Skip to main content

Postgraduate Certificate in Law

The Postgraduate Certificate in Law by online learning offers you the flexibility to develop your legal skills and knowledge whilst maintaining your professional and personal commitments. It can also be used as a stepping-stone towards further study on one of our online LLM programmes.


Lorna Richardson, Lecturer at Edinburgh Law School talks about the benefits of studying for this postgraduate qualification in law and how it can be used as a stepping stone to an LLM degree.

The programme offers breadth and flexibility, enabling you to choose courses that best reflect your personal and professional interests. You will have the opportunity to choose three courses from the full range of Masters courses available, therefore enabling you to tailor your programme of study to meet your academic and professional interests.

The Postgraduate Certificate in Law can be your first step towards being awarded an LLM degree.

The programme enables you to study a wide range of subject areas within the discipline and aims to promote advanced knowledge and understanding of the law within international, European and domestic settings.

The programme spans foundational issues in areas of law including:

  • Commercial law
  • Information technology law
  • Intellectual property law
  • Medical law
  • Innovation and technology

Having studied the programme, you will emerge with an understanding of legal issues not just in the legal context, but with a sound grounding in ethics, social and theoretical contexts.

Upon successful completion of the Postgraduate Certificate in Law you will have the option of being awarded a Postgraduate Certificate in Law or transferring onto one of our online LLM degree programmes.

By transferring the 60 credit points gained you will only need to successfully complete three more 20 credit point courses and a dissertation to be awarded an LLM degree in your chosen subject area.

If you choose to transfer to one of our LLM degree programmes you do not need to submit a new application. The transfer process is very straightforward and managed by our support team.

Fees

If you transfer onto on one of LLM degree programmes the fees you pay will be adjusted to take into account the fees you have already paid.

Important information about transferring to an LLM

If you are considering transferring onto an online LLM degree from the University of Edinburgh please read the following points carefully:

  • You will have a maximum of five years from starting your studies to complete your LLM degree.
  • Courses must be completed to a minimum standard of 50% to guarantee your eligibility to transfer onto an LLM degree programme.
  • When selecting courses to study on the Postgraduate Certificate in Law please make sure that you are aware of the core courses that you must complete as part of the LLM degree you intend to study.

Edinburgh Law School is Scotland’s leading legal research institution, with a reputation for research excellence in the United Kingdom, Europe and across the globe.

We take a research-led approach to teaching and academic staff teaching on our programmes are all experts in their field and involved in cutting-edge research. During your studies you will find that your learning experience on the programme is highly interactive, informed by academics’ current research interests.

You will benefit from the expertise of a multidisciplinary team of tutors and the results of innovative cross-cutting research of the highest quality.

Find out more about research at Edinburgh Law School

Contact us

If you have any questions about studying the Postgraduate Certificate in Law by online learning please don't hesitate to contact us.

llm.online@ed.ac.uk

The Postgraduate Certificate in Law enables you to study a wide range of subjects within the discipline and aims to promote advanced knowledge and understanding of the law within international, European and domestic settings. You will have the opportunity to study courses in the areas of information technology law, intellectual property law, commercial law and medical law during your chosen study duration.

You must successfully complete 60 credits of taught courses over your chosen study duration to be awarded the Postgraduate Certificate in Law. Full programme details including course descriptions are available on the University Degree Regulations and Programmes of Study website.

View the Postgraduate Certificate in Law by online learning programme structure for 2020/21

Courses shown below are scheduled to run in the 2020/21 academic year. Please note that these may still be subject to change in response to Covid-19.

Group 1

You must select between 40 and 60 credits from group 1, choosing up to 40 credits from any individual subject area.

  • Law of Climate Change (20 credits)
  • EU Law (20 credits)

    The following courses will not be offered in the 2020/21 academic year:
  • Withdrawal from the EU and the Law (Brexit) (20 credits) 
  • European Competition and Innovation (20 credits) 
  • Principles of International Taxation (20 credits) 

Full programme details including course descriptions are available on the University Degree Regulations and Programmes of Study website.

