Diploma in Legal Studies and Practice

Computer Meeting DLSP
1 or 2 Years
Validated by
Part-Time / Blended Learning
Dublin Main Campus / Cork
NFQ Level
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Course Overview

The Diploma in Legal Studies & Practice prepares learners for a legal career through the study of 12 core legal modules.

This Diploma Legal Studies and Practice (Level 7 QQI Special Purpose Award) allows students to complete the programme over one or two academic years on a part-time basis, attending lectures either on-campus or online.

The course is validated by QQI and recognised by the Irish Institute of Legal Executives (IILEx).

Why Study Legal Studies and Practice at Griffith College?

The Diploma in Legal Studies and Practice course has been designed with input from past graduates, members of our legal academic team, employers in legal practice and from the Irish Institute of Legal Executives (IILEx). It is also the only programme of study in Ireland that is endorsed by IILEx.

Assessment varies from module to module and includes a combination of assignments, examinations, workshops and continuous assessment.

  • Graduates of this programme will be awarded a Diploma in Legal Studies and Practice, validated by QQI and recognised by IILEx.
  • Students will gain experience in legal practice, preparing them for a career as a legal executive.
  • Students will acquire highly transferable skills attractive to a wide range of businesses outside law.
  • All of our lecturers are experienced legal professionals with many years’ experience in the legal sector.
  • Students are eligible to become Student Members of IILEx.
  • Graduates of the Diploma in Legal Studies and Practice can apply for direct entry to year two of Griffith College’s LL.B. (Hons) law degree programme.

Course Highlights

  • QQI Level 7 Special Purpose Diploma
  • Recognised by Irish Institute of Legal Executives (IILEx)
  • Flexible Study Options - Block Release 
  • Part-time Programme
  • Completed over 1 or 2 years
  • Extracurricular Law-related Activities
  • Academic and Practical Modules

Intake Dates

  • Dublin - Part-Time - September 2024
  • Cork - Blended - September 2024

What our students say

Student testimonials

Laura Cronin DLSP

"The best advice I could offer anyone contemplating doing the Diploma in Legal Studies and Practice course in Griffith College is “DO IT!!”. It will be the best decision you make, it certainly was mine. Having worked as a Legal Secretary for many years in medical negligence, it was great to get to touch on so many different aspects of Law, and the modules were so much more in depth than I had anticipated. The Lecturers are fantastic, always available to help or discuss matters with you. A special mention should go to Ailbhe for making the practical exams less daunting and, dare I say it, fun! Shauna is the best Programme Director you could ever ask for, no issue was ever too big or too small for her to help with. It can be tough going at times, especially if you’re working full-time, but it is definitely worth it. If you’re lucky you might (just might) develop a love of Reflective Journals (I definitely did not!!!). But one thing is certain, you will develop an appreciation for Law that you never thought you could."

Laura Cronin

Diploma in Legal Studies and Practice 2023


My Griffith journey began in September 2021 when I returned to education after a gap of nearly a decade. To say it was a bit daunting is an understatement, especially entering an area of study, where I had no experience.
Taking the DLSP course part-time over two years gave me the perfect opportunity to balance my full-time day job in the Civil Service and obtain a new qualification. I was able to split my time between on-campus classes and online lectures when the need arose which allowed for quite a healthy work-college-life balance. This was all down to the support structure of each member of the Law Faculty. The Programme Director, Shauna Colgan BL and all other lecturers were always at the end of an email or telephone call when they were needed.
The smaller class groups on the DLSP made getting to know people quite easy and the mix of personalities always made classroom debates more interesting. There are also great opportunities for extracurricular activities from the FLAC Society and the Law Society to the Brehon Law Society. These groups allow you to meet and interact with other Law students. This course has not only allowed me to make some professional contacts but I have also made some very good friends.
Now to look forward to my LLB (Hons)!

