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Bachelor in Law and Political Science, Trinity College Dublin


Bachelor in Law and Political Science (LL.B. (Pol. Sci.))

CAO Code: TR020
CAO Points (2016): 575
Number of Places: 20

Programme Overview

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.

Programme Structure

Law and Political Science programme at Trinity College Dublin is a four-year honors 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 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 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. 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.

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.


For descriptions of each of the Law modules below, please visit the module page. Political Science module descriptions can be found on the Department of Political Science.

Unless otherwise specified, all modules carry 10 ECTS

Junior Freshman Year

Law modules:

Law of Torts
Foundations of law

Political Science modules:

Introduction to political science
Introduction to economic policy
Introduction to sociology

Senior Freshman Year

Law modules:

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, [needs link] in place of a political science module listed above

Junior and Senior Sophister Year

For the final two years, students are free to choose to study modules to the total sum of 60 ECTS ects per year.
In the Junior Sophister year students must take 30 ects of law and 30 ects of political science modules. 
There is flexibility in the Senior Sophister year, students may take choose to take exclusively from one discipline or the other or continue to combine both subjectse to the total value of 60 ECTS.
Students may also apply to spend their Junior Sophister year abroad, on a Erasmus or international exchange programme, at a university in any European country with which the programme has links.  Please see Junior Sophister year abroad for further details.
For the final two years, students choose from a broad range of modules. The Department of Political Science differentiates between the modules available in the Junior and Senior Sophister year. The Law School is also introducing a similar differentiation. During this transitional period, the law modules available to each year group will be notified directly to that year group. What follows is the list of all law modules available in either of the Sophister years and the list of political science modules available in each year.

see Junior Sophister year abroad for further details.

Law Modules

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

Junior Sophister Year

Political Science Modules

Research methods
Democracy and development
European union politics
Government and politics of the USA
Political violence

Senior Sophister Year

Political Science Modules

Contemporary political theories (15 ECTS)                                            
The Politics of Policy-Making (15 ECTS)
Political parties (15 ECTS)
Issues in contemporary politics (15 ECTS)
Contemporary international relations (15 ECTS)
African politics (15 ECTS)
Topics in political science (15 ECTS)
Chinese politics (15 ECTS)


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 at

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 polsci at


Course Coordinators:

Law: Ivana Bacik Law School, Tel (Country Code + 353) (01) 896 2299

Political Science: Constantine Boussalis