Foundation Year - helping you to achieve more
Including a foundation year as part of your four-year study programme will give you a head start in your academic and professional life. The foundation year offers the chance to strengthen your skills, knowledge and confidence – with extensive support from our expert staff – before you advance to stage one of your honours degree. It could also be beneficial if you are planning a career change and want to get to grips with aspects of subjects which are new to you.
Our degrees with a foundation year are continuous, meaning that you won’t need to apply again once you have successfully completed the first year.
Offering you an exceptional experience of studying law, the Derby LLB is designed to reflect the changing legal profession and set you apart in the graduate job market.
We deliver a comprehensive all-round undergraduate legal education, so you’ll gain all the skills and hands-on experience you need to have an immediate impact in a legal career. You'll engage with the core professional skills, bringing what you read in the textbooks to life through genuine practical experience.
At the same time, you’ll focus on the broader skills required by modern-day lawyers, going beyond providing legal advice and resolving legal disputes. You’ll be introduced to areas such as legal technology, commercial awareness, entrepreneurship and strategic thinking while developing empathy, innovation and creativity to help you stand out from the crowd. You’ll also explore how your legal knowledge can shape your future role in society, helping you to make a genuine difference to social justice.
The Derby LLB is all about flexibility and choice. You can decide to study a broad-based LLB or follow a specialist pathway to a named LLB award by taking particular modules at stage 3. The pathways are:
- LLB (Hons) Company and Commercial Law
- LLB (Hons) International and Comparative Law
- LLB (Hons) Social and Public Policy
- LLB (Hons) International Business Law
The Derby LLB meets stringent criteria set by the Bar Standards Board and Solicitors Regulation Authority and covers all the foundations of legal knowledge. As a ‘qualifying law degree’, it offers exemptions from the academic stage of study if you want to progress to become a barrister or solicitor.
Derby Law School has an ethos of ‘learning by doing’ to build your employability skills and ensure you’re work-ready on graduation. We offer different variations of real-world learning to take legal education out of the abstract and into reality – from mooting competitions and mock trials to drafting contracts and bail applications.
Work placements enable you to learn more about the legal sector. Through the Law School’s excellent relationship with the local legal profession, some of our students in previous years have had the opportunity to undertake work placements. The Law School actively supports students in identifying work placements where possible. A vibrant programme of ‘paid for’ study visits will give you insights into the profession, including fieldtrips to local courts. Previous students on our LLB (Hons) have toured London, including the Supreme Court and the Houses of Parliament and as well as visited The Hague, the legal capital of the world, where you can see the international courts in action. There is also an opportunity to visit Dublin to explore a different legal system.
Links with the profession
Contributions from the wider legal community, including regular careers talks and workshops, are central to this course. Through our professional mentoring scheme, practitioners from the legal field will share their perspectives with you. All students on the course are eligible to apply for this scheme. Previous mentors have included serving judges, solicitors and barristers. In some cases this has led to placements, part-time paralegal work and even permanent jobs for our students.
A highlight of our academic calendar is a prestigious black-tie law dinner where you can network with members of the local judiciary and legal profession. In addition, the Derby Junior Lawyers group invites our students to networking events and social opportunities. You can also join our active student Law Society.
Student Legal Advice Centre and Pro Bono work
Our Student Legal Advice Centre enables you to build your skills in clinical legal practice by offering free advice and assistance to members of the public. It reaches out to individuals who might otherwise be unable to access such services due to financial constraints.
Through the Centre, you’ll undertake a high-quality programme of training, engage in simulated scenarios and then work under the close supervision of a qualified solicitor to help members of the community with issues including family law and criminal injuries compensation authority claims. You’ll meet with clients, take instructions, carry out research and advise accordingly. In some circumstances, you could even represent the client at a form of tribunal.
In addition, the Law Student Representation project – a joint initiative between Derby Law School and Derbyshire County Council – provides much-needed social security representation to people countywide. During six-month placements, our students work alongside experienced representatives supporting benefit appeals.
Our teaching team includes barristers, solicitors, criminal psychologists, sociologists and experienced police officers. Several are still actively engaged with practice, which helps you keep up to date with contemporary issues in justice. Our teaching is also enriched by research covering some of the most pressing issues confronting society today, from slavery to digital privacy.
The LLB (Hons) is supported by visiting professors and guest lecturers who are leading authorities in their fields, including a deputy district judge and a coroner. Our celebrated Public Lecture Series also brings influential figures to the University to shed new light on the legal system.
