Law and Practice with Foundation Year BA (Hons)Study level: Undergraduate
The Law and Practice with Foundation Year BA (Hons) course aims to provide you with a solid grounding for building a career in the legal profession.
Year of entry
CU Coventry (Coventry)
4 years full-time
5 years sandwich
The information on this page is for 2022-23 entry and should be used as guidance for 2023-24 entry. Please keep checking back on this course page to see our latest updates.
Filled with intrigue and complexities, law is a fascinating and exciting subject area that is an essential component of every business organisation. The Law and Practice with Foundation Year BA (Hons) course aims to provide you with a solid grounding for building a career in the legal profession.
The strength of the course lies in preparing students, who are unable to follow the more traditional route onto a degree course in Law and Practice.
- The foundation year aims to provide a thorough understanding of legal principles and best practice. With a focus on European, national and local contexts, this course explores the development of legislation and case law with core academic skills.
- Students who successfully complete their foundation year will then progress onto the Law and Practice with BA (Hons).
- Studying the Law and Practice BA (Hons) degree could lead you to a variety of exciting career options including barrister, solicitor or a legal executive (additional education/courses and training required).
- Success in this field demands discipline, strategic thinking, in depth knowledge of legislation and the ability to adapt to different scenarios. Legal knowledge is key to success in this career, so our course focuses on theory and best practices, alongside quintessential practical learning such as making succinct legal arguments.
Why CU Coventry
We offer a style of education which is flexible and designed to fit around your life, allowing you to benefit from a modern, forward-thinking higher education institution, reinforced by the quality and reputation of Coventry University. Wherever possible we aim to provide career-focused courses, coupled with placement opportunities2 to help prepare you for the world of work. We are dedicated to making higher education accessible and enjoyable to everyone, so we keep our fees low and made it a policy to cover one module at a time, so you have the opportunity to study topics in-depth and give assignments your full attention before moving onto the next.
What you'll study
The foundation year focuses on European, national and local contexts, exploring the development of legislation and case law with core academic skills.
The Law and Practice BA (Hons) degree element of the course aims to provide a thorough understanding of the practice of law in the modern world.
Focusing strongly on practical aspect of civil and criminal law, the degree covers a wide variety of topics, ranging from contracts, torts, land law, family law to employment law and EU Law. You would also be presented with opportunities to act for clients in criminal, civil and employment forums. You will have the opportunity to develop mooting, advocacy and presentation skills thereby building a solid foundation to become a competent and knowledgeable practitioner of law.
Your foundation year will provide a strong framework for your continued studies toward your Law and Practice BA (Hons) degree.
Introduction to the English Legal System
The aim of this module is to ensure that you understand the primary concepts, terms and processes in the practice of Law in England and Wales. We will discuss the interpretation and application of legal rules; providing you with an insight into key aspects of professional practice and law in the workplace.
We will focus on contemporary case studies and analyse current issues in the legal system to keep the course relevant.
In this foundation module you will learn to understand exactly what constitutes a valid and enforceable contract. You will look at obligations, the rights of third parties and the terms of a contract to solidify your understanding. You will cover a range of relevant topics, such as discharge of contract, misrepresentation, vitiating factors and legal reasoning.
You will develop analytical skills by performing critical evaluations of contractual obligations and the remedies available.
Criminal Law and Practice
The Criminal Law and Practice foundation module encompasses both criminal theory and criminal process.
The Criminal Law element of the module will examine the general principles of criminal law, including how liability is incurred through acts, omissions and intention. Consideration will be given to particular offences involving dishonesty and non-fatal offences against the person, murder/manslaughter, criminal damage and where relevant, defences. Key doctrines and rules will be discussed with analysis of statute and case law.
The Criminal Litigation element will be embedded into and run alongside Criminal Law study. The study will look at how criminal cases play out at court within the criminal litigation system of England and Wales. Students will gain knowledge of the professional requirements and skills to run a criminal file in practice. In addition, students will gain valuable experience in making oral legal submission (advocacy) in a virtual courtroom4.
