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MA in Law (Professional)

DT9028 (FT) / DT9029 (PT)

Introduction

The Master of Arts in Law (Professional) is a post-graduate law degree providing a pathway to both branches of the legal profession. It also offers a firm grounding in law for those wishing to pursue careers in public service, regulation, professional services and other sectors requiring comprehensive legal knowledge and analytical skills.

The programme aims to provide students with a deep understanding of the institutional framework and principles of Irish Law, enabling them to apply and critically evaluate legal rules and processes. Students will learn how to draw upon legal sources to propose novel solutions to a range of regulatory difficulties and thus develop high-level reasoning and analytical skills. They will acquire advocacy and policy development skills through engagement with a range of social, commercial and regulatory issues at a national and EU level.

All core professional subjects including those examined by both the Law Society and King’s Inns entrance examinations are offered on the programme, which is an accredited law degree for the purposes of King’s Inns admission.

The programme is offered on a modular basis; students must take Legal Skills in their first year of registration, but can choose their remaining modules from the full suite offered.

Classes are held, in the main, during the day. Some subjects are offered in the evening. A sample timetable is available from the law office: law@dit.ie

Full-time students are expected to devote approximately 40 hours per week to class attendance and self-study. Examinations are held once a year in May. Coursework is set throughout the academic year.

Assessment

Assessment consists of a combination of examination and coursework. Some modules are examination only, some are entirely coursework based and others use a combination of both modes of assessment. Examinations are held once a year in May.

Who should apply?

Graduates of any discipline who wish to pursue a career in law will find that the Master of Arts in Law (Professional) provides them with a comprehensive grounding in the academic discipline of law. The programme is accredited by King’s Inns as a qualifying law degree and also offers a structured pathway to completion of the Law Society’s Final Examination Part 1 over two years.

The programme is also suitable for those who may have earned their primary degree some years ago and who wish to retrain or re-enter the workforce. No prior knowledge of law is expected.

The programme will also be of interest to those already working in the legal industry who wish to upskill and to public servants and other professionals who engage with law in their day-to-day work. The timetable for the programme has been configured to allow those in employment to complete over 4 years part-time by attending one day per week.

Timetable/hours

Instruction is provided through a combination of lectures and coursework. Students are expected to complement timetabled hours with private study and self-learning. There are approximately 13 timetabled hours per week, depending on the modules selected by the student. A commitment of approximately 40 hours per week is normally required of students on the course.

Classes run between 9am and 6pm Monday to Friday and 6-9pm Monday to Thursday where evening options are selected.

When taken part-time, students will have class contact time of approximately 6.5 hours per week with a total time commitment of 20 hours per week. Whilst some modules are offered in the evening, part-time student’s take the bulk of their classes with full-time students. Therefore although a part-time option is available, this is not an evening programme and attendance during the day should be expected. A sample timetable is available from the law office: law@dit.ie

Entry Requirements:

Entry Requirements

Admission to the Master of Arts in Law (Professional) requires at least a second class honours level 8 primary degree (2.2 or higher).
Due to competition for places, satisfying the minimum entry requirements is not a guarantee of a place.
Offers for the programme will be made in two tranches on 30th April 2018 and 1 July 2018.
Students who obtained the DIT Post-Graduate Diploma in Law in 2014 or later may apply for entry into year two of the programme. However, these students should note that the Master of Arts in Law (Professional) is accredited by King’s Inns only for those who commence year one in 2017/8 or later.

Career Opportunities

It is expected that many graduates of the Master of Arts in Law (Professional) will go on to enter the legal professions either as a solicitor or barrister. A background in a discipline other than law, together with a good quality legal education, is highly sought after by the larger law firms and is a significant asset to practising barristers.

In addition to the professions, graduates are well placed to succeed in competitions for public service employment and to obtain positions in highly regulated industries such as pharmaceuticals, Information Technology, Banking and Finance, Insurance and Energy.

Graduates of the Master of Arts in Law (Professional) are eligible to sit the King’s Inns entrance examination (provided they have selected appropriate subjects during the programme). All eight subjects examined by the Law Society in the Final Examination Part 1 are offered on the programme, although the syllabi at DIT may not exactly cover all areas of the Law Society syllabi. Full details in relation to the requirements for King’s Inns and the Law Society are available on their respective websites.

Course Content

All students take a Legal Skills module in their first year of registration. This module emphasises practical skills such as research, writing and advocacy. Students also participate in moot courts, prepare and deliver presentations and work together in completing group projects.

Students take five additional modules in first year and six modules in second year. There are no required modules beyond Legal Skills and for 2018/9 the modules offered are:

Company Law, Constitutional Law, Contract Law, Criminal Law, Equity, European Union Law, Property Law, Law of Torts, Refugee and Asylum Law, Evidence, Jurisprudence, Administrative Law, European Human Rights Law, Criminology, Media and Intellectual Property Law, Family Law, Law & Society Research Clinic.

Further Information 

Dr Deirdre McGowan

School of Languages, Law & Social Sciences,

College of Arts and Tourism,

Department of Law, DIT Aungier Street.

T: 01-702 7181

E: law@dit.ie

Frequently Asked Questions

At what level is this programme offered?

This programme is offered at level 9 on the NQAI National Framework of Qualifications. It attracts 120 ECTS credits.

Where do I find information on becoming a lawyer?

For information on how to become a solicitor see www.lawsociety.ie. For information on how to become a barrister, see www.kingsinns.ie

Will this programme prepare me for the FE-1 Law Society entrance examinations?

The Master of Arts in Law (Professional) includes tuition in all eight of the law examinations required for entry to the Law Society of Ireland.

Will this programme help me to become a barrister?

The Master of Arts in Law (Professional) is an accredited law degree for the purposes of admission to King Inns (awards after 2018 only)

How much will the books required for this programme cost ?

Law texts are expensive and students aiming to complete the FE-1 examinations should budget approximately 700 Euro for law texts.

Is there financial assistance for students on this programme ?

Applicants should consider contacting their local authority for advice on financial support for the completion of this programme. Those who have been unemployed or on welfare may also be eligible for the Back to School Grant offered by the Department of Social and Family Affairs (www.dsfa.ie).Fees paid may be deductible from taxable income at the standard rate (20%) (contact the Revenue Commissioners for further details). Students in particular difficulty may also apply to the college student services for a hardship grant but funds are limited and there is no guarantee of support.

What are the criteria for admitting students?

Admission to this programme is based solely on merit. The Programme Committee will consider first, the academic profile of the student; second, his or her motivation for studying law; third, whether he or she has any prior experience of law. We discourage canvassing by or on behalf of students

When will I found out if my application is successful?

Offers will be made in two tranches, on 30th April 2018 and 1st July 2018. If you already have your final degree results you will hear from us on the earliest of the above two dates after you apply. If your results are pending at the time of application, a conditional offer may be made, but the offer cannot be formally accepted until your final degree results are submitted to the DIT post-graduate office. Students who apply with results pending should forward their results to us as soon as they become available. Students applying from the DIT PGDIP must apply before the 30th April 2018.

What happens if I apply late?

Late applications will be considered if space remains after all timely applications have been dealt with.