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Overview

Important notice – campus change This course will move to the Belfast campus in September 2019.  Students will change campus part way through this course. Find out more

The Ulster Law School has an excellent reputation for teaching, research, student support and student development.

Summary

Study Law with Politics at Ulster University in the United Kingdom.

The School of Law

The School of Law seeks to achieve excellence in teaching, research and professional development. The School provides a range of LLB courses, all of which are Qualifying Law Degrees (QLDs) for the purposes of the legal professions, as well as a range of postgraduate courses. Students at Ulster have the opportunity to draw upon the expertise of an internationally recognised group of researchers. Law at Ulster was ranked 4th in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), with 82% of publications ranked world-leading or internationally excellent. The REF 2014 results also showcase the real-world impact of legal research at Ulster. In the new 'Research Impact' category, 100% of our work was scored as world-leading.

The Campus

The Jordanstown campus is situated seven miles north of Belfast. The grounds lie at the foot of the South Antrim hills and the land fronting the main entrance slopes down to the shore of Belfast Lough. The campus commands impressive views of the Lough, the Belfast Hills and County Down. Historic Carrickfergus, with its 12th century castle, harbour and modern marina is four miles north of the campus. The proximity of the campus to Belfast is a major attraction for those who choose to live in the city and travel to the campus in private car or via the excellent rail, bus and taxi network.

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About this course

In this section

About

A total of 18 modules are studied over the course of three years. These modules include the core law modules needed for Qualifying Law Degree status and 6 minor (politics) modules.

Associate awards

Diploma in International Academic Studies DIAS

Find out more about placement awards

Attendance

Classes will typically take the form of two-hour lectures and one-hour seminars. In addition, students are required to undertake substantial directed independent learning. Generally, three modules are studied per semester.

Start dates

  • September 2017
How to apply

Modules

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.

In this section

Year one

Introduction to Law

Year: 1

This module introduces basic legal principles and concepts, and enables students to understand the structure and organisation of the legal system in the UK (with a particular emphasis on Northern Ireland). It introduces students to the concepts of reflective and independent learning, and provides them with the necessary information, knowledge and intellectual equipment required for the study of law as a discipline. This module continues the induction process and offers the students an opportunity to obtain information about careers and personal development. Formal assessment on this module is by an online assessment exercise, coursework and reflective learning exercise.

Criminal law

Year: 1

Criminal law provides the ideal vehicle to study both common law and legislation and develop an understanding of the relationship between law in Northern Ireland and the law in England and Wales. Students learn the scope and content of criminal law and understand the need for reform in certain areas through academic commentary and discussion. In examining the principle and substance of criminal law students also gain the opportunity to develop skills in legal reasoning and analysis.

Public Law

Year: 1

Students by the end of this module should have a good grasp of the constitutional arrangements within the United Kingdom including: institutions of government, key principles underpinning the constitution of the United Kingdom, the arrangements for devolved governance in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, the importance of European Union Law as a source of law within the constitution of the United Kingdom, the legal protection of human rights and civil liberties, mechanisms of accountability within constitutional law and proposed reforms and debates surrounding such reforms.

Students should have an understanding of the various sources of law and should be able to locate cases and statutes. Students should acquire a number of other skills, including basic oral and written legal skills. They should develop basic research skills, enabling them to undertake further investigations into any aspect of law, an ability to apply the fundamental principles of UK public law to hypothetical problems and to obtain experience of presenting legal arguments both orally and in writing.

Law of Tort

Year: 1

The law of tort plays a central role in the modern legal system, and it is important that anyone engaged in a study of law should have a detailed knowledge and understanding of the principles of the law of tort. This module will explore those principles in detail and will enable students to apply the principles to practical problems and real-life situations.

Foundations of Political Thought

Year: 1

This module introduces students to the study of political thought in its ideological forms. Political ideologies have been implicated in all major political developments of the last two centuries and demand special attention. This module clarifies the principles of these major systems and identifies their implication for political practice.

Introduction to Politics and Government

Year: 1

The module is designed to provoke thought, challenge preconceptions, stimulate questions about the nature of politics and government. Thus, it considers the meaning of government and key concepts associated with it - democracy, the state, the representative process, constitutions, executives, legislatures, political parties and pressure groups. In so doing, it asks who governs and how government ought to be organised, discusses its responsibilities and the nature of political power. The module promotes familiarity with the alternative perspectives advanced on these topics as a foundation to a more sophisticated and systematic treatment subsequently.

International Politics

Year: 1

This module is optional

The module introduces the student to the study of international politics and to the main theories and debates relevant to understanding politics in an international context, including an introduction to theories of globalisation.

