Bachelor in Laws (LL.B)
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. As a law student, you learn what these laws are, how they work and how they change. You learn the skills of a lawyer – how to research the law, how to make legal arguments, how to use the law to protect and serve your clients. As importantly, though, you also learn to be critical of law. Law can control power but it can also concentrate power, in the hands of large political and commercial organisations. In our increasingly globalised world, it is more important than ever that people understand the huge potential of law to aid the common good but also the potential for its misuse. The Trinity law degree inculcates this perspective in students. It trains them to be self-motivated, ethically aware and critically reflective citizens.
The law degree will appeal to you if you are interested in society and how it works, how we regulate the relationships between people. Given the wide range of legal subjects, the degree attracts students with a broad range of interests. Those interested in politics are attracted to subjects such as constitutional law. Those interested in business are attracted to subjects as company law and commercial law. Those concerned about injustice, whether at an international or national level, will be attracted to subjects such as international human rights, environmental law, and public interest law. In truth, most students have overlapping interests. There is no single ability that identifies a good law student. However, the programme involves a large amount of independent work, mostly consisting of reading and analysis. An ability to self-motivate is therefore important.
The information below relates to entry into the programme in 2018. Please note that the programme structure will be different for those commencing in 2019. Updated information on the 2019 programme will be published in October 2018.
Law at Trinity College Dublin is a four-year honors degree programme. The first two years (Freshman) are given over to the study of core legal modules (many of which are required for those who wish later to train in the legal professions). In the Freshman years of the programme we ensure that the balance is appropriately divided between the academic and practical aspects of law. This is achieved through the unique Foundation of Law and mooting programmes taught in the first two years of the programme. In the Junior Sophister year, students take modules at a more advanced level that address particular areas of legal regulation, such as employment law and family law. In the fourth year, students complete a compulsory dissertation and take smaller seminar-style classes that provide the capstone of the distinctive Trinity education.
Most of the teaching takes place at lecture level. The academic year is divided into two terms (semesters). In the Freshman years, students take three modules per semester and a series of legal skills seminars and workshops. Each module is taught by three hours of lectures per week and four seminars (small group teaching) per semester. In the Sophister years students take generally between six and eight modules (modules are weighted differently in the final two years, see below).
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. 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 (small group teaching) per module and participate in compulsory mooting programmes. Attendance at 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 practicising 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. Generally, this entails 60 ECTs per 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 jurisprudential theories and concepts;
- Use appropriate legal theories, doctrines and concepts to identify, formulate, analyse and solve legal problems within national and international contexts;
- Understand the relationship between law and society, including the role of law in promoting and responding to social change;
- Conduct effective and targeted research in case law, legislation and academic legal commentary at both the national and international levels;
- Discuss and debate different perspectives on legal problems, theories and doctrines;
- Communicate effectively in oral and written modes in professional and academic settings and work effectively in multi-disciplinary settings;
- Demonstrate flexibility, adaptability and independence in order to engage productively with a changing social, cultural and technological environment;
- Have the capacity to engage in life-long learning, including vocational training for the legal profession.
For descriptions of each of the modules below, please visit the module page.
Junior Freshman Year
- Constitutional law I
- Criminal law
- Law of Torts
- Foundations of law
- Legislation and regulation
Senior Freshman Year
- Administrative Law
- Constitutional Law II
- EU law
- Land law
- Private law remedies
For the final two years, students choose from a broad range of modules. The School has decided to differentiate between the Junior Sophister and Senior Sophister modules in order to provide a more structured degree programme, culminating in a distinctive Senior Sophister year. During this transitional period, the precise options available to each year group will be notified directly to that year group. What follows is the list of all modules available in either of the Sophister years.
Students may also apply to spend their Junior Sophister year abroad, on a Erasmus or international exchange programme, at any university with which the Law School has links.
Junior and Senior Sophister Years
- Advanced EU law
- Advanced Evidence
- Child law (5 ECTS)
- Clinical Legal Education
- Collective Labour Law
- Commercial law
- Company law
- Competition Policy
- Corporate Governance (5 ECTS)
- Critical Perspectives on law (5 ECTS)
- Current Issues in Constitutional Law (5 ECTS)
- Employment law
- English Land law
- Environmental law
- Equality law
- European Human Rights
- Family law
- Feminism and the law (5 ECTS)
- Food Law
- Intellectual Property law
- International Human Rights
- IT law
- Legal Philosophy (5 ECTS)
- Media law
- Medical law and ethics
- Penology (5 ECTS)
- Public Interest law
- Public International law
- Tax law
- Refugee law
School of Law, House 39, New Square,Trinity College, Dublin 2Undergraduate Course Office:
Tel (Country Code + 353) (01) 896 1125/1278; Fax (Country Code + 353) (01) 677 0449; Email law.school at tcd.ie