Your Learning & Our Study Modes -
Lectures, exams and essays

The majority of the courses consist of lectures and a written exam. However, there are also a variety of other study methods available for students. For example, there are courses that require essays or other types of written work. In addition, there are courses that include field visits and group work. The course selection also includes seminar courses.

Important learning tools

Writing Guide/Academic Legal Writing

"Academic Legal Writing" 
(DOWNLOAD HERE .pdf-file)

Important electronical collections available via the university library "Finna" - databases & electronical journals - also off campus use "remote access")

DATABASES SUCH AS ...
Westlaw International
 Used in over 60 countries, contains over 28,000 databases of case law, legislation, law reviews, treaties and directories.

European Sources Online (ESO)
Provides access to information on the institutions and activities of the European Union, the countries, regions and other international organisations of Europe.

HeinOnline: Law Journal Library (available via Finna- databases)
An online online research product with more than 100 million pages of legal history available in an online, fully-searchable, image-based format.

ECOLEX
ECOLEX is an information service on environmental law, operated jointly by FAO, IUCN and UNEP.

ENDSEurope
Europe's environmental news and information service

SSRN (free online database for research papers)

Political Science Database (ProQuest) (available via Finna- databases)

IEL Environmental Law (Kluwer Law Online) (available via Finna- databases)

International Encyclopedia of Laws: Environmental Law (IEL)

Other useful frequently used databases and tools

Library: Information retrieval and discipline-specific services

SEVERAL ELECTRONICAL JOURNALS SUCH AS ...
Journal of Environmental Law
Review of European, Comparative & International Environmental Law (RECIEL)
Environmental policy and governance
Climate Policy
Environmental politics

.. and many, many more!

Study Modes

Lectures

Most of the courses consist of lectures. The number of lecture hours varies between different courses. Most of the courses have obligatory class participation. Students are expected to check from the course descriptions in WebOodi, whether lectures are compulsory or voluntary. Students should also register for both compulsory and voluntary lectures in WebOodi.

Some courses specify that lectures are compulsory. This means that students should attend all lectures. Lectures are always highly recommended, even if they are not compulsory. The lectures are interactive, often include group assignments and discussion, and may cover information that is essential for preparing for an exam.

Exams

Requirements for each course are specified in WebOodi. Most courses use exams. Exams can be traditional book exams completed at the university or online Moodle-exams taken at home.

Book exams take place at fixed date, during general examination dates. Each course with a book exam has approximately 3-4 exam dates per academic year. Students must check the exam dates in WebOodi. Book exam are always supervised and can be completed only at the university campus.

At th UEF Law School, for book exams, students must register at the latest 10 days before the exam via WebOodi. However, the registration is open already well before, so students must make sure to register in time. Late registrations are NOT accepted. Book exams take place on Fridays and Mondays. Exams on Fridays are held from 8.00 to 12.00 hours and exams on Mondays are held from 16.00 to 20.00 hours. Exams start 8.00 or 16.00 sharp. If a student arrives a maximum 30 minutes late, she or he can still sit the exam. Students are allowed to leave the exam after 30 minutes at the earliest.

Exam questions must always be returned with the exam answers. If a student is shown to have cheated during the exam, the student automatically fails the exam, and appropriate procedures are initiated in accordance with the UEF Ethical Guidelines.

Students need to take the necessary pens and erasers with them to the exam. Students also need to bring their student card or other ID for identification. Students are not allowed to use a dictionary or take any written material to the exam. Students are not allowed to use mobile phones in the exam.

Moodle-exams are completed online using the Moodle learning platform. During Moodle-exams students are allowed to use course materials and other sources to formulate their answers. The schedules of Moodle-exams are course-specific. Further instructions regarding the Moodle-exams will be given during each course using such exams.

Registration for the exam is the student's responsibility; please remember to register in time.
At the UEF Law School, exam questions are normally in the form of an essay questions (2 pages per question), smaller "explanation" questions or case studies. Usually, the exams focus on key concepts and ideas.

Come to the exams well prepared. If you have not read the required exam reading, you are not well prepared! For you not being able to get hold of the books in time is not an argument you can use to explain why you did not read the books.

