This certificate of higher education has one stage comprising 120 credits.
You’ll start with an introduction to the study of law – exploring why laws exist; how they’re applied and interpreted; key concepts such as legal personality, culpability and legal liability; and the role played by the legal system. You’ll then consider the nature of legal obligations; morality and justice; and the meaning of justice in a legal system.
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 7 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 uses a variety of study materials and has the following elements:
- studying online – online learning resources may include websites, audio/video media clips, and interactive activities such as online quizzes
- using and/or 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; elearning resources like podcasts, interactive media and online materials; tutorial groups and community forums.
Read the detailed learning outcomes here
On completion of this undergraduate course, we'll award you the Certificate of Higher Education in Law.
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.
There are no formal entry requirements for this qualification.
At The Open University we believe education should be open to all, so we provide a high-quality university education to anyone who wishes to realise their ambitions and fulfil their potential.
Please note that whilst it is possible to study both Stage 1 modules at the same time, students who complete An introduction to law (W101) before Law: concepts and perspectives (W102) acquire the legal knowledge, understanding of legal terminology and legal study skills needed for successful study of W102. If you choose to study the modules together, you may therefore find studying W102 to be more challenging initially. Studying the two modules together is the equivalent of full-time study and you'll need to be able to study for up to 35 hours each week.
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 qualification will provide you with knowledge and understanding of the legal system of England and Wales and a range of legal and other skills, including being able to identify legal issues and apply legal principles and developing your time management and self-motivation abilities.
This qualification could count towards part completion of the academic stage of legal training as recognised by the Bar Standards Board (BSB) and the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). It is necessary to complete further undergraduate legal studies successfully and meet all other requirements of the BSB and the SRA in order satisfactorily to complete the academic stage of training.
If you want to become a solicitor or barrister, you’ll need to complete the full Bachelor of Laws with Honours (LLB) qualification within six years.
A law degree is a gateway to a career as a solicitor or barrister, but it's not the only path you can choose. Many options are available to you beyond the legal profession, including Company secretary, Detective, Advice worker, or Human resources officer.
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
- chartered legal executive (England and Wales)
- company secretary
- licensed conveyancer
- advice worker
- chartered accountant
- civil service administrator
- data analyst/scientist
- forensic computer analyst
- patent attorney
- trading standards officer .