Distance Learning - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Frequently Asked Questions

 

General questions, including eligibility and degrees

Can I get a [JD/LLM/LLMCL/LLMT/PhD] degree through the Distance Learning Program from the Peter A. Allard School of Law?

No.  The Distance Learning Program is not a degree-granting program.  Completing these courses does not meet the requirements of any of the degree-granting programs.  However, if you are later admitted to the LLM Common Law Program, you may transfer up to 12 credits to count towards the LLMCL degree.  Please contact the Professional Programs directly for further clarification: professionalprograms@allard.ubc.ca

 

Do I need a first law degree to take these courses?

Yes, we do require applicants have both a prior law degree and an NCA assessment.  The NCA Assessment Report and associated transcripts form part of the required admissions documents to Access Studies.

 

I am interested in taking Distance Learning courses, but do not yet have an NCA Assessment Report.  Can I still apply to the program?

Yes, but your application will be different than what is listed on the How to Apply page.  You’ll need to request an email from the NCA saying that your file is currently in the queue to be assessed.  Also, you should request the NCA send your transcripts they have on file to us. You will need to provide us with the assessment report once it has been issued. 

PLEASE NOTE: Taking our courses without an NCA Assessment Report means you may be taking classes you don’t need or won’t get credit for.  It is your responsibility to be mindful of the drop dates and the respective tuition refund dates.

 

Do you offer [Insert course name here] through the Distance Learning Program?

We currently offer these courses in the Distance Learning Program.  Unfortunately, we do not offer all the NCA subjects through our program, and we are the lone method of taking single NCA subject courses at the Peter A. Allard School of Law.  If you are interested in a course we do not currently offer, please email us.  We will note your interest in the subject as we periodically review class offerings.

 

Are you offering [____] course in [____] term?

We endeavor to maintain an up-to-date schedule of course offerings on our courses webpage.  Once we have confirmed courses, we update that page.

 

Will your distance learning courses satisfy my NCA requirements?

In many cases, yes.  Our distance learning courses have been designed in consultation with the NCA to help students demonstrate competency in these subject areas.  Our Courses are thus pre-approved to meet the required material.  It is up to the individual student to confirm with the NCA that they will accept our courses for their NCA Assessment. 

 

Application Questions, including Documents, English language requirements:

I have requested my NCA Report and Assessment to be sent to you, have you received it?

Most likely yes.  The NCA is very prompt in sending document to us, and will let you know when they have sent the documents to us.  However, if you did not specify electronic mail, they likely sent hard copies of the documents and will take longer to reach us.  We will need to review these documents before we forward them onto Enrolment Services. Please allow one week for us to complete a review of your documents.  You will receive an email from us when we have forwarded your documents to the Non-Degree Studies.  Due to the number of applicants, we are unable to individually confirm when we receive your NCA supplied documents.

 

I haven’t heard about my enrolment status.  What is taking so long?

There may be a few reasons why you haven’t heard from either us or our colleagues at Enrolment Services:

1) Document review at the Distance Learning Program

The Distance Learning Program reviews all application materials to ensure applicants will be successful in the program.  As some of the application periods are busier than others, we may be working on other items and have not been able to review your documents just yet.  As these applications are for graduate level courses, we do look for your academic ability based on UBC’s graduate admission standards. Often times there are no issues with applications.  However, there are times when we will place restrictions on the number of courses students can take at once. 

2) Unpaid Application Fees

If you have not paid your application fee, we will not begin reviewing your documents internally, nor will we send them to enrolment services.  You can check this by logging into your Student Service Centre and viewing pay fees under the finances heading.

3) Document and ELAS review at Enrolment Services/Undergraduate Admission

Applications to Distance Education at UBC are funneled into the same campus unit that works with all questions of enrolment, registration, financial and undergraduate admissions to the university.  As such, there may be times when these units are quite busy.  We recommend applying well before the deadline for the term you want to take courses in.  You can check the status of your application in the Student Service Centre to see if there are any documents outstanding.

 

Can you waive the English language requirements for me?

No.  We do not set or maintain the English Language Admission Standard requirements.  The ELAS requirements are set by the Undergraduate Admissions Office of The University of British Columbia.

 

The NCA has said I meet their English Language Requirements. This counts for UBC’s admissions, right?

Unfortunately no.  The University of British Columbia and NCA have different English Language Requirements.  Meeting the NCA's requirement does not meet UBC’s requirements. 

