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 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.
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.
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 20 March 2019.
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, 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; 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).
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).
You'll have the opportunity to attend a degree ceremony.
Recognition in your country
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. Read recognition in my country.
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.
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 2020 and we will need your complete application by 13 August 2020. Applications received after this date are highly unlikely to be processed in time for an October 2020 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.
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.
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. 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.
The Bachelor of Laws (Honours) (graduate entry) is recognised by The Solicitors Regulation Authority and The Bar Standards Board as a ‘Qualifying Law Degree’, and by the Council of Legal Education (Northern Ireland).
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.
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.
- barrister's clerk
- legal executive
- legal cashier
- legal secretary
- civil servant
- company secretary
- patent attorney
- tax adviser.