Diploma in English Law & Legal Skills (“DELLS”) Regulations 2022-2023
The following regulations apply to all Diploma Participants studying for the 1-year DELLS Diploma in 2022-2023 with the British Law Centre (“BLC”). They reflect the agreements concluded between Juris Angliae Scientia (“JAS”), as course provider, and the universities which co-organise the Diploma course (“Host Institutions”).
- COURSE CURRICULUM
The Diploma is taught by providing Participants with written and audio-visual materials, supported by 8 x 4hr classes with a BLC teacher in small-group classes and training exercises which happen on weekends (usually Saturdays 10.00-14.00) or weekday evenings (usually 17.00-21.00) in accordance with the teaching timetable for each BLC location (see the Calendar section below in section 2D).
Through lectures, classes, materials and training exercises, the Diploma teaches the following core topics of substantive law and legal skills:
ENGLISH LEGAL SYSTEM
Legal research, fact management, case analysis and oral advocacy
CONTRACT LAW (INCLUDING CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS & DRAFTING)
Contract negotiation and drafting, client interaction
LITIGATION AND ADVOCACY
Case and fact management, statutory interpretation, working with legal precedent, trial preparation, witness handling and oral advocacy
Client interviewing, written advocacy, analysing precedents
Mooting, preparing written submissions (‘skeleton arguments’)
To successfully graduate the Diploma, you must pass 4 written assignments, one from each of the substantive law modules above (excluding Litigation & Advocacy). Each assignment involves preparing written work (approx. 2,000 words) to test the knowledge and skills learned during the relevant module. Written assignments are completed at home throughout the academic year, not in a traditional exam-style session. For further details, see ‘Assessment’ in Section 4 below.
1. General structure of the Diploma
Diploma Participants are registered on a dedicated website, from which they can access specially prepared workbooks or other written materials on the relevant substantive law and legal skills modules.
Diploma Participants can access lectures delivered by the BLC teaching team and/or special guests (including expert legal practitioners and academics from renowned UK teaching institutions). Lectures are usually recorded and made available on the BLC website, but there will also be opportunities to participate in some live lectures streamed online (usually on weekdays at 18.30-20.00 CET). In total, there are approximately 80 lectures (each 90 mins) available as part of the Diploma course materials (i.e., 100 hrs of available lectures).
Participants also receive small-group classes, to complement and deepen their understanding of the legal issues discussed in lectures and written materials. There are 8 small-group teaching sessions throughout the Diploma, each lasting 4hrs (i.e., 32 hours of small-group classes). Diploma Participants will also be invited to participate in additional, extra-curricular activities, including legal skills sessions, if they wish to increase the number of active learning hours they receive.
The content and structure of each of the 8 teaching sessions may differ slightly, but usually each 4hr session is divided into two halves: 2hrs of discussing substantive law, followed by 2hrs of legal skills training.
The 8 teaching sessions on the Diploma are delivered in a 4+4 structure, in which at least 4 teaching visits are taught face-to-face at the chosen BLC location and up to 4 teaching visits may be conducted online. Participants who prefer to have 100% online teaching may choose to join a group which will be taught 100% online.
Teaching sessions take place approximately once per month, in order to give some preparation time between sessions.
Before each teaching session, Diploma Participants receive clear information about the materials they should read or watch in order to prepare for that session. They also receive a list of questions or tasks for discussion in the class. These help to develop a practical understanding of the relevant law or skill[s] and should be prepared by Participants in advance.
2. Legal Skills
The Diploma includes components designed to develop a range of legal skills, such as analysing case-law; analysing and interpreting statutory law; legal writing skills; negotiating, analysing and drafting contracts; client-interviewing; advocacy skills; and mooting. This is done by way of interactive exercises (e.g., contract negotiations, oral advocacy pleadings).
The skills training aims to encourage active learning and to help Diploma Participants to develop their own legal skills portfolio. Skill-training sessions involve active participation in skills-orientated exercises or workshops. This might involve individual work or collaborating as part of a team asked to deal with a particular client issue (e.g., Seller or Buyer in negotiations or drafting exercises, or Prosecution v Defence in oral advocacy exercises). Preparation in advance is required, such as reading background materials on the relevant skill, or reviewing and re-drafting contract clauses etc. Due to the range of skills being targeted, the structure of these exercises and the nature of the Participants’ participation therein will vary. The emphasis remains on ‘learning by doing’—i.e., focusing on practical, active learning rather than passive and theoretical approaches.
