NILDS PG HANDBOOK

NILDS MASTERS PROGRAMME

General Information

The National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies offer Masters Degree programmes in the following related areas of its mandate:

  • Legislative Drafting

  • Legislative Studies

  • Parliamentary Administration

  • Elections and Party Politics

  • Constitutional Law and Constitutional Development

 

The Masters Degree programmes are part of the mandate of the Institution to, among other things, provide opportunities for continuing education in democracy and legislation and the improvement of the capacity of legislators and legislative staff in legislative practice and procedure. The mandate was inspired by the experiences of both the more developed and the many less-developed countries in their struggles to build and sustain democratic governance, institutions, and practices.

The programmes are guided by the belief that it is only by appropriate and effective education of the populace and training of legislators and legislative staff in democratic governance and legislative practices and procedures that genuine and functional democracies can emerge across the world.

The postgraduate programmes have two main objectives. The first objective is to equip legislators and legislative staff at all tiers of government with the knowledge and skills required for improved performance of their various functions. The second objective is to provide opportunities for members of the public who are interested in the practice and procedure of the legislature to familiarize themselves with the operating procedures of this branch of government. The specific objectives of each programme are outlined in the relevant sections.

a) Academic Requirements

i. Matriculation requirements of 5 credits including English Language
ii. A bachelor's degree in a relevant area from a recognized university, with a minimum of Second Class Lower Division
iii. A postgraduate diploma in a relevant area from a recognized institution, with a minimum of upper credit (i.e. 3.5-5.0 on the scale) or 60% on weighted percentage average).

b) Fees:
The non-refundable Admission Fee is payable to confirm the applicant's place in Courses. The fees should be paid by cash or cheque deposit. Cash payments are accepted only through presentation in person at the NILDS office.

c) Other Fees:
Tuition and Library fees are payable quarterly in advance.

The duration of the postgraduate programmes is as follows. The duration of the full-time Masters Degree programme is a minimum of four (4) semesters and a maximum of six (6) semesters.

Academic Year: an academic year consists of not more than 12 calendar months Each academic session is made up of two semesters, structured as follows:

  • First Semester: Fifteen (15) weeks of teaching, and two (2) weeks of examinations
  • Semester Break: four (4) weeks
  • Second Semester: Fifteen (15) weeks of teaching, and two (2) weeks of examinations.
  • Supervised Individual Research Project and Oral Examinations: (12+3=) 15 weeks

To be awarded a Masters degree, a candidate must obtain a minimum of thirty-three (33) credit unit made up as follows:

  1. Core courses of 15 credit units
  2. Elective courses of 9 credit units.
  3. A student shall carry out research in any area of specialization in his/her discipline and submit an acceptable dissertation of 6 credit units.
  4. A student shall present at least one (1) seminar of 3 credit units

The Institute organises an induction programme in the first week of the first semester. The induction programme will include an overview of the institution, an introduction to the Department, a luncheon reception; an Introduction to facilities in the main Library and a basic computer skills session. All students are expected to attend these sessions. Full details of the programme will be available and given to students at registration.

The teaching timetable for semester one will be given to you at Registration. Any student who has any queries concerning the timetable should see the Officer, Programmes. Any alterations to the timetable will be posted on notice board and the students concerned will be notified by email. Details of the teaching timetable for semester two will be circulated to all students at the appropriate time

Faculty of Law and Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Benin

  1. Masters Degree Programme in Legislative Studies-Faculty of Law
  2. Masters Degree Programme in Legislative Drafting-Faculty of Law
  3. Masters Degree Programme in Parliamentary Administration-Faculty of Social Sciences

a) Registration
Students shall normally complete registration for courses for the programme not later than 2 weeks after the start of the programme. A student cannot withdraw from a course after a third of it has been taught without permission of the Postgraduate committee. A student who withdraws after this time or who fails to sit for the final exam without reasons acceptable to the Senate shall be deemed to have failed that course.
b) Completion of Programme
Completion of a programme shall be determined on the basis of his or her performance at the end of the programme. The following categorization shall be used.
i. Good standing: To be in good standing. a student must, at the end of the programme, have a minimum score of 50% in each
course taken.
ii. Carry-Over Courses: A student who fails to obtain a minimum score of 50% in some courses at the end of a particular year of study, shall be allowed to re-register at the next available opportunity.
iii. Withdrawal
iv. A student who fails to obtain a minimum score of 50 in at least 2 courses at the end of a particular year of study shall be required to withdraw from the programme.