Conal Dolan

Diploma in Legal Studies & Practice 2023

legal studies and practice

"When I enrolled in the DLSP course I was working as a Legal Secretary. I had the perception that the course would just refresh what I already knew however I was surprised to see how in-depth it went. I really enjoyed taking part in the practical workshops, they boosted my confidence when speaking with others which is a very important skill to have when pursuing a legal career. I am honoured to have received the 2021 Best Academic Achievement Award for the DLSP. I am now working as a Legal Executive and I am delighted I completed my studies at Griffith College."

Alisha Larkin

Diploma in Legal Studies and Practice 2021


"The Diploma in Legal Studies and Practice I completed at Griffith College Dublin was instrumental in helping me discover that I wanted to become a solicitor. The course taught me not only the theory, and laws within the Irish legal system, but also gave me a practical understanding of the law. I feel like the DLSP was an incredible experience and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to become not only a legal executive but also any future legal professional in the making."

Amy Lee

Diploma in Legal Studies and Practice

"Griffith College has a wealth of experience with a strong reputation for being student-focused. I found it to provide a current and constantly evolving backdrop to enable the student to flourish and excel."

Rian Gallagher

Diploma in Legal Studies and Practice

Course Details

The Diploma in Legal Studies and Practice year is broken into four blocks. The course will commence in September each year. The programme finishes in May. On successful completion of the 60 credit (twelve subjects) course, students will be awarded a Diploma in Legal Studies and Practice (Level 7 QQI Special Purpose Award) and are eligible to become Associate Members of the Irish Institute of Legal Executives (IILEx). Graduates may also apply to enter the second year of the LL.B. (Hons) degree in Griffith College.

One Year Option:

The majority of students opt to complete the Diploma in Legal Studies and Practice in one academic year.

Students attend class three evenings per week (Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday) from 6.00pm - 10.00pm each evening. Students can attend lectures either on campus, synchronously via Livestream or asynchronously online via recorded lectures. Students must attend workshops and examinations on campus.

The study plan for the one-year option is:

  • Introduction to the Irish Legal System (Block 1)
  • Law of Contract (Block 1)
  • Professional and Academic Preparedness and Skills (Block 1)
  • Law of Torts (Block 2)
  • Constitutional Law and Judicial Review (Block 2)
  • Civil Litigation (Block 2)
  • Criminal Law (Block 3)
  • Land Law (Block 3)
  • Conveyancing (Block 3)
  • Criminal Practice and Procedure (Block 4)
  • 2 elective modules (Block 4)

Two Year Option:

Students may also choose to undertake the 60 credit (twelve subjects) course over two academic years. Each year of study in this two-year option is also broken into four blocks . The recommended study plan for the two-year option is:

Year One:

  • Introduction to the Irish Legal System (Block1)
  •  Professional and Academic Preparedness and Skills (Block 1)
  • Law of Torts (Block 2)
  • Criminal Law (Block 3)
  • Criminal Practice and Procedure (Block 4)
  • 1 elective module (Block 4)

Year Two:

  • Law of Contract (Block 1)
  • Constitutional Law and Judicial Review (Block 2)
  • Civil Litigation (Block 2)
  • Land Law (Block 3)
  • Conveyancing (Block 3)
  • 1 elective module (Block 4)

The Elective Modules offered are as follows:

  • Probate Law
  • Employment Law
  • Company Law
  • Family Law

Year One

On successful completion of this module, the learner will be able to display knowledge of the different jurisdictions of the Civil Courts, as well as a clear understanding of the fundamental principles and substantive rules of all branches of civil law dealt with on the syllabus. Students will express opinions on legal issues with concision and clarity and present and communicate legal arguments with clarity in private or public. They will also learn some of the more practical skills such as negotiation and good legal drafting expected of the modern legal executive and be able to apply the fundamental principles and substantive rules of civil law to practical factual scenarios.

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Upon successful completion of this module, learners should be able to explain the fundamental principles and substantive rules of constitutional law and discuss the legislative, judicial and executive functions of the State. Students will describe and define the various grounds for judicial review as well as the procedural aspects of the judicial review process. They will further be able to explain the impact of the European Convention on Human Rights on Irish Constitutional law and apply principles of constitutional law to a factual scenario. 

