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Bachelor of Laws

Train and produce lawyers for the practice of law in Singapore particularly in the areas of Criminal Law and Family Law.

Bachelor of Laws


Overview

Singapore University of Social Sciences is the only university in Singapore dedicated to working adults, allowing them to pursue lifelong learning and higher education while balancing career, family and social responsibilities. The primary focus of the University School of Law is to train and produce lawyers for the practice of law in Singapore particularly in the areas of Criminal Law and Family Law. This is part of the national effort to meet the need for lawyers in the areas of Criminal Law and Family Law. Currently, there is a gap in the supply in terms of well-trained lawyers for these areas of law. Traditionally, lawyers tend to gravitate to the commercial areas of law thus leaving a gap in Criminal Law and Family Law areas. From the perspective of our society, this is a concern we need to address. Singapore University of Social Sciences School of Law seeks to address this shortfall.

However, even when this shortfall of practitioners is overcome, it remains a fact that Criminal Law and Family Law affects families, communities and the society in Singapore: the practitioners are involved in more than just legal issues. The School of Law will offer more training and exposure to cross-disciplinary areas like sociology, social work and criminology, to prepare students for family and criminal legal work that have become increasingly specialised over time. In time, the School of Law will be a focal point for the broader eco-system of practitioners, students, government bodies and non-governmental organisations working in these fields, generating relevant and cross-cutting research in collaboration with similar institutes in Singapore and overseas jurisdictions.

In view of Singapore University of Social Sciences School of Law's emphasis on the practice of law, the focus will be on applied learning to prepare our graduates for the practice of law in Singapore.

As the emphasis is on applied learning, the University law programmes will concentrate on core areas of law including Criminal Law and Family Law as well as related non-law subjects rather than the academic areas such as jurisprudence. To better prime and prepare our graduates for practice in the community, students will be offered relevant non-law subjects as part of their core curriculum. These subjects will include compulsory courses in Social Services and Forensic Sciences.

Admission Requirements

The Bachelor of Laws (LLB) programme has the following minimum admission criteria:

  • At least the GCE 'A' level with three passes (prior to 2006) or three H2 passes (from 2006), or a local Polytechnic Diploma or the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma or a NUS High School Diploma;
  • Demonstrate aptitude to practice law through taking the UK Law National Aptitude Test1.
  • All applicants (other than fresh school leavers with 'A' Levels or diploma certificates) will be required to provide a full CV detailing their work experience as well.

Additionally, applicants must also meet the English Language proficiency requirement and the following mother tongue (MTL) requirement:

GCE A Levels / NUS High School DiplomaInternational Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma
  • minimum of D7 for the higher MTL paper taken at the 'O' Level examination
  • minimum of 'S' grade for the H1 MTL paper or General Studies in Chinese
  • minimum of 'S' grade for the H2 MTLL paper taken at the 'A' Level examination
  • pass in the MTL 'B' Syllabus paper at the 'A' Level examination
  • minimum of D7 for the higher MTL paper taken at the 'O' Level examination
  • minimum of 'S' grade for the H1 MTL paper or General Studies in Chinese
  • minimum of 'S' grade for the H2 MTLL paper taken at the 'A' Level examination
  • pass in the MTL 'B' Syllabus paper at the 'A' Level examination
  • pass in SL/HL MTL A or B paper taken at IBDP Examination

If you have been exempted from MTL, the MOE-approved subject-in-lieu will be considered as your MTL subject.

Applicants who have not satisfied the MTL requirement above may be admitted on a provisional basis and will be required to attain the MTL within the period of their University study before being permitted to graduate from the University.

All eligible students will be assessed through admission interviews, a review of their personal statements on aspirations and motivations and any supporting evidence of their commitment to the practice of criminal and family law.

1LNAT is a registered trademark of LNAT Consortium Limited. Details of the test, including training for it is available at http://www.lnat.ac.uk . The actual test is administered through Pearson VUE, and is available at the Singapore test-centres.

Programme Structure

Students under the Bachelor of Laws programme will need to fulfil 180 credit units.

