Post Graduate Certificate in NI Employment Law and Practice

Post Graduate Certificate in NI Employment Law and Practice

Closing date is this Fri 21st Jan for January start, with a view to starting the course on 31st Jan 2023.

Would you like to get a recognised, accredited qualification in Northern Ireland employment law from the comfort of your own home/office, wherever you are based?

The importance of the employment relationship between employers, employees, unions and other statutory bodies and agencies is such that a thorough knowledge of both the context and the substantive law is necessary for those involved in this area in any capacity.

This programme attempts to provide the basis for this knowledge and to put students in the position where they may not only have an understanding of the law both conceptually and substantively, but also be in a position to use that knowledge in the solution of problems.

The course includes 24 employment law and compliance lectures from the cream of Northern Ireland’s employment law expert practitioners and 12 afternoon sessions on ADR and tribunal representation, including role-play exercises with Labour Relations Agency staff. All live sessions take place on Tuesday afternoons, with the majority of sessions taking place online. Students will also be able to watch recordings of all sessions and presentations after they are broadcast.

We don’t believe you will find an equivalent course anywhere. If you do, please tell us and we’ll improve this one accordingly!

Plus you'll get all of this:

Advantages of this course


Who is it for?

This special course is aimed at those who wish to gain a recognised qualification in NI employment law & practice. Candidates should hold a degree, preferably in law or social sciences. This course will be of particular value to those who currently practice in employment law, trade union or HR professions, or intend to do so.

When does it run?

In the first semester there will be two live presentations between 2.00 - 4.30pm. Our first term will commence as planned in September 2022 and students will be supplied with pre-recorded presentations that will complement the live sessions. In the second semester (commencing Jan 2023) there will be a live session each week from 3.00 – 4.30, also supplemented by pre-recorded presentations.

Course work will be required at the end of each semester and successful students will graduate in the summer of 2023.

In total there are 4 modules: 2 x 20-point credit modules (employment law and compliance law) and 2 x 10-point credit modules (ADR & Tribunal Representation).

Each module is assessed. The course will be taught by leading employment lawyers and other experts from across Northern Ireland and will include role plays presented by guest lecturers. The cost is £4,380. Student loans may be available – check with Ulster University for details. This course may be completed in a part-time (modular) basis. Again, check with Ulster University, should you be unable to complete the PG Certificate in one year.

Places on this course are limited - apply through the Ulster University website:

Hear from graduate Laura Banks:


"I would highly recommend the PG certificate in employment law and practice to anyone who would like to further their career in employment law. The course is taught by leading practitioners who are experts in their field. It really was an invaluable opportunity to learn from the best. I welcomed the opportunity to ask questions of them and they were extremely generous with their time meaning that we the students took away so much. The practical learning such as the mock tribunal was a particularly useful and unique opportunity which was chaired by none other than the President of the Tribunal herself. The resources provided by the UU, the LRA and Legal Island were outstanding. The tutor was so welcoming and approachable to everyone from day one, despite our varied backgrounds and levels of experience. This made learning very relaxed and enjoyable.

Since taking the course I have taken great strides in my career and have even found myself on the "red dot" of Ted X Stormont giving a talk. The skills and confidence that this course has given me have been an asset. I have no doubt that the PG certificate was an essential building block on my career journey and am very glad I took the course."
Laura Banks, Solicitor at Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission

"A solid foundational course exploring all aspects of the topic in a practical fashion, with real life examples and application."
Derek Weir, Head of Legal Services and Employee Relations, Queen's University Belfast

"An outstanding course in every aspect, taught by a wealth of subject matter experts in every field of employment law."
Michelle Connolly, Student, Ulster University (2019 QUB Graduate).

