UCC Undergraduate courses

Law (Pathways)

Course Fact File
Duration3 years, or 4 years if following the BCL (International) or BCL (Clinical)
Teaching ModeFull-time
QualificationsBCL (Hons)
NFQ LevelLevel 8
FeesEU Student Contribution + Capitation: €3,138 See Fees and Costs for full details.
CAO Points2023: 525
CAO Points Range2023: 525 - 625

Course Outline

Our BCL(Hons) Law-Pathways programme is offered by the College of Business & Law at University College Cork (UCC) in Ireland. The programme allows for law students to take a general law degree which can be shaped to suit their own interests. If you take this degree you can specialise in areas such as international law, business law, human rights law, etc. You will also develop a strong foundation in legal research and writing, advocacy, and legal reasoning; these transferable skills are attractive to employers in a wide variety of professions and industries. Fundamentally this unique programme allows you to tailor your law degree and maximise your potential and opportunities.

You will commence this programme as a BCL (Pathways) student and, upon completion of your first year, you can then apply to transfer to your preferred path for the remainder of your degree.

The BCL at UCC is a comprehensive three-year law degree that ensures a critical understanding of the fundamentals of Irish and international law, together with exposure to a range of interesting elective areas of legal study. Alternatively, a Law Pathways student can apply for a four-year degree path which will include one or two semesters on either a work or study abroad placement.

BCL International Programme

Our BCL (International) programme is an exciting and dynamic four-year degree, offering the opportunity to study abroad at a partner university in China, India, the US, Canada or Europe for one or two semesters; each study abroad option offers a unique experience to you and the programme director aims to match your interests with those of our partners to ensure you have the best possible learning experience during your semester abroad. This opportunity will broaden your horizons, enhance your CV and provide you with a unique insight into the laws of another jurisdiction.

BCL (Clinical) Programme

Our BCL (Clinical) programme is a four-year degree that incorporates a unique opportunity to work within the Irish legal system and facilitates students' development of professional, organisational, and interpersonal workplace skills. This programme includes placement for at least one semester in a professional environment, including with law firms, NGOs and regulatory bodies. This programme combines the study of law with an understanding of how the law works in practice, develops workplace and interpersonal skills, and adds immense value to your CV.

Work placements take place in a wide variety of areas including commercial law, human rights law, medical law, employment law, and with diverse placement organisations including law firms, NGOs, regulatory bodies, in-house, etc.  


Course Practicalities

Students must take 60 credits per academic year, with 5 credits typically equating to 12 weeks of 2 lecture hours per week. Selected modules also include a tutorial with 5 tutorials per semester.

The library is the main learning ground for law students and you will be expected to prepare in advance of lectures and tutorials and to follow lectures and tutorials with significant time reading and further researching the material covered in class.

The number of optional elective modules available increases as you progress through the course and includes non-law options; European language options or Mandarin; or business options such as accounting and management.

Year 1 Core Modules

  • LW1104 Foundations of the Legal System (5 credits)
  • LW1112 Constitutional and Institutional Law of the European Union (5 credits)
  • LW1153 Criminal Law (10 credits)
  • LW1154 Law of Contract (10 credits)
  • LW1156 Legal Research and Writing (10 credits)
  • LW1161 Constitutional Law: Fundamental Rights (5 credits) plus LW1162  Constitutional Law: Institutions of Government (5 credits) or
  • LW1163 Dlí Bunreachtúil: Bunchearta (5 credits) plus LW1164  Dlí Bunreachtúil: Institiúidí an Rialtais (5 credits)

Elective Modules (choose 10 credits)

  • LW1106  Law of Torts I (5 credits) plus  LW1107 Law of Torts II (5 credits)
  • AC1103 Financial Accounting Fundamentals (5 credits) plus  AC1104 Accounting for Partnerships and Companies (5 credits)
  • CH1001Chinese Language (Mandarin) I (5 credits)
  • FR0105 Introduction to French (5 credits)
  • FR1005 French for Near Beginners (5 credits)
  • FR1105 Threshold French (5 credits)
  • FR1107 French for Reading Purposes I (5 credits)
  • GA1002 Ceart na Gaeilge idir Scríobh agus Labhairt (10 credits)
  • GE0005 German Language (CEFR-Level A2.1) (5 credits)
  • GE0008 German Language (CEFR-Level A2.2) (5 credits)
  • HS0028 Spanish Language (Beginner Level) (10 credits)
  • HS0128 Spanish Language (Improver [01]) (10 credits)
  • HS1009 Spanish Language (Post Leaving Certificate) (10 credits)
  • IT1102 Non-Beginners' Written and Spoken Italian (10 credits)
  • IT1109 Introduction to Written and Spoken Italian (10 credits)


Law modules are for the most part examined by written assignments, end-of-semester examinations, or both. Some modules, especially the skills modules, can include oral presentations as part of the examination process.