The Politics of Identity

Year: 1

This module is optional

This module focuses on the philosophical and empirical study of political groups that organise around a particular identity. It examines some of the major theoretical frameworks in contemporary political theory and applies these to concrete examples of identity group politics.

Government of the United Kingdom

Year: 1

This module is optional

The module is designed to provoke thought and stimulate questions about the nature of politics and government within the UK. Thus, it considers the key aspects of British politics including political culture, the function and structure of political parties and pressure groups, sub national forms of government and the role of the mass media. In doing so, it examines the dispersal of power within the United Kingdom discusses the changing responsibilities of government, and the nature of political power in a modern state.

Year two

Contract Law

Year: 2

The module will provide a basis for acquiring knowledge and understanding and developing analysis of the key concepts, problems and issues in the law of contract. The theories, principles and rules of the law of contract will be explained. The module will address the key features of contract law including, formation of contract, exclusion clauses, vitiating factors, discharge of contract and remedies.

Land Law

Year: 2

This module provides students with the opportunity to study Land Law (which is considered to be a core subject in the study of law) in respect to both Northern Ireland and England and Wales. The professional bodies require law school graduate entrants to have studied Land Law at Degree Level. This module (together with Introduction to Property Law) satisfies the requirements of the professions in both jurisdictions.

European Law

Year: 2

This module provides an overview of the constitutional principles and legal institutions of the European Union. The module also introduces students to the central areas within the market integration process, namely free movement of goods and persons. After the Treaties of Amsterdam, Nice and Lisbon, the impact of EU law has expanded even further than before. This module examines the development of European Law, the institutional structure and processes as well as the relationship between European Law and national law.

Introduction to Property Law

Year: 2

This module provides students with an introduction to the core concepts of property law in both Northern Ireland and England and Wales. This module will directly prepare you for further detailed study of property law at level 5 (Land Law) and at level 6 (Equity and Trusts) as well as complementing the study of aspects of Tort, Contract and even Criminal Law. Completion of this module and Land Law (LAW311) in semester 2 year 2 allows you to meet the requirements of the professional bodies (in respect of property law) in both Northern Ireland and England and Wales.

Political thought: Text and Context

Year: 2

This module considers the philosophical contributions of some key political thinkers and relates those contributions to the historical contexts in which they were written.

The Politics of Ireland since Partition

Year: 2

This module is optional

The module provides a survey of the political history of the two states which were born out of the partition settlement in 1921. It examines the constitutional frameworks, political institutions along with Anglo-Irish and North-South relations up to the troubles and the peace process.

Politics in Western Europe

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module seeks to explore political developments in Western Europe since 1945 and their significance for political thinking. It aims to develop a critical understanding of the development of the state and society and the social contract as it has changed over the last decades in a critical geographical region. It will introduce students to important issues in European affairs, to aspects of international relations including European integration and to comparative analysis

British Politics and Policy

Year: 2

This module is optional

Studying how policy is created and implemented in the United Kingdom, by the British Government and other notable political actors and groups, can help can unlock some of the key issues in the study of politics ? how resources are distributed, and how power is created, maintained and distributed in the UK. This module builds on the earlier module Introduction to Government by focusing on the the British State, and the formulation and implementation of policy, in particular the increasing importance of British foreign policy. The module is offered by blended learning.

Government and Politics of the USA

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module provides a critical and conceptually sophisticated understanding of US government and politics. It also seeks to understand the American political process, why and how it has changed, and the implications of those changes for the government and the citizenry of the USA. The module concentrates on analyzing the central institutions of the American political system, including the US Presidency, Congress and the US Supreme Court, and also on important contemporary and historical debates about American domestic and foreign policy.

State Crime

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module seeks to explore the definition and nature of state crime in criminological and political discourse. It aims to develop a critical understanding of the nature of the state and the scale and type of crimes committed by state agents and agencies. A range of state crimes will be explored in both the domestic and international spheres. The module will explore forms of state crime as techniques of 'coercive governance' and will use examples from both democratic and authoritarian regimes.

Year three

Law of Evidence

Year: 3

This module will provide students with access to a comprehensive programme of study which will examine fundamental principles of the law of evidence, amd analyse a number of important and controversial issues in the modern law. It will also provide students with an understanding of the operation of evidential rules within the civil and criminal justice systems in a manner which accords with national professional standards.

Equity and Trusts

Year: 3

This module will explore the history and development of equity and of its maxims, the development of the trust and the various types of trust, its various forms, uses and practical implications today. It will consider how trusts can be varied and set aside, the powers and duties of trustees and the remedies for breach of trust. It will also examine equitable doctrines such as conversion and election and survey the law relating to equitable remedies such as injunctions.

