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New Option for Part-Time Canadian Common Law LLM Students

April 6, 2022

Christine Briggs

New Option for Part-Time Canadian Common Law LLM Students

Starting in the Winter 2023 term, part-time Canadian Common Law students will have the option to complete the program via distance learning through our Problem-Based Learning courses.

What is Problem-Based Learning?
Problem-based learning starts with the problem instead of ending with it: the problem drives the learning rather than serving as a way to practise or apply something students have already learned. Students are presented with a problem, work together to determine what they need to learn and how they can learn it, and then use course materials to collaborate to solve it.  You will spend time working in a small group with other students, spend time in your small group with your instructor receiving feedback, and also have some plenary sessions with the instructor and all students in your course.

Are courses asynchronous? Can I take these courses from outside of Canada?
The Problem-Based learning courses in the Canadian Common Law program are purpose-built, interactive online courses. They are not asynchronous: they are highly interactive, and have live attendance requirements. At the beginning of the course you will be assigned a team on the basis of time zones (wherever possible). The team format creates more room for flexibility in terms of the timing of live class hours, as some of the class hours are scheduled by students based on their own schedules.  This means you will have fewer traditional “lecture” or instructor-driven class hours.  Courses with an invigilated final exam will provide the option to write the exam remotely, using a computer, microphone, and webcam.

Will these courses meet my NCA requirements?
These courses have been approved by the NCA to satisfy NCA requirements – the specific subject(s) each course satisfies is noted in the course description.

Most NCA candidates are permitted to take online courses towards their NCA requirements.Typically, the NCA only requires in-person study for candidates who completed their law degree through a distance education program or for candidates who have less than one year of in-person study in a previous law degree.  Please be sure to check your own NCA assessment or consult the NCA’s website for details.

If you have fewer than seven NCA subject-matter competency requirements in your NCA assessment, or your assessment includes a requirement to take “additional” NCA subjects, you will be able to take elective courses offered online through one more than a dozen other Professional LLM specializations.   

What are the current Problem-Based offerings?

Currently we offer four courses in this format:

Canadian Constitutional Law (Online) – offered every Fall & Winter term
Canadian Professional Responsibility (Online) – offered at least twice per year
Foundations of Canadian Law (Online) – offered every Fall & Winter term
Canadian Criminal Law (Online) – offered every Fall & Winter term

We’re currently working on four more Problem-Based Learning courses:

Canadian Administrative Law – Expected to launch in Fall 2023
Canadian Contract Law – Expected to launch in either Winter or Summer 2024
Canadian Tort Law – Expected to launch in either Winter or Summer 2024
Canadian Property Law – Expected to launch in either Winter or Summer 2024

Does this mean that I can complete an LLM in Canadian Common Law by distance learning?

Part-time students in the Canadian Common Law program have access to these courses. Note that these courses are not open to full-time students. We encourage prospective applicants who are interested in a fully distance option to apply to start the program in Winter or Fall 2023. However, if you’re flexible about the order and timing of when you take each subject, you could begin the program earlier (remember that Administrative Law won’t be available until 2023, and Contract, Torts and Property won’t be available until 2024).

For example, a part-time student could begin the program in Fall 2022 with the following completion plan:

Fall 2022:
Foundations of Canadian Law (Online) & Canadian Graduate Legal Research & Writing (Online)

Winter 2023:
Canadian Constitutional Law (Online)

Summer 2023:
Canadian Criminal Law (Online)

Fall 2023: Canadian Administrative Law (Online)

Winter 2024 & Summer 2024: You could either take a combination of Contracts, Torts, and Property (if you need those subjects) or you could take an elective course from another specialization (many other programs run a significant number of courses that are completely online).

Questions
Check out our on-demand information sessions to learn more about our programs and becoming licensed to practise law in Canada, join us for one of our weekly Q&As, or contact us.