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MA (T) Legislative Studies and Practice

Academic Year 2016/17

A programme specification is required for any programme on which a student may be registered. All programmes of the University are subject to the University's Quality Assurance and Enhancement processes as set out in the DASA Policies and Procedures Manual.

Programme Title

MA (T) Legislative Studies and Practice

Final Award
(exit route if applicable for Postgraduate Taught Programmes)

Master of Arts

Programme Code

POL-MA-LP

UCAS Code

JACS Code

L200 (DESCR) 100

Criteria for Admissions

A 2.1 Honours degree at 65% or above, or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University in Politics, European Studies, International Studies, Philosophy or a cognate subject area.

The programme is run in close cooperation with the Assembly Commission of the Northern Ireland Assembly and in response to its outreach initiatives which have resulted in placements and bursaries being made available for students on the programme. The viability of the programme is contingent on the availability of these placements and bursaries.

Responsibility for the content of the programme and all aspects of summative assessment remains with the academic staff in the School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy. The practical delivery and management will be the responsibility of management group comprising the Programme Convenor and a designated member of the Assembly Commission of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

The payment of bursaries to a student will be subject to a contract between the University and the student.

Payment of the bursary shall be in installments with the payment of each installment contingent on successful progress in the programme. Details will be included in the contract between the University and the student.

Where there are exceptional extenuating circumstances, students may suspend studies for up to one year without loss of any bursary payments.

Students who withdraw from the programme shall be obliged to repay all bursary payments.

Students who fail to complete the programme, unless eligible for the award of a postgraduate diploma, shall be obliged to repay all bursary payments.

Arrangements shall be put in place to allow students to take an agreed number of days out of their placement in order to complete assignments due for the taught modules.

ATAS Clearance Required

No

Health Check Required

No

Portfolio Required

Interview Required

Shortlisted applicants for the programme will be interviewed by a panel comprising the Programme Convenor, one or more other members of the School's academic staff, and representatives of the Secretariat at the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Mode of Study

Full Time

Type of Programme

Postgraduate

Length of Programme

1 Academic Year(s)

Total Credits for Programme

180

Exit Awards available

INSTITUTE INFORMATION

Awarding Institution/Body

Queen's University Belfast

Teaching Institution

Queen's University Belfast

School/Department

History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics

Framework for Higher Education Qualification Level 
http://www.qaa.ac.uk/publications/information-and-guidance

Level 7

QAA Benchmark Group
http://www.qaa.ac.uk/assuring-standards-and-quality/the-quality-code/subject-benchmark-statements

N/A

Accreditations (PSRB)

Date of most recent Accreditation Visit

External Examiner Name:

External Examiner Institution/Organisation

Dr Columba Peoples

University of Bristol

REGULATION INFORMATION

Does the Programme have any approved exemptions from the University General Regulations
(Please see General Regulations)

n/a

Programme Specific Regulations

This programme follows the University's Regulations

Students with protected characteristics

N/A

Are students subject to Fitness to Practise Regulations

(Please see General Regulations)

No

EDUCATIONAL AIMS OF PROGRAMME

Develop students’ knowledge of the historical and political contexts – regional, national and European – in which the Northern Ireland Assembly operates.

Develop a detailed understanding among students of legislative practice through work-based learning in the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Develop student’s analytical, communication and research skills.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

Learning Outcomes: Cognitive Skills

On the completion of this course successful students will be able to:

use deductive and inductive modes of reasoning

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Students will acquire cognitive skills on their taught modules through engagement in seminar debate and discussion.
Their cognitive skills will also be enhanced through independent study, the placement and the design and implementation of their project.

Methods of Assessment

Essays
Dissertation/project

recognise the importance of explicit referencing and the ethical requirements of study, which requires critical and reflective use of information and information technology in the learning process

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Students will acquire cognitive skills on their taught modules through engagement in seminar debate and discussion.
Their cognitive skills will also be enhanced through independent study, the placement and the design and implementation of their project.

Methods of Assessment

Essays
Placement themed report
Dissertation/project

reflect on their own learning and seek and make use of constructive feedback;

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Students will acquire cognitive skills on their taught modules through engagement in seminar debate and discussion.
Their cognitive skills will also be enhanced through independent study, the placement and the design and implementation of their project.

