Training Objectives and Standards
The programme aims to cultivate practical high-level legal professionals who are adapted to the needs of socialist legal construction, who can systematically grasp the knowledge of legal science, and who are familiar with the laws and regulations of China. They shall have due awareness and full capacity for the practical administration of the law.
The students mainly study the basic theories and knowledge of legal science, receive basic training in thinking from the perspective of law and other professional skills of administration by law, so as to be equipped with the basic capacity and creative consciousness to analyse and resolve administrative law problems with theories and knowledge in legal science and with the ability of independent study.
Chinese Legal History, Commercial Law, Intellectual Property Law, Administrative Law Cases, Special Subject of Administrative Procedure Law, Administrative Law Enforcement Documents, A Brief Introduction to the Science of International Law, Labor Law, and others.
Duration of Study and Graduation
The course uses a credit-based system. Credits received within 8 years of registration are valid. The Open University of China (OUC) has designed this as a three-year part-time study course.
The minimum number of credits required for graduation is 71. Graduates obtaining the required number of credits are awarded a nationally recognised bachelor's degree certificate of higher education.
The graduates are to work in government offices, institutions, enterprises, or public organisations, especially in administrative law enforcement organisations and law service sectors.
Curriculum and Teaching Management
- The teaching plan includes compulsory subjects, restricted optional modules, optional modules and practicals.
- The compulsory subjects offered by the OUC employ uniform syllabus, teaching materials, examinations and standards of marking. The teaching process management is strengthened via centralised tutorials, inspections on teaching and on examinations, among others.
- The optional modules are specialized modules or other related modules selected by local students in accordance with their own needs. The optional modules in the plan are for the pilot open universities to choose when they make teaching plans for implementation. The OUC can recommend teaching materials and provide examination services. The pilot open universities can independently or in cooperation with government departments offer targeted optional modules with local and industrial characteristics. The teaching resources, teaching management and examination of modules offered independently by pilot open universities are in the charge of the open universities. The students are free to choose the optional modules according to the arrangements of the pilot open universities. However, the optional modules chosen during the diploma period shall not be chosen again during the degree period.
- Those graduated from non-law majors at or above diploma levels must make up the following subjects when they engage their studies for the degree programme of legal science (administrative law enforcement orientation). These are the specialized foundation subjects such as the Constitution, Economics Law, and Foundation Knowledge of Legal Science (B). Each of the subjects carries 4 credits. The OUC will provide course descriptions, unified syllabus (or teaching requirements), recommended teaching materials and assessment requirements, and support services for examinations and students' autonomous study.
- Students can choose optional modules from the list of General Optional Modules. They may choose cross-discipline modules, but credits for these must not be more than 10 percent of total course credits.
- Each law subject will have a formative assessment organised in accordance with the OUC and the local open universities requirements. Whatever corresponding pre-graduation practicals there is must be completed as required. The results of the formative assessment will be included in the total performance of the subject, accounting for 20 percent of the total. Those without formative assessment results are not permitted to take course completion examinations.
- The assessment of each subject of legal science shall be based on syllabus and printed materials. Both theoretical knowledge and practical capacity should be tested when questions are set in the test paper. The test paper will adopt a hundred-mark system, accounting for 80 percent of the total performance. The formative assessment accounts for 20 percent of the total performance.
- The pre-graduation practical study is made up of subject practicals and final practicals which include legal practice and graduation thesis. The responsibility of pre-graduation practical study will rest with local open universities based on the requirements of the syllabus. The legal practice which cannot be exempted can be done in the form of mock court, legal consultancy service, thematic debate, internship, court hearing or social investigation.
- The focus of graduation theses is to cultivate the students' ability to analyse and resolve practical problems with the integrated knowledge learned. The topics can be diversified, and the selected topics should conform to the teaching requirements of legal science.
Teaching Method and Media
Modern distance learning technology is used to support students' autonomous study.
The main study media are printed materials, audio-visual materials, IP courseware and CAI courseware, with printed materials being the primary medium.
Face-to-face tutorials, correspondence tutorial, online teaching, BBS, e-mail, VBI, telephone and two-way video conferencing, and televised teaching are also used to support students.
Teaching Quality Assurance System
- Teaching Staff
The pilot units are responsible for employing and improving the teaching staff within their regions. Each subject has full-time course leaders and full-time or part-time lead teachers that meet the following qualifications:
- Course Leaders
All course leaders have an undergraduate degree or above in legal science; are active in the teaching and teaching management of legal science; are able to teach online; and are fully conversant with the characteristics of teaching in open universities.
- Lead Teachers (chief editors of teaching materials)
Lead teachers have an undergraduate degree or above in legal science as well as senior professional titles; are active in the teaching and academic research of legal science; have rich teaching experience and strong oral and written communication skills. In addition, they all speak fluent Mandarin (putonghua) with clear pronunciation.
In addition to those with the required educational background titles, the position of lead teachers for specialised and practical subjects can also be held by those who work in judicial or administrative law-enforcement departments, or who have rich practical experience and hold leading posts, once their academic level has been verified.
Full-time tutors have at least an undergraduate degree, while part-time tutors not only have at least an undergraduate degree, but also have professional titles in legal science at or above mid-range level and a certain level of academic theoretical level. In addition, they are engaged in teaching, research or practice in open universities or conventional institutions of higher education, professional research institutes, or the related disciplines of judicial or administrative law-enforcement units.
