This is a one-year full time or two-year part time, undergraduate course that is the equivalent to the first year of university level study.

If you are a full-time student you will study two modules per term. Each module offers you a one-hour tutorial every other week (organised so that full-time students attend one, one-hour tutorial every week). This tutorial is in addition to the five taught hours per week.

If you are a part-time student you will study one module per term. This module offers you a one-hour tutorial every other week. This tutorial is in addition to the five taught hours per week. If you study this course part-time it will take you two years to complete.

The CertHE Law course at Ruskin is designed for those who are interested in Law but have not studied it before. It is ideal for students who are considering studying Law at university and would like a career in Law, but do not have the formal qualifications to apply for an LLB (Law) course. It also provides an excellent general grounding for clear thinking, successful study, and other skills of use in general employment.

The course is validated by The Open University.

View the course specification here.



Introduction to the English Legal System

On completion of this module you will know about sources and major types of law and gain an understanding of how law is made through case law and by statute. You will learn about the English court and Tribunal system, appreciate the doctrine of judicial precedent and understand its key concepts.

You will also gain an insight into the process of how statutes are created and examine how they are applied using the rules of statutory interpretation. You will develop a critical understanding of the Civil and Criminal Justice systems, access to justice and legal personnel.

You will develop an understanding and overview of human rights and the Human Rights Act 1998. The most recent reforms will be critically analysed. Within the course there are visits to the Bodleian law library and local courts, as well as a tour of Parliament.

Law Rights and the Body

By studying this module you will understand the law relating to civil and human rights, appreciate the differences between ethical and legal issues, distinguish common law and statutory provision in relation to informed consent to medical treatment, and issues relating to capacity.

You will consider the law in a variety of case study examples of rights relating to the body: e.g. the use of body parts by artists, researchers and donor recipients; the law relating to assisted death – suicide and euthanasia; the law relating to assisted reproduction – donor eggs, sperm and embryo’s - and surrogacy; DNA testing and data banks; rights to receive (and discontinue) medical treatment; and rights and regulation of the dead (buried or cremated).

In addition, you will appreciate the social, economic and political context of current socio-legal debates of rights in relation to the body and consider and compare the position of human bodies with those of animals.


Law of the European Union

This module is intended to provide an introduction to the law of the European Union in its wider political context and to complement European aspects of other modules of the course. The module will focus on study of the constitutional framework of the European Union, its institutions and law making machinery.

You will study substantive law relating to the free movement provisions of the internal market and anti-discrimination with reference to the cases in the European Court of Justice. In addition you will critically analyse the enforcement procedures of the courts and institutions of the European Union, and develop an awareness of the issues surrounding further integration and enlargement of the European Union, and the wider jurisprudence of the European Community. The most recent developments within the EC will be critically examined.


Employment Law

This module will distinguish between a contract of service and contract for services; recognise and distinguish between terms and conditions in employment contracts and consequences of a breach by either party; understand the rules relating to sex and racial discrimination, and explicate the provisions of the pending legislation on religious and age discrimination; and discern the distinctions between wrongful dismissal and unfair dismissal. You will appreciate the legal, economic and social aspects of labour law.


Civil Liberties and the Law

On completion of this module, you will have gained a knowledge and critical understanding of the law relating to civil liberties and human rights and secondly, as it relates to two sets of the themed topics – theme one being: prostitution, pornography and sexual offences and theme two being: privacy, data protection and freedom of information.

A comprehensive introduction and grounding will be given in the law and fundamental concepts relating civil liberties and human rights. Thereafter, the module will explore through two themed sections the subject areas of firstly prostitution, pornography and sexual offences and secondly privacy and data protection and freedom of information. In each case the themed topics will enable students to consider issues of civil liberties and human rights as applicable to these areas incorporating the relationship between morality, ethics and the law within them.

Through exploration of the law, case study and seminar discussions students will be enabled to consider the balance of competing legal rights, duties and responsibilities firstly in the broad context of civil liberties and human rights before in the second  half of the term focusing down in some specific themed areas the application of civil liberties and human rights law.

