This degree has three stages, each comprising 120 credits.
- You’ll start Stage 1 with an introduction to criminal law and the criminal justice system, followed by tort law and civil justice.
- At Stage 2, you’ll build on your knowledge of contract law and public law then choose two modules to focus on aspects of law that are of particular interest.
- Finally, in Stage 3, your modules will be determined by whether you choose either the Academic law degree route, the Solicitors Qualifying Examination route for prospective solicitors in England and Wales or the Qualifying Law Degree route for prospective barristers in England and Wales or barristers and solicitors in Northern Ireland.
You’ll begin by focusing on a range of criminal offences as well as addressing themes of law reform, human rights and issues relevant to the Criminal Justice System of England and Wales. You’ll then develop an understanding of the range of civil laws, as well as the operation of the civil justice system and explore various torts including negligence, nuisance and defamation.
We strongly advise you study one module per year. However, if you wish to study on a full-time basis you can start with W111 in October and then W112 in February 2022 enabling you to complete both modules within a year.
You’ll begin this stage by the studying law of relations between individuals and the state before learning how contracts are formed, their contractual terms and how they end. To complete 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.
|You'll study both of the following:|
|Public law (W211) – planned for October 2022||30|
|Contract law (W212) – planned for October 2022||30|
|You’ll also study two from the following:|
|Business and employment law (W240) – planned for February 2023||30|
|Evidence law (W250)* – planned for February 2023||30|
|Family law (W230) – planned for February 2023||30|
|International, environmental and space law (W260) – planned for February 2023||30|
|*Students who intend to progress to an LLB and aim to be a solicitor or barrister in Northern Ireland will need to study this module.|
To conclude your degree you’ll have the flexibility to tailor your study to gain a law degree either as an academic law degree, a Qualifying Law Degree to become a barrister in England and Wales, progress to take Part 1 of the national Solicitors Qualifying Examination in England and Wales, or become either a solicitor or barrister in Northern Ireland.
|Solicitors Qualifying Examination route|
|You’ll study the following:|
|SQE: legal system, public law and criminal litigation (W321) – planned for October 2023||30|
|SQE: property and private client law (W322) – planned for February 2024||30|
|SQE: business law and dispute resolution (W323) – planned for February 2024||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) – planned for October 2023||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 09 August 2021.
We make all our qualifications as accessible as possible and have a comprehensive range of services to support all our students. This Bachelor of Laws uses a variety of study materials and has the following elements:
- studying a mix of printed and online material. Online learning resources may include websites, audio/video media clips, and interactive activities such as online quizzes
- face-to-face tutorials/day schools/workshops and/or online tutorials
- working with specialist reading material
- working in a group with other students
- using and/or producing diagrams and/or screenshots
- using specialist software
- finding external/third party material online
- using technology for research purposes involving access to catalogues and databases online
- 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
- 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
If you’ve already completed some university-level study somewhere else, you may be able to count it towards this qualification – which could save you time and money by reducing the number of modules you need to study. At the OU we call this credit transfer.
It’s not just university study that can be considered, you can also transfer study from a wide range of professional or vocational qualifications such as HNCs and HNDs.
You should apply for credit transfer before you register, at least 4 weeks before the registration closing date. For more details and to download an application form, visit our Credit Transfer website.
Classification of your degree
On successfully completing this course, we’ll award you our Bachelor of Laws (Honours) (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.
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.
Skills for career development
As independent learners, law graduates have developed literacy, communication, 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.
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.
As well as having a degree solicitors in England and Wales will need to pass the national Solicitors Qualifying Examination before completing qualifying work experience.
Barristers in England and Wales, or solicitors and barristers in Northern Ireland, will need to have a Qualifying Law Degree and then complete further vocational training (Bar Course or Institute of Legal Practice Course) and a period of work experience (pupillage for barristers or apprenticeship for solicitors in Northern Ireland).
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.
This qualification is recognised as a Qualifying Law Degree by the Bar Standards Board and the Council of Legal Education (Northern Ireland). This will exempt you from the academic stage of training for barristers in England and Wales and solicitors and barristers in Northern Ireland.
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.
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.
- barrister's clerk
- legal executive
- legal cashier
- legal secretary
- civil servant
- company secretary
- patent attorney
- tax adviser.