Directed independent learning is defined as a single piece or pieces of self directed study (undertaken under the guidance of a supervisor), totalling 30 credits, which provide(s) an opportunity to engage in extended research on one or more aspects of the syllabus relating to the programme. The directed independent learning can take a variety of forms, chosen to be the most appropriate for the programme, and/or to enhance the employability prospects of the students. This can be defined at programme approval and will be equivalent to the effort required to prepare a dissertation of up to 6,000 words.
These regulations shall apply for the full time Law and Legal Practice programme leading to the award of a LLM Master's degree.
These academic regulations should be read in conjunction with the General Postgraduate Regulations.
Master's degrees and Postgraduate Certificate and Diplomas are awarded to candidates who have demonstrated:
- A systematic understanding of knowledge, and a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights, much of which is at, or informed by, the forefront of their academic discipline, field of study or area of professional practice.
- A comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to their own research or advanced scholarship.
- Originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in the discipline.
- Conceptual understanding that enables the student:
- to critically evaluate current research and advanced scholarship in the discipline;
- to evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them and, where appropriate, to propose new hypotheses
Typically, holders of the qualification will be able to:
- Deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, make sound judgements in the absence of complete data, and communicate their conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences.
- Demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional or equivalent level.
- Continue to advance their knowledge and understanding, and to develop new skills to a high level.
And holders will have:
- The qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring:
- the exercise of initiative and personal responsibility;
- decision-making in complex and unpredictable situations;
- the independent learning ability required for continuing professional development
The programme is structured as follows:
A full time programme of study consisting of modules totalling 240 credits, where directed independent learning (totalling 30 credits) is delivered concurrently with taught modules.
All modules will be considered as ‘core’ modules and must be passed for candidates to be considered eligible for the LLM Master’s award.
The programme shall normally be completed in eighteen months.
Learning outcomes shall be specified for the programme and for any programme intended to provide an exit qualification.
Taught modules shall be completed as prescribed by the relevant Faculty/School and assessment completed by the dates set by Faculty/School. The full degree programme shall be completed within the following periods from the date of the enrolment:
|Mode of study
|Not less than 18 months and not more than 36 months
Please read the Guidance on Time Limits for further information.
Applications for extension to the deadline for submission of the piece of directed independent learning can be considered by the Faculty/School, up to the minimum period of candidature (normally 18 months for full-time students). Applications for extensions to candidature must be completed and submitted via the candidate's supervisor to Education Services, in accordance with the stated deadlines. Applications will be considered on a case by case basis.
The teaching pattern for the programme is delivered over 18 months which spans two academic years. All Candidates must complete 30 credits of directed independent learning within the normal time-limit of the programme as set out in Clause 2.2.
The teaching and assessment structure will be detailed in the programme handbook.
Candidates shall be required to complete the programme of study in accordance with the assessment regulations for awarding credit for the LLM in Law and Legal Practice.
The pass mark for a module shall be 50%.
Candidates must complete the whole programme before they may qualify for the award of a degree.
A candidate who is admitted to this programme but is subsequently unable, or is not permitted, to progress to completion may, depending upon the number of credits attained at the time of exit, qualify for one of the following awards of the University*:
Postgraduate Certificate with Merit
Postgraduate Certificate with Distinction
Postgraduate Diploma with Merit
Postgraduate Diploma with Distinction
* Where recognition of prior learning has been accepted, exit qualifications would not normally be awarded.
The award of a named Postgraduate Certificate, following the completion of modules offering not less than 60 credits at level 7, will only be available if the relevant modules constitute an approved programme. Approval of a post graduate certificate, under this regulation, shall be made by the relevant University Board.
Each candidature shall be completed by the presentation of a piece or pieces of directed independent learning and the approval of such work by the examiners.
The directed independent learning shall embody the methods and results of a research project.
For each candidature, the Faculty/School shall approve one supervisor.
Candidates shall be supervised in accordance with the Supervision Policy for Postgraduate Taught Master’s Students.
Proposals to be feasible in terms of the timescale and resources available and to be allocated to supervisors with suitable expertise.
Research Council guidance to be followed, when appropriate, in respect of facilities to be made available (study space, library, appropriate research environment, etc.)
