This qualification has two stages, each comprising 120 credits.
- You’ll start Stage 1 with an introductory law module followed by a module that builds your knowledge of the concepts of law, law making and legal skills.
- At Stage 2, you’ll study two modules covering contract and tort law, and public and criminal law.
Optional Access module – visit Entry requirements to find out about starting this course with a preparatory Access module.
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.
Stage 2 covers four of the seven ‘Foundations of Legal Knowledge’: Contract and Restitution, Tort, Criminal law and Public law.
You’ll learn how contracts are formed, their terms and how they end. You’ll also examine a range of torts including negligence, nuisance and trespass and the growing range of commercial torts.
The second module explores the relationship between the state and its citizens and critically analyses the principles underpinning constitutional and criminal law.
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 11 June 2019.
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 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. 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
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 completion of this undergraduate course, we'll award you the Diploma 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.
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.
Counting previous study
You could save time and money by reducing the number of modules you need to study towards this qualification if you have:
- already studied at university level (even if you didn't finish your studies)
- other professional or vocational qualifications such as HNCs and HNDs.
Find out more about credit transfer
Skills for career development
This qualification will provide you with a knowledge and understanding of the English legal system, including the way in which legal cases are argued and decided, and a specialist knowledge and understanding of four substantive legal areas: Contract Law, the Law of Torts, Public Law and Criminal Law. You will also develop 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 Batchelor of Laws with Honours (LLB) qualification within six years.
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 .