Degree in Law

[NB: unless stated otherwise, the information here is for the 2013-14 academic year]

A Little Background

The Degree is Law is the evolution of the former law degree programme taught at the Faculty of Law since the University of the Balearic Islands was founded in 1978. Indeed, it was even offered before this date, as an affiliate course from the University of Barcelona. Many professionals on the island put in lots of effort and enthusiasm to help teach in the early years: notaries, registrars, judges, etc. and the programme was taught at loaned facilities in Son Malferit.

Throughout the 1980's, university lecturers joined the Faculty, many from other Spanish universities.

In the 1990s, firstly in the old Business School building in the centre of Palma and then, in 1993, at the university campus, professors and tenured lecturers joined the teaching staff - the first to be trained by the school itself. Student numbers soared in this period (a record 2,372 students were registered in 1996-97 which forced the faculty to introduced the first numerus clausus - 350 - in the 1998-99 academic year) and to split the programme into morning and afternoon groups.

Definitively housed in the Melchor Gaspar de Jovellanos building (2004), the law programmes have also been offered over Campus Extens at the university centres in Ibiza and Minorca since 2005-06. Lower student numbers (largely due to a wider selection of programmes at the UIB), falling to 767 students in 2004-05, enabled the faculty to eliminate the numerus clausus until the 2010-11 academic year.

The new Degree in Law programme began in 2009, replacing the longer, older syllabus which is due to completely disappear at the end of the 2014-15 academic year.

Students

There are currently 1,077 students on Law programmes, 87 of whom are enrolled on the old Degree in Law (no longer available), 85 on the Degree in Law in Ibiza and 49 in Minorca. The following figures paint a broad picture of our student profiles: 57% are women, 16% are over 30, 74% join the university with a high school diploma, 7% join with a vocational training diploma and 10% join after the age of 25.

Entry onto Programmes, Attendance and Results

The UIB offers 200 new places at the Palma campus and 30 at each of the centres in Ibiza and Minorca. In turn, four places are offered to students from other programmes or universities and a further four for those wishing to change UIB centre. The admission mark from the 2013-14 academic year for students with high school and vocational diplomas was 5.02 for July entry (no students were admitted in September).

Full-time students are required to pass 24 credits in their first year and a total of 60 for the first two years to remain on their degree programme.

The average number of students passing subjects compared to total enrolled students is currently 74%.

A total of 71.5% of students believe they attain the degree skillset, 17.4% state they do so half-way and 1.2% believe they do not attain the skillset at all. A detailed self-assessment questionnaire on over 30 sub-skills from the degree programme saw fourth-year students award themselves a score of 3 on a scale of 0 to 4.

Finally, students have stated they are fairly satisfied with their studies (2.89 on a scale of 1-4) and with what they are learning (3.02).

Legal Clinic, External Placements and Professional Career Pathways

From the third year, students are able to experience professional practice whilst performing a valuable task at the faculty's Legal Clinic, where around a dozen students deal with real cases under the supervision of professionals. In turn, students who undertake 150 hours of placement in a legal practice, company or institution benefit from tutelage and subsequent credit recognition in the faculty.

The faculty offers a careers advice service including personal tutorials, seminars with professionals, specialised information on most legal careers and an active Twitter feed <@ OpenDer20423>.

Although we do not have figures on graduate employment, the last study performed in 2009 on graduates from 2006 showed that 64% found employment three months after their course and 78% after three years (N.B.: 32% of students had already found employment before finishing their degree programme).

How Teaching is organised

The Degree in Law is split into three groups: two in the morning and one in the afternoon.

The morning groups have between 10 and 15 hours per week of classes, in groups that number 90 students in first year to 70 in the fourth year. These groups are split into two mid-sized groups for around a third of classes. In turn, some subject run small group sessions of between 5 and 10 students.

The afternoon group, numbering between 40 and 50 students, has a reduced timetable of 10 hours per week, meaning it is highly suited to those who work or who have family responsibilities. The timetable is from 5 to 8:45 pm, Monday to Wednesday (Majorca). The group shares some classes with the centres in Ibiza and Minorca via videoconferencing. The centre there also have three attended seminars for each subject, given by the same lecturers, and around 30% of the subjects there are taught by local lecturers.

More information on Majorca (here), Minorca (here) and Ibiza (here).

Lecturers

There are around eighty lecturers involved in teaching on the Degree in Law. Around half are university lecturers (professors, senior lecturers, contracted lecturers and assistants), who split their time between teaching and research. The other half are professionals who collaborate with the university as associate lecturers and provide their practical skills.

Students can participate in teaching quality assessment surveys each semester. The average mark received by lecturers from students is above the UIB average and comes in at nearly 7/10 (to be precise, 6.99 in the 2012-13 academic year).

Facilities

Except for some afternoon sessions, all teaching takes place in the Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos building. The building also houses admin services, a library, a computer room, teamwork rooms and tables, a photocopy centre, a cafeteria, etc. Lecturer offices are also in the same building.

Student Participation

Students are represented on both the Faculty Board and on the Degree Quality Committee. At the start of the year, students elect delegates from each year and group, who meet with the faculty management team at certain intervals.

Students can also send their comments and suggestions to the management team in several ways or through the quality surveys run throughout the year.