University of Chester

Programme Specification
Law with Politics LLB (Hons) (Single Honours)
2017 - 2018

Bachelor of Laws (Single Honours)

Law with Politics

Law with Politics (including a Foundation Year)

University of Chester

University of Chester

Chester Gateway House/ Chester Parkgate Road campus

Undergraduate Modular Programme

Full-time and Part-time

Classroom / Laboratory,

4 years

7 Years

Annual - September




17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Social Science Law

 Law (2015), Politics and International Relations (2015)

The Law degree is a Qualifying Law Degree (QLD) in that it meets the requirements of the joint statement which was published by the now defunct Joint Academic Stage Board (JASB)

Learning and Teaching Institute (Level 3)

Law (LA modules Level 4 - 6), Department of Social and Political Science (SO modules Level 4 - 6)

Monday 18th January 2016

As to Law: 

  • To acquire knowledge and understanding of legal doctrines, concepts, principles, rules and values in core areas of law.
  • To understand the English legal system and the impact of European Union law and institutions on that system.
  • To study in depth a number of substantive areas of law, a perception and appreciation of the context in which law operates and the development of a critical perspective of the law and legal institutions
  • To understand the dynamic nature of law, of uncertainty in the law, and of the need for and proposals for law reform.

As to Politics:

The educational aims of the programme are consistent with the educational aims of a politics degree as set out in the benchmark statement for Politics and International Relations. They are also consistent with the QAA's FHEQ stipulation for a 'bachelor's degree with honours' level descriptor as referred to in the benchmark statement and as mapped across this programme specification under the learning outcomes section.They are as follows:

  • To place questions of politics and international order and decision-making at the centre of analysis
  • To ensure that students acquire knowledge and understanding in appropriate areas of theory and analysis
  • To enable students to understand and use concepts, approaches and methods of their discipline and develop an understanding of their contested nature and the problematic character of inquiry in the discipline
  • To develop in students a capacity to think critically and independently about events , ideas and institutions
  • To encourage students to relate the academic study of politics to questions of public concern and to relate the academic theory to policies in practice
  • To assist students to develop a range of cognitive and social skills relevant to their intellectual, vocational and personal development
  • To provide a curriculum supported by scholarship, staff development and a research culture that promotes breadth and depth of intellectual enquiry and debate
  • To create a learning environment that is receptive to the needs and views of students and encourages them to achieve their full potential

Specifically, graduates will be able to demonstrate a wide range of abilities and skills in:

  • Knowledge and understanding of the subject
  • Generic intellectual skills
  • Personal transferable skills

In addition, the programme-related educational aims are for students to achieve the learning outcomes linked to the individual modules, which in turn link back to the programme-wide educational aims.

  • As to both Law and Politics: 
  • To develop transferable graduate level skills in research, analysis, synthesis, problem solving, communication (oral and in writing) and the ability to work autonomously and as part of a team in a multi-cultural society.

As to Law: Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of

  • a substantial range of legal doctrines, major concepts and values that underpin law and the legal system.
  • the purpose of some areas of law from a critical perspective
  • principles and rules as they apply to specific areas of law and legal systems
  • the potential for impact of European Union law and European institutions on English law and the English legal system
  • some substantive areas of law, including some in-depth study

In addition, depending on the options chosen at level 6, demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of

  • a number of areas of business law in a commercial context
  • areas of crime and criminal justice, and their interaction with human rights, and the context in which the criminal justice system operates

As to Politics:

  • The benchmark lists what graduates in politics should be able to do in terms of knowledge and understanding of the subject:
    • Understand the nature and significance of politics and human activity
    • Apply concepts, theories and methods used in the study of politics to the analysis of political ideas, institutions and practices
    • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of different political systems, the nature and distribution of power in them; the social, economic, historical and cultural contexts within which they operate, and the relationship between them
    • Evaluate different interpretations of political issues and events The FHEQ honours level descriptor identifies a number of outcomes to measure the knowledge and understanding of an honours student. The benchmark statement has already taken these into account. All modules identify the knowledge and understanding learning outcomes.

