Frequently Asked Questions
Questions about the Law Dual Degree program? We have the answers.
What does it mean that the Trent/Swansea Dual Degree program is a direct entry program?
When accepted to this program, you are automatically accepted for both your B.A. or B.B.A. at Trent and your L.L.B. at Swansea. No additional law school application is required. Students who attend Trent and meet the eligibility and progression requirements to go to Swansea upon application are guaranteed an offer of admission to the Swansea College of Law. If you do not meet the requirement to go on to Swansea or if you change your mind about attending law school overseas, you can finish your major at Trent.
What courses are required in my first two years at Trent?
Each major has a different list of courses that are required in your first two years. The best source of information to determine what you are required to take is the Academic Calendar. In the section entitled "Special Programs and Opportunities" you will find "Trent/Swansea Dual Degree - Law" and a listing of the 17 majors you can pick from, as well as their course pathways.
Can I change majors once in the Trent Swansea Dual Degree program?
Changing majors is easy at Trent. If you are considering changing majors once you have started at Trent, the best course of action is to see an Academic Advisor as soon as possible - link to Academic Advising. They will guide you through the process of determining what courses you will need to take to make sure you meet the requirements of the accelerated program in each major.
What does it mean that this is an accelerated program?
Each of the 15 majors has determined which courses are necessary to take in order to meet the university and program requirements in order to get an honours B.A. or B.B.A. degree in three years. The programs have also agreed that, assuming you make appropriate course grades at Swansea, they will allow you to transfer some of your Swansea credits to Trent in place of doing a fourth year.
Is this considered a double major program?
A dual degree program is different from a joint or a double major. This is a two degree program, which means the degrees are separate, so assuming you complete the program successfully, Swansea will award your LL.B. and Trent will award your Hons. B.A. or B.B.A. in the major that you study here at Trent.
Why do I need a sixth year?
After completing your LL.B. at Swansea you will return to Trent for your sixth year. During that year you will complete the courses necessary to finish your undergraduate honours degree as well as a number of required courses that will provide you with Canadian law content to facilitate you in writing your National Committee on Accreditation (NCA) exams.
What are the NCA exams and why must I write them?
The National Committee on Accreditation (NCA) is a standing committee of the federations of law societies across Canada whose purpose is to assess the legal education and professional experience of individuals who obtain their legal credentials outside of Canada. You can apply to be assessed as soon as you get back to Canada and if they advise you that you need to write some of the exams (which is likely) then you can write them during that sixth year. For the best information about the NCA exams, visit the NCA website. They have a great flow chart that explains the process.
What if I decide to not continue with the full process to becoming a lawyer, do I still need to take the NCA exams?
One of the benefits of this program is that you decide what is best for you. You are not locked into the full dual degree path at any point. You may decide to stay at Trent to finish your B.A. or B.B.A. and then write your LSATs to get into a Canadian law school. Or you may decide to finish at Swansea and come back to finish your B.A. or B.B.A. and not complete the NCA exams. You can still obtain your law degree and use it in a different way. There is a wide array of career paths that value a background in law.
Is there a requirement that I write a Law School Admission Test (LSAT) in order to go on to Swansea for law school?
Another advantage of this program is that no LSAT is required. You are not required to write the LSAT for admission to Swansea.
What is the difference between a Juris Doctor (JD) and an LL.B. (Bachelor of Laws)?
A JD is a Juris Doctor which is a post-graduate degree common in the US and recently in Canada. An LL.B. is a Bachelor of Laws, an undergraduate degree common in the UK and in Canada. Both allow you to practice law in Canada. Historically all lawyers in Canada were LL.B.s as they only needed two years of undergraduate education to go to law school.
Is the LL.B. transferrable to other common law countries?
We would recommend that you look into specific requirements for each country where you might be interested in practicing law. You would have to write the exams of the specific country. Swansea has an impressive track record of successfully placing graduates all over the world.
How much does it cost?
How does tuition work at Trent and Swansea?
While at Trent you pay the tuition that is set for the program which, at this time (July 2020), is in the range of $8,400 - $9,600 CAD per year. While at Swansea you pay the tuition set by Swansea which, at this time, is in the range of $22,000 - $24,000 CAD per year dependent on the exchange rate. The best way to determine the actual amount is to go onto Trent's programs page and Swansea's programs page and see what has been set. Each institution sets their tuition rates independently. Remember, tuition includes only the cost of attending that institution, living and other costs are outside that fee.
How do scholarships work?
There are several scholarships available to students while at Trent. Learn more about Trent scholarships or consult the Academic Calendar.
Does Swansea offer scholarships to Canadian students?
Yes, Swansea offers several scholarships available specifically for international students. Have a look at Swansea's international scholarships page.
How does OSAP work for a program like this?
While you are studying in Ontario at Trent and you are an Ontario resident, OSAP works as usual. Once you go to Swansea you are only eligible for the federal portion of OSAP funding. The provincial portion is only awarded when you are studying in Ontario. We suggest you seek more detail on this from the OSAP website.
Where to live?
How will I arrange housing in my first year at Trent?
Traill College, Trent's downtown college, is the hub of law at Trent. There are 45 first year residence spots at Traill for students who are in the Dual Degree Program and apply to the Law Living and Learning Community (LLC). Whether you get into the LLC or not, all first-year Trent students are guaranteed residence (as long as you apply and pay your deposit by the deadline), although the spots at Traill are limited. Trent also has other residences. Learn more about residence at Trent.
Where will I live when I go to Swansea?
Swansea also provides a first year residence placement guarantee for registered students provided you apply for residence by the deadline. The best thing to do is go to Swansea's accommodation page and figure out the deadline which is usually in the spring of the year you are planning to attend.
Is residence included in the tuition fee in first year at Swansea?
Residence and living costs are separate from tuition costs. We believe that you will find the cost of living in Swansea to be reasonable. Again, the best bet is to do your own research on this.
While studying at Swansea, what are other possible housing arrangements?
With respect to upper year housing options, Swansea has a very supportive housing office (Swansea housing office website) and can direct and assist students in finding off-campus housing.