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Bachelor of Laws (Honours) (graduate entry)

If you already have a degree or masters degree in any subject from a UK university or recognised overseas university, you can choose this route to a law degree.  

Studying law is stimulating in its own right, and it’s also a smart career move. It’s a great asset for many other careers as well as the first step in a legal career. The OU’s Bachelor of Laws with Honours (LLB) is the most popular qualification of its kind in the UK. By the end of your studies, you’ll have the legal awareness needed to understand and apply the law, together with skills of legal analysis and methods; and you’ll be well prepared for further study or career development.

Key features of the course

  • Recognised by the law profession as a Qualifying Law Degree (QLD) in England and Wales
  • Covers the seven ‘Foundations of Legal Knowledge’ as required for a QLD
  • Provides the first academic stage of training for solicitors and barristers in England and Wales
  • Offers practical experience through an online law clinic
  • Gives you an understanding of the role and place of law in today’s society

Course Summary

Degree

Degree

  • Also known as an undergraduate or bachelors degree.
  • Internationally respected, universally understood.
  • An essential requirement for many high-level jobs.
  • Gain a thorough understanding of your subject – and the tools to investigate, think critically, form reasoned arguments, solve problems and communicate effectively in new contexts.
  • Progress to higher level study, such as a postgraduate diploma or masters degree.
Course code
Q80
Credits

Credits

  • 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.
240
How long it takes
Part time – 4 years
Full time – 2 years
Time limit – 5 years for QLD status or 12 years for non-QLD status
Study method
Distance learning

Course details

In this graduate entry version of our law degree: 

  • You’ll enter the course directly at Stage 2, provided that you meet the entry requirements, and begin your studies with two 60-credit modules covering contract and tort law and public and criminal law. 
  • In Stage 3, you’ll study a 60-credit module with a focus on equity, trusts and land law, plus a 30-credit module covering European law. You’ll complete your degree by choosing one from three 30-credit options.  

Stage 2 (120 credits)

Stage 2 covers four of the seven ‘Foundations of Legal Knowledge’– the subjects that form the cornerstones of legal study. You’ll be introduced to the legal requirements for the formation of a contract together with the basis of tortious liability. You'll also critically analyse the principles underpinning constitutional and criminal law. Case studies are used throughout to provide context and application to the theory.
ModulesCredits
You'll study both of the following:
Contract law and tort law (W202)60
Public law and criminal law (W203)60

Stage 3 (120 credits)

Stage 3 covers the remaining three ‘Foundations of Legal Knowledge’: Land law; equity and trusts, and the legal workings of the EU. By the end of your studies – provided that you complete both stages within five years – you will have a qualifying LLB (a requirement if you want to become a solicitor or barrister) and will be able to demonstrate analytical and critical thinking skills that are highly prized by employers in all sectors.
ModulesCredits
You'll study both of the following:
Equity, trusts and land (W302)60
European Union law (W330)30
You’ll complete your degree with one from:
Law, society and culture (W340)30
Exploring legal boundaries (W350)30
Justice in action (W360)30

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 21 March 2018.


Accessibility

We make all our qualifications as accessible as possible and have a comprehensive range of services to support all our students. The Bachelor of Laws (Honours) (graduate-entry) uses a variety of study materials and has 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
  • finding external/third party material online.

For more detailed information, see the Accessibility Statements on individual module descriptions. If you feel you may need additional support with any of the elements above, visit our disability page to find more about what we offer. Please 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; e-learning resources like podcasts, interactive media and online materials; tutorial groups and community forums.

Read the detailed learning outcomes here

Classification of your degree

On successfully completing this undergraduate course, you'll be awarded the Bachelor of Laws (LLB). You'll have the opportunity to attend a degree ceremony.

The class of degree (first, upper second, lower second or third class honours) depends on your grades at Stages 2 and 3.

If you are unable to complete both stages of this qualification you will still be able to claim an exit qualification for successfully completed study. For successful completion of Stage 2 (120 credits of study) you can claim a Diploma of Higher Education in Law (W56).

Regulations

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

To study this qualification, you need to have completed a bachelor degree (ordinary or honours), a Masters degree, or a PhD, from a recognised UK or overseas university. If you meet this entry requirement, please complete the Bachelor of Laws (Honours) graduate entry application form. The next start date will be October 2018 and we will need your complete application by 16 August 2018. Applications received after this date are highly unlikely to be processed in time for an October 2018 start.

If you are an Open University graduate, you do not need to complete an application form – please call the Partnerships Team on 0300 303 6333.

Please contact us if you wish to check the eligibility of your previous qualification for entry onto this degree before you submit an application.

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.
Find out if you have enough time to study with our time planner

Your next step

Call us on +44 (0)1908 659253 or book a call back. Our friendly team of advisers will discuss your study options with you, and help you decide on the best starting point for you.

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 £2,928*.
  • Our current fee for 120 credits – which is equivalent to a year's full-time study – is £5,856*.
  • At current prices, the total cost of your qualification would be £11,712*.
  • .

*The fee information provided here is valid for modules starting before 31 July 2019. 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 laptop, travel to tutorials, set books and internet access.

If you're on a low income you might be eligible for help with some of these costs after you start studying.


Skills for career development

This degree course will give you the chance to develop yourself beyond the boundaries of your normal work environment, giving you skills and knowledge that you can readily put into practice on a daily basis in a wide range of professional contexts. It develops specialist legal and transferable skills, including:

  • an in-depth knowledge of the foundation subjects of law and of the legal system of England and Wales
  • an ability to apply legal principles to resolve issues
  • an ability to present and make a reasoned choice between different opinions and solutions
  • an ability to read and discuss complex and technical legal materials
  • competence in the use of basic IT, databases and websites
  • thinking critically about your own learning and performance and taking steps to improve them.

Career relevance

Studying law opens up many career options, whether in law or law-related fields. Legal careers include solicitor, barrister, legal executive and paralegal. Solicitors and barristers usually work in private practice, in central or local government, commerce, industry, the armed forces or in professional bodies. 

Solicitors and barristers in England and Wales need to complete three stages of training: 
  • Academic – a Qualifying Law Degree (QLD) 
  • Vocational – a Legal Practice Course (LPC) for solicitors. If you successfully complete our QLD, The University of Law will guarantee you a place on its LPC (with the exception of the Accelerated LPC) – you need to take up this place within seven years of graduation. Alternatively the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) for barristers.  
  • Professional – a training contract for solicitors or ‘pupillage’ for barristers

Other relevant jobs include Citizens Advice Bureau caseworker, Crown Prosecution Service caseworker, magistrates’ court legal adviser, court reporter or administrator, licensed conveyancer, patent attorney, trademark agent, teacher, or lecturer in law.

Further employability and careers information is available on The Open University Law School website

Other careers

The knowledge and skills you will gain from studying this degree are recognised and highly respected by employers. Roles in finance, human resources, local government or general management all benefit from a legal background and from the discipline of studying law.
Many graduate-level jobs are open to graduates of any subject area, but particularly those with legal knowledge in business, finance, management consultancy and the public sector. Some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your degree.

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, 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):

  • solicitor
  • barrister
  • barrister's clerk
  • legal executive
  • paralegal
  • judge
  • usher
  • researcher
  • legal cashier
  • legal secretary
  • civil servant
  • company secretary
  • teacher
  • patent attorney
  • tax adviser.

Want to see more jobs? Use the career explorer for job ideas from the National Careers Service, Prospects and Plan IT


Register for this course

To register for this course, please refer to our entry requirements and registration information. Online registration is not available. 

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