3. Small-class teaching sessions
As noted above, there are 8 x 4hr teaching sessions during the Diploma, at least 4 of which will be face-to-face and up to 4 of which may be taught online. Amongst other things, the possibility of online teaching enables the BLC to involve law lecturers and professionals based in the UK, who otherwise would not be able to teach on the course. Each small-class teaching session seeks to achieve the following objectives:
- Clarifying the substantive law content – we aim to ensure that Diploma Participants understand the law dealt with in the written materials and lectures. We also elaborate and explain any issues that may be causing difficulties, and respond to any other queries the Diploma Participants may have.
- Building confidence to make legal arguments and practically apply the law to factual situations – a substantial part of each visit is devoted to developing Diploma Participants’ ability and confidence in applying the law. Typically, this involves analysing ‘problem questions’ (i.e. questions which describe a series of events and circumstances which affect fictional characters, who then seek legal advice). Diploma Participants work together with the BLC teacher to advise the characters on their rights and obligations. Participants are expected to actively participate and to propose what they view as the best advice in the given circumstances. The BLC teacher supports and guides the process, explaining the approach expected in English university education when dealing with such questions. Developing such skills not only helps Participants to prepare for the written assignments which need to be completed (see ‘Methods of Assessment’ in Section 4 below), but also helps to develop the advisory skills that are crucial for practising lawyers.
- Developing practical legal skills – most teaching sessions include practical legal skills training, such as: oral advocacy, negotiations, public speaking and presentation, contract drafting, or legal writing.
Attendance and participation in classes
Participants are expected to attend all 8 teaching sessions. However, we accept that there may be occasions when this is not possible. If you know that you will be unable to attend any particular teaching session[s], please inform us in advance. Where the relevant teaching session is happening online, we may be able to offer you the possibility to attend the same online teaching session on a different date.
All lectures and any online classes (taught as part of the 4+4 teaching structure mentioned above) are recorded and can be made available to participants who were unable to attend the relevant class.
4. Diploma Timetable and Website Calendar
Each BLC location has a slightly different timetable. Diploma Participants are provided with a timetable at the beginning of the Diploma course showing the dates/times of the lectures and the 8 small-class teaching sessions. An online calendar is also available on the website. If any amendments are required to the original timetable, participants will be consulted and given as much prior notice as possible, but we aim to avoid such changes unless these are absolutely necessary.
- COURSE FEES (INC. PAYMENT INSTALMENTS)
Course fees are published on the BLC’s website (see the tab called “Fees and Applications”) together with the other information applicable to a particular BLC location (inc. any additional administrative fee which may be payable by the Participant to the host University).
As part of the application process, you send us your CV and motivation letter for review. If, following this, we offer you a place on the Diploma, we will send you Payment Instructions, which constitute an integral part of these Course Regulations.
You can choose to pay course fees by means of a single payment or in instalments (see below).
You are entitled to pay a reduced fee (“Student Fees”) if you provide us with evidence confirming your status as a full-time University student or a current student of a vocational course which must be passed before you can practise as a lawyer Details of the respective amounts are given on the BLC’s website and in the Payment Instructions you are sent by email.
Unless you provide us with credible evidence of your eligibility to pay the Student Fees rate, you will be obliged to pay the Non-Student Fees rate.
If you choose not to pay your full course fees before the course commences, you may split your payments into a maximum of three instalments in accordance with the following Standard Payment Timetable:
- First Payment (within 14 days of us offering you a place on the course): A payment of €200 of the total course fees due (the ‘First Payment’) must be received by us within 2 weeks of us having offered you a place on the Diploma course. After your €200 First Payment is made, this amount is deducted from the total course fee you owe. You will then receive access to the course page and available materials. To benefit from the Earlybird fee reduction (see below), the €200 First Payment must be paid by 30 June at the latest.
- Second Payment (by 31 October): At least 50% of your full course fees: By this date, you must have paid at least 50% of your total course fees. For example, if your total course fees payable to JAS are €660, the Second Payment will be at least €130 (€660 divided by 2, minus the First Payment amount of €200).
