Bonavero Resident Students

Diploma in Legal Studies

The Diploma in Legal Studies ('DLS')

Bodleian Law Library

About the Diploma in Legal Studies

The Diploma in Legal Studies is a one-year full-time programme. It is open only to students coming to the Faculty through one of our exchange agreements with our partner universities in continental Europe. Our current partner universities are in France (Panthéon-Assas University), Germany (Universities of Bonn and Munich), Italy (University of Siena), The Netherlands (University of Leiden) and Spain (Pompeu Fabra University).

The Diploma is not a degree and confers no qualification for legal practice. However, the Diploma programme is derived substantially from the Oxford undergraduate (BA) law degree programme. During the three terms in Oxford, Diploma students study three subjects from a subset of those studied in the BA programme and they sit an examination in each of the three subjects (the same examinations as the final year BA students) at the end of the third term. In addition, in the first and second terms Diploma students take part in the Faculty’s Legal Research Skills Programme, which provides training in the use of legal information resources (both paper and electronic) and legal research, and checks that students are competent in the use of information technology.



I learnt a lot of substantive knowledge about specific areas of English law. But what is most important is that I improved my academic skills. Reading the numerous academic articles and judicial decisions of the reading lists seemed impossible at the beginning, and the first tutorials were somehow frustrating. But we soon learnt how to separate the wheat from the chaff, how to be selective with the readings. And, most importantly, we learnt how to construct solid arguments to defend a position in an essay or a solution in a problem question, refuting the counterarguments. These skills are the most valuable knowledge that I take from this course. It was also an amazing experience from a personal point of view: the societies, the BOPs, the clubs … and all the people that I met! Soon after I arrived, Oxford already felt like home.
Diploma in Legal Studies, 2019

Teaching and courses available

Teaching Method and Courses Available

The method of teaching on the Diploma course is identical to the teaching on the BA programme: at the heart of the Oxford undergraduate law programme is the ‘tutorial system’. A tutorial is a meeting between a single law tutor and (usually) two or three students. In most subjects the student will have seven or eight tutorials, which will be paced either weekly (over one term) or fortnightly (over two terms). Some courses are taught by a combination of tutorials and larger-group seminars. For each tutorial the student is given a reading list for independent study, and will normally be expected to write an essay or the answer to a problem question. There is also a range of lectures on various aspects of each course.

Students select three courses from the following list:

Courses available to DLS students


How to apply

How to Apply

Students apply to, and are selected by, their home institution. It is not possible to make an independent application.

Related content

Further general information about coming to Oxford as an exchange student

See the Options for this programme

View the current Law Faculty lecture list

Enquiries about the Diploma in Legal Studies should be directed to the Institute of European and Comparative Law