Overview

Lawyers and academics teach you law and how to think like a lawyer. Located in London, the world’s biggest centre for English law, there are countless opportunities to gain work experience.

The conversion course is for non-law graduates aiming for a career in law. It covers key legal topics which are foundational to eventual professional practice. There are two alternative routes, both of which can lead to the additional award of LLM in Legal Studies. An experienced team of practitioners and academics guide you through the course in a supportive and collaborative way. You have the chance to apply for work experience at LSBU’s Legal Advice Clinic. We run an outstanding programme of career talks by law firms and barristers, ex students and others who will inform and inspire you on career choices.

The course will help students who are undecided about which legal profession to make an informed decision.

Student takes notes in a lecture.

Why a Law conversion at LSBU?

Practical law – our lecturers include of solicitors, barristers and academics who as a team have extensive experience of the law in action.
Expert academics – we are a very experienced academic team, some of whom have published guides on the SQE and others who have researched and published on legal education.
Passionate academics – our teachers engage in research and take a critical approach to the areas of law in which they are expert.
Extensive extra-curricular opportunities, such as working at LSBU's Legal Advice Clinic, practising advocacy through mooting, judge marshalling, court assistance schemes and regular dedicated career talks.
Outstanding facilities as well as online support and on-line access to all key textbooks and other support materials.
Alternative qualification with routes to LLM with completion of dissertation in law.
Ranked 12th overall in the UK for Teaching Quality in Law (Sunday Times 2022).
Mode Duration Start date Application code Application method
ModeFull-time LLM Duration1 year Start dateSeptember Application code5192 Application method Law Central Applications Board
ModePart-time LLM Duration2 years Start dateSeptember Application code5195 Application method Direct to LSBU

Location

London South Bank University student union is located at 103 Borough Rd, London SE1 0AA.

If you are visiting our Southwark Campus, you may wish to use our downloadable campus map (PNG File 466 KB). For information on accessibility, see our DisabledGo access guides. See our location page for more details.

Entry Level Requirements

  • Any undergraduate degree from a UK or Irish university or its equivalent in any discipline with a minimum of a 2.2 classification or its equivalent

  • By virtue of the regulations of the Bar Standards Board, students with a third class honours degree or its equivalent are not normally eligible to undertake the Bar Professional Training Course. Favourable consideration will be given to those with work experience.

  • If you do not have an undergraduate degree from a UK or Irish university and:

    • You wish to become a barrister, you must have a Certificate of Academic Standing (CoAS) issued by the Bar Standards Board (BSB) proving your eligibility to join the LLM/PGDLS+CPE.  Without this CoAS, progress to the next stage Bar course (BPTC) will be blocked – even though you were admitted to a CPE course and passed the CPE. You are not required by this University to have a CoAS from the BSB to join the LLM/PGDLS+CPE.  However, unless you are certain you will never want to become a barrister, you should consider obtaining one before your CPE course commences.
    • If you wish to become a solicitor, your eligibility to join our LLM/PGDLS+CPE course is decided solely by this University considering your academic qualifications and work experience. If you already have a CoAS from the SRA (who no longer issue them), we will consider it if still within its expiry date.
  • If you are not a national of the UK or Ireland or of a majority English-speaking country, you may have to demonstrate proficiency in English. This can be evidenced by an IELTS score of 6.5 or Cambridge Proficiency or Advanced Grade C.

Missing English and Maths qualifications?

If you do not have the required English and Maths qualifications needed to satisfy the entry requirements for this programme, we have courses available at our partner College that you can take to upskill in these areas. Find out more at South Bank College.

United Kingdom

£11000

Tuition fees for home students

International

£15500

Tuition fees for international students

Tuition fees are subject to annual inflationary increases. Find out more about tuition fees for Undergraduate or Postgraduate courses.

For more information, including how and when to pay, see our fees and funding section for postgraduate students.

See our Tuition Fees Regulations (PDF File 391 KB) and Refund Policy (PDF File 775 KB).

