BLC Regulations 2015-2016 (General)
The following regulations shall apply to all students attending the BLC centres during the academic year 2016-20176 (1st September 2016- 30th October 2017). These regulations reflect the agreements reached between Juris Angliae Scientia (as provider of the course) and our local university partners. There may be variations of this regulation in relation to centres and type of course, in particular the Warsaw centre and centres which offer the one year Certificate course only, all of which are available from the main BLC moodle site.
- THE COURSE CURRICULUM
The course will provide lectures and classes on the following subjects, which are compulsory for all students.
FIRST YEAR SUBJECTS
ENGLISH LEGAL SYSTEM
Introduction to EU Constitutional Law
LAW OF CONTRACT
CONTRACT DRAFTING AND SALE OF GOODS LAW
LAW OF TORT
LAW OF TRUSTS/PROPERTY
SECOND YEAR SUBJECTS
EU SUBSTANTIVE LAW
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW
THE LAW OF BUSINESS ASSOCIATIONS (WITH EMPHASIS ON COMPANY LAW)
INTERNATIONAL TRADE LAW
In order to graduate the Diploma course, students must successfully pass an assessment/exam in each of these subjects. In centres providing a Certificate course only, then students must complete all elements of the first year of the diploma course.
All classes are compulsory and students must ensure that they comply with the Diploma/Certificate course attendance rules in order to be eligible to complete each individual subject and receive the Diploma/Certificate.
A timetable setting out the dates of the tutor visits to each of the BLC centres will be made available to students via the Moodle web-site. In the event that it proves necessary to make any amendments to the original timetable, students will be given as much prior notice as possible.
Teaching will be provided in the form of:-
Students receive 8-9 “tutor visits” in each of the 2 years of the course (i.e. approximately 16-18 teaching session visits from visiting tutors in their local centre during the Diploma Course). In each “tutor visit”, students discuss and resolve practical legal problems based on materials detailed in the various course workbooks.
Classes are divided into two types – seminars and tutorials. Attendance is compulsory and students must ensure that they attend all of the classes for their particular year of studies (i.e. 1st year or 2nd year). A record will be maintained of students’ class attendance and this will form part of students’ attendance records (see part C below).
Furthermore, active participation is required in class discussion. Students will be provided in advance with questions and topics for discussion during their classes, together with any necessary reading and preparation materials. Students are responsible for preparing answers to these questions and arriving at classes ready to discuss those questions.
Classes will be conducted by teaching staff of the British Law Centre.
The two separate types of classes are as follows:
In every “tutor visit”, there will be a compulsory seminar which lasts for 90 minutes. Students are provided in advance with questions that they must prepare answers to and these questions will form the basis for discussion during the seminar. Questions are generally of a “problem question” type, meaning that students are provided with a factual scenario and are expected to discuss the possible legal conclusions that arise from these facts.
In every “tutor visit”, there will be a compulsory tutorial which involves approximately 6-8 students per class which lasts for 60 minutes. Again, the topics for discussion are provided to students in advance and students are required to arrive at classes prepared to discuss the chosen issues. Questions are a mixture of “problem questions” (see above) and “discussion questions”, requiring students to critically assess how English/EU law resolves a particular legal issue.
(iii) Skills training
Students will also be required to attend one compulsory skills training seminar during the first semester. Skill-training seminars will include issues such as: analysing case-law; analysing and interpreting statute law; legal writing skills; online research exercise.
During classes on the 2nd year of the course, BLC students will be provided with more “primary source materials” (i.e. cases, statutes etc.) and will be asked, as part of a group, to prepare a précis of a particular case or legislation for discussion by the rest of the class. Further details will be provided to students as they proceed to the 2nd year.
- Students’ Attendance Records
Records will be maintained of students’ attendance at classes and lectures and of their performance during classes. A copy of these records will be maintained on the course’s web-site (“Moodle”) and will be taken into account when deciding:
- whether a 1st year student may progress to the 2nd year of the course
- whether a 2nd year student should be recommended for the course Diploma
Furthermore, any student failing to attend compulsory classes in a particular subject module may be deemed ineligible to submit the assignment in that module and/or may be required to complete an additional piece of written work or to repeat the relevant subject module in the subsequent academic year in order to successfully complete the course. Students who need to repeat a module in a subsequent academic year shall be required to pass that module (and any other modules not yet successfully passed) in accordance with the course requirements applicable in the new academic year in which they are to be assessed for that module (e.g. if a particular module used to be assessed by way of assignment but is now assessed by way of written exam, “returning” students will be required to write the exam).
