Annex III     Comparison of QAA Benchmark and JASB Statement for the QLD

The blue, underlined, text in Annex III identifies points where the Schedule is introducing a clearly different standard or scope of outcome from the Benchmark. The orange, italicised, text highlights points that appear problematic or uncertain and which are noted in the comments column.




6.1 A student should demonstrate a basic knowledge and understanding of the principal features of the legal system(s) studied. They should be able to:

  • demonstrate knowledge of a substantial range of major concepts, values, principles and rules of that system
  • explain the main legal institutions and procedures of that system
  • demonstrate the study in depth and in context of some substantive areas of the legal system.

Application and problem solving

6.2 A student should demonstrate a basic ability to apply their knowledge to a situation of limited complexity in order to provide arguable conclusions for concrete problems (actual or hypothetical).

Sources and research

6.3 A student should demonstrate a basic ability to:

  • identify accurately the issue(s) which require researching
  • identify and retrieve up-to-date legal information, using paper and electronic sources
  • use primary and secondary legal sources relevant to the topic under study.


a. Knowledge

Students should have acquired:

  1. Knowledge and understanding of the fundamental doctrines and principles which underpin the law of England and Wales particularly in the Foundations of Legal Knowledge;
  2. A basic knowledge of the sources of that law, and how it is made and developed; of the institutions within which that law is administered and the personnel who practise law;
  3. The ability to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of a wide range of legal concepts, values, principles and rules of English law and to explain the relationship between them in a number of particular areas;
  4. The intellectual and practical skills needed to research and analyse the law from primary resources on specific matters; and to apply the findings of such work to the solution of legal problems; and
  5. The ability to communicate these, both orally and in writing, appropriately to the needs of a variety of audiences.






Schedule One emphasises law of E+W but more narrowly? (Major vs fundamental)




Emphasis on a particular form of understanding


Badly formed outcome which combines too many elements – research skills, analysis and (legal) problem solving. Emphasises primary sources, but not clear what this otherwise adds to 6.2, 6.3








Analysis, synthesis, critical judgement and evaluation

7.1 A student should demonstrate a basic ability to:

  • recognise and rank items and issues in terms of relevance and importance
  • bring together information and materials from a variety of different sources
  • produce a synthesis of relevant doctrinal and policy issues in relation to a topic
  • make a critical judgement of the merits of particular arguments
  • present and make a reasoned choice between alternative solutions.

Autonomy and ability to learn

7.2 A student should demonstrate a basic ability, with limited guidance, to:

  • act independently in planning and undertaking tasks in areas of law which they have already studied
  • be able to undertake independent research in areas of law which they have not previously studied starting from standard legal information sources
  • reflect on their own learning, and to seek and make use of feedback.


b. General transferable skills
Students should be able:

  1. To apply knowledge to complex situations;
  2. To recognise potential alternative conclusions for particular situations, and provide supporting reasons for them;
  3. To select key relevant issues for research and to formulate them with clarity;
  4. To use standard paper and electronic resources to produce up-to-date information;
  5. To make a personal and reasoned judgement based on an informed understanding of standard arguments in the area of law in question;
  6. To use the English language and legal terminology with care and accuracy;




COMMENTS This section of Schedule One combines elements from both cognitive and key skills 

Is (i) meant to raise the standard above the Benchmark in 6.2?


This focuses on a narrower set of competencies than 7.1.



How is this different from 6.3 ‘identify accurately the issue(s) which require researching’ and the 7.2 planning outcome?


Presumably this is meant to close a gap in 7.1 (and not covered in 7.2) which might mean that critical/reasoned judgements are derivative


How is this different from the standard in 8.1?






8 Key skills

Communication and literacy

8.1 Both orally and in writing, a student should demonstrate a basic ability to:

  • understand and use the English language (or, where appropriate, Welsh language) proficiently in relation to legal matters
  • present knowledge or an argument in a way which is comprehensible to others and which is directed at their concerns
  • read and discuss legal materials which are written in technical and complex language.

Numeracy, information technology and teamwork

8.2 A student should demonstrate a basic ability:

  • where relevant and as the basis for an argument, to use, present and evaluate information provided in numerical or statistical form
  • to produce a word-processed essay or other text and to present such work in an appropriate form
  • to use the internet and email
  • to use some electronic information retrieval systems
  • to work in groups as a participant who contributes effectively to the group’s task.














  1. To conduct efficient searches of websites to locate relevant information; to exchange documents by email and manage information exchanges by email;
  2. To produce word-processed text and to present it in an appropriate form.













Note the absence of any reference to numeracy or teamwork from Schedule One



Use of file transfer protocol and cloud-based applications? The danger of specifying technologies is that they date. Why nothing in either set of standards about understanding basic data security?


Why does (viii) repeat the Benchmark formulation but exclude the reference to ‘essay or other text’?