Assessment of a student's performance shall be based on:

a) Examination

In addition to continuous assessment, final examinations shall be given at the end of each semester. The total score obtainable for any course (continuous assessment and final examinations) is 100%.

  1. Each course shall normally be completed and examined at the end of the semester in which it is offered.
  2. A written examination shall normally last for 3 hours.

iii. Pass mark: the minimum pass mark in any course shall be 50%.

  1. Dissertation: A dissertation shall be written and defended orally before a panel of internal and external examiners and shall each be awarded a score.

b) Continuous Assessment:

Continuous assessment which will carry 30% may include the following

  1. Seminar/term papers
  2. Oral presentations and problem solving exercises
  3. Assignments
  4. Group project work

c) Combined Examination/Continuous Assessment

Examination result will subsequently be converted to 70% which will added to 30% of Continuous Assessment to sum up 100%, 50% of the total score will represent the minimum pass mark for each course.

GRADES - REMARK - LETTER GRADES
70 & Above - Distinction - A
60-69 - Credit-B
50-59 - Pass - C
Below 50 - Fail F

  1. a) Academic Staff
  2. b) Lecturers/Student Ratio: The lecturer/ student ratio shall be 1:10 for the purpose of supervision of dissertation
  3. c) Staffing: There shall be a minimum of 6 full time equivalent of staff on ground in each programme.
  4. d) Non-Academic Staff: The programme has competent technical and administrative staff to maintain teaching and research facilities and equipment.
  5. e) Computer Literacy: Both academic and non- academic staff of the programme are computer literate.

Physical Facilities and Equipment

          a) Classrooms: The Institute has three (3) standard classrooms for lectures and tutorials

          b) Classroom A, with a seating capacity of 70

          c) Classroom B, with a seating capacity of 30

          d) Classroom C, with a seating capacity of 22

         e) Computer Laboratory: The Institute has a computer laboratory that can accommodate about 35 users at any given time (including the e-library which has 10 seats)

         f) Library: The Institute has a well-equipped library with diverse books on law, humanities, social sciences, and other specialized areas. The library has a reading room and an e-library section.

        g) Office Accommodation: The Institute has standardized and sufficiently equipped offices for various categories of staff

        h) Examination Theatre: The Institute has a large hall for all examinations, with a seating capacity of 80

        i) Equipment: The Institute is sufficiently equipped with modern teaching and research aids that include:

  • Public address system
  • Computers
  • Projectors 
  • Photocopiers
  • Video/audio recording equipment
  • Internet and WIFI

NILDS has an excellent library which provides services to staff and students of the Institute. It offers institutional and individual membership to a wide clientele within the educational community. The Library opens at 7:45 a.m. and closes at 6:00 p.m. Monday-Friday throughout the year except on public holidays. It is open from 8:30 a.m. 4:00 p.m. on Saturdays. Silence is observed in the Library. Students are free to use the meeting rooms for discussion.

Students have access to a number of computers in the library, computer centre and designated areas on the facilities. The NILDS ICT Unit provides basic training in the use of computers. Internet facilities are provided for study and research purposes.

The Postgraduate Office is open to enquiries from students at the following times:

Mondays 9AM-5PM
Tuesdays 9AM-5PM
Wednesdays 9AM-5PM
Thursdays 9AM-5PM
Fridays 9AM-5PM

The Notice Board for postgraduate student can be found in DG's Building on 14/18 Danube Street, off IBB Way, Maitama, Abuja.

  • STAFF PIGEONHOLES: These are located in DG's Building on 14/18 Danube Street, off IBB Way, Maitama, Abuja
  • EMAILS: Students must register with the Institute and get an Institute's email account. Registration can be done online and full instructions for registering can be found at www.NILDS.gov.ng/students. Students are expected to supply their email address at the beginning of the academic year to the postgraduate department. This is the way the Institute will send most of its communications to you.

Attendance at lectures and seminars is compulsory. Students who fail to have 75% attendance will not be allowed to write examinations. Unexplained absences cause inconvenience to lecturers and fellow students. Lecturers should be notified in advance if a student will not be able to attend lectures. Please read the section on Communication about illness and absence below. This is particularly important if a paper that a student has been asked to write is intended to form the basis of a seminar/lecture.