Possible fee changes

The University reserves the right to increase its fees in line with changes to legislation, regulation and any government guidance or decisions.

The fees for international students are reviewed annually and the University reserves the right to increase the tuition fees in line with the RPIX measure of inflation up to 4 per cent.

Postgraduate loan (PGL) for Masters study

If you are starting a Masters course, studying either full- or part-time, you may be entitled to apply for a postgraduate study loan. Find out more at our postgraduate fees and funding section.

Scholarships

We offer several types of fee reduction through our scholarships and bursaries. Find the full list and other useful information on funding your studies on the scholarships and fee discounts page.

Fee status

Please check your fee status and whether you are considered a Home, EU or International student for fee-paying purposes and for our regulatory returns, by reading the UKCISA regulations.

Home

Mode Duration Start date Application code Application method
Mode Full-time LLM Duration 1 year Start date September Application code 5192 Application method Law Central Applications Board
Mode Part-time LLM Duration 2 years Start date September Application code 5195 Application method Direct to LSBU

Postgraduate students and research students should apply through our dedicated application system. Full details of how to do this are supplied on our How to apply section for postgraduate students and our How to apply section for research students.

See our admissions policy (PDF File 1,043 KB) and complaints policy (PDF File 516 KB).

Accommodation

Students should apply for accommodation at London South Bank University (LSBU) as soon as possible, once we have made an offer of a place on one of our academic courses. Read more about applying for accommodation at LSBU.

Finance

It's a good idea to think about how you'll pay university tuition and maintenance costs while you're still applying for a place to study. Remember – you don't need to wait for a confirmed place on a course to start applying for student finance. Read how to pay your fees as a postgraduate student.

Prepare to start

We help our students prepare for university even before the semester starts. To find out when you should apply for your LSBU accommodation or student finance read the How to apply tab for this course.

Enrolment

Before you start your course we’ll send you information on what you’ll need to do before you arrive and during your first few days on campus. You can read about the process on our Enrolment pages.

Preparatory Reading

For information about the CPE and the Academic Stage of training to become a lawyer, visit the Solicitors Regulation Authority page.

You should also be aware of proposed changes to qualification as a solicitor that will come into effect in Autumn 2021.

You'll be given a reading list at the start of the course. In the meantime you may want to read generally about the practice of law or the legal system: Glanville Williams' Learning the Law is a good introduction (be sure to check it is the latest edition).

The following websites are useful for students to also review: Guardian Law student guide section, The Student Lawyer, and Legal Cheek.

You could search the internet for advice and tips to develop skills to write with clarity and simplicity. The President of the Supreme Court wrote to fellow judges on the need and benefits for clear writing. Though he was primarily addressing judges, his advice applies to all who would be lawyers.

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LLM in Legal Studies incorporating the CPE. This course is based upon LLM Route with a dissertation module added. This route is intensive and demanding as students study for the taught modules alongside work on the 15,000 dissertation which is completed over the summer period for submission in September.

Modules

Full Time Mode

Semester 1 Core (September-Middle of January)

