Certificate of Higher Education in Legal Studies

Location: University Centre at Blackburn College
UCAS Code: M110
Code: BS1102A16
Fees: View fees and financial information
Study Mode: Full Time, Part Time
Duration: Full time: 1 academic year
Part time: N academic years
Start Dates: september 2022
Term Dates: View term dates

This course provides an opportunity to study six Level 4 modules including Law, Criminology and Public Services, which allow you to sample these subject areas and to achieve 120 credits at Level 4. This will give you an introduction to the study of law and allow you to progress to Law LLB (Hons) Accelerated Route subject to your successfully completion the programme.

The course is available on a full-time and part-time basis and should be particularly appealing to students who are less confident about committing to Higher Education studies and embarking on a 3 year, full-time Honours degree in Law.

What will I study?

This course provides a combined study of contemporary issues at Level 4 including topical subjects such as Brexit, devolution in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, the relationship between the media and the law, the intricacies of the English and Welsh legal system and individuals' legal rights in a range of domains. In addition, you will obtain an understanding of the operation of the criminal justice system together with social problems and their relationship to crime and society. 

Moreover, you will develop a wide range of skills such as communication (oral and written), locating, interpreting and using primary and secondary sources, referencing and research. Students will also develop their interpersonal skills. These skills will prepare you for further study in a Higher Education environment and, due to their transferable nature, for employment also.

All students take a total of 120 credits per level.

Level 4 Modules (all modules are mandatory) include:

  • Government, Politics and the Law
  • Law, Media and Culture
  • Law and Society
  • Legal Rights
  • Skills and Methods
  • Understanding Criminal Justice


Entry Requirements

In order to join this programme you will need to gain a 64 UCAS Tariff points. This is equivalent to 2 Cs at A-Level.

Applicants without formal qualifications but with relevant work experience will be considered for entry to the programme subject to an interview or an appropriate diagnostic test that involves the current recommendation process. All applicants must show that they have a good level of spoken or written English, and if English is not your first language you’ll need to demonstrate the ability to study in English.

All applicants will be required to have GCSE Mathematics grade 4 (grade C) or higher, a qualification directly equivalent to GCSE Mathematics grade 4 (grade C) in terms of level and scope, or to demonstrate equivalent knowledge and skill in an assessment undertaken as part of the application process.

Care Leavers or Young Carers

We want students from all backgrounds to have the opportunity to go to University. If you have spent three months or more in local authority care OR are a young carer, you will be eligible for a contextual offer. This is a grade reduction of 1-A Level grade below our standard entry requirements. For example, a standard offer of CCC, would become CCD. MMM at Level 3 Extended Diploma would become MMP. To apply we advise that you tick the box on your UCAS application which identifies you have spent time in care and to help identify you as eligible for our contextual offer.

See our General Entry Requirements.

How will I be assessed?

Throughout the course a full range of assessment techniques will be used. You could be assessed by examinations, including open-book examinations, practical assessments, assignments, briefs, essays, presentations (including group presentations), reports and portfolio building. 

Each module is formally assessed through, for example, examinations, essays, assignments or briefs, presentations, group presentations and portfolio building. This formal assessment will count towards your module mark and feedback is usually given within 3 weeks following the submission of your formal submission of work.

Additionally, some lecturers will provide informal feedback, for example, following an examination they may choose to work through the exam paper in a tutorial. It should be noted that feedback is part of the ongoing learning cycle which is not limited to written feedback. Other forms of feedback include one-to-one meetings with a personal tutor, dissertation and project supervision meetings, a lecturer responding to learner questions or responses during topic or situation discussions. 

Feedback is intended to help you learn and you are encouraged to discuss it with your module tutor.

Teaching and Learning

The learning environment and facilities could include lecture theatres, classrooms, technology suites, laboratories and workshops, library and skills labs, art and photography studios, small group and quiet zones. Learning methods will vary according to the programme of study but will include lectures and group tutorials. In addition, seminars, field trips, work placements, role play or scenario activities, laboratory and workshop practical, demonstrations, guest lectures, discussions and debates all contribute to the learning experience to support the acquisition of subject specific skills and knowledge and the development of transferable and employment related skills.

You should typically expect to have around 15 contact hours per week if you are studying full time.

In addition, you will have timetabled meetings with your personal tutor.  

You will be taught by an experienced teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course.  The team could include senior academics, professional practitioners with industry experience, demonstrators and technical officers.  You can learn more about our staff by visiting our staff profiles.


On this course, students generally spend up to 1 or 2 days a week in College, if you choose to study the course full-time. As all course timetables are subject to change you should not make definite plans based on this information; this information is intended as a guide only. Please remember that you will be expected to carry out work in your own time in addition to the time you spend in College.

Overall Workload

You overall workload consists of class contact hours, around 15 hours of independent learning and assessment activity and any field trips which may take place.

Academic Support

We have a dedicated Student Engagement Team who will be able to provide support in the following areas;

  • Study Skills (including reading, note-taking and presentation skills)
  • Written English
  • Academic Writing (including referencing)
  • Research Skills
What can I do next?

This course has been designed as the perfect 'first step' in continuing to study Higher Education onto Law, Criminology or Public Service degree level courses. Subject to achievement of the Certificate of Higher Education in Legal Studies you will be able to progress onto Law (Accelerated Route) LLB (Hons) . This will allow you to achieve a full LLB (Hons) Law degree with two additional years of full-time study

Graduates of ours have gone on to become Paralegals and Legal Secretaries, amongst other roles.



Supplementary Information

Download the Programme Specification for this course.

Career Options


Paralegals specialise in one area of the law, carrying out a range of legal work. They are not qualified solicitors, though they can do a lot of the work that a solicitor does. This can range from administrative and legal secretarial tasks to research and provision of legal information to clients.

If you are interested in the law and want a career in legal work, this job could be perfect for you.

In this job you’ll need to have excellent spoken and written communication skills. You’ll also need to be able to work with all kinds of clients and work under pressure to meet deadlines.

To become a paralegal you’ll need a good standard of general education, and a good understanding of the law and legal system.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Legal Executive

Legal executives specialise in one area of law. They have trained to the same level as solicitors in that area and do much of the same work.

This job will suit you if you have good spoken and written communication skills, as you'll need to explain complex legal matters clearly to people. You’ll need patience and discretion. You also need to be able to work under pressure.

To become qualified in this area you will have to follow one of the training routes offered by the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives. You will also need to have practical experience in a legal environment.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Court Legal Adviser

Court legal advisers (sometimes known as court clerks) in England and Wales are able to represent the Justices’ Clerk, and advise magistrates and District Judges. If you are a trained solicitor or barrister, and you can explain complex laws and procedures to non-experts, this could be the ideal job for you.

In this job you would need good organisational and research skills. You would need to be objective and non-judgemental. You would also need detailed knowledge of the law.

To get into this job you must have completed the academic stage of training to become a solicitor or barrister. You will need to pass a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Court Administrative Officer

If you are an organised person with good admin skills, and you would like to work in a legal environment, this could be the ideal job for you.

As an administrative assistant or officer in the HM Courts & Tribunals Service, you would help with the day-to-day running of the courts and their supporting offices.

In this job you will need to be accurate and pay close attention to detail. It is also be very important that you deal with people in a tactful and diplomatic way.

To get into an administrative job in HM Courts Service you will usually need at least five GCSEs (A-C) including English. Previous experience of administration work would be helpful.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire