About Keele Law School
Keele Law School is a diverse, outward-looking and critical law school. We are home to a community of leading scholars and inspirational teachers who provide students with an innovative and empowering legal education. Our graduates go on to a broad range of careers both within and outside the legal profession.
Keele University is known internationally for adopting a critical approach to legal education and social justice. Our critical approach regards law not as a set of impartial and neutral rules but as a system that is socially and politically determined. This vision is central to our ethos as a Law School. Our students learn about legal rules, techniques and institutions. They are also trained to think about law's influence on the distribution of resources, power and inequality among various groups in society. This involves, for instance, examining law's intersection with gender, sexuality, class or race.
At Keele, Law is taught reflectively and its foundations are not taken as self-evident. A critical legal education challenges conventional wisdom and the status quo. Our students think about who stands to gain and who stands to lose from specific doctrines and decisions. They also think about the gap between law 'in the books' and law 'in action'. Keele students gain critical insight into law's concrete operation through a range of opportunities, including street law, community legal outreach and clinical legal education, all of which reflect Keele's progressive ethos and long-standing commitment to social justice.
A critical approach to legal education is not just intellectually appealing. The ability to think about law critically, inquisitively and creatively is also a key graduate attribute known to be sought by employers, who increasingly recognise that applied skills and critical thinking are just as important as technical knowledge. Our approach to legal education helps Keele graduates to stand out from the crowd. With the full range of research, communication, and practical legal skills, our students are able to build diverse careers in the legal professions and many other sectors, including the civil service, the police force, public policy, non-governmental organisations, business or academia.
Accreditations, memberships and partnerships
You will be taught by outstanding teachers who are leading academics and international experts in their field, often in small groups conducive to critical and deeper learning. Keele is a pioneer in inter-disciplinary education and we have a long-standing reputation for teaching innovation and excellence.
Our teaching is research-led, which means that our lecturers teach what they love and love teaching it. A significant number of colleagues have received Keele teaching awards and fellowships of the Higher Education Academy, including Principal Fellowships, the highest level of recognition granted by the HEA.
Our excellence in teaching is regularly recognized through national prizes and accolades, including:
- Law Lecturer of the Year 2012 (LawCareers.net in association with Law Society)
- Law Teacher of the Year 2014 finalist (Oxford University Press Law)
- Law Teacher of the Year 2017 finalist (Oxford University Press Law)
- Routledge/ALT Teaching Law with Technologies Prize 2018
Keele Law School is an internationally recognized centre for legal research. Our research is cutting-edge, socially relevant and draws on a wide range of socio-legal, theoretical and doctrinal approaches. In the last REF (Research Excellence Framework), the School was ranked 21st in the country for research intensity and 15th for world-leading research impact, recognising the significant contribution our research makes to legal thinking and some of the most pressing challenges facing society today.
Research is at the heart of everything we do, including our teaching. We have a vibrant research community that explores contemporary issues across all fields of law but also, uniquely in the country, philosophical and applied Ethics. Our researchers contribute to policy debates both in the UK and internationally on issues as diverse as penal governance, data protection and digital surveillance, religion and intolerance, end-of-life and reproductive ethics, international responses to pandemics, queer jurisprudence, disability rights, mortgage and business lease regulation, or climate security.
The Law School hosts seven research clusters, all representing particular areas of strengths: social justice and human rights; international and European law; healthcare law and bioethics; professions, practice and legal education; private law theory and practice; gender, sexuality and the law; ageing and social care.
Professional Ethics at Keele (PEAK)
PEAK is an essential and highly distinctive part of the School of Law. It comprises a team of internationally recognised academics researching a wide range of topics in applied and professional ethics, including reproductive ethics, public health ethics and research ethics.
PEAK was one of the first providers of training for research ethics committees in the UK and Ireland and has one of the UK’s longest running programmes in Medical Ethics and Law. It hosts the annual Royal Institute of Philosophy Lecture Series on Health Care Ethics and Law.
Diversity and inclusion
ECU’s Athena SWAN Charter was established to encourage and recognise the commitment to advancing the careers of women in employment in higher education and research. The ECU Athena SWAN Equality Charter now recognises work undertaken to address gender equality broadly.
As part of our work towards better inclusion and diversity, Keele Law School prepared an application and was successful in its submission to the Equality Challenge Unit for an Athena SWAN Bronze Award which will run until 2021.
The Athena SWAN Charter recognises commitment to advancing gender equality in academia. Both schools have shown examples of good practice already in place, and the Bronze award recognises their work towards complete equality, and further actions that will be put in place to advance towards the Silver level.
This award, administered by the Equality Challenge Unit, recognises that the School has:
- Taken significant strides towards auditing and assessing our current practices and how they contribute to gender inequalities;
- Has conducted a broad and thorough self-assessment process;
- Has committed to deliver an ambitious Action Plan over the next few years
As part of its process to seek Athena SWAN accreditation, the School established an Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team. The SAT is comprised of students, academic and professional staff, and is co-chaired by the Head of School Professor Alison Brammer and the Athena Swan Lead Professor Marie-Andrée Jacob. The SAT meets bi-monthly and reports to School meetings.
Keele Law School recognises that consideration of various factors apart from gender, including sexuality, race, ethnicity, ability, and age, is central to working towards an inclusive environment.
The Athena SWAN accreditation process is not an end in itself; it is rather a tool and an opportunity for Keele Law School to assess its efforts, strengths and limitations, and to identify what are its most pressing challenges in order to achieve genuine representation, progression and success for all.
If there are specific gender-related issues that you would like to be raised for review, please contact Hannah Barjat, Athena SWAN Support Officer at Keele, or the Athena Swan Lead for the Law School.