  • Introduction to the English legal system (Compulsory-short module)
    The module is a precursor to the seven “Foundations of Legal Knowledge” leading to the vocational stage for intending practitioners. By a combination of a short introductory taught programme and recorded materials available on the VLE, the module covers an introduction to the English Legal System and legal skills that will provide students with the knowledge to progress to the study of the foundation modules. Students are introduced to judicial reasoning and legislative interpretation, knowledge of the English legal system and basic procedure in criminal and civil matters.  Students will engage with primary legal sources as skills are taught and/or developed. Skills include problem-solving, critical evaluation, reasoned argument and communication.
  • Obligations 1: Contract Law  (Compulsory-Module)
    The module is one of seven covering the academic stage of legal education’s “Foundations of Legal Knowledge” which is a prerequisite for progress to the vocational stage for intending practitioners. By a one semester taught programme and guided reading, the module covers the principles of English contract law, sources, development, application in context and reform. Contract is treated from formation to discharge and remedies with underlying concepts, rationales and influences and its relation to other forms of liability.  Through the subject treatment, particularly examination of judicial reasoning and legislative technique, knowledge and skills are taught and/or developed. Skills include problem-solving, critical evaluation, reasoned argument and communication.
  • Obligations 2: Law of Torts (Compulsory-Module)
    The module is one of seven covering the academic stage of legal education “Foundations of Legal Knowledge” leading to the vocational stage for intending practitioners. By a one semester taught programme and guided reading, the module covers the principles of Tort law, sources, development, application in context and reform together with underlying concepts, rationales and influences and its relation to other forms of liability. Through the subject treatment, particularly examination of judicial reasoning and legislative technique, knowledge and skills are taught and/or developed. Skills include problem-solving, critical evaluation, reasoned argument and communication.
  • Equity and trusts (Compulsory-Module)
    The module is one of seven covering the academic stage of legal education’s “Foundations of Legal Knowledge” which is a prerequisite for progress to the vocational stage for intending practitioners. By a one semester taught programme and guided reading, the module covers the principles of the English law of Equity, Trusts, sources, development, application in context and reform together with underlying concepts, rationales and influences and its relation to other forms of liability.Through the subject treatment, particularly examination of judicial reasoning and legislative technique, knowledge and skills are taught and/or developed. Skills include problem-solving, critical evaluation, reasoned argument and communication.
  • Land law (Compulsory-Module)
    The module is one of seven covering the academic stage of legal education’s ‘Foundations of Legal Knowledge’ which is a prerequisite for progress to the vocational stage for intending practitioners. Land law is a study of relationships. You'll study the relationship between the land and the rights which can exist in or over it, the relationship between the various persons who own an estate or interest over the land or want to defeat the competing interests in or over the land. You'll look at the rights and duties of each party to that relationship, how these relationships co-exist and what happens when the relationships come into conflict. Land Law governs the relative priorities enjoyed by two or more interests concerning the same piece of land. Land Law creates clear rules and formalities as to how the owner of an interest in land can acquire, transfer or extinguish that interest in land. You'll study the interests over land which Land Law is prepared to recognise and how these interests must be protected to ensure enforceability against third parties.
  • Semester 2 Core (End of January - End of May)

  • Law of the European Union (Compulsory-Module)
    The module is one of seven covering the academic stage of legal education “Foundations of Legal Knowledge” leading to the vocational stage for intending practitioners. This module considers the law of the European Union in the context of Brexit. Given the political and legal importance of the EU and the new relationship with the UK, this module considers key issues and rights associated with the EU, as well as the new and emerging legal issues emerging from Brexit. The module covers the key legal principles of EU law, their development and application in context, as well as coverage of some key substantive rights notably relating to the single market.
  • Public law (Compulsory-Module)
    The module is one of seven covering the academic stage of legal education “Foundations of Legal Knowledge” leading to the vocational stage for intending practitioners. The module introduces: Constitutions; Sources (Legal and Non Legal); Principles (including Parliamentary Supremacy, The Rule of Law, Judicial Independence); Human Rights in a UK Context and Judicial Review Procedure and grounds. The module explores: sources, development, application in context and reform together with underlying concepts, rationales and influences. The module explores judicial reasoning and legislative technique. Knowledge and skills are taught and/or developed.Skills developed include problem-solving, critical evaluation, reasoned argument, communication and research.
  • Criminal law (Compulsory-Module)
    The module is one of seven covering the academic stage of legal education’s “Foundations of Legal Knowledge” which is a prerequisite for progress to the vocational stage for intending practitioners. The Criminal Law module introduces students to the core principles of Criminal law; the key criminal offences and defences. Topics covered include: Principles; Harm; Fault (and the denial of fault); Homicide Voluntary; Homicide Involuntary; Offences Against the Person; Sexual Offences; Theft, Fraud and Criminal Damage; Justification; Participation; and Preparation. The module explores: concepts, contextual analysis, incremental development, rationales, reform and sources. Knowledge and skills: are taught and/or developed in relation to argumentation, communication, evaluation and problem solving. Assessment: Through a mix of applied knowledge testing; application of the law to problems and critical evaluation of the law.
  • Project module (Compulsory-Module)
    The Project Module requires completion of a 3750 word extended essay based on the analysis of secondary legal literature which take differing interpretations of an issue related to law, or its underlying theories. Students will learn the key elements of legal reasoning and legal method, be introduced to the main research methods used in conducting autonomous research in law or law-related topics, developing skills in relation to the review and evaluation of journal articles, advanced texts and other secondary legal literature in relation to conducting a literature review, research presentation, report writing, and research evaluation

