CertHE Common Law
The Certificate of Higher Education in Common Law is a respected qualification in its own right, and provides a route into the LLB for those who don't yet meet the requirements. Learn the foundations of common law from some of the world's top legal academics.
A name that's respected worldwide
The University of London was the first to offer a degree in English law in the 1890s, and we've been a trusted provider of distance learning for over 160 years. When you study with us, you can be confident that your qualification will be valued by employers around the world.
Study flexibly at your own pace
The CertHE allows you to achieve a law qualification in some of the core legal subjects without committing to the full LLB degree. It can be studied in a minimum of one year and a maximum of five years, so you can fit your studies around your work and commitments.
Learn from world-leading legal experts
The CertHE is developed by academics from six outstanding University of London law schools, known collectively as the Laws Consortium. The modules you'll study are the same as the Level 4 modules of the LLB, so you can be confident of the academic rigour of your qualification.
Unparalleled learning resources at your fingertips
The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) gives you access to all the study materials you need, including recorded audio lectures for some modules, module guides and past exam papers. The Online Library contains millions of academic publications for you to explore, and you'll benefit from free access to professional legal databases.
The best of online and in-person
Enjoy the flexibility of online learning with the added benefit of in-person tuition support from a Recognised Teaching Centre in your home country. All our online learning resources can be accessed in your own time, while our teaching centres offer face-to-face guidance and campus-style facilities.
Join a distinguished global alumni community
Take the first step in your career with a University of London law qualification, just like thousands of successful legal professionals worldwide. Upon graduating, you'll become part of our global alumni network of lawyers, solicitors, barristers and judges.
Teaching Centre Support
General entry requirements
You must complete four modules on the CertHE Common Law.
The Programme Specification and Programme Regulations contain information and rules regarding what modules you can choose and the order in which they must be studied.
Local teaching support
To study the CertHE Common Law you must enrol and study at a local teaching centre that has been approved by the university to support the programme. Your application can only be submitted via an approved teaching centre.
We will send you study materials developed by academics from the Laws Consortium. These include:
- Module guides
- Statute books (for all modules where they are permitted in the examination).
When you register, we will give you access to your Student Portal. You can then access your University of London email account and other key resources:
- The Laws Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) enables access to programme resources.
- An Online Induction offering live Q&A sessions on the VLE, study skills, the Online Library and Level 4 modules.
- Discussion forums for each module, where you can share perspectives with fellow students from all over the world.
- Online Library: As a student at the University of London, you will have access to a range of resources, databases, and journals via the Online Library. You will be able to contact a team of professional and qualified librarians for any help you require. Access more than 10 legal databases, including Lexis/Nexis, Westlaw and other valued materials.
- Tutor Feedback Activity: for a limited number of modules, you have an opportunity to receive feedback on how you are performing against the criteria applied by examiners.
Senate House Library
- If you’re based in the United Kingdom, or are visiting London, make sure to visit Senate House Library. Students studying with the University of London can join the library free of charge. Membership includes a 10-book borrowing allowance, access to all reading rooms and study areas, and on-site access to Senate House Library digital resources.
Your approved local teaching centre will also provide classes in study skills and, where necessary, additional English language support.
The Study Support Event provides you with academic guidance from a University of London-approved tutor. Usually held in November, the event focuses on the core content of the first half of each module guide. Each day includes an overview of key topics, learning activities and guidance on planning your studies. There is a separate fee to attend this event.
The Revision Event typically takes place in March and focuses on revision for your examinations. Each day includes an overview of core topics and guidance on what examiners are looking for in an examination answer. There is a separate fee to attend this event.
We are committed to delivering an exceptional student experience for all of our students, regardless of which of our programmes you are studying and whether you are studying independently or with a teaching centre.
You will have access to support through:
- The Student Advice Centre – provides support for application and Student Portal queries.
- TalkCampus – a peer support service that offers a safe and confidential way to talk about whatever is on your mind at any time of day or night.
All modules for the CertHE Common Law are assessed entirely by written/typed examination. These are held in May/June and October. Information on the format of the exams will be made available on the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). You can sit a maximum of two modules in the October session.
