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Lady Justice statue on top of the Old Bailey

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.

This graduate entry law degree will give you the legal knowledge to understand and apply the law, together with skills of legal analysis. Alongside studying the foundation subjects of law such as contract law, public law and the law of trusts it offers the flexibility to tailor your study according to whether you wish to gain a law degree as an academic degree, a degree that prepares you to become a barrister in England and Wales, a barrister or solicitor in Northen Ireland, or provides a foundation take the national Solicitors Qualifying Examination (specifically SQE1).

By the end of the degree you’ll be prepared with the knowledge and skills needed for a legal career. When combined with what you’ve learnt from your previous degree, this will make you an excellent candidate for any law firm.

Key features of the course

  • Offers a fast-track to gaining a law degree in just two years.
  • Covers the Foundations of Legal Knowledge.
  • Provides a foundation if you're planning to prepare for the SQE1.
  • Offers practical experience through an online law clinic and other online projects.

Course Summary



  • 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


  • 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 – 4 years
Full time – 2 years
Time limit – 6 or 12 years (depending on career choice)
Study method
Distance learning

Course details

In this graduate entry version of our law degree:

  • You’ll start at Stage 2, building your knowledge of contract law and public law and choosing two modules to focus on aspects of law that are of particular interest.
  • Finally, in Stage 3, your modules will be determined by you choosing either the Foundations of Legal Knowledge route, the Academic Law degree route, or the Solicitors Qualifying Examination route. 

Stage 2 (120 credits)

You’ll start this stage in October by studying the law of relations between individuals and the state. You’ll also learn how contracts are formed, their contractual terms and how they end. As part of this stage you’ll choose two modules that focus on particular aspects of law that are of the most interest or relevance to your career.

If you study part time, after Public law, you should study an option module in the following February before studying Contract law in the next October and a second option module in the February after that. If you study full time, you'll study the compulsory modules in October followed by the two option modules in February.

You'll study both of the following:
Public law (W211)30
Contract law (W212)30
You’ll also study two from the following:
Business and employment law (W240)30
Evidence law (W250)30
Family law (W230)30
International, environmental and space law (W260)30
Students who intend to progress to an LLB and aim to be a solicitor or barrister in Northern Ireland will need to study Evidence law (W250).

Stage 3 (120 credits)

To conclude your degree you’ll have the flexibility to tailor your study to gain a law degree to suit your career aspirations. This could be as an academic law degree, to complete the foundations of legal knowledge needed to become a barrister in England and Wales or a solicitor or barrister in Northern Ireland, or to study a range of the law and practice areas prescribed by the Solicitors Regulation Authority for SQE1 in an authentic simulated practice context, designed to develop professional legal skills and behaviours.

Foundations of Legal Knowledge route
You'll start with the following:
SQE: legal system, public law and criminal litigation (W321)30
You’ll also study the following:
SQE: property and private client law (W322)30
SQE: business law and dispute resolution (W323)30
European Union law (W330)30
Academic Law Degree route
You’ll start with the following:
Trusts law (W311)30
You’ll also study three of the following:
European Union law (W330)30
Exploring legal boundaries (W350)30
Justice in action (W360)30
Law, society and culture (W340)30
Land law (W312)30
Solicitors Qualifying Examination route
You’ll start with the following:
SQE: legal system, public law and criminal litigation (W321)30
You'll study the following:
SQE: property and private client law (W322)30
SQE: business law and dispute resolution (W323)30
You’ll also study one of the following:
European Union law (W330)30
Justice in action (W360)30
Law, society and culture (W340)30
Trusts law (W311)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 17 March 2023.


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 online material – online learning resources may include websites, audio/video media clips, and interactive activities such as online quizzes
  • online tutorials
  • working with specialist reading material
  • working in a group with other students
  • using and producing diagrams
  • using specialist software (W360 only)
  • finding external/third party material online
  • using technology for research purposes involving access to catalogues and databases online
  • continuous and end-of-module assessment
  • using feedback: continuous assessment involves receiving detailed feedback on your work from your tutor and using this feedback to improve your performance 
  • engagement with learning and assessment within a pre-determined schedule or timetable – time management will be needed during your studies and the University will help you to develop these skills throughout your degree.

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.

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

Classification of your degree

On successfully completing this course, we'll award you our Bachelor of Laws (LLB).

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

You'll have the opportunity to attend a degree ceremony.

International recognition

If you intend to use your Open University qualification to seek work or undertake further study outside the UK, we recommend checking whether your intended qualification will meet local requirements for your chosen career. Find out more about international recognition of Open University qualifications.


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, awarded by a UK Higher Education Institution (HEI) or other recognised degree awarding body, or an equivalent qualification from an overseas HEI.

If you meet this entry requirement, please complete the Bachelor of Laws (Honours) graduate entry application form. The next start date will be October 2023 and we will need your completed application by 10 August 2023. Applications received after this date will not be processed in time for the October 2023 start.

If you are an Open University graduate, you do not need to complete an application form – please contact the Partnerships Team via email at partnerships-enquiries@open.ac.uk

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

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 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.
  • Most OU students study part time at a rate of 60 credits a year.
  • Our current fee for 60 credits is £3,462*.
  • Our current fee for 120 credits, which is equivalent to a year's full-time study, is £6,924*.
  • At current prices, the total cost of your qualification would be £13,848*.

