Would you like to hold a Post Graduate Certificate in NI Employment Law and Practice?
The overall aim of this course is to promote and develop skills and research in the field of employment law.
On successful completion of this course students will be able to:
Develop an understanding of the core concepts of employment law and how they relate to practice.
Learn the skills and processes required to qualify them to practice in the employment law field as HR professionals/lawyers.
Develop the ability to reflect critically on and learn from their practice.
Understand and apply context specific employment law research and theory to specific contexts and occupational sectors such as Human Resources and legal practice.
Develop advanced employment law practice skills appropriate to specific contexts and occupational sectors.
Examine critically the legal and contextual basis of employment law and practice.
Develop an understanding of regional, national and international models of practice in the employment law arena.
Give employment lawyers and Human Resource professionals the opportunity to interact with each other to develop insights into practice beyond their own agencies.
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About this course
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The Law School at Ulster University has joined forces with Legal Island and the Labour Relations Agency to create what we think will be the best employment law course in the UK.
The course includes 36 employment law and compliance lectures from the cream of Northern Ireland’s employment law expert practitioners and on-site visits and role play exercises with LRA staff and the President of Industrial Tribunals and the Fair Employment Tribunal.
All classes are held on the Belfast Campus.
In the first semester, from Sept – Dec;
A module in ADR will run for 6 weeks followed immediately by a module in Tribunal Representation. These classes will commence at 2.30pm and run until 4.30pm
Later on a Tuesday evening, Employment Law classes will run from 5.30 - 8pm.
In the second semester, from Jan - May, Employment Compliance classes will run on the Belfast Campus on Tuesday evening from 5.30pm - 8pm.
In total there are 4 modules: 2 x 20 point credit modules (employment law and employment compliance) and 2 x 10 point credit modules (ADR & Tribunal Representation).
- September 2019
- January 2020
Teaching, Learning and Assessment
All modules on this PgCert course are 100% coursework assessed. There are no exams.
Dr Esther McGuinness is the course director for this programme. She has more than 20 years experience in Tribunal represenation and is a Co-Director of the award winning Ulster University Law Clinic, which provides pro bono advice and representation in the areas of social security and employment law.
Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.
Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.
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Employment Compliance and Development
Whether you are a lawyer, human resources professional, personnel or industrial relations officer, this module will develop a range of skills, which will enable all students to remain fully abreast of the latest legislative and case law developments in employment compliance. It will ensure that all students acquire in-depth knowledge and understanding of how employment compliance issues operates in practice. Students will be provided with assistance enabling them to respond to complex practical, legal and ethical problems. Students will be encouraged to critically analyse the law and important legal issues they face in practice.
The importance of the employment relationship between employers, employees, unions and
other statutory bodies and agencies is such that a thorough knowledge of both the context and
the substantive law is necessary for those involved in this area in any capacity. The module
attempts to provide the basis for this knowledge and to put students in the position where they
may not only have an understanding of the law both conceptually and substantively, but also be
in a position to use that knowledge in the solution of problems.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Methods of ADR are increasingly being used within the legal system and advocated as a means of removing cases from overburdened courts. In appropriate cases they can provide an alternative to legal adjudication and can be used as a means of achieving satisfactory solutions to disputes. The purpose of this module is to introduce students to the processes of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and its relationship to law. The course will cover processes such as arbitration, mediation and conciliation and will provide students with a foundational knowledge of ADR which can then be developed in their professional practice. The module will comprise both theoretical and skills based elements. Students will consider the rationale and ethics of ADR before being introduced to some of the practical skills used in these processes. The study and practice of ADR will be undertaken in the context of a range of legal subject areas, including commercial law, family law and employment law.
This module aims through a combination of lectures and practical exercises to enable trainees to further develop their own professional practice in relation to employment and social security matters. The module aims to develop a student's ability to apply and further develop the knowledge and practical skills gained in prior and concurrent modules. The module will encourage discussion of rationales and consequences of each available course of action in any given scenario, and students will be encouraged to critique solutions to any issues identified as arising from their choice(s). It is anticipated that students will examine the impact of the rules and procedures involved and their tactical application in practice with a view to developing their own individual work practice.
We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.
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- a degree in law
- a degree in human resource management
- a degree incorporating law elements or a joint honours degree incorporating law
- a non-law/human resource management degree with appropriate work experience
- a comparable professional qualification
- in exceptional circumstances, where an individual has substantial and significant experiential learning, a portfolio of written evidence demonstrating the meeting of graduate qualities may be considered as an alternative entrance route.
English Language Requirements
English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.
Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.
Careers & opportunities
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Those who undertake this course are likely to use this qualification for career development and progression purposes within their own organisations.
Fees and funding
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Fees (total cost)
Important notice - fees information
Fees illustrated are based on 19/20 entry and are subject to an annual increase. Correct at the time of publishing. Terms and conditions apply. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
Visit our Fees pages for full details of fees
- Northern Ireland & EU:
Scholarships, awards and prizes
Legal Island Sponsor a Prize for the Highest Achieving Student on the PgCert Course.
Additional mandatory costs
Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.
Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.
We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.
There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.
Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.
Please contact the course team for more information.
Further details on this course can be obtained by clicking on the links below or by contacting the Course Director, Dr Esther McGuinness firstname.lastname@example.org
For Admissions queries please contact the Admissions Service:
For more information visit
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Thanks for all your hard work and structuring all the lectures/classes, there was an enormous amount of thought, effort and organization and I have gained a lot of valuable knowledge and expertise from the whole course as did everyone.