"The information has been very practical. From day one I have been able to put the learnings from the lectures into my working life. Great for linking and networking with other professionals and has provided me with a great grasp of Northern Ireland employment law."
Jillian Miskelly, People Partner NI, Depaul

"An excellent course – a must for any HR Professional. Comprehensive cover of all key employment law matters."
Joanne Doherty, People Partner, Ulster University

"This course builds my confidence when I make decisions in my role. I feel like the course has given me the tools to know the right response or at least I know where to look for the answer. I have also felt creatively inspired throughout this course – thank you!"
Maya Leonard, Senior Manager, People Solutions, Concentrix

"Very useful, practical course for any HR professional trying to navigate Northern Irish employment law. Highly recommend."
Kathryn McKinney, HR Officer, WD Meats

"The kids out there want something they can relate to, something that's real – this course is it"
Jack Morgan, Student Clinician, Ulster Law Clinic

"This is easily the most comprehensive, pragmatic and worthwhile course currently on offer.  It brings together the 'best of the best' practitioners in the jurisdiction and affords students an unparalleled opportunity to blend academic excellence with commercial experience and application.  We are and have been delighted to support this initiative."
Gareth Walls, Partner, A&L Goodbody (Guest lecturer)

“This course is a truly unique post graduate course with a focus on skills and capacity building finely balanced with applied learning, real life context and expert practitioner input. This inspired blend makes for a learning experience like no other currently offered, it is truly a tailored added value product that everyone has been crying out for.”
Mark McAllister, Senior Employment Relations Officer, Labour Relations Agency (Guest lecturer)

"This course boasts an outstanding range of practising lawyers, who are leaders in their respective fields.  As such, this course gives students access to practical, first-hand knowledge of legal principles and unprecedented practical insight."
Laura Gillespie, Partner, Pinsent Masons (Guest lecturer)

“Very relevant, up to date and thought provoking”
Damian Rushe, Employment Relations Officer, LRA

“Useful and practical information which allows for interrogation and debate on current issues and problems relevant to me. I found the Recruitment and Selection sessions most valuable as it uses real life adverts, with relevant case law and very practical, logical ways to overcome potential problems.”
Dylan Loughlin, Employment Law Consultant, MCL Employment Law

“It is a very interesting course and the focus on practical aspects is very good.”
Nuala McMahon, Student, Ulster University

 “I thoroughly enjoyed the ADR sessions as they were very informative and interactive. The course was informative and useful in applying theory into practice”
Paula Breen, Student, Ulster University

“If Carlsberg did courses, you would want to pick this one!”
Philippa Herra, Student at Ulster University

“Very practical course that ensures it can be used day today. Builds confidence in the application of legislation.”
Marie Matthewson, Head of HR, CCEA

“The course has only increased my understanding of employment law and made me more employable for the future.”
Callum McMahon

“Builds confidence and knowledge to use in the work environment. Able to share knowledge with colleagues”
Laura McGovern, Senior Employment Advisor, BMA

“Great course, very practically based with lectures delivered by key players in the employment field.”
Mollie Simpson, Barrister

“Great course, practical and informative with lots of useful resources that are invaluable.”
Martin Garry, Section Lead Resourcing, Ulster University

“Very engaging and practical course, the range of practitioners in employment law was excellent. Highly recommend!”
Siobhan Fitzsimmons, AHRBP, Queen’s University Belfast

“As a HR professional this course was a fantastic source of support and information. Definitely recommend.”
Noeleen Farnan, Owner, Business Primis


  • Maxine Orr
    Maxine Orr Employment Judge

    Maxine Orr was a regular writer of articles for Legal Island before becoming an Employment Judge in 2018. Any queries on any articles written by Maxine prior to becoming and Employment Judge should be directed to Worthingtons Solicitors.

  • Scott Alexander
    Scott Alexander Head of Learning and Development
    Legal Island

    Scott Alexander joined the CIPD in 1987 and is a certified member of the Mediators’ Institute of Ireland and a member of the Association for Coaching Ireland. Scott was appointed as a member of the Governing Body of Southern Regional College from 1 August 2015. Scott is also a mentor under the CO3 Mentoring Programme for chief officers in the 3rd sector and an HR Committee member for the Bruiser Touring Theatre Company. Scott has over 30 years’ experience in employment relations and employment law. He worked for the Labour Relations Agency in Northern Ireland for 14 years in a variety of roles, including collective and individual conciliation and enquiry point manager, before joining Legal Island as its Head of Learning and Development in January 2006.

