Skip to content The Open University

Student and tutor module reviews

Law: ownership and trusteeship: rights and responsibilities

see module description

  • Points: 60
  • Code: W301
  • Level: 3
On this page

Student reviews

W301 was the final course in the LLB for me, and the end of six (mostly) enjoyable years with the OU. I echo the comments of my fellow students with regards to the sheer intensity and volume of reading required to complete this course. Both core subjects are interesting but complex, and the assistance of a great tutor will put you at a considerable advantage. As you embark on this fascinating but sometimes frustrating journey, my advice would be:

• Attend all tutorials. If your tutor is not providing sufficient support, do not hesitate to request a transfer to another group.
• Do not fall behind. Open your books as soon as they arrive and get stuck in. Given the volume of reading, I imagine it would be very stressful to try and catch up if you do fall behind.
• Obvious but worth stating: Make really good notes as you progress through the units. They will help you make sense of enormous amounts of key information that in places (in the manuals) is buried in enormous amounts of useless stuff. It will also, of course, form the basis of your revision.
• Do not panic if you get the feeling it isn't making much sense! In spite of achieving consistently good TMA marks (but like others, 5% down on W300), I did not feel at ease with any of it till I started to revise.
• The OU now issue guided revision before the exam in line with the practice at most other universities. Given the massive amount of subject matter this was most welcome, but do be warned, it is only guidance. For example, one major topic was not in the guidance but did form a small part of one exam question.
• Start revising about a month before the exam and work your socks off, it will really pay off in the end!
• Enjoy it! Getting to the end of your degree is a fantastic achievement and is immensely rewarding, but you may find you actually miss the structure (and escape) of sitting at the table surrounded by books. Good luck!

Caroline Shotton

Course starting: February 2013

Review posted: February 2014

Land law and trust law is something we all touch occasionally in our day to day lives but it is not until you study W301 will you fully appreciate just how broad each of these topics actually are. As such, it is an interesting and fascinating module which is just as well as there is a huge amount of reading and detailed studying required. For example, my assignment scores were down 10% on W300 although I had put in much more effort. Do not worry though as that extra effort, throughout the year, will pay off come revision time where it all seems to come together rather well. In summary, W301 is a very tough module but one that is also very interesting and rewarding.

Jonathan David Fudge

Course starting: February 2013

Review posted: December 2013

Well, this is the last course for me and I managed 73% in the exam after walking away thinking that I failed, so that must be a positive. I have decided I am not going to conform to other type of reviews on here and comment how difficult, hard and time consuming this course was, all I will say on this part is you are studying a law degree, there will be easy and difficult elements of any course. If you have studied W100, 200, 201 and 300, then you will be prepared as far as you can be. I must say, if you have W224, that does come in very handy for studying W301. I imagine most of you will be visiting this page before committing to taking this course. Of course, if you are aiming for a qualifying law degree, this subject is a requirement. I would suggest if you are not taking the LLB or do not need a QLD to practice law, then pick another Level 3 course, unless you want a challenge.

Anyway, back to the review - I have decided to list some pointer for you, hope they are helpful:

1. Do not fall behind on the course, try and keep ahead

2. I would suggest not starting W301 if you have sandwiched with another 30-credit course like I did. If you can, try and keep all your time decided for W301.

3. Remember, as a Level 3 course, this is double-weighted for your overall degree classification, so give up your life for a few months during revision time and aim for the best grade possible.

4. Do not worry if you DONT GET IT before you finish the course. With land and equity, you need to know the whole programme before it all slots into place.

5. Have a look at the Charities Commission Website and the Land Registry website before you open the book, spend a few hours just looking around the sites - you will pick up some much information. Shame I did this at the end of the course.

6. Enjoy the course, for some of you, this will be the last course. Do not wind down yet, just another year to go!

Finally, I wish all of you the best of luck on your future studies and for some of you, the last ever exam for your LLB.

