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_BA_Law__ - University of Sheffield

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					                                                Programme Specification
                     A statement of the knowledge, understanding and skills that underpin a
                             taught programme of study leading to an award from
                                           The University of Sheffield
 1    Programme Title                            BA (Law)
 2    Programme Code                             LAWU102
 3    JACS Code (if applicable)                  M301
 4    Level of Study                             Undergraduate
5a    Final Qualification                        Bachelor of Arts in Law (BA (Law))
      Position in the QAA Framework for
5b                                               Honours
      Higher Education Qualifications
6a    Intermediate Qualification(s)              None
      Position in the QAA Framework for
6b                                               -
      Higher Education Qualifications

 7    Teaching Institution (if not Sheffield)    Not applicable

 8    Faculty                                    Social Sciences
 9    Department                                 Law
      Other Department(s) involved in
10                                               None
      teaching the programme
11    Mode(s) of Attendance                      FT
12    Duration of the Programme                  3 years
                                                 The programme is recognised by the Solicitors Regulation Authority
      Accrediting Professional or
13                                               and by the Bar Standards Board of England and Wales as leading to
      Statutory Body
                                                 a Qualifying Law Degree
14    Date of production/revision                April 2012

15. Background to the programme and subject area

The School of Law at Sheffield is one of the largest in the country. The School has a reputation for excellence in both
teaching and research. The School’s research has been rated as being of international quality in the last 3 Research
Assessment Exercises. In the most recent assessment (2008) 85% of our research was rated as international
quality, 15% of which was world leading.
This BA programme is designed for students who, having started a different degree programme, wish to change
course and study law. Students are therefore not recruited direct to the programme. Instead it is open to any student
who has completed the programme of study prescribed at Level 1 for any other undergraduate degree programme in
the University of Sheffield other than a law degree in the Faculty of Law. Students who wish to qualify as solicitors or
barristers must study certain foundation legal subjects prescribed by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Bar
Standards Board of England and Wales– the professional bodies responsible for administering the solicitors’ and
barristers’ professions. One way to satisfy that requirement is to obtain a Qualifying Law Degree (QLD). In order to
be recognised as a QLD a degree programme must involve the study of a minimum amount of law modules including
coverage of the prescribed law foundation subjects. This BA (Law) programme is designed to provide students who
have initially studied some subject other than law with a QLD and thus enable them to satisfy the requirements of the
law professional bodies.
The School’s graduates from the BA (Law) fare well in the employment market. In particular the School's graduates
are highly valued by the legal profession and those who wish to do so generally obtain employment in the profession,
many going on to obtain training contracts with leading UK law firms as shown in destination data.
Further information is available at www.shef.ac.uk/law.




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16. Programme aims

1)   to provide a broad but critical understanding of law in general (especially a critical appreciation of the place of
     law in society), and the leading institutional and doctrinal features shaping the development of the modern law
     and the place of domestic law in the European and international context;
2)   to inculcate the highest standards of legal scholarship in matters of precision, clarity, integrity, and imagination;
3)   to inculcate a range of generic skills, particularly: the acquisition, use, and evaluation of primary and secondary
     source material; communication; and problem-solving;
4)   to inculcate the distinctive skills associated with legal research and writing, legal argument and legal reasoning,
     and legal analysis and critique;
5)   generally to provide a framework within which students can satisfy the professional exemption requirements
     whilst, at the same time, as pursuing a scheme of study that suits their particular interests.

17. Programme learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding:
K1    of key legal concepts and of the principles and doctrines which underpin the core areas of domestic law,
      including the private law of obligations (contract and tort), public law, the law of property, criminal law, and the
      law of the EU;
K2    of the substantive legal rules and doctrines applicable to a range of legal areas;
K3    of the social, political, economic, cultural and historical forces which shape and have shaped the development
      of legal rules, and of the place of law in society;
K4    of the international influences shaping the development of the modern law and the place of domestic law in the
      European and international context;
K5    of the principal sources of law and of the means by which laws are made;
K6    of the institutions through which the law is administered and of the personnel responsible for its administration
      and who practise law.