  • Avril Alexander
    Avril Alexander Employment Relations Manager
    Labour Relations Agency

    Avril Alexander has worked for the Labour Relations Agency for over 30 years, including 5 years in the Helpline, where she answered queries on employment law and 8 years working as a Conciliation Officer, helping parties resolve employment tribunal claims. Avril is currently working as an Employment Relations Manager in the Conciliation and Arbitration Department where she manages a team of conciliators.  She is a member of the CIPD and is a qualified and experienced mediator.

  • Anna Beggan
    Anna Beggan Partner

    Anna joined Tughans as a Partner in June 2006 to head up the Employment Team and has grown and developed the team to now be one of the largest and most highly regarded in Northern Ireland.

  • Adam Brett
    Adam Brett Partner
    Lewis Silkin NI LLP

    Adam Brett is a Partner in Lewis Silkin NI LLP. For many years Adam jointly headed the litigation department of a major Belfast Commercial Practice, and for the last 20 years he has concentrated increasingly on employment and discrimination matters. Adam has throughout his career advised a wide range of educational and charitable bodies, including Schools, Universities, Colleges, and other educational institutions in relation to employment, student and other concerns.


  • Aisling Byrne
    Aisling Byrne Partner
    A&L Goodbody

    Aisling Byrne is a Partner in the Employment Team at A&L Goodbody.  She is a qualified mediator and she is qualified to practise in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland having previously worked for Matheson in Dublin. 

    Aisling specialises in both contentious and non-contentious employment matters and her clients include SMEs, charities, educational clients and multinational companies.   She has a particular expertise in data protection having attained the CIPP/E data protection qualification in 2020. 

  • Ciara Fulton
    Ciara Fulton Partner, Head of Office
    Lewis Silkin LLP

    Ciara Fulton is partner and Head of Lewis Silkin (NI) LLP.

    Ciara is dual qualified and advises on all aspects of employment law in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. She has significant experience of advising clients on the full range of employment issues including complex discrimination issues, bullying and harassment claims, disciplinary and grievance matters, business reorganisations, senior executive severances, restrictive covenants, employment related litigation and TUPE.

    Ciara’s approach is to partner with clients providing practical, commercial advice to resolve HR issues whether contentious or non-contentious. Ciara works with a variety of sectors with particular experience in the construction and infrastructure sector.

    Ciara regularly speaks on a range of employment issues at internal and external events and delivers bespoke training to clients on the differences between NI and ROI employment law. Ciara is a member of the Employment Lawyers Group and the NI Representative for the Employment Lawyers Association. Ciara is also a legally qualified member of the Appeals Tribunals NI.

  • Paul Gillen
    Paul Gillen Partner
    Lewis Silkin LLP

    Paul is a partner in Lewis Silkin’s Employment, Immigration and Reward division based in Belfast. He is qualified in England & Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. He provides cross jurisdiction and comparative law advice to clients throughout the UK and Ireland. Paul advises clients on contentious and non-contentious matters, including HR support, mergers & acquisitions, restructuring, executive management, performance management, TUPE, outsourcing, discrimination law, and a full range of employment litigation.

    Prior to training as a lawyer Paul had more than a decade of experience working in in-house HR roles, including being Head of HR, across sectors covering retail, construction, manufacturing and logistics.

    Paul is a Band 1 ranked Employment Partner in Northern Ireland, Chambers noting my ‘wealth of experience assisting clients with a broad range of employment matters including TUPE and post-acquisition restructuring, in addition to day-to-day HR support.’

  • Laura Gillespie
    Laura Gillespie Partner
    Pinsent Masons

    Laura Gillespie is a Partner in the Pinsent Masons Litigation & Regulatory team and heads the Regulatory Compliance team in Northern Ireland, with a particular specialism in data protection and cyber security.  Laura supports clients in managing data protection compliance, including DSARS, policies and international transfers as well as contentious issues such as cyber breaches and compensation claims.  