The development of law over time within the themed areas and more recent case law which has further refined and influenced the law will be considered and in so doing understanding distinctions between common law and statutory provisions will be explored, relating to the English Legal System module being undertaken in the same term.


Anti-Discrimination Law

On completion of this module you will understand anti-discrimination law in respect of race, gender, disability, age, religion and sexuality. You will understand the legal process and procedure for pursuing legal remedies to discrimination and acquire knowledge and working understanding of relevant case law.

You will also acquire knowledge and understanding of the application of civil and human rights to this area of law, and acquire knowledge and understanding of race inquiries and their relevance to study of the social and economic context of exploring legal definitions and remedies to racism. The links with European Union law and Employment law in relation to anti-discrimination law are strong themes within this course.

Subject Knowledge and Understanding

Law is a fascinating and demanding subject to study. It concerns the system of laws, rules and principles by which societies operate. The study of Law at Ruskin examines issues at national, regional and European levels.

We combine the delivery of a strong content-based teaching programme with training in specific skills of legal analysis and critical thinking. There are many opportunities to “think outside the box” and participate in lively debates. We encourage our students to think as lawyers.


Generic Skills across the Programme

One of the key reasons to study here is to enhance future career prospects. In addition to building a resource of discipline–based skills, Law encourages the development of a portfolio of skills that will prove invaluable in future careers.

These include:

  • Research skills
  • Teamwork
  • Oral Presentations
  • Problem solving
  • Communication skills
  • Developing independent learning in coursework and tutorial assignments.
  • Developing the skills required to make and study legal arguments..
  • Analytical and deductive reasoning (Case law)
  • Evaluation skills
  • Identify and apply legal as distinct from socio-political or ethical reasoning to areas of socio-legal issues under consideration
  • Analytical reading (Case law and legal texts)
  • Writing (essays)
  • Listening
  • Numeracy (assessing compensation levels and analysing statistical data)
  • Information technology
  • Personal development (exchange of ideas).


How will I learn and be taught?

This course is taught by lectures, seminars and directed reading of texts and articles. In addition to this, the student learning experience is enhanced by the provision of tutorials. Students will learn through a range of activities including:

  • Reading legal cases, textbooks and journal articles
  • Researching legal material and writing essays
  • Giving individual/ group seminar presentations of pre-prepared material
  • Internet exercise
  • Data analysis
  • Practical exercises
  • Exchange of ideas
  • Debates and role-plays
  • Visits to Parliament and the Courts

All candidates must be able to satisfy the general admissions requirements for Ruskin College.

This course starts in September.
Applications close 15th August.

While the CertHE Law will be of value in a broad range of business 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 progressed onto Law/Law-related courses there or elsewhere.

Progression Opportunities within Ruskin College

Students who have successfully passed all of the modules on the Certificate of Higher Education in Law will be able to progress onto year two of the following courses offered at Ruskin College:

     Level 5 Sociology, Politics and Economics
     Level 5 International Labour and Trade Union Studies

Progression onto either of these courses is subject to the completion of an internal progression application form and following an interview.

Click on the tutor's name to read their profile.

Teresa Munby

Academic Co-ordinator for Social, Youth and Community Work Studies, Tutor in Law & Social Work

Gerard Ward

Law Tutor

You can apply for courses at Ruskin College online or you can download a pdf of our application form

You can request a hard copy of the application form to be sent to you by contacting Reception at Ruskin Hall on 01865 759600 or email

You may also apply for this course online through UCAS. The UCAS course code is M100

When filling in the application form please ensure that you complete the personal statement section in full and ensure that you include the contact details of two referees. Incomplete applications will be returned.

Tuition fees

Subject to eligibility, most full and part time students will be eligible to apply for a Tuition Fee Loan from the Student Loans Company.

Maintenance (living costs)

Subject to eligibility, full time students may be eligible to apply for help with their maintenance with a Maintenance Grant/Loan. Part time students are not eligible for any financial help with maintenance.
Information on the Tuition Fee Loan and Maintenance Grant/Loan can be found here.