The Diploma Course’s Internet Site: “Moodle”
Having been accepted to the Diploma Course, all students are registered (through their e-mail addresses) on the course’s web-site (“Moodle”), which contains the necessary reading materials and additional materials. All students should therefore ensure that they have properly completed the registration procedure (see section 4 below), that they have also uploaded their course application which will be sent to them by e-mail following the expiry of the cancellation period as confirmation of their application. Any change in their contact details (including e-mail address) on Moodle should be kept up to date and in addition a notice of the change sent to teaching staff directly by e-mail. Moodle is the primary source of communication with all students and important notices will be sent via this web-site, so any student whose e-mail address is not working for any reason must open a new account or remedy the problem immediately. If any student does not receive mails from the Moodle site they should contact the designated BLC tutor to advise them and take such action as is necessary to resolve the issue, including, where required, acquiring a new e-mail address for their Moodle registration.
Each subject module during the course is accompanied by one or more workbooks, explaining the law relevant to that subject and containing questions to be prepared for class discussions. Students are responsible for downloading the workbooks and other related materials from Moodle, to bring the relevant materials with them to all lectures and classes and to have completed the necessary preparation for any classes.
The materials available will include the following:-
- Workbooks (these may be accessed via the Course Documents link on Moodle)
- Seminar/tutorial questions (these are contained in the workbooks and may also be downloaded from Moodle)
- Recommended and Additional Reading (these are contained in the workbooks)
- Assignment Questions (these may be accessed via the Assignments link on Moodle)
Students are responsible for ensuring that they regularly check the “Moodle” site for course information since this site will be their main source of information and materials. Furthermore, important information about changes in the programme and also special events and timetable announcements will be posted on this site.
Each student is also required to upload a recent passport-sized photograph to the Moodle site link entitled Profile as well as a copy of their completed BLC course application form. The photograph must be uploaded on the first occasion that a student enters the Moodle site. The photograph on Moodle shall be used by teaching staff to assist in the identification of students for the purposes of compiling their attendance and performance records (see section 2 above) and is, accordingly, a compulsory requirement of registration on the Diploma Course. The photograph should be the same as that attached to the application form (see registration requirements).
- Library facilities
Each of the local centres will also hold a selection of textbooks on each of the study modules which may be accessed by Diploma course students who wish to undertake recommended further reading in a module. Furthermore, the British Law Centre possesses its own library of legal materials and students may borrow these materials on a short-term basis through the BLC librarian.
- FEES AND ADMISSION TO THE COURSE
Course fees are outlined in the course leaflets, which can be downloaded directly from the BLC moodle site. Course fees are due prior to the commencement of the course and are based upon an annual fee which should be paid in full upon at the time of application.
Cancellations and Refunds Policy (updated on 1st April 2016)
Applications to be registered on any BLC course can only be submitted through the BLC web site and the relevant cancellation period will commence from the date shown on the application recorded on the BLC web site.
- Cancellation periods
- Candidates submitting application forms prior to 17thJuly 2016,
Such candidates are entitled to cancel their application at any time up to and including 31st July, at which time the BLC course fees will become due. No payments should be made prior to 31st July but anyone who has paid (in full or in part) for the course prior to 31st July (and no earlier than 14 days after the date of submission of their BLC application form) shall be deemed to have waived their right to cancel their application and shall not be eligible for any refund of the fees paid.
- Candidates submitting application forms between 18thJuly and 14thSeptember 2016,
Such candidates are entitled to cancel their application within 14-days from the date on which their application was submitted. No payment can be made until this 14-day period has expired.