Methods of Assessment

Monthly learning journals, overview journal
Essays

produce cogent arguments

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Students will acquire cognitive skills on their taught modules through engagement in seminar debate and discussion.
Their cognitive skills will also be enhanced through independent study, the placement and the design and implementation of their project.

Methods of Assessment

Essays
Placement themed report
Dissertation/project

synthesise relevant information and exercise critical judgement

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Students will acquire cognitive skills on their taught modules through engagement in seminar debate and discussion.
Their cognitive skills will also be enhanced through independent study, the placement and the design and implementation of their project.

Methods of Assessment

Essays
Placement themed report
Dissertation/project

identify, investigate, analyse, formulate and advocate solutions to problems

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Students will acquire cognitive skills on their taught modules through engagement in seminar debate and discussion.
Their cognitive skills will also be enhanced through independent study, the placement and the design and implementation of their project.

Methods of Assessment

Themed report
Project

critically appraise concepts, theories, hypotheses and propositions in the light of experiential learning;

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Students will acquire cognitive skills on their taught modules through engagement in seminar debate and discussion.
Their cognitive skills will also be enhanced through independent study, the placement and the design and implementation of their project.

Methods of Assessment

Essays
Dissertation

gather, organise and deploy evidence, data and information from a variety of secondary and some primary sources, so as to formulate and support a line of reasoning, or argument

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Students will acquire cognitive skills on their taught modules through engagement in seminar debate and discussion.
Their cognitive skills will also be enhanced through independent study, the placement and the design and implementation of their project.

Methods of Assessment

Essays
Placement themed report
Dissertation/project

critically present information in a coherent and accurate manner

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Students will acquire cognitive skills on their taught modules through engagement in seminar debate and discussion.
Their cognitive skills will also be enhanced through independent study, the placement and the design and implementation of their project.

Methods of Assessment

Essays
Dissertation/project
Placement themed report

plan and execute a piece of independent research;

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Students will acquire cognitive skills on their taught modules through engagement in seminar debate and discussion.
Their cognitive skills will also be enhanced through independent study, the placement and the design and implementation of their project.

Methods of Assessment

Placement themed report (4,000 words)
Dissertation/project (12,000 words)

retrieve, sift and select information from a variety of sources

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Students will acquire cognitive skills on their taught modules through engagement in seminar debate and discussion.
Their cognitive skills will also be enhanced through independent study, the placement and the design and implementation of their project.

Methods of Assessment

Essays

Learning Outcomes: Transferable Skills

On the completion of this course successful students will be able to:

reflect actively upon one’s performance by means of discussions with line managers and one’s academic supervisor

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Students will acquire transferable skills in all areas of their postgraduate experience.

The taught seminars will give them experience of working in groups and debating and discussing ideas with their peers.
Their independent study (e.g. preparation of assignments, writing a project) and placement will require working to deadlines, effective written communication, locating, sifting and prioritizing information, and time management.
Additionally, students will become self-directive in their learning and exercise initiative in this regard.
They will be able to apply their knowledge and understanding to new questions and issues.

Methods of Assessment

Monthly learning journals
Overview journal

critically appraise concepts, theories, hypotheses and propositions in the light of experiential learning

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Students will acquire transferable skills in all areas of their postgraduate experience.

The taught seminars will give them experience of working in groups and debating and discussing ideas with their peers.
Their independent study (e.g. preparation of assignments, writing a project) and placement will require working to deadlines, effective written communication, locating, sifting and prioritizing information, and time management.
Additionally, students will become self-directive in their learning and exercise initiative in this regard.
They will be able to apply their knowledge and understanding to new questions and issues.

Methods of Assessment

Themed report
Project

observe and implement the appropriate ethical standards in relation to the work-place

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Students will acquire transferable skills in all areas of their postgraduate experience.

The taught seminars will give them experience of working in groups and debating and discussing ideas with their peers.
Their independent study (e.g. preparation of assignments, writing a project) and placement will require working to deadlines, effective written communication, locating, sifting and prioritizing information, and time management.
Additionally, students will become self-directive in their learning and exercise initiative in this regard.
They will be able to apply their knowledge and understanding to new questions and issues.

