Legal Studies - HND

Course Overview

The essential course information

UCAS Code:
Full Time (2 years)
School of Law
City Centre (from 2015) and Birmingham Metropolitan College

Professionally recognised and offering a cogent and comprehensive overview of legal studies, the HND Legal Studies course can also be used as a stepping stone to the full LLB (Hons) degree programme as well as providing a national Level 5 qualification.

We are proud of the excellent student satisfaction scores at Birmingham City University, reflecting our excellent teaching and commitment to putting students at the heart of everything we do – 100 per cent of our HND Legal Studies students were satisfied overall (NSS survey 2013).

What's covered in the course?

Modules include:

  • Skills, Processes and Scholarship
  • Criminal Law
  • Law of Tort
  • Law of Contract
  • Foundations of Family Law 
  • Civil and Criminal Litigation.

Successful completion of the HND entitles you to progress to the second year of the LLB (Hons). In addition, this course will assist you in developing both practical and vocational skills.

Once enrolled at Birmingham City University, you attend both Birmingham Metropolitan College and the University for lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops. You will enjoy the facilities of both institutions, and have access to all University libraries and IT resources.

“My placement at St Philips Chambers was very useful. I was only there for a short period of time, but I learned so much and it reassured me that this was the career I wanted.”
Jade Cheung

Why Choose Us?

  • This course is for those who have studied law at GCSE or A Level, or as part of another course, and those with 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.
  • 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.

Download the Course Programme Specification

Entry Requirements

  • 160 points, which must include one subject at A2 Level and GCSE English Language at Grade C or above (or equivalent).
  • 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 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’

How to Apply

Full Time: Apply through UCAS.
UCAS Code: 039M.
Apply via UCAS

Non-EU (International) students: There are three ways for international students to apply: direct to the University, through a country representative or through UCAS. Please read our guidance on how to apply.

UCAS Information

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

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

You submit an application via the UCAS website with a list of up to five courses. All choices are confidential during the application process so universities and colleges considering an application cannot see your other choices. Applications must be completed by mid-January of the year that you wish to start university.

You can monitor the progress of your application using the UCAS Apply system.

Fees and Finance

Fees for students from the UK or EU countries?
Start Mode Duration Award Fees
Sep 2014 FT 2 years HND £4,500
Fees for students from non-EU countries (International)?
Start Mode Duration Award Fees
Sep 2014 FT 2 years HND £7,005

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.

Financial Options and Advice

We have deliberately tried to set fees that reflect the cost of course delivery in order to help our students avoid debt.

Full-time students won't have to pay for tuition fees until after their studies - there are government tuition fee loans available. If you are a full-time student, after leaving university you will start to pay back your loan once you are earning over £21,000 a year, at a rate of nine per cent on any income above £21,000. So if you were earning £25,000, you would pay back nine per cent of £4,000, or £30 per month.

Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis offers key facts on fees, loans and grants:

Financial Support

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

International Students

International Students at BCU

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 reputation for excellence is soaring globally, thanks to the superb links we forge with industry, our international alliances, and our focus on practical, vocational learning.

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

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

Open Days

For details of open day events please contact Birmingham Metropolitan College directly.

Tel: 0845 155 0101

University Approach to Employability

Birmingham City University is committed to preparing students for successful employability and professional careers. We have an innovative approach to employability that will help you obtain an interesting and well-paid graduate job.

Read our Employability Statement to find out more.

Employment Opportunities

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 skills

Employability is embedded into our HND programmes with a compulsory skills module - Skills, Processes and Scholarship.

Opportunities to Develop Practical Experience

The Mooting Society

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.
  • Are sponsored by LexisNexis Butterworths for the School of Law Internal Mooting Competition.
The Student Legal Society

The Student Legal Society, run by students for students, arranges social and academic activities throughout the year.


The Work Placement module in Year 2 of the HND Legal Studies programme 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.

Further Studies

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.