- Candidates submitting application forms less than 14 days prior to commencement of the course,
Such candidates are entitled to cancel their application within 14 days from the date on which their application was submitted. If candidates join the course before the expiration of this14-day cancellation period but, then subsequently choose to cancel their application having already attended any BLC course module or having accessed/received course materials, they shall be required to pay a fee proportionate to the annual course fees, such fee reflects the extent of annual BLC services they received during the period prior to their cancellation. Anyone attending (or accessing/receiving materials) related to any individual course module as a result will be treated as having attended that entire module for the purpose of calculating the relevant amount of fees payable in such circumstances.
- Time of Payment
- a) No fees should be paid prior to the expiry of the relevant cancellation period (described in the section above).
- b) Some BLC centre courses require a minimum number of applicants to start a course in any given academic year as detailed in the related BLC centre information. Applicants to such centres will both receive a confirmatory notice of this pre-condition following submission of their application form and be kept informed by e-mail of any changes to their centre status. No fee payments will be due until the minimum recruitment limit for that centre has been achieved.
- c) In all other centres, once the 14 day cancellation has expired the applicant will be sent fee payment instructions. Annual course fees for the year 2016-2017 (i.e. 50% of the amount stated as the “total fees” for any 2-year course and 100% of the amount stated as the “total fees” for any 1-year course) are payable in full prior to the commencement of all centre courses. However, where an application was made at a time when the course had already commenced, or was due to commence in fewer than 14 days, payment should only be made after the 14-day cancellation period has expired. If a student in the latter situation then cancels their application, having already attended (or accessed/received materials related to) any individual course module, they will be required to pay the proportionate fees discussed in section A.3 above.
- Instalment payments of annual fees
- a) In the case of mitigating circumstances, students may apply to pay their annual course fee in two equal instalments. If an instalment request is granted the student will be required to sign a separate document:
(i) setting out the terms of the instalment payments; and
(ii) re-affirming their responsibility to pay the BLC annual fee in full.
- b) Any request for instalment payments or related fees request shall be made in writing to the Course Director/Deputy Director, details of which will be provided upon submission of the application form. Separate Payment Details or Instructions shall form an integral part of the BLC’s Course Regulations.
- Potential Fee Increases For Any 2ndyear of a 2-year Course
- a) All attempts are made to keep course fees to a minimum, but the BLC reserves the right to review courses fees on an annual basis and to increase annual fees for all their courses. In such cases, the increased fee will apply to all new students and also to students commencing the 2ndyear of a 2-year course.
- b) In the event that a fees review indicates the need for a fee increase, the level of such increase will never exceed 10% of the previous year’s fee. As regards those students who join the course as 1st years in 2016-2017 this means that the maximum potential annual course fee in Yr 2 of their course would be €632 (Warsaw student fee), €852.50 (Warsaw non-student fee), €577.50 (other centres student fee) or €742.50 euros (other centres non-student fee).
- c) Since all applicants have been advised of the scope of any potential fee increases prior to applying for the BLC programme, please note that these rules constitute an integral element of all applicants’ contract with the BLC, to which the applicant has consented.
- Returners’ Fees
A returner’s fee is payable by any person who, having failed to complete the Diploma course within 2 years of study (excluding any break taken in accordance with the BLC’s course Regulations) or the Certificate course within 1 year, wishes to return to complete the course in a further year of study. The level of Returners’ fees is set annually and is subject to review. For the purpose of demonstration only, the returners’ fee level during 2016-2017 is €350.
- Special cases
- a) Fees payable by those who withdraw within the cancellation periods set out in paragraph A above having attended the course or accessed/received course materials shall remain liable to pay a fee proportionate* to the annual course fees which reflects the extent of annual BLC services they received during the period prior to their cancellation. In particular anyone attending (or accessing/receiving materials) related to any individual course module will be treated as having attended that entire module for the purpose of calculating the relevant amount of fees payable in such circumstances.
*Note: Proportionate fees represent a genuine assessment of the actual costs incurred by the BLC for each of the stated activities. They also reflect the fact that the BLC’s recruitment policy means that other students may be refused a place on the course which is considered to be full, and courses at some centres may not have taken place at all in the absence of a sufficient number of applicants. All applications acknowledge and accept that these costs will be payable (or non-refundable) if they decide to withdraw from a course after the expiry of the relevant cancellation period stated above.