- Teaching media
- The teaching media for compulsory subjects falls under the jurisdiction of the OUC, while for the pilot optional modules, it falls to the provincial open universities.
- Those involved in compiling the teaching media are all appropriately qualified.
- The syllabus, teaching proposals and samples of teaching materials for independently established optional modules are all submitted to the OUC for evaluation and approval before teaching commences. Outstanding ones are recommended for use in the OU system.
- Teaching Supervision
- Teacher Training
All teaching staff and tutors of the pilot units receive thorough training.
The OUC is responsible for giving training to teachers of the compulsory subjects, while the pilot units are responsible for training those in their regions.
Training is determined by the actual situation and can involve meetings, classes, online initiatives, two-way video conferencing, or training materials.
The teacher training includes teaching requirements, explanation of focal and difficult points of subjects, introduction to the use of multi-media for teaching and ways for students' autonomous study.
- Study Guide
At the beginning of the course, students sit an entrance test on Chinese language, advertising, art and design. Pilot units give students guidance on the course contents, subjects offered, study plan and study methods.
Each subject has an induction including overall design, teaching requirements, study methods and materials.
- Centralised Tutorials
Centralised tutorials are given on problematic areas in compulsory subjects through live classes, two-way video conferencing, online teaching resources and correspondence.
Each subject has approximately two tutorials per term.
- Centres for Experimental Teaching
The OUC selects pilot areas to carry out experimental teaching and learning activities, test the practical effect of various teaching media, explore the reform in teaching and learning models, and improve learner support.
The establishment of these centres is decided by the OUC after inspection visits.
- Formative Assessment
At least two formative assessments are given in each subject.
The OUC has a uniform process for the formative assessment of compulsory subjects, which is conducted mainly through correspondence channels. The pilot units are responsible for their own formative assessments and having them checked and marked.
The format of formative assessments is governed by the subject contents and has a practical focus. They take the form of case analysis, thematic discussion, comprehensive tests, court hearing, teaching practice, mock courts and mid-term examinations.
The assessments are marked out of 100. Those who have not finished their assignment receive 0.
The assessment counts as 20% of the course's total mark. The marking of special subjects, especially those with a highly practical focus, is explained separately. If the pilot units independently give two or more formative assessments, they can choose which one is to be counted in the final mark.The results of formative assessments are included in the total performance, and the result of the unified OUC formative assessments must be included. If the pilot units independently give two or more formative assessments, they can choose which one is to be counted in the final mark.
- Subject Assessment
Each subject is marked on the formative assessment and exam on completion of that subject. Students with no formative assessment mark cannot take the exam.
Generally, the OUC is in charge of the compilation of exam papers for all the compulsory subjects, with exams being either open or closed-book. For those subjects with fairly fixed contents, a test item database or test paper bank will gradually be compiled. For those with a practical focus, such as 3-D Computer-Aided Design, an exam is given on a computer.
The exam scores are converted to the remaining 80 percent, with the conversion of special subjects explained separately. A minimum of 60 marks (from the formative assessment and exam) is needed to pass the subject and receive the corresponding credits.
The types of exam questions for closed-book examinations are decided according to the nature of the subject and usually contain four types from the following: filling in blanks, multiple-choice, judgment, explanation of terms, question and answer, essay, and case study.
Those who set questions in the test papers shall have high professional level and rich teaching experience in the subjects and have professional titles of legal science at or above mid-range level.
- Teaching and Exam Inspection
The OUC is responsible for inspecting the teaching and exams of each pilot unit, checking formative assessments and practical teaching arrangements, as well as feedback on teaching information.
Problems surrounding diploma-to-degree conversion
Students graduating from non-law courses at or above diploma level wishing to take the law degree course must do a conversion for the compulsory subjects. They are Constitution, Economics Law Science, Foundation Knowledge of Legal Science and others. The OUC provides subject description, syllabus, recommended teaching materials and assessment requirements to support students' autonomous study.
The corresponding credits for each conversion subject is 4, with the total coming to 12 credits.
When making teaching plans for implementation, all the pilot units must include the conversion subjects in the teaching plan according to the OUC regulations and teaching requirements of the subjects. They shall give teaching and examinations in accordance with the credits and study hours. All the pilot units should make clear regulations and formulate practical and effective schemes for implementation.
- This consists of the subject practicals and the final practical, and is obligatory for all degree students.
- The final practical includes the specialised practicals in legal science and the undergraduate thesis. The OUC is responsible for formulating the uniform basic requirements for the final practical, while the local open universities are responsible for implementing them based on the requirements of the syllabus.
- The format of subject practicals can be decided on according to the actual situation on the ground. It can be done in the form of thematic case discussion, mock courts, legal consultancy service, court hearing and internship as well as social investigation and thematic debate.
- Those successfully completing the final practical get the corresponding credits. It cannot be omitted and those without it are not permitted to graduate.
- The final practical is generally scheduled for after students obtain most of the obligatory subject credits.
- All degree course participants must write an undergraduate thesis.
- The basic requirements (covered separately) are formulated uniformly by the OUC and carried out by each pilot unit, with the OUC making inspections and giving instruction.
- The thesis is written after students obtain all the compulsory subject credits and complete the practical work on legal science.
- After completing the thesis, the student must attend a viva taken by a fully qualified OUC tutor.
- Those completing their thesis get the corresponding credits, without which graduation is not permitted.