Skills and other attributes:
S1    Undertake legal research using relevant primary and secondary legal sources, and using paper and electronic
      materials.
S2    Analyse and interpret primary domestic, European and international legal source materials, including statutes,
      statutory instruments, decided cases and international treaties.
S3    Solve problems by analysing complex fact situations to identify the legal issues raised and applying legal rules
      and principles to them.
S4    Utilise legal materials to construct arguments on points of law.
S5    Critically analyse and evaluate legal and other arguments and, where appropriate, compare and choose
      between competing arguments.
S6    Communicate effectively orally and in writing, using language accurately and effectively.
S7    Make appropriate use of information technology including for communication and research.
S8    Work effectively without direction; organise work and manage time effectively.

18. Teaching, learning and assessment

Development of the learning outcomes is promoted through the following teaching and learning methods:
The knowledge base (K1 - 6) is developed through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, coursework and
directed reading. Different modules utilise different combinations of these methods.
    Lectures provide an overview framework of the area of study and of the key issues and arguments.
    The knowledge base is then developed through directed and self-directed reading of primary and secondary
     source materials, building on the framework provided by lectures.
    Seminars and tutorials provide an opportunity to test knowledge and understanding of key substantive areas
     and clarify any areas of uncertainty.

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Skills are developed through a combination of methods but principally within seminars and tutorials and through
completion of written coursework.
   Lawyering skills (S1 - 5) are primarily developed through seminars and tutorials, where students undertake
    problem solving and critical analysis exercises. Lectures also contribute to the development of these skills by
    providing demonstrations of their application. The balance between these different methods varies from module
    to module.
   Skills S1 – 5, written communication skills (S6) and IT skills (S7) are further developed by coursework
    requiring students to provide written answers to either legal problem questions (hypothetical fact situations
    raising legal issues requiring application of legal rules to the facts) or essay questions (requiring critical analysis
    of arguments and propositions).
   Research skills (S1) are developed through preparation for seminars and tutorials and in the completion of
    coursework. A key component in the development of legal research skills and IT skills (S7) is the production of
    the electronic workbook in Understanding Law, which will improve students’ ability to retrieve legal information, to
    assess its relevance and authority, and to use it effectively in the construction of legal argument.
   Oral communication skills (S6) are developed through participation in seminars and tutorials.
   General personal skills of personal organisation and time management (S8) are stressed and are developed
    through self-directed study, preparation for seminars and preparation of coursework.



Opportunities to demonstrate achievement of the programme learning outcomes are provided through the
following assessment methods:
A range of assessment methods is used across the curriculum. The aim is to balance the use of different
assessment methods both throughout the programme and at each level. The principal methods used are
examinations (which may be wholly or partly seen or wholly unseen, and in which students may be permitted the use
of a range of materials) and assessed coursework, normally in the form of an essay or solution to a problem. A
combination of examination and coursework may be used in some modules.
   Knowledge and understanding of the law is tested primarily by examination, especially by unseen examination
    questions. The use of materials in examinations, including open book examinations, places greater emphasis on
    understanding than on knowledge and memory.
   Research skills are demonstrated by assessed coursework and by seen examination questions, and, for all
    students, by the electronic workbook in Understanding Law. Students have the opportunity to undertake a
    research paper in place of one taught module at Level 3.
   Problem solving skills are tested by problem questions in examinations and assessed coursework.
   Skills of critical analysis are tested by essay questions in assessed coursework and examinations.
   Written communication skills are tested generally through coursework and examination.
   Oral communication and skills of personal organisation and time management are not formally assessed,
    but the latter are indirectly assessed in the preparation of assessed coursework and also in examinations.