- b) After expiry of the cancellation period and in all other cases of withdrawal, the BLC operates a no-refunds policy, although it is possible for individual students to apply to the BLC Course Director/ Deputy Director to seek a waiver in part of this policy when justified by their own individual circumstances. Any such mitigating applications should be accompanied by supporting evidence.
- Cancellation Notices
Any applicant wishing to cancel their application during the cancellation period must send their cancellation notice in writing (e-mail will suffice) in the appropriate form. An example form is sent to all applicants following submission of their application form. A cancellation notice must clearly state your name, the centre to which you applied and that you wish to withdraw your application. To meet the cancellation deadline, it is sufficient for you to send your communication concerning exercising the right to cancel before the cancellation period has expired. Once the cancellation period has expired, you will no longer have the right to cancel your contract with the BLC.
Any applicant who cancels their application in accordance with the rules below shall be removed from the list of BLC applicants and (subject to the exceptions stated above) shall not be required to pay any BLC course fees.
In all other cases applicants are deemed to affirm their participation on the BLC course and to be bound by all related BLC Terms and Conditions.
- ADMISSION TO THE COURSE
All persons seeking admission to the Diploma Course (“candidates”) shall be required to fulfil the following requirements:
- Submission of Juris Angliae Scientia registration documents
- Payment of course fees and “proof of payment” confirmation
These are described briefly below.
(i) Submission of Juris Angliae Scientia documents
Each applicant is required to complete the online BLC application form, which includes uploading a recent passport-style photograph (i.e. photograph is limited to head area; no sunglasses to be worn etc.) electronically attached in the relevant part of the form. This same photograph must also be uploaded by students to the Moodle web-site, in order to assist in identification. Accordingly, the photograph should be an appropriate one (e.g. not one containing multiple people in the same photograph, not one from many years ago etc.).
Furthermore, applicants may be required to submit additional documents by their local programme director for the purposes of the local centre.
The registration documents also require candidates to provide details of a valid and functioning e-mail address. This e-mail address will be used to register students onto the Diploma Course’s web-site and it will also be the address to which communications from the administrative and teaching staff will be sent. Accordingly, it is crucial that students check that their e-mail address is correctly provided and their e-mail accounts are not overloaded or full, since this will prevent them from receiving notices and instructions relating to the Diploma Course (see earlier paragraph 3).
(ii) Payment of course fees and proof of payment confirmation
The Payment Details information (sent separately and available on the BLC Moodle web site) contains instructions regarding the levels of fees payable and the final date by which full payment should be received and confirmed. Payment of the annual course fees is a pre-condition to full registration on any BLC course and may lead to the student being suspended temporarily until the payment position is resolved. These instructions constitute an integral part of the Course Regulations. Evidence of payment of course fees should also be uploaded on drop box where indicated under the Assignments heading.
(iii) Deadlines for completion of registration requirements
Students will be informed of the final deadlines by which all of the aforementioned registration obligations must be completed. Failure to complete the registration obligations by the specified deadline(s) may prevent a student being registered for the Diploma course for the relevant study year.
Students who accept an offer to participate in the Diploma/Certificate course and who log-in to Moodle are deemed to have consented to the processing of their personal data, solely for the purposes of providing the BLC Diploma/Certificate course and related academic activities.
- METHODS OF ASSESSMENT
During the course, students are required to successfully complete written work, or other practical exercise, in each of the modules listed as part of the course curriculum (see section 1 above). Each module is assessed by one of the following methods:
- A Written assignment
Written assignments are the most common type of assessment and require students to provide legal advice to characters involved in a series of events that raise particular legal problems related to the relevant module study area. Emphasis is placed upon the provision of practical advice and application of the law that students have learned.
- An “open book” written exam
Students are required to answer practical problem-based questions (similar to written assignments, but shorter) in an exam environment and controlled time conditions. All exams are “open book” in the sense that students may use their notes and materials during the exam)
- Practical exercises
Certain modules are assessed by way of practical exercises designed to test students’ legal skills. For example, the Sale of Goods module is assessed by way of requiring students to produce a contract for the sale of a given product. Other types of practical exercises include mooting/debates, drafting of court pleadings etc.
