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Law Foundation Degree - University of Sunderland

Course overview

This foundation degree is designed for students who have fewer UCAS points but a desire to study law. You will usually need at least one pass at A Level but we welcome applications from people with relevant work experience, even without formal qualifications.

Foundation degrees differ from honours degrees because they are designed with the help of employers and with a particular area of work in mind. They usually take two years to complete, compared to the three years of most honours degrees.

The course is taught at Hartlepool Sixth Form College, which has an excellent record in law. You will also have access to library facilities at the University of Sunderland and support from University tutors.

During your second year, you will be able to choose modules from a range of subject areas, including Family Law, Tort Law, Civil Litigation and Employment Law.

When you complete this course, you have the option to go on to the second year of our LLB Law course, or the final year of our Business Law (Top-Up) Degree.

Lecturer, Chris Smith, speaks about the Student Law Clinic at the University of Sunderland:

Course content

Modules on this course include:

Year 1 (national level 4)

  • Legal Skills and Methods (30 Credits)
  • Practical Contract Law (30 Credits)
  • Practical Legal Skills (20 Credits)
  • Criminal and Civil Litigation in Practice (20 Credits)
  • Law in Practice (20 Credits)

Final Year (national level 5)

Core modules

  • Criminal Law and Procedure (30 Credits)
  • European Method (20 Credits)
  • Public Law and the Law of the European Union (30 Credits)

Optional modules (choose two):

  • Family Law (20 Credits)
  • Family Practice and Procedure (20 Credits)
  • Advanced Tort Law (20 Credits)
  • Advanced Civil Litigation (20 Credits)
  • Employment Law (20 Credits)
  • Employment Law in Practice (20 Credits)

Teaching and assessment

Teaching and assessment will take place at Hartlepool Sixth Form College. Teaching methods include lectures and case studies as well as directed private study. Assessment methods include exams, reports, assignments and a personal portfolio. 

To find out more about modules, credits and how you will be assessed, please see how courses are taught. Information about our policies relating to student experience and quality assurance processes can be found on the Academic Services website.

Key Information Sets

All UK universities and colleges display Key Information Sets (KIS) on their undergraduate courses. The KIS gives you a quick overview of some standard information about a course and has a link to more detailed information on Unistats.

Facilities & location

Teaching will take place at Hartlepool Sixth Form College.

You will also have access to our Law Library, which is located within the St Peter’s Library on the banks of the River Wear. It offers an excellent selection of books as well as a wide range of electronic sources of information such as LexisNexis and West Law.

Entry requirements

The usual minimum entry qualifications are one pass at A Level and four GCSEs (which must include English Language and Mathematics) at grade A-C, or equivalent. Other acceptable qualifications include a National Diploma, Advanced Vocational Certificate of Education or NVQ Level Three, in a relevant subject.

We will consider applications from people who do not have one of the above but who have relevant experience and ability.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

If you feel you already know some of the topics covered in this course, either due to previous learning or from experience of work, then you may not need to study all of the course.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) is the name given to the process of gaining credit towards a qualification because of something you have learnt in the past. If you are eligible for APL, you won't have to learn the same topic again, and so you can be exempt from a module, set of modules or year of a course. 

Read more about APL in the Quality Handbook (.pdf). If you think you may be eligible for APL, please contact the course leader.

If English is not your first language, please see our English language requirements.

Fees & finance

The annual fee for this full-time course is £7,965. Please note that this course is only available to UK students.

If you are not sure whether you qualify as a UK, EU or International student, please see the International section of this website.

Scholarships and bursaries may be available to you – please see the Fees and Funding section of this website for more information.

Employment & careers

Legal careers include the role of a legal executive, which is similar to the role of a solicitor. Legal executives usually specialise in areas that include civil/criminal litigation, family law, conveyancing, private client work (including probate and wills), and public and corporate law.

For more details of careers and vocational exams see the Institute for Legal Executives website.

If you decide to top-up your foundation degree to a full honours degree, there is a natural progression from this course to the second year of our LLB Law course or the final year of our Business Law (Top-Up).

Dan Briscall was one of our Lives Online student bloggers in 2011-2012. In this video, Dan talks about the Careers Evening organised by the Law Department in February 2012.


You can expect stimulating contact time that includes lectures, seminars, debates and workshops. There is also a significant amount of time where you will be researching and studying on your own in preparation for assignments and seminars. 

Hartlepool Sixth Form College provides an induction that allows you to get to know the wide range of academic and personal support they offer.

You will build up a Personal Development Portfolio that is a way for you to take responsibility for your own learning and identify how you could improve key skills. You will review it with your personal tutor every few months and it will provide evidence of how you have completed tasks. The Portfolio is part of your assessment and essential to successful completion of the course.

For more information about all the support services you will have access to as a Sunderland student at a partner college, please see the Partnerships Office web pages. 

"I would recommend this course to anyone who wants to study and excel with legal knowledge."

Judith Farrell - Student M200

Judith Farrell


"I chose Sunderland because the course was the most suited to what I wanted to do. I was told the Foundation Law Degree would open up the options of a BA or an LLB through the University of Sunderland. By going through this route, I would gain my ILEX Qualification as well as a full degree in just three years.

"I had never given University much thought before this, so I knew it would be a big decision for me. What helped in my decision were the positive comments I had heard from others who had studied Law at Sunderland.

"The best thing about the course was the range of module choices available to you. Two of the most interesting options, for me, were Coroners Law and Law and Sexuality.

"I would recommend this course to anyone who wants to study and excel with the legal knowledge they gain from it.

"The module tutors are really good at guiding students in the right direction for any help that is asked of them, as they are all friendly and approachable. Even if you think a question you want to ask is stupid, don't worry about it! The tutors' welcome any questions that are going to help your peace of mind. The best part of it is that they are all available by email or phone, and are always quick to respond."

Apply for this course

Interested in this course? Apply straight away through UCAS, or read our 7-step guide to applying to university.

Want to know more about this course or the University of Sunderland? Order a prospectus or come to our next Open Day to see the facilities and talk to academic staff:

    Next Open Day

  • Date: Saturday 12th November 2016
  • Time: 9:30am-4:00pm
  • Type: University Open Day
  • Location: Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter's

Contact Sunderland

Course Leader:
Kevin Greene

For specific questions about the course, please contact:

Hartlepool Sixth Form College
Tel: 01429 294 444

Contact the Student Helpline for further information about studying at the Universty of Sunderland:

Tel: 0191 515 3000


The details

Course Name Law
Classification Foundation Degree
Course Mode Full-time
Course Level Undergraduate
Duration 2 years
Study Location Off-campus
Starting 11 September 2017
UK/EU Fee £7965
Intl Fee £Unavailable

Entry requirements

56 points

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