Transitional Justice

Year: 3

This module is optional

This module explores the real-life dilemmas negotiated in countries emerging from dictatorship and conflict. These include whether legal mechanisms can assist in achieving truth, justice, and/or reconciliation; or whether these goals are sometimes antithetical. The module will enable students to engage with international humanitarian law and human rights law, and in particular. The module also serves as an introduction to concepts and issues that are explored in greater depth in the LLM in Human Rights and Transitional Justice offered at the University of Ulster.

Medical Law

Year: 3

This module is optional

The practical importance and the complexity of medical issues requires that those who have an interest in medicine and health care and practice have a detailed understanding of the basic principles of medical law. Legal, professional and technological developments, and the increasing role of the law in health care issues, have expanded the subject matter of this area and medical law is now regarded as a subject worthy of study in its own right. The module explores the substantive legal rules relating to all aspects of medicine and health care.

Surveillance and the Law

Year: 3

This module is optional

This module explores and evaluates the legal framework within which surveillance operates in the United Kingdom. Considering the role of surveillance in society, the relationship between surveillance, privacy rights and fair trial rights is evaluated with specific reference to data protection, interception of communications, directed and intrusive surveillance, official secrecy, the security and intelligence services and recent developments in relation to identity and identity theft.

Employment law

Year: 3

This module is optional

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 prophylactically and in the solution of problems.

Company Law

Year: 3

This module is optional

This module introduces students to the body of rules and principles of law which regulate public and private companies. It is of practical significance to all those who wish to make a career in, or have dealings with, such companies.

Land: Rights, Resources and the Environment

Year: 3

This module is optional

This module explores this tension between the conception of land as a bundle of rights and land as a resource for the common good, with a particular focus on environmental concerns. Throughout history there has been an inherent tension between the rigfits of land "owners" and the broader interest of the community in how land is to be used. In the name of the community, the state has exercised some degree of control over how individuals can use land. In some extreme instances, such as under communist regimes, private property has been seized wholesale and regarded purely as a resource for the common good as opposed to being something over which a specific individual has any right. In recent times this longstanding tension between the individual and the state has been augmented by obligations agreed/imposed upon states by international law. In respect of land use the most significant developments of this nature have occurred in the fields of human rights and environmental law. The module will consider: the relationship(s) between land owners/users and the state; human rights and property law; fundamentals of environmental law; housing as a resource; planning; energy - fossil fuels an renewable sources; infrastructure; agriculture and food production; pollution and contamination; heritage and conservation; and countryside as a leisure space.

Social Justice

Year: 3

This module is optional

An understanding of the relationship between the state and citizen, and the contractual and moral obligations of each, is the key to understanding the changing nature of the law as it relates to social justice issues. This module explores the way in which the law deals with social justice issues by providing insight into the effects of Government policies, legislation and case law on these issues. The module is centred around the theme of poverty and its relationship with other social justice themes like crime control, social control, conflict, health, and social exclusion, its impact on vulnerable groups and the treatment of those vulnerable groups, and its implications for citizenship and society.

Human Rights Law

Year: 3

This module is optional

The module builds on other law modules in terms of examining fundamental principles underlying the legislative process as a whole. Through an indepth analysis of human rights protection at a range of levels, (internationally, regionally and domestically) students will have the opportunity to explore key areas of concern on both a theoretical level and through case studies on a more practical basis.

Dissertation - Law

Year: 3

This module is optional

This module provides students with the opportunity to undertake a substantial piece of independent, scholarly research in a chosen area of law.

Law and the Family

Year: 3

This module is optional

The module explores the ways in which the law regulates the family and deals with issues such as marital breakdown, domestic violence, and child abuse. As well as critically addressing this range of issues, it also provides insights into the forces that shape family law, and render it less of a private area of activity than is sometimes thought. Family law is an area of concern to policy-makers, social scientists and politicians alike, as well as lawyers, and is a subject of continued, heated, debate.

Conflict Transformation and Politics in Northern Ireland Since 1985

Year: 3

This module is optional

This module explores the motivations and strategies of key actors in the Northern Ireland peace process and provide a detailed explanation of the nature of the political accommodation reached in 1998. It also includes examination of scholarly debates concerning consociation and reconciliation and provides detailed knowledge of the nature and practice of politics in Northern Ireland since 2007.

Politics of Deeply Divided Societies

Year: 3

This module is optional

The politics of deeply divided societies, riven by ethnic conflict and political violence, are frequently seen as the most complex and difficult to resolve of modern political problems. Though complicated and unique, divided societies share commonalities. Most particularly, in terms of the importance of identity, sovereignty and territory, questions relating to communal access to power, and the legacy of past violence. This module applies a broad comparative lens to the study of deeply divided societies, and examines several societies divided by conflict: Sri Lanka, the former Yugoslavia, Cyprus, Northern Ireland, Lebanon and Israel -Palestine .

