Foundation Certificate Course Administration
Important note for candidates who completed the Foundation Certificate in 2020/21: Posted Monday 6 September 2021
Certificates for successful candidates in 2020/21
I have received a number of enquiries about when the certificates for successful candidates who completed the 2020/21 course will be sent to candidates. Please note that the certificates will only be prepared after the re-sit examinations have concluded in October 2021. All successful candidates will be contacted separately by e-mail to confirm how they want their names displayed on the certificate and also to confirm the address to which the certificate must be posted. Please reply to that e-mail promptly when it is sent out.
De-linking student portals for candidates who completed the course in 2020/21
Please note that the student portals of candidates who completed the course during 2020/21 will be de-linked at the end of September 2021. This means that from the beginning of October 2021 you will no longer be able to access your student portal or download documents or certificates. You are therefore requested to ensure that you have downloaded all you need from the student portal by the end of September 2021. No requests for the sending of certificates, results or Guidance Texts will be entertained once the relevant accounts have been de-linked from the system. It goes without saying that those who have enrolled to complete the course over two years will continue to have access to their student portals until the end of the second year of the course in 2022.
David Burdette (Course Leader)
A Word of Welcome!
Welcome to the Course Administration page for the Foundation Certificate in International Insolvency Law. On this page you will find important information relating to the course itself as well as general information as the course progresses. This page will be used for any announcements regarding the course, so please access this page on a regular basis. New announcements will display at the top of the page, with older items appearing lower down.
As a student in the class of 2021/22, you have the distinction of having been enrolled as part of only the third cohort of students on this course. During the first year a range of teething problems were experienced with the system we use to present the course. While most of those issues were addressed, it is worth noting that a new education system was implemented during 2021. You are on the new education system and while everything appears to be working normally, please do let me know if you experience any problems with the system at any time. I can be reached by e-mail at [email protected].
I would also like to extend a special word of welcome (back) to those candidates from 2020/21 who elected to complete the course over two years. I trust you will be successful in the second year of the course. There are a number of candidates from the 2020/21 group who will finish the course this year. Just for information, for the current 2021/22 course there are a total of 129 candidates from 34 countries enrolled. For those of you thinking of asking for the names and contact details of those who are doing the course with you, please note that data protection laws in the UK prevent us from sharing this information.
Your very first instruction on the course is to read through the Course Handbook. A link to the Course Handbook was sent to you by e-mail prior to the course commencing, but it is also accessible at all times in your student portal. The Course Handbook contains extremely important information relating to the course and the manner in which it is run. Please bear in mind that this course is essentially a course of self-study. We have gone to great lengths to ensure that all the information you require to complete the course is contained in the web pages of the Foundation Certificate and in the guidance texts for each module. If you have any questions relating to the information contained in the Course Handbook, please contact me by e-mail. It is imperative that you work through the entire Course Handbook as your very first instruction on this course. If you are unable or unwilling to read instructions, such as those provided in a multitude of places in the course materials, it would be remiss of me not to tell you that you will struggle with this course.
Structure of the Course
It is important to note that the course is structured. When you look at the structure of the course, you will notice that the compulsory modules are dealt with first and are then followed by the elective modules. The first priority on the course is to get you all settled in and it is for that reason that Module 1, Introduction to International Insolvency Law, is dealt with first. While the content of this module is not particularly difficult, it does lay the foundation for the rest of the course. It is important that you understand the basic principles of international insolvency law before tackling the other compulsory modules and then the elective modules. Please be warned that Modules 2A and 2B are a lot more difficult than Module 1, especially for persons who have had no exposure to international insolvency law instruments such as the UNCITRAL Model Laws relating to insolvency and the European Insolvency Regulation. Candidates are urged to make provision for sufficient time to master the content of these two modules.
Your first priority should be to work through the Module 1 Guidance Text and then to start work on the Formative Assessment for Module 1. The Formative Assessment is a practice assessment that has been set to help guide you through the Module 1 materials and is also designed to give you some idea of what to expect in respect of the Summative Assessments you have to complete for each module on the course. The Summative Assessments are the formal assessments (examination, if you like) that determine whether you pass or fail the module. More information regarding assessments has been provided below. The Summative Assessment for Module 1 is due one month after the submission date for the Formative Assessment, so all candidates are encouraged to submit the formative assessment for Module 1 as this is the only practice assessment you will be given the opportunity of completing. The marking guide for the formative assessment will be uploaded to this page as soon as the formative assessment date has passed (ie on 16 October 2021). Please note that this is the only marking guide that will be provided to candidates.
