Bachelor in Law and German (LL.B. (ling. germ.))
Law regulates every aspect of social life. This ranges from the contracts that we make when we buy products to the laws that determine when people can be jailed for committing criminal offences, and through to significant political decisions, such as constitutional reforms on marriage or abortion. 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.
Ireland’s membership of the European Union, combined with globalisation, makes it more important than ever that lawyers are able to understand other legal systems and cultures. The Law and German programme, taught in collaboration with the German Department, provides a unique opportunity to study, not just the Irish legal system but also German language, literature, culture and political system. In addition, you will spend one year of your studies at a partner university in Germany, where you will be able to learn more about the German legal system.
Please note that admission to this programme requires evidence of competence in German in the Leaving Certificate or equivalent qualifications. See the College Courses page for further information.
Programme Structure (September 2019 entrants)
Law and German is a four-year honours degree programme. The first year entails studying core legal modules in conjunction with modules in German language, culture and political system. In particular, you will be supported in developing your legal skills through the Foundations of Law module.
At the end of the first year of your programme, you will have several options in relation to the balance between Law and German modules. You can choose to focus more on Law, more on German, or an equal combination of the two disciplines. If you wish to complete the modules that are currently pre-requisites for the professional stage of training to become a solicitor or barrister in Ireland, then you will have to choose to focus on Law: this is Law as a Major subject in your degree programme and German as a Minor subject in your degree programme.
In all variations of the programme, you will spend the third year at a partner university in Germany and then return to Trinity to complete your studies in the fourth year. During this final year of study, one-third of your credits will be devoted to the completion of a research project, which we call the ‘Capstone’. This allows you to apply and enhance the research skills that you have developed in the previous three years of the programme. If you choose Law as a Major, then you will complete your Capstone within the School of Law. You will be part of a research group with other students where you will work independently and collaboratively to explore in-depth a topical issue.
How is the programme taught?
The academic year is divided into two terms (semesters): one in the autumn and one in the spring. Students complete modules to the value of 30 credits in each term. Modules are normally either 5 or 10 credits. The volume of teaching depends upon the credits attached to each module, but a 10 credit module in Law would typically be composed of 3 hours of lectures per week. Lectures are a large group teaching format, but they include opportunities for student participation, e.g. discussing questions with the lecturer. German modules are typically taught through a mix of small groups classes as well as larger lecture formats.
In the first year, we have a special programme of weekly seminars to accompany our Foundations of Law module. These are small group teaching sessions that are designed to support you as you develop basic legal skills. In addition, during years one and two of the law programme, other modules are delivered by a combination of weekly lectures and four seminars per term. Seminars are focused upon active student participation, e.g. discussion, presentation, group work. Seminars are taught by academic staff, postgraduate researchers or by practising solicitors or barristers with particular expertise in the area.
Assessment takes place on a continuous basis across the academic year. There are examinations at the end of each term, but modules are often assessed also by other means, such as written assignments and oral presentations.
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 teaching hours, the number and length of written or orally presented assessment exercises, class preparation and private study time, and examinations. 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;
- Map the relationship between law and society, including the role of law in promoting and responding to social change;
- Demonstrate a capacity for critical reflection and judgement in the light of evidence and argument;
- Discuss and debate different perspectives on legal problems, theories and doctrines in both a national and international context;
- Conduct effective and targeted research in case law, legislation and academic legal commentary at both the national and international levels;
- Demonstrate a differentiated and in-depth knowledge and understanding of, together with an ability to evaluate critically, the legal environment and institutions of the countries where the target language is spoken and to place these in their historical context;
- Demonstrate a high level of oral, aural and written proficiency in the German language, including the ability to discuss freely general and legal topics, and to evaluate, synthesise and present legal arguments in a structured, reasoned and coherent way in both written and oral modes;
- Integrate critical linguistic and cultural awareness with the appropriate knowledge and strategies to deal creatively and ethically with challenges in communication in social and professional settings;
- Demonstrate flexibility, adaptability and independence in order to engage productively with a changing social, cultural and technological environment and with a capacity to move effectively within and between cultures;
- Have developed the capacity to engage in life-long learning, including vocational training for the legal profession;
- Work and communicate effectively as an individual and in teams in multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural settings.
For descriptions of each of the modules below, please visit the module page.
Year 1 - Junior Freshman Year
- Foundations of Law
- German Language
- German Area Studies
- German Literature
- Textual Analysis
At this point, each student chooses between several pathways for combining the two disciplines. The programme structure indicated below is where the student has chosen to follow Law as a Major and German as a Minor. There are two other pathways: (i) Law and German (Joint) – an equal balance of credits in Law and German; (ii) German as a Major and Law as a Minor – the majority of credits will be taken in German.
Year 2 - Senior Freshman Year (Major in Law)
- Constitutional Law I
- Criminal Law
- Land Law
- 20 ECTS of modules from the Department of German (including German Language)
Year 3 - Junior Sophister Year (Major in Law)
Compulsory Year Abroad, see Junior Sophister year abroad for further details.
Year 4 - Senior Sophister Year (Major in Law)
- 20 ECTS: ‘Capstone’ research project module in Law
- Administrative Law
- Company Law
- Legal Philosophy (unless an equivalent module has been completed during the Year Abroad).
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 law.school at tcd.ie
Law: Killian O'Brien Room 22, Law School, Tel (Country Code + 353) (01) 896 4901
German: Katrin Eberback