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PgDip Professional Legal Studies

Academic Year 2019/20

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

PgDip Professional Legal Studies

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

Postgraduate Diploma

Programme Code

PLS-PD-BTF

UCAS Code

HECoS Code

100692

ATAS Clearance Required

No

Health Check Required

No

Portfolio Required

Interview Required

Mode of Study

Part Time

Type of Programme

Postgraduate

Length of Programme

2 Academic Year(s)

Total Credits for Programme

19

Exit Awards available

INSTITUTE INFORMATION

Awarding Institution/Body

Queen's University Belfast

Teaching Institution

Queen's University Belfast

School/Department

Institute of Professional Legal Studies

Framework for Higher Education Qualification Level 
www.qaa.ac.uk

Level 7

QAA Benchmark Group
www.qaa.ac.uk/quality-code/subject-benchmark-statements

Law (2015)

Accreditations (PSRB)

REGULATION INFORMATION

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

Yes. Marking scheme exempt. Distinction – 80%, Commendation – 70%, Pass – 50%

Programme Specific Regulations

This is a course which is only available to qualified members of the Bar of Northern Ireland who wish to qualify as solicitors and have been permitted by the Law Society of NI to undertake specific modules or part thereof to enable them to qualify as Solicitors.

These trainees are required to attend a minimum of 75% of the sessions in a module. Absence from any part of a session will be construed as absence from all of that session. It is the responsibility of trainees to ensure they sign the registers of attendance for each class. Other than in exceptional circumstances any trainee who is absent for more than 25% of a module will be referred to the Institute Trainee Progress Committee.

Any trainee who is absent

(a) for more than eight sessions in Part A and/or
(b) for more than sixteen sessions in Part B

shall be referred to the Institute Trainees’ Progress Committee.

Any part-time trainee, or any recommended trainee who is taking the course over a period of more than one calendar year, who is absent

(a) for more than four sessions in Part A of his or her first and/or second academic year or
(b) for more than eight sessions in Part B of his or her first and/or second academic year

shall be referred to the Institute Trainees’ Progress Committee.

To be eligible to become a solicitor trainees must successfully complete those components of the modules which make up the programme as required by the Law Society of NI.

Trainees whose academic progress gives cause for concern shall be referred to the Institute Trainees’ Progress Committee. The Institute Trainees’ Progress Committee shall consist of five members nominated by the Council of Legal Education (Northern Ireland), namely, the Director of the Institute (or nominee), one member of the Inn of Court of Northern Ireland, one member of the Law Society of Northern Ireland and two members of the School of Law, having within this membership persons representative of both genders and both communities in Northern Ireland. A quorum for the Institute Trainees’ Progress Committee shall be three members, one of whom shall be from the School of Law.

Assessment of trainee progress may involve any or all of the following: (a) monitoring of attendance at classes, (b) assessment of tutorial performance, (c) assessment of course work, (d) class tests, (e) oral assessment and (f) formal examinations. Formal examinations are therefore only one part of the assessment process. If an assessment of a trainee’s progress is deemed unsatisfactory that trainee may be referred by the Director to the Institute Trainees’ Progress Committee.

All trainees enrolled with the Institute are expected to maintain a professional attitude to their studies at all times, in accordance with the Institute’s Professional Standards Procedures.

In the event of a trainee having been found to have committed an offence under the University’s Academic Offences or Conduct Regulations, and having exhausted all the internal University appeals procedures, the Director reserves the right to notify the Education Committee of the trainee’s professional body and/or the trainee’s master.

Trainees who have been unsuccessful in the main and resit examinations should make application to the Institute Trainees’ Progress Committee and their professional body for permission to enrol for examinations of the following year. If permission is granted, enrolment for such examinations shall be upon such terms and conditions (including re-attendance at the course or part thereof) as the Institute Trainees’ Progress Committee may determine.

The pass mark for each module is 50%.

Trainees must obtain a mark of 50% or more in the individual components of assessment within modules.

The Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Legal Studies is awarded at three levels:

The Institute regulations are available within the Trainee Handbook which is provided to each trainee at the beginning of the course. It is the trainee’s responsibility to familiarise him/herself with the content of the handbook.

Students with protected characteristics

No barriers to access or progression for any protected group

Are students subject to Fitness to Practise Regulations

(Please see General Regulations)

Yes
IPLS trainees, both Solicitor and Bar, are subject to the Fitness to Practice Procedures of the University

EDUCATIONAL AIMS OF PROGRAMME

To provide trainees with a critical awareness and a systematic understanding of the law and procedures involved in the main areas of practice encountered in this jurisdiction.

To provide trainees with the knowledge and understanding required to operate at the forefront of legal practice in this jurisdiction

To provide trainees with a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the outworking of professional ethics informing these areas of practice

To equip trainees so that they can understand and critically evaluate the documents commonly encountered in these areas of practice.