View the Postgraduate Certificate in Law by online learning programme structure

  • Communications Law (20 credits)
  • EU Data Protection Law (20 credits)
  • Forensic Computing and Electronic Evidence (20 credits)
  • International and European Law of the Media (20 credits)
  • Regulation of Autonomous Systems: the Law of Robotics (20 credits)

Full programme details including course descriptions are available on the University Degree Regulations and Programmes of Study website.

View the Postgraduate Certificate in Law by online learning programme structure

  • Intellectual Property Law - Copyright & Related Rights (20 credits)
  • Legal Aspects of Managing Intellectual Property (20 credits)
  • International Intellectual Property System (20 credits)
  • Intellectual Property Law: Industrial Property (20 credits) - this course will not be offered in the 2020/21 academic year.

Full programme details including course descriptions are available on the University Degree Regulations and Programmes of Study website.

View the Postgraduate Certificate in Law by online learning programme structure

  • Fundamentals in Bioethics (20 credits)
  • Governance of Innovative Medicine (20 credits)
  • Shaping Modern Healthcare (10 credits)
  • Regulating Health and Social Care Professionals (10 credits)
  • European Health Law and Policy (20 credits) - this course will not be offered in the 2020/21 academic year.

Please note that courses 'Shaping Modern Healthcare' and 'Regulating Health and Social Care Professionals' are co-requisites and must both be taken in the semester in which they run.

Full programme details including course descriptions are available on the University Degree Regulations and Programmes of Study website.

View the Postgraduate Certificate in Law by online learning programme structure

Group 2

During your studies you will have the opportunity to concentrate on a particular subject area by studying up to 20 credits of courses from this group of courses, with the approval of your Programme Director.

Please note also that if you have already taken 40 credits of courses from a single subject area, for example, two courses from one of group 1, you can only take a course from group 2 that belongs to a different subject area. An exception to this rule may be approved if you are intending to progress to the LLM Medical Law and Ethics by online learning, in which case a third medical law course may be taken from group 1 or group 2, subject to the approval of your Programme Director.

  • Corporate Compliance: Case Studies in Law & Ethics (20 credits)
  • International Commercial Arbitration (20 credits)
  • Comparative and International Corporate Governance (20 credits)
  • Dispute Resolution Methods (20 credits)
  • International Law, Human Rights and Corporate Accountability (20 credits)
  • Contract Law in Europe (20 credits) - this course will not be offered in the 2020/21 academic year.
  • International Oil and Gas Law (20 credits) - this course will not be offered in the 2020/21 academic year.

Full programme details including course descriptions are available on the University Degree Regulations and Programmes of Study website.

View the Postgraduate Certificate in Law by online learning programme structure

  • Electronic Commerce Law (20 credits)
  • Information Technology Law (20 credits)
  • Information: Control and Power (20 credits)

Full programme details including course descriptions are available on the University Degree Regulations and Programmes of Study website.

View the Postgraduate Certificate in Law by online learning programme structure

  • Intellectual Property and Human Rights (20 credits)

Full programme details including course descriptions are available on the University Degree Regulations and Programmes of Study website.

View the Postgraduate Certificate in Law by online learning programme structure

  • Biotechnology, Bioethics and Society (20 credits)
  • Global Health: Law and Policy (20 credits)
  • The Fundamentals of Law and Medical Ethics (20 credits)
  • Law and Ethics at the Start and End of Life (20 credits)

Full programme details including course descriptions are available on the University Degree Regulations and Programmes of Study website.

View the Postgraduate Certificate in Law by online learning programme structure

Courses are offered once in an academic year. Each semester you will choose the course(s) you wish to study in that particular semester. Courses are then allocated. Details of the courses available will be provided in advance.  Courses are then allocated.

The allocation process is intended to support student choices as much as possible, while taking account of optimum class sizes for specific courses.

Class sizes

Class sizes have typically ranged from 15 to 25 students in the past. If more students request a course than can be allocated, students who need to take the course in order to fulfil core programme requirements will have priority and others may be asked to defer that course choice to a later year of study.

Terms and conditions

Please note the University reserves the right to make variations to the contents of programmes, including the range of courses offered, and the available choice of courses in any given year may change.