Semester 3 Core (Middle of May - End of September)

  • Dissertation (LLM only)
    The Dissertation Module requires completion of a 15,000 word Masters level dissertation in an area consistent with, and appropriate to (and, if relevant, the specialist pathway within) the degree being sought. It requires that, and provides an opportunity for, the Masters student to independently conceive, plan and execute an appropriate piece of research based on firm academic, and theoretical, foundations. In doing so, the dissertation is required to address an issue or matter of some importance within the areas and/or disciplines encompassed across the Master’s degree being sought. The Unit will build on the research skills already acquired on the CPE/Graduate Diploma in Legal Studies such as the ability to conduct a literature review, research presentation, report writing, and research evaluation. Each student will be provided with a research supervisor who will guide the student throughout their dissertation from the formulation of the research topic to the completion of the finalised work. Students will be allocated a research supervisor at the commencement of their studies.

Modules

Part Time Mode

Year 1 Semester 1 Core (September-Middle of January)

  • Introduction to the English legal system (Compulsory-short module)
    The module is a precursor to the seven “Foundations of Legal Knowledge” leading to the vocational stage for intending practitioners. By a combination of a short introductory taught programme and recorded materials available on the VLE, the module covers an introduction to the English Legal System and legal skills that will provide students with the knowledge to progress to the study of the foundation modules. Students are introduced to judicial reasoning and legislative interpretation, knowledge of the English legal system and basic procedure in criminal and civil matters.  Students will engage with primary legal sources as skills are taught and/or developed. Skills include problem-solving, critical evaluation, reasoned argument and communication.
  • Obligations 1 (law of contract) (Compulsory-Module)
    The module is one of seven covering the academic stage of legal education’s “Foundations of Legal Knowledge” which is a prerequisite for progress to the vocational stage for intending practitioners. By a one semester taught programme and guided reading, the module covers the principles of English contract law, sources, development, application in context and reform. Contract is treated from formation to discharge and remedies with underlying concepts, rationales and influences and its relation to other forms of liability.  Through the subject treatment, particularly examination of judicial reasoning and legislative technique, knowledge and skills are taught and/or developed. Skills include problem-solving, critical evaluation, reasoned argument and communication.
  • Obligations 2 (law of tort) (Compulsory-Module)
    The module is one of seven covering the academic stage of legal education “Foundations of Legal Knowledge” leading to the vocational stage for intending practitioners. By a one semester taught programme and guided reading, the module covers the principles of Tort law, sources, development, application in context and reform together with underlying concepts, rationales and influences and its relation to other forms of liability. Through the subject treatment, particularly examination of judicial reasoning and legislative technique, knowledge and skills are taught and/or developed. Skills include problem-solving, critical evaluation, reasoned argument and communication.
  • Year 1 Semester 2 Core (End of January - End of May)

