Legal Studies - HND

UCAS Code:
Full Time (2 years)
September 2016

Whether you’re a looking to enhance your work experience or want to progress onto our LLB degree, this Legal Studies HND course will provide you with the key skills and knowledge you need to begin your law career.

What's covered in the course?

This course is aimed at those who have studied law at GCSE or A Level, or as part of another course, and others who have an interest in law, but without the A Level grades to allow them to join the LLB degree. It is also suitable for mature students with relevant work-based experience.

Why Choose Us?

  • The course is recognised by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Bar Standards Board as providing exemptions from the academic stage of training.
  • On successful completion you will exit with a Level 5 Award receiving both the Higher National Diploma and a Certificate in Higher Education. This entitles you to progress to the second year of the LLB (Hons) Law course at the University should you wish to continue your studies and gain a qualifying law degree.
  • You will attend both the University and Birmingham Metropolitan College, enjoying the advanced facilities of both institutions, and sharing ideas and perspectives with full-time LLB students.
  • You will see inside the legal world on placement modules, gaining confidence, competence and professional contacts such as St Philips Chambers.
Student ambassador helps Open Day visitor

Open Day - 11 June 2016

Our next University-wide Open Day will take place on Saturday 11 June 2016. Come along to find out more about our courses and see our facilities.

Register now

Please note: we are currently reviewing our entire course provision for 2017/18. Details will be included in your registration email.

This course is open to International students

School of Law

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Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.

Visit the School website

Entry Requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

UK students

At the point of enrolment you must have GCSE English Language at Grade C or above. Equivalent qualifications will be considered, however Adult Literacy is not accepted.

160 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of one subject

Typical Offers
UK Qualification Requirements 2016/17
GCE A Level/ AS Level One subject at A2 Level and GCSE English Language at Grade C or above (or equivalent).
BTEC National Diploma (12-units not including early years) Applicants with BTEC National or GNVQ Advanced qualifications will also be considered, as will mature students without formal entry qualifications and students with professional qualifications such as ILEX.
Access Courses  Access to Higher Education course qualifications with GCSE English are encouraged to apply.
Advanced Diplomas and Progression Diplomas in appropriate disciplines (such as Business) are acceptable with GCSE English grade ‘C’

From one A2 Level and a minimum of grade C GCSE English

New UCAS tariff

The UCAS tariff is changing

If you're considering applying for this course to start in September 2017 onwards, it's important to know that the UCAS tariff system is changing.

UCAS tariff points – the points system most universities use to compare different qualifications – will be introducing a new system on how points are calculated.

More about the new tariff

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
HND Sep 2016 FT 2 years £4,850 per year Apply via UCAS

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
HND Sep 2016 FT 2 years £12,000 per year Apply via UCAS

The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.

Additional costs

There are no compulsory additional costs or charges associated with studying on this course. While you may choose to purchase personal copies of text books, all our key text books are available from our library or online (subject to normal library loan and online access arrangements).

Based on the past experience of our students, you might find it helpful to set aside about £50 for each year of your studies for your personal stationery and study materials. All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

Guidance for UK/EU students


UK and EU students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

Applying through UCAS
 Register with UCAS
 Login to UCAS
 Complete your details
 Select your course
 Write a personal statement
 Get a reference
 Pay your application fee
 Send UCAS your application

Non-EU (International) students

There are three ways to apply:

1) Direct to the University

You will need to complete our International Application Form and submit it together with scan copies of your original academic transcripts and certificates.

2) Through a country representative

Our in-country representatives can help you make your application and apply for a visa. They can also offer advice on travel, living in the UK and studying abroad.

3) Through UCAS

If you are applying for an undergraduate degree or a Higher National Diploma (HND), you can apply through the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

You can request a printed form from your school or nearest British Council office. You will be charged for applying through UCAS. Birmingham City University’s UCAS code is B25 BCITY.

Your personal statement

Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

This course is not available part-time

Got any questions?

Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.

Loans and Grants

Financial Support

We offer further information on possible undergraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.

Year one

All modules on the course are compulsory and in your first year you will study:

English Legal System and Practice
15 credits

The module provides you with foundation knowledge of the principal features of the English Legal System as well as developing many of the practical lawyering, study and employability skills required by you throughout your legal education and into employment.  The approach is very practical and designed to enable you to develop the required skills at your own speed.  Personal development planning and self-reflection are important features of this module.

Criminal Law
30 credits

Providing an introduction to the basic principles of criminal law, you will assess homicide, sexual, property and participatory offences, as well as examining general defences including insanity, automatism, duress, necessity and self-defence. It will provide you with a critical examination of the historical, political and ethical background to modern criminal law.

Law of Tort
30 credits

The aim of this module is to explore aspects of substantive tort law and to provide a sound basis for the understanding and application of the legal concepts and principles involved.

Year two

In your second year, you will study:

Law of Contract
30 credits

Here you will explore aspects of the substantive Law of Contract and to provide a sound basis for the understanding and application of the legal concepts and principles involved. 

Work Placement
30 credits

This module enables you to gain valuable work experience, yet at the same time achieve academic credit. By finding suitable work experience in a legal environment, you will forge contacts with legal professionals which could prove invaluable at the end of your studies when you are seeking full-time positions.

Justice Systems
15 credits
Foundations of Family Law
15 credits

How you learn

You will study all the core modules from the first year of the LLB Law degree at Birmingham City University. These include Criminal Law, Law of Tort and Contract Law and are split between year one and year two of the HND Legal Studies course. Successful completion of these LLB core modules will give you a Certificate in Higher Education and entitle you to progress to the second year of the LLB course.

