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Postgraduate Certificate in Law

Postgraduate Certificate in Law

Course Overview



The Postgraduate Certificate in Law by online learning offers you the flexibility to develop your legal skills and knowledge whilst maintaining your professional and personal commitments. It can also be used as a stepping-stone towards further study on one of our online LLM programmes.


The programme offers breadth and flexibility, enabling you to choose courses that best reflect your personal and professional interests. You will have the opportunity to choose three courses from the full range of Masters courses available, therefore enabling you to tailor your programme of study to meet your academic and professional interests.


Why study for a Postgraduate Certificate in Law?

The Postgraduate Certificate in Law can be your first step towards being awarded an LLM degree.

The programme enables you to study a wide range of subject areas within the discipline and aims to promote advanced knowledge and understanding of the law within international, European and domestic settings.

The programme spans foundational issues in areas of law including:

  • Commercial law
  • Information technology law
  • Intellectual property law
  • Medical law
  • Innovation and technology

Having studied the programme, you will emerge with an understanding of legal issues not just in the legal context, but with a sound grounding in ethics, social and theoretical contexts.



he Postgraduate Certificate in Law enables you to study a wide range of subjects within the discipline and aims to promote advanced knowledge and understanding of the law within international, European and domestic settings. You will have the opportunity to study courses in the areas of information technology law, intellectual property law, commercial law and medical law during your chosen study duration.

You must successfully complete 60 credits of taught courses over your chosen study duration to be awarded the Postgraduate Certificate in Law. 


Group 1


You must select between 40 and 60 credits from group 1, choosing up to 40 credits from any individual subject area.


Commercial Law courses
  • European Competition and Innovation (20 credits)
  • Law of Climate Change (20 credits)
  • Withdrawal from the EU and the Law (Brexit) (20 credits)
  • EU Law (20 credits)
  • Principles of International Taxation (20 credits) – this course will not be offered in the 2019/20 academic year.
Information Technology Law courses
  • Communications Law (20 credits)
  • EU Data Protection Law (20 credits)
  • Forensic Computing and Electronic Evidence (20 credits)
  • International and European Media Law (20 credits)
  • Law of Robotics (20 credits)
Intellectual property Law courses
  • Intellectual Property Law – Copyright & Related Rights (20 credits)
  • Intellectual Property Law – Industrial Property (20 credits)
  • Legal Aspects of Managing Intellectual Property (20 credits)
  • International Intellectual Property System (20 credits) 
  • Intellectual Property and Human Rights (20 credits) 
Medical Law and Ethics courses
  • Fundamentals in Bioethics (20 credits)
  • European Health Law and Policy (20 credits)
  • Governance of Innovative Medicine (20 credits)
  • Shaping Modern Healthcare (20 credits)
  • Regulating Health and Social Care Professionals (20 credits)

Group 2


During your studies you will have the opportunity to concentrate on a particular subject area by studying up to 20 credits of courses from this group of courses, with the approval of your Programme Director.

Please note also that if you have already taken 40 credits of courses from a single subject area, for example, two courses from one of group 1, you can only take a course from group 2 that belongs to a different subject area. An exception to this rule may be approved if you are intending to progress to the LLM Medical Law and Ethics by online learning, in which case a third medical law course may be taken from group 1 or group 2, subject to the approval of your Programme Director.

Commercial Law courses
  • Contract Law in Europe (20 credits)
  • Corporate Compliance: Case Studies in Law & Ethics (20 credits)
  • International Commercial Arbitration (20 credits)
  • International Oil and Gas Law (20 credits)
  • Comparative and International Corporate Governance (20 credits)
  • Dispute Resolution Methods (20 credits)
  • International Law, Human Rights and Corporate Accountability (20 credits)
Information Technology Law courses
  • Biotechnology, Bioethics and Society (20 credits)
  • Global Health: Law and Policy (20 credits)
  • The Fundamentals of Law and Medical Ethics (20 credits)
  • Law and Ethics at the Start and End of Life (20 credits)

Entry requirements


We require a minimum of a USA 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent.  Your degree does not have to be in the subject of law, but it must be from a recognised higher education institution.

We will also consider your other qualifications and professional experience as part of your application.