Find out more about the University's terms and conditions

Please note that due to unforeseen circumstances or lack of demand for particular courses, we may not be able to run all courses as advertised come the start of the academic year.

Contact us

If you have any questions about the Postgraduate Certificate in Law by online learning please don't hesitate to contact us.

llm.online@ed.ac.uk

Academic staff teaching on courses on the Postgraduate Certificate in Law in 2020/21 are experts in their field and are actively involved in cutting-edge research in their area of expertise.

Dr Murray Earle - Programme Director 2020/21

Murray Earle is a Senior Teaching Fellow in medical law. He is a graduate of the University of the Witwatersrand (BA Law & International Relations; BA (Hons) Comparative Literature), and the University of Edinburgh (LLM Medical Jurisprudence & the Sociology of Law; and PhD in Medical Law).

His current teaching is primarily in the Online Learning environment, in a range of medical law courses.

Find out more

Staff teaching courses available on this programme may include:

Academic staff leading commercial law courses may include:

Academic staff leading information technology law courses may include:

Academic staff leading intellectual property law courses may include:

Academic staff leading medical law and ethics courses may include:

The staff teaching on this programme are subject to change for 2020/21 and will depend on the core courses offered. Staff listed as on sabbatical will not be available to teach for the duration of their sabbatical.

Contact us

If you have any questions about the Postgraduate Certificate in Law please don't hesitate to contact us.

llm.online@ed.ac.uk

We require a minimum of a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent.  Your degree does not have to be in the subject of law, but it must be from a recognised higher education institution.

We will also consider your other qualifications and professional experience as part of your application.

Entry to this programme is competitive and meeting the minimum requirements for consideration does not guarantee an offer of study.

If you have a non-UK degree, please check whether your degree qualification is equivalent to the minimum standard before applying.

Check your degree

We also take into account postgraduate qualifications, such as an MA, MSc, MBA or PhD.

Professional experience in appropriate areas is also considered as part of an application, although candidates, including qualified lawyers, will in almost every instance be expected to have reached the required academic levels.

Postgraduate study in the field of law requires a thorough, complex and demanding knowledge of English, so we ask that the communication skills of all students are at the same minimum standard.

Students whose first language is not English must therefore show evidence of one of the following qualifications below:

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.5 in each module).
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Special Home Edition):  total 100 (at least 23 in each module).
    English requirements must be met in a single test. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 176 in each module).
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III (with a pass in all four components).
  • PTE(A): total 67 (at least 61 in each of the Communicative Skills sections).
    Please note that PTE Academic will no longer be accepted for entry to the University for any degree starting after 30 September 2020.
    Find out more

Your English language certificate must be no more than two years old at the beginning of your degree programme.

We do accept an undergraduate or masters degree, that was taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country as defined by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). The UK Government's website provides a list of majority English speaking countries.

View the UKVI list of majority English speaking countries

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree, or equivalent, that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about the University's English language requirements

Your application may not be successful if you do not currently satisfy any of these requirements; alternatively, you may be offered a place conditional on your reaching the satisfactory standard by the time you start the degree.

The University offers an online pre-sessional academic language course designed to help international postgraduate online learning students prepare for their programme of study.

Find out more about English language support offered by the University

If you are currently studying for another qualification, you may still be able to apply on the assumption that all written work for that qualification will be submitted for examination by the start of teaching in the year of entry to the degree programme.

Candidates admitted on this basis, who do not provide evidence of such completion by the start of their first semester, will be formally withdrawn from their studies at the University of Edinburgh.

Conflicting studies

Please note that during the period of your registration with the University, except in exceptional cases and with the permission of the College, you must not take courses or pursue studies in this or in any other institution with a view to obtaining any degree, diploma or professional qualification other than the one for which you are registered at this University.

Contact us

If you have any questions about our entry requirements please don't hesitate to contact us.

llm.online@ed.ac.uk

The Postgraduate Certificate in Law by online learning has start dates in September and January of each academic year. 

We recommend that you apply as early as possible; this is particularly important for applicants who may need to allow sufficient time to take an English language test.

