Ulster University - Belfast
Law - Access to Justice
This course is a unique legal education programme which supplements existing legal service provision by focusing on unmet need in the fields of employment law, social security law and family law. There is no other comparable course available in Northern Ireland or the island of Ireland.
You will be trained in social security law, employment law, alternative dispute resolution, tribunal representation and family law, in preparation for legal drafting and providing advice and advocacy to members of the public in Social Security or Employment Tribunals or to assist clients in family proceedings. This advice and representation will be provided through the Ulster University Law Clinic and/or on placement with the Social Justice Hub or advice sector organisations in semester two and three.
The programme also involves students in the development and management roles of the law clinic and further reflects on wider issues of access to justice, social justice, legal participation and dispute resolution.
For full course details please see "Course Web Page" below.
Social Security Law and Policy
This module will provide an insight into how the social security system in the UK is structured and how entitlement to different social security benefits is governed. It will enable students to appreciate the complexity of social security provision, and the impact of policy which drives social security reform.
The importance of the employment relationship between employers, employees, unions and
other statutory bodies and agencies is such that a thorough knowledge of both the context and
the substantive law is necessary for those involved in this area in any capacity. The module
attempts to provide the basis for this knowledge and to put students in the position where they
may not only have an understanding of the law both conceptually and substantively, but also be
in a position to use that knowledge in the solution of problems.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Methods of ADR are increasingly being used within the legal system and advocated as a means of removing cases from overburdened courts. In appropriate cases they can provide an alternative to legal adjudication and can be used as a means of achieving satisfactory solutions to disputes. The purpose of this module is to introduce students to the processes of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and its relationship to law. The course will cover processes such as arbitration, mediation and conciliation and will provide students with a foundational knowledge of ADR which can then be developed in their professional practice. The module will comprise both theoretical and skills based elements. Students will consider the rationale and ethics of ADR before being introduced to some of the practical skills used in these processes. The study and practice of ADR will be undertaken in the context of a range of legal subject areas, including commercial law, family law and employment law.
This module aims through a combination of lectures and practical exercises to enable trainees to further develop their own professional practice in relation to employment and social security matters. The module aims to develop a student's ability to apply and further develop the knowledge and practical skills gained in prior and concurrent modules. The module will encourage discussion of rationales and consequences of each available course of action in any given scenario, and students will be encouraged to critique solutions to any issues identified as arising from their choice(s). It is anticipated that students will examine the impact of the rules and procedures involved and their tactical application in practice with a view to developing their own individual work practice.
Clinical Legal Practice
Clinical Legal Practice forms the centre-piece module of the LLM Access to Justice programme, being the module during which students develop their clinical legal practical skills. Student clinicians will be required to provide specialist information, advice and advocacy for social security claimants and individuals seeking assistance with employment law disputes, including representation at tribunal where appropriate. The clinical legal experience will be predominantly placement based at the outset, and student clinicians will also work towards establishing, developing and managing an Ulster Law Clinic to provide an in-house, public facing clinic to provide free specialist assistance for members of the public with social security and employment law disputes.
This module allows students to apply the research skills acquired and explore the issues broached in the taught modules, by conducting an effective critical investigation of an area of concern or interest in human rights law and to write a report on that investigation.
Employment Compliance and Development
This module is optional
Whether you are a lawyer, human resources professional, personnel or industrial relations officer, this module will develop a range of skills, which will enable all students to remain fully abreast of the latest legislative and case law developments in employment compliance. It will ensure that all students acquire in-depth knowledge and understanding of how employment compliance issues operates in practice. Students will be provided with assistance enabling them to respond to complex practical, legal and ethical problems. Students will be encouraged to critically analyse the law and important legal issues they face in practice.
This module is optional
This module is concerned with the home, a concept of fundamental importance to everyone. Initially tracing the historical development of housing law within the UK and in a European context, the module examines the scope of the subject and considers the specific legal framework for housing law in Northern Ireland. Outlining the roles of relevant bodies (such as the Northern Ireland Housing Executive) the module considers not only the law of landlord and tenant (in respect of, for example, security of tenure) but also the rights and liabilities of owner occupiers in the event of (for example) mortgage default.
To apply to our postgraduate taught programmes, you must meet the University's General Entrance Requirements and any course-specific requirements.
These vary depending on the course and are detailed online.
If English language is not your first language this course requires a minimum English level of IELTS 6.0, or equivalent. Visit ulster.ac.uk/englishrequirements for more details on English language requirements.
For full entry requirements please see "Course Web Page" below.
You can apply directly to Ulster any time of year. We advise that you submit your application two weeks prior to your course start date to ensure sufficient time to review your application and, should you be made an offer, complete all necessary enrolment admin.
To start an application, you must create an Ulster University account. Do not worry. You don't need to complete your application in one go. We understand that this is a big decision. Our admissions team are on hand to help you with both the form and any documentation that you may need as part of your application.
Application is through the University's online application system (see "Application Weblink" below).
Students are expected to attend all classes associated with the programme and be punctual and regular in attendance. In semester one, students will undertake taught modules in Social Security Law and Policy, Employment Law, Tribunal Representation and Alternative Dispute Resolution. Student will also begin clinical work placement with the Legal Support Project within the Law Centre (NI) in the area of Social Security and induction to the Ulster Law Clinic. In Semester 2 & 3, Students will be based at the Ulster Law Clinic and/or clinical work placement with the Legal Support Project for the Clinical Legal Practice module where they will provide advice and representation to users of the Law Clinic. Students will also undertake the taught module Housing Law and attend classes in the Dissertation module.
Year of entry: 2020/21
Postgraduate Information Session 5 March 2020
Register at: ulster.ac.uk/pg-information-events
Post Course Info
Graduates have found employment in legal practice, the NGO advocacy and justice sectors and in 'Access to Justice' policy-related positions.