Equality Law

2023/24 Part-time Postgraduate Short course and CPD

Faculty:

Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

School:

School of Law

Campus:

Belfast campus

Credit points:

15

Start date:

1 February 2024

For full instructions on how to apply for short courses, please contact the Centre for Flexible and Continuing Education - FlexEd@ulster.ac.uk

Overview

This course seeks to explore inequality in society and the legal strategies deployed to combat it.

Summary

This course introduces participants to core principles of equality law, with a focus upon the law of Northern Ireland but in the context of British, European, comparative constitutional and international law. It examines a spectrum of non-discrimination and equality law concepts and their enforcement over the key grounds and considers the future development of equality law.

This course can be taken individually or combined over a period of time towards a Postgraduate Certificate of Professional Development.

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About this course

About

This course explores a number of key themes/topics set out below, with individual lectures exploring the sub-themes. Some of these sub-themes may be subject to change as the research interests of staff alter, but the major themes/topics will remain constant.

Introduction to Equality Law: Sex Equality

Taking the theme of sex equality, this session introduces participants to equality law. Through the lens of gender equality law, it explores how anti-discrimination law seeks to address disadvantage and inequality. The day is divided into four parts. The introduction part of the session considers the theoretical concepts of equality and the legal concepts underpinning equality and anti-discrimination law. The second part of the session uses a small selection of judgments of the European Court of Justice in the area of sex equality law to illustrate anumber of issues relating to the application of equality law. The third session explores the anti-discrimination/equality principle in international human rights law drawing on the approach of the UN CEDAW Committee in interpreting the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. The last part of the day raises questions about the effectiveness of anti-discrimination/equality laws and how equality law should developinto the future. The day concludes, therefore, by highlighting the issues to be explored in the remaining two teaching days including the potential of substantive models of equality to address inequality and disadvantage; the effectiveness of enforcement regimes for remedying unlawful discrimination and tackling inequality and the future development of equality law in Northern Ireland.

Constitutionalising Equality

This session will examine the constitutionalisation of equality via a Bill of Rights as a means to promote equality and guard against inequality. Drawing upon the South African and Canadian experience, this session will revisit the legal concepts that have been discussed with a view to identifying the legal formulation adopted by South Africa and Canada in their Bills of Rights. This session will also examine whether constitutionalising equality has been an effective tool in promoting equality through anexamination of the Canadian and South African jurisprudence. This session will also look atthe current debate surrounding the proposed constitutionalisation of equality through a Bill of Rights in Northern Ireland.

The Future for Equality Law

This session will revisit the basic equality concepts and anti-discrimination law sources that have been discussed on Day One. It will examine the development of Northern Ireland equality law with specific focus on the statutory equality duties to promote equality of opportunity and good relations. To that end, the session will concentrate on sections 75 and 76 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998. The seminar will also evaluate proposals for a Single Equality Bill for Northern Ireland and the Equality Act for Great Britain and its implications for Northern Ireland.

Linked programmes

LLM Employment Law and Practice, LLM Gender, Conflict and Human Rights, LLM Human Rights Law and Transitional Justice, PgCertPD Professional Development

Assessment

100% Coursework - One written essay (3000-4000 words) designed to assess the participant's ability to research particular areas of equality law, synthesise that research, properly cite a range of materials, apply sustained reasoned criticism and analysis, and present their work in a carefully structured and clearly-written format. Participants will select a topic from a list provided at the start of the course.

Attendance

This course requires on-campus attendance, at our Belfast campus, on three Thursdays from 10:15am to 16:45pm, during Semester 2, in February 2024.

​The short course is timetabled for the following days –

  • Thursday 01 February, 2024.
  • Thursday 15 February, 2024.
  • Thursday 29 February, 2024.

* Please note, dates and timetabling are to be confirmed and may be subject to change.

Entry requirements

Degree (second class Honours or above) in Law, Social Sciences, Humanities or a cognate discipline. Other degrees may be considered.

English Language Requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English must meet the minimum English entrance requirements of the University and will need to provide recent evidence of this (certified within the last two years).

Most of our courses require a minimum English level of IELTS 6.0 or equivalent, with no band score under 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement.