- Third Payment (by 28 February): By this date, you must have fully paid your course fees.
Earlybird fee reduction
An Earlybird fee reduction of €85 applies if we receive your €200 First Payment by 30 June.
e.g., if you would owe €660 as the Student Fee level but we receive your €200 First Payment by 30 June (the “Earlybird Fee Deadline”), you are entitled to reduce your fees by €85 (i.e., to €575). After paying the €200 First Payment, you owe €375 more. If you do not pay the First Payment by 30 June, you would continue to owe €460 after making the €200 First Payment.
By 31 October you must have paid at least 50% of your total fees.
If you owe €660 as the Student Fee level but made the €200 First Payment by 30 June, you must pay at least €87.50 by 31 October, so that you have paid €287.5 and have a further €287.50 to pay.
If you owe €660 as the Student Fee level and paid the €200 First Payment later than 30 June, you must pay at least €130 by 31 October, so that you have paid €330 and have a further €330 to pay.
By 28 February, you must have completely paid your course fees.
We cannot offer course fees reductions other than as described above, but it may be possible for you to agree an Individual Payment Timetable for payment of your course fees if your financial situation necessitates this. Please contact us to discuss this possibility.
Withdrawing from the Diploma Course
After we offer you a place and you pay the non-refundable €200 First Payment, you will be formally registered as a Diploma Participant and granted access to the BLC’s website, from which you can access the course materials.
If you choose to withdraw from the course, for whatever reason, after having been granted access to the BLC’s website containing the course materials, you must email us to clearly state this.
Your withdrawal will have the following effect on the course fees you owe:
Impact on fees still owed
Within 14 days of us having offered you a place on the course*
No fees are payable
More than 14 days after we offered you a place on the course*
€200 First Payment must have been paid (and remains due if not paid). But no further course fees are payable.
After 31 October
You become obliged to pay the full course fees, but can pay in instalments if you wish.
At least 50% of total fees must be paid by this date.
After 28 February
100% of your course fees must have been paid by this date
* The 14-day period will be deemed to have expired on 31 October in any case (e.g. if someone is offered a place on 20 October, the 14-day period will be deemed to have expired on 31 October).
If we inform you that, for whatever reason, we are unable to conduct at least 4 of the 8 teaching sessions as face-to-face visits to your BLC location, you will be entitled to choose between the following options:
- Continuing the course online or with fewer than 4 face-to-face visits (“Modified Course”); or
- Deferring your participation on the Diploma course until the following academic year (at no additional cost, even if JAS’s fees have increased in the year in which you return after deferral); or
- Withdrawing from the Diploma course. (In this event, you must email us to clearly state this, within 14 days from the date on which we informed you that we would not be able to deliver at least 4 of the 8 teaching visits face-to-face. Otherwise, we will assume that you intend to continue with the Modified Course mentioned above).
The impact of the above decisions on fees still owed or already paid depends upon which choice is exercised. If you choose to withdraw, the fees you may still owe (in addition to the €200 non-refundable First Payment) or any refund of fees you have paid shall result in you paying an amount which fairly reflects the period for which you were registered as a Diploma course Participant and the extent to which you were able to access course materials before your withdrawal.
Important note on banking charges
If you pay via a bank transfer to JAS’s account (which is located in the UK), you must cover all charges that apply in connection with your payment[s], whether imposed by your bank or by JAS’s bank. If we receive an amount which is less than the course fees you owe, you remain liable to pay the shortfall.
Incomplete Studies and Returners’ Fees
We aim to ensure that you will be able to graduate the Diploma course at the end of the academic year in which you started studying with us. However, sometimes personal circumstances can prevent this (e.g., due to other commitments, illness, etc.) If you are unable to successfully pass all four of the written course assignments in the academic year when you commenced your BLC studies, you are entitled to extend your BLC studies and complete the Diploma by passing any uncompleted assignment(s) in the subsequent academic year. We refer to such Diploma Participants as “Returners”.
A “Returners’ Fee” is payable for each uncompleted assignment(s) which you seek to pass in the subsequent academic year.