By the end of Level 3 students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate a knowledge of terms and concepts relevant to the pathway subject-specific modules.
  • Use academic study skills at the required level for further study at the University.
  • Identify how theory can be applied to real-life situations.
  • Be aware of how undergraduate study prepares students for the world of work.

At level 4 students would be able to use this knowledge and understanding in a routine manner to evaluate and formulate a range of arguments. For Law in LA4001, LA4007, LA4008 and LA4011. For Politics in SO4701 and SO4704.

At level 5 students would be able to use this knowledge and understanding to initiate and undertake critical analysis of information and to propose solutions to problems. For Law in LA5001, LA5002, LA5006, and LA5005 if taken. For Politics in SO5701, SO5702 and SO5703 depending on options taken.

At level 6 students would be able to use this knowledge and understanding to deploy accurately established techniques of analysis and enquiry within the law discipline. For Law in LA6022 plus those other law modules chosen by the student. For Politics in SO6702, SO6703 and SO6704 depending on options taken.

As to Law:
Students should be able to:

  • recognise and distil issues from factual or hypothetical information and prioritise them in terms of their relevance and importance
  • undertake an analysis of complex legal or factual information in a systematic way and according to the purpose to be served
  • apply knowledge and understanding to solve problems – actual or hypothetical
  • propose and handle alternative solutions
  • produce a synthesis of relevant doctrinal and policy issues in relation to a topic
  • offer critical evaluation of particular arguments and make informed judgements about their merits

As to Politics:

The benchmark statement refers to graduates in politics having the following ‘generic intellectual skills’ and lists them as:

  • Gather, organise and deploy evidence, data and information from a wide variety of secondary and some primary sources
  • Identify, investigate, analyse, formulate and advocate solutions to problems
  • Construct reasoned argument, synthesise relevant information and exercise critical judgement
  • Reflect on own learning and seek and make use of constructive feedback
  • Manage own learning self-critically
  • Recognise the importance of explicit referencing and the ethical requirements of studyAll modules require the application of the above skills, and these will be assessed both formatively and summatively.

By the end of Level 3, students should be able to:

  • Analyse, interpret and summarise information.
  • Write in an academic manner.
  • Begin to reflect on their own learning and use feedback as part of this process.
  • Demonstrate independent learning.
  • Integrate a variety of information sources to come to a conclusion.

At level 4 students would be able to use the aforementioned cognitive skills in a routine manner to evaluate and formulate a range of arguments.  For Law in LA4001, LA4007, LA4008 and LA4011. For Politics in SO4701 and SO4704.

At level 5 students would be able to use the aforementioned cognitive skills to initiate and undertake critical analysis of information and to propose solutions to problems. For Law in LA5001, LA5002, LA5006, and LA5005 if taken. For Politics in SO5701, SO5702 and SO5703 depending on options taken.

At level 6 students would be able to use the aforementioned cognitive skills to deploy accurately established techniques of analysis and enquiry within the law discipline. For Law in LA6022 plus those other law modules chosen by the student. For Politics in SO6702, SO6703 and SO6704 depending on options taken.

Practical Skills

As to Law:

Practical Skills: students should be able to:

  • identify and retrieve legal information using paper and electronic sources
  • use primary and secondary sources relevant to the topic under study
  • collate information and materials from a variety of sources in a coherent way
  • plan and undertake tasks in areas of law already studied
  • plan and undertake research in areas of law not previously studied
  • properly attribute and utilize the work of others

As to Politics:

The emphasis of the programme is on employability skills, and therefore students will be able to apply their knowledge and understanding, and their thinking and cognitive skills, to practical scenarios. All modules keep to the theme of employability but this will be evidenced/ assessed in different and appropriate ways.

Transferable Professional Skills

These skills are not separate but embedded in the key skills above.

By the end of Level 3, students should be able to:

  • Retrieve and collate information from a variety of sources.
  • Use proficient reading and writing skills in preparation for the next level of study.
  • Demonstrate ability in core IT applications.
  • Present numeracy and quantitative skill in the production of their assessed work.
  • Work with others for problem-solving activities.

