Bachelor in Law and Political Science
Law regulates every aspect of social life. From the contracts that we make when we buy products or services to the laws that determine when people can be jailed for committing criminal offences, to significant political decisions, such as the referendum to provide for marriage equality. The two disciplines of Law and Political Science are intrinsically linked and directly impact every aspect of our daily lives. The role and power of the constitution and judiciary, human rights and international law, the impact of the EU and Irish law are best understood when both subjects are considered. This course provides the opportunity to learn about Law and Political Science and better understand their relation to each other.
As a student of law and political science, you learn about laws - what they are, how they work and how they change – in their broader political context. As well as learning the skills of a lawyer, you learn the skills of a social scientist. The Law and Political Science degree trains students to be self-motivated, ethically aware and critically reflective citizens. If your career or intellectual interests lie in politics and public service, you will be greatly strengthened by knowledge of the law. If you are interested in pursuing a legal career, your study of law will be informed by a wider political understanding. Either way, the Law and Political Science degree may be the course for you.
Law and Political Science programme at Trinity College Dublin is a four-year honours degree programme. As a student on this programme, you will take both subjects equally for the first three years. In your fourth year, you will have the option to concentrate exclusively on either subject or continue with both. Teaching is by lectures and supplemented by seminars and tutorials (small group classes). Emphasis is on student contribution, particularly in seminars and tutorials. In the third and fourth year, you will have the opportunity to choose from an extensive range of Law and Political Science modules. This affords graduates of Law from Trinity College Dublin with the advantage of early specialisation in their academic life.
The first two years (Freshman) are given over to the study of core modules in law and political science. In the final two years, students have a wide range of choice to allow them to tailor their degree programme depending on their own interests in law and political science.
How many hours of teaching are involved?
The academic year is divided into two teaching semesters (terms) with examinations, when applicable, taking place at the end of the second semester. Each teaching semester is of 12 weeks duration, with a reading/study week taking place in the 7th week of both semesters. Students complete 60 ECTS of modules each year, usually 30 ECTS in each semester. In the first two years, each module is 10 ECTS. In the final two years, some modules are 5 ECTS and some modules are 15 ECTS. Typically, a student has nine hours lectures per week, three hours in each 10 ECTS module or one and a half hours in each 5 ECTS module. In addition to lectures, Freshman students must attend 4 seminars in each law module. Attendance at law seminars is also required for some Sophister modules.
Semesters - The teaching semesters are referred to as Michaelmas Term (first semester) and Hilary Term (second semester). Annual Examinations take place after the end of Hilary Term. The examinations period is referred to as Trinity Term.
Lectures involve a mix of the Socratic method (where students must answer questions based on pre-assigned reading), class discussion, and more traditional lecturing. Seminars are entirely discussion-based. Seminars are taught by academic staff, post-graduate students or by practising solicitors or barristers with particular expertise in the area.
European Credit Transfers
Students reading for any law degree at Trinity College Dublin must study 240 ECTs over the duration of the four years. Students on the Law and German programme study 70 ECTS in their first year, 65 ECTS in their second year, 45 ECTS while on Erasmus exchange in Germany in their third year, and 60 ECTS in their final year. 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.
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.
Unless otherwise specified, all modules carry 10 ECTS.
Junior Freshman Year
- Law of Torts
- Foundations of law
Political Science modules:
- Introduction to political science
- Introduction to economic policy
- Introduction to sociology
Senior Freshman Year
- Constitutional Law I
- Criminal law
- Land law
Political Science modules:
Students are required to take the following 4 modules:
- History of political thought
- International relations
- Comparative politics
Students may choose 2 broad curriculum modules, each valued at 5 ECTS, in place of a political science module listed above.
Undergraduate Course Office (Law):
School of Law, House 39, New Square,Trinity College, Dublin 2
Tel (Country Code + 353) (01) 896 1125/1278; Fax (Country Code + 353) (01) 677 0449; Email email@example.com
Undergraduate Course Office (Political Science):
3 College Green, Dublin 2
Tel (Country Code + 353) (01) 896 1651; Fax (Country Code + 353) (01) 677 0449; Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Law: Ivana Bacik Law School, Tel (Country Code + 353) (01) 896 2299
Political Science: Constantine Boussalis