Welcome message from the Chief Adviser of Studies, Chris Gill
Welcome to the University of Glasgow, School of Law. Congratulations on obtaining your place to study law and I hope that you are looking forward to the experience.
The beginning of your first session is sure to be a very busy time in many ways and no doubt you will be given lots of advice and information. The aim of the information here is to assist you in the initial steps of becoming a registered student and enrolling for courses. It is also to introduce you to the system of Advising within the School of Law.
A key part of being a University student is taking responsibility for your own learning and for the choices you make about it. This presents challenges and can be quite a daunting prospect. For that reason, each student is allocated an Adviser of Studies: an academic member of staff within the School of Law who is available to give guidance about the curriculum, discuss course choices and, where necessary, offer support. You will soon receive details from us about your allocated Adviser of Studies and you can always check for your Adviser's name on your MyCampus record. You will be invited to make an appointment to meet with him or her: all students must meet with their Adviser prior to the beginning of the session but you should also remember that your Adviser should be your first point of contact at any time during the degree.
Being well informed and making decisions is your responsibility but Advisers are there to advise and to support – make use of them!
I hope that your time here will be both enjoyable and productive, and wish you success with your studies.
Planning your First-Year Curriculum
The Law degree is very flexible and most students like to keep their options open in the first year. First-year students must normally take 120 credits.
Please refer to the Scots Law Level 1 Timetable 2021-22 for further information.
There are three categories of course:
1. Compulsory courses
As the name suggests, all Scots Law LLB students must take these courses in order to progress in their studies and graduate with the degree. In first year, these courses are:
- Introduction to Legal Study (10 credits)
- Obligations 1A (15 credits)
- Obligations 1B (15 credits)
- Constitutional Law 1 (30 credits)
- Family Law (10 credits)
- Academic Writing Skills Programme
2. Diploma in Professional Legal Practice Prerequisites
If you ultimately wish to practise law in Scotland you will need to take the Diploma in Professional Legal Practice. This is a one-year postgraduate vocational qualification. In first year to be on track to take the Diploma you should take Criminal Law and Evidence (20 credits). Most students (including Law with Language students) will do so.
Students taking a joint degree, however, should take this course at a later stage.
For future reference, there are a number of level 2 courses necessary for the Diploma. Completion of the Scots Law LLB degree does not guarantee a place on the Diploma in Professional Legal Practice.
3. Optional courses
Unless you are taking a joint degree or Law with a language, there is room in your first-year curriculum for a 20 credit option. You can take one of following Law courses: Public International Law or Roman Law of Property and Obligations (ROLPO). If not done now, any of these may be taken at a later stage.
Alternatively, you can take an option in a level 1 non-law subject. This will normally be in the second semester and you must ensure the optional course fits into your timetable. Details of options are given in the online course catalogue.
The programme to which you were admitted through UCAS will show in MyCampus. This is a method of identifying appropriate subjects for you to study in first year. It means that the compulsory courses will be shown and you must select them and then choose the remaining 40 credits. We recommend strongly, unless you are taking a joint degree, that you take Criminal Law and Evidence.
Here are a few notes of general guidance:
1. Entry to the Diploma in Professional Legal Practice is competitive. Entry is not guaranteed to Scots Law LLB graduates and, if the course is oversubscribed, entry is based upon performance, at first sitting, in all courses necessary for entry to the Diploma. The Diploma may be taken at a number of institutions in Scotland, including the University of Glasgow.
2. If you hope to become an advocate in Scotland, entry to the Faculty of Advocates requires not only completion of the Diploma, but also a pass in Roman Law of Property and Obligations (Level 1) and International Private Law (Level 2). It is possible to take one or both of these courses after graduating.
3. You must balance your curriculum across the academic year. Do not attempt more than 70 credits per semester.
4. Use the Course Catalogue in MyCampus as this will always have the most up-to-date information.
5. Level 1 optional courses may be pre-requisites for more advanced courses in the same subject area e.g. Criminal Law and Evidence is a pre-requisite for Criminal Justice (Level 3) or Criminal Law: History and Theory (Level 4). Public International Law (an equivalent of which may be available abroad to students who study away from Glasgow in their third year) is a pre-requisite for UN Law (Level 4) and other International Law courses at Level 4. Note that not every Level 4 courses runs every year and the specific options currently available may change by the time you are eligible to study Honours.
