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Certificate of Higher Education in Law and German

Combining law with German is both stimulating and a smart career move. You’ll divide your study equally between both subjects. It offers a broad grounding in key concepts associated with law and in the use of German. With this certificate, you’ll raise your legal awareness and acquire skills of legal analysis and methods. The study of German opens doors to other cultures and communities, and can provide a key to the global workplace.

Key features of the course

  • Develops a broad understanding of the role of law in society today.
  • Provides you with legal awareness and the skills of legal analysis and methods.
  • Develops you into an independent user of German, reaching level B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
  • Develops broad knowledge of the cultures that use German, and basic intercultural communication competence.

A nationally recognised qualification in its own right, this certificate of higher education is also equivalent to the first third of the BA (Honours) Law and German (R56).

Course Summary

+Shortlist Course



  • Widely recognised qualification.
  • Equivalent to the first third of an honours degree.
  • Study for interest or career development.
  • Shows that you can study successfully at university level.
  • Count it towards further qualifications such as a foundation degree, DipHE or honours degree.
Course code


  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
How long it takes
Part time – 2 years
Full time – 1 years
Time limit – 7 years
Study method
Distance learning

Course details

This certificate has only one stage, comprising 120 credits:

  • In Stage 1, you’ll study a 60-credit introductory law module and two 30-credit language modules.

Prepare for OU study with an Access module

We offer two starting points depending on how confident you are or how long it’s been since you last studied. Choose to dive straight in with an OU level 1 module, or if you’d prefer some extra preparation, you can get started with an optional Access module. See Entry requirements for more details.

Stage 1 (120 credits)

You’ll divide your study equally between law and language.

Which language modules you choose will depend on your current German language proficiency. You can either start at beginners’ level and then go on to intermediate level, or (if you have sufficient prior knowledge of German) start at intermediate level and study an extra module – Exploring languages and culture (L161). See our guidance on choosing the right German language level.

We regularly review our curriculum; therefore, the qualification described on this page – including its availability, its structure, and available modules – may change over time. If we make changes to this qualification, we’ll update this page as soon as possible. Once you’ve registered or are studying this qualification, where practicable, we’ll inform you in good time of any upcoming changes. If you’d like to know more about the circumstances in which the University might make changes to the curriculum, see our Academic Regulations or contact us. This description was last updated on 23 September 2020.


We make all our qualifications as accessible as possible and have a comprehensive range of services to support all our students. The Certificate of Higher Education in Law and Languages uses a variety of study materials and may have the following elements:

  • Studying a mixture of printed and online material – online learning resources may include websites, audio/video media clips, and interactive activities such as online quizzes.
  • Working in a group with other students.
  • Using and producing diagrams or screenshots.
  • Undertaking practical work.
  • Finding external/third party material online.
  • Using specialist software.
  • Continuous and end-of-module assessment in the form of essays, short answer questions, and in some cases an examination.
  • Using feedback: continuous assessment involves receiving detailed feedback on your work from your tutor and using this feedback to improve your performance.
  • Some modules may require you to attend a residential school.

For more detailed information, see the Accessibility Statements on individual module descriptions. If you feel you may need additional support, visit Disability support to find more about what we offer. Contact us as soon as possible to discuss your individual requirements, so we can put arrangements in place before you start.

Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment

This qualification develops your learning in four main areas:

  • Knowledge and understanding.
  • Cognitive skills.
  • Practical and professional skills.
  • Key skills.

The level and depth of your learning gradually increases as you work through the qualification. You’ll be supported throughout by the OU’s unique style of teaching and assessment – which includes a personal tutor to guide and comment on your work; top quality course texts; elearning resources like podcasts, interactive media and online materials; tutorial groups and community forums.

Read the detailed learning outcomes here

On completion

On successfully completing this course, the name of your undergraduate certificate will reflect your chosen language:

  • Certificate of Higher Education in Law and French.
  • Certificate of Higher Education in Law and German.
  • Certificate of Higher Education in Law and Spanish.


As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the qualification-specific regulations below and the academic regulations that are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website. 

Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements for this qualification.

However, there’s a choice of starting points in the modern-language element – your choice will depend on your current level of confidence and proficiency. See our guidance on choosing the right modern language level, which includes a self-assessment quiz to help you decide between beginners’ or intermediate French, German and Spanish.

How much time do I need?

  • Most of our students study part time, completing 60 credits a year.
  • This will usually mean studying for 16–18 hours a week.
  • The 30-credit beginner’s and intermediate modules in French, German and Spanish, however, are not designed to be studied at the same time.
Find out if you have enough time to study with our time planner

Preparing for study with an Access module

Students who start their study with an Access module are more likely to be successful when they advance to an OU level 1 module. They’re specially designed to give you a gentle introduction to OU study, boost confidence in your study skills, and help you gain a broad overview of your chosen subject area.

