Entry Points (2021)
565

Course Overview

The four-year Bachelor of Civil Law (Human Rights) is an innovative and unique programme – the first of its kind in Ireland. It offers students the opportunity to combine a full undergraduate law programme with the study of human rights.

The study of human rights involves gaining an understanding of how the international human rights treaties function as tools to ensure that states respect and protect the equal human dignity of all people. Students will learn about how human rights law develops, including the influence of activism and grassroots movements for social change.

Human rights are not just legal concepts; therefore students on this course will have the opportunity to gain philosophical and political insights that will broaden their knowledge and deepen their critical thinking skills. Students will also study emerging areas of human rights law and contemporary issues of large-scale injustice such as climate change, the environment and human rights; data privacy; refugee rights; poverty; and business and human rights. In addition, this course will provide a basic introduction to International Criminal Law and International Humanitarian Law.

Students on the programme will be challenged and engaged by a rich curriculum of core and optional law modules.  Students will be trained in key legal skills such as written and oral advocacy; and they will be educated in the principles, theories and doctrines of human rights law and practice.

The School of Law and the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway are pioneers in legal education and research on human rights. Students will have access to world leading researchers, writers and lecturers in human rights at the Irish Centre for Human Rights.

Students complete all the modules required to support them to undertake the entrance exams for the Law Society of Ireland, should they wish to qualify as a solicitor. Students who wish to qualify as a barrister will have the option of taking all additional modules required by the Honourable Society of King’s Inns, through the Legal Professions specialised stream in the final year. 

Professional Work Placement or Study Abroad

In year three of this course students will have the opportunity to spend the academic year completing professional work placement or studying abroad. Students will have the opportunity to apply for a professional work placement in a leading law firm, a corporate organisation, a public sector organisation or other suitable legal placement. Study abroad is highly recommended for students who choose to study a language (Legal French or Legal German) and are encouraged to study in our partner universities in Germany and France. We have also partnered with a number of leading universities who teach through English in Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, China, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, India, Poland, The Netherlands, Spain and the United States of America.

Note: Students who choose the optional specialist stream in Legal Irish will spend year three divided between one semester studying at NUI Galway’s Gaeltacht campus in An Cheathrú Rua and one semester of professional work placement in an Irish-speaking legal environment.​

Specialist Streams

In addition to specialising in human rights, in final yearstudents have the opportunity to shape their degree and focus on an area of study that interests them and develop special expertise in their chosen field. Students may choose one of the following specialist streams including the ‘General’ stream which allows students to choose modules from multiple streams.

  • The Legal Professions
  • Business and Commercial Law
  • Public Law, Risk and Regulation
  • Human Rights, Crime and Equality
  • International, Comparative and Transnational Law
  • Language: Legal French, Legal German or Teanga an Dlí (Legal Irish)
  • General

Applications and Selections

Who Teaches this Course

Every staff member in the law school and human rights centre is involved in some way.

Requirements and Assessment

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

Minimum Grade H5 in two subjects and passes in four other subjects at O6/H7 level in the Leaving Certificate including Irish, English, another language, and any three other subjects recognised for entry purposes.


Additional Requirements

Duration

4 years

Next start date

September 2022

A Level Grades (2021)

nuigalway.ie/alevels

Average intake

15

QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes

1 (More Info)

Closing Date
NFQ level

Mode of study

ECTS weighting

Award

CAO

GY252

Course code

Course Outline

Course and module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Year 1 (60 credits)

This year focuses on building skills with strong foundational teaching. The module ‘Understanding the Law’ builds a platform of essential skills and helps students to transition to the expectations of a university degree.

The module ‘Human Rights: Theories, Concepts and Selected Issues’ provides a grounding in critical, inter-disciplinary and practical approaches to human rights designed to enable deep engagement with human rights law in subsequent years. Topics in past years have included feminist theories of power and injustice, ‘rebellious lawyering’ theory, climate justice, disability rights, the past and present human rights issues arising from Ireland’s history of institutionalisation and family separation, and participation in a mock examination of Ireland by the United Nations Human Rights Committee.

Compulsory Core Modules (50 credits)

  • Human Rights: Theories, Concepts and Selected Issues (10 credits)
  • Understanding the Law (10 credits)
  • Constitutional Law (10 credits)
  • Contract Law (10 credits)
  • Tort Law (10 credits)

Optional Modules (10 credits)

  • Family Law (10 credits)
  • Critical Thinking for Lawyers (10 credits)
  • Language: Legal French/ Legal German/ Teanga an Dlí (Legal Irish) (10 credits)

 

Year 2 (60 credits)

In second year students develop their skills further with modules such as ‘Mooting’ which helps develop communication and advocacy skills. Students will also complete a ‘Guided Research Essay’ on a topic of their choice and will be supported by an academic mentor.

