UCC Undergraduate courses

Law (Clinical)

Course Fact File
Duration4 years
Teaching ModeFull-time
QualificationsBCL (Hons)
NFQ LevelLevel 8

Course Outline

The four-year BCL (Clinical) degree is unique in Ireland in its combination of the core BCL law programme with a placement year in a legal professional working environment.

The placement experience reveals the relationship between law in theory and law in practice. It will develop your professional, organisational and interpersonal workplace skills, forming an integral part of your legal education and leading to a more rounded and comprehensive learning experience.

The BCL (Clinical) reflects UCC’s commitment to innovative skills-based education.

The BCL (Clinical) degree offers you an exceptional opportunity to experience and be directly involved in how the law works in reality as part of your legal education. 

This degree will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the fundamental concepts of Irish and international Law, while also presenting you with a choice of specialised areas of legal study. 

You will be required to take 60 credits in each academic year, combining compulsory modules with a wide variety of elective and specific skills modules. 

Years 1, 2 and 4

These mirror that of the BCL degree, with the exception of additional elective modules available in BCL (Clinical) in Year 2 in preparation for the placement in Year 3.  

Year 3

The BCL (Clinical) placement in Year 3 will build on your interests. Placements are arranged in areas including:

  • Commercial Law
  • Corporate and Financial Services Law
  • Consumer Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Family Law
  • Immigration and Refugee Law
  • Human Rights Law
  • Welfare Law
  • Medical Law
  • Employment Law  
  • Environmental Law

Organisations involved include law firms, NGOs, regulatory bodies, inhouse legal departments in companies/corporations, non-profit organisations, semi-state bodies, policy bodies and so on. 

The BCL (Clinical) degree is the pathway to a variety of exciting and rewarding careers both within the legal profession (further training required) and in a range of other areas such as journalism, the diplomatic service, international relations, human rights, banking, accounting, IT and academia.

Graduates of the BCL (Clinical) are highly sought-after by employers who recognise the value of a skills-based legal education and an understanding of how the law operates in reality.

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.

Course Practicalities

Years 1, 2 and 4

The principal method of teaching is lectures. For some subjects, these are supplemented by tutorials in which you are organised into smaller groups for discussion of the subject matter covered in lectures. 

Each module has two lecture hours per week, while tutorials consist of one hour on a weekly or fortnightly basis. Recommended reading, tutorial preparation and further study take place outside these hours.

Year 3

One or two 12-week work placements on a full-time basis, during which you also complete academic project work based on your experiences and learning in the workplace.  If on work placement for one semester, the student selects modules to study during the other semester.


Written exams will take place before Christmas and in May.  Not all modules will have formal examinations.  Many modules use other types of assessment.

Individual module assessments can be viewed in the Book of Modules.

Who teaches this course

The Law Faculty has many expert and committed lecturers with expertise across a wide range of areas. A full listing is available on the Law Faculty website. 

Why Choose This Course

The law courses in UCC... there's such a wide variety...

Vicky Eckel, Student

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The course offers a hugely diverse range of modules [..], allowing you to tailor the degree to your desires, which is hugely appealing...

Miah Phelan Sweeney, Quercus Scholar

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[You study] all aspects... from how it works to how laws are created, passed...

Ian Wallace, BCL Clinical Law

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The BCL (Clinical) provides a broad understanding of the fundamental concepts of Irish and international law, while also presenting you with a choice of specialised areas of legal study.

The integration of clinical placements leads to a more well-rounded legal education, by revealing the relationship and interaction between the law experienced in class (‘the law in theory’) and the law experienced the workplace (‘the law in practice’).

It also facilitates the development of valuable transferable and enduring professional skills. This comprehensive legal education prepares students for a vast array of career paths

Placement or Study Abroad Information

The work placements in the Year 3 will form an integral part of your legal education. Placements are arranged in areas that include:

  • Commercial Law
  • Corporate and Financial Services Law
  • Consumer Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Family Law
  • Immigration and Refugee Law
  • Human Rights Law
  • Welfare Law
  • Medical Law
  • Public Interest Law
  • Employment Law
  • Environmental Law

The placements are organised and supervised by the Clinical Education Coordinator and are assessed by means of assigned project work, learning journals and oral presentations.

Skills and Careers Information

You will develop your knowledge and understanding of the law and your skills in legal research, writing and analysis. During placement recruitment, you will improve your CV writing and interview skills. On placement, you will acquire and enhance the professional, organisational and interpersonal skills required in the workplace (including time management, prioritisation, independent judgment, teamwork, communication skills, etc.).

Graduates are equipped for an extensive variety of careers for which further academic and/or professional training may be required, including:

  • the legal professions (solicitor, barrister)
  • banking
  • public relations
  • accounting
  • taxation
  • insurance
  • IT
  • teaching
  • in-house legal positions
  • journalism
  • the media
  • policy making
  • advocacy


Please refer to Law (Pathways) programme.

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. 

Contact Details For This Course

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