PG Certificate Employment Law (Part Time)

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This course is designed to provide a thorough grounding in employment law for lawyers and HR practitioners. The aim is to equip those participating with a clear and comprehensive technical understanding, while at all times remembering that employment law should be seen as part of the real world of work.


The University of East Anglia offers a programme of evening and full day seminars covering all aspects of individual Employment Law, leading to a Postgraduate Certificate in Employment Law.


  • A series of fourteen evening seminars on Employment Law.
  • A full-day seminar on Resolving Employment Disputes by Agreement and by Tribunal Hearing led by a senior member of ACAS and by an Employment Tribunal Judge
  • A full-day “Exploded Diagram” simulated Tribunal case
  • A 10-12,000-word Dissertation on an Employment Law topic of your choice, written under expert personal supervision
  • Option of credit transfer to the Masters Degree LLM Employment Law

Those not wishing to gain a formal qualification may attend the fourteen evening seminars and/or the full-day seminars. Delegates who sign up initially for the evening seminars may transfer onto the Postgraduate Certificate up to November.

Feedback from Previous Students

"Brilliant and very inspiring"

"Very useful and informative, covering just the right amount of detail"

"Very informative and enjoyable. A good mix of delegates"

"I found the whole course interesting. The tutors were both very good - 2 hours passed very quickly!"

"Excellent and interesting speakers"

Programme Structure

The course will cover all the major topics in what is usually called or Employment Law or Labour Law (the terms are effectively interchangeable) except Health and Safety at Work and the law relating to the administration and governance of trade unions.

NB: The seminars may be subject to change to reflect legal developments.

Introductory Seminar - Course outline; aims & objectives


Historical overview

1. Sources of law and of other materials regulating the employment relationship

Institutional structure:  legal, economic, and political actors in the field of employment law – both British and international


2. Employment Law in Action Part One - termination of employment, wrongful dismissal and unfair dismissal – general principles

Termination by dismissal, resignation, constructive dismissal, non-renewal, mutual consent, frustration

Acceptance of fundamental breach

Wrongful dismissal: meaning, remedies of damages and injunction

The many meanings of ‘pay in lieu notice’

Unfair dismissal: what counts as a dismissal? 


3. Employment Law in Action Part Two Unfair dismissal – assessing fairness and specific reasons for dismissal (other than redundancy)

Potentially fair reasons for dismissal

The test of reasonableness as applied to the decision to dismiss

Substantive and procedural unfairness

Specific reasons for Unfair Dismissal

a.       Conduct

b.      Capability

c.       Illegality

d.      Some other substantial reason


ACAS Code of Practice and non-statutory guidance


4. Making claims and remedies; special cases

Automatically unfair dismissals

Qualifications for protection and exclusions

Continuous employment – the importance of the concept and how it is calculated

Time limits

Early Conciliation

Remedies for unfair dismissal


5. The Contractual Basics

Different forms of working relationships

  • Employee v self-employed
  • Employees and the various meanings of “worker”
  • The importance of the distinctions
  • Contemporary problems e.g. “casuals” and agency workers

Formation and content of employment contracts

Statutory statement of terms and conditions

Implied terms – how terms come to be implied; typical implied terms in employment contracts

Collective agreements


6. Redundancy and other Non-personal Dismissals

What is “redundancy”?

Redundancy payments – statutory and enhanced by employer

Information and consultation requirements

Unfair dismissal and redundancy

Achieving change in terms of employment


7. “TUPE” – business transfer and service contract change

Business transfers


Consultation and information requirements.

Effect on contracts and collective agreements

Dismissal and resignation connected with TUPE transfers

8. Wages, Working Time and Holiday

Common law right to wages

Recovery of overpayments

Common law and statutory rules on deductions from wages

National Minimum Wage legislation

Working Time Regulations – working, time rest breaks and holidays


9.Collective Rights and Industrial Relations Part 1

Definitions: “trade union”, “listed trade union”, “independent trade union”

Freedom of association: the right to be a union member and take part in union activities

Refusal of employment, detriment and dismissal for trade union membership and activities

Collective bargaining

The legal status of collective agreements

Impact of collective agreements on contracts of employment – including change and TUPE


Voluntary and compulsory union recognition and consequences of recognition


10.  Collective Rights and Industrial Relations Part 2


Information to, and consultation with, employee representatives under domestic and EC law

  • Redundancy consultation
  • TUPE consultation
  • Works councils and employee forums
  • European Works Councils

Trade union liability for industrial disputes; the trade dispute immunities; balloting and other procedural constraints on industrial action

Picketing and secondary action

The labour injunction

Dismissal, deductions from pay and other detriments for taking part in industrial action


11.Whistleblowing and other rights to complain

Protection of Whistleblowers under the Pubic Interest Disclosure regime

  • Detriment
  • Dismissal
  • Protection for “workers”