  • Mary Kitson
    Mary Kitson Senior Legal Officer
    Equality Commission for Northern Ireland

    Mary Kitson is employed by the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland as a Senior Legal Officer.  Mary qualified as a solicitor in 1992 and after 1 year working in a commercial law firm joined the Fair Employment Commission in 1993.

    Mary commenced employment with the Equality Commission in 1999.  Her role involves providing advice and assistance to people who believe that they have been subjected to unlawful discrimination and to help the Commission choose appropriate cases to support.

  • Rosemary Lundy
    Rosemary Lundy Partner
    Arthur Cox

    Rosemary Lundy is a partner in the Employment Law Group of the Arthur Cox Belfast Office in Northern Ireland. Rosemary has extensive experience in all aspects of employment law, with a particular specialism in equality, having worked as in house legal adviser with the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland before joining Arthur Cox.

    Rosemary contributes to Legal Island’s “First Tuesday” email service and regularly writes articles for a variety of publications.

  • Rachel Richardson
    Rachel Richardson DWF

    Rachel is qualified to practice in both Northern Ireland and England and Wales, having specialised in employment law in England for several years, prior to her return to Northern Ireland.

    Rachel has a broad experience in advising on a wide range of employment issues such as: TUPE/Service Provision Change matters, Service Agreements, contracts of employment and policies and procedures. She advises clients closely on general HR issues, to include Compromise and Settlement Agreements, restrictive covenants and day to day HR matters which arise. She also acts for clients on corporate transactions, including providing advices on consultation obligations, warranties and indemnities and general employment issues arising from a transaction.

    Rachel represents clients in the Employment Tribunals in GB and NI. She often writes articles on employment matters, as well as present regular seminars on different employment issues. Rachel is also a member of the Employment Lawyers’ Group in Northern Ireland and also of the Employment Lawyers’ Association.

  • Mark McAllister
    Mark McAllister Director of Employment Relations Services
    Labour Relations Agency

    Mark McAllister is Director of Employment Relations Services with the LRA and part-time lecturer in Law. He specialises in employment law, dispute prevention and strategic collaborative working in industrial and employment relations. Mark is the former Northern Ireland Convenor of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, and the Chair of the NI ICSA Governance Institute. He is an accredited mediator,  a member of the Employment Lawyers’ Group and the Industrial Law Society and is a regular speaker on the employment law circuit and contributor to employment law publications.

  • Michelle McGinley
    Michelle McGinley Director of Legal & Policy
    Employers Federation

    Michelle is the Director of Legal & Policy with the Employer’s Federation. She exclusively advises and represents employers on all employment law matters acting for some of the largest employers in Northern Ireland. She qualified as solicitor in private practice in Birmingham before returning to Northern Ireland in 2001. Michelle is also qualified in Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland.

    Michelle is a Board Member (Employer Representative) for the Labour Relations Agency.

    Additionally, Michelle sits as a Solicitor Member on the Solicitor Disciplinary Tribunal, is an accredited Mediator and accomplished Solicitor Advocate, regularly running full cases to Hearing at the Industrial & Fair Employment Tribunals.

  • Seamus McGranaghan
    Seamus McGranaghan Director - Commercial
    O'Reilly Stewart Solicitors

    Seamus McGranaghan qualified as a Solicitor in O'Reilly Stewart Solicitors in 2003 and is an experienced Commercial Lawyer dealing with employment, commercial and education cases.

    He has experience in the Industrial Tribunal representing both Claimants and Respondents and has provided seminars in relation to particular areas of employment law. Seamus is the only member of the Education and Law Association in Northern Ireland. He specialises in advising schools and colleges on policy matters, employment issues and student welfare. He is also responsible for the Education Law Quarterly Review.