Gary Colin Ramon Spencer-Humphrey

Course starting: February 2012

Review posted: December 2012

This is the most difficult of the Law courses put on by the OU. Whilst the course manuals are very good there are lots of areas which need the tutor to clarify. Sadly our tutor did not do this, and our tutor group largely had to be self supporting.

The areas of law covered are complex but very interesting. Many students find that land law really dose not make much sense until nearing the end of the course. I agree with this, but was pleased that I ended up doing quite well.

I would advise all future students to make as much use of the audiovisual online materials as possible [C.O.L. / Elite] But do note they need you to do relevent citations etc.

Course starting: October 2011

Review posted: January 2012

Having completed all of the 4 compulsory LLB law modules, I have to say that I found this one to be by far the most difficult. It is very technical and there is a lot of detail to get your head around. I thought that I was struggling for almost all of the course but it seems like this experience was shared by all of my fellow students.

The TMAs took a long time to complete but I was pretty happy with the scores that I achieved although these were simply down to putting the effort in. The answers are all in the books but sometimes you have to look long and hard to find them. I was dreading the exam where I would not have the time or the books to help me. However, much to my surprise, I did very well and ended up with the best mark of all of my law modules. Much of the credit must go to my tutor who was very helpful and supportive throughout.

My advice to students taking this module is not to panic if you think that you are struggling. However, be aware that it requires a lot of effort but if you put the effort in, you will be surprised how much you remember come the exam. Unless you are absolutely brilliant, this is not a module that you can coast through.

Nick Vincent

Course starting: February 2011

Review posted: January 2012

This course requires a lot of dedication and time. Never in a million years did I think I would have come this far when I started out studying law but here I am having now completed all the compulsory courses required for the LLB. W301 is by a mile the most demanding but also gives you the best feeling when you get that pass needed at this stage of the LLB.

My advice is to get ahead and try to stay that way as you will need all your revision time with the amount of information needed to get through the exam. I don't really care if I never come across trust law in the future but the land section was very interesting.

Caroline Brown

Course starting: February 2011

Review posted: January 2012

W301 was by far the most difficult course I had done so far. Land law in particular is complex and deals with the blend of various systems of registration that simply require learning by heart. Besides, if you don't live in UK there is very little application for it. Trust law, on the other hand, seems to come back everywhere and is a fascinating area.
Still, I passed and the feeling once you've done so is great as this is the last significant hurdle before
obtaining your bachelor's degree.

What I liked was the tutorials organised by the tutor, who put heart and soul into them. They are "live" tutorials that make you benefit enormously from the interaction and on top of that are great fun. I would recommend everyone to attend them, as online is no alternative, really.

What could be improved is the material. The manuals were full of mistakes (never seen so many in any OU course) and the style of writing used differed enormously between the various subjects. The course could really do with a make-over.

W301 is heavy, very heavy. There is so much to read you simply have to be selective. If you've just done W300 and think this is more of the same thing, you've got another thing coming. But it can be done. Don't hesitate to discuss with your tutor on a regular basis, as it makes all the difference in the world.

Leo Schikhof

Course starting: February 2011

Review posted: December 2011

Well, like most other reviews this was my last course of the mandatory 4. I agree with the other student who noted this was the most demanding; but purely the extended and diverse content - at points it seemed never ending and as a result left little time for revision. Despite others commenting over the boredom factor I did not find this to be so; certainly more rewarding than W300. You just need tenacity and a good Tutor.

George Martin Parr

Course starting: February 2011

Review posted: December 2011

Lot of errors in this years presentation made w301 a bit more of a chore than it needed to be. This was the most difficult course of the 4 compulsory courses for me personally, I had to do it, but found that I have little interest in property or trusts law to be honest, I prefer contract, tort, criminal and european law.

Nonetheless, it is a challenging course, and was certainly rewarding to pass (other than numerous errors especially regarding the section of law on adverse posession, which kept cropping up through the course as if it had been covered, but never was; it had been removed from the course, unfortunately references to it were littered throughout).