At level 4 students will be able to use the above skills to communicate results of their studies accurately and reliably.  For Law in LA4001, LA4007, LA4008 and LA4011. For Politics in SO4701 and SO4704.

At level 5 students will be able to use the above skills to communicate different types of information and analysis in a variety of different ways to both specialist and non-specialist audiences. For Law in LA5001, LA5002, LA5006, and LA5005 if taken. For Politics in SO5701, SO5702 and SO5703 depending on options taken.

At level 6 students will be able to use established techniques of analysis and enquiry and communicate the same in a variety of different ways and be able to use these skills to manage their own learning. For Law in LA6022 plus those other law modules chosen by the student. For Politics in SO6702, SO6703 and SO6704 depending on options taken.


  • Understand and use proficiently the English language, both orally and in writing,
  • Present knowledge in a way which is comprehensible to others and directed to their concerns
  • Construct a consistent and sustained argument
  • Understand and present relevant statistical or other numerical data as part of an argument
  • Word process work in an appropriate format
  • Use e-mail and the World-wide Web
  • Reflect on your own learning and seek and make use of feedback
  • Manage your time effectively
  • Work in groups as a participant who contributes effectively to the group's task
  • Construct a consistent and sustained argument and see benchmarks above.


  • Communication
  • Application of Number
  • Information Literacy and Technology
  • Improving own learning and performance
  • Working with others
  • Problem solving

The benchmark statement relates to all the above under the heading personal transferable skills albeit worded differently as follows:

  • Communicate effectively and fluently in speech and writing
  • Use communication and information technology including av technology, for the retrieval and presentation of information including where appropriate statistical or numerical information
  • Work independently, demonstrating initiative, self organisation and time management, progressing through the degree programme to become a mature independent learner
  • Collate with others to achieve common goals through, for example, group work The FHEQ level-descriptor also lists a number of outcomes which involve application and communication

By the end of the level 3 students should be able to:

  • Communicate the ideas of others and their own ideas in an academic format.
  • Use IT applications effectively for research and presentation purposes.
  • Discuss and debate relevant topics and ideas as part of the learning process.
  • Convert researched information to a summarised form.


At level 4 students will be able to use the above skills to communicate results of their studies accurately and reliably.  For Law in LA4001, LA4007, LA4008 and LA4011. For Politics in SO4701 and SO4704.

At level 5 students will be able to use the above skills to communicate different types of information and analysis in a variety of different ways to both specialist and non-specialist audiences. For Law in LA5001, LA5002, LA5006, and LA5005 if taken. For Politics in SO5701, SO5702 and SO5703 depending on options taken.

At level 6 students will be able to use established techniques of analysis and enquiry and communicate the same in a variety of different ways and be able to use these skills to manage their own learning. For Law in LA6022 plus those other law modules chosen by the student. For Politics in SO6702, SO6703 and SO6704 depending on options taken.

The programme is designed to provide an opportunity for students to meet learning outcomes in law and politics for different purposes.

Students may wish to continue on the path to legal professional qualification and the programme has been designed as a Qualifying Law Degree.

The foundation year comprises six modules listed in section 24b.  

Some will wish to use their knowledge of law and politics, as well as the transferable skills acquired through their study, to prepare for a career in an allied profession. Others will wish to study law and politics as academic disciplines in their own right and acquire a social science/arts qualification. All of these factors have been considered in the design of the programme. The Law element incorporates study of all the areas needed for a Qualifying Law Degree, including a module incorporating study skills.

At level 5 students must chose between either LA5005 Experiential Law or WB5101 Enhancing Your Employability Through Work based Learning. They must also choose 40 credits of study from the politics modules- SO5701 Politics and Policies, SO5702 The Individual and the State & SO5703 Global Politics and International Relations.

At level 6 students will have to study the two core Law modules (LA6009 and LA6022) and must then choose a further 40 credits of Law modules. They must also choose 40 credits of politics modules. Students will be able to specialise to some degree in an area of the law that is of particular interest to them and/or of particular relevance to their future career. However, the choice of Law options is constrained by the decision to study Politics alongside Law. It is expected, although not mandatory, that students will choose Law options to complement their interest in Politics. These include Discrimination Law and Social Control: A Legal History. The programme complies fully with the requirements of the FHEQ and the Law Subject benchmark statements as set out more fully in section 25. 