Once registered, you can begin to enrol on courses using MyCampus. Throughout the year you will access MyCampus to see your class and exam timetables, record any absences you may have, amend your enrolments during the add/drop period or check your assignments and grades.
MyCampus is accessed via the MyGlasgow portal.
MyGlasgow is the university’s student portal. It provides direct access to university web services including MyCampus, Webmail, Moodle2, Library Account, IT Helpdesk and Sport Online. It also provides student news, help, support and guidance, and links to other web pages.
Login to MyGlasgow using your Glasgow Unique Identifier (GUID) and password which has been sent to you separately in your “Access to your Student Account” email.
Links to MyGlasgow are on the current students’ web page, or as a link at the bottom of most university web pages. If you need assistance, you can log a support request via the Help and Support form.
Campus card collection for new students joining the university at the beginning of Semester 1
When you register at the university on MyCampus you will be asked to upload an image of yourself. The photograph you upload will be used to produce your Campus card which will be used throughout your time at the university as the primary means of formal identification, for example, at exams.
Details of the arrangements for Campus Card collection will be made available shortly. Please visit the Registry's website for further information: http://www.gla.ac.uk/services/registry/registration/
Please note that your card can only be issued if you have completed MyCampus registration.
Preliminary Reading for Entry in September 2021
Please find below a selection of reading material that will help you prepare for studying the Scots Law LLB degree. The books by MacQueen, Honoré, Wilson, Meston et al. and Strong will assist you to prepare for all Level 1 Law courses. The books by Loughlin and Pinder & Usherwood will be particularly helpful for the compulsory course, Constitutional Law 1.
- Hector MacQueen, Studying Scots Law, 5th edn. (Bloomsbury Professional, 2016)
- Martin Loughlin, The British Constitution: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2013)
- R.M. White, H. MacQueen and I.D. Willock, The Scottish Legal System, 6th edn. (Bloomsbury Professional, 2019) [N.B. this textbook is the recommended book for the compulsory Level 1 course, Introduction to Legal Study].
- T. Honoré, About Law (Oxford University Press, 1996)
- J. Pinder & S. Usherwood, The European Union: A Very Short Introduction, 3rd edn. (Oxford University Press, 2013)
Useful Internet Resources
- Law Society of Scotland - http://www.lawscot.org.uk/
- Scottish Parliament - http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/
On-course reading for Scots Law LLB Courses
Aside from the preliminary reading, above, the general advice is not to purchase law books until the semester has begun and teaching staff have given advice on which texts will be prescribed and recommended. Textbooks are updated and revised on a regular basis and it is important to ensure that you have an up-to-date edition of any text.
In first year, we expect you to spend about 40 hours per week studying, attending classes, preparing course assignments and revising what you have learned. Attendance at classes should take up on average about 11-12 hours per week and those classes will consist of lectures and tutorials.
Please refer to the Scots Law Level 1 Timetable 2021-22 for general guidance. Note that there is a variety of assessment, particularly when it comes to joint degrees.
Treat your studies as you would paid employment and aim to 'work' a 40 hour week.
Lecture and tutorial hours for all Level 1 Law subjects are included in the details of class selection. When you select courses in MyCampus you will then select lectures and tutorials. Lecture hours are fixed, but tutorial times vary. Once you have selected a tutorial time, you must attend that tutorial and will not normally be able to move to another tutorial. It is particularly important that you schedule classes in order to avoid clashes or potential clashes. If you think, for example, that you may wish to take Roman Law of Property and Obligations in the second semester, then do not schedule a tutorial in a full-year subject that will clash with the lectures in Roman Law.