  • Law of the European Union (Compulsory-Module)
    The module is one of seven covering the academic stage of legal education “Foundations of Legal Knowledge” leading to the vocational stage for intending practitioners. This module considers the law of the European Union in the context of Brexit. Given the political and legal importance of the EU and the new relationship with the UK, this module considers key issues and rights associated with the EU, as well as the new and emerging legal issues emerging from Brexit. The module covers the key legal principles of EU law, their development and application in context, as well as coverage of some key substantive rights notably relating to the single market.
  • Public law (Compulsory-Module)
    The module is one of seven covering the academic stage of legal education “Foundations of Legal Knowledge” leading to the vocational stage for intending practitioners. The module introduces: Constitutions; Sources (Legal and Non Legal); Principles (including Parliamentary Supremacy, The Rule of Law, Judicial Independence); Human Rights in a UK Context and Judicial Review Procedure and grounds. The module explores: sources, development, application in context and reform together with underlying concepts, rationales and influences. The module explores judicial reasoning and legislative technique. Knowledge and skills are taught and/or developed.Skills developed include problem-solving, critical evaluation, reasoned argument, communication and research.
  • Year 2 Semester 1 Core (September-Middle of January)

  • Land law (Compulsory-Module)
    The module is one of seven covering the academic stage of legal education’s ‘Foundations of Legal Knowledge’ which is a prerequisite for progress to the vocational stage for intending practitioners. Land law is a study of relationships. You'll study the relationship between the land and the rights which can exist in or over it, the relationship between the various persons who own an estate or interest over the land or want to defeat the competing interests in or over the land. You'll look at the rights and duties of each party to that relationship, how these relationships co-exist and what happens when the relationships come into conflict. Land Law governs the relative priorities enjoyed by two or more interests concerning the same piece of land. Land Law creates clear rules and formalities as to how the owner of an interest in land can acquire, transfer or extinguish that interest in land. You'll study the interests over land which Land Law is prepared to recognise and how these interests must be protected to ensure enforceability against third parties.
  • Equity and trusts (Compulsory-Module)
    The module is one of seven covering the academic stage of legal education’s “Foundations of Legal Knowledge” which is a prerequisite for progress to the vocational stage for intending practitioners. By a one semester taught programme and guided reading, the module covers the principles of the English law of Equity, Trusts, sources, development, application in context and reform together with underlying concepts, rationales and influences and its relation to other forms of liability.Through the subject treatment, particularly examination of judicial reasoning and legislative technique, knowledge and skills are taught and/or developed. Skills include problem-solving, critical evaluation, reasoned argument and communication.
  • Year 2 Semester 2 Core (End of January - End of May)

  • Criminal law (Compulsory-Module)
    The module is one of seven covering the academic stage of legal education’s “Foundations of Legal Knowledge” which is a prerequisite for progress to the vocational stage for intending practitioners. The Criminal Law module introduces students to the core principles of Criminal law; the key criminal offences and defences. Topics covered include: Principles; Harm; Fault (and the denial of fault); Homicide Voluntary; Homicide Involuntary; Offences Against the Person; Sexual Offences; Theft, Fraud and Criminal Damage; Justification; Participation; and Preparation. The module explores: concepts, contextual analysis, incremental development, rationales, reform and sources. Knowledge and skills: are taught and/or developed in relation to argumentation, communication, evaluation and problem solving. Assessment: Through a mix of applied knowledge testing; application of the law to problems and critical evaluation of the law.
  • Project module (Compulsory-Module)
    The Project Module requires completion of a 3750 word extended essay based on the analysis of secondary legal literature which take differing interpretations of an issue related to law, or its underlying theories. Students will learn the key elements of legal reasoning and legal method, be introduced to the main research methods used in conducting autonomous research in law or law-related topics, developing skills in relation to the review and evaluation of journal articles, advanced texts and other secondary legal literature in relation to conducting a literature review, research presentation, report writing, and research evaluation
  • Semester 3 Core (Middle of May - End of September)

  • Dissertation (LLM only)
    The Dissertation Module requires completion of a 15,000 word Masters level dissertation in an area consistent with, and appropriate to (and, if relevant, the specialist pathway within) the degree being sought. It requires that, and provides an opportunity for, the Masters student to independently conceive, plan and execute an appropriate piece of research based on firm academic, and theoretical, foundations. In doing so, the dissertation is required to address an issue or matter of some importance within the areas and/or disciplines encompassed across the Master’s degree being sought. The Unit will build on the research skills already acquired on the CPE/Graduate Diploma in Legal Studies such as the ability to conduct a literature review, research presentation, report writing, and research evaluation. Each student will be provided with a research supervisor who will guide the student throughout their dissertation from the formulation of the research topic to the completion of the finalised work. Students will be allocated a research supervisor at the commencement of their studies.