Our examinations are set and marked by academics appointed as examiners. They reflect the same standards as those who study on-campus at the University of London Law Schools.
The academic direction of the CertHE Common Law is provided by a Consortium of outstanding University of London Law Schools: Birkbeck, King's, LSE, Queen Mary, SOAS and UCL.
Three of these (UCL, King’s and LSE) are ranked in the top 15 worldwide for Law (QS World University Rankings 2023) and in the UK's top 10 (The Complete University Guide 2023).
To study the CertHE Common Law you must enrol and study at a local teaching centre that has been approved by the university to support the programme. Your application can only be submitted via an approved teaching centre which may have earlier application deadlines than those listed on the website. You should contact your local teaching centre to find out the application deadlines.
|Programme starts||November 2023|
|Programme starts||May 2024|
What qualifications do you need?
You must be aged 18+ by the date of registration and have a place to study the CertHE Common Law at an approved local teaching centre.
Each teaching centre has its own admissions criteria to determine if you are ready to study the programme. Contact your chosen centre directly for its requirements.
English Language requirements
You need to demonstrate a good level of English to be admitted to our programmes. We accept a range of evidence, including proficiency test scores. If you don’t have evidence but believe you can meet the standard, we may consider your case.
We set minimum basic computer requirements because your study resources are accessed via the Student Portal and it is vital that you can access this regularly. For this degree, you will need to view video material and a media player (such as VLC) to play video files.
Fees, funding and payment
The fees below relate to new students registering for the 2023-2024 session. On average, fees are subject to a five per cent year-on-year increase.
Students who registered earlier can view their fees on the Course Fees page.
|Examination fee (per 30-credit module)||£230|
|Online examination fee*||£10|
|Credit transfer (per module)||£125|
Disclaimer: Currency conversion tool.
You pay as you progress rather than in a single payment. The indicative costs are a guide to what you would pay if you allow for average fee increases and complete your qualification within the minimum time (with no resits).
*The online examination administration fee is charged for each examination paper held online, including resits. This does not apply to any coursework submissions. This fee will be charged at the point of exam entry and is in addition to the exam entry fee listed above.
See the Programme Regulations for more details.
You may also need to budget for:
- Textbooks (could extend to around £300 per year);
- tuition costs (if you choose to study at an approved local teaching centre); and
- examination centre fees, which are paid directly to the venues where you sit your examinations.
We accept most traditional payment methods, including debit/credit card, international money order, and Western Union.
Please note: all student fees shown are net of any local VAT, Goods and Services Tax (GST) or any other sales tax payable by the student in their country of residence. Where the University is required to add VAT, GST or any other sales tax at the local statutory rate, this will be added to the fees shown during the payment process. For students resident in the UK, our fees are exempt from VAT.
Your payment provider may apply additional transaction fees (if in doubt, please check with them before making a payment).
Without the cost of moving to London, studying for your University of London degree anywhere in the world represents excellent value for money. However, there are additional sources of support depending on where you live and how you choose to study.
UK-based students may be entitled to apply for an undergraduate Student Loan or the City’s Business School Scholarship. Equally, some of our approved local teaching centres around the world offer discounts or scholarships for the face-to-face tuition they offer. (Check with your teaching centre for details.)
The University of London was the first to offer a degree in English Law in the 1890s, and continues to offer the security of an internationally respected qualification.
Upon achieving the CertHE Common Law, you will hold a law qualification in some of the core legal subjects that have been examined by approved University of London academics.
You may also have the option of transferring to the Bachelor of Laws (LLB) after successful completion of three modules.
In some countries, qualifications earned by distance and flexible learning may not be recognised by certain authorities or regulators for the purposes of public sector employment or further study. We advise you to explore the local recognition status before you register, even if you plan to receive support from a local teaching centre.
You’ll have access to a wide range of careers and employability support through the University of London Careers Service, including live webinars and online drop-in sessions.
Tailored support for careers in the refugee and humanitarian fields is available through regular programme events, webinars and careers resources.