The Politics modules are structured to give the students a firm foundation at level 4 and there is some choice at level 5 and level 6. These modules do complement the Law modules, particularly in the areas of Public Law, European Community Law and Human Rights Law.

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
FP3002 0 University Study Skills 20 Comp
FP3003 0 Independent Project 20 Comp
FP3101 0 Introduction to Business 20 N/A
FP3102 0 Introduction to the Social Sciences 20 Comp
FP3103 0 Introduction to Law 20 Comp
FP3104 0 Foundation Maths 20 N/A
FP3105 0 Global Perspectives 20 Comp
FP3301 0 Critical Thinking 20 Comp
LA4001 4 Contract Law 20 Comp
LA4004 4 English Legal System and Critical Legal Skills 20 N/A
LA4007 4 Public Law 20 Comp
LA4008 4 Principles of Property Law 20 Comp
LA4011 4 English Legal System and Method 20 Comp
SO4701 4 Introduction to British Politics 20 Comp
SO4704 4 Thinking about Politics and International Relations 20 Comp
LA5001 5 Criminal Law 20 Comp
LA5002 5 EU Law 20 Comp
LA5005 5 Law Experiential 20 Optional
LA5006 5 Tort 20 Comp
SO5701 5 Politics and Policies 20 Optional
SO5702 5 The Individual and the State 20 Optional
SO5703 5 Global Politics and International Relations 20 Optional
WB5101 5 Enhancing your Employability through Work Based Learning 20 Optional
LA6002 6 Law Dissertation 40 Optional
LA6003 6 Legal Research Methods 20 N/A
LA6004 6 Child Law 20 Optional
LA6005 6 Family Law 20 Optional
LA6006 6 Medical Law 20 Optional
LA6008 6 Introduction to Criminology 20 Optional
LA6009 6 Human Rights Law (Level 6) 20 Comp
LA6011 6 Social Control: A Legal History 20 Optional
LA6012 6 Discrimination Law 20 Optional
LA6013 6 Employment Law 20 Optional
LA6014 6 Company Law 20 Optional
LA6016 6 Intellectual Property 20 N/A
LA6017 6 Evidence 20 Optional
LA6022 6 Equity, Trusts and Property Law II 20 Comp
SO6702 6 Political Communication 20 Optional
SO6703 6 Politics of Sustainability 20 Optional
SO6704 6 Security and Insecurity in World Affairs 20 Optional

120 credits at Level 3 entitles the student to a Foundation Certificate

120 credits at Level 4 entitles the student to a Certificate of Higher Education

240 credits at Level 5 entitles the student to a Diploma of Higher Education

360 credits at Level 6 entitles the student to a Bachelor's degree

As this is recognised as a QLD students may not be compensated in the following modules:

  • LA4001 Contract Law
  • LA4007 Public Law
  • LA4008 Principles of Property Law
  • LA5001 Criminal Law
  • LA5002 EU Law
  • LA5006 Tort Law
  • LA6009 Human Rights Law
  • LA6022 Equity, Trusts and Principles of Property Law II

This degree is recognised as satisfying the requirements necessary for a student to complete the academic stage of qualification. This allows the student to pass directly onto the Legal Practice Course- if they wish to become a solicitor, or the Bar Professional Training Course- if they wish to become a barrister.

The student to gain this recognition must study and pass the following modules:

  • LA4001 Contract Law
  • LA4007 Public Law
  • LA4008 Principles of Property Law
  • LA5001 Criminal Law
  • LA5002 EU Law
  • LA5006 Tort Law
  • LA6009 Human Rights Law
  • LA6022 Equity, Trusts and Principles of Property Law II

The degree is also recognised by the Law Society of Northern Ireland as being a QLD provided students also take LA6017 Evidence.

  • 72 UCAS points from GCE A Levels
  • BTEC Extended Diploma: MMP-MPP
  • BTEC Diploma: MM
  • Access Diploma – Pass overall
  • International Baccalaureate: 24 points
  • Irish / Scottish Highers - CCCC

Other vocational qualifications at Level 3 will also be considered, such as NVQs.