Additional information on English language requirements for admission at Ulster University, is available at - www.ulster.ac.uk/global/apply/english-language-requirements


Visas and Immigration

International applicants will also require a short-term study visa.

Further information is available at - www.ulster.ac.uk/international/visa-immigration

Start dates

  • 1 February 2024

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Attendance and Independent Study

The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.

Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:

  • Attendance and Independent Study

    As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until close to the start date and may be subject to some change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days and periods of attendance will be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.

    Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10, 20, or 40 credit modules (more usually 20) and postgraduate courses typically 15 or 30 credit modules.

    The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Teaching and learning activities will be in-person and/or online depending on the nature of the course. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.

    Postgraduate Master’s courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.

    Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.

  • Assessment

    Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be a combination of examination and coursework but may also be only one of these methods. Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes.  You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessments. This feedback may be issued individually and/or issued to the group and you will be encouraged to act on this feedback for your own development.

    Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification, the assessment timetable and the assessment brief. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

    Normally, a module will have 4 learning outcomes, and no more than 2 items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised. The module pass mark for undergraduate courses is 40%. The module pass mark for postgraduate courses is 50%.

  • Calculation of the Final Award

    The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6, (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).

    Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Master’s degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.

    All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study.

    In Masters degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.

    Figures from the academic year 2022-2023.

Academic profile

The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 60% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.

Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (19%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (22%) or Lecturers (57%).

We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic and learning support staff (85%) are recognised as fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) by Advance HE - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.

The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise.  The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff.  This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.

Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.

Figures from the academic year 2022-2023.

Belfast campus

Accommodation

High quality apartment living in Belfast city centre adjacent to the university campus.

Find out more - information about accommodation (Opens in a new window)  


Student Wellbeing

At Student Wellbeing we provide many services to help students through their time at Ulster University.

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Apply

Start dates

  • 1 February 2024

Fees and funding

Prices

Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland and EU Settlements Status Fees: £559.95

England, Scotland, Wales and the Islands Fees: £559.95

International Fees: £1,320.00

Fees information

Information about how to pay for a course including different payment options is available at

www.ulster.ac.uk/finance/student/tuition-fees-payments

Additional mandatory costs

It is important to remember that costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges) and normal living will need to be covered in addition to tuition fees.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses (in addition to tuition fees) we make every effort to highlight them above. 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 Wi-Fi are also available on each of the campuses.

There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as a part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs, as well as tuition fees.

See the tuition fees on our student guide for most up to date costs.

Disclaimer

  1. Although reasonable steps are taken to provide the programmes and services described, the University cannot guarantee the provision of any course or facility and the University may make variations to the contents or methods of delivery of courses, discontinue, merge or combine courses and introduce new courses if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Such circumstances include (but are not limited to) industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key staff, changes in legislation or government policy including changes, if any, resulting from the UK departing the European Union, withdrawal or reduction of funding or other circumstances beyond the University’s reasonable control.
  1. If the University discontinues any courses, it will use its best endeavours to provide a suitable alternative course. In addition, courses may change during the course of study and in such circumstances the University will normally undertake a consultation process prior to any such changes being introduced and seek to ensure that no student is unreasonably prejudiced as a consequence of any such change.
  1. The University does not accept responsibility (other than through the negligence of the University, its staff or agents), for the consequences of any modification or cancellation of any course, or part of a course, offered by the University but will take into consideration the effects on individual students and seek to minimise the impact of such effects where reasonably practicable.
  1. The University cannot accept any liability for disruption to its provision of educational or other services caused by circumstances beyond its control, but the University will take all reasonable steps to minimise the resultant disruption to such services.

Testimonials

"I took the Equality Law short course as part of the TJI’s LLM Human Rights and Transitional Justice programme. Brilliant course, packs a lot into the sessions, but retains your interest throughout. The course provides a concise but thorough grounding in equality concepts and an invaluable exploration of their interpretation within the European Human Rights framework. Its evaluation of the scope of Equality Law as applied in Northern Ireland and emphasis on the important role of law at the nexus between theory and practice is particularly illuminating. Although I was drawn towards the course by its relevance to the outworking of the Northern Ireland peace process, I would strongly recommend it to anyone thinking of a career in politics or public policy formation. The subject matter is also an absolute must for anyone with an interest in social justice rights advocacy".