- Mini thesis
Some Modules may be assessed by way of written thesis, written by students on a topic they choose from a list provided by the BLC. Those wishing to apply to write a thesis instead of an exam will be required to submit a thesis proposal for the relevant module (discussing how they would approach the thesis topic) and, if selected, would write this thesis instead of the exam in that particular subject. Details of this will be provided to students as the course progresses.
- CEEMC or equivalent
Individual students may also seek an individual exemption for the European Union exam when they compete as a team at the Central and East European Moot Court competition. Individual exemptions may be offered annually in relation to similar activities, details of such events available in any academic year can be found on the Moodle gradebook site.
Details concerning all assessment methods will be available to students from the “Moodle” web-site and will contain details of the submission date and applicable word limits, where relevant. Only those assignments (or other assessment methods) completed and submitted as specified will be marked – assignments (or other assessment methods) submitted in contravention of any of the submission rules will only be marked at the discretion of the tutors, whose decision shall be final.
Students are required to have successfully completed 4 out of the 6 assessments in the 1st year of the course (see course curriculum in section 1 above) before they will be allowed to progress to the 2nd year of the course. Anyone failing to do so will be required to “return” as a 1st year in order to complete the Modules they have not yet successfully passed, prior to progressing to the 2nd year of the course.
Students who, in the judgment of the BLC teaching staff, have not successfully completed sufficient assignments to warrant the opportunity to re-take only selected subjects will be required to begin the course from the outset.
Attendance at lectures/classes
Attendance at the Diploma Course classes is compulsory and will be closely monitored. Fulfilment of the attendance requirements is a requisite for progressing from the 1st year to the 2nd year of the course and for graduating the course.
Failure to attend classes may lead to disciplinary consequences which may include the following:
- Student required to complete extra piece of written work
- Student barred from submitting assignment/examination in module with problematic attendance
- Student required to repeat module in following year
- Student unable to progress to the next year of the course (or to graduate the course) and required to re-study an entire year of the Diploma Course.
Students’ performance in classes will be noted, as regards their level of preparation, understanding, effort and participation in class discussions. If a question arises in relation to students assessment, attendance or final grade, student performance which is consistently marked as above average in class and/or in extra mural activities arranged by the British Law Centre will be taken into consideration by the tutors to assist in resolving any such question and may also be counted in the final decision as to which students should receive additional awards of “merit” and “distinction”.
- STANDARDS OF ASSESSMENT
(i) Marking standards and procedures
All assignments and examinations are marked on a percentage (%) basis reflecting the criteria and standards required by British Universities. A pass mark is between 40% and 100%, although a mark of 100% is extremely unlikely and a “first class” mark is represented by a mark of 70% or above (in accordance with standard practice at English Universities). All submitted work must be the individual student’s own work and must not be copied or plagiarised from any other person or source. Any plagiarised work will automatically fail. The BLC adopts the plagiarism policy of the University pf Cambridge, available at: http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/univ/plagiarism/
All assignments and other assessments are originally marked by members of the BLC teaching staff. These are returned to students with tutor comments inter alia indicating areas which could have been improved. Should any student wish to query the mark given or to raise any other query in relation to the assignment, this must be done no later than 14 days following the date on which the marked assignment is uploaded to Moodle (or such longer period as is individually agreed with the BLC), following which the mark will be treated as final. In appropriate cases such review requests may be referred to the Academic Committee for consideration whose decision will be final.
All assignments and examinations are subject to double external examination. Currently, the external examiners responsible for finalizing BLC student results are from the University of Cambridge and the University of Glasgow. Accordingly, any marks awarded by BLC teaching staff are “provisional” until such time as they are approved by the JAS external assessment procedures, which also act as an annual review of BLC marking quality and standards.
(ii) Failed assignments/examinations and retakes
Any student who fails an assignment/exam (i.e. not achieving at least 40%) will be entitled to submit a re-take that assessment. Any retakes should be taken in the same year as the original assignment/exam was failed. However, where a student has failed an assignment/exam at a time when no further topic will be available in that particular subject, the student will be required to repeat that assignment/exam during the next academic year. Where relevant, this may impact on a student’s ability to graduate, to pass from Yr 1 to Yr 2 or to be required to pay Returners’ Fees.