Mature students (21 and over) that have been out of education for a while or do not have experience or qualifications at Level 3 (equivalent to A-levels) will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

The University of Chester is committed to a policy of widening access and participation by groups currently under represented in Higher Education.  To this end, we will consider a diverse range of entry qualifications and, if you are a mature student and do not hold the minimum formal qualifications, your application will be treated on an individual basis and your previous experience will be taken into account when assessing your suitability to the programme.


The Subject Benchmark Statement for Law was updated and published in the summer of 2015, and is now in its third incarnation. The University of Chester Law School was fortunate to have a member of staff on the review group for Subject Benchmark Statement for Law.

There was considerable change but this was to reflect the view ‘that a law graduate is far more than a sum of their knowledge and understanding, and is a well skilled graduate with considerable transferable generic and subject-specific knowledge, skills and attributes.’ As a consequence some of the terminology used is not directly comparable with other subject benchmark statements.

The study of law at undergraduate level is academic in nature and as is acknowledged within the subject benchmark open to considerable variation in terms of the content of the course. As such ‘the common denominator is the requirement on the student to apply their understanding of legal principles, rules, doctrine, skills and values.’ This is recognised throughout our law programmes where we assess skills and knowledge.

The core aspect is contained within part 2- the benchmark standards. There a list is provided of skills and qualities of mind that are expected to be achieved by all graduates with a bachelor’s degree in law. The list is clearly comprehensive but marked as not being exhaustive or definitive nor is it arrange in any specific order. The list of skills are not specific to any particular areas of law meaning many of these will be embedded across multiple modules. Care has been taken to ensure that all of the areas identified within the subject benchmark are thoroughly addressed within our curriculum and are assessed and evidenced in the diverse nature of our assessment which encompasses both written and oral, individual and collaborative components across various modules and levels of our degree.

As well as the diversity of assessment to match the skills and qualities of mind we are also mindful that the learning and teaching needs to be diverse, the subject benchmark states that ‘it is recommended that students experience a range of teaching methods throughout their law programme and this might typically, although not exclusively, include lectures, small group formats, online learning environments, self-directed or collaborative study, experiential learning and problem-based learning.’

Again real care has been taken to ensure these are present throughout with all modules supported by online learning environments and all law students expected to undertake a period of experiential learning either through placements or experiential research.

It is clear though that individual programmes have been given considerable freedom by the subject benchmark statement for law and we have been mindful to try and blend high academic and employment focused aspects within our programmes to ensure students are able to demonstrate a broad range of skills and qualities of mind.

Although this is a Single Honours Law Programme there is a second subject element within this programme. All modules delivered in this second subject element are delivered in accordance with the appropriate subject benchmark statement as detailed in Section 18 Subject Benchmarking Group.

The learning, teaching and assessment methods for the foundation year (level 3) are designed to development students’ academic skills and subject knowledge to successfully prepare them for their undergraduate degree programmes. There will be a focus on introducing students to the mode of delivery they will experience at undergraduate level on programmes across the University. These include the development of professional skills, seminars, lectures, debate, group and individual projects, and confidence with presentations and group discussion. Diversity of assessment types enables students to practise and demonstrate a wide set of knowledge and skills. There will also be instances whereby assessments will have a relationship with real-world scenarios and professional practice. Examples of assessments are group and individual presentations, exams, essays, posters and the development of a portfolio or project.

Formative assessment is a key component of development on the foundation year (level 3). This will be used so that students can monitor their own performance, reflect on their development and prepare for summative assessments. This is particularly salient for the study skills provision, where skills development will be continuously (self) appraised by students and lecturers via group and personal tutorials. The subject-specific modules and study skills curriculum are not delivered as two distinct areas of the foundation year. Students will need to demonstrate proficiency in academic study skills throughout all of their modules.

A key aspect of the foundation year (level 3) will be the identification and development of critical thinking skills and reflection on one's own progress. This will be 'situated' within the University Study Skills module but students will be expected to utilise skills-based learning from this module across the programme. The programme aims to give students opportunities to take charge of their own learning by identifying their own interests and areas for development.