Law students are based on the Derby Campus at One Friar Gate Square. It includes a mock court room, replica custody suite (expected completion November 2019) and social learning hubs where you can develop your skills and familiarise yourself with the type of environments you’ll encounter in real-life legal situations.
You’ll also be provided with all the leading essential texts from top publishers and unique content from Oxford University Press and Pearson.
We offer you the opportunity to spend time studying abroad thanks to our extensive network of global associates, including universities in Pisa, Naples, Paris, The Hague and Brno in the Czech Republic. These not only ensure our curriculum is truly international but also pave the way for exchange opportunities.
Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.
Engaging in real or simulated legal practice, you will build a range of the key skills required to succeed in the legal sector at every stage of the course, including:
- case preperation
- mooting - where you present a legal issue against opposing counsel in a mock court case
You will also develop skills in legal scholarship, with the chance to undertake problem-based research and original academic enquiry. If our teaching team consider the work you produce to be of sufficient quality, it could be published in the Derby Law School Journal.
Through our peer assisted mentoring scheme, students from later years of the course also give helpful guidance and support to first year students.
Showcasing your skills
Mooting forms part of certain modules and you can develop your expertise further through regional and national competitions. We have an excellent record of success in these challenges.
In your third year, our annual Legal Skills Triathlon, run in partnership with Derby & District Law Society, will test your advocacy, interview and negotiation skills. You will compete in teams with newly qualified lawyers and will be judged by a professional panel. Some of our students have secured jobs as a direct result of this experience.
We also help run a schools’ debating competition in partnership with Derby & District Law Society and Enterprise for Education where you can mentor local secondary school pupils.
How you are assessed
Assessments may include:
- group work
- oral presentations
- written coursework
Who you'll meet
Our teaching team is made up of experts with broad-ranging experience and diverse research interests. They pride themselves on delivering a supportive academic and pastoral environment. The team includes:
Personal academic tutoring
Your personal academic tutor will work with you to help you get the most out of your time at university. Having someone to talk to about your academic progress, your university experience and your professional aspirations is hugely valuable. We want you to feel challenged in your studies, stretched but confident to achieve your academic and professional goals.
Find out more about personal academic tutoring
Our LLB (Hons) graduates go on to take up roles as barristers, solicitors, paralegals and chartered legal executives and can be found working in private practice, the Crown Prosecution Service, the courts, law centres, the police service, local and national government.
Completion of the LLB represents the end of the academic stage of your training. To become a solicitor or barrister, you must then continue to complete the vocational stage of your training:
- If you wish to become a solicitor, you will need to complete the Legal Practice Course (LPC). Our graduates are highly sought after by solicitors’ firms because of their practical skills underpinned by academic rigour. At Derby, we offer the LLM LPC, which equips you with both a masters qualification and the LPC.
- If you wish to become a barrister, you must take a one-year full-time or two-year part-time Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC). Our students are particularly successful at winning substantial scholarships for the BPTC, which is testimony to the calibre of teaching we offer. Please note, we do not offer the BPTC at the University of Derby
Even if you do not want to become a legal practitioner, the LLB acts as a stepping stone to careers in broader areas. Legal skills ensure you can make a strategic contribution in many professions including the civil service, investment banking, management and tax consultancy, compliance, insurance, HR, politics, town planning, construction, publishing and education. They will also prove helpful if you want to launch your own business.
Our Careers and Employment Service will provide you with support from day one of your course to ensure you leave Derby as a ‘work-ready’ graduate – industry aware, motivated and enterprising. Throughout your studies, you’ll also benefit from our Personal Development Planning (PDP) scheme which enables you to reflect on your learning and develop your career ambitions.
The support continues once you’ve completed your course too: you are entitled to further help and guidance from the Careers and Employment Service for up to three years after leaving the University.
If you would like to take your studies to postgraduate level, the Derby LLM is a masters degree offering maximum flexibility, choice and opportunity. We also offer the LLM Legal Practice Course which equips you with a masters qualification and includes the Legal Practice Course (LPC) needed for professional practice as a Solicitor.
As a graduate of the University of Derby, you may be entitled to Alumni discount on your postgraduate course fees. Terms and conditions apply.
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, excellent 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
- Text books (for all students starting the course in September 2020 only)
- Home and International trips if applicable (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)
- Students will be invited to black tie events which will require the wearing of formal attire (£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.