To enable trainees to deal with complex issues, carry out effective research and communicate effectively both in writing and orally.

To enable trainees to evaluate and develop appropriate practical methodologies and utilize these in their careers in the legal profession.

To provide trainees with the opportunity to transfer from being a barrister to qualify as a solicitor in this jurisdiction.

To equip trainees with the skills necessary to sustain future professional development

To fully prepare and equip trainees for the first three years in practice as solicitors

LEARNING OUTCOMES

Learning Outcomes: Subject Specific

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

N/A

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

N/A

Methods of Assessment

N/A

Learning Outcomes: Cognitive Skills

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

Critically analyse, interpret and evaluate information;

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Trainees’ intellectual skills are developed generally through a combination of lectures, practical exercises, workshops, role play, independent preparation for tutorials and practical exercises, problem solving scenarios, trainee presentations, trainee and tutor-led discussions. Further opportunities for the development of intellectual skills are offered by oral and written feedback to individual trainees on written work, draft legal documents and oral presentation.

Methods of Assessment

These skills are assessed through written examinations, course work, practical exercises, and assessed exercises.

Show sound judgement based on accurate and informed research distinguishing between relevant and irrelevant factual and legal information;

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Trainees’ intellectual skills are developed generally through a combination of lectures, practical exercises, workshops, role play, independent preparation for tutorials and practical exercises, problem solving scenarios, trainee presentations, trainee and tutor-led discussions. Further opportunities for the development of intellectual skills are offered by oral and written feedback to individual trainees on written work, draft legal documents and oral presentation and mediation competitions.

Methods of Assessment

These skills are assessed through written examinations, course work, practical exercises, and assessed exercises.

Apply appropriate and self acquired legal knowledge to practical legal problems;

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Trainees’ intellectual skills are developed generally through a combination of lectures, practical exercises, workshops, role play, independent preparation for tutorials and practical exercises, problem solving scenarios, trainee presentations, trainee and tutor-led discussions. Further opportunities for the development of intellectual skills are offered by oral and written feedback to individual trainees on written work, draft legal documents and oral presentation.

Methods of Assessment

These skills are assessed through written examinations, course work, practical exercises, and assessed exercises.

Analyse cases in civil litigation in an informed and focused manner and develop appropriate strategies to handle the material issues identified;

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Trainees’ intellectual skills are developed generally through a combination of lectures, practical exercises, workshops, mock trials, role play, independent preparation for tutorials and practical exercises, problem solving scenarios, trainee presentations, trainee and tutor-led discussions. Further opportunities for the development of intellectual skills are offered by oral and written feedback to individual trainees on written work, draft legal documents and oral presentation.

Methods of Assessment

These skills are assessed through written examinations, course work, practical exercises, and assessed exercises.

Evaluate and critique a variety of opposing jurisprudential methodologies;

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Trainees’ intellectual skills are developed generally through a combination of lectures, practical exercises, workshops, mock trials, role play, independent preparation for tutorials and practical exercises, problem solving scenarios, trainee presentations, trainee and tutor-led discussions. Further opportunities for the development of intellectual skills are offered by oral and written feedback to individual trainees on written work, draft legal documents and oral presentation.

Methods of Assessment

These skills are assessed through written examinations, course work, practical exercises, and assessed exercises.

Comprehend and critically evaluate the documents commonly encountered in the areas of practice studied and make appropriate modifications to tailor documents to deal with specific fact situations;

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Trainees’ intellectual skills are developed generally through a combination of lectures, practical exercises, workshops, mock trials, role play, independent preparation for tutorials and practical exercises, problem solving scenarios, trainee presentations, trainee and tutor-led discussions. Further opportunities for the development of intellectual skills are offered by oral and written feedback to individual trainees on written work, draft legal documents and oral presentation.

Methods of Assessment

These skills are assessed through written examinations, course work, practical exercises, and assessed exercises.

Communicate in a coherent and relevant manner which Identifies and fulfils clients’ legitimate needs and expectations.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Trainees’ intellectual skills are developed generally through a combination of lectures, practical exercises, workshops, mock trials, role play, independent preparation for tutorials and practical exercises, problem solving scenarios, trainee presentations, trainee and tutor-led discussions. Further opportunities for the development of intellectual skills are offered by oral and written feedback to individual trainees on written work, draft legal documents and oral presentation.

Methods of Assessment

These skills are assessed through written examinations, course work, practical exercises, and assessed exercises.

Utilize appropriate and constructive self and peer appraisal methodologies.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Trainees’ intellectual skills are developed generally through a combination of lectures, practical exercises, workshops, mock trials, role play, independent preparation for tutorials and practical exercises, problem solving scenarios, trainee presentations, trainee and tutor-led discussions. Further opportunities for the development of intellectual skills are offered by oral and written feedback to individual trainees on written work, draft legal documents and oral presentation.