Teaching Methods - Law

The principal methods of delivery are through lectures (for a whole cohort), workshops (all or part of a module cohort) and seminars (a maximum of 15 students). There is a good ratio of small group to large group teaching (typically 1 to 2 at levels 4 and 5). Typically lectures are expository and explanatory, teaching to printed materials. However, they also afford students every opportunity to interact. Workshops are typically a mixture of lecturing and setting the students tasks. Students are given tasks to complete before seminars and all students are given the opportunity and are to participate in seminars. Tasks are typically to prepare one or more problem questions (i.e. students are given a short, written scenario and they have to identify the relevant area(s) of Law and apply them correctly and appropriately to the facts) and/or to prepare a given topic for analysis and discussion. The conduct of seminars might take various forms. Students may be asked to present part of the seminar, or, at level 5 and above, to run the session. They may be split into sub-groups or, more typically, all students will contribute within a session facilitated by a member of the academic staff.

Students will also benefit from input into formal teaching sessions by guest lecturers. Professional guest lecturers are also invited to take sessions in other modules, particularly the more specialist ones at level 6.

During the one week induction programme the students learn basic legal academic skills. Sessions include information on the programme of study, life as a law student and an introduction to legal skills and exercises to help review those skills. They receive quick feedback on these exercises so that strengths and weaknesses in skills can be identified at an early stage and the students can ascertain what areas they need to improve in and what support they might need. Students also have library induction sessions and continue with learning how to use a law library and undertake legal research throughout the programme.


Students’ learning comes from a variety of sources. On a day to day basis, they consolidate what they have taken from lectures, and prepare for seminars. Part of the assessment in Contract Law, both formative and summative, is designed to induct them into the technique and regime of preparing for seminars. For students on the Law single honours with another subject, the system and skills module introduces them to such discipline. The induction sessions and other Level 4 modules also teach the students how to access, evaluate and use electronic sources and materials. It is hoped that electronic materials will continue to be developed for the programme, allowing interactive use of them.

Mooting, debating and mock trials are used as both specific legal and generic skills. Students experience them formatively in the level 4 English Legal System and Critical Legal Skills module .This affords them the opportunity to learn and develop public speaking skills and to present arguments orally in a rational and lucid manner. It is hoped that they will participate in both internal and external mooting competitions at level 5. A senior local judge judges the final of the internal competition. Some may also benefit from short placements in a solicitors’ office. They have an opportunity to enhance their experiential, reflective and independent learning in the level 5 module LA5005 Law Experiential.

Students are encouraged to become more independent and critical in their learning as they progress from one level to another. This is reflected in the lessening of class contact hours at level 6 and the quality and type of seminar task set.

Development of Professionalism and Autonomy

Students are given early tuition on independent learning. The level 5 LA5005 Law Experiential module, if chosen, gives them the opportunity to produce an independent, reflective piece of work based on participation in or observation of some aspect of law in practice.

The aims and learning outcomes of modules progress from level to level, requiring and enabling students to adopt a more independent and professional approach to their studies. The nature and content of assessment tasks will also evolve from level to level, requiring more independent research and critical appreciation of primary sources of law.

Students who experience learning difficulties or who, for whatever reason, need ongoing support, are actively encouraged to contact the designated member of Student Support and Guidance.


In keeping with the University's commitment to diversity, progression and retention, teaching and learning methods on this programme will be diverse and will enable students of varying abilities to develop to their full potential. The teaching team will use their knowledge of learning and teaching methods to create a strong team teaching ethos with an emphasis on evaluation and reflection. There will be seminars in support of lectures on one core module each year to ensure that students can experience small-group teaching.  Formative work will be linked to the skills required to pass the summative assessment. The team will work with Student Support and Guidance to ensure that all learning and teaching is accessible to all students. Sources which have informed the programme's teaching and learning strategy include the Departmental Teaching and Learning Strategy, HE educational theory (for example as gained from interaction with the University of Chester's Learning and Teaching Institute) and the Subject Centre for Sociology, Anthropology and Politics, which has extensive resources on teaching and learning. In addition, guidance has been sought from the Political Studies Association and from academic sources such as journals on learning and teaching, some with a specific emphasis on politics. The result is a wide range of forms of teaching and learning, in keeping with the template set out by the benchmark statement. The benchmark statement identifies teaching and learning methods designed to:

