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.

Play Video
Medium of instruction:English
How and when to apply:

Applications for 2020-2021 admissions are now invited. You must submit your application on or before 30 April 2020. Late applications or incomplete applications will not be considered.

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

How to make your application

Important notes to applicants

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 Programme is academic merit.

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

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

A limited number of PCLL places may be offered to candidates based on their academic merit, supplemented by evidence of law-related working experience (not including internships and mini-pupillages) of not less than two years’ continuous duration. Such working experience must be evidenced by supporting documents (See “3. Supporting Documents” in “Important Notes to Applicants”.).

You 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 www.pcea.com.hk). You 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 common law qualification, whether you have a training contract or pupillage arranged is irrelevant. References letters supporting your application are not considered and we do not conduct interviews for any of our applicants. 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 2020) if such are available. We will not disclose to applicants their position on the Waiting List as that is not a helpful indicator of their chance of securing a place in August, given that we have no means of predicting the number of places which may become 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 and oral advocacy.
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 eleven 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. 

Stage 1: The Compulsory Core courses

LAWS5001Professional Practice3 units
LAWS5002Commercial Practice3 units
LAWS5003Property and Probate Practice3 units
LAWS5004Civil Litigation Practice3 units
LAWS5005Criminal Litigation Practice3 units

Stage 2: The Elective courses. You must choose FIVE in total

LAWS5011Writing & Drafting Litigation Documents*3 units
LAWS5013Lending & Finance3 units
LAWS5014Corporate Finance3 units
LAWS5016Writing & Drafting Litigation Documents (in Chinese)3 units
LAWS5017China Practice3 units
LAWS5018Writing & Drafting Commercial Documents (in Chinese)3 units
LAWS5019Alternative Dispute Resolution3 units
LAWS5021Writing and Drafting Commercial Documents3 units
LAWS5022Conference Skills and Opinion Writing*3 units
LAWS5023Personal Injuries Practice*3 units
LAWS5024Family Law Practice3 units
LAWS5020Trial Advocacy*3 units

Bar Electives

Note: Students intending to join the Bar are required to take LAWS5020 and 2 out of the 3 Bar Electives (LAWS5011, 5022 and 5023).

Additional learning
development opportunities:

The Sir TL Yang Society

Student Scholarships, Prizes

Mooting

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$145,000

Self-financed places: HK$193,800

(Subject to annual review)

Scholarships and Prizes:

HKSAR Government Scholarships (for UGC-funded postgraduate students)

Association of China-Appointed Attesting Officers Scholarships

Gallant Ho Prize in Law

Law Society of Hong Kong/Bloomsbury Books Prizes

Prize for Criminal Litigation Practice

Sir Oswald Cheung Memorial Fund PCLL Scholarship

The Boase Cohen & Collins Prize for Civil Litigation Practice

The Cheng, Yeung & Co. Prize for Personal Injuries Practice

The Hong Kong Bar Association Prize for Conference Skills and Opinion Writing

The Hong Kong Bar Association Prize for Trial Advocacy

The Jarvis & Kensington Prize for Trial Advocacy

The Law Society of Hong Kong Prize for Professional Practice

The Robertsons Prize for Writing and Drafting Litigation Documents

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.

Entry requirements were issued by the Standing Committee on Legal Education and Training and apply to all students seeking admission to study the PCLL in Hong Kong from September 2008 onwards. Please read in full the Standing Committee’s statement available at http://www.pcea.com.hk. If you have any further queries regarding your eligibility for PCLL admission please contact the Hong Kong Conversion Examination Board directly.

Yes. CUHK LAW is able to make conditional offers to applicants who have not yet completed their law qualifications and will do so on the applicants’ academic merit known to the admissions panel as at 30 April 2020.

We will give most weight to your first law degree.  If you have a second, better, law degree, we will take that into some account in the consideration of your application.  The weight which we would give to the second degree would vary according to the respective academic merits of both degrees.

Yes. We are able to make conditional offers to applicants whose conversion exam results and/or IELTS test result are still outstanding. Students are recommended to take the IELTS early as there may be