  • Orlagh O'Neill
    Orlagh O'Neill Partner
    Carson McDowell

    Orlagh O'Neill is a Partner and Head of the Employment Team at Carson McDowell Solicitors in Belfast. She advises mainly employer clients on a wide range of employment issues and acts for some of Northern Ireland's largest employers. Her education clients include universities, regional colleges and a number of voluntary grammars. This year Chambers and Partners Guide to the Legal Profession ranked Orlagh as Band One for Education. She is a committee member and Chair of the Employment Lawyers Group of Northern Ireland, a member of both the UK and Irish Employment Law Groups (ELA and ELAI) and a regular speaker at annual employment law update conferences.

  • Rachel Penny
    Rachel Penny Partner
    Carson McDowell

    Rachel is a Partner in the firm's Employment Team. She is a graduate of Cambridge University and completed her Legal Practice Course at the College of Law in York.

    Rachel's experience straddles both contentious and non-contentious employment law for a wide range and size of clients. Rachel has particular expertise in advising on TUPE and other employment matters in corporate transactions and mergers, including public sector reorganisations. 

  • Patricia Rooney
    Patricia Rooney Partner

    Patricia is a Director in the Employment Department and has extensive experience advising on contentious and non-contentious employment issues and pension matters.

    She drafts and advises on Service Agreements, restrictive covenants and their enforceability; TUPE and Service Provision Change issues and regularly represents clients at the Employment Tribunal and Courts in Northern Ireland.

    Patricia is described “knowledgeable, unflappable and pragmatic” as well as “very experienced and very detailed.”  Chambers UK 2018

    Extremely knowledgeable and competent” and “provides timely and high-quality advice.” Chambers UK 2017

  • Gareth Walls
    Gareth Walls Partner
    A&L Goodbody

    Gareth Walls is partner and Head of the A&L Goodbody's Employment and Incentives group in Belfast. Gareth represents a number of local, national and international brands in business support, strategic workforce planning and high profile tribunal matters. He also has significant experience in corporate immigration, redundancy, re-structuring and TUPE issues. Gareth is an accomplished commercial litigator with particular emphasis on procurement challenges and injunctive relief in the Employment context, as well as being a sought after speaker on Employment issues in Northern Ireland.

  • Kiera Lee
    Kiera Lee Partner
    Mills Selig

    Kiera has 19 years’ experience in employment law acting mainly for employers in contentious and non-contentious matters. Her client list includes leading NI Companies and large employers (up to 2,000 employees).

    Kiera’s experience covers day to day HR problems and complex restructuring issues. She has given advice on a restructure and redundancy programme involving more than 800 employees and defended multi claimant tribunal claims for unfair dismissal arising from TUPE transfers.

    She also assists with strategic decisions, successfully managing the exit of senior executives and any contentious issues with restrictive covenants.  

  • Leeanne Armstrong
    Leeanne Armstrong Legal Director

    Leeanne joined TLT as a Legal Director in the Employment team in July 2018. 

    Leeanne has experience of advising a range of public and private sector clients on a broad range of employment issues.

    Her experience includes support and representation of clients in the Industrial Tribunal and the Fair Employment Tribunal, TUPE, outsourcing, absence management, grievance and disciplinary procedures, redundancy, equality and diversity issues (including monitoring obligations). In addition, Leeanne has extensive experience supporting on employment aspects of multi million pound M&As. Leeanne's depth of experience enables her to bring a practical and commercial approach to the advice she provides to clients, including in the management of tribunal litigation, so as to provide the client with the most favourable and cost effective outcomes.

  • Cameron Faulkner
    Cameron Faulkner Barrister

    Cameron Faulkner BL is a practicing barrister in Northern Ireland. One area of his practice is employment law in the Industrial Tribunal and Fair Employment Tribunal. He has acted on behalf of Claimants as well as Respondents. He routinely advises clients from initial advices, to the initiation of and response to proceedings, advising clients in respect of liability, quantum and settlement, through to preliminary and final hearings.

    Cameron has provided representation to clients in the Industrial Tribunal in matters across the entire spectrum of claims, including unfair dismissal, constructive dismissal, unlawful deductions of wages and discrimination on all protected grounds. He has also appeared before the Fair Employment Tribunal in religious belief discrimination cases. 

Event details


36 Lectures


31 January 2023