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Common Law


Our Certificate of Higher Education in Common Law is a qualification in its own right that also provides an entry route to degree-level study.

It is ideal if you are ready to study for a degree but do not have the qualifications usually required to enter.

Bachelor of Law video
Natasha decided to follow in her father's footsteps and enrol for an LLB with the University of London.

Develop a critical awareness of the common law legal tradition and apply problem-solving skills to a range of legal and non-legal settings.

Study this course at a Teaching Centre near you

You can receive local support from a local teaching centre, use the dropdown to find your nearest centre.

Course details

The modules studied for the CertHE Common Law are the same as the Level 4 modules of the LLB.

Contract law

One of the seven foundation subjects required for a qualifying law degree in England and Wales. 

Criminal law

One of the seven foundation subjects required for a qualifying law degree in England and Wales. 

Legal system and method

This is a compulsory part of the LLB and CertHE Common Law. You should select this on first registration. 

Public law

One of the seven foundation subjects required for a qualifying law degree in England and Wales. 

Recognised Teaching Centre

Contact your teaching centre to find out the application deadline:

Local Teaching Centres in your country.

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 course. Your application can only be submitted via an approved teaching centre.

Study materials

We will send you study materials developed by academics from the Laws Consortium. These include:

  • Module guides (samples available via modules within 'Course structure').
  • Statute books, provided for all modules where they are permitted in the examination.

Online support

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 course materials, resources, and audio and video lectures.
  • Discussion forums for each module, where you can share perspectives with fellow students from all over the world, and a Director’s forum for academic queries.
  • The Online Library holds thousands of journal articles which you can access free of charge. Access more than 10 legal databases, including Lexis/Nexis, Westlaw and other valued materials.
  • Lecture Plus: for select courses, you can view a recorded lecture and engage afterwards in dedicated discussion forum.
  • Formative assessment: for some courses, you have an opportunity to receive feedback on how you are performing against the criteria applied by examiners.

Study skills

Your approved local teaching institution will also provide classes in study skills and, where necessary, additional English language support.

Regional revision courses

Taught by approved tutors, these are for students around the world preparing for examinations. Meet other students on the programme and focus on important areas within each module.

Student support

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 Recognised 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 examination. These are held in May/June and October at local examination centres around the world. 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.

More about examinations.

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 institution.

Each teaching institution has its own admissions criteria to determine if you are ready to study the course. Contact your chosen institution 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.

Do I meet the language requirements?

Computer requirements

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 also need Adobe Flash Player to view video material and a media player (such as VLC) to play video files.

More about computer requirements.

The fees below relate to new students registering for the 2020-2021 session. These are subject to annual increases of up to 5% per annum.

Academic year


Registration fee


Module fee


Examination fee (per 30-credit module)


Credit transfer (per module)


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).

More about programme fees.

See the Programme Regulations for more details.

Additional Costs

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 institution); 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.

How to pay your fees.

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.

Further information on GST.

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 recognised 'gold standard'.

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).

What do employers think of our graduates?

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 institution.

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 20 worldwide for Law (QS World Rankings 2018) and in the UK's top ten (The Complete University Guide 2018).

Programme Directors

Simon Askey is Director of Undergraduate Laws. Simon is responsible for the strategic direction of undergraduate programmes in law and the academic co-ordination of the assessment process and matters relating to student progression and performance. He began teaching law in 2001, with a primary focus on legal methods and legal skills, and he is co-author (with Ian McLeod) of Studying Law, which is in its fourth edition.

Yvonne Jacobs is Associate Director of Undergraduate Laws. Yvonne works with the Director on the academic co-ordination of the assessment process and matters relating to student progression and performance. She has previously taught at Liverpool University and held the posts of LLB Course Director at City, University of London and Principal Lecturer and Senior Personal Tutor at BPP University. 

Patricia McKellar is Associate Director of Undergraduate Laws. Patricia drives the learning, teaching and assessment strategy for e-learning technologies and interactive learning, supporting college-based academic staff to create distance learning resources and to implement technology enhanced learning in their modules. She oversees the extensive student support initiatives employed by the programme and promotes and develops student engagement. She travels regularly for the programme, presents at national and international conferences and has published articles on legal education.  She was in legal practice for a number of years and, prior to her appointment at University of London, was a Senior Lecturer in Legal Practice at the Glasgow Graduate School of Law at the University of Strathclyde, where she developed a number of innovative e-learning initiatives.

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 Sir John Cass Scholarship. Equally, some of our approved local teaching institutions around the world offer discounts or scholarships for the face-to-face tuition they offer. (Check with your local institution for details.)

More on funding your study.

May Ling Wong, Bachelor of Laws (LLB), Hong Kong

May Ling Wong - LLB

"I chose to study for a University of London degree because the flexibility of study allowed me to combine study with my work and family commitments."