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Law and political science

Admission Requirements

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    Course overview

    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 this 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. During the four years of studies, students will have the opportunity to study all of the core subjects required by the legal professional bodies.

    Is this the right course for you?

    Yes, 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.

    Visit the Law School

    • If you are considering studying for a Law degree at Trinity College but want to be sure, you are most welcome to attend lectures. If you would like to avail of this opportunity, to come in and discuss your options with a member of staff, or to visit the Law School we would be happy to meet you. Please contact us by e-mail (see below) to arrange a visit.

    Did you know?

    • Trinity is ranked in the top 100 universities in the world for Law (by the QS World University Rankings 2014).

    Course content

    All students take modules worth 60 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) per year. In the first two years students take six 10 credit modules (three from each discipline).

    In the Junior Sophister (third) year, students take modules totalling 30 credits from each discipline. Students may choose to specialise in either Law or Political science in their Senior Sophister (fourth) year or continue to take an equal combination of modules from both subjects.

    Law modules are generally taught for three hours per week for one semester only and students attend four compulsory law seminars per module. Political science modules are also taught at lecture level with two hours of lectures and one tutorial per week per module.

    In the Junior Sophister (third) year, one law module, EU law, is mandatory. If a student chooses to specialise in Political science in the final year of his/her degree then he/she must take Research methods for political scientists.

    Junior Freshman (first) Year

    Law: The Irish legal system and Legal skills, Contract, and Torts law.

    Political science: Introduction to political science, Introduction to economic policy, and Introduction to sociology.

    Senior Freshman (second) year

    Law: Criminal law, Constitutional law I and Land law.

    Political Science: History of political thought, Comparative politics, and International relations. In place of a Political science module, students may take two Broad Curriculum modules (see http://www.tcd.ie/Broad_Curriculum).

    The Sophister years

    Junior Sophister (third year) students take 30 ECTS from both Law and Political science from the following modules:

    Law: EU law (compulsory) and 20 ECTS from the following modules: Administrative law; Advanced evidence; Child law; Commercial law; Company law; Comparative law; Conflict of laws (private international law); Constitutional law II; Contemporary issues in constitutional law; Contemporary issues in law and political science; Corporate governance, Criminology; Critical perspectives on law; Current issues in the legal profession; Environmental law; Equity; Evidence; Family law; Economic and legal aspects of competition policy; Employment law; English land law; European human rights law; Food law; Intellectual property law; International human rights law; International trade law; Jurisprudence; Legal philosophy; Legislation and regulation; Media law, Medical law and legal ethics; Private law remedies; Public interest law; Public international law; Refugee law; Sports law; Tax law; Transnational contract law; Broad Curriculum.

    Political science: students choose three modules from modules currently on offer (see www.tcd.ie/Political_Science/undergraduate/timetable)

    Senior Sophister (fourth year) students may choose to take either 60 ECTS from Law or Political science or continue to study an equal combination of Law and Political science modules from the following list:

    Law: Administrative law; Advanced EU law; Advanced evidence; Child law; Clinical legal education; Commercial law; Company law; Comparative law; Conflict of laws (private international law); Constitutional law II; Contemporary issues in constitutional law; Contemporary issues in law and political science; Corporate governance; Criminology; Critical perspectives on law; Current issues in the legal profession; Equity; Evidence; Family law; Economic and legal aspects of competition policy; Employment law; English land law; European human rights law; Food law, Intellectual property law; International human rights law; International trade law; Jurisprudence; Legal philosophy, legislation and regulation; Media law, Medical law and legal ethics, Private law remedies; Public interest law; Public international law; Refugee law; Research dissertation; Sports law; Tax law; Transnational contract law, Broad Curriculum.

    Political science: See www.tcd.ie/Political_Science/undergraduate/timetable for the modules.

    Full details of all law modules (Freshman and Sophister) are available on www.tcd.ie/law/undergraduate.

    In both subjects small-group teaching is an important aspect of the Sophister years and, should you decide to specialise in either Law or Political science in the final year, you will have the opportunity to research and write up a dissertation on a topic of your choice.

    Assessment

    Courses are examined by a combination of continuous assessment and formal examination.

    Study abroad

    A limited number of places are available on EU-funded exchange programmes at universities in Austria, France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands to students in the Junior Sophister (third) year. Students are advised to take optional language courses within the first two years if they wish to avail of this opportunity; alternatively they must satisfy that they have proficiency in the language of the host university that they wish to study in. There are also exchange programmes with a number of universities in North America. Participating in these opportunities is dependent upon the exchange fulfilling the course requirements of both departments.

    Career opportunities

    Whether students’ career goals lie in public leadership, the legal profession, the media, the civil service, academia, public relations, anything in business that requires knowing how government works, positions in international organisations such as the EU or a not-for-profit organisation, law enforcement, private practice, or elsewhere, the degree in Law and political science will be ideally suited as a platform for attaining those goals.

    Attend a political science lecture

    If you are considering studying for the Law and political science degree at Trinity but want to be sure, you are most welcome to sit in on a Junior Freshman lecture. If you would like to avail of this opportunity, please contact us by e-mail (see below) to arrange a visit.

    Further information

    www.tcd.ie/law/undergraduate

    Tel: +353 1 896 1125 / 1278

    E-mail: law.school@tcd.ie

    www.tcd.ie/Political_Science/undergraduate

    Tel: +353 1 896 1651

    Law degrees and professional qualifications

    No law degree entitles a person to practise law as a solicitor or barrister. If you wish to go on to obtain a professional qualification, the governing bodies for the profession require that you study certain specific modules in your primary law degree. These modules are taught as compulsory modules during the Freshman years and/or as optional Sophister modules. The School of Law's five undergraduate law degree programmes enables students the opportunity to study all modules required by the Irish and English professional bodies.

    Students contemplating a career as a barrister will need to continue their studies with the Honorable Society of the King's Inns. To qualify as a barrister, law graduates must complete the one-year degree course with the King's Inns before 'devilling' with a qualified barrister for a year. Further information on becoming a barrister is available from www.kingsinns.ie

    Prospective solicitors must undertake the professional training programme for solicitors delivered by the Law Society of Ireland (www.lawsociety.ie).

    Separate requirements apply in Northern Ireland. Prospective barristers should consult the Under Treasurer, The Inns Court of Northern Ireland (www.barlibrary.com), while prospective solicitors should consult the Secretary, the Incorporated Law Society of Northern Ireland (www.lawsoc-ni.org).

    In view of rapid changes relating to the rules of entry into professional study, all students are advised to maintain regular contact with the relevant professional bodies so that they are aware of any new requirements coming on-stream.

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