Interested in studying law at university but feel that you’re not quite ready to join an honours degree directly? Featuring a foundation year to build your skills and confidence, the BA (Hons) Law offers you the chance to realise your ambitions and potential.
- Take the foundation year as part of a four-year study programme for a vital introduction to the law and an opportunity to develop your academic study skills
- Continue with the BA (Hons) Law programme after your foundation year or transfer to our LLB (Hons)* if you have the capacity to complete a qualifying law degree: your first step towards becoming a solicitor or barrister
- Develop key skills in areas like drafting, advocacy, interviewing and negotiation
- Broaden your commercial awareness through optional work placements and internships
- Make the most of exciting opportunities for judicial shadowing, professional mentoring and pro bono projects
- Learn from an experienced, dedicated teaching team with an international research profile
- Gain practical experience in some of the country’s most advanced facilities for the study of law, including a courtroom and interview suites
- Join a university with a national reputation for producing highly effective law graduates, equipped for careers in a wide range of legal and business settings.
*Please note that the BA (Hons) Law is not a qualifying law degree and therefore does not exempt you from the academic stage of legal training should you want to become a solicitor or barrister. If you want to transfer to the LLB (Hons) after your foundation year, this will be subject to various conditions, detailed in the ‘entry requirements’ section of this page.
Put your career plans on a firm footing by taking a foundation year as part of your BA (Hons) Law programme. You’ll be inspired, stretched and challenged on a course which helps you reach high professional standards and define your future career direction.
A solid platform for progression
BA (Hons) Law with Foundation Year is ideal if you have the ability and ambition to study with us but don’t feel quite ready to embark on an honours degree right now. It may be that you lack the formal entry requirements, are considering a change of career or want to build your knowledge, skills and confidence first.
The foundation year provides a firm grounding in academic study skills to smooth your transition to honours level studies and includes theory-based and skills-based law modules. There are options to cover related themes such as Sociology and Politics as well. If you lack Maths or English GCSE, you will study modules in those subjects too.
A degree with a foundation year is continuous, so you won’t need to apply again and will complete your full BA (Hons) in four years. From day one, you’ll receive all the benefits of being a University of Derby student.
Our BA (Hons) Law with Foundation Year has been introduced at a time when the legal profession is seeking to promote social mobility and recruit more people from non-traditional backgrounds. It also reflects the University of Derby’s commitment to widening access to higher education.
Different routes to career success
On successful completion of the foundation year, you will continue to the BA (Hons) Law which is a stepping stone to many careers where legal knowledge is highly valued.
If you decide that you would like to practise as a solicitor or barrister, there may be the possibility to transfer to our LLB (Hons) – a qualifying law degree that meets the criteria set by the Bar Standards Board and the Solicitors Regulation Authority. This will depend on the aptitude and commitment you have shown on the foundation year, an interview with the LLB Programme Leader, and the availability of places.
Gain essential practical skills
We pride ourselves on delivering a broad-based legal education. You’ll develop your knowledge of every aspect of legal services and engage with core professional skills. There is practical experience at every stage in drafting, advocacy, interviewing and negotiation.
You can select from a wide range of optional modules to create a degree which matches your interests and ambitions. You could, for instance, specialise in medical, international, family or employment law.
Strong professional networks
Opening up exciting opportunities for work placements and internships, we have forged strong partnerships with the legal profession locally and nationally. One of the most significant collaborations is with specialist wills and probate firm, the Right Legal Group. More than 100 of our students have been given the opportunity to gain commercial awareness by working with the firm on real case files.
You could take part in our judicial shadowing scheme in local courts, enabling you to go behind-the-scenes and observe the legal process. An innovative mentoring scheme, where practising lawyers share insights and advice with you, will also develop your networks and employability.
Influence and expertise
You’ll be taught by a dedicated team of law and criminology experts including barristers, solicitors, criminal psychologists, sociologists and experienced police officers. We deliver exceptional student support in a friendly learning community where staff know your name and are committed to your success.
BA (Hons) Law with Foundation Year is enriched by the vital research underway at the University, covering topics spanning everything from human trafficking and slavery to the legal issues surrounding GM food; medical law to preventing corruption; witness testimony to digital privacy.
Further inspiration comes from visiting professors and guest lecturers who are leading authorities in their fields. Our vibrant Public Lecture Series will deepen your understanding of challenges facing the legal system today.
We offer an impressive setting for your studies, with facilities hailed as ‘exceptional’ by Skills for Justice. These include a Crown Court and interview rooms, replicating real-life legal environments.
Derby Law School is based at One Friar Gate Square, an iconic city-centre building which also houses our Criminology, Policing, Social and Political Sciences teams. It means there are unique opportunities for pooling expertise and experience in all aspects of the legal and justice fields.
Dynamic experiences and opportunities
We engage our law students in pro bono work, providing legal services to those who might otherwise find it hard to access justice. You could support organisations operating in fields like immigration and asylum, employment law, domestic violence and miscarriages of justice.
Our strong links with universities in France, Italy and the Czech Republic open doors for you. Through our Go Places, Go Further exchange programme, you could spend a year studying abroad – enhancing your career prospects while immersing yourself in a different culture.
An action-packed programme of extra-curricular activities includes study trips, mooting competitions and an annual skills triathlon. Among the highlights of our calendar is the prestigious black tie law dinner where you’ll network with the local judiciary and legal professionals. Our Student Law Society also runs events that add an extra dimension to your university experience.