Written guidelines to be issued with regard to attendance/engagement, frameworks for meetings and general expectations, in accordance with the Supervision Policy for Postgraduate Taught Master’s Students.
The implementation of all such guidelines to be monitored on a regular basis.
Where candidates require additional help with language skills, this advice to be provided as a service separate from the duties of the supervisor.
A mechanism to be in place whereby a candidate is able to request a change of supervisor, and whereby an alternative member of staff is made available should any supervisor be absent for a prolonged period of time.
Advice and guidance to be provided to the candidate with the aim of facilitating the production of a piece of work of the requisite standard for a Taught Master's degree.
The proposal to be within the supervisor's field of expertise, the selected topic to be defined in consultation with the candidate and approved by the Faculty/School.
The proposal to be suitable for completion within the allotted time span.
A timetable for the submission of work to be agreed in accordance with the Faculty/School.
A minimum of three meetings to be held in accordance with the Supervision Policy for Postgraduate Taught Master’s Students.
Agree with the student a record of all such formal meetings, including dates, action agreed and deadlines set. The record shall be maintained by the student and submitted to the Faculty/School on submission of the work.
Work to be returned according to specified deadlines and accompanied by constructive comments.
A Feedback session will be given to any student who fails and is permitted by the University Progression and Awards Board to resubmit their work.
The work produced to be first and foremost the candidate's own work, albeit achieved with the benefit of advice and guidance from the supervisor.
A timetable for the submission of work to be agreed in accordance with the candidate’s home Faculty/School.
Candidates are expected to be in attendance at Swansea during the whole programme.
A minimum of three meetings to be attended in accordance with the Supervision Policy for Postgraduate Taught Master’s Students.
The candidate shall maintain a careful record agreed with the supervisor, of all formal meetings, including dates, action agreed and deadlines set. In accordance with the Supervision Policy for Postgraduate Taught Master’s Students, a copy of this record should be submitted to the Faculty/School when the work is submitted.
Work to be completed within the agreed framework, with any problems relating to late (or unsatisfactory) submission, to be brought to the supervisor's attention in writing as soon as possible.
For every Postgraduate Taught Masters’ Examining Board there shall be a Chair who shall be responsible for ensuring that the correct administrative procedures for the submission and examination of the work are carried out.
All work shall be marked by two internal members of staff, one of whom should normally be the supervisor for that particular candidate.
The role of the External Examiner is specified in Swansea University's Code of Practice for External Examining.
However, if it is impossible to allocate two internal markers then the Faculty/School should pay an external marker to act in the capacity as the second marker and the External Examiner should be asked to oversee that moderation has occurred.
The External Examiner will assure the assessment processes and standards for all candidates enrolled on the programme of study. Where required, a specific additional examiner may be appointed to review any work where specialist knowledge or expertise is required.
The Faculty/School may opt to use sampling regulations if the cohort is greater than 10. The sampling regulations are as follows:
At least 10% of the total number of pieces of work (minimum of 5) including at least one from each class (Pass, Merit, Distinction, where appropriate). In addition, all failed pieces of work must be sent to the External Examiner.
The marks shall be ratified at the Award Boards (Faculty/School and University Progression and Awards Board).
For dealing with disputes or disagreements, see the Code of Practice for External Examining.
Directed independent learning must be submitted in accordance with the University’s requirements. The Faculty/School may choose one of the following options:
- To accept an electronic copy of the work.
- To accept two soft bound copies and an electronic copy.
The Faculty/School must inform students of the method of submission in the Faculty/School Handbook.
Each copy shall contain:
- A statement that it is being submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree.
- A summary of the work not exceeding 300 words in length.
- A statement, signed by the candidate, showing to what extent the work submitted is the result of the candidate's own investigation. Acknowledgement of other sources shall be made by footnotes giving explicit references. A full bibliography should be appended to the work.
- A declaration, signed by the candidate, to certify that the work has not already been accepted in substance for any degree, and is not being concurrently submitted in candidature for any degree.
- A signed statement regarding availability of the work.
Detailed instructions on the presentation of work shall be available to candidates in the programme handbook.
Submission of directed independent learning shall be defined as submission of a piece or pieces of work submitted in accordance with the requirements specified under submission of directed independent learning (above) and should also meet the requirements (format, word limits, etc.) specified by the Faculty/School. A Faculty/School shall have the discretion to determine whether a submission fails to meet these requirements.