The Returners’ Fee payable by those who do not complete all assignments in 2022-23 and need to complete in 2023-24 is €125 for each assignment not yet successfully passed (e.g. if you need to pass one assignment, you must pay €125; if you need to complete two assignments in 2023-24, you must pay €250 etc.).
If you extend your BLC studies in this way and pay the appropriate Returners’ Fee, you will be granted full access to our website (including any updated materials) and be welcome (but not obliged) to join any/all lectures, classes and workshops offered on the Diploma in the academic year in which you are a Returner.
The Returners Fees Timetable uses the same dates/amounts as the Standard Payment Timetable (above), subject to the possibility that the First Payment may be €125 if you only need to complete one assignment (i.e. if your full Returners’ Fee is only €125).
You are only entitled to return to the BLC and complete any missing assignment(s) in the year immediately following the academic year in which you commenced your BLC studies or in the subsequent academic year.
e.g. If you commenced BLC studies in 2022-23 but did not fully complete all assignments in that academic year, you are entitled to return and complete the Diploma during the 2023-24 or 2024-25 academic years, but not later.
You must pass one assignment in each of the four substantive law modules taught (i.e. 4 written assignments in total), plus complete an online research exercise, in order to receive the Diploma in English Law & Legal Skills
Written assignments are either essay-style questions, involving discussion of a specific legal hypothesis, or problem-based questions, requiring participants to advise fictional clients on their rights and obligations arising from a given factual scenario.
There are two possible opportunities to pass each of the written assignments in any given academic year (Topic 1 and Topic 2). These are spread throughout the year, so that you can focus on one assignment at one time.
Marking standards and procedures
All assignments are marked on a percentage basis reflecting the criteria and standards applied by UK universities.
A pass mark is any grade higher than 40% and a “first class” mark is signified by a mark of 70% or above. Grades above 75% indicate work of such outstanding quality that there are many years in which no participant receives such a high grade. Any assignment which fails to reach the minimum pass grade of 40% is simply indicated as a “FAIL” (or “0” on Moodle, where only numerical grade can be entered). This does not mean that the work achieved 0%, but merely that it did not reach the requisite 40% pass mark.
Requesting a review of assignment marking
If you wish to query the grade awarded or to raise any other query in relation to an assignment, you must first do so with the tutor who marked the assignment. This must be done within 14 days of the date on which your graded assignment was returned to you, directly or via Moodle. The BLC tutor will review your grade or other concern that you raised. The tutor’s decision will generally be final. In exceptional cases, a review will be referred to the BLC Academic Committee for further consideration and absolute final decision.
All assignments are originally marked by members of the BLC teaching staff. These are returned to participants with comments indicating areas of strength and areas where improvements can be made.
Moderation of marking by external examiners
All assignments are subject to double external examination. Currently, the external examiners responsible for finalising BLC participant results are from the University of Cambridge and the University of Glasgow. Accordingly, any grades awarded by BLC teaching staff are “provisional” until they have been approved by our external examiners, which occurs as part of as an annual review of our marking quality and standards. This review can last for 2-3 months after all assignments for the year have been completed and graded, so the fact of your graduation is usually confirmed in autumn of the year after which you completed the Diploma assignments.
Failed assignments and retakes
If you submitted and failed an assignment (i.e. did not receive a grade of 40% or higher), you will automatically be assigned a grade of 0% until you pass a retake assignment in that same module.
Retake submissions are assessed on a pass/fail basis. A retake pass (i.e. a pass following an original fail) is graded as 40%, with no possibility of a higher grade. If, at the end of the relevant academic year, you have not passed all 4 assignments, you would need to complete the relevant assignment[s] in the next academic year (and pay any applicable Returner’s Fee).
- COMPLETION AND CERTIFICATION
Once you have successfully passed all 4 written assignments, you will be recommended for the Diploma. The formal decision to award the Diploma is subject to completion of the external examiners process (as mentioned above). Following this, you will be formally informed of your status as a graduand and, if applicable at the relevant BLC location, of the details of any graduation ceremony. This process can last for 2-3 months, so graduation is usually confirmed in autumn of the academic year after which the Diploma was completed.