A lecture lasts for fifty minutes. Attendance is expected and the notes that you take at lectures will be an important resource in preparing for tutorials and assessments. Note that during the COVID pandemic, in order to ensure the safety of staff and students, lectures may be delivered online if Government regulation requires social distancing to be maintained.
Tutorials and Workshops
All subjects have tutorials or workshops. A tutorial is taught in a small group (for most courses 12 students with the exception of Constitutional Law 1) and lasts for one hour. Tutorials are your opportunity to study areas of law in-depth and to ask questions in order to clarify your understanding. Preparation is essential since every tutorial is an important opportunity to practise and develop legal skills. In workshops there is a particularly strong emphasis on active student participation.
Assessment and progress
Forms of assessment
In the School of Law, assessment normally takes the form of essays (discursive essays or legal problems) and written examinations, but other types of assessment are used as well. The forms of assessment include the following: moot, oral presentation, a group essay, a project or tutorial performance may be assessed. Information on assessment in individual courses will be found in the course document.
There are two examination diets, in December and April/May, and a further resit diet in August. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are available for these examination diets, particularly the diet in August which you should never assume may not apply to you. The examination timetable is published prior to each diet by the Registry.
Formative and summative assessment
A formative (or diagnostic) assessment is an assessment designed to measure your understanding of a subject and to allow an opportunity for you to receive feedback. The grade achieved in such an assessment does not contribute to the final grade in the course. A summative assessment does contribute to the overall grade awarded for a course.
All courses should offer formative assessment. In some courses, such assessment is compulsory; in others, it is up to you to decide whether to do the offered formative assessment. You are strongly recommended to take formative assessment seriously and to undertake it whenever you can.
Feedback should be returned to students within three weeks of the submission of a formative assessment. There are different forms of feedback. It can be generic, individual or both. Sometimes a lecture might be given going over the main points of an assessment and pointing out common errors. Any essay that you submit should be returned to you with appropriate written feedback that should help you to understand how you might improve your performance in future.
The Marking Process
Assessments are marked and a sample of them is double-marked to ensure consistency. A further sample (including all papers assessed below the grade D3) is then sent to another subject expert known as the external examiner. This is normally a legal practitioner or an academic in another UK institution. The role of the external examiner is to ensure that the marking scale has been applied fairly and consistently. Once the external examiner has examined papers, either essays or exam papers, they are returned to the School of Law and the grades are then published. This process should normally take three weeks, however in larger classes we cannot always guarantee that grades will be returned within that time scale. If the course team cannot return grades within three weeks, they will let you know and tell you why there has been a delay.
Boards of Examiners
Boards of Examiners are held at the end of each exam diet. These Boards have the final say in regard to the grades to be awarded in courses. Their members include both academic staff in the School of Law and external examiners.
Circumstances affecting examination or coursework performance
If you have been affected by personal circumstances, including illness, and think that this has affected your performance in an assessment, then you are entitled to submit a note of these circumstances as ‘good cause’ for setting aside the result. The University has a Code of Assessment (which you can access via the Senate Office website) which governs how such circumstances are treated and what the procedure is. You must raise the circumstances within seven days of the submission date for coursework or the examination date. It is necessary thereafter to provide supporting evidence prior to the meeting of the Board of Examiners; that evidence will be considered by the Board.
In assessing course performance, students are awarded grades, which carry a specified number of grade points as follows:
|Grade||Grade descriptors||Grade points|
In assessing progress towards your degree, both the number of credits gained from each course completed and the grade points accumulated will be taken into account. Your Grade Point Average (GPA) and the number of your credits at grade D or better are critical in determining your achievement. The GPA is calculated by multiplying the number of credits gained from each course (usually 20 or 40 in first year) by the grade points awarded for that course, totalling the results and dividing this by your total number of credits.
Minimum Progress Requirements
To allow you to continue as a full-time student, you must meet the following minimum requirements:
After 1 year
D3 or better in at least 80 credits.
After 2 years
D3 or better in at least 160 credits, including 40 credits at Level 2.
After 3 years
D3 or better in at least 240 credits, including 40 credits at Level 2, and an overall grade point average of 8.5.
