Postgraduate Certificate in Laws (PCLL)

The Postgraduate Certificate in Laws (PCLL) is a unique and innovative postgraduate certificate that offers skills-focused training closely reflecting the work lawyers undertake.

The PCLL has been developed in close consultation with the legal profession to meet its current needs and to equip students with the skills they will need to work as a trainee solicitor or a pupil barrister. [View Video]

Medium of instruction: English.
How and when to apply:

Applications for 2015-2016 admissions are now invited. You must submit your application on or before 30 April 2015. Late applications or incomplete applications will not be considered.

Before submitting an application, please read the following two documents:

To submit an application, please use our on-line application process at the University's Graduate School webpage.

Admission requirements:

The basis for admission to the PCLL is academic merit.

The most important indicator of academic merit is your common law degree, usually a Bachelor of Laws degree or a Juris Doctor degree, though we also consider applicants with CPEs or GDLs.

Exceptionally, an offer may be made to candidates based on their academic record supplemented by significant relevant practical experience.

Your law qualification will be assessed by reference to the classification, including grades, marks or other indicators of merit.

Applicants must meet the eligibility requirements for admission to the PCLL set out in the statement issued by the Standing Committee on Legal Education and Training (available at They must also hold a valid International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Certificate (academic module) with an overall score of 7 or above taken on a date which is not earlier than three years preceding the closing date for applications in the academic year in which you are seeking entry to the PCLL.

Since the most important indicator of your academic merit is your law qualification, whether you have a training contract or pupilage arranged is irrelevant. References letters supporting your application are not considered and we do not conduct interviews.  The law qualification to which we refer is your first common law degree, usually an LLB or JD, and we will rarely have regard to subsequent law qualifications unless your results in those are outstanding.

Applications are dealt with by our admissions panel and we make conditional offers at various stages. For instance, we will make early offers to applicants with outstanding academic merit. Therefore the earlier you apply the better. We may also place a number of applicants on a Waiting List and those applicants may be offered places (the decisions will be made in mid or late August 2015) if such are available. If you are from the Mainland or another jurisdiction and are placed on the Waiting List, you must ensure you extend your respective visas so that you are able to take up a place if offered.

We will send rejection letters to those applicants whose law qualifications do not meet our entry standard.

Duration: One year full-time.
Campus: The CUHK Graduate Law Centre, 2/F, Bank of America Tower, Central.
Delivery mode: Students participate in large and small group sessions. All classes are highly participatory and students will receive regular individual feedback on their work. Assessment is continuous and includes exercises on writing, drafting, oral advocacy and file management.
Study options:

The Programme is taught in two stages. In the first stage of the Programme you will study core practice areas and develop core skills. In the second stage you will choose from a wide range of electives that are designed to reflect the range of work undertaken by solicitors and barristers in practice.

The first nine electives listed below will be taught over the course of term 2.  The last elective, Trial Advocacy, will be taught intensively in the summer term.

It is possible that an elective may not be offered if it is selected by too few students. More
Stage 1: The compulsory Core courses
LAWS5001 Professional Practice 3 units
LAWS5002 Commercial Practice 3 units
LAWS5003 Property and Probate Practice 3 units
LAWS5004 Civil Litigation Practice 3 units
LAWS5005 Criminal Litigation Practice 3 units
Stage 2: The Elective courses. You must choose FIVE in total
LAWS5011 Writing & Drafting Litigation Documents* 3 units
LAWS5013 Lending & Finance 3 units
LAWS5014 Corporate Finance 3 units
LAWS5016 Writing & Drafting Litigation Documents (in Chinese) 3 units
LAWS5017 China Practice 3 units
LAWS5018 Writing & Drafting Commercial Documents (in Chinese) 3 units
LAWS5019 Alternative Dispute Resolution 3 units
LAWS5021 Writing and Drafting Commercial Documents 3 units
LAWS5022 Conference Skills and Opinion Writing* 3 units
LAWS5020 Trial Advocacy* 3 units
Note: Students intending to seek admission as a Barrister should select all 3 courses marked with an asterisk (*) (namely LAWS5011, LAWS5022 and LAWS5020 ).
Additional learning & development opportunities:
Fees per academic year:
  • UGC-funded places and Distinguished Scholarship places (for local students): HK$42,100;
  • UGC-funded places and Distinguished Scholarship places (for non-local students): HK$120,000;
  • Self-financed places: HK$152,800.
    (Subject to annual review.)
Scholarships and Prizes
Career options include:
  • Solicitor.
  • In-house Counsel.
  • Barrister.
  • Public Servant.
Admission to practice :

Students may be eligible to apply for admission as a Solicitor or Barrister of the High Court of Hong Kong after completing the PCLL and a training contract (2 years) or pupillage (1 year).

Further study options:

Postgraduate studies for Master or PhD degrees.

Student housing:

Only UGC-funded students are eligible to apply for accommodation in Postgraduate Halls on the Shatin Campus. Please note that the PCLL is taught at the CUHK Graduate Law Centre in Central.