  • meet aims and objectives of the programme
  • foster knowledge of and enthusiasm for the subject
  • stimulate engagement and participation in the learning process
  • encourage deep rather than surface learning by students
  • encourage students to reflect on and take responsibility for their own learning
  • take account of the different circumstances and needs of students

All assessments (formative and summative) have been developed with the above criteria in mind. The benchmark suggests that forms of teaching include an appropriate balance drawn from among the following:

  • lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops
  • whole group, small group, individual teaching
  • student-led and tutor-led sessions
  • skills-based, discussion-based and knowledge-based classes
  • tutor-student interaction including face to face, via IT and in some cases, specially designed learning materials

All the above are relevant to all the modules, except that seminars and tutorials will be linked to one specific module each year. The benchmark enphasises that student learning takes place in a varity of settings and that politics students learn through:

  • speaking, listening, reading, writing
  • engagement with printed, oral, broadcast and electronic sources
  • group and individual work
  • observation participation and reflection

And are expected to use a range of learning methods which include:

  • critical reading of a wide range of texts
  • independent research using both primary/ secondary sources
  • group discussion
  • contact with political actors

All the above are addressed across the modules. In addition, some modules are more likely than others to draw on guest speakers, and undertake visits which would result in 'contact with political actors', such as 'Introduction to British Politics'. Each module descriptor specifies the learning and teaching methods appropriate for that module, and which will build formative development towards the achievement of learning outcomes through summative assessment. The overall strategy will be one of supporting students in reaching their potential, and mindful of the various agendas within the University to ensure retention and progression. Members of the teaching team are familiar with the requirement to provide a positive learning experience for our students, and to put an emphasis on formative and developmental work.

As to Law:

Each module descriptor states the module specific learning outcomes that are assessed in each component of assessment. The assessments will then test the programme and learning outcomes. These will be articulated in each in-course assessment and will accompany draft examinations for external examiners’ information and scrutiny. Thus, there is conceptual linkage between the benchmarks, programme aims and outcomes, skills, module outcomes and assessment in each module and these linkages will be apparent in the actual assessment tasks.

Apart from the above, the assessments are designed to provide a broad platform for students to demonstrate that they have achieved the module and programme outcomes in a diverse set of assessments.

These diverse methods are: examinations, written individual assignments, timed constrained assessment – involving a substantial element of problem solving, group presentations, drafting, dissertations, seminar assignments, mooting, reflective logs and journals, portfolio – report and reflection, library/electronic search "audits".

Transferable/key skills are generally incorporated within modules and related to relevant assessments as appropriate, however they are not all directly assessed. Self-directed learning forms an element of all modules and the necessity to work within tight deadlines is an essential requirement across the curriculum. The ability to communicate orally and in writing will be developed across the range of modules and numeracy is an inherent part of formal and/or informal development and assessment in some modules.

Reflection is directly assessed in some modules.

As to Politics:

In keeping with the learning and teaching methods outlined in the benchmark statement, assessment will be varied across the modules and across levels. Given the USP of employability skills for the programme, assessments will also reflect the needs of employers for graduates with skills requisite with a politics degree, and will include for example report, policy and executive summary writing skills. All summative assessment will be preceded by formative assessment which will underpin the skills needed for achieving the learning outcomes through the summative assessment. The benchmark suggests that assessment methods are designed to:

  • meet the aims and objectives of the programme
  • promote student learning
  • be capable of being used for diagnostic, formative and summative purposes
  • be valid, reliable and fairly administered
  • allow students to demonstrate their learning according to explicit and transparent assessment criteria
  • provide appropriate opportunities for feedback

and that forms of assessment can include an appropriate balance of a wide range of options, which the benchmark lists. The assessment grids maps out a wide and innovative range of assessments.