About KIS data

From September 2012, all universities and colleges are publishing standardised information for all undergraduate courses in the form of a Key Information Set (KIS). The KIS data is designed to meet the needs of prospective students and allow for informed decision-making when choosing a university course.

Putting our students first

We pride ourselves on our student satisfaction levels which have risen from 73 per cent to 83 per cent between 2010 and 2012. Our dedication to improving the student experience is illustrated by our award-winning student engagement, our close links with business and industry and our £180 million investment in new facilities.

Employability facts

82.4% of graduates from the School of Law who responded to our survey went into either employment and/or further study. Salaries for those entering full-time paid employment averaged £18,000. Employers hiring leavers from the School include Citizens Advice Bureau and The Legal Ombudsman, in positions such as Client Advisor and Legal Assessor.

Working with your Students’ Union

Improving student satisfaction is a priority commitment shared by both Birmingham City University and its Students’ Union. In its strategic planning, the Union has pledged to be more accessible, more relevant and provide more opportunity to engage with a diverse student community.

The Students’ Union is already a key stakeholder in supporting an excellent teaching experience at Birmingham City University, through joint projects such as the Extra Mile Teaching Awards and the Student Rep scheme, which allows students to share their ideas on how they are taught.

As Birmingham City University moves towards a two campus strategy where it can better support enhanced learning and student support facilities across a two-mile radius, the Students’ Union will also be better able to implement its commitment to improve communication and engage with its valued student membership.

Course Structure

You will study all the core modules from Level 4 of the LLB degree at Birmingham City University. These modules are split between Year 1 and Year 2 of the HND Legal Studies programme, and successful completion of these LLB core modules will give students a Certificate in Higher Education and entitle them to progress to Year 2 of the LLB.

Additionally, you will choose from a range of module options related to aspects of Law. These will enable you to further your interest in psychology, forensic science or litigation. Successful completion of the HND-specific modules, as well as the LLB core modules will give you an HND in Legal Studies. Assessment of HND-specific modules is varied; you will be writing reports, engaging in research and making oral presentations.

Once enrolled at Birmingham City University you will attend both Birmingham Metropolitan College and the University for lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops. You will enjoy the facilities of both institutions and have access to and borrowing rights from all university libraries and IT resources. This collaboration of teaching and learning arrangement enables you to experience educational and social activities alongside full-time LLB students.

The course offers strong professional links with Birmingham Law Society (the UK’s largest Law Society outside London), the four Inns of Court, especially Lincoln’s Inn and Inner Temple.

Many former HND students have completed their degrees and gone on to qualify as solicitors. Students must appreciate at the outset, however, that entry into the legal profession is very competitive and that the hard work necessary for success must begin on entry to the HND Legal Studies programme.

Course Modules

Module options in years 1 and 2 include:

  • Crime and Deviance
  • The Justice System In the UK
  • Civil Litigation
  • Criminal Litigation
  • Scenes Of Crime
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Citizens Rights
Skills, Processes and Scholarship 30
Criminal Law 30
Option 15
Option 15
Option 15
Option 15
Law Of Tort 30
Law Of Contract 30
Work Placement 30
Option 15
Option 15

Assessment Methods

Assessment of core stage one LLB modules is identical to that of the LLB (Hons) Law programme at Birmingham City University. Option modules are assessed through a combination of examinations, coursework and oral and written presentations. Considerable emphasis is placed upon the achievement of common skills by all students.

Our Facilities

Virtual Solicitors' Office

We have an exciting and developing eLearning component to supplement the delivery of all our courses. This includes a Virtual Solicitors’ Office which has been developed by our law academics. Our eLearning activities will enhance your overall learning experience.


Prospective students from the UK
  • Take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions for answers to a range of questions about our courses and studying here.
  • If you need further help, you can contact the Course Enquiries Team online by using the Course Enquiry Form.
  • Alternatively, call us on +44 (0)121 331 5595.
Prospective students from outside the UK


For an overview of our undergraduate courses and a range of other information order a printed Prospectus or download a PDF of our Prospectus (16Mb).