 

A generally poor attendance record by a student will be reported to the Coordinator of Postgraduate Studies. This may result in further action being taken. Students should be aware that failure to meet course requirements could lead to termination of their studies. However, your obligations in classes and seminars extend beyond merely turning up. Oral contributions by students are integral part of the studies. They also represent an important skill to develop for life after the Institute. Your contribution to class discussions is a major element in any references for jobs that are written for you by members of staff in the Institute.

The Institute recognizes that students may suffer from a sudden illness or other serious and unforeseen events or circumstances that might adversely affect their ability to complete an assignment or attend class sessions. In such cases, the relevant regulations and procedures may be applied. These regulations are designed to ensure fair and consistent treatment of all students. If your studies are affected in any way by illness or any other mitigating circumstance you must tell your department at the time that it occurs. You are also required to supply supporting evidence (e.g. a medical certificate) to the Postgraduate Coordinator by the relevant deadline. The deadline will be normally not later than seven days after the assessment deadline to which it relates. Students who suffer minor illnesses for a period of less than seven days are required to report the same as soon as they are fit to do so to the Postgraduate Office. Students must self-certify their illness using a standard form which is available at the Postgraduate Office:

           a) if the illness leads to absence from classes at which attendance is compulsory;

          b) where it might be a contributory factor in a failure to meet course deadlines or to perform up to expectations in any academic assignment. Where the illness is of more than seven days duration, medical advice should be sought and a medical certificate submitted to the Institute.

NILDS BOOKSHOP/STORE

The Bookshop/Store is owned by the Institute and is located in the Old Building on Danube Street, Maitama. All prescribed and recommended texts are stocked, so that students can rely on the Bookshop for the books that they need in the course of their studies. The Institute also sells a wide range of paperbacks and books of general interest. Books not in stock can be requested for and order will be placed for them. Greetings cards, a wide range of stationery items are also available for purchase.

The opening hours are:
Monday to Friday 9.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m.
Saturdays 9.00 a.m. – 2.00 p.m.
Contact: Andrawus
+234 (0)706425 1472
andrawus@NILDS.gov.ng

COURSE REGISTRATION

Registration is once per session. Students are to register within the first two weeks of resumption of the first semester. These regulations apply to all examinations.

  1. Examinations will be held in accordance with the published timetable which will be available at least 4 weeks before the commencement of the examination period and will include the date, time and venue of each examination.
  2. Students should read the Examination Timetable carefully to ensure that they have been correctly entered for their examinations and know the time, date and location of the examinations they are required to take.
  3. Misreading the Examination Timetable will not be accepted as a satisfactory explanation for absence from an examination.
  4. Special arrangements cannot be made to accommodate a student's personal preferences, unless these arise from specific religious requirements identified by the student at the beginning of the academic year.
  5. The extent to which the timetabling of examinations can be adapted to meet specific religious requirements will vary from case to case but the Institute will make such special arrangements as are in its powers, subject to the overriding requirements that the examinations must be scheduled within the published examination periods and that special arrangements for individual students must not disadvantage the majority. Students making requests for special arrangements on religious or health grounds should recognize that, where it is possible, special measures designed to meet their needs may involve an unavoidable element of inconvenience, for example the requirement to remain in isolation for a period of time.
  1. The Postgraduate Office shall publish, annually, deadlines for the submission of examination question papers.
  2. All examination papers must be produced on standard Institute question paper proformas which can be obtained from the Postgraduate Office.

Examination papers and examination stationery shall be held in a secure environment until the time for their release to students.

  1. There shall be a prescribed number of invigilators in each examination room.
  2. The Postgraduate Coordinator is responsible for appointing the required number of invigilators.
  3. The Invigilators must collect examination papers from the Postgraduate Office at least 30 minutes prior to the start of the examination.

 

Chief Invigilators are required to start and finish examinations in accordance with the instructions issued by the Postgraduate Office. Invigilators will be required to complete a report form on the conduct of each examination for submission to the Postgraduate Office.

 

If the author of an examination paper is not an invigilator for the relevant examination s/he should normally be in attendance 10 minutes before and for the first fifteen minutes of an examination. Where it is not possible for the author to be present s/he should ensure that their contact details are available or another staff is present in order that any issues relating to the examination paper can be addressed.

Invigilators are present at all examinations and are responsible for their proper conduct. Students are required to comply with all instructions issued by an invigilator.

 

Students will be admitted to the examination room by an invigilator shortly before an examination is due to start. Once admitted to the room examination conditions apply so no talking is permitted.

 

Students should sit at a desk allocated for the paper they are writing in accordance with the notices posted outside the examination room.