  • There are a limited number of exam books available in the university library.
  • Plan and schedule your studies, and look for and reserve your books in time.
  • Learn how to use the search facilities and the e-services and e-sources available via the university library.

NB! Note that different UEF faculties and departments have different kind of exam practices. Please always check the instructions from the deparment/teacher providing the course.

WHAT IS A GOOD EXAM ANSWER LIKE?

  • the answer of the exam question showcases that the student has learnt the relevant key issues in the exam material
  • the answer must be based on the reading materials although also own reflections and arguments can be included in the answer if they are relevant to the question and well-reasoned
  • it is recommended to use the key concepts introduced by the reading materials
  • it is crucial that the student answers the question asked and not something else related. Always read the question and answer accordingly. Any irrelevant or somewhat related discussion will not grant extra points.
  • the answer is expected to be well-structured with clear, concise and coherent sentences, like in a short essay. Bullet point or list-like answers must be avoided.
  • If you state something as a fact, always provide reasoning to your argument! E.g. stating “climate change is a threat to biodiversity” may well be correct but it is important always to explain “why”. This will showcase that you have understood the issue you are talking about.
  • a good exam answer is about 2 pages per question (always follow the instructions given in the exam regarding the length of answers!)
  • In Moodle exams particularly, if you are referring to information that you have read somewhere (a book, article, website etc.) with direct quotation or even when paraphrasing, please always provide information of your reference in accordance with the rules of citation.
  • the exam answers must be written with clear handwriting

Ethics of studying

Examples of cheating:

  • using notes or other forbidden tools in an exam (cheating in an exam)
  • modifying an assignment that has already been evaluated
  • returning someone else’s assignment as one’s own
  • using the one and the same assignment on more than one course
  • taking a text or a part of a text from the Internet or some other source and using it as one’s own (plagiarism).

Examples of academic dishonesty:

  • completing an exam on someone else’s behalf
  • sending out exam answers or receiving messages during an exam
  • looking at someone else’s exam answers and using them as one’s own
  • finding out exam questions beforehand, e.g., in a paper left in the copying machine by a teacher
  • having someone else complete one’s own assignment or other study attainment
  • stealing or destroying fellow students’ assignments
  • being awarded a grade for a group assignment without having completed one’s own share.

Essays

An essay is a deliberative text, drawn up using legal sources as well as relevant literature and other academic publications. Essay should include the author's own ideas, views, thoughts and analysis. An essay should be a well-structured entity, which clearly expresses the author's familiarity with the topic. The essay topic must always be agreed upon with the responsible supervisor. Supervisors can also give special instructions and deadlines for the essays.

Students are expected to follow the instructions given in the Law School Academic Legal Writing Guide when writing their essays, reports, assignments, seminar papers or master’s thesis for courses offered at the Law School. The guide can be found at the Law School website: http://www.uef.fi/en/web/oikeustieteet/studying

NB! Please note that the writing instructions and practices at the Department of Geographical and Historical Studies vary from the above-mentioned instructions, so always ask detailed instructions from your teacher when taking a courses offered in the Dept. of Geographical and Historical Studies (major studies in Natural Resources Governance).

Learning diary

A learning diary could be offered as an additional study method. With a learning diary, a student can gain extra points for the exam.

A learning diary:
Helps you to become more conscious of your learning - what you have learnt and how you have progressed. It is a "learning tool".
Reflects on significant experiences associated with your learning - what was particularly interesting/motivating/relevant/confusing/difficult ... etc.?
Develops your argumentation skills.

What to write?

  • Take notes on the lectures – but note that a learning diary is not a copy of everything said in the lectures.

  • Choose a few topics that you would like to elaborate more on (interesting/motivating/relevant/confusing/difficult, etc. topics).

  • Describe the matters/concepts/theories in order to gain a better understanding and explain how you have gained the better understanding.

  • Criticise and argue – but also, remember to give full reasons for your criticism!

  • Record your thoughts and opinions about the lectures as such.

  • Illustrate with your own examples (you can add some news items, articles, etc. if you think they are related to the issue).