Students take four compulsory modules in human rights law, which together provide a comprehensive overview of the human rights treaty systems that influence state laws and practice in Ireland, Europe and the world over. These modules also address areas of emerging human rights law and contemporary issues, and they introduce students to a range of staff and postgraduate researchers specialising in human rights at NUI Galway as well as to guest speakers practicing in human rights law.

Compulsory Core Modules (50 credits)

  • Criminal Law I & II (10 credits)
  • European Union Law I & II (10 credits)
  • European Human Rights Law - Systems & Themes I & II (10 credits)
  • International Protection of Human Rights I & II (10 credits)
  • Mooting (5 credits)
  • Guided Research Essay (5 credits)

Optional Modules (10 credits)

  • Labour Law I (5 credits)
  • Labour Law II (5 credits)
  • Industrial and Intellectual Property Law (5 credits)
  • Environmental Law I (5 credits)
  • Environmental Law II (5 credits)
  • Language: Legal French/ Legal German/ Teanga an Dlí (Legal Irish) (10 credits)

 

Year 3 (60 credits)

Customise your experience by choosing either professional work placement or study abroad.

Caithfidh na mic léinn a dhéanann Teanga an Dlí seimeastar amháin ag staidéar ar champas Gaeltachta Ollscoil na hÉireann Gaillimh ar an gCeathrú Rua agus seimeastar amháin eile ar shocrúchán oibre i dtimpeallacht lán-Ghaeilge. (Students who study Legal Irish will spend one semester studying at NUI Galway’s Gaeltacht campus in An Cheathrú Rua and one semester of professional work placement in an Irish-speaking environment.)

 

Year 4 (60 credits)

Students will have the opportunity to shape their degree by choosing a specialist stream. Students may choose one of the following specialist streams including the ‘General’ stream which allows students to choose modules from multiple streams. Certain specialist streams have prerequisite modules which must be passed before choosing the stream in the final year. Students who wish to qualify professionally as a barrister should choose ‘The Legal Professions’ stream which covers all the modules required to apply for the degree of Barrister–at–Law at The Honorable Society of King’s Inns.

Compulsory Core Modules (35 credits)

  • Company Law (10 credits)
  • Equity Law (10 credits)
  • Land Law (10 credits)
  • Module to be confirmed (5 credits)

Optional Specialist Streams (25 credits)

Students will have the opportunity to shape their degree by choosing a specialist stream. Students may choose one of the following specialist streams including the ‘General’ stream which allows students to choose modules from multiple streams. Certain specialist streams have prerequisite modules which must be passed before choosing the stream in the final year.

The Legal Professions

  • Administrative Law I (5 credits)
  • Jurisprudence I (5 credits)
  • Evidence I & II (10 credits)
  • Choose a module from another stream (5 credits)

Human Rights, Crime and Equality

  • Criminology (5 credits)
  • Family Law (10 credits)
  • Labour Law I (5 credits)
  • Labour Law II (5 credits)
  • Housing Law & Policy (5 credits)
  • Comparative Disability Law (5 credits)
  • Public International Law (10 credits)
  • Applied Legal Theory (5 credits)

Business and Commercial Law

  • Banking Law (5 credits)
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution (5 credits)
  • Labour Law I (5 credits)
  • Labour Law II (5 credits)
  • Commercial Law (5 credits)
  • International Trade Law (5 credits)
  • Law and Economics (5 credits)
  • Industrial and Intellectual Property Law (5 credits)
  • Comparative Competition Law (5 credits)
  • Law and Innovation (5 credits)

Public Law, Risk and Regulation

  • Environmental Law I (5 credits)
  • Environmental Law II (5 credits)
  • Criminology (5 credits)
  • Housing Law & Policy (5 credits)
  • Information Technology Law (5 credits)
  • Industrial and Intellectual Property Law (5 credits)
  • Admin Law II (5 credits)
  • Law and Innovation (5 credits)

International, Comparative and Transnational Law

  • Comparative Disability Law (5 credits)
  • Public International Law (10 credits)
  • Comparative Competition Law (5 credits)
  • International Trade Law (5 credits)
  • Applied Legal Theory (5 credits)

Language

Students who choose a language must also choose 15 credits worth of modules on other streams to meet credit requirements.