Dates for submission of the piece or pieces of independent directed learning shall normally be:
18 Month Programme
Approximately 18 months after enrolment*
A Faculty/School may set an earlier deadline for submission, which must be printed in the Faculty’s/School's handbook.
Candidates who entered the University who fail to submit their work by the deadline will be required to withdraw from the University and will be considered against their full academic profile for eligibility for an exit award.
Each degree has a maximum period of candidature (as outlined above). The maximum period is designed to enable candidates whose studies have been interrupted for whatever reason to complete their degree. Candidates must aim to complete their programme by the deadlines as given in Regulation 3 above. A candidature shall lapse (and examination be thereby precluded) if the programme is not completed within the University time limits outlined in Regulation 3.
If the piece/pieces of directed independent learning is not accepted by the examiners by the set deadline the candidate may be allowed to resubmit it once only within the following time limits:
Mode of Study
normally* up to 5 months (after the official University publication of results)
* The Faculty/School may impose shorter resubmission periods. This will be made clear to candidates in the Faculty/School handbook.
The University reserves the right to charge a re-examination fee in respect of the re-submission.
Candidates resubmitting should be given written feedback on the reasons for failure immediately following confirmation of the result by the University Progression and Awards Board. The Faculty/School should ensure that feedback reflects all comments from the Examiners (Internal and External) and that the student is informed of the necessary changes required.
Candidates re-submitting are only permitted to make minor changes to the title of their work, and only with the permission of their Supervisor. Such changes should not require any further original research.
Candidates resubmitting their work will remain subject to the requirements of the Engagement Monitoring Policy for Research Students and will be expected to be fully engaged with their studies during the resubmission period. Students will be monitored on a four-weekly basis (one formal feedback session followed by welfare check ins, students are not entitled to additional supervision) up until the point of resubmission within the time limit set for full and part time students and will still be subject to the escalation process for reasons of non-engagement. The Faculty/School or Student Compliance Services will assume responsibility for recording student engagement during the resubmission period.
A candidate shall be at liberty to publish the whole or part of the work produced during their period of registration at the University, prior to its submission as a whole, or as part, provided that in the published work it is nowhere stated that it is in consideration for a higher degree. Such published work may later be incorporated in the piece of directed independent learning submitted for examination.
Notwithstanding the provisions in the regulations relating to the availability of directed independent learning, the University may be permitted, on a special recommendation approved by the candidate’s Executive Dean or nominee, to place a bar on photocopying and/or access to a candidate's work for a period of up to five years. It shall be the responsibility of the candidate's supervisor to make an application to the Executive Dean or nominee as soon as is reasonably practicable. This bar would also apply to members of the University.
The summary and title shall be freely available.
Any recommendation for a bar on access must be made to the Executive Dean or nominee after consideration of an application by a candidate's supervisor. It shall be the responsibility of the supervisor to make the application as soon as is reasonably practicable. The recommendation must include a statement of the grounds on which the request is being made. Typically accepted grounds would be the commercial sensitivity of the research, which may have been partially sponsored by a commercial or industrial organisation.
When a bar on access has been granted, the candidate’s Supervisor will be notified. In the case of work which is deemed to be of relevance to Wales, the Faculty/School shall inform the librarian of the National Library of Wales that the work is to be withheld from access for a specified period.
Although the bar shall be regarded as operative as soon as the work is submitted, the period approved shall be calculated from the date on which the candidate is formally notified by the University that they have qualified for a degree.
On submission, a candidate shall be required to incorporate a signed statement within the work to indicate either:
- that the work, if successful, may be made available for inter-library loan or photocopying (subject to the law of copyright), and that the title and summary may be made available to outside organisations; or
- that the work, if successful, may be made so available after expiry of a bar.
Details on the constitution, roles and responsibilities of Examining Boards are contained in the Assessment Regulations for Postgraduate Taught Awards.
One copy should be stored by the Faculty/School for not less than two years. Where a student has submitted two soft bound copies the other copy should be made available for collection by the candidate, unless the content is deemed to be relevant to Wales, in which case the copy should be deposited in the University Library.