Entry to this programme is competitive and meeting the minimum requirements for consideration does not guarantee an offer of study.

Applicants with a degree from a USA country other than the USA

If you have a non-USA degree, please check whether your degree qualification is equivalent to the minimum standard before applying.


Other qualifications and professional experience

We also take into account postgraduate qualifications, such as an MA, MSc, MBA or PhD.

Professional experience in appropriate areas is also considered as part of an application, although candidates, including qualified lawyers, will in almost every instance be expected to have reached the required academic levels.

English language requirements

Postgraduate study in the field of law requires a thorough, complex and demanding knowledge of English, so we ask that the communication skills of all students are at the same minimum standard.

Students whose first language is not English must therefore show evidence of one of the following qualifications below:

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.5 in each module).
  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 23 in each module).
  • PTE(A): total 67 (at least 61 in each of the Communicative Skills sections).
  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 176 in each module).
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III (with a pass in all four components).

Your English language certificate must be no more than two years old at the beginning of your degree programme.

We also accept an undergraduate or masters degree, that was taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country as defined by USA Visas and Immigration . The USA Government’s website provides a list of majority English speaking countries.

View the USAVI list of majority English speaking countries

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree, or equivalent, that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about the University’s English language requirements

Your application may not be successful if you do not currently satisfy any of these requirements; alternatively, you may be offered a place conditional on your reaching the satisfactory standard by the time you start the degree.

Currently studying for another qualification?

If you are currently studying for another qualification, you may still be able to apply on the assumption that all written work for that qualification will be submitted for examination by the start of teaching in the year of entry to the degree programme.

Candidates admitted on this basis, who do not provide evidence of such completion by the start of their first semester, will be formally withdrawn from their studies at the University of Northampton.

Conflicting studies

Please note that during the period of your registration with the University, except in exceptional cases and with the permission of the College, you must not take courses or pursue studies in this or in any other institution with a view to obtaining any degree, diploma or professional qualification other than the one for which you are registered at this University.

How to apply


The Postgraduate Certificate in Law by online learning has start dates in September and January of each academic year. 

We recommend that you apply as early as possible; this is particularly important for applicants who may need to allow sufficient time to take an English language test.


Documentation required

Applications are made online via the University Application Service, EUCLID.

Please follow the instructions carefully and make sure that you have included the following documentation with your application:

  • Degree certificates showing award of degree.
  • Previous academic transcripts for all past degree programmes (please upload the full transcript showing results from all years of study). Where academic paperwork is not in English, certified translations must be provided (these must have been produced by a certified translator);
    Find out more about certified translations
  • Details of professional qualifications and any appropriate professional registrations.
  • A reference in support or your application. The reference should be academic and dated no earlier than one year from the start of study on the LLM programme. We may accept a non-academic reference from applicants who have been out of higher education for five years or more.
  • Evidence of English language proficiency, if required.
  • Personal statement – you will be asked to complete a personal statement (maximum 3500 characters – approximately 500 words) as part of your application. 
  • Relevant knowledge / skills – this may include details of any skills or voluntary work that you have undertaken that you feel are pertinent to the programme (maximum 3500 characters – approximately 500 words).

If you are currently studying for your degree or you are not in a possession of an English test result you may still apply to the programme. Please note that it is your responsibility to submit the necessary documents.

After you apply

After your application has been submitted you will be able to track its progress through the University’s applicant hub.

Application processing times will vary however the admissions team will endeavour to process your application within four to six weeks of submission. Please note that missing documentation will delay the application process.

You will be informed as soon as possible of the decision taken. Three outcomes are possible:

  • You may be offered a place unconditionally
  • You may be offered a conditional place, which means that you must fulfil certain conditions that will be specified in the offer letter. Where a conditional offer is made, it is your responsibility to inform the College Postgraduate Office when you have fulfilled the requirements set out.
  • Your application may be unsuccessful. If your application has not been successful, you can request feedback from us or refer to our guidance for unsuccessful applicants, which explains some of the common reasons we why we reach this decision.
Terms and conditions of admissions
  • The University’s terms and conditions form part of your contract with the University, and you should read them, and our data protection policy, carefully before applying.

    Northampton University admissions terms and conditions