You'll also benefit from:

  • feedback from your tutor through regular one-to-one phone tutorials
  • support from a dedicated team throughout your study
  • detailed written feedback on your work.
The Access module we’d recommend studying in preparation for this qualification is either:

Arts and languages Access module

What you will study

This multidisciplinary module is an ideal starting point if you have little or no previous knowledge of the arts, humanities and languages. It's perfect preparation for your study with The Open University as you'll develop both your subject knowledge and your study skills. It explores a range of subjects, including art history, English, English language studies, history, modern languages, and also touches on the areas of creative writing and religious studies.

View full details of Arts and languages Access module

People, work and society Access module

What you will study

This multidisciplinary module provides an excellent introduction to studying with The Open University; you'll get to cover a wide range of subject areas, including childhood and youth studies, social science, psychology, health, business and law.

View full details of People, work and society Access module

In this section:
How much will it cost?
Ways to pay for your qualification and other support

How much will it cost in England?

We believe cost shouldn’t be a barrier to achieving your potential. That’s why we work hard to keep the cost of study as low as possible and have a wide range of flexible ways to pay to help spread, or even reduce, the cost.

  • Fees are paid on a module-by-module basis – you won't have to pay for the whole of your qualification up front.
  • A qualification comprises a series of modules, each with an individual fee. Added together, they give you the total cost.
  • If, like most OU students, you study part time at a rate of 60 credits a year, you'll take six years to complete an honours degree.
  • Our current fee for 60 credits is £3,096*.
  • Our current fee for 120 credits – which is equivalent to a year's full-time study – is £6,192*.
  • At current prices, the total cost of your qualification would be £6,192*.
  • .

*The fee information provided here is valid for modules starting before 31 July 2021. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees.

Additional costs

Study costs

There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as a computer, travel to tutorials, set books and internet access.

If your income is not more than £25,000 or you are in receipt of a qualifying benefit, you might be eligible for help with some of these costs after you start studying.

Skills for career development

You’ll develop a broad set of employability skills, including the ability to:

  • Understand the foundation subjects of law and the legal system of England and Wales.
  • Apply legal principles to resolve issues.
  • Present and make a reasoned choice between different opinions and solutions.
  • Read and discuss complex and technical legal materials.
  • Communicate effectively, clearly and accurately with others.
  • Use information and communication technology (ICT) effectively.
  • Manage time and work independently and as part of a team.
  • Take responsibility for your own personal development, set realistic objectives and meet your own goals.
  • Manage and motivate yourself.
  • Plan, organise and prioritise your work, evaluate and reflect on it.

Career relevance

Studying law alongside a modern language opens up many career options in law-related fields, business and finance or international organisations. Your understanding of another language and the cultures that use it is an asset that will be highly valued by employers, and that will widen your opportunities in the international market. A qualification in law and a language can lead to opportunities in a wide range of areas such as:

  • Business and finance.
  • Civil service.
  • Human resources.
  • Paralegal professions.
  • Journalism.
  • Research.
  • Translation and interpreting.
  • Editing and publishing.

Other careers

Employers are keen to utilise the legal awareness that law and languages graduates offer. They value applicants who can communicate well, analyse, evaluate and present ideas and arguments effectively. Developed legal thinking can be a firm basis to move into areas such as the civil service, tax advice or journalism. If you want to work as a translator in your chosen language, this certificate will allow you to develop a law specialism.

Many graduate-level jobs are open to graduates of any discipline, particularly in business, finance, management consultancy and the public sector. Some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your certificate.

In addition to improving your career prospects, studying with the OU is an enriching experience that broadens your horizons, develops your knowledge, builds your confidence and enhances your life skills.

Exploring your options

Once you register with us (and for up to three years after you finish your studies), you’ll have full access to our careers service for a wide range of information and advice, including: online forums, website, interview simulation and vacancy service, as well as the option to email or speak to a careers adviser. Some areas of the careers service website are available for you to see now, including help with looking for and applying for jobs. You can also read more general information about how OU study enhances your career.

In the meantime, if you want to do some research around this qualification and where it might take you, we’ve put together a list of relevant job titles as a starting point (note that some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your certificate):

  • Barrister.
  • Barrister’s clerk.
  • Legal executive.
  • Paralegal.
  • Judge.
  • Usher.
  • Researcher.
  • Legal cashier.
  • Legal secretary.
  • Civil servant.
  • Company secretary.
  • Patent attorney.
  • Tax adviser.
  • Editor.
  • Publisher.
  • Translator.
  • Interpreter.
  • Teacher.

Register for this course

Start dates
Credit transfer: apply by 17/12/2020

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