Some elements of W301 were interesting, trusts for me however was an area of law I could care less about; I have no interest in rich people shifting money around to avoid liabilities, and this just did not chime with me at all. In all, W301 will appeal to some, for me however it was a necessary chore on the way to completing the degree. Really glad I left it until last.

Course starting: February 2010

Review posted: July 2011

Dull as dishwater and dry as toast. Course books were written in varying styles according to who wrote them and we came out of tutorials knowing less than when we went in. Very disappointing course.

Course starting: February 2009

Review posted: March 2010

I would say that this course was one of the most demanding of all the law courses, but the sense of achievement once I had successfully completed it was great. I was quite worried about the research assignments, but actually enjoyed them and ended up getting my best marks of the course for both. I would, however, say that one such TMA would be sufficient, and that the time afforded to this would have been better spent concentrating on leases, as come revision time this was an area to panic about due to the guaranteed appearance of the topic in the exams, and a lack of feedback having not been assessed on it.

Victoria Anne Hayward

Course starting: February 2007

Review posted: December 2007

It was suggested that this was the most difficult of the four compulsory law modules but I found this course to be enjoyable and interesting; at times frustrating; but not as difficult as suggested. I took W301 before W300 and found this was not a problem and in fact, I had the best result of any of the three law courses I have taken.

The course material was better and more accurate than either W200 W201 and, as I now find to my utter annoyance W300: why is the course material so sloppy in many respects, with little to no checking of the material taking place before going to print? Lots of time can be wasted following instructions that are incorrect.

I cannot agree with those students who felt the research TMAs were either useful or enjoyable, I found the research TMAs to be out-of-synch with the rest of the course and pointless: the day at the law library was an utter waste if you had been to the law library before.

The electronic TMA is a real boon and means you can send TMAs at the last possible date or when away from home, and also obtain a quicker turnaround of the TMA.

Overall the W301 module is challenging and has real relevance to property law in the real world.

The main problem I have found is that the OU do not give any training on how to complete TMAs to best effect: why will the OU not provide examples of top marked TMAs, so that you can see what level of work will provide top marks?

Course starting: February 2006

Review posted: February 2007

W301 Law Ownership and Trusteeship proved to be a challenge in terms of maintaining focus. In other words, it was a bit dull in large parts! It was also challenging in terms of content in places. The OU texts were comprehensive but there seemed to be a lack of consistency in the presentation and style of certain sections of the course. It was clear that different authors had contributed different sections. There needs to be further discussion in the Law Department regarding melding the content and styles across the entire course.

However, on the positive side, there was no need to read outside the texts provided by the OU. The electronic TMA submission process worked a treat and I appreciated the punctuality it instilled in tutors returning TMAs. In general, assignments were relevant and straightforward and the examination at the end was reasonable. Although some of the questions were overly demanding for an examination setting, they were marked fairly and generously thereafter. I did not attend tutorials but managed well without them.

Course starting: February 2006

Review posted: January 2007

This course is a real winner. It is very topical covering so many changes in Property Law and the Land Registry. The Manuals and videos on Trusts and Equity also make studying a joy. I am not very bright but I felt privileged to have the opportunity to undertake this study.

Wilfred Jones

Course starting: February 2005

Review posted: June 2006

I did this course as the last of the compulsory law courses as part of a LLB. I think I can only agree with the other reviewers. The course is difficult but gets a much worse press than it deserves. It still has the same OU formula of several key principles emphasised repeatedly and a perspective on what the purpose of the law is in each area. I think I agree that working through the manuals carefully is important though I actually found that reading some of the "cramming" books through actually helped get an overview of the course area and complemented the manuals. I certainly would not recommend W300 and W301 together unless you can study full time.

Course starting: February 2005

Review posted: December 2005

Please note

Each of the views expressed above is an individual's very particular response, largely unedited, and should be viewed with that in mind. Since modules are subject to regular updating, some of the issues identified may have already been addressed. In some instances the faculty may have provided a response to a comment. If you have a query about a particular module, please contact your Regional Centre.

Enter a module code to find a review

To send us reviews on modules you have studied with us, please click the sign in button below.