Principles of Law PGCert

Study level: Postgraduate
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The Postgraduate Certificate in Principles of Law course is an intensive course that covers key principles and concepts of the law of England and Wales, and is aimed primarily at graduates from non-law disciplines and overseas.

Year of entry



Coventry University (Coventry)

Study mode



1 year part-time
1 semester full-time

Course code


Start date

September 2024
May 2025

Course overview

For many students based both in the UK and overseas, a law degree is an important part of a route into legal practice. However, changes to the legal profession mean that it is no longer necessary to have a ‘Qualifying Law Degree’ in order to take the national Solicitor’s Qualifying Examination (SQE) or the CILEX Professional Qualification (CPQ)– it is now open to graduates of any discipline.

This course is designed to:

  • Allow you to acquire the knowledge and understanding of private, public and chancery law, that align with the key areas covered by the Solicitors’ Qualifying Examination (SQE) and the CILEX Professional Qualification (CPQ)
  • Develop your ability to apply legal knowledge and skills to complex authentic legal scenarios; and
  • Enhance your transferable graduate and employability skills, particularly as they relate to the legal profession.

Graduates of other disciplines, or non-UK Law degrees should use this course to learn the key principles of UK Law prior to undertaking Coventry University’s Postgraduate Diploma in Understanding Legal Practice, the LLM Professional Legal Practice, or any other SQE preparation course.

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Why you should study this course

  • An intensive course which covers a wide range of legal subjects.
  • Enables you to progress onto an SQE preparation course without having to undertake a Graduate Diploma in Law or other law conversion course .
  • Flexible course delivery, so if you are in employment you can fit studying around your work requirements.
  • Delivered by academics and qualified professional practitioners with experience of the area of law and practice relevant to each module studied (staff subject to change).
  • Access to Coventry Law School’s ‘Raising the Bar’ scheme, that offers you the opportunity to network with members of and gain an honest insight into the legal profession.


International Association of Law Schools

Coventry Law School is a member of the International Association of Law Schools, an association of around 160 law schools from over 55 countries, representing around 7,500 law faculty members. Having this status allows you to access a variety of international experiences, including with our partner institutions across the world.

European Law Faculties Association (ELFA)

Coventry Law School is currently a member of the European Law Faculties Association with over 250 members from Europe and beyond.

British and Irish Law Education and Technology Association

Coventry Law School is currently a member of British and Irish Law Education and Technology Association, one of the largest Technology Law associations in Europe.

These memberships are renewed annually and there is currently no intentions for these memberships to laps. However if our membership is not renewed for any reason, we would notify applicants and students as soon as possible.


Central England Law Centre

Coventry Law School collaborates with the Central England Law Centre in order to offer a powerful professional element to your learning, through our Law Employment and Advocacy clinics. Students who participate in the clinics get involved with everything that the solicitors do at the Law Centre with supervisors who are currently working in practice and experts in specific areas of law. They get hands-on-experience doing reserved legal activities, providing supervised advice and assistance to members of the public.

What you'll study

The modules outlined below are intensive modules designed to equip you with the knowledge and understanding of legal principles required to progress onto advanced study in preparation for the Solicitors’ Qualifying Examination and/or CILEX professional stages (CPQ).

Each module will provide you with the opportunity to explore contemporary legal issues that are likely to be encountered by legal professionals.


  • This module explores both public law and criminal law. In the public law aspects of this module you will examine how the UK constitution operates, including the impact of global influences e.g. the EU and European Convention on Human Rights. During the criminal law aspects, you will consider how the criminal law regulates, how the state deals with offences, what constitutes and offence and potential defences.


  • This module explores the law relating to contract and tort. Contract law regulates agreements between individuals and/or organisations and tort law relates to civil wrongs, where we fail to undertake our responsibilities to others.


  • This module explores the law relating to land and equity. The land law aspects of the module will examine the various ways of ‘owning’ land and includes consideration of the law applicable to landlords and tenants. Equity will explore the various types of trust, including those that apply to the family home and commercial properties. This will involve considerations of the creation, operation and termination of trusts as they apply in these different contexts.


We regularly review our course content, to make it relevant and current for the benefit of our students. For these reasons, course modules may be updated.

How you'll learn

This Postgraduate Certificate in Principles of Law can be taken over one semester full-time or up to 1 year part-time.

