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Diploma in Legal Studies and Practice

Diploma in Legal Studies and Practice


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 either in-class or via blended learning.

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.

Assessment varies from module to module and usually consists of assignments, examinations and some workshops.

  • 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.
  • Learners 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 
  • Available via Blended Learning 
  • Completed over 1 or 2 years
  • Extracurricular Law-related Activities
  • Academic and Practical Modules

Intake Dates

This course will next commence September 2020.

What our students say

legal studies and practice

"I found the IILEX course extremely useful in that it provided me with an insight to the legal world and how law operates on a day to day basis. The lecturers are in the legal profession themselves and offer so much support in terms of studying and how you want to progress your career further."

Richie Crowley
Diploma in Legal Studies and Practice 2012

"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 it 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
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 late 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 will complete the Diploma in Legal Studies and Practice in one academic year.

Students will attend class three evenings per week (Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday) from 6.00pm - 10.00pm each evening. All lectures are recorded and available online for students wishing to complete the course via blended learning (watching lectures online and attending on campus for workshops and exams). 

Two Year Option:

Students can also choose to undertake the course over two academic years. The year is broken into four blocks containing 3 modules, if you are taking the two-year option it will mean that you are breaking up these modules resulting in having to attend class a lesser number of evenings. The recommended study plan for the two-year option is:

Year One:

  • Introduction to the Irish Legal System (Block1)
  • Professional Ethics and Skills for Practice (Block 1)
  • Law of Torts (Block 2)
  • Criminal Law (Block 3)
  • Criminal Law, 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)
Year One
Civil Litigation

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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Constitutional Law and Judicial Review

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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Criminal Practice and Procedure

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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Criminal Law

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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Introduction to the Irish Legal System

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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Law of Contract

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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Land Law

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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Law of Torts

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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Professional Ethics and Skills in Practice

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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Probate Law

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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Employment Law

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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Company Law

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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Family Law

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

Dublin Main Campus Campus

Please note this is a provisional timetable and may be subject to change.

2019 Timetable

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 other 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 

  • If you are 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.
  • If you are over the age of 23, 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]
Tuition Fees

General Fee Information 

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.

Study Mode: Part-Time


Irish/EU living in Ireland: EUR 5,150.00


Study Mode: Blended Learning


Irish/EU living in Ireland: EUR 5,150.00


Irish/EU living in Ireland: EUR 5,150.00

Direct Debit Scheme

Students wishing to pay for their fees monthly may avail of our direct debit scheme. Please download our Fee Payment Information document to review the payment plan schedule and how to apply.


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

What our students say

Rian Gallagher

"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

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