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Law and Political Science, School of Law, Trinity College Dublin

Law and Political Science

Course Overview

Law and Political Science at Trinity College Dublin is a joint honors degree. The programmes is taught by both the School of Law and the Department of Political Science, Trinity College Dublin. It aims to give students a firm grounding in the disciplines of both law and political science and to develop a critical understanding of both Irish law and of the political framework in which the law operates. Law and politics are deeply connected and this course provides the opportunity to learn about both and better understand their relation to each other. As a student on the Law and Political Science programme, you will take both subjects for the first three years. In your fourth year you will have the option to concentrate exclusively on either subject, or continue with both. There are many areas of overlapping interest between the two disciplines, such as, for example, the interconnectedness between political theory and jurisprudence, and the interdisciplinarity of human rights and international law.

Is this the right course for you?

If you are interested in pursuing a legal career and want your study of law to be informed by a wider political understanding, or if your intellectual or career interests in politics and public service would be strengthened by a knowledge of the law then the Law and Political Science degree at Trinity College Dublin maybe for you. This multi-disciplinary degree will enable students to choose from a wide range of career opportunities or further study.

Programme Structure

In the Freshman (first two) years, students studying on the Law and Political Science degree will study a variety of legal and political science subjects (three discipline both years). The law modules (also taught on the LL.B. degree programme) include The Irish legal system, Torts, Constitutional law I, Criminal law, Contract law and Land law. These lectures are complemented by compulsory law seminars (4 per module) and modules in legal skills in the Junior Freshman (first) year and mooting (mock trials) in the Senior Freshman (second) year.

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Junior Freshman (1st Year) Modules

Law Modules

Political Science Modules (for information on all Political Science Modules please visit Political Science

  • Introduction to Political Science (10 ECTS) All Year
  • Introduction to Economic Policy (10 ECTS) All Year
  • Introduction to Sociology (10 ECTS) All Year

Senior Freshman (2nd Year) Modules

Law Modules

Political Science Modules (for information on all Political Science Modules please visit Political Science

  • History of Political Thought
  • Comparative Politics
  • International Relations

In place of a Political Science module students may choose to study 2 5 ECTS Broad Curriculum modules.

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Junior Sophister (Third Year) Modules

In the Junior Sophister year students take a combination of modules totalling 60 ECTs of which 30 must be from the School of Law and 30 from the Department of Political Science. Students may also choose to spend their third year abroad.

Law Modules

(for details of Law Modules please consult the LL.B. Sophister Modules page.

European Union Law (Compulsory)

In addition to the Sophister modules listed on LL.B. Sophister Modules page. students may also take:
Administrative Law
Constitutional Law II
Equity

Political Science Modules

Political Science Modules (for information on all Political Science Modules please visit Political Science

Research Methods for Political Science* (PO3600)
Irish Politics (PO3630)
Democracy and Development (PO3670)
European Union Politics (PO3680)

Note: All political science modules in the Junior Sophister Year carry 10 ECTS each

* PO3600 is also prerequisite for students intending on taking PO4690 (Issues in Contemporary Politics) in the Senior Sophister year.

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Senior Sophister (Fourth Year) Modules

In the Senior Sophister (fourth) year students may choose from a range of course options and may choose to

  1. combine law and political science modules (30 ECTs Law and 30 ECTS Political Science modules)
  2. specialise entirely in either law or political science courses.

Students must take modules equivalent to 60 ECTS. Senior Sophister courses in the Political Science department are assessed at 15 ECTS, while Senior Sophister courses in the School of Law are generally assessed at 10 ECTS.

Law Modules

(for details of Law Modules please consult the LL.B. Sophister Modules page.

In addition to the Sophister modules listed on LL.B. Sophister Modules page. students may also take:
Administrative Law
Constitutional Law II
Equity

Political Science Modules

Political Science Modules (for information on all Political Science Modules please visit Political Science

Research Seminar in Political Science** (PO4600)
Contemporary Political Theories (PO4610)
Comparative Political Institutions (PO4620)
Political Parties** (PO4670)
Issues in Contemporary Politics (PO4690)
Contemporary International Relations (PO4700)
African Politics (PO4710)
Topics in Political Science (PO4740)

Note: All Political Science modules in the Senior Sophister Year carry 15 ECTS each

** students taking Political Science only must take these modules. Students must have taken PO3600 to qualify.

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Programme Outcomes:

Having successfully completed this programme, students should be able to:

  • Identify, evaluate and synthesise the substantive theories, frameworks and models, both qualitative and quantitative, that are used in fields of enquiry related to law and political science;
  • Use appropriate theories from the fields of law and political science, as well as basic IT skills, to identify, analyse and solve a variety of problems in the private and/or public sectors of society within appropriate contexts;
  • Conduct effective and targeted research in case law, legislation and academic legal commentary at both the national and international levels;
  • Add to the body of knowledge in the fields of law and political science;
  • Work effectively as an individual and in teams in multi-disciplinary settings;
  • Demonstrate flexibility, adaptability and independence in order to engage productively with a changing social, cultural and technological environment;
  • Communicate effectively in oral and written modes in professional and academic settings;
  • Have the capacity to engage in life-long learning, including in practitioner, academic or other fields.

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European Credit Transfers

Students reading for any law degree at Trinity College Dublin must study 240 ECTs over the duration of the four years. Generally this entails 60 ECTs per year. The breakdown of credits for Law and Language students differs from other degrees, due in part to the compulsory year abroad. Students on these programmes will complete their 240 ECTS over the four year period but each year does not carry equal credits.

The ECTS weighting for a module is a measure of the student input or workload required for that module, based on factors such as the number of contact hours, the number and length of written or verbally presented assessment exercises, class preparation and private study time, classes, and examinations. There is no intrinsic relationship between the credit volume of a module and its level of difficulty.

In Trinity College Dublin, 1 ECTS unit is defined as 20-25 hours of student input so a 10-credit module will be designed to require 200-250 hours of student input including class contact time, private study and assessments.

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Contacts

Law Coordinator:

Professor Ivana Bacik

Political Science Coordinator:

Dr. Jacqueline Hayden

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Last updated 30 August 2013 School of Law (Email).