Academic and Professional Skills for Lawyers
The initial transition to higher education can pose a range of challenges that you need to overcome. Therefore, we ensure that you have a clear understanding of the skills needed for effective legal practice, including how to create, draft and use various client care documents as well as becoming confident as an independent learner.
We will guide you through legal reasoning, critical thinking and decision making. You will also learn the processes and procedures of professional conduct, with client care, interviews and communications.
This year focuses on the civil justice system and property law aspects of English Law. The aim is to provide an elevated level of legal knowledge, ready for progression on to year three. Students who successfully complete year two are eligible for a Higher National Certificate (HNC) in Law and Practice.
The Legal System of England and Wales and Public Law
This module aims to provide you with a broad and critical understanding of the structure and functions of the constitutive elements of the legal system of England and Wales. You will examine constitutional issues associated with legal doctrines. In addition, it aims to provide you with insight into aspects of legal professional practice and law in the workplace.
The module introduces you to the elements of the civil and criminal systems, the framework of Legal Institutions, Alternative Dispute Resolution, and the legal professions. Theoretical perspectives of law will also be investigated including the nature and function of the law.
Attention will be drawn to the practical perspectives of the courts in action and the legal workplace. You will also explore and critique some of the philosophical arguments that lie behind constitutional and human rights discourses.
Upon successful completion of this module, you will have knowledge of the principal features of the English Legal System including its institutions, civil and criminal procedures, and sources of law. You will also have gained knowledge of Constitutional principles and their impact on government. Finally, you will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the legal and conventional constraints on the exercise of government power, Human Rights protections, and administrative law remedies (including Judicial Review).
The aim of this module is to ensure that you understand key underpinning concepts, terms, and processes in the area of Contract Law. This module will provide you with a foundation for study in other substantive law modules with a commercial focus. You will be introduced to the nature of contractual obligations under the common law as affected by the statute. You should gain an understanding of the operation of contract law in practice, the factors that have influenced its development, and the factors that may affect its future development.
At the outset of the module, you will be provided with an understanding of what constitutes a valid enforceable contract. You will then explore and should gain an understanding of resulting obligations, the rights of third parties, terms, and the interpretation of contracts. You will build upon this knowledge and explore vitiating factors, the discharge of contractual obligations, and the remedies available at both common law and equity. You will also be introduced to the role of tortious liability and will recognise the importance of the law of restitution.
This module will consider a range of skills required for successful legal academic study and will provide you with the opportunity of developing these skills within a supportive and culturally sensitive environment.
Advocacy and Legal Skills
Advocacy and legal skills form a substantial part of the career of any legal professional. The aim of the module is to provide you with a working knowledge of practical legal skills and professional ethical awareness in the areas of Advocacy, Drafting, Interviewing and Negotiation.
Advocacy aims to develop your skills in analysis, and argument and practice the skills of an effective advocate in a court or tribunal. The skills taught are particularly relevant if you are considering an advocate's role in the legal profession, but the skills learned are also transferable to any field requiring an element of public speaking. Entwined with this are drafting skills ranging from filing forms, letters, and arguments to drafting court documents. You will be expected to place importance on the content of the written piece ensuring that it is complete, relevant and accurate in accordance with legal precedents and professional standards.
In addition to this, the module will also examine the need for client care and identify how to care for clients appropriately. It will highlight effective interview techniques, record keeping, note taking, and how to disseminate information resulting from an interview. Negotiation will also be explored and a discussion revolving around types, techniques and the advantages and disadvantages surrounding the area. You will be required to demonstrate research, understanding and application of law.
The module is designed to provide you with an understanding of the Law of Tort and the main range of civil actions that provide remedies to those who have suffered loss as a result of a defendant’s carelessness or unreasonable conduct. It will help you appreciate the varied economic, social, and legal contexts in which the law of tort exists.
You will be introduced to the law of negligence by considering the concept of the duty of care and the relevant tests for deciding liability through the rules governing breach of duty, foreseeability, remoteness of damage and defences. Other significant torts will also be covered including defamation, trespass, and nuisance as well as the rules governing remedies in tort actions. Aspects of vicarious liability and when an employer is liable for employee’s actions will be discussed in detail.