Whistleblowing policies and practice

Criticisms and weaknesses of UK law

Protection of those raising other complaints and issues with employers


12. Atypical Workers

Rights to seek flexible working


Fixed term workers

Agency workers

Zero hours workers


13.  Discrimination in Employment Part 1 – Common Elements

Sources of discrimination law: the EU dimension

The protected characteristics

Defining discrimination: direct, indirect, harassment, victimisation

Positive action and positive discrimination

Employer and individual liability for discrimination

Role of Equality and Human Rights Commission

Enforcement and remedies; the burden of proof

14.  Discrimination in Employment Part 2 –Particular Characteristics; Family Leave Rights

Sex, marital status, sexual orientation and gender reassignment

Equal pay

Race discrimination and discrimination on grounds of caste and religion or belief

Disability discrimination: the meaning of “disability”; disability related treatment, reasonable adjustments

Age discrimination

Pregnancy, maternity and family leave rights


Day Course: Resolving Employment Disputes by agreement and by Tribunal hearing (usually in May or June):

A course led by a senior member of ACAS and an Employment Judge on:
Internal procedures; conciliation and the role of ACAS; arbitration and mediation; the statutory arbitration scheme
New developments: pre-claim notification to ACAS
COT 3 agreements

Tribunal procedure
Bringing and responding to a Tribunal claim; case management
Time limits, pre-hearing reviews, deposits, costs orders, striking-out
Preparation of witness statements and documents
Presentation of the case: evidence and submissions

Day Course:  ‘Exploded Diagram” simulated Tribunal case (usually in May or June):

In this workshop delegates will work through the preparation and presentation of an Employment Tribunal case:
Drafting of Claim and Response
Case Management Discussions and Orders
Preliminary hearings
Obtaining and using documents
Cross-examining witnesses (delegates will be coached in preparation and then have the opportunity to cross-examine)
Closing submissions (delegates will be coached and then have the opportunity to make submissions)
This seminar is led by Professor Owen Warnock



Course Modules 2017/8

Students must study the following modules for 60 credits:

Name Code Credits


This module is aimed principally at solicitors in practice and personnel managers/HR professionals (who will often already hold the CIPD qualification). It covers the whole of modern employment law from first principles, being taught in 13 fortnightly seminars and a 10,000 word dissertation, written under personal supervision. In addition there are two whole-day seminars on methods of resolving employment disputes. The aim is to teach both the major principles and the detailed applications, so that the candidate will be able to handle employment related problems with confidence.




Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules and regular (five-yearly) review of course programmes. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, there will normally be prior consultation of students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff or sabbatical leave. In some cases optional modules can have limited places available and so you may be asked to make additional module choices in the event you do not gain a place on your first choice. Where this is the case, the University will endeavour to inform students.

Further Reading

  • Earlham Hall

    Following a major restoration project, UEA School of Law moved back to its former residence of Earlham Hall in the spring of 2014. Earlham Hall has been fully restored with newly refurbished offices, seminar rooms, a lecture theatre and substantial student space.

    Read it Earlham Hall

Entry Requirements

  • Degree Subject Relevant work/academic experience

Entry Requirement

Applications will be considered from those who can demonstrate appropriate academic skills and/or with relevant work experience (eg in Human Resource Management).

Students for whom English is a Foreign language

We welcome applications from students whose first language is not English. To ensure such students benefit from postgraduate study, we require evidence of proficiency in English. Our usual entry requirements are as follows:

  • IELTS: 6.5 (minimum 6.0 in all components)
  • PTE (Pearson): 62 (minimum 55 in all components)

Test dates should be within two years of the course start date.

Other tests, including Cambridge English exams and the Trinity Integrated Skills in English are also accepted by the university. The full list of accepted tests can be found here: Accepted English Language Tests

INTO UEA also run pre-sessional courses which can be taken prior to the start of your course. For further information and to see if you qualify please contact

Fees and Funding

Fees for the academic year 2018/19 are:

  • UK/EU Students: £2,500 (part-time)

Living Expenses

Approximately £9,135 living expenses will be needed to adequately support yourself.

Scholarships and Funding

A variety of Scholarships may be offered to UK/EU and International students. Scholarships are normally awarded to students on the basis of academic merit and are usually for the duration of the period of study. Please click here for more detailed information about funding for prospective Law students.

How to Apply

Applications for Postgraduate Taught programmes at the University of East Anglia should be made directly to the University.

You can apply online, or by downloading the application form.

Further Information

To request further information & to be kept up to date with news & events please use our online enquiry form.

If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances prior to applying please do contact us:

Postgraduate Admissions Office
Tel: +44 (0)1603 591515

International candidates are also encouraged to access the International Students section of our website.

    Next Steps

    We can’t wait to hear from you. Just pop any questions about this course into the form below and our enquiries team will answer as soon as they can.

    Admissions enquiries: or
    telephone +44 (0)1603 591515