Due to the modular design of the programme, there is a high degree of flexibility in how the course can be undertaken. Whilst we would like to give you all the information about our part-time offering here, it is tailored for each course each year depending on the number of part-time applicants. Therefore, the part-time teaching arrangements vary. Please request information about studying this course part-time.

The course will be delivered in groups by dedicated subject specialist tutors who are in or have recently been engaged in professional practice. Teaching will be delivered through a combination of online content and highly interactive workshop sessions that can be conducted face-to-face or online.

Teaching sessions will involve the use of role plays, live case studies, the use of real-world data and special legal databases, simulations and presentations. Learning throughout the course will be support by our virtual learning environment, which is currently Aula.

Teaching contact hours

On this course you can normally expect 2 hours of on demand online lectures, 2 x 2 hour synchronous workshops, 2 hours guided and 12 hours self-guided study per module.

As an innovative and enterprising institution, the University may seek to utilise emerging technologies within the student experience. For all courses (whether on-campus, blended, or distance learning), the University may deliver certain contact hours and assessments via online technologies and methods.

Since COVID-19, we have delivered our courses in a variety of forms, in line with public authority guidance, decisions, or orders and we will continue to adapt our delivery as appropriate. Whether on campus or online, our key priority is staff and student safety.


This course will be assessed using portfolios relating to each of the areas of law explored in each module. These portfolios may comprise of a combination of Multi Choice Question (MCQ) tests and short answer questions.

These methods of assessment reflect those that you will encounter on either the Understanding Legal Practice or Professional Legal Practice courses at Coventry University, and the subsequent professional level assessments that those courses aim to prepare you for.

The Coventry University Group assessment strategy ensures that our courses are fairly assessed and allows us to monitor student progression towards achieving the intended learning outcomes.

International experience opportunities

You may have the opportunity to engage in Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) projects whilst studying on the course.

Throughout this course you will be encouraged to recognise the influence of different cultural and international perspectives to the application of the law and legal concepts in the UK. Each module will use case studies that have an international aspect thereby helping you to recognise and contextualise the global dimension to the studies.

Entry requirements

Applicants will normally possess a law degree (minimum 2:2 or equivalent) in any discipline including non-UK law degrees. Applicants not holding a degree will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

We recognise a breadth of qualifications; speak to one of our advisers today to find out how we can help you.

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Select your region to find detailed information about entry requirements:

You can view our full list of country specific entry requirements on our Entry requirements page.

Alternatively, visit our International hub for further advice and guidance on finding in-country agents and representatives, joining our in-country events and how to apply.

Applicants will normally possess a law degree (minimum 2:2 or equivalent) in any discipline including non-UK law degrees. Applicants not holding a degree will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

English language requirements

  • IELTS: 6.5 overall, with no component lower than 6.0. 

If you don't meet the English language requirements, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course. For more information on our approved English language tests visit our English language requirements page.

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Fees and funding

2024/25 tuition fees.

Student Full-time Part-time
UK, Ireland*, Channel Islands or Isle of Man £3,733 per year Request fee information
EU £3,733 per year with EU support bursary**
£6,683 per year without EU support bursary**
Not available
International £6,683 per year Not available

For advice and guidance on tuition fees3 and student loans visit our Postgraduate Finance page and see the university's Tuition Fee and Refund Terms and Conditions.

We offer a range of International scholarships to students all over the world. For more information, visit our International Scholarships page.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessments, facilities and support services. There may be additional costs not covered by this fee such as accommodation and living costs, recommended reading books, stationery, printing and re-assessments should you need them.

The following are additional costs not included in the tuition fees:

  • Any optional overseas field trips or visits: £400+ per trip.
  • Any costs associated with securing, attending or completing a placement (whether in the UK or abroad).

*Irish student fees

The rights of Irish residents to study in the UK are preserved under the Common Travel Area arrangement. If you are an Irish student and meet the residency criteria, you can study in England, pay the same level of tuition fees as English students and utilise the Tuition Fee Loan.

**EU Support Bursary

Following the UK's exit from the European Union, we are offering financial support to all eligible EU students who wish to study an undergraduate or a postgraduate degree with us full-time. This bursary will be used to offset the cost of your tuition fees to bring them in line with that of UK students. Students studying a degree with a foundation year with us are not eligible for the bursary.