Ideas in Modern British Politics

Year: 3

This module is optional

This module focuses on political thinking in the United Kingdom since the 1945, charting the historical as well as the contemporary landscape of political thought. It concentrates on the role of the major political parties - Conservative, Labour and Liberal ? and the relationship between ideas and policy in politics. It considers the major debates in British Politics about class, welfare, social justice, the role of the market and the institutions of government.

Parliamentary Studies

Year: 3

This module is optional

This module aims to provide students with a detailed knowledge of how the Northern Ireland Assembly and Westminster work (in both theory and practice) and with the capacity to situate this knowledge against an understanding of comparisons between the devolved administration and the Westminster Parliament in terms of the process and design of their institutions, as well as against a set of broader themes and issues. Students will be expected to apply theoretical insights to empirical case studies and to develop a sense of the culture and values of the Northern Ireland Assembly as well as the Palace of Westminster.

The Politics of Popular Culture

Year: 3

This module is optional

This module seeks to give students an overview of the core theories of politics and popular culture in Western democratic contexts. The importance of popular culture and its linkage to domestic and foreign policy will also be a core component of this module. The module will analyse the ways in which contemporary and historical politics are influenced by constructions of popular culture, most notably television, film, music and other mainstream modes of communication; and how popular culture has influenced the way politics is managed by states and citizens.

Entry conditions

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.

In this section

A level

The A Level requirement for this course is ABB.

BTEC

Overall BTEC award profile DDM (to include a minimum of 10 distinctions).

Irish Leaving Certificate

Overall Irish Leaving Certificate profile H3H3H3H3H3.

English Grade H6 (Higher Level) or above, or Grade O4 (Ordinary Level) or above, if not sitting at Higher Level, is required.

International Baccalaureate

Overall International Baccalaureate profile minimum 27 points (13 at higher level).

Access to Higher Education (HE)

Pass Access Course (120 credits) with an overall mark of 70%.

GCSE

GCSE profile to include GCSE English Language grade C or above (or equivalent).

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.

Teaching and learning assessment

The principal teaching methods on this course are lecture, seminar and independent learning. The lectures are largely expository but student participation in seminars in the form of question and answer sessions is encouraged. Assessment typically involves sitting an examination or submitting coursework or a combination of the two. Coursework is assessed in a variety of ways, including essays, case studies, presentations, tests and mooting.

Exemptions and transferability

The professional bodies that accredit LLB degrees place restrictions on the extent to which credit can be given for study undertaken on other courses and/or at other institutions. Provided that a candidate has met the standard entrance requirements for the course, consideration will be given (subject to these restrictions) to an application to transfer or for exemption from specific modules. No transfer or exemption is possible at level 6.

Careers & opportunities

In this section

Career options

Our graduates have gone on to study law at Postgraduate level both at Ulster and other institutions (e.g. Masters courses such as the LLM, or doctoral studies); others are now in practice as solicitors or barristers, having completed the Certificate in Professional Legal Studies. Others have pursued careers in related areas such as the business or finance sector, human resources, politics and the community sector.

Work placement / study abroad

To enhance the student experience, at the end of year two of undergraduate study, many students opt to participate in a number of year-long programmes including StudyUSA, the Erasmus scheme and the International Student Exchange Programme. In participating in these schemes, student fees are paid and a small stipend provided to assist with the purchase of books and such like.

Professional recognition

Law Society of Northern Ireland (LSNI)

Recognised by the Law Society of Northern Ireland (LSNI) for the purpose of a Qualifying Law Degree.

Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA)

The qualifying law degree is recognised by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) for the purposes of satisfying the academic stage of training.

Bar Standards Board

Accredited by the Bar Standards Board for the purpose of a Qualifying Law Degree.

Apply

Applications to full-time undergraduate degrees at Ulster are made through UCAS.
Please apply via UCAS by 15 January.

How to apply

Start dates

  • September 2017

Fees and funding

In this section

Fees (per year)

Scholarships, awards and prizes

Prizes are sponsored by some of the foremost law firms in Northern Ireland, leading NGOs and legal publishing houses. The School believes that hard work and talent should be rewarded and, as such, the range of prizes on offer within the Law School provide an excellent means of facilitating student engagement with the legal professions and with community based organisations more broadly.

Additional mandatory costs

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel and normal living are a part of university life. 

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them in the online prospectus. 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.

Contact

Faculty Office

T: +44 (0)28 9036 6184

Course Director: Mr John Kennedy

T: +44 (0)28 9036 6304

E: jrg.kennedy@ulster.ac.uk