UCL Faculty of Laws


Distance learning

Our distance learning programmes increase access to studying law at postgraduate level for students from diverse backgrounds and educational levels who are based around the world.

Our distance learning programme brings a huge increase in the Faculty’s global outreach and accessibility of our expertise. The Programme Team, based at UCL and supported by the Dean and Faculty of Laws at UCL and our partner Queen Mary, University of London, are passionate about maximising the accessibility of high quality law teaching and equipping our students to improve the world.

UCL Laws provides joint academic leadership (with the School of Law, QMUL) to distance learning postgraduate laws programmes run by the University of London (worldwide). The programmes (PGCert, PGDip, and LLM available in over 30 specialisations) offer access to postgraduate law study at diverse and widely open access points: for traditional lawyers, entry at LLM is possible; for graduates from other disciplines, entry is offered at PGDip level; for non-graduates, but with at least five years’ experience in a relevant industry, access to postgraduate legal education is possible at PGCert level. Full admission information is available via the University of London website.

Students are based all over the world. This year, students come from 136 countries. Fees are much lower than for traditional programmes, especially since accommodation and living costs are not necessary and most students continue their employment in their own environments.

Access to the programme

The flexible entry points of the programmes open postgraduate legal education to anyone that has the enthusiasm, zest, dedication, and eagerness to delve into the eccentricities of law, irrespective of their qualifications.

Students start at PGCert level, and use the stepped awards of PGCert and PGDip as entry qualifications to the higher awards, until they graduate (usually) with an LLM. Coupled with a flexible structure that detaches registration to a module from immediate examination to it, and allows students to draft their own study plan (informed by their time and financial circumstances) within the five year study period, the programme opens postgraduate legal education to everyone, including the socially and financially vulnerable.


Graduates include judges and ambitious lawyers with busy practices specialising in one of the programme’s 68 courses, busy NHS consultants (often funded by their trusts for their study of medical law and ethics), captains in oil tankers and port masters studying shipping law, arbitrators, bankers, compliance officers, civil servants, legislative drafters, HR officers - the list is never-ending.

Past graduates have been parents with financial and personal hurdles for traditional time-critical tertiary education, women in countries where religion blocks tertiary education to them (especially at postgraduate level and indeed in law) and travel abroad to sit exams, refugees (who also benefit from full scholarships), human rights activists from Africa (who benefit from our Canon Collins scholarships), a Pakistani refugee in South Korea, soldiers and UN blue helmets studying amidst one or even two tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, law librarians from the USA, law enforcers, each and every one gracious enough to share their incredible stories of hardship and success. Full information on scholarships is available on the University of London website.

Alumni stories