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On successful completion of this module, the learner will be able to explain the nature and purpose of Conveyancing; define the role of the professional in Conveyancing – estate agent, auctioneer, solicitor and counsel; explain the distinction between registered and unregistered land; outline the pre-contractual-formation of contract-completion continuum; discuss the law relating to mortgages; identify and use standard Land Law documents in practical Conveyancing scenarios, and describe what happens after the procedure and remedies for enforcement of the contract including how to identify the distinction between remedies for the enforcement of the contract and post-completion remedies.

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On successful completion of this module, the learner will be able to describe the Irish criminal system generally and the jurisdiction of the courts responsible for the implementation of that system; explain the criminal appeals system including the respective responsibilities of the Central Criminal Court, the Court of Appeal and the Circuit Court; describe the differing circumstances in which the summons procedure and the charge sheet procedure are employed and the purposes served by these alternative procedures; discuss important pre-trial procedures, and explain the practice and procedure applying to summary trials as well as trials on indictment.

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On successful completion of this module, the learner will be able to discuss the nature of criminality; identify and assess the central elements of a crime; identify, describe and evaluate the different types of criminal offence; discuss the defences available to a criminal offence and the constitutional rights such as trial and due process; apply the law regarding criminal offences and the defences to such charges to different factual situations; and discuss academic controversies in the field and the possibility of the reform of the law.

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On successful completion of this module, the learner will be able to explain the historical development of the Irish common law legal system, identify its main characteristics; discuss the doctrine of precedent and its importance within the Irish legal system; apply legal knowledge to solving basic legal problems; apply legal writing skills in addressing practical, professional scenarios; describe the civil, criminal and appellate jurisdictions of the different courts; explain the role of legal professionals: solicitors, barristers and legal executives; identify the various sources of law, (national, EU and international), custom and judicial decisions; and research legislation and case law. 

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Upon successful completion of this module, learners should be able to discuss the fundamental doctrines and principles of the law of contract; identify what constitutes a legally binding agreement for the purpose of the law of contract; define the terms which can constitute the contents of a contract including the role of the Constitution with regard to implied terms; define what factors may render an otherwise valid contract void or voidable; identify how a contract may be terminated; explain the remedies available within the Law of Contract, and apply contract law theory to different factual situations. 

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Upon successful completion of this module, learners should be able to explain the historical background to land law; describe the estates in land law, including the ability to distinguish particular estates; discuss the rules of land law, including engaging in analysis of these rules and proposals for reform, where applicable; assess judicial and legislative rules on land law; and analyse factual scenarios and be able to identify the estate, type of ownership, and particular rule of land law in question.

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On successful completion of this module, the learner will be able to explain the nature of a tort and define the characteristics of specific torts; define the different types of torts including negligence, defamation and Constitutional torts such as privacy; appraise the key elements of these torts; illustrate the remedies available in tort; define the different tests in Tort to deal with physical and psychiatric injuries; apply specific pieces of statute law that have updated and expanded on traditional tortuous reliefs at common law: for example, the Defamation Act 2009 and the Occupiers’ Liability; and assess factual scenarios and apply their understanding of Irish tort law to them. 

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On successful completion of this module, the learner will be able to discuss the core provisions of professional ethics and how it relates to other areas of law; explain the societal impact of professional ethics; interpret relevant case law and legislation; explain the procedure for the operation of client accounts; apply rules and principles of professional ethics to factual scenarios; and employ research skills and communicate effectively on matters of professional ethics. 

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On successful completion of this module learners should be able to discuss and review the concept of probate law; identify and appraise a valid will; describe and discuss the grounds on which a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration can be extracted; explain the rights of spouses and children to the estate of the deceased; describe and evaluate the role of the executor, administrator, guardian, trustee, witness under a will; discuss the key elements of Probate Law in respect of the distribution of the deceased’s estate; and prepare the appropriate documentation to extract a Grant of Probate, Letters of Administration. 