Once you have completed the assessments on Module 1, you can start working on the Guidance Texts for Modules 2A, 2B, 3A and 3B. These are the compulsory modules on the course and also electives for for those candidates who decided to take the alternative choice of module as an elective. For those of you who are doing both Modules 2A and 2B, or both Modules 3A and 3B, please take note of the submission dates for assessments, depending on whether you have taken the module as a compulsory or an elective module. The guidance texts and assessments for Modules 1 (both formative and summative), 2A, 2B, 3A and 3B have already been uploaded. The Guidance Texts and can be found under the "Course Content" tab on the course web pages and the assessments under the "Assessments" tab. You are free to start working on the assessments for Modules 2 and 3 if you so wish, although you are urged to initially only focus on the two assessments for Module 1.
The assessments for modules 4 to 9 will be uploaded as they are received back from the authors. Please bear in mind that there are 36 elective modules and five compulsory modules on this course and since I am the only one working on this, it takes time to get the updated texts and assessments uploaded to the system. Most authors have already returned their updated texts and new assessments and these will be uploaded just as soon as I have had time to edit them and prepare them for publication. My aim is to have all the module guidance texts and assessments uploaded by the end of December 2021.
Information regarding the due date of assessments can be found in the Course Handbook and for each module under the Assessments tab on the course web pages. There are very specific instructions regarding the submission of assessments and candidates are requested to read and follow these instructions very carefully. With 129 of you enrolled on the course, and in order to ensure that assessments are marked quickly and accurately, you are requested to co-operate by following the instructions provided to you. Having the benefit of experience after having run the course for two years, I cannot over-emphasise the importance of reading (and complying with) the instructions that are provided to you.
It is also important to point out that this course is run on an entirely paperless basis. Assessments will be marked electronically in Microsoft Word, with comments or coloured text being used to provide you with feedback. When assessments are returned to you, this will be done in PDF format with the lecturers' feedback clearly visible. You will be informed by automated e-mail when you have submitted your assessment as well as when it is returned to you. The Course Handbook explains how to upload assessments and also where you will find your returned, marked assessment once it has been uploaded to your student dashboard.
All the assessments on the course count 50 marks. The breakdown of the mark allocation for each assessment is as follows: i) multiple-choice type questions - 10 marks; ii) direct questions - 10 marks; iii) essay-type questions - 15 marks; iv) fact-based application-type questions - 15 marks.
All assessments are open-book, although you will be asked to confirm that the assessment is your own work at the time it is submitted. Please consult the Course Handbook in this regard. On the last two courses (2019/20 and 2020/21) a multitude of problems were experienced with students copying and pasting their answers from the Guidance Text into their assessment answers. This is specifically prohibited and if this occurs during the course of this year, lecturers / markers have been instructed to award no marks for the questions where this has been done. All answers must be written in your own words. Where you do quote or use external sources for your answers, the source must be acknowledged. This is dealt with in detail in the Course Handbook, so please consult the relevant part.
The guidance texts for each module contain everything you need to know for the purposes of the assessments. You are not required to consult external or additional sources in order to answer the assessment questions, although in some cases you may be required to download texts (such as the UNCITRAL Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency). This will be made clear in the relevant guidance text.
The guidance texts and assessments for Modules 1, 2A, 2B, 3A and 3B have already been uploaded for you. These are in PDF format and are both downloadable and printable. As far as the remaining guidance texts for modules 4 to 9 are concerned, these are not needed until such time as the compulsory modules have been completed. As indicated, the Guidance Texts for the elective modules will be uploaded piecemeal as and when they are completed. For now, though, you have everything you need to start work on Module 1 and the four compulsory modules.
And finally . . .
With the course web pages now open, please do navigate your way around the site and familiarise yourself with the system. It is by no means a complicated system, as we wanted to keep the running of the course as simple as possible, both for you and those who have to administer the course.
Good luck to you all for the coming year!
With best wishes,
Dr David Burdette
1 September 2021