SOAS University of London

School of Law

PG Certificate in Law (2021 entry)

Select year of entry: 2022 2021

  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning


Overview and entry requirements

Our new 60-credit Postgraduate Certificate in Law allows students to apply and enrol into existing LLM law half-modules on a full-time basis for one term (either Term 1 or Term 2) only. Students who successfully complete the 60 credits in a single term will be conferred the PG Certificate in Law.

The new Postgraduate Certificate in Law Programme gives students the opportunity to study at our vibrant School of Law with its unique focus on the legal systems and legal challenges of the Global South generally and Asia, Africa and the Middle East in particular, without having to enrol for a full LLM. The structure of the Postgraduate Certificate in Law allows students to create their own programme of study, choosing from a wide array of 15-credit modules, including those in comparative law, international law, law and development, commercial and trade law, human rights, environmental law, Islamic law and dispute resolution. The Postgraduate Certificate in Law can only be taken full time over a period of one term, either Term 1 or Term 2 of the academic year.


Our Postgraduate Certificate in Law teaching reflects our research strengths in the laws of Asia, Africa and the Middle East, and in Islamic, international, human rights, commercial and trade, comparative, and environmental law. Much of our teaching concerns the critical study of law and the ways that law can be used to marginalise or to empower individuals and communities. In today’s globalised environment, our teaching also explores the study of the society in which the law operates, and the relationship of law to other structuring forces such as gender, sexuality, race, and economic status. All teachers on modules offered at SOAS are experts in their designated field, and many have years of experience advising governments, international and non-governmental organisations, or in professional practise. Undertaking the LLM at SOAS brings you into the heart of a world-leading, one-of-a-kind law school to study the world’s most pressing legal issues.

Why study Postgraduate Certificate in Law at SOAS

The Postgraduate Certificate in Law programme is ideal for law graduates, JD students and legal professionals who wish to expand their knowledge of, and critical engagement with, law, particularly as it relates to the Global South, without committing to a full LLM programme. With the PG Certificate in Law you will join an international network of alumni of the School of Law at SOAS, many of whom are now working at the UN, in NGOs, in government, in private practice, in policy work or in academia. Since Postgraduate Certificate in Law is taken full-time in only one term, or part-time, many students will be able to successfully combine their studies at SOAS with their existing careers or studies at other universities.

Please note that the PG Certificate in Law is restricted to applicants who hold an UK law degree or international equivalent, as well as second and third year Juris Doctor degree students.

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

Start of programme: September intake only

Mode of Attendance: Full-time or Part-time

Entry requirements

  • We will consider all applications with 2:ii (or international equivalent) or higher. In addition to degree classification we take into account other elements of the application including supporting statement and references.

Featured events

One calendar year (full-time) Two, three or four years (part-time, daytime only) We recommend that part-time students have between two-and-a-half and three days a week free to pursue their course of study.




Students must take modules to a total value of 60, consisting of  four (4) taught modules worth 15 credits at Level 7 from the list below (subject to availability). 


Important notice

The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session. If you are a current student you can find structure information on the previous year link at the top of the page or through your Department. Please read the important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules.

Teaching and Learning

Teaching & Learning

Contact hours

Masters programmes (with the exception of two-year full-time MAs) consist of 180 credits, made up of taught modules of 30 or 15 credits, taught over 10 or 20 weeks, and a dissertation of 60 credits. The programme structure shows which modules are compulsory and which optional.

As a rough guide, 1 credit equals approximately 10 hours of work. Most of this will be independent study (see such as reading and research, preparing coursework, revising for examinations and so on. Also included is class time, for example lectures, seminars and other classes. Some subjects may have more class time than others – a typical example of this are language acquisition modules.
At SOAS, most postgraduate modules have a one-hour lecture and a one-hour seminar every week, but this does vary.

More information can be found on individual module pages.

Knowledge and understanding

Students will acquire specialist knowledge of the chosen subject areas of law.

This includes, but is not necessarily limited to, knowledge and understanding of the following:

  • the theoretical and practical underpinnings of law;
  • the context in which law is made, interpreted, adjudicated, and amended;
  • the role played by law in different social and economic environments;
  • the role and function of legal institutions;
  • the weight and significance of different sources and methodologies.

Students will develop knowledge of how to locate relevant materials and assess their relevance and/or importance.

 Intellectual (thinking) skills

  • Students should develop rigor in analysis and assessment of legal arguments.
  • Students should develop the ability to understand, summarise and critically assess differing perspectives on theoretical debates.
  • Students should develop independence of thought and the confidence to challenge the accepted wisdom.
  • Students should learn to identify issues and formulate questions for further research through independent work.
  • Students will be encouraged to bring to bear their own previous experience and knowledge in addressing legal issues in an interdisciplinary manner.

Subject-based practical skills

The programme will help students develop the ability to:

  • Write clear research essays and dissertations.
  • Research in a variety of specialized research libraries and institutes and online, and retrieve, sift and select information from a variety of sources.
  • Present seminar papers and defend the arguments therein.
  • Discuss ideas introduced during seminars.
  • Develop essay and dissertation research questions.
  • Read legal source materials rapidly and critically.
  • Present legal arguments in moots and debates.

Transferable skills

The programme will enable students to:

  • Communicate effectively in writing.
  • Structure and communicate ideas and arguments effectively both orally and in writing.
  • Read and comprehend significant quantities of reading rapidly and effectively and develop critical faculties.
  • Find and use a variety of written and digital materials, especially legal materials, in libraries and research institutes.
  • Present (non-assessed) material orally.
  • Develop teamwork skills.