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On successful completion of this module, the learner will be able to explain core terms and principles governing the Contract of Employment; define an employee and an independent contractor; explain and appraise the importance and application of restrictive covenants; describe the law on the termination of a contract of employment and identify key redundancy entitlements in Ireland; explain and discuss the law on health and safety and the law on equality in the workplace; explain and discuss specific protective legislation; discuss the law governing trade union activity; and explain the Institutions and Dispute Resolution Structures governing Employment Law in Ireland. 

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On successful completion of this module, learners should be able to define the differences between a limited liability company and a partnership; explain how a company is formed and describe the core concept of Limited Liability and separate legal personality, and the consequences of same; define the duties of company directors and recount their role in corporate governance; describe the enforcement mechanisms available where directorial misconduct is identified; outline the processes by which a company is wound up; classify liquidators, examiners and receivers, and explain the respective processes associated with each type of these processes; and illustrate the various charges which a company may create as part of corporate borrowing. 

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On successful completion of this module learners should be able to discuss and review the concept of marriage within the law; identify and appraise the rights and duties that flow from marriage; discuss the grounds for the dissolution of marriage, procedures for making a separation agreement, obtaining a judicial separation or divorce and describe how a nullity may be obtained; examine the law regarding matrimonial property and in particular its disposal on the breakdown of marriage; describe and examine the role of mediation in the area of family law; discuss the key areas of child law, including adoption, guardianship, custody, access, and the exercise by the State of its powers to take the child into care; and prepare the appropriate documentation to bring a case before the Irish family courts. 

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Course Contacts


How to Apply

Entry Requirements

Applicants should meet the standard entry requirements for level 7 programmes (min. of 5 O6/H7 grades, to include a language (English, Irish or another language) and have one to two years relevant legal work experience. Students over 23 years of age on the 1st of January on the year of admission may apply as mature students. Mature students are assessed on the basis of age and may be interviewed in advance of admission.

How to Apply 

Applicants under the age of 23:

We will require the identification as stated above, in addition, we will also require a copy of your leaving certificate results, an up to date curriculum vitae, detailing any experience in a legal environment. If you do not meet the work experience requirement but have sufficient prior legal studies you can submit transcripts and course descriptors for this purpose.

Applicants over the age of 23 (Mature students):

You will need to supply proof of identification, this must be photographic identification such as a passport or drivers licence. This can either be attached to the application form or emailed to [email protected]

Apply for this part-time programme by clicking on the 'Apply Now' button below.  


Please note that not all study modes may be offered at all times; for confirmation, refer to the Intake dates on the Overview tab.

Tuition Fees

Study Mode: Part-Time

Dublin : EUR 5,600.00


Study Mode: Blended Learning

Dublin : EUR 5,600.00

Cork : EUR 5,600.00

An IILEX Membership Fee of EUR100.00, EUR250 Academic Administration Fee and a 2% Learner Protection Charge is applicable each academic year in addition to the fees quoted below. The fees below relate to Year 1 fees only.

Flexible payment options

Students wishing to pay their fees monthly may avail of our direct debit scheme. Please view our Fees information page for more information and assistance.


Is your company paying for your course?

They will need to complete a Griffith College Sponsorship Form and send this to the Student Fees Office:

  • Post: Student Fees, Griffith College Dublin, South Circular Road, Dublin 8
  • Email: [email protected]


2% Learner Protection Charge

All QQI accredited programmes of education and training of 3 months or longer duration are covered by arrangements under section 65 (4) of the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012 whereby, in the event of the provider ceasing to provide the programme for any reason, enrolled learners may transfer to a similar programme at another provider, or, in the event that this is not practicable, the fees most recently paid will be refunded.


Academic Progression 

Graduates of this course have the option to continue their studies in Griffith College and can apply to enter year 2 of our LL.B. (Hons) law degree.

You can contact our admissions team to discuss what progression options are available to you.

Career Progression 

Through the Diploma in Legal Studies and Practice, you will have gained valuable professional experience, built a strong foundation of critical analysis and presentation skills, and covered a diverse range of topics. There is a wide range of career options for our graduates including:

  • Legal Secretary
  • Legal Executive
  • Legal Advisor
  • Legal Administrator
  • Para Legal

Ready to take the next step?