  • Legal German / Legal French/ Teanga an Dlí (Legal Irish) (10 credits)

 General

Define your own degree by selecting modules from multiple streams to meet the requirement of 25 credits. Module selection is subject to timetable clashes and availability.

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Further Education

Students who complete the BCL will be well-positioned for legal professional practice courses at the Law Society of Ireland (solicitor) and the Kings Inns (barrister).

Study will also be eligible to qualify to practice law in certain US states, including New York (provided they the Bar Exam) and in England and Wales.

The School of Law offers a range of masters degrees in law (LLMs) for students who wish to enrich their legal education. These include: (i) LLM (General); (ii) LLM in International and Comparative Business Law; (iii) LLM in Public Law; and (iv) LLM in Comparative Disability Law and Policy.

The Irish Centre for Human Rights also offers a range of masters degrees in human rights: (i) LLM in International Human Rights, (ii) LLM in International Criminal Law, (iii) LLM in International Migration and Refugee Law and Policy, and (iv) LLM in Peace Operations, Humanitarian Law and Conflict.

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

Graduates of the Law (BCL) and Human Rights programme will be well prepared to work in international human rights law, policy or legal practice. Graduates will have the foundation necessary to pursue opportunities with international organisations, United Nations bodies or developmental agencies.

As this is a full undergraduate law degree graduates can also pursue professional qualifications with the Law Society (solicitor) and the Honourable Society of King’s Inns (barrister). The Irish Centre for Human Rights has a global network of alumni working in human rights, providing excellent links and supports for our students.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes

 

Work Placement

Students will be given the opportunity to engage in work placement in the third year of the programme. The course will offer some international work placements through its partnerships with international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and other human rights bodies.

Study Abroad

There are exciting study abroad opportunities for students on this course through Erasmus and international exchange programmes. If you choose to study a language, you can use the study abroad option to improve your linguistic skills. You will also have the option to study abroad through English. We have partnership opportunities in Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Hungary, France, Germany, Spain, the USA, China, Australia and Canada.

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€6,733 p.a. 2021/22

Fees: Tuition

€3,593 p.a. 2021/22

Fees: Student Contribution

€3,000 p.a. 2021/22

Fees: Student levy

€140 p.a. 2021/22

Fees: Non EU

€16,666 p.a. 2021/22

*EU Fees are comprised of Tuition + Student Contribution Charge + Student Levy

Student Levy: €140 - payable by all students and is not covered by SUSI. Further detail here https://su.nuigalway.ie/

Find out More

Administrative Offices: Room 406, Floor 2, Tower 2, Concourse (Arts/Science Building)

Office hours: 11.00 - 13.00, 14.00 - 16.00 (Monday – Friday)

Phone: +353 (0)91 492389

Email: law@nuigalway.ie

 

 


What Our Students Say

Ruth

Ruth Cormican |   Human Rights Attaché to the Permanent Mission of Ireland to

There are great opportunities for law students at NUI Galway. For example, I undertook a summer internship in Suffolk University Law School in Boston working with two criminal justice NGOs: Prisoner Legal Services and the New England Innocence Project. After my degree I was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study for an LLM in International Human Rights Law at the University of Notre Dame in the United States.
Tessa Maria

Tessa Maria Lambrich |   Graduate of the Irish Centre for Human Rights

Studying at the Irish Centre for Human Rights is an incredibly enriching experience. I appreciate most that there is room to link academically high level discussions to practical considerations and issues in the field and to contemporary examples, which is very important to me due to my previous experience. Every question is welcome and taken seriously by the staff! The atmosphere between students is so friendly - we come from all over the world and have different educational backgrounds which make discussions interesting and diverse

Downloads

  • School of Law Undergraduate Prospectus

    School of Law Undergraduate Prospectus PDF (3 MB)

  • Undergraduate Prospectus 2022

    Undergraduate Prospectus 2022 PDF (8.4MB)

  • Quick Guide to Courses 2022

    Quick Guide to Courses 2022 PDF (697 KB)

  • A Level Quick Guide 2022

    A Level Quick Guide 2022 PDF (352 KB)

  • CAO Brochure

    CAO Brochure PDF (1.3 MB)

  • Postgraduate Prospectus 2022

    Postgraduate Prospectus 2022 PDF (14.3MB)