Methods of Assessment

Themed report
Monthly learning journals
Portfolio

produce a high standard of work commensurate with employment in a functioning legislature

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Students will acquire transferable skills in all areas of their postgraduate experience.

The taught seminars will give them experience of working in groups and debating and discussing ideas with their peers.
Their independent study (e.g. preparation of assignments, writing a project) and placement will require working to deadlines, effective written communication, locating, sifting and prioritizing information, and time management.
Additionally, students will become self-directive in their learning and exercise initiative in this regard.
They will be able to apply their knowledge and understanding to new questions and issues.

Methods of Assessment

Themed report
Portfolio

work under time pressure

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Students will acquire transferable skills in all areas of their postgraduate experience.

The taught seminars will give them experience of working in groups and debating and discussing ideas with their peers.
Their independent study (e.g. preparation of assignments, writing a project) and placement will require working to deadlines, effective written communication, locating, sifting and prioritizing information, and time management.
Additionally, students will become self-directive in their learning and exercise initiative in this regard.
They will be able to apply their knowledge and understanding to new questions and issues.

Methods of Assessment

Essays
Placement themed report
Dissertation/project
Monthly learning journals

work in a team-setting;

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Students will acquire transferable skills in all areas of their postgraduate experience.

The taught seminars will give them experience of working in groups and debating and discussing ideas with their peers.
Their independent study (e.g. preparation of assignments, writing a project) and placement will require working to deadlines, effective written communication, locating, sifting and prioritizing information, and time management.
Additionally, students will become self-directive in their learning and exercise initiative in this regard.
They will be able to apply their knowledge and understanding to new questions and issues.

Methods of Assessment

Portfolio

demonstrate critical analysis, creative thinking and problem-solving skills

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Students will acquire transferable skills in all areas of their postgraduate experience.

The taught seminars will give them experience of working in groups and debating and discussing ideas with their peers.
Their independent study (e.g. preparation of assignments, writing a project) and placement will require working to deadlines, effective written communication, locating, sifting and prioritizing information, and time management.
Additionally, students will become self-directive in their learning and exercise initiative in this regard.
They will be able to apply their knowledge and understanding to new questions and issues.

Methods of Assessment

Essays
Placement themed report
Dissertation/project

communicate effectively

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Students will acquire transferable skills in all areas of their postgraduate experience.

The taught seminars will give them experience of working in groups and debating and discussing ideas with their peers.
Their independent study (e.g. preparation of assignments, writing a project) and placement will require working to deadlines, effective written communication, locating, sifting and prioritizing information, and time management.
Additionally, students will become self-directive in their learning and exercise initiative in this regard.
They will be able to apply their knowledge and understanding to new questions and issues.

Methods of Assessment

Independent study written assignments (essays, themed report, dissertation/project)
Portfolio

plan and organize their time effectively

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Students will acquire transferable skills in all areas of their postgraduate experience.

The taught seminars will give them experience of working in groups and debating and discussing ideas with their peers.
Their independent study (e.g. preparation of assignments, writing a project) and placement will require working to deadlines, effective written communication, locating, sifting and prioritizing information, and time management.
Additionally, students will become self-directive in their learning and exercise initiative in this regard.
They will be able to apply their knowledge and understanding to new questions and issues.

Methods of Assessment

Essays
Placement themed report
Dissertation/project
Portfolio

design and execute a researchable project

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Students will acquire transferable skills in all areas of their postgraduate experience.

The taught seminars will give them experience of working in groups and debating and discussing ideas with their peers.
Their independent study (e.g. preparation of assignments, writing a project) and placement will require working to deadlines, effective written communication, locating, sifting and prioritizing information, and time management.
Additionally, students will become self-directive in their learning and exercise initiative in this regard.
They will be able to apply their knowledge and understanding to new questions and issues.

Methods of Assessment

Placement themed report
Dissertation/project
Portfolio

personal, communication, organizational and technical skills

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Students will acquire transferable skills in all areas of their postgraduate experience.