This academic year builds on the knowledge gained in year one to cement a solid foundation of core principles. Now that you are working to a higher level after completing the HNC, you will aim to extend your knowledge from the basic financial practices. In this year, you enter the management arena and will begin to focus on the role of leadership within accounting. Operating from a business point of view, you will primarily focus on the role of the accounting profession, legislation and governance.
Students who successfully complete year three are eligible for a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Law and Practice.
Criminal Law and Practice
The Criminal Law and practice module is intended to introduce the key concepts of criminal law and criminal litigation in England and Wales within its applications to real-life scenarios. You will examine the general principles of criminal law and its specific substance in particular offences. The offences include those involving property, non-fatal offences against the person, sexual offences, and fatal offences. In this module, you will learn key doctrines and rules relating to a number of offences and gain insight into how criminal liability is incurred and the exclusions of liability. This includes looking at aspects of actus reus, mens rea and the general defences that exist. Case law will be examined to see how the doctrines and rules relating to criminal law have developed and whether we have certainty in this area of law.
As part of this module, you should gain knowledge in both client care and criminal litigation and should obtain an understanding of the professional requirements and skills to run a criminal file in practice. As part of the assessment strategy for this module you will be asked to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of the rules relating to criminal practice by producing documentation that would be required of you in practice.
This module will highlight the powers of the police in relation to arrest and detention for the purposes of investigating criminal offences. You will then examine the aspects of the principal functions and the procedures of the magistrate and crown court. Disclosure of evidence and the function and mode of the trial proceedings will be discussed and investigated. The sentencing procedure will be inspected and explored along with the provisions of funding a criminal case in relation to advice, assistance and representation at varying levels.
You will be required to gain knowledge in both client care and civil litigation and should gain an understanding of the professional requirements and skills needed to run a civil file in practice. As part of the assessment strategy for this module, you will be asked to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of the rules relating to civil practice by producing documentation that would be required of you in the workplace.
The module will start with an exploration of the civil court hierarchy and the alternative methods of resolving disputes without litigating. You should gain understanding that Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) aids the resolution of civil disputes without proceeding to court. You will be able to critically discuss the use of ADR by exploring the advantages and disadvantages of its use together with the ethical and tactical considerations that face a lawyer in practice. Various methods of ADR will be explored including arbitration, negotiation, mediation and conciliation.
You will then learn how to run a civil client file from the first client interview to trial. You should gain an understanding of how the Civil Procedure Rules 1998 (CPR) operate including a working knowledge of the Pre-Action Protocols.
The module will also explore the interim matters of proceedings and how a trial can be ended before a final hearing. Finally, upon completion you should be equipped with knowledge and understanding of the law governing costs and how the costs are awarded will be discussed as well as the enforcement of these costs.
This module will study the fundamental principles of English and Welsh land law. The course will examine property rights in relation to land and deal with their definition, development, acquisition, and transfer. The Land Law module provides an awareness of the rules relating to the registration and transfer of land. It will investigate issues such as the term ‘land’ and its meaning, how ownership of land is transferred, and how land can be registered.
The module will discuss and investigate aspects of co-ownership and doctrines of trusts. Covenants and mortgages will also be examined including how they are created and discharged.
Solicitors Accounts Rules, Business Structures and Code of Conduct
This module will examine the process and the rationale for client care appropriately and within the Law and rules governing the solicitor profession. It will highlight the overarching principles governing interactions between solicitor; client and explore how this relationship functions practically within real-life situations with practical examples and workshops.
The module will introduce you to fundamental accounting and principles, including double-entry book-keeping, ledgers, balance sheets, and profit and loss accounts. It will introduce you how to draft these accounting documents from the case study scenario. With practical application of how the Solicitor’s Accounts rules place a unique burden on the day-to-day operation of financial accounts within the solicitors’ office/practice. Further how the Solicitors Accounts Rules operate in the firm uniquely from other accounting processes.
