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Bachelor of Laws (Honours)

Studying law is stimulating in its own right, and it's also a smart career move. If you want to practise law professionally, a law degree is a first and necessary step - but it's also a great asset for many other careers that are not directly related to law.

The Open University's Bachelor of Laws (Honours) (LLB) is the most popular undergraduate taught law degree programme in the UK. We offer it in collaboration with The College of Law - the UK's largest provider of professional legal education.

The compulsory modules of this degree course cover the seven 'Foundations of Legal Knowledge' - the academic subjects required for a Qualifying Law Degree (QLD). These are set by The Solicitors Regulation Authority and The Bar Standards Board (the professional legal bodies). By the end of your studies, you'll have the legal awareness needed to understand and apply the law, together with skills of legal analysis and methods.

Study Mode

Online Education, Distance Learning & External study modes available

Key facts

Code: Q05 Made up of: 360 credits

There are no formal entry requirements to study this qualification.

Fees: Our fees depend on where you are ordinarily resident. We have a range of funding options to help you with payment. When you apply to study we will tell you the fee and funding options that are available to you. Before you apply you can read What you can expect to pay.

Career relevance and employability

Jobs directly related to law 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). If you successfully complete our QLD, the College of Law will guarantee you a place on its LPC (you need to take up this place within seven years of graduation)
  • Professional - a training contract for solicitors or 'pupillage' for barristers.

You can download our Recognition leaflet 3.13 Law for more information about the legal professions and details of professional recognition outside of England and Wales.

The Bachelor of Laws (Honours) (LLB) can also open up many career options that are not just in 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 a degree course. Employers recognise that studying law gives 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 your job.

There is more information about how OU study can improve your employability in the OU's Employability Statement from our Careers Advisory Service. You can also read or download our publication OU study and your career and look at our subject pages to find out about career opportunities.

Educational aims

The law degree aims to provide learners of all backgrounds and abilities with the opportunity to explore and develop their interest in the law and legal system of England and Wales. Your studies will:

  • provide you with the opportunity to gain knowledge and understanding of the legal system of England and Wales
  • provide learners who wish to continue their legal education at the vocational stage with the intellectual and practical skills necessary to do this effectively
  • enable you to become independent learners, and to develop other associated and transferable skills and attributes.

Learning outcomes

Learners who are awarded the LLB will have demonstrated their competence in each of the following areas.

Knowledge and understanding

As a student to whom the award is made, you will have demonstrated:

  • in-depth knowledge of a substantial range of the concepts, values, rules and principles of the foundation subjects of law, and of the legal system of England and Wales
  • an understanding of legal methodology
  • an understanding of the social, political, economic, historical and ethical dimensions of law
  • an understanding of the principles and methods of legal research.

Cognitive skills

When you have completed this degree, you will be able to:

  • apply legal principles and authority in a logical and coherent way
  • organise and assimilate legal and factual material and express a reasoned personal view about that material
  • identify the relative merits of different legal and policy arguments as articulated in case law and legal scholarship
  • present and make a reasoned choice between alternative opinions and solutions
  • explore and apply exceptions to legal rules and principles.

Practical and/or professional skills

When you have completed this degree, you will have demonstrated the ability to:

  • identify legal issues in relation to material facts (both real and hypothetical)
  • apply legal principles to resolve identified issues
  • present arguable and reasoned conclusions
  • access, comprehend and use legal materials (both primary and secondary sources) using electronic and hard copy methods.

Key skills

When you have completed this degree, you will be able to demonstrate the following skills:

Communication and literacy

You will be able to:

  • communicate effectively (using appropriate legal terminology)
  • organise information and illustrate its relevance to the intended audience
  • appreciate the requirements of intended audiences and select an appropriate mode of presentation and style
  • appreciate and demonstrate the techniques of legal argument
  • read and discuss legal materials (whether statutes, cases or academic commentary) which are written in technical and complex language.

Numeracy and IT

You will be able to:

  • comprehend and use basic numerical information
  • use basic keyboard skills and perform basic computer tasks
  • use the internet, WWW and some dedicated electronic information retrieval systems to access legal information.

Working with others

You will have had the opportunity to:

  • work with a group to find agreed solutions to set problems
  • negotiate the performance of (and accepting responsibility for performing) an aspect of a team task.

Improving own learning and performance

You will have been provided with the opportunity to:

  • reflect critically on your own performance with the assistance of feedback
  • take steps to improve your learning and performance with the assistance of feedback
  • assess your own progress, identify issues on which assistance is needed and obtain such assistance.

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