Graduates of the Diploma course shall receive the following:
A Course Diploma signed by senior representatives from Juris Angliae Scientia (currently Prof. Richard Fentiman – director of JAS and Professor of Private International Law at the University of Cambridge’s Faculty of Law). At most BLC locations, the Diploma is also jointly awarded by the Host Institution (i.e. the university at which the teaching sessions took place).
(The Diploma is categorized into Pass, Merit or Distinction according to the level of grades obtained during the course and participation in BLC classes and activities.)
Overall Diploma Grade – Best 3 grades
Although you must successfully pass assignments in all 4 modules, your overall Diploma grade is based on the ‘best 3’ results (i.e. the worst of your 4 grades is ignored when calculating your average).
Can I receive ECTS Points?
Depending on the particular cooperation agreement that is in place between Juris Angliae Scientia and the Host Institution, participants who are students of the latter institution may be awarded ECTS points upon successful completion of the BLC Diploma. Whether this is the case and the nature of any applicable conditions are matters for the internal administration of the Host Institution and accordingly, participants who are seeking ECTS points should take the matter up with the responsible faculty at the Host Institution. The Local Centre Liaison (see section 6 below) will be able to advise on these matters.
(i) Email details
When registering for the Diploma course, you must provide us with an email address to be used for all communications related to the Diploma. Your email address will be added to the BLC centre group which you joined, to enable us to send group emails. To avoid any problems in receiving our emails, please add the email domain “@britishlawcentre.co.uk” as a safe sender (i.e. an email ‘white list’), so that any/all of the BLC teachers can write to you without fear of the email being categorised as spam. If you change your email address, you must inform us immediately, so that we can update your email address in the various locations we use it (website, moodle, mailing lists). Unless/until we receive such notification, we will regard all emails sent to your original email address as received and accessible by you.
(ii) Administrative Queries
The Local Centre Liaison
Any queries concerning the Host Institution’s rules and regulations relating to participation in the BLC Diploma (e.g. the availability of ECTS points) should be directed to the Local Centre Liaison. All participants will be provided with contact details for the Local Centre Liaison at the Host Institution through which they participate in the BLC Diploma course.
(iii) Course Provider and Applicable Law
The course is provided by the Juris Angliae Scientia (JAS), with its registered office at the Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge, 10 West Road, Cambridge, CB3 9BZ, United Kingdom.
The interpretation and application of these regulations is governed by English law to the fullest permissible extent.
By commencing studies on the Diploma Course, you accept and consent to these Course Regulations, including the rules on paying course fees and the processing and retention of your personal data by the BLC strictly in accordance with our Privacy and Data Retention Policy (see below).
(iv) Privacy and Data Retention Policy
When you submitted your online application to us, you provided us with permission to contact you electronically. The permission for which we asked is voluntary and may be revoked by you at any time, for example by sending a message in reply to any electronic correspondence which you receive from us. If you did not provide the permission we requested, or if you subsequently revoke such permission, we will be unable to address any electronic communications to you, which will adversely impact your ability to continue the Diploma course.
Anyone who applies to join a BLC course provides contact data which we store in accordance with this Privacy and Data Retention Policy and the applicable law.
The personal data you provided is processed by Juris Angliae Scientia Ltd. to enable us to contact you regarding all aspects of the Diploma course and to keep you informed about the activities of the BLC and our sponsor law firms. We guarantee all your rights in this respect, including your right to request access to this data, to transfer such data, to correct such data, to delete such data and to delimit its processing and also your right to object to our processing of your data.
Unless you contact us and request us to delete your data, we retain the contact details you provided for 2 years from when you provided us with that data, and use it to inform you about the activities of the BLC and our sponsors. If you fully or partly completed the Diploma, we retain your contact details and data regarding your grades and attendance records permanently, in order for us to be able to confirm your participation on the course at any future time, if requested by you or any 3rd party authorised by you or the applicable law to receive such information, and to inform you that we have received such a request.
If, as a result of your objection to us processing your data, it becomes unreasonable or excessively difficult for us to continue contacting you or enabling you to access course materials, assignments etc., we reserve the right to deemed your objection as being equivalent to you withdrawing from the Diploma course.
Please contact us if you have any questions about our data retention policy (e.g. regarding your right to lodge a complaint with an oversight authority, or to ask us to rectify, transfer or delete your data).