Apply now

We aim to review applications and make selection decisions throughout the cycle and we monitor application numbers carefully to ensure we are able to accommodate all those who receive offers. It may therefore be necessary to close a programme earlier than the published deadline and if this is the case we will place a four-week warning notice on the relevant programme page.

September 2020 entry

The deadline for applications for entry in September 2020 is 4:00pm (UK time) on 9 July 2020

Please note that if you receive a conditional offer of a place on one of our programmes for September 2020, the deadline for meeting the conditions of your offer is 31 July.

January 2021 entry

The deadline for applications for entry in January 2021 is 4:00pm (UK time) on 12 November 2020.

Please note that if you receive a conditional offer of a place on one of our programmes for January 2021, the deadline for meeting the conditions of your offer is 24 November.

Applications are made online via the University Application Service, EUCLID.

Please follow the instructions carefully and make sure that you have included the following documentation with your application:

  • Degree certificates showing award of degree.
  • Previous academic transcripts for all past degree programmes (please upload the full transcript showing results from all years of study). Where academic paperwork is not in English, certified translations must be provided (these must have been produced by a certified translator);
    Find out more about certified translations
  • Details of professional qualifications and any appropriate professional registrations.
  • A reference in support or your application. The reference should be academic and dated no earlier than one year from the start of study on the LLM programme. We may accept a non-academic reference from applicants who have been out of higher education for five years or more.
  • Evidence of English language proficiency, if required.
  • Personal statement - you will be asked to complete a personal statement (maximum 3500 characters - approximately 500 words) as part of your application. 
  • Relevant knowledge / skills - this may include details of any skills or voluntary work that you have undertaken that you feel are pertinent to the programme (maximum 3500 characters - approximately 500 words).

Your personal statement should show that you have thought carefully about why you are interested in this programme of study; what you can bring to the programme and what impact you feel it will have on your future career. Therefore, please ensure that you address the following questions in your statement:

  • What are your motivations for wanting to study this programme?
  • What skills, qualities and experiences have prepared you to undertake this programme?
  • What value do you think you can add to the learning community as part of an internationally diverse group?
  • What impact do you hope to make in your future career, and how will this programme contribute to your aspirations?

If you are currently studying for your degree or you are not in a possession of an English test result you may still apply to the programme. Please note that it is your responsibility to submit the necessary documents.

After your application has been submitted you will be able to track its progress through the University's applicant hub.

Application processing times will vary however the admissions team will endeavour to process your application within four to six weeks of submission. Please note that missing documentation will delay the application process.

You will be informed as soon as possible of the decision taken. Three outcomes are possible:

  • You may be offered a place unconditionally
  • You may be offered a conditional place, which means that you must fulfil certain conditions that will be specified in the offer letter. Where a conditional offer is made, it is your responsibility to inform the College Postgraduate Office when you have fulfilled the requirements set out.
  • Your application may be unsuccessful. If your application has not been successful, you can request feedback from us or refer to our guidance for unsuccessful applicants, which explains some of the common reasons we why we reach this decision.
    View the University's guidance for unsuccessful applicants

You can find full and detailed application guidance on the University's website.

Find out more about applying to the University of Edinburgh

Applicants receiving an unconditional offer of admission to the Postgraduate Certificate in Law will be asked to pay a deposit of £500 to secure their place on the programme

The deposit fee will be deducted from the first tuition fee instalment you have to pay and so enables you to spread the financial cost of the Postgraduate Certificate in Law.

September 2020 applicants

The deposit must be paid within 28 days of the date that the unconditional offer was made or by 7 August 2020, whichever is sooner.  

January 2021 applicants

The deposit must be paid within 28 days of the date that the unconditional offer was made or by 30 November 2020, whichever is sooner.  

Find out more about our deposit policy

The University’s terms and conditions form part of your contract with the University, and you should read them, and our data protection policy, carefully before applying.

University of Edinburgh admissions terms and conditions

Apply now

Contact us

If you have any questions about applying to the Postgraduate Certificate in Law by online learning please don't hesitate to contact us.

llm.online@ed.ac.uk