This diploma has two stages, each comprising 120 credits:
- In Stage 1, you’ll study a 60-credit introductory law module. You’ll choose your language and study two 30-credit language modules.
- Next, in Stage 2, you’ll study two 30-credit law modules and a 60-credit language module in your chosen language.
You’ll choose which language to combine with law – French, German or Spanish.
For modern language modules, your choice at Stage 1 will depend on your current level of language proficiency. If you are unsure about your current level, you can use our languages self-assessment quiz or see Entry requirements for more advice.
In the second stage, you’ll divide your study equally between law and your chosen language.
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 14 March 2023.
We make all our qualifications as accessible as possible and have a comprehensive range of services to support all our students. The Diploma 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.
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
If you’ve already completed some study at another university, you may be able to count it towards your Open University qualification – reducing the number of modules you need to study.
You should apply for credit transfer before you register, at least 4 weeks before the registration closing date. Just tell us what you studied, where and when, and we’ll compare this against the learning outcomes for your chosen course.
For more details and an application form, visit our Credit Transfer website.
On completing this course, we'll award you a Diploma of Higher Education. Your qualification title will show your language choice:
- Diploma of Higher Education in Law and French.
- Diploma of Higher Education in Law and German.
- Diploma of Higher Education in Law and Spanish.
If you intend to use your Open University qualifications 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.
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.
Beginners’ or intermediate languages module?
How to choose the right level
Unless you have prior knowledge of your chosen language equivalent to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) level A2, we recommend you start Stage 1 with a beginners’ module.
Beginners’ and intermediate language modules are both 30-credit modules, and both start in October and end in June. Intermediate modules follow on from the learning in beginners’ modules, so you should not study them in the same language concurrently unless you already have significant knowledge of the language.
Our self-assessment quiz can help you decide between starting with beginners’ or intermediate French, German and Spanish, and provide guidance on choosing the right modern language level for you.
Contact us if you’d like to speak to and adviser.
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 Stage 1 of their qualification. 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 our:
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. From the perspective of its central theme, ‘popular protest’, it explores a range of subjects, including art history, English, English language studies, history, and popular music, all through its central theme of ‘popular protest’. The module also offers an opportunity to explore other subjects, such as modern languages, classical studies, religious studies and creative writing.
View full details of Arts and languages Access module
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.
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.
- Translation and interpreting.
- Editing and publishing.
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 diploma 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 diploma.
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 degree):
- Barrister’s clerk.
- Legal executive.
- Legal cashier.
- Legal secretary.
- Civil servant.
- Company secretary.
- Patent attorney.
- Tax adviser.