Higher Certificate in Legal Studies


Awarding Body:
Quality & Qualifications Ireland (QQI) 
Award Level:
6 (Higher Certificate)
Award Type  Major 
Course Length:
2 years
CAO Code:
The philosophy of this programme is to provide students with an appropriate base of relevant study in the area of law.

Aims and Objectives

The aims of the programme are:
  • To develop the students intellectual capacity and their practical skills in analysing legal problems 
  • To provide students with a sound theoretical framework and a comprehensive perspective of the legal system 
  • To give the students an appreciation of how the different sources of law interrelate 
  • To give an appreciation of how the international legal system operates 
  • To prepare students for entry to professional courses 
 The objectives of the Higher Certificate in Legal Studies are that on graduation students will have:
  • A clear understanding of the fundamental principles of the branches of law dealt with on the syllabus 
  • Be able to identify, analyse and find solutions to legal problems 
  • Be able to express opinions on legal issues with conciseness and clarity 
  • Be able to assist in the management and function of a legal practice 
  • Have a clear understanding of the fundamental rights and duties of the State and of individuals 
  • Understand the sources and regulatory framework of EU law and its impact on domestic law 
  • An ability to express legal terms in a manner that is understood by all

Programme Content

Year 1
  • Introduction to Legal Systems 
  • Introduction to Criminal Law 
  • Introduction to Law of Tort 
  • Introduction to Law of Contract 
  • Introduction to Computing (ICT) and Learning Skills
Year 2
  • Law of Contract 
  • Law of Tort  
  • Introduction to Law of Real Property 
  • Criminal Law 
  • Introduction to Constitutional Law  
  • Introduction to Company Law

Teaching and Assessment

The Higher Certificate in Legal Studies is taught mainly through lectures and tutorials, with students taking responsibility for a significant amount of study outside scheduled class times. Assessment takes a variety of forms, including essays and individual and group assignments and of course formal examinations. The majority of subjects are assessed through a combination of coursework and examination.


The Higher Certificate programme is designed to be academically coherent and intellectually demanding. The educational programme will be presented with an applied focus using a range of teaching and learning methods. The programme therefore, is very attractive to students and offers them considerable potential for development. Modules are grouped into themes which reflect the different areas of study involved and this is done to provide cohesion within the degree structure. Some modules are compulsory; others optional and depending on professional bodies’ requirements, students will choose the subjects that best match their career path.


Career Opportunities

Because of the broad spectrum of subjects studied, career opportunities for legal studies graduates are numerous. The wide-ranging nature of knowledge and skills gained by such graduates makes them an attractive proposition for any prospective employer. Graduates have the opportunity to add value for both employers and themselves on a daily basis. They can test theories, apply concepts and undertake practical project work.

Many will pursue a professional legal qualification either as solicitors (Law Society) or barristers (Kings Inns). The BA in Legal Studies enables students to sit the Law Society’s entrance examinations and students may also apply for entry to the Kings Inns Diploma course. Others may wish to professionally qualify outside the jurisdiction in England & Wales or indeed the US. Graduates may also pursue Legal Executive qualifications through the Institute of Legal Executives. Students wishing to pursue further qualifications can proceed to postgraduate programmes up to Masters Level or beyond.

Regardless of students’ career choices, students’ legal training is certain to provide prospective employers or institutions of further study with a solid platform from which to recruit.


The fees for Full-time Higher Certificate in Legal Studies are €5,650 per annum.

To view all Full-Time Undergraduate fees for 2016/2017 click here. You can also contact our admissions team who will also be able to advise on the payment options available to you.

Fees quoted cover the annual cost of tuition, registration and examinations and are EU fees only.Non-EU students please refer to the International section of the website.Please note also that tax relief is available on fees for Irish income tax payers at the standard rate of 20% on all fees exceeding €2,000 and up to €7,000.

Next Steps

Before making an application please ensure you are aware of all our entry requirements.

School Leaver Applicants

Application for first year full-time programmes in the college is through the CAO System. The CAO system applies only to applications for first year admissions to undergraduate full-time day programmes described in the prospectus, which have a CAO Course code  

Application forms and the CAO Handbook are both supplied by the Central Applications Office (CAO), Tower House, Eglinton Street, Galway or from your Career Guidance Counsellor.

Please read our information form for advice on completing the CAO application.

Mature Applicants

If you are over 23 years of age on the 1st of January on the year of admission and do not meet the minimum entry requirements, you may apply as a Mature Student. Mature students should apply directly to the Admissions Office at Dublin Business School. Mature students are assessed on the basis of age, work experience, general education standard, motivation and commitment to the programme for which they are applying. Please forward documentation such as any relevant transcripts, a CV or any other related documentation to the Admissions Office. Proof of age such as a copy of driver’s licence or passport must also be submitted. 

Transfer Students

Students holding a relevant Certificate, Diploma or other relevant third level qualification may qualify for entry to the second or third year of degree programme. Transfer applications to the second or third year full-time programmes are to be made directly to the college. Students should send copies of their examination transcripts and other relevant documentation along with their application form (available from the School / College) to the Admissions Office at Dublin Business School.   

EU Citizens

A European (EU) Application is one made by a person: 

(a) who is permanently a resident in one of the member states of the European Union and/or
(b) who will have received full-time second level education, for three of the five years immediately before the date of proposed admission, in member states.

Non-EU Applicants

Non - EU applicants should contact directly the International Admissions Office at Dublin Business School.

Application fee to CAO

There is a standard application fee of €40 made payable to CAO on submitting your CAO application form, or €25 if submitting an online application to CAO before 20th January. Late applications to CAO will be charged €50 for online and €80 for paper applications.



DBS Open Evening

Now accepting applications for Autumn 2016

We are now accepting applications for all programmes commencing Autumn 2016. Apply online or contact our admissions team for more information by calling 01 417 7500 Monday to Friday, 8.45am to 5.15pm or email