To complete the BA (Hons) Law with Foundation Year, you’ll study modules such as:
- Introduction to law and practice (civil, public and criminal law) (core)
- Introduction to skills and research (core)
- Client care, ethics and professional studies (core)
- Law (option)
- Sociology (option)
- Contemporary issues in business (option)
- Political Studies (option)
If you don’t have either English or Maths GCSE, you will need to substitute one or two of the above for a module in English and/or Maths.
- Administrative Law and Human Rights
- Constitutional Law and Civil Liberties
- Contract Law: Theory and Practice
- Legal Context, Skills and Ethics
- Specific Tort and Remedies
- Tortious Liability and Negligence
- Criminal Law: Principles and Application
- Criminal Property Offences and Practice
- European Union Law
- European Union Trade Law
- Employment Law
- Company Law
- International Human Rights
- Employment Law and Practice
- Family Law and Practice
- Independent Study
- Miscarriages of Justice
- Sustainable Development and International Business Law
- Coroners Court
- Child Protection
You can also enhance your research and scholarship skills by undertaking a dissertation in your own preferred area of law.
Please note: modules are subject to availability and may change to suit the changing needs of the legal profession.
Teaching and learning
You will enjoy a variety of learning and teaching methods. Engaging in real or simulated legal practice, you will develop a range of lawyering skills at every stage of the course, including case preparation, mooting, interviewing and negotiation. You will also build important skills in legal scholarship, with the opportunity to undertake problem-based research and to specialise through original academic enquiry.
You may be assessed through a mixture of group work, oral presentations, written coursework and examinations, enabling you to develop and demonstrate your legal knowledge and skills effectively.
Who you will meet
Joel Klaff - Programme Leader for the BA (Hons) Law, LLB Law and LLB Law with Criminology programmes. His subject areas include contractual obligations, commercial law, international trade, international business and commercial theory. His research interests centre on learning, teaching and assessment within the context of international and personal development.
Tim Marangon - Senior Lecturer in Law who specialises in teaching tort law and has a keen interest in medical law. He is currently working on chapters for a book on Medical Law, to be published by Routledge.
Lisa Cherkassky - Senior Lecturer in Law with research interests in medical law, medical ethics, the law surrounding organ transplantation and saviour siblings, and criminal law. Lisa is Chief Editor of The Journal of Medical Law and Ethics.
Christie Eaton - Lecturer in Law and solicitor teaching in areas such as legal skills and ethics as well as EU law.
George Ellison - Senior Lecturer in Law and a former police officer who specialises in teaching public law, human rights and crime.
Rachael Ita - Lecturer in Law who previously practised as a barrister and solicitor in Nigeria. Her research interests centre on international law, administrative law and human rights law.
Sue Jennings - Head of Derby Law School who specialises in teaching employment law and practises as a solicitor in Derby. Sue co-ordinates the hugely popular and successful Annual Skills Triathlon organised by the University of Derby and Derby & District Law Society.
Larry Mead - Senior Lecturer in Law specialising in company law and evidence. Larry has combined his academic career with practice as a criminal law barrister and has published in the areas of company and business law.
September 2019 typical entry requirements
|UCAS points||72 (up to 16 from AS-levels)|
|Specific requirements at A-level||N/A|
|Specific requirements at GCSE|
GCSE Maths and English are preferred, however if you don't have these qualifications you will be able to undertake Maths and English at L2 as part of your course of study.
|Interview / Audition||N/A|
Alternative entry qualifications:
- BTEC - MPP
- Pass Access to HE Diploma 60 credits: 45 at Level 3 and 15 at Level 2.
We usually consider an A-level in General Studies as a supplementary qualification. A good application/performance will be taken into account if you do not meet the criteria/offer conditions.
Our entry requirements for this course should be read together with the University's general entry requirements, which details subjects we accept, alternative qualifications and what we're looking for at Derby.
BA (Hons) Law with Foundation Year offers a unique opportunity to develop an impressive combination of skills which pave the way to a wide range of careers.
While the BA (Hons) Law does not fully qualify you to proceed to training as a barrister or solicitor, it does prepare you for many other careers which require legal knowledge. This could include roles in criminal justice agencies, the Crown Prosecution Service, local government, and charitable and voluntary sector organisations. Graduates with knowledge of the law are also well suited to a future in the business, commerce and banking spheres.
If you transfer to the LLB (Hons) programme after your foundation year and succeed in your studies, you will have completed the academic stage of your training to become a solicitor or barrister. You must then undertake the vocational stage of training which will entail the Legal Practice Course (LPC) or the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC).
To ensure you make well-informed decisions about your future options, you will receive full support from our Careers and Employment Service from day one. You’ll also benefit from our Personal Development Planning Scheme which enables you to reflect on your learning, chart your career direction and become an industry aware, motivated and ‘work-ready’ graduate.
Your degree can also provide a platform for further study at postgraduate level. We offer a highly flexible LLM programme with a series of specialist pathways.
If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.Contact us
† Additional information about your studies
Download programme specification
Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.
Additional costs and optional extras
We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, state-of-the-art facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.
Included in your fees
- Home and International trips if applicable from level 4 upwards (e.g. The Hague, Dublin and London)
Mandatory costs not included in your fees
- Purchasing formal business attire for mooting assessments. Costs can vary between £75 - £300 depending on source of purchase.
- Printing of trial bundles for mooting assessment - around 80 pages (approx. cost £4)
Optional costs not included in your fees
- Membership of the Students Union Law Society (£7 for a societies card plus £3 society subscription)
- For trips, the costs of travel to and from the destination are covered but students are responsible for travel costs for non mandatory activities whilst away and for food and drinks.
- Students may be invited to black tie events which will require the wearing of formal attire approx £50-£100 depending on source of purchase.
Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.