Other details include:

  1. Students should only bring essential items to examinations as there is limited storage for personal items within examination rooms.
  2. Students must bring their own pens, pencils, rulers and any other required equipment to each examination. These should be kept in a clear plastic pencil case. Cases and other containers are not permitted on examination desks. Additional material may only be used if issued by an invigilator or where it is specifically allowed in the examination paper rubric.
  3. Food and drink are not permitted in the examination room with the exception of water which, if required, should be in a clear plastic bottle with no label.
  4. Students must bring their Student ID card to all examinations and display it on their desk throughout the examination. ID cards will be checked by an invigilator once the examination has started.
  5. Students should enter their student number, not their name, on the examination booklet. The student number is the number on the student's ID card.
  6. Examinations will start and finish on the instruction of the invigilator. Students must not open examination papers or start writing until instructed to do so.
  7. Mobile telephones must be turned off and no items should be touched during the examination. The use of mobile telephones or other electronic devices is not permitted.
  8. Students must write legibly.
  9. Talking or communicating in any other way with other students in the examination room before, during or after an examination is forbidden. Failure to observe this requirement will be treated as a disciplinary offence.
  10. If a student wishes to speak to an invigilator s/he should raise a hand and stay seated.
  11. The Institute operates a zero-tolerance policy in relation to cheating in examinations. The Invigilators will announce at the beginning of each examination that it is an offence for students to be in possession of any notes, documents or unauthorized material or to have any information written on their body or clothing. The invigilators will ask anyone with such material to raise their hands. The material will then be collected and the opportunity provided for information on the body or clothing to be removed. After this point, if any student is discovered with such material or with any information written on any part of their body or clothing in the examination room it will automatically be assumed that cheating has taken place and the consequence will be a mark of zero to the course.
  12. Any student wishing to leave the examination room temporarily should raise his or her hand to request permission. Leaving without an invigilator's permission will be deemed to be withdrawal from the examination and permission will not be granted to return. The Invigilator will provide a report to the Examinations Office in such cases.
  13. Any student who causes a disturbance in an examination room will be reprimanded by an invigilator. If the conduct persists the student may be required to withdraw from the examination room and a report will be made to the Postgraduate Office.
  14. Students who arrive late may be admitted to an examination room during the first 30 minutes of an examination. No additional time will be given.
  15. Students are not permitted to leave an examination during the first 30 minutes or the last 20 minutes. In examination rooms where papers of mixed duration are being taken students are only permitted to leave at the invigilator's discretion.
  16. Students wishing to leave an examination early must inform the invigilator and must remain in their seat until their script has been collected. They must leave the examination room quietly with minimum disturbance both inside and immediately outside the examination room.
  17. At the end of an examination the invigilator will instruct students to stop writing. Students must remain seated at their desks until all scripts have been collected by an invigilator and they are instructed that they may leave.
  18. No answer book or part of an answer book, whether used or not, may be removed from the examination room.

Attendance and Religious Observance 

Attendance is an essential requirement for all campus-based programmes of study, full or part-time. All students are required to attend all learning and teaching sessions associated with the programme of study on which they are registered. The Postgraduate Coordinator is empowered to authorise short absences for personal reasons from campus-based programmes of study, but requests for absences of more than one week must be explicitly approved by the Director General, and will only be granted if the student concerned takes full responsibility for the completion of outstanding academic work. This procedure also applies if the absence is required for religious reasons.

Neglect of Academic Obligations

Students are also expected to attend all learning teaching events which are scheduled for them in the timetable. These include lectures, tutorials, seminars and study tours. They are expected the work within the deadline given to them. Persistent failure to attend taught sessions or to submit work, without good cause, will be considered to be a neglect of academic obligations. In the most serious of cases of neglect the Institute has the right to terminate a student's course.

Your lecturers and all staff of the Institute owe you the same degree of courtesy and consideration as they expect from you. You should also expect teaching staff to:

  • treat each student fairly and impartially regardless of sex, ethnic or religious background, disability, age and marital status, in accordance with the University's policy on equal opportunities;
  • start and finish classes punctually;
  • keep appointments they make with you;
  • advertise office hours when they will be available to talk to students on a 'drop- in' basis;
  • answer questions helpfully in class; 
  • listen to your views (whether individually or through the structure of the Student-Staff Committee);
  • return coursework promptly and with helpful comments;
  • take action on your behalf if you ask for help with a problem

Empowering Individuals