 

Will my documents satisfy the English Language Admission Standard to be admitted to the program?

Depends.  The Admissions office is very strict regarding the ELAS requirements and meeting one of the nine different ways.  If you are unsure of your documents, please feel free to email our helpful colleagues at International.admissions@ubc.ca and they will be happy to help you through the process.  Please allow them at least 48 hours to respond to your inquiry.

 

I’m thinking of requesting a waiver for the ELAS requirements.  What all do I need to include in the waiver?

An ELAS waiver request should include: a cover letter explaining the reasoning for your waiver request, an official letter of recommendation from *either* a prior professor who taught you in English *or* a letter from your employer explaining the level of work and complexity of tasks and responsibility with respect to your performance, and to speak specifically to your reading and writing abilities in English. Upon request to us, we will send your NCA Assessment Report and Academic Transcripts to the ELAS reviewers. 

 

 

Registering in Courses

I tried to register online, but the system says it’s blocked for registration.  How can I register for my classes?

Because of the requirements for our distance learning courses, we have to close off online registration.  You will find the registration form on the website’s main page and the courses page.  Please complete the form and save it to your computer before sending it to us by email as an attachment.  We will respond within 48 hours.  Please note, course space is limited and submitting a registration form does not guarantee you a spot in the course. 

 

I’m registered in a course, but I can’t see it on my Canvas page.

There are two possible reasons why you can’t see it.  First, it is likely the course is not available at this time.  Most courses are accessible the week before classes officially start.  Otherwise, they are closed to students and will not show up on your main canvas page.  Second, we have just processed your registration form and the UBC systems for registration and online course support require an overnight refresh to talk to each other for student access.  Please check back in a day or two.  If you can’t access the course, please verify your registration with us, and then contact UBC IT.

 

I no longer want to take this course.  Can you withdraw me from the class?

Yes, but you need to be aware of the dates and implications for tuition refund purposes.  Please see the UBC course change dates, as well as the tuition refund dates.  The amount of tuition that can be refunded is based on the date of the withdrawal.  Please note your application fee and registration deposit are non-refundable.

 

Financial information

I have just applied to the program, but can’t find where to pay my application fee.

All fees can be paid through the financial tab of the Student Service Centre.  Because applications to access studies are manually processed, it can take up to 5 working days to process your application to have your fees and other document requirements set.  It is your responsibility to check in. 

(If you do not have a CWL Username, follow the instructions for a “standard user (student/alumni)” at the following link to create one: https://it.ubc.ca/services/accounts-passwords/campus-wide-login-cwl/how-create-account)

 

Can I apply for student loans for these courses?

Yes, but it depends on the agency you are requesting your student loan from.  Please find information on financial support through the Enrolment Services office. 

 

I need a document for my student loan information confirming my registration.  Can you provide that?

No.  Unfortunately, these forms require a signature from someone in the registrar’s office at the University of British Columbia.  Please contact Enrolment Services with your query and they will be happy to help you with the documentation.  Further, please let them know our email address if your form requires program-specific information. They will be in contact with us to complete the form and we will return it to them directly.

 

Courses and Exams

How are the courses structured/evaluated?

All of our courses are a directed self-study and are considered graduate level courses.  They follow a regular in-person UBC course schedule and syllabus regarding the start date and exams.  Classes will have material for each week for you to read and study up on, but there is not a required time commitment for being online and in the class.  Different instructors will use different methods of evaluating the class.  Some will have assignments throughout the course, others will have a midterm exam.  All of our courses have a final exam that will be conducted during the regular UBC scheduled Final Exam period. 

 

I live outside of Metro Vancouver.  Do I need to come to UBC for my exams?

If you live outside of Metro Vancouver (defined as South of Squamish and West of Chilliwack), you do not need to come to UBC for exams.  You will be given the option of applying for an off-campus exam, either at a partner testing centre, or at a different location where you make arrangements with an invigilator to receive the exam and send it back to us.  Please note there is a fee for each off-campus exam.

 

Grades and Transcripts

When will we know our grades?

The Peter A. Allard School of Law has a set release date for all marks in its courses.  We endeavor to have the distance learning marks entered in the system for them to be released on that date. However, because of the nature of distance education courses, we must wait for off campus exams to be delivered to UBC and then to the instructor to mark them.

 

Can you send my transcript to the NCA?

No, we cannot request official UBC transcripts on behalf of a student.  You will need to log in to the SSC and then request the transcripts be sent to the NCA directly.