Trinity College Dublin

Skip to main content.

Top Level TCD Links

Courses

Law and German

Admission Requirements

For Admission requirements please click here

Apply

To apply to this course, click on the relevant Apply Link below

    Overview

    With continuing European integration and an increasing globalisation of legal matters, there is a need for lawyers with a trans-national education. The Law and German degree course satisfies these needs as students graduate with a grounding in Irish law, are fluent in a second European language, with a thorough knowledge of the legal system of Germany, and have a real insight and knowledge of the general culture, political, economic and sociological make-up of Germany. The Law and a language programmes are taught in collaboration with the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultural Studies.

    Is this the right course for you?

    In addition to a desire to study law, you will need a specific and strong interest in the general culture, legal, political, economic and sociological make-up of Germany. You should also be willing and have the ability to become fluent in the relevant language.

    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).

    Open Day for Law

    The School of Law will be holding an open day in the autumn for those interested in undertaking a law degree at third level. There will be a programme of events designed to give students a flavour of what it is like to study law in a university. In addition, there will be an opportunity to meet current students and recent graduates, as well as lecturers, in a relaxed and informal setting. Information will be posted on www.tcd.ie/Law

    Course content

    In the Freshman (first two) years you will study a variety of legal modules, see below. In each semester, you will have two Irish law modules, with three hours of lectures in each per week. 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. Law and a language students also study the constitutional and civil law of their chosen jurisdiction. Students also take integrated modules on language and civilisation, covering aspects of sociology, legal systems and politics.

    Law and German students should be interested in developing a very high fluency in German. New entrants are not expected already to be fluent; rather they are supported in improving their language skills through the degree.

    Germany is one of the world’s principal civil law legal systems, unlike our own common law system. Understanding German law is therefore very useful, especially for fields such as European Union law, International law or International business law. Students also benefit from comparative insights in their study of Irish law.

    Junior Freshman modules

    • The Irish legal system (including Legal skills)
    • Contract law
    • Constitutional law 1
    • Criminal law
    • German language
    • German area studies
    • German legal system

    Senior Freshman modules

    • Law of tort
    • Land law
    • Private law remedies (including Mooting programme)
    • Equity
    • German language
    • German cultural history
    • German civil law

    The Sophister years

    The Junior Sophister (third) year is spent studying legal or related subjects in a German university. The results obtained studying abroad constitute a substantial part of your final degree grades.

    In the Senior Sophister (fourth) year, you select 40 ECTS (credits) worth of modules from approximately thirty options:

    Advanced European Union law; Advanced evidence; Advocacy; Child law; Clinical legal education; Collective labour law; Commercial law; Company law; Comparative law; Contemporary issues in Constitutional law; Corporate governance; Corporate insolvency law; Criminology; Critical perspectives on law; Economic and legal aspects of competition policy; Employment law; English land law; Environmental law; European human rights; EU food law; Evidence; Family law; Intellectual property law; International family law; International human rights law; International trade law; Jurisprudence; Legal philosophy; Media law; Medical law and ethics; Penology; Public interest law; Public international law; Refugee and immigration law; Restitution; Tax law; Transnational contract law; Sport and the law.

    Students who wish to continue their studies with the professional bodies may also take Freshman modules in place of a Sophister module if required by the particular professional body. In addition, you will engage in language and oral work and project/report writing. Students may choose from a number of options to take the place of a law module, including a Broad Curriculum module (see http://www.tcd.ie/Broad_Curriculum), a research dissertation or a module offered by the relevant language department.

    In addition to the above optional modules, Law and a language students also take further modules in German law or language.

    Assessment

    A combination of assignments and aural, oral and written examinations is used. There is a strong element of continuous assessment in language and German law subjects.

    Career opportunities

    The increasing Europeanisation of legal practice means that graduates of the law and a language degree programme have much to contribute to the legal and other professions in Ireland, as well as enjoying career opportunities in Europe. In addition to careers in the legal profession, Law and German graduates also find employment in business, journalism, accountancy, banking, insurance, politics, foreign affairs and diplomacy and public services.

    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.

    Further information

    www.tcd.ie/Law

    Tel: +353 1 896 1125 / 1278

    E-mail: law.school@tcd.ie

    Specific Entry Requirements

    Leaving CertificateHC1 German
    Advanced GCE (A-Level)Grade C German
    Other EU examination systems See www.tcd.ie/Admissions/undergraduate/requirements/matriculation/other/

    Graduate Profile

    David Hughes

    The Law and German programme provided me with perspectives on language and on society which I think are unparalleled in any other programme. We had the opportunity to take our knowledge of the German language to degree level, with the help of an extremely competent and thorough German Studies Department. However, the real gem of the Law and German programme is the meeting place between the two disciplines; so few law students in the world are privileged to study a foreign legal system to such a level. We were thoroughly versed in the basics of German law in our first two years, before embarking on the Erasmus programme in a colourful variety of German legal faculties - this year was undoubtedly the highlight of the programme. Upon our return to Trinity, we consolidated our experience by studying four final-year law subjects (in preparation for training as barristers and solicitors) and we polished our written, aural and oral German skills, as well as taking a more in-depth look at the German and European legal systems in a class taught by a prominent German lawyer. All in all, the Law and German programme was an excellent first step toward a career in any number of areas - and we have found that, with this degree, we have simply strolled through job interviews!

    Graduate Profile


    Sarah Palmer

    Job title: Lawyer linguist, European Central Bank (Frankfurt, Germany)

    I graduated from the Law and German degree course in Trinity in 2005. Of course, everyone knows that Trinity is a beautiful and historic place to spend four years. More importantly though, it is very diverse, with students from all over Ireland and beyond, so that it has a uniquely open and relaxed atmosphere. As a result, there are much fewer opportunities for cliques to get in the way of making friends and feeling at home. The Law School is also one of the most student-oriented departments on campus: law students have the support of both their peers, through the mentoring programme and the Law Society, as well as their teachers from Day 1. The Law and German programme has even more advantages: smaller class sizes make it a more intense academic and social experience. My Law and German classmates are still my closest friends because there was such a special atmosphere in the group. Studying German law also improved my understanding of Irish law. The main bonus of the Law and German degree, however, is the opportunity to study abroad in third year, become fluent in German and have a lot of fun at the same time. Without exaggerating, it is probably the most exhilarating year of your life. Since graduating, I qualified as a barrister and am now working as a lawyer linguist in the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, using the German skills and knowledge of Irish and European law that I gained in Trinity. I can say with confidence that a degree in Law and German definitely opens up many opportunities at home and abroad, whether in law or other areas. The language aspect and studying German law are not only challenging but also gave me a much broader perspective than I would otherwise have had and enhanced my ability to think critically, logically and analytically, skills which employers value highly in any field. From my own experience, I have found that the degree is extremely well recognised in Ireland and abroad and gives graduates a real edge, which is what matters, in the job market later on.

     

||