better equipped to understand how law and business work, but also how business and law can work together better. The emphasis on content, skills, and collaboration that runs through the course is potentially powerful and transformative.

The programmes are a result of close collaboration with our colleagues in the Business School to build programmes which bring together the best of both our worlds. Students work together in small learning groups which are called ‘firms’. These firms are ‘branded’ by the students who belong to them, and they create a firm charter which includes the values of the firm, the roles that they will take and the ways that they will work including an equality, diversity and inclusivity policy. The firms take on ‘real-world cases’ with work in their first year centring around an employment problem in a fictional company. This work includes finding and reading law effectively; client contact, interviewing and client letters, case preparation and conduct and tort personal injury and privacy problem-based in the same company. This includes identifying relevant case and statute law, the creation of skeleton argument and advocacy skills. We work closely with the legal profession and those in the business community, including alumni in the delivery of the programme and students, benefit immeasurably from this close contact. For example, in December we will welcome the judges for the students’ mock employment tribunals onto the Penryn Campus, Cornwall, who are all members of the Employment Lawyers Association and have kindly volunteered to hear the cases the students have been working on for the term. 

The programmes have attracted an exceptionally diverse and talented cohort of students, well beyond our expectations for Year 1. The programmes aim to nurture and develops the abilities of each of our students, both as an individual and as part of a cohort with unique skills, throughout their time with us. For example in their third week with us, students have taken part in the B Law Hack.  Hacks are often used to introduce new people to the way of working of a company or organisation, and also to introduce those new people to each other and who are working in the organisation so that they start to understand each other’s skillsets and ways of working. Our hack is no different, with students taking part in workshops on teamwork, trust, communication and imposter syndrome, before working in their firms to produce a short ‘case’ for law reform in the form of an oral presentation. The standard produced on the day was exceptional and speaks to the ability of the cohort and the value of giving space within the programme to student led-activity.’

Date: 30 October 2019