(NB Achieving only this minimal standard will not guarantee progression to the next stage of your degree programme and may put at risk the continuation of financial support from your funding body.)
Why does your GPA matter?
Your GPA, as well as determining your eligibility to graduate, may be taken into account in ranking for entry to Honours courses where the number of applications for places on a course exceeds the number of places available. This is particularly important for Level 4 courses which have small class sizes. Some Honours courses, rather than use the GPA, will rank by performance in a cognate pre-requisite Level 1 or 2 course. GPA may also be taken into account on study abroad applications.
Plagiarism and Inappropriate Collaboration
We would emphasis the importance of avoiding plagiarism and inappropriate collaboration at all stages of University study. You are deemed to have read and understood the University Statement on Plagiarism and will sign a declaration of originality when you submit your assignments.
We hope that your experience of university life will be positive and rewarding. However, there may be occasions, initially, when the reality is not as you had anticipated. If you find yourself in this position, please do not make hasty decisions without consulting us first. Your Adviser of Studies is there to assist you if you are unsure of your course choices or if you experience difficulties which affect your studies.
You will have a meeting with your Adviser of Studies before the beginning of the session, but you are welcome to make an appointment at any time to speak to your Adviser. It will be possible to sign up for the pre-sessional appointment via moodle. If you feel you require an individual appointment at any other time, then please email your Adviser. The details of your Adviser of Studies is available on MyCampus.
Common worries affecting students might include:
Counselling and Psychological Services
Attending University can be stressful. The University's Counselling and Psychological Service offers a range of advice, including student mental wellbeing, peer support and advice for parents of students. Further information on this service, including contact details and an appointment booking system, can be found here: http://www.gla.ac.uk/services/counselling/
Getting to grips with study
It is important to manage your time effectively and to establish a study routine that will enable you to prepare for classes, to complete coursework on time and to ensure that you understand things as you go along. If you are experiencing difficulty with study habits, you may find it helpful to consult one of our advisers in the Learning Enhancement & Academic Development Service (LEADS): https://www.gla.ac.uk/myglasgow/leads/students/. Information about the other student support services may be seen on the Current Student web page: www.gla.ac.uk/students/.
Managing on a student loan is never easy and many students have to consider carefully how to balance their budget. If you find yourself with serious financial problems, please consult your adviser who may be able to direct you towards possible sources of help in the university such as the HEI hardship fund or the University’s hardship fund. Details of these are available from the Fraser Building: www.gla.ac.uk/students/.
Quite reasonably, students often choose to work part-time to supplement their income. There is a recommended maximum of 12 hours work per week for students during the academic year and recent surveys have shown that working excessive hours adversely affects student health and academic performance.
A full year of study normally consists of courses amounting to 120 credits (you may find credits referred to online as Units, but this is the same thing). Subjects are 10, 20, 30 or 40 credits in size. Larger courses are taught over both semesters, while 10 and 20 credit courses are taught in one semester only.
We offer the Scots Law LLB degree, either solely in law or in combination with other subjects. In all of these degree pathways it is possible to take the courses necessary for entry to the legal profession in Scotland. The main pathways are set out below.
If at any time you wish to change your programme you must speak to your Adviser of Studies.
The Law Degree - Ordinary/Honours
The Scots Law LLB permits you to undertake the widest possible range of courses including all those required for entry to the legal profession in Scotland. A large selection of subjects can be pursued to an advanced level.
The Law Degree with a Language
The degree combines Law with French, German, Italian, Spanish or Portuguese Language. The third year of the degree is spent studying Law abroad in the relevant foreign language. It is a four-year degree programme. Students who elect at the end of the third year of study not to continue with the language, will go on to graduate LLB in Law with European Legal Studies.
The Law Degree - with Joint Honours
This degree combines Law with Business Economics, Business and Management, Economics, English Literature, Gaelic, History, Philosophy, Politics, Public Policy and Slavonic Studies. Normally in a joint degree you will take the compulsory courses for Law plus 40 credits at both Levels 1 and 2 in the joint subject. Throughout the degree you will continue with the joint subject and ultimately each discipline contributes half of the credits which count towards the classification of Honours awarded in the degree. It is possible in most joint subjects to study abroad at least for part of third year.