If the re-take reaches the standard necessary for a pass, it will be awarded a mark of 40%, but no higher. If the re-take assessment does not reach the standard necessary for a pass, any student having failed the same assessment twice will be ineligible to graduate the course and receive the Diploma, unless there are special extenuating circumstances which the BLC teaching staff feel justify allowing that student a 3rd attempt at the same assessment. This decision will also take account of the attendance and performance records of the student before deciding whether to permit another attempt at the assessment.
All students should note that successful completion of 4 out of 6 assessments is normally necessary in order to progress from the 1st year to the 2nd year of the course and of all assessments in order to graduate the course (see part A above for details).
One primary written exam session will be given to students during each academic year – this will normally be in May but precise dates will be confirmed on a year-by-year basis. A final re-take exam session will be arranged in September/ October of the same year for those students who failed (or did not sit) an exam during the primary session. Students who do not sit the exam in the first session and then fail at the subsequent retake session will fail that subject overall and be ineligible to receive the Diploma during that year and, if permitted to do so, will be required to “return” to the 2nd year in order to complete the relevant Module(s).
- COMPLETION AND CERTIFICATION
All students having successfully completed all of the compulsory course modules within the permitted time-limits, and having completed all other requirements concerning payment of fees and attendance, will be recommended for the course Diploma/ Certificate. A recommendation for Course Diploma/Certificate is subject to external assessment (as mentioned above) and does not constitute an official recognition that the recommended student has graduated the course. A student’s graduation shall be finally confirmed only upon having completed the confirmation procedure. The confirmation procedure normally commences in September/October of each academic year and is usually completed by November/ December of the same year, whereupon graduating students will be informed of such confirmation and of the time and place of the graduation ceremony.
Graduates of the Diploma/Certificate course shall receive the following:
- A Course Diploma/Certificate signed by senior representatives from Juris Angliae Scientia (in some centres it is also signed by a representative of the Local University Host)
(The Diploma is categorized into Pass, Merit and Distinction according to assignment and performance grades obtained during the course and participation in extra-curricular activities undertaken by the BLC.)
- ECTS points/ local university exemptions.
As part of its agreement with local university partners, students may be eligible for the award of ECTS credits as part of their own national law degree or may be entitled to seek partial or full exemptions for national law degree examinations based upon work completed for the diploma course. More information on what is available from the local centre can be obtained from the relevant Local Programme Director. No ECTS credits are awarded directly by the BLC.
(i) Location of the British Law Centre
The BLC has its primary office base in Cambridge.
Any queries regarding matters concerning Juris Anglia Scientia or any general queries relating to organisation of the course (including academic matters concerning the course modules, assignments, attendance records etc.) should firstly be raised with the appropriate tutor – a list of subject-areas for which each individual tutor is responsible is available on Moodle and the query should be addressed to the relevant tutor. The contact details of the various BLC staff members are available from the “Moodle” web-site.
As regards other matters students may contact JAS Director of Studies (Denise Ashmore) regarding their query. Any query regarding the local centre (location / fees) can also be directed to the relevant Local Programme Director.
The course is provided by the UK-based charity Juris Angliae Scientia and therefore the interpretation or application of the Diploma rules/ regulations is regulated by English law and any disputes arising in relation to the Diploma course shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the English courts.
All efforts are made to minimise amendments to these Regulations. However, in the event that any amendments are made, the version of the Regulations in force in any given academic year shall apply to all BLC students.
By submitting an application form for the Diploma Course and logging-on to Moodle, BLC students shall be deemed to have consented to these rules, including responsibility for payment of full course fees for the relevant academic year (subject to the cancellation and refund policy above) and to the retention of their personal data (exclusively for the purposes described herein) by the BLC.
Cambridge, April 2016
British Law Centres of Juris Angliae Scientia (a UK registered educational charity no 1013738)
c/o Law Faculty, 10 West Road, Cambridge, England CB3 9DZ