Additionally, you will choose from a range of module options related to aspects of Law such as Family Law and Land Law. These will enable you to further your interest in psychology, forensic science or litigation.

Assessment of HND-specific modules is varied; you will be writing reports, engaging in research and making oral presentations to your peers. 

Further Study

As a successful graduate of the HND you would be eligible to continue to stage two of any of the LLB degrees. For more information please see the courses section of the website.

Study and work abroad

If you are interested in undertaking part of your studies abroad, the Erasmus scheme may be of interest to you. It allows higher education students to study for part of their degree in another European country.

It is open to undergraduates in their second year (or above) and offers a unique opportunity to enhance your CV and experience new cultures. If you study with us you will have access to an Erasmus co-ordinator, who can provide information about which institutions we have links with.

Find out more

David Wilson at The Future of Murder

The Future of Murder

Crime is changing and social media is altering how killers operate. Our academics, Professor David Wilson and Dr Elizabeth Yardley, debated what murder looks like in the 21st Century during our free Future of Murder talk. They were joined by columnist Erwin James, a convicted murderer, and prison governor Jamie Bennett.

Watch again

Enhancing your employability skills

The HND is a vocational qualification highly regarded by employers. This course will prepare you particularly, although not exclusively, for employment in the expanding field of paralegal work.

If you wish to qualify as a solicitor or barrister, you will have the opportunity to complete an LLB degree at Birmingham City University. The core modules studied are recognised by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Bar Standards Board as forming part of a ‘qualifying’ Law degree if you complete your LLB with us.

Employability is embedded into our HND courses with a compulsory skills module - Skills, Processes and Scholarship - which will focus on preparing you for finding a job and being successful in the workplace.

The University's has a thriving Mooting Society who:

  • Organise a range of internal mooting and social activities throughout the academic year
  • Enter mooting teams in a variety of prestigious national mooting competitions including the Incorporated Council of Law Reporting, Oxford University Press, English Speaking Union and the Inner Temple Inter-Varsity Competition.
  • Have reached five finals of national mooting competitions in the past eight years.
  • Have beaten eight of the elite Russell Group of universities in the past eight years.


The work placement module in your second year of the HND Legal Studies course enables you to gain valuable work experience, yet at the same time achieve academic credit. By finding suitable work experience in a legal environment, you will forge contacts with legal professionals which could prove invaluable at the end of your studies when you are seeking full-time positions. It is your responsibility to find an appropriate placement and you will receive support from Birmingham Metropolitan College in this process.

More about our placement opportunities...


OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.


BCU Graduate+

Through our courses we give you the skills and experience needed to get a head start when applying for jobs. But we offer something extra too – Graduate+.

Our unique programme gives you the chance to develop valuable skills outside of the more formal classroom learning. We award points for Graduate+ activities (including firewalking!) and these can be put towards a final Graduate+ award.

More about Graduate+

Graduate jobs

Many former HND students have completed the LLB degree with Birmingham City University and have gone on to qualify as solicitors and barristers.  Entry into the legal professional is competitive so it is essential that you example the necessary commitment and hard work for success right from the start of your studies.

International Students

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Studying in the UK is better

Overseas students studying in the UK are happier and have a better learning experience compared to those studying in other countries.

The International Undergraduate Students: The UK's Competitive Advantage report asked 365,754 international students studying outside their home country to give their feedback on what it's like to study in this country. And the UK scored top in every aspect.

So if you're looking at studying with us, you'll be making a good choice.

Overall measures: ranked positions
Undergraduate 2014 2014 2014 2013 2014
Recommendation 1 4 3 5 2
Overall satisfaction 1 4 3 5 2
Arrival overall 1 2 4 5 3
Learning overall 1 4 3 5 2
Living overall 1 2 5 3 4
Support overall 1 4 5 3 2

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.


BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.

Learn more about BCUIC

Curzon facilities eatery
Curzon facilities staircase
Curzon facilities student hub

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.

The Curzon Building

This course is based at the City Centre Campus – and specifically The Curzon Building, alongside other law, business, social sciences and English courses

The £63m building offers students a unique social learning space, including a dedicated student hub incorporating student support services, in the heart of Birmingham’s Eastside development.

Our teaching and learning facilities include two video-equipped mock courtrooms. You will use these courtrooms to gain experience of realistic legal scenarios and to develop your legal skills. We also have a mock legal office which is used by Legal Practice Course (LPC) students.

We have an exciting and developing eLearning section to supplement the delivery of all our courses. This includes a Virtual Solicitors’ Office which has been developed by our law academics.

In addition we have recently invested £18,000 in a state-of-the-art ELearning Resource Centre which includes laptops, flip cameras, voice recorders, headsets, webcams, a digital video recorder and a state-of-the-art Smartboard and electronic notepad. With features such as Skype Group Video Calling, the school will be able to keep in touch with students carrying out internships in the USA, allowing tutors to provide effective support while the students are abroad.

The Curzon Building will also feature:

  • An impressive new library with access to over 65 million full text items and stunning views of Eastside City Park
  • Your Students’ Union which will be located in a beautifully restored 19th century pub, The Eagle and Ball
  • A modern 300-seat food court with space to study and socialise
  • Brand new, accessible IT facilities with full Office365 for all students for free
  • Shared facilities with the wider campus including the recently opened Parkside Building and Millennium Point

Tracey Hough

LLB Programme Director

Tracey Hough is the LLB Programme Director. Her teaching areas are Land Law, Contract Law and ADR. She has experience in teaching and leading programmes both home and abroad, having taught at institutions in Mauritius and Hong Kong.

UK prospective students:

UK enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5595

EU / International prospective students:

International enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5389

Already applied?

Email the applications team

+44 (0)121 331 6295