The taught seminars will give them experience of working in groups and debating and discussing ideas with their peers.
Their independent study (e.g. preparation of assignments, writing a project) and placement will require working to deadlines, effective written communication, locating, sifting and prioritizing information, and time management.
Additionally, students will become self-directive in their learning and exercise initiative in this regard.
They will be able to apply their knowledge and understanding to new questions and issues.

Methods of Assessment

Essays
Placement themed report
Dissertation/project
Portfolio

problem-solving skills relating to the assigned, task-based work

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Students will acquire transferable skills in all areas of their postgraduate experience.

The taught seminars will give them experience of working in groups and debating and discussing ideas with their peers.
Their independent study (e.g. preparation of assignments, writing a project) and placement will require working to deadlines, effective written communication, locating, sifting and prioritizing information, and time management.
Additionally, students will become self-directive in their learning and exercise initiative in this regard.
They will be able to apply their knowledge and understanding to new questions and issues.

Methods of Assessment

Group presentations (not always assessed)

Learning Outcomes: Knowledge & Understanding

On the completion of this course successful students will be able to:

an expansive understanding of the working of a legislative body

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

independent study.

Methods of Assessment

Essays Module PAI 7002 (Government and institutions of Northern Ireland)
Themed report
Project
Monthly learning journals and overview journal

a detailed understanding of the structure of government in Northern Ireland

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

group work.

Methods of Assessment

Essays Module PAI 7002

an appreciation of the history of and principal debates and issues in Northern Irish politics

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

class debate and discussion.

Methods of Assessment

Essays Module PAI 7002

an understanding of the European political context in which national and regional governments operate

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

oral and written communication;

Methods of Assessment

Essays Module PAI 7006 (Ireland in Europe) or PAI 7035 (Issues in European governance)

N/A

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

assessments

Methods of Assessment

N/A

N/A

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

work-based learning;

Methods of Assessment

N/A

N/A

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

and an individually-researched project

Methods of Assessment

N/A

Learning Outcomes: Subject Specific

On the completion of this course successful students will be able to:

an in-depth understanding of the operation of the Northern Ireland Assembly

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

independent study.

Methods of Assessment

Essays Module PAI 7002 (Government and institutions of Northern Ireland)
Themed report
Project
Monthly learning journals and overview journal

an understanding of the interlocking and mutually supportive activities of the Assembly as a corporate body;

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

group work.

Methods of Assessment

Essays Module PAI 7002 (Government and institutions of Northern Ireland)
Monthly learning journals and overview journal

an understanding of the relationships between the Assembly and the Executive in relation to policy, legislation, administration and expenditure;

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

class debate and discussion.

Methods of Assessment

Essays Module PAI 7002 (Government and institutions of Northern Ireland)
Themed report
Monthly learning journals and overview journal

being able to produce a high standard of work commensurate with employment in a functioning legislature;

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

oral and written communication.

Methods of Assessment

Themed report
Monthly learning journals and overview journal
Portfolio

an understanding of the legislative and scrutiny roles and operating procedures of the Assembly as practiced by individual members, the statutory and standing committees and the Assembly as a plenary body.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

assessments.

Methods of Assessment

Essays Module PAI 7002 (Government and institutions of Northern Ireland)

an understanding of how the European Union operates and impacts on the work of national and regional legislatures

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

work-based learning and an individually-researched project

Methods of Assessment

Essays Module PAI 7006 (Ireland in Europe) or PAI 7035 (Issues in European governance)

MODULE INFORMATION

Programme Requirements

Module Title

Module Code

Level/ stage

Credits

Availability

Duration

Pre-requisite

 

Assessment

 

 

 

 

S1

S2

 

 

Core

Option

Coursework %

Practical %

Examination %

Project (LSP)

PAI9098

7

60

52 weeks

N

YES

100%

0%

0%

Placement LSP

PAI9050

7

80

12 weeks

N

YES

100%

0%

0%

Government and Institutions of Northern Ireland

PAI7002

7

20

YES

12 weeks

N

YES

100%

0%

0%

Institutions and Politics of the European Union

PAI7052

7

20

YES

12 weeks

N

YES

100%

0%

0%

Notes