The module introduces and explores in detail the different entities or practices that may operate as a solicitor’s firm. For example, Incorporated businesses, unincorporated businesses, sole traders, partnerships and limited companies, and limited liability partnerships. Further exploring the roles and responsibilities of the people operating these business structures for example the directors and partners. The module will introduce various elements of tax and insolvency and bankruptcy.
There’s no better way to find out what you love doing than trying it out for yourself, which is why a work placement2 can often be beneficial. Work placements usually occur before your final year of study. They’re a great way to help you explore your potential career path and gain valuable work experience, whilst developing transferable skills for the future.
UK Work Placement – 0 credits
This module2 provides you with an opportunity to reflect upon and gain experience for an approved placement undertaken during your programme. A placement should usually be at least 26 weeks or equivalent; however, each placement will be considered on its own merits, having regard to the ability to achieve the learning outcomes.
International Study/Work Placement – 0 credits
This module2 provides you with an opportunity to reflect upon and gain experience for an approved international study/work placement undertaken during your programme. A work/study placement should usually be at least 26 weeks or equivalent; however, each placement will be considered on its own merits, having regard to the ability to achieve the learning outcomes.
In the final year, you will build upon and develop the areas studied in the previous years, exploring EU law, employment law and equity and trusts liability. The skills and knowledge that you refine during your final year will help to prepare you for further professional development. Students who successfully complete year their final year are awarded a BA (Hons) degree in Law and Practice.
European Union Law
The aim of this module is to equip you with a thorough understanding of the institutional and procedural law of the European Union. The module aims to examine the history of European Union law, explore its development, and evaluate the impact of Brexit on English jurisprudence. It will discuss the supranational nature of the law of the European Union and the direct and indirect effect it has on national law.
The Institutions of the European Union will also be examined with an exploration of how the law is made, the court structure, sovereignty and the interaction with Member states. This will give rise to the discussion of the enforcement of European Union law and the rights of Member States.
Internal Markets and competition law will be considered and explored with reference to free movement of goods and services and how the law interacts with the doctrine of integration and economic principles.
Businesses, especially companies, are responsible for the economic development of the country. The module aims to provide a deep insight into the concept of corporate personality and other forms of business. You will be required to examine the legal requirements for the formation, administration, governance, financing, and termination of a company. The module will also require you to critically evaluate the rights and duties of all stakeholders at every stage of the business.
Wills, Administration of Estates and Trusts
The aim of this module is to ensure you develop a clear understanding of the concepts, principles, and rules of equity and trust, and of their impact on the development of English Law. Upon completion of the module, you should be able to interpret the contents of a will and the rules of intestacy when someone has died without leaving a valid will. You should be able to appreciate the nuances involved in the administration of estates and other issues related to inheritance.
You should be able to engage in a reasoned and informed analysis about the relative merits of the use of equitable principles and institutions, notably the trust, both in law and in wider society and, where appropriate, make informed proposals for reform. The module will also ensure you have improved critical thinking relating to probate practice.
Legal Research and Dissertation
The dissertation module aims to give you the experience of carrying out an original research project where you can put into practice the skills of information collection, analysis, and presentation gained during your degree programme. It also provides an opportunity to demonstrate that you can select a methodology appropriate to your investigation and outline and discuss its philosophical basis. It aims to promote you to conduct independent secondary research from a spectrum of sources in a given period of time.
The module also aims to develop further, your oral communication skills through presentations and meetings and in groups, with members of academic staff. Depending on topic and methodology, you may gain additional practice in (among other things) using library services and your own independent research.
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
Your initial foundation year is focused on applied learning geared to high intensity teaching and study throughout the course. The delivery of course content is a blend of lectures, tutorials and online mediums.
After your foundation year, you will have the option to do either another three years full-time or another four-year sandwich course where you undertake a work placement or study year in a related field.
Our teaching methods for the degree courses are varied depending on which course/modules you take, offering a number of teaching styles to suit the needs of our students, so in addition to lectures, we also utilise a blended learning approach, including online aspects, workshops and group work. We also operate an open-door policy, with additional availability via email and our current online learning platform, Aula.
Progression through the modules develops knowledge and skills, including communication (written and oral), study skills, research methods, project management, presentation and career development. We will also encourage you to consider your employability and/or entrepreneurial development.
