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May 18, 2022


Unlimited Duration


This course includes:

Unlimited Duration

Badge on Completion

Certificate of completion

Unlimited Duration


Rules affect us all, and the way they are made and interpreted could effect how we live. This course, Making and using rules, explores how we could interpret and apply rules, and provides you with a basic understanding of rules and rulemaking within the English legal system.


This course is designed as an introduction to the academic study of the concept of rules, but will also serve as an introduction to a variety of different writing styles that are used in the academic world. It will challenge you to think about why some statements are rules and some are not, and what it is that distinguishes rules from habits and customs. It also looks at more formal rules and how such rules are applied and enforced. Rules shape our lives because they set out what we may and may not do, and what the consequences of breaking such rules might be. Finally, it discusses how rules have to be written clearly and concisely in order to make sense and examines the structures that exist to ensure that rules are respected, enforced and understood. Throughout this course you will be asked to undertake activities that involve reading articles or thinking through a problem. These activities are designed to help you develop your own thinking and to teach you to read critically. Often there are no right or wrong answers, but the thought processes you go through to arrive at your conclusions are extremely important. You will learn that law is not an exact science and when it comes to designing, applying and breaking rules, there is a lot of room for interpretation.

This course provides a sample of Level 1 study in Law.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:
  • Identify and describe what is meant by a formal rule and understand the problems associated with rule making
  • Understand how formal rules are constructed
  • Explain the difference between specific and general rules, and why the difference matters
  • Explain what is meant by interpretation and interpretive strategies
  • Understand how formal rules are applied.

Course Curriculum

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Open University UK