No more lie-ins? Durham Law School set to introduce 8am lectures this Autumn

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By Thomas Connelly on

Early morning arrangement ‘for one year only’, says elite Russell Grouper

Durham University Law School is introducing 8am lectures for the first time this Autumn.

The elite Russell Grouper’s undergraduate intake for law this year is understood to be so large that it has been divided into two to be taught separately, with one cohort starting their day outside normal teaching hours. The timetable shake-up, according to reports, will also affect a small number of second year LLB-ers and students enrolled on courses at Durham’s Business School.

In an email seen by student news website Palatinate, Durham Law School’s director of undergraduate studies explained how “there is nothing we as a department can do about this” and that it “is beyond our control”. The early starts are a result of “the increased number of students and the pressure this puts on timetabling and rooms”, he added.

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A spokesperson for Durham University told Legal Cheek: “The proposed 8am lectures form part of the university’s provisional teaching timetable for the academic year 2018/19. This is not final: it is only in place while students choose their modules. The final timetable will be published in September, after A-level confirmation, and once all returning students have registered for their modules.” They continued:

“If agreed, this arrangement will be for one year only, until our new teaching and learning Centre opens, which will increase our teaching capacity by almost a third. Out of nearly 2,000 lectures scheduled each week, it is proposed that only four start at 8am. Of the four affected modules, each has only one lecture scheduled at 8am — the remainder of teaching activities take place within the university’s core teaching hours.”

Durham’s decision to split its law intake comes just months after Legal Cheek revealed that seven universities took on more than 500 new law students last year. They are: Liverpool (590), Nottingham Trent (555), Essex (550), Leicester (515), The University of Law (510), Northumbria (505) and Leeds Beckett (500). Durham, by comparison, took on just 295.

According to Open University research, early start times for teenagers and young 20-somethings are linked to “chronic, irrecoverable sleep loss”, averaging more than two hours a day. To combat this, the report suggests lectures should start no earlier than 11am for students to be able to perform at their best.

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