*The fee and funding information provided here is valid for courses starting before 31 July 2024. Fees normally increase annually. For further information about the University's fee policy, visit our Fee Rules.

Additional costs

Study costs

There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as set books, a computer 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.

How will I study this course?

With our unique approach to distance learning, you can study from home, work, or on the move.

You’ll have some assessment deadlines to meet, but otherwise you’ll be free to study at the times that suit you, fitting your learning around work, family, and social life.

For each of your modules, you’ll use either just online resources or a mix of online and printed materials.

Each module you study will have a module website, with:

  • a week-by-week study planner, giving you a step-by-step guide through your studies
  • course materials such as reading, videos, recordings, and self-assessed activities
  • module forums for discussions and collaborative activities with other students
  • details of each assignment and their due dates
  • a tutorial booking system, online tutorial rooms, and your tutor’s contact details
  • online versions of some printed module materials and resources.

If you have additional needs, we can also provide most module materials in alternative formats. Find out more about materials on our accessibility webpage.

Tutor support

You’ll have a tutor for each module, who will introduce themselves before the module begins.

Throughout the module, they will:

  • mark your assignments and give feedback to help you improve
  • guide you to learning resources
  • support you, whether with general study skills or help with a specific topic.


Tutorials usually take place online, and they’re always optional.

Online tutorials are live presentations with module tutors in dedicated online tutorial rooms, and are sometimes recorded.


Our assessments are all designed to reinforce your learning and help you show your understanding of the topics. The mix of assessment methods will vary between modules.

Computer-Marked Assignments

  • Usually a series of online, multiple-choice questions.

Tutor-Marked Assignments

  • You’ll have a number of these throughout each module, each with a submission deadline.
  • They can be made up of essays, questions, experiments or something else to test your understanding of what you have learned.
  • Your tutor will mark and return them to you with detailed feedback.

End-of-Module Assessments

  • The final, marked piece of work on most modules.
  • Modules with an end of module assessment won’t usually have an exam.


  • Some modules end with an exam. You’ll be given time to revise and prepare.
  • You’ll be given your exam date at least 5 months in advance.
  • Most exams take place remotely, and you will complete them at home or at an alternative location.
  • If a module requires you to take a face-to-face exam, this will be made clear in the module description, and you will be required to take your exam in person at one of our exam centres.

Progressing to a point where I felt more comfortable writing my assignments, and having my scores reflecting that, made me quite happy because it showed the hard work was being rewarded.

Patrick ‘Ricky’ Skene, BSc (Hons) Sport, Fitness and Coaching

Other support and resources

Throughout your studies, you’ll have access to our subject-specific Student Support Teams.

They’ll help you with any general questions about your study and updates to your OU account.

To help with your studies, you’ll also have access to:

  • our online library, with high-quality online resources to support your study
  • other university libraries in the UK and Ireland
  • the online Help Centre, which has general information about OU study and support, along with study skills advice
  • free Microsoft Office 365 software
  • IT and computing support from our Computing Helpdesk.

Find out more about student support and being a part of the OU community.

Skills for career development

As independent learners, law graduates have developed literacy, communication, problem solving, presentation, numeracy, cognitive and organisational skills, and can apply an academically coherent methodology to current debates in law. This is excellent preparation for a career as a legal professional and is also an asset for many careers such as roles in finance, commerce, human resources, education, local and central government, the voluntary sector or management.

Career relevance

Studying law opens up many career options, whether in law or law-related fields, including 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.

In England and Wales

Becoming a Barrister

If you wish to become a barrister, you require a degree which covers the seven Foundations of Legal Knowledge (contract law, tort law, public law, criminal law, trusts law, land law and European Union law). This will exempt you from the academic stage of training and you can progress to the required professional training. However, for intending barristers, a minimum honours degree classification of 2:2 is required.

There are strict time limits for those wishing to become a barrister and as a graduate – claiming credit transfer for a previous degree – you must complete the required modules (240 credits in total) within six years. If exceptional circumstances prevent you from completing the degree within this timescale you can apply for an extension, which is typically one further year. If you don’t intend to become a barrister, the six-year time limit does not apply.

There is a further period of professional training required, followed by practical work experience, before becoming qualified to practice as a barrister.

Becoming a Solicitor

If you wish to become a solicitor, you do not require a law degree. Your degree can be in any subject. You’ll have to pass both assessments forming the national Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE1 and SQE2) and pass the Solicitors Regulation Authority character and suitability requirements. You'll also need to have two years’ qualifying work experience.

In Northern Ireland

If you wish to become a barrister or solicitor, you will require a degree which covers the seven Foundations of Legal Knowledge and evidence law. This will exempt you from the academic stage of training and you can progress to the required professional training. For intending barristers, a minimum honours degree classification of 2:1 is required.

There are strict time limits for those wishing to become a barrister or solicitor. Please see the Application Booklet for the Institute of Professional Legal Practice at The Queens University of Belfast. If you don’t intend to become a barrister or solicitor, the time limits will not apply.

There is a further period of professional training required, followed by practical work experience, before admission as a solicitor.

Other careers

The knowledge and skills you will gain from studying this degree are recognised and highly respected by employers outside the legal profession. Roles in finance, human resources, local government or general management all benefit from a legal background and from the discipline of studying law.

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.

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 degree.

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. This includes 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. 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.

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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