Unlike traditional institutions, there are no end of year exams. Instead, learning is assessed through coursework and phase tests, which is more reflective of our learning model.
Teaching contact hours
The number of full-time contact hours may vary from semester to semester, however, on average, it is likely to be around 20 contact hours per week each year (excluding placement year). Additionally, you will be expected to undertake up to 30 hours of self-directed study, depending on the demands of individual modules.
As an innovative and enterprising institution, CU may seek to utilise emerging technologies within the student experience. For all courses (whether on-campus, blended, or distance learning), CU Coventry may deliver certain contact hours and assessments via online technologies and methods.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are prepared for courses due to start in or after the 2022/2023 academic year to be delivered in a variety of forms. The form of delivery will be determined in accordance with Government and Public Health guidance. Whether on campus or online, our key priority is staff and student safety.
Due to COVID-19, some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) and some non-academic offerings (particularly in relation to international experiences), may vary from those advertised and may have reduced availability or restrictions on their use.
During your foundation year, the learning outcomes of modules, assignments and projects will be clearly stated. Your work will be marked according to how well you achieve these learning outcomes and your final feedback will refer to each outcome, as well as providing an overall percentage grade.
During your degree methods vary and include, practical class and project performance, written practical reports, project thesis, oral presentations, tutorial tasks and assessments which take place at the end of each six-week block. This course will be assessed using a variety of methods which will vary depending upon the degree selected or the module.
- Phased tests
- Practical Work/Presentations (year two onwards)
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
At CU Coventry, special importance is given to internationalisation. This gives our students an opportunity to visit various places of international importance. In previous years, Law & Practice students have visited legal institutions like the UN Headquarters in New York, Peace palace at the Hague, Valencia Water Court and trips to various EU institutions.
Please note that all international experience opportunities may be subject to additional costs, competitive application, availability and meeting applicable visa and travel requirements are therefore not guaranteed.
Typical offer for 2023/24 entry.
Fees and funding
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This course with foundation year is not currently available to international students. If you do not meet the entry requirements to directly join year 1 of the degree, please take a look at our International Pathways Programme for additional options.
If you choose to do a work placement2, you should consider travel and living costs to cover this. There is also a tuition fee3 of £1,250 that will cover your academic support throughout your placement year.
Tuition fees3 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 fees3:
- 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).
How do you know if you need to pay UK or international tuition fees?
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.
All our facilities are located at Mile Lane. Our building has been designed to enable collaboration, creativity and innovation to flourish, and includes (subject to availability):
- Indoor and outdoor social spaces, including a café
- A library that includes loan laptops, over 115,000 eBooks and a silent study area
- Open access IT suites and 83-inch teaching screens
- Engineering lab, science lab and a moot courtroom
- Student support and careers advice teams
Careers and opportunities
With an ever-growing demand for legal professionals in all industries, graduates of a law course have an expansive list of career paths to explore.
Many students graduate and find careers in the law sector, while others continue on to further study by undertaking professional qualifications or a master’s degree in specialised subjects such as international law.
On successful completion of the Law & Practice with Foundation Year BA (Hons), you will be able to:
- Demonstrate understanding and knowledge of the theoretical, analytical and practical aspects of legislation and processes.
- Be proficient in collating and evaluating evidence, with enhanced advocacy and advisory skills.
- Develop appropriate analysis techniques, alongside the ability to undertake reliable and thorough research of case law, law commissions and more.
- Apply appropriate presentation skills to confidently establish the significance of data produced.
Where our graduates work
Graduates of our law degree courses have gone on to further study in law, business and CILEx at institutions across the UK and internationally, or to work for leading global companies such as DWF LLP, Uber and Central England Law Centre.
How to apply
Coventry University together with Coventry University London Campus, 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 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 COVID and visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand the visa requirements, please contact the International Office.
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 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.
Due to COVID-19, some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) and some non-academic offerings (particularly in relation to international experiences), may vary from those advertised and may have reduced availability or restrictions on their use.
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 2023/24 contract can be found here. 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.