The LLB degree programme is meant for students with 'A' Level or Diploma qualifications. Students in the LLB programme will take about 4.5 to 5 years to complete their studies. LLB candidates will have the opportunity to take up electives. An indicative range of electives is available for reference below. Please note that the School of Law will update the LLB candidates on the electives that are available for every presentation.

All School of Law students are expected to complete their degree within 6 years.

Graduates of the LLB programme are required to complete 180 credit units comprising:

  • 10 credit units of Introductory Courses
  • 100 credit units of Legal Knowledge Courses
  • 10 credit units of Allied Knowledge (relevant non-law) Courses
  • 15 credit units of Professional Courses
  • 15 credit units under the Legal Clerkship Programme
  • 30 credit units of Electives drawn from Legal or Allied Knowledge subjects

Graduates are also required to complete as a condition of graduation, the following:

  • 20 hours of pro bono services as required under the rules of the Singapore Institute of Legal Education.

SUSS Core
In light of the content of the Introductory Courses, and the compulsory Allied Knowledge courses, students of the law programmes will not have to take any SUSS Core courses.

Introductory Courses
The Introductory Courses introduce the students to the nuts and bolts of the study of law and reinforces the importance of being able to read and write well.

Legal Knowledge
Students take 100 credit units of legal knowledge courses covering the foundations of legal knowledge, and other subject areas commonly encountered by the legal practitioner.

Throughout these courses, the students will also be developing their skills of reading, listening, legal research, analysis, and advocacy.

The students will spend the entire second year of their studies on criminal and family law, procedure and evidence, a feature designed to produce law graduates with skills focused on community legal practice. This is one of the distinguishing features of this programme.

Electives
All law students will take at least 10 credit units of Allied Knowledge courses introducing them to social services in Singapore, and also to forensics, the science behind crime scene investigations. Students preparing for the Bachelor of Laws degree will take a further 30 credit units of courses which they can draw from the areas of law, psychology and social work. This allows the School of Law to train lawyers who approach issues of crime or family from a more holistic approach, looking beyond just the legal problems to the wider issues.

The updated electives for 2020 will be available soon.

Professional Courses
The professional training section echoes the requirements of the report of the 4th Committee for there to be elements of practical/vocational training in this degree. In this, the students will be given training in trial advocacy, ethical legal practice and client care, as well as in mediation. For our students, exposure to practical professional issues this early ensures that these skills will be firmly reinforced when encountered again at Part B of the Singapore Bar Examinations.

Legal Clerkship Programme
Practical training within the law degree programmes is a unique feature of the School of Law. The Legal Clerkship Programme will provide students with structured training in the application of their legal and professional knowledge. This clinical training would be the most appropriate platform for authentic practical training in real-life situations. The training would be arranged through institutions that work with criminal and family law, such as the Legal Aid Bureau, the Law Society's Pro Bono Services Office, or the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme and relevant state agencies such as the Attorney-General's Chambers.

Module Types
COMPULSORY
155 cu
LAW ELECTIVE
Minimum 5 cu and maximum 10 cu

(Students must complete 25 cu of electives, minimum 5 cu and maximum 10 cu from Law electives)

PSYCHOLOGY ELECTIVE
Minimum 5 cu and maximum 15 cu

(Students must complete 25 cu of electives, minimum 5 cu and maximum 15 cu from Psychology electives)

SOCIAL WORK ELECTIVES
Minimum 5 cu and maximum 15 cu

(Students must complete 25 cu of electives, minimum 5 cu and maximum 15 cu from Social Work electives)

One of the mandates of the Singapore University of Social Sciences School of Law is to train lawyers with a heart for and who will eventually practise as lawyers within the community primarily in Criminal Law practice and Family Law practice. Accordingly our student recruitment will focus on and give preference to applicants who have a fair amount of work experience. Preference will be given to applicants who have worked for some time in related fields such as social work, law enforcement, and the prison service.

Other applicants who can show current involvement in community work connected with Criminal Law and Family Law will also be given preferred consideration.

The LLB will be a recognised degree under the Legal Profession Act, and provided the student graduates with a GPA of 3.5, he will be a 'qualified person' under the Legal Profession Act and will be eligible to sit for Part B of the Bar Examinations.

The graduate is qualified to practice law in any area, but he will have particular knowledge and skills to excel in the fields of criminal law and family law.

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