Diploma in Legal Studies/Advanced Diploma in Legal Studies

  • Overview
  • Course Content
  • Structure
  • Career Opportunities
  • Fees
  • Next Steps


Legal Studies  

Click here to view provisional September 2019 timetable for Diploma in Legal Studies.
Click here to view provisional September 2019 timetable for Advanced Diploma in Legal Studies.

Legal Studies is a one year Diploma programme designed for those wishing to obtain foundation knowledge of the core principles of Irish Law, perhaps with a view to pursuing a career in the legal field. The Diploma is geared towards students from non-legal backgrounds, together with individuals working in the legal field who have no prior formal legal education.

Programme Aims and Objectives

The course will provide an introduction to the core aspects of Irish law and the legal system, as recognised by the legal profession. It is intended to provide an understanding of Constitutional Law Principles, Contract, Tort, Criminal and Company Law issues and the law as it relates to property in Ireland. Students will study the law from a practical perspective and classes will be based on theory combined with problem solving situations. Students may also wish to study a further two modules in order to be awarded the Advanced Diploma in Legal Studies. These eight modules are the areas in which students study in preparation for taking the Law Society Final Examination Part 1 (FE1) and so provide an excellent grounding for students coming from non legal backgrounds.


Each module has a 100% exam with students required to answer 5 out of 8 questions on topics discussed in class.

Programme Content

Constitutional Law

Over the course of this programme students will cover the following topics: separation of powers, constitutional interpretation, judicial review, constitutional rights, the Attorney General & Auditor General, Ireland as a nation, state and people, the constitutional relevance of foreign international law and the important constitutional role of the Irish president.

Criminal Law

This module provides students with a comprehensive understanding of Irish Criminal Law. Over the course of nine lectures students examine the nature and definition of a crime, the burden and standard of proof applicable in criminal trials, rules of evidence and the defences available to an accused person. The course also explores the jurisdiction of the criminal courts in Ireland and examines the different types of crimes which exist including; fatal, non-fatal, sexual, property and public order offences.

Company Law

The purpose of Company Law is to familiarise students with the formal requirements of incorporating a limited liability company, to outline the effect of incorporation, to explain the various categories of securities held by a company, as well as the role of various officers, including Directors and shareholders, in the management and day-to-day running of the company. The module also examines how a company can be liquidated.

Property Law

The aim of this module is to provide students with an understanding of the various methods of ownership of property. It examines such areas as tenures, estates & equitable interests. The module also reviews the limitations of the Landlord and Tenant Acts and the Succession Acts and discusses the formal requirements of wills and the effect of intestacy (where no will is made).

Tort Law

Torts are concerned with civil wrongs whereby one party causes damage to another party. The module explains the nature and function of torts and then examines certain torts in detail, including negligence, product liability, trespass, defamation, nuisance and liability for animals and fire. The module also discusses the remedies available to a litigant who has suffered damage and the possible defences that can be claimed by the wrongdoer.

Contract Law

This module is aimed at providing students with a fundamental knowledge of how to create a legally binding contract, the formal requirements of a contract, the various factors that can vitiate consent in a contract, and how a contract can be lawfully discharged as well as the remedies available for breach of contract.

To be awarded the Advanced Diploma in Legal Studies students can take the following additional subjects:

European Law

This module will explore the history and evolution of the European project from its original incarnation as an economic community (i.e. European Economic Community (E.E.C.) to the much broader focus of the European Community and European Union. This will involve an examination of the various amending treaties through the years, up to and including the most recent amendments introduced by the Lisbon Treaty, as the EU seeks to deal with an array of challenges, such as the enlargement of the Union and globalisation, and to become more relevant to its citizens and more responsive to their concerns. The relationship between national and EC law will be examined along with the significant role of the European Court of Justice in developing the fundamental freedoms (e.g. free movement of goods and workers) and the general principles (e.g. fundamental rights and equality) upon which the legal order of the community is now based and without which the Community’s objective of creating an internal market, characterised by the abolition, as between Member States, of obstacles to the free movement of goods, persons, services and capital, could never be realised.


The law of equity comprises a body of rules and principles developed by the Court of Chancery in order to mitigate the rigours of the common law. This module examines the general principles of equity, the law relating to private and public or charitable trusts and the administration of trusts, focusing on the powers and duties of trustees. It also covers equitable remedies such as injunctions, specific performance, rescission and rectification and examines the principles relating to tracing and proprietary estoppel.


The lecturing team consists of a team of staff that combine both academic qualifications with substantial practical legal experience, and this practical perspective is reflected in the delivery of the modules. A wide range of teaching techniques include lectures and class interaction, and case studies will form an integral part of the course. Students who wish to complete the Advanced Diploma in Legal Studies can complete an additional two modules following completion of the Legal Studies diploma, and students can apply for these modules separately if they wish to continue their studies.

Career Progression  Opportunities

This programme will be of benefit to anybody seeking to further or even begin their legal education. Regardless of whether or not students wish to improve their employment opportunities, the core legal skills and understanding gained from the course will be beneficial to any person seeking further education in this area.

Student Profile

 A number of students were employees of legal firms who wanted to obtain a legal qualification in order to advance their employment opportunities. Others were members of the Gardaí seeking career advancement. Some were employee with legal aid boards or involved in citizens advice organisations. Other students were simply interested in using the course to add to their CV and show an understanding of the Irish legal system with a qualification to support it. 


The fee for the Diploma in Legal Studies is €2,000 (the fee for the Advanced Diploma is €2,590) .This is inclusive of tuition, registration, exam fees and DBS library membership. View all DBS Evening Diploma Fees here.

DBS Diploma students can also avail of a wide range of facilities to assist them in every aspect of their studies, please see below for more details.

DBS Student Facilities

• Online Notes System (DBS Moodle)- is an eLearning system designed to provide you with a range of course material which will enhance and support your learning experience within DBS.
• DBS Library Aungier Street- the Library provides a programme of classes in the areas of Library resources, essay writing skills, avoiding plagiarism and referencing to assist you in your studies. 
• DBS Careers and Appointment Service- which provides a range of services for Diploma students such as career advice and workshops in CV writing and interview skills.
• Subsidised Parking- DBS provides subsidised parking arrangements for students, which provides easy access to all main public transport routes in and out of the city centre.
• Subsidised Student Canteen- Diploma students can avail of the Student Canteen which is open in the evenings and offers a wide variety of choices on its menu.

Next Steps

Visit Us

Open days are a great way to help you make your decision about your course of interest. The open day will give you the opportunity to receive one on one advice and direction from leading academics in your chosen subject area, meet current students and also have your questions answered on entry requirements, student support and the admissions process. Find out when our next Open Event is taking place. The Admissions Office is located in our Aungier Street campus and you are welcome to visit the college to speak with a member of our admissions team from Monday to Fridays, 8:45am – 5:15pm. Alternatively, you can contact us by email.

  • Law
  • Business & Management
  • Professional Evening Diplomas
  • Part-Time

Course overview


Awarding Body:
Institute of Commercial Management
Schedule: 2 evenings per week, 6.15-9.30pm
Intake: September & March
Duration: 1 year Part-time

Contact Us

We are now accepting applications for programmes taking place in 2019. Contact our admissions team for more information

Email: admissions@dbs.ie
Phone: 01 417 7500
Opening times:
Monday to Friday
8:45am to 5:15pm