The Accelerated (2-year) Law Degree for Graduates
This degree is open to existing graduates in non-law disciplines or graduates in law from other jurisdictions. You can find more information on the Scots Law Accelerated degree here: https://www.gla.ac.uk/undergraduate/degrees/scotslawgraduateentry/
Other useful information
As a student in the University of Glasgow, you come under the authority of the University and must respect its rules. As you progress through your studies, you will gradually become aware of the more important University policies that apply to academic and disciplinary matters. What follows is a brief overview of some key things you should be aware of at the outset of your studies.
The standard format of address for email communication with staff is email@example.com (eg. Joe.Bloggs@glasgow.ac.uk). Staff will respond to your email as soon as possible, but do not expect them to do so instantly. When you email staff please ensure you always use your University allocated address rather than your personal account.
This is the University’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). When you enrol for a course on MyCampus, you should automatically be subscribed to the relevant Moodle for that course, but you should check that and manually subscribe if necessary. Check that you are signed into the course pages on Moodle for every course in which you are enrolled and, importantly, that you sign up for all relevant forums. Moodle is a key means of communicating with students for members of staff who wish to pass on notices and other information about courses and events going on within the School of Law. If you have any difficulties subscribing, you should ask the staff in the Undergraduate Office for assistance. Moodle is a public forum, which is monitored by staff and when you add a posting you should bear this in mind.
Every course has a course document. This identifies the course convenor (the member of academic staff who is responsible for the organisation of the course) and sets out details of the course, including information about assessment. Suggested reading may also be set out in the course document. You are strongly advised to read course documents (they can be accessed via Moodle) and, if you have questions about the course, look first at the course document before contacting the course convenor).
If you have or develop a disability, you are strongly advised to make contact with the Student Disability Service.
Please also contact our School of Law Disability Officer, Linsey Fender, so that we can support you in the best way possible. You can email Linsey at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The School of Law has a very successful study abroad programme in which all four-year LLB students are eligible to participate. Students can spend one semester of third year, or the entire third year, studying in English at one of our partner institutions in Europe, North America, Asia or Australasia. Study abroad does not add any extra time to your studies. Study in your first choice destination may depend on your academic record, but you will be fully informed of the process of admission to the programme and you will have a chance to meet students from our partner institutions and senior students from Glasgow who have already studied abroad.
After you begin your studies you will have the opportunity to discuss in detail the most appropriate route for you with your adviser. Please read the Study Abroad Letter to Level 1 students for further information.
If you are absent for good cause from a tutorial you must complete an online absence form (available on Mycampus) as soon as you are able to do so.
If you miss an examination though illness or other good cause, or are unable to submit coursework on time, then you need to submit supporting evidence. If you are ill this will normally take the form of medical evidence from your doctor. The rules are set out in the University Code of Assessment.
Students who have grounds to do so may appeal against an academic decision. The University has a published procedure for dealing with appeals. Without prejudice to the Code of Procedure on Appeals, generally the grounds of appeal must relate to unfair procedure or the failure to take into account circumstances which, for good reason, were not raised timeously. It is not possible to appeal against a grade awarded simply because you disagree with it; this is a matter of academic judgement. The Students' Representative Council has produced guidance on appeals for students.
We expect students to treat each other, and staff, with courtesy, consideration and fairness at all times and to avoid all forms of abusive behaviour. There is a University Code of Student Conduct (published in the University Calendar) which is binding on staff and students alike and action is taken to enforce it. Law students should treat their fellow students appropriately particularly since anyone who aspires to join the legal profession must be regarded as a fit and proper person to do so. Students may be disciplined for misconduct or inappropriate behaviour whether or not that conduct or behaviour takes place on campus. The School of Law must pass on to the Law Society of Scotland the details of any disciplinary matters involving candidates for the legal profession.