Course entry comparison table

Key Features PG Dip Legal Studies Route LLM Legal Studies Route
Length of course 9 month (FT)
2 years (PT)
12 months (FT)
2 years (PT)
Dates September - June
(with resit period in August)
September - September
Includes CPE Yes Yes
Number of CPE modules 8 plus ELS (entry into legal studies) introduction 8 plus ELS (entry into legal studies) introduction
Includes dissertation No Yes - but subject to completing successfully all taught modules 
Top-up Can enrol for dissertation in September following successful completion of PG Dip to top-up to LLM N/a
Cost Please see fees and funding tab Please see fees and funding tab
Eligible for postgraduate loan No Yes

Careers

Employability Service

At LSBU, we want to set you up for a successful career. During your studies – and for two years after you graduate – you’ll have access to our Employability Service, which includes:

  • An online board where you can take advantage of a wide range of self-help employability tools. Alternatively, you can book an appointment with our Employability Consultants, who are always available to help you take the next step in your career development.
  • Our Careers Hub offers tailored workshops on CVs, LinkedIn, Interview Preparation and Job Hunting, as well as regular presentations from employers across a range of sectors.

Employability

This course can lead to a variety of careers in law. It meets the first requirement, for the academic component, for qualification to the Bar for intending barristers. It provides a foundation for students who later intend to prepare for the Solicitors Qualification Exam (SQE) for those intending to qualify down that route. Both the PG Dip and the LLM award are nationally recognised qualifications which represent high level legal knowledge and skills attained on the course. The LLM is also an internationally recognised qualification representing in addition to attainment of legal knowledge and skills, research accomplishment in a specialised area based upon dissertation work.

Please see these links for training requirements for the Bar and for the solicitor profession.

Solicitor and Barrister

This course can lead to one of many careers in law from a professional qualification as solicitor or barrister to a wide variety of careers in both public and private sectors.

While our graduates may go on to join professional courses leading to qualification as a solicitor or barrister, the PgDip is also useful for numerous jobs that value skills in analysis, clear communication, efficient organisation and reasoned persuasion.

Time and experience on this course will also help students who wish  to take steps towards a legal career but are undecided about the direction they wish to go.

LLM award

Routes  to the LLM require you to complete a supervised 15000 word dissertation. Please visit the Modules tab to see our comparative chart. Depending on the route you take, you will submit in September of the year you complete all the taught modules or in January of the following academic year following completion of the taught modules.  Part-time mode may allow submission at a later point.

You are not required to attend class when researching and writing your dissertation and you'll therefore be able to enrol on post conversion courses starting the September after course completion of the taught modules.

Professional links

LSBU Law has a strong tradition of supporting human rights and access to justice. This is reflected in the talks and events organized by the law school and visiting professors and lecturers, these include Imran Khan, one of the best-known human rights and criminal lawyers who represented the parents of Stephen Lawrence; Joel Bennathan, QC, Barrister whose work includes representing victims of torture and Sir Geoffrey Bindman, QC, one of the country's leading human rights lawyers.

Teaching and Assessment

Legal knowledge and skills are introduced and developed on this course. Delivery consists of a mixture of lectures, which are recorded, and smaller group meetings (seminars). Classes and learning is geared towards ensuring students are prepared for assessments and that they can succeed in them. This means that exam technique and problem solving approaches are introduced in seminars and space is given to practice. The course is well supported by online materials and resources, which can be accessed off-campus. All necessary learning material and resources are provided. At the end of the course students have a sound understanding of English law as well as an introduction to European law which provides a solid grasp of the structure and operation of the English legal system. This course fulfils the academic component for initial Bar training and provides a solid foundation for a preparatory course for the solicitor SQE.

Register your interest

Contact information

Course Enquiries - UK

Tel: 0207 815 7500

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