Methods of Assessment

These skills are assessed through written examinations, course work, practical exercises, and assessed exercises.

Learning Outcomes: Knowledge & Understanding

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

A critical awareness and systematic understanding of the law and procedures involved in the main areas of practice encountered in this jurisdiction;

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Trainees’ acquisition of knowledge in these areas is achieved through a combination of lectures, tutorials, workshops, practical exercises, mock trials, role play, independent study and preparation, and through ongoing contact with legal practitioners.

Methods of Assessment

Trainees’ knowledge and understanding are assessed through written examinations, practical exercises, assessed exercises and class tests.

An understanding of the principles of good practice management;

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Trainees’ acquisition of knowledge in this area is achieved as part of the Professional Development and Skills module through a combination of lectures, tutorials, workshops, practical exercises, mock trials, role play, independent study and preparation, and through ongoing contact with legal practitioners.

Methods of Assessment

Trainees’ knowledge and understanding are assessed through written examinations, practical exercises, assessed exercises and class tests.

An enshrined knowledge of and respect for the professional ethics required for practice as a solicitor.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Trainees’ acquisition of knowledge in this area is achieved as part of the Professional Development and Skills module through a combination of lectures, tutorials, workshops, practical exercises, mock trials, role play, independent study and preparation, and through ongoing contact with legal practitioners.

Methods of Assessment

Trainees’ knowledge and understanding are assessed through written examinations, practical exercises, assessed exercises and class tests.

Learning Outcomes: Transferable Skills

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

Provide insightful solutions to legal and practical problems;

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

The development of these transferable skills is integral to the delivery of the course as a whole.

Methods of Assessment

Assessment of these skills is included in a combination of written examinations, practical exercises, assessed exercises and course work.

Demonstrate personal and professional responsibility and the ability to work effectively in a team;

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Oral communication skills are developed through presentations to and discussion in tutorials, workshops and practical exercises as well as by role play.

Methods of Assessment

Assessment of these skills is included in a combination of written examinations, practical exercises, assessed exercises and course work.

Demonstrate the ability to act autonomously and resourcefully in planning and implementing tasks in a manner appropriate to a professional;

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

While the Professional Development and Skills module particularly concentrates on written communication skills they are also an integral part of all the modules at the Institute. These skills are developed by the provision of feedback on written work prepared by the trainees.

Methods of Assessment

Assessment of these skills is included in a combination of written examinations, practical exercises, assessed exercises and course work.

Communicate clearly and effectively both orally and in writing;

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Course work, assessed exercises and case preparation facilitates the development of personal skills and time management. In particular aspects of the Professional Development and Skills modules the trainees are enabled to reflect, comment on and discuss elements of their own and others’ performances.

Methods of Assessment

Assessment of these skills is included in a combination of written examinations, practical exercises, assessed exercises and course work.

Learn in a self-directed and autonomous manner;

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Problem solving and team work skills are developed through case preparation and through problem based and other exercises which require collaboration amongst teams of trainees. Opportunities for the development of information technology skills are provided in training seminars and the accessing of on-line information is integrated into general course provision.

Methods of Assessment

Assessment of these skills is included in a combination of written examinations, practical exercises, assessed exercises and course work.

Comprehend appropriate issues relevant to finance and matters of numeracy and the effective application of accounting and mathematical principles.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Numeracy is developed in the Private Client module.

Methods of Assessment

Assessment of these skills is included in a combination of written examinations, practical exercises, assessed exercises and course work.

MODULE INFORMATION

Programme Requirements

Module Title

Module Code

Level/ stage

Credits

Availability

Duration

Pre-requisite

 

Assessment

 

 

 

 

S1

S2

 

 

Core

Option

Coursework %

Practical %

Examination %

Property Law & Practice Part 1

PLS8093

7

11

YES

12 weeks

N

YES

0%

0%

100%

Property Law & Practice Part 2

PLS8094

7

6

YES

12 weeks

N

YES

0%

0%

100%

Private Client

PLS8101

7

15

YES

12 weeks

N

YES

0%

0%

100%

Professional Skills and Development Part 1

PLS8105

7

11

YES

12 weeks

N

YES

0%

100%

0%

Law Society Professional Practice Part 1

PLS8114

7

0

YES

12 weeks

N

YES

100%

0%

0%

Professional Skills and Development Part 2

PLS8119

7

7

YES

12 weeks

N

YES

0%

100%

0%

Law Society Professional Practice Part 2

PLS8121

7

0

YES

12 weeks

N

YES

100%

0%

0%

Notes

The length of our courses at IPLS does not fit in with the duration (in weeks) in the stages and modules section of the programme specification on QSIS. Some of our modules are very short and last for a morning or afternoon session and some less than one week. As the system does not allow for zero to be entered one week has been put in for these courses as well as those which do last one week