Who Teaches This Course?

During your time on the BCL course, you will be taught by the expert and dedicated staff of the Law School. They include internationally recognised experts in child law, medical law, environmental law, family law, criminal justice, and human rights law.

Academic Programme Catalogue

See the Academic Programme Catalogue for the complete and up-to-date content for this course. Note that the modules for all courses are subject to change from year-to-year. For complete descriptions of individual modules, see the Book of Modules.


Why Choose This Course

You study all aspects of law... from how it works to how laws are created & passed...

Ian Wallace

BCL (Clinical Law) student

View Video

Top 100 ranking

UCC School of Law has been ranked among the world’s best Law Schools in the latest QS World University Rankings by Subject (2021).

Key Facts

Comprehensive legal education

  • A range of pathways
  • Research-led teaching
  • World-class Law School

Connected Curriculum

Our learning approach also reflects our commitment to the Connected Curriculum where we emphasise the connection between students, learning, research and leadership through our vision for a Connected University. Our staff are at the forefront of this integrative approach to learning and will support you in making meaningful connections within and between disciplines such as law, human rights, governance, global issues, and languages.

Placement or Study Abroad Information

The BCL (Clinical) includes placement for at least one semester in a professional environment, including with law firms, NGOs, and regulatory bodies.

The BCL (International) incorporates at least one semester of study abroad at a law school in North America, Europe, or Asia.

The School of Law operates a summer placement scheme, securing placements and internships for UCC Law students who wish to experience legal practice nationally and/or internationally during their summer holidays. This is in addition to the work placement aspect of the BCL (Pathways) and BCL (Law & Irish) degree programmes.

Skills and Careers Information

The knowledge and skills acquired by UCC law graduates equip them for an extensive array of careers, enhances their confidence and ability in the workplace, and provides a balanced and varied foundation regardless of career path pursued.

The School of Law at UCC places a huge emphasis upon the development of transferable skills through dedicated modules, including legal writing and analysis, research skills, and a compulsory moot court module, all of which enhance the presentation and advocacy skills of all law students.

The comprehensive legal education delivered at UCC and the breadth of study and placement opportunities uniquely position UCC law graduates for future study and employment opportunities.


Leaving Certificate Entry Requirements

At least six subjects must be presented. Minimum grade H5 in two subjects and minimum grade O6/H7 in four other subjects. English and Irish are requirements for all programmes unless the applicant is exempt from Irish.

Applicants will need to meet the following minimum entry requirements:

EnglishIrishOther Language
O6/H7 O6/H7 O6/H7
EU/EFTA/UK Qualifications

EU/EFTA/UK applicants presenting an equivalent school-leaving qualification should review the EU/EFTA/UK Applicants page for information on equivalent grades and how to prove their level of English.

Mature Students

To compete through the mature entry route, applicants must be 23 years of age on or before 1 January of the application year and apply online via the CAO by 1 February. The application should include a statement of interest. 

Admission for mature applicants to this programme is based on the Law Assessment Test and Interview.

Further information on applying as a mature student is available on the Mature Applicants and Mature Student Entry support pages. 


Applicants who meet the required level of distinctions in required subjects can apply for entry to this course using specific QQI FET qualifications. Please review the Programme Requirements on our Information for QQI FET Applicants page for information on related QQI courses, and visit Access UCC’s QQI/FET Entry section for further support. 

Non-EU Applicants

Non-EU applicants are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to the Irish Leaving Certificate. In addition, where such applicants are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language.

To verify if you meet the minimum academic and language requirements visit our qualification comparison page and refer to our International Office page for more information.

Fees and Costs

  • Whether you are an EU or Non-EU student will affect the course fees applicable to you. See more information on EU Fees, Non-EU Fees, or Free Fees Status.
  • The State will pay the tuition fees for EU students who are eligible under the Free Fees Scheme. The annual student contribution and capitation fees are payable by the student.
  • See the Fee Schedule to find out the course fee.
  • Check out scholarships that may be available to you.
  • Explore our Nurturing Bright Futures free online course (Module 5) to learn about managing your money as a student and budgeting for university life.

How To Apply

Irish and European (EU/EFTA/UK) Applicants

Apply via the CAO. See the CAO Handbook for useful information on applying through the CAO. 

Mature Applicants 

Apply via the CAO by 1 February. To apply for a place as a mature student, you must be 23 years of age on or before 1 January of the year of entry.

QQI/FET Applicants 

Apply via the CAOSee our QQI/FET Applicants page for information on the Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) Further Education and Training (FET) application process. 

Non-EU Applicants 

If you are from outside the EU/EFTA/UK, apply online via the UCC Apply portal. See our International Office page for more information. 

Apply Now

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact