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Certificate of Higher Education

Key features

  • Provides foundation for progression on to LLB
  • 100% achievement rate for students with few or no qualifications
  • 100% of graduates progress on to degree programmes, 72% progress on to LLB Law degrees
  • Provides progression to degree programmes in other subjects


1 year | September 2019 – May 2020

Course validation

Open University

Ruskin College Oxford is approved by The Open University as an appropriate organisation to offer higher education programmes leading to Open University validated awards.

Delivered at Ruskin College
Dunstan Road
Old Headington
Oxford, OX3 9BZ.




This programme is ideal for you if you are considering studying for a career in Law but do not have the formal qualifications to apply for an LLB (Law) programme. It also provides an excellent general grounding for clear thinking, successful study, skills of use in general employment and for progression to other degree programmes.

Programme detail

The programme will give you an insight into the law and its application in practice. You will be taught how to find, read and understand both legislation and case law as well as other legal texts. Case studies are used to bring the law to life. You will develop problem-solving skills in small groups and acquire legal reasoning and analytical skills. There are plenty of opportunities  for lively debate.

This is a one-year full time stand-alone programme, which is the equivalent to the first year of university level study. The programme leads to a nationally recognised qualification and most students choose to progress to degree level programmes.


Students receive all course information and timetables on enrolment.

All modules on this course are compulsory.

Level 4 – Year 1



Assessment, length (percent of credit)



English Legal System




Library exercise (Bodleian) (10%)

Precedent case study (1500w) (20%)

Private Members’ Bill (1500w) (20%)

Exam (50%)

Contact: 60

Independent: 240



Civil Liberties and Human Rights


Essay 2,000w  (75%)

Case study 1,500w (25%)

Contact: 60

Independent: 240


Employment Law


Presentation (25%)

Problem-solving schenario question  2,000w (75%)

Contact: 45

Independent: 155



Law, Rights and the Body



Essay,  2000w (75%)

Presentation (25%) 

Contact: 45

Independent: 155


Anti-Discrimination Law



Essay 2000w                  100%

Contact: 45

Independent: 155

If you are a full time student you will study five modules over two semesters. The course requires an attendance of 10 hours of lectures and seminars a week, together with a weekly tutorial and additional time (around 15 hours) spent on independent self-directed study. Class sizes are small, typically fewer than 20. 

The diverse range of teaching methods and assessment types allows you to develop a wide range of skills. Within the formal lectures and seminars there are also opportunities to work with other students and to discuss and debate. There is also some online learning which will support you to study in your own time. Feedback from the tutor on summative assignments can be expected within three working weeks.

Tutors have an extensive range of practice experience within the legal sector and also in campaigns for legal rights.

Over 90 percent of the assessment is coursework-based and there is one exam. The coursework assessment includes essays, presentations, case study reports and problem-solving scenarios. Transferable skills such as formal writing and verbal reporting are key parts of the modules. Each Module has a mixture of formative practice assessments and summative final assessments.

On successful completion of the course you will be awarded the Certificate of Higher Education in Law (120 CATS at Level 4).

Student support
We understand that life isn’t always a straight road. Sometimes, financial, personal or social obstacles make it difficult for individuals to take advantage of educational opportunities early on in life. We help those people overcome barriers to learning and provide quality educational experiences to those looking to step onto to a better path.                       

Find out more on our student support.

Please visit our staff webpage to learn about our course tutors.

Students are able to meet with our Student Money Adviser before enrolling on the course to discuss any fees or funding issues. For more information, contact


Home/EU tuition fees are £9,000 per year for full time students. The International fee is £9,000 per year.

Fees are payable to Ruskin College on enrolment. Please note that these fees may be subject to change. Subject to eligibility, most full time students will be eligible to apply for a Tuition Fee Loan from the Student Loans Company.

Vist the Fees for Higher Education webpage for more information.


Once offered a place, full-time students can apply for a single study bedroom for the entire academic year. Accommodation for students on site is of a high standard, recently-refurbished and offering study/bedrooms in small blocks on the peaceful, semi-rural campus.

Students who are not resident in college need to budget for transport to the college, and for placement – although we try to ensure placements are as close to residency as possible. Student accommodation costs are: Study Bedroom (standard) £105/week; Study Bedroom (en-suite) £125/week.

All students will need to consider the additional costs of books and stationery items – although much of the reading material that you need will be available in the college library as well as specific resources available on Moodle.

Entry Requirements & How to Apply MORE INFORMATION

Ruskin College is committed to widening participation and has no specific Level 3 academic entry requirements for students to study on its higher education programmes.  Students must demonstrate that they have the ability to benefit from studying the programme and fulfil the learning outcomes of the programme. Students must demonstrate an interest in the field of study they wish to undertake.

Students may be required to undergo an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check prior to commencing their programme if they plan to undertake external work experience or placement opportunities offered by that programme.

Students wishing to progress onto LLB or similar qualifications may require to achieve a C or higher in GCSE Maths and English before they can progress on from the Cert HE to a Law degree.

All candidates must also be able to satisfy the general admissions requirements for Ruskin College on application or at interview:

  • You must demonstrate a commitment to the ethos and vocation of Ruskin College
  • You must demonstrate an interest in the field of study you wish to undertake
  • Selection interviews are conducted as a two-way process in which you can make an informed decision about the suitability of the programme for you.
  • You must attend a selection interview for the course
  • We must receive a satisfactory reference
  • A satisfactory health check `
  • You must participate in an induction week, which includes sessions on all aspects of the college

Suitability for students taking up study will be assessed on a case by case basis, through a range of exercises including group work, individual interviews, and individual written tasks.  


To make an application, complete our online application form

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On successful completion of this programme, students will be awarded a Certificate of Higher Education in Law validated by the Open University. On completion of the programme, the majority of students progress to university to study the LLB, which is the qualifying degree in law. However, some students go on to study for degrees in other subjects.

While the Certificate of Higher Education in Law will be of value in a broad range of careers it does not count as the first year on an LLB degree, so those wishing to study Law to qualify as solicitors or barristers would need to do a full three-year degree at another university. The College has a good working relationship with Oxford Brookes University and a number of our Law students have either progressed onto Law or Law related programmes there while others have gone on to a wide range of different universities in the UK or abroad.

Previous students have gone on to successful careers in law or law-related employment, in trade union work, with international, local, and national agencies or in business or education both in the UK and/or other countries. Of the students who successfully completed the programme in 2017, all progressed onto undergraduate degree programmes at universities in the UK, including: Oxford Brookes University, Manchester University, Kings College (University of London), Leeds University, Sheffield University and Lancaster University. 87% progressed onto LLB programmes and 13% to degree programmes in other subjects.