The basic graduate characteristics are set out in the extract from the Law Benchmarks Statement in section 27 above. This extract is taken from the section headed "Statement for Employers". However, it should be emphasised that the majority of students should achieve and display such characteristics at a higher level. The students will be demonstrated to have achieved these characteristics through the development of the skills outcomes developed from and informed by the Benchmarks Statement. These skills are mapped against modules in the definitive document and the module learning outcomes incorporate these skills. In particular, the ability to critically analyse, apply knowledge in a wider context and present arguments in a coherent and appropriate manner are all transferable skills that make law graduates desirable employees in a number of professions and careers.

Typical Career Paths

Less than 50% of law graduates qualify and practise as either a solicitor or barrister.

Some other graduates may practise law as paralegals, or perhaps with another qualification such as membership or fellowship of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives. However a law degree is recognised as a rigorous, social science and/or arts degree and qualifies graduates to pursue a wide range of careers. These include professions closely allied to Law such as the police, social workers and court workers, for which graduates of this programme will be very well suited. Law graduates are well qualified for entry into the various branches of the Civil Service, whether or not in a legal capacity.

Students who graduate with this degree will also have knowledge and understanding of crime, its background and consequences, and an understanding of theories about criminality. Capacities for imaginative, rigorous and critical thinking will be developed through the course of study. Subject specific skills, such as the knowledge of the social process of crime and the criminal justice system, and the ability to understand a variety of types of evidence, are complemented by skills of wide applicability beyond the degree, including IT skills, research and problem solving, communication, and working as part of a team

Graduates who study Law and Politics will find the subject a useful grounding for entry to a range of careers where the understanding and contextualisation of politics is regarded as valuable.

As to Politics, the overarching graduate profile will depend on the other subject with which politics is combined. However, the Department of Social and Communications Studies is confident that the students who take LL.B Law with Politics at Chester will have gained the knowledge understanding and skills expected of a combined honours graduate in politics, given the strong employability skills theme.

The University is committed to the promotion of diversity, equality and inclusion in all its forms; through different ideas and perspectives, age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. We are, in particular, committed to widening access to higher education. Within an ethically aware and professional environment, we acknowledge our responsibilities to promote freedom of enquiry and scholarly expression.

Each module and programme is developed in line with University policy to both promote equality and diversity and encourage all students in the development of their learning. Within Law, much of the subject matter naturally affords a range of cultural perspectives and this is particularly so in such modules as Human Rights, Discrimination Law, Family Law and Child Law. At level 4 three modules (discussed in section 24 above) are designed to encourage students to think about the theoretical, philosophical and nature of law and these inherently promote the discussion of diversity and equality. Indeed, it is difficult to think of many modules that do not have some content regarding these issues.

There is flexibility in materials and delivery of teaching to support students with disability or from culturally diverse backgrounds and the Law School works closely with Learning Support in delivering this support. The induction week activities are designed to integrate all students both academically and socially and to make academic staff aware of any such issues.

In addition, diagnostic activities have been devised and implemented in induction and supportive exercises in modules in the first year to give all students an equal chance of succeeding. Assessments are designed to afford equal opportunity to all students to display their knowledge and skills. Anonymous marking enhances equal opportunity to all students. Some members of the Law School are undergoing training as amanuenses.

Politics modules, delivery, assessment and student support also adhere closely to the same principles.

Throughout their period of study students are provided with opportunities to develop additional skills or gain experience outside of the formal course structures.

Across all years students are invited to support the Law School by joining Marketing, Recruitment and Admissions- Law. This group develops and plans the Law School's activities for Open and Applicant Days, contributes to Level 4 induction and other initiatives such as sessions run for schools and colleges.

The Law School offers to run a Debating, Advocacy, Mooting and Presentation Society and a Film Society which again allows for students to take on responsibility while developing presentation and critical thinking skills.

At levels 5 and 6 the students are encouraged to run the Student Law Society. The students are encouraged to forge links with the student society at the University of Law and with local Trainee Solicitors' Groups and Young Solicitors' Groups. The Student Law Society organises educational activities as well as social events.

All of these are actively supported by the Programme Team and the students benefit additionally from some very eminent guest speakers and careers talks and visits arranged by the Law School.

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