19. Reference points

The learning outcomes have been developed to reflect the following points of reference:
        Subject Benchmark Statements
         http://www.qaa.ac.uk/AssuringStandardsAndQuality/subject-guidance/Pages/Subject-benchmark-
         statements.aspx
        Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (2008)
         http://www.qaa.ac.uk/Publications/InformationAndGuidance/Pages/The-framework-for-higher-education-
         qualifications-in-England-Wales-and-Northern-Ireland.aspx
        University Strategic Plan
         http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/strategicplan
        Learning and Teaching Strategy (2011-16)
         http://www.shef.ac.uk/lets/staff/lts
        Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Bar Standards Board of England and Waleson Qualifying Law
         Degrees


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        The research interests of the staff of the School of Law

20. Programme structure and regulations

At Level 1 students follow the programme of study prescribed for any Bachelor’s degree in the University of Sheffield
other than the LLB, LLB Law (European and International), BA (Law) (Law and Criminology), LLB (Law) (Law with
French), LLB (Law) (Law with German), LLB (Law) (Law with Spanish).
At Levels 2 and 3 students follow a programme of study designed to ensure that they study the foundation law
subjects prescribed for study by the Law Society and General Council of the Bar and thus ensure that the
programme leads to a QLD.
At Level 2 all students study Understanding Law, Introduction to Legal Processes, Law of Contract (Advanced), Torts
Law (Advanced), Constitutional Law (Advanced) and Administrative Law and Justice (Advanced) .
At Level 3 students complete their study of the professional legal foundation subjects by studying Equity and Trusts,
Land Law, Criminal Law and EU Law and study optional law modules worth at least 40 credits from the range of
modules offered by the Law School to complete their programme of study.


Detailed information about the structure of programmes, regulations concerning assessment and progression and
descriptions of individual modules are published in the University Calendar available on-line at
www.shef.ac.uk/calendar.

21. Student development over the course of study

Level 1: students follow the programme of study prescribed for any Bachelor’s degree in the University of Sheffield
other than the LLB, LLB Law (European and International), BA (Law) (Law and Criminology), LLB (Law) (Law with
French), LLB (Law) (Law with German), LLB (Law) (Law with Spanish). Students will not develop any law subject –
specific knowledge or skills at this stage but it is expected that they will develop general study skills including oral
and written communication skills and appropriate skills of personal organisation and time management.
Level 2: Students are introduced to:
         basic legal skills and the principal sources of legal rules (Understanding Law (levels 2/3));
         the core principles of some of the main streams of domestic law including public law (Constitutional Law
            (Advanced) and Administrative Law and Justice (Advanced)); and the private law of obligations (Law of
            Contract (Advanced), Torts Law (Advanced)
         the critical evaluation of law and its role in society (especially Introduction to Legal Processes (Advanced
            Level)).
Level 3: Students continue and complete their study of the core areas of substantive law and both deepen and
widen their study:
         they complete their study of the core areas of substantive law (Equity and Trusts, Land Law, Criminal
             Law (Advanced) and EU Law);
         they widen their areas of study by studying optional subjects, many of which build on the knowledge they
             have gained from studying the core legal subjects.
It is expected that students at this level will have begun to develop their skills of problem solving and critical analysis.
It is expected that by completion of Level 3 students will demonstrate the level of skills expected of an Honours level
graduate in accordance with the QAA Framework for Higher Education Qualifications and will be able to engage
critically with discussions about developments in thinking in the subject. Students are expected to have developed a
degree of self-direction in their study, and tuition at this level will therefore be less intensive than at Level 2, with a
reduced emphasis on lectures and a greater emphasis on self-directed reading and on seminar classes. Students
will be expected to build upon their oral and written communication skills which have developed during Levels 1 and
2, so that a greater degree of critical analysis is expected in seminars and in written examinations and coursework at
Level 3.

22. Criteria for admission to the programme

Students must have completed Level 1 of any programme of study prescribed for any Bachelor’s degree in the
University of Sheffield other than the LLB, LLB Law (European and International), BA (Law) (Law and Criminology),


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LLB (Law) (Law with French), LLB (Law) (Law with German), LLB (Law) (Law with Spanish).
Detailed information regarding admission to the programme is available in the University’s On-Line Prospectus at
www.shef.ac.uk/prospective.

23. Additional information

None


This specification represents a concise statement about the main features of the programme and should be
considered alongside other sources of information provided by the teaching department(s) and the University. In
addition to programme specific information, further information about studying at The University of Sheffield can be
accessed via our Student Services web site at www.shef.ac.uk/ssid.




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