  • We carry out an initial fee status assessment based on the information you provide in your application. Your fee status determines your tuition fees, and what financial support and scholarships may be available to you. The rules about who pays UK (home) or international (overseas) fees for higher education courses in England are set by the government's Department for Education. The regulations identify all the different categories of student who can insist on paying the home rate. The regulations can be difficult to understand, so the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) has provided fee status guidance to help you identify whether you are eligible to pay the home or overseas rate.

    If you meet all the criteria required by any one category, including any residence requirements, your institution must charge you the home rate. You only need to find one category that you fit into.


Our learning facilities4, which include modern classrooms, open learning spaces and our Moot Room, allow you the chance to get the most out of your learning experience.

Moot Room

Moot Room

Our Moot Room gives you the opportunity to develop those vital and practical legal skills. You can practise your legal skills in a realistic setting, as well as having the chance to take part in mooting competitions.

Legal clinic

Legal Clinic

Use the Legal Clinic to develop your practical legal skills and help you stand out in your future career. You will have access to 'real' clients and work alongside trained solicitors and lawyers.

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Routes into a Legal Career

Find out more about how Coventry University can kick start your legal career through our preparation courses.

Careers and opportunities

On successful completion of the course you will be able to:

  • Understand and critically evaluate key UK legal principles, concepts, and rules and apply them to complex authentic problems to draw reasoned conclusions.
  • Develop knowledge of the professional ethical requirements for the legal profession and apply these to all areas of your study.
  • Communicate effectively and professionally, by conveying and explaining legal information, ideas and arguments in appropriate contexts.
  • Identify and critically evaluate relevant information from primary and secondary legal sources, using both digital and non-digital resources, whilst adhering to principles of academic integrity.
  • Understand the role and responsibilities of the various branches of the legal profession and how the UK legal qualifications apply both in the UK and around the world.

This course is designed to facilitate a graduate moving into a career as either a solicitor or CILEX Lawyer and as such, equips you with the relevant legal knowledge to progress to the LLM Professional Legal Practice, PGDip Understanding Legal Practice or other SQE preparatory course.

Where our graduates work

Previous law graduates from Coventry Law School have gone on to work at a wide variety of organisations and firms including:

  • DAC Beachcroft
  • NFU Mutual
  • PwC
  • Deloitte
  • Linklaters
  • Countrywide Tax and Trust Corporation
  • Oracle
  • Squire Patton Boggs
  • Stobbs
  • Co-op Legal Services

How to apply

  • Coventry University together with Coventry University London, Coventry University Wrocław, CU Coventry, CU London, CU Scarborough, and Coventry University Online come together to form part of the Coventry University Group (the University) with all degrees awarded by Coventry University.


    The majority of our courses have been formally recognised by professional bodies, which means the courses have been reviewed and tested to ensure they reach a set standard. In some instances, studying on an accredited course can give you additional benefits such as exemptions from professional exams (subject to availability, fees may apply). Accreditations, partnerships, exemptions and memberships shall be renewed in accordance with the relevant bodies’ standard review process and subject to the university maintaining the same high standards of course delivery.

    2UK and international opportunities

    Please note that we are unable to guarantee any UK or international opportunities (whether required or optional) such as internships, work experience, field trips, conferences, placements or study abroad opportunities and that all such opportunities may be unpaid and/or subject to additional costs (which could include, but is not limited to, equipment, materials, bench fees, studio or facilities hire, travel, accommodation and visas), competitive application, availability and/or meeting any applicable travel, public authority guidance, decisions or orders and visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand any visa requirements, please contact the International Office.

    3Tuition fees

    The University will charge the tuition fees that are stated in the above table for the first Academic Year of study. The University will review tuition fees each year. For UK (home) students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, the University may increase fees for each subsequent year of study in line with any such changes. Note that any increase is expected to be in line with inflation.

    For international students, we may increase fees each year, but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation. If you defer your course start date or have to extend your studies beyond the normal duration of the course (e.g. to repeat a year or resit examinations) the University reserves the right to charge you fees at a higher rate and/or in accordance with any legislative changes during the additional period of study.


    Facilities are subject to availability. Access to some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) may vary from those advertised and/or may have reduced availability or restrictions where the university is following public authority guidance, decisions or orders.

    Student Contract

    By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the university. A copy of the current 2023/2024 contract is available on the website for information purposes however the 2024/25 Contract is currently being updated so please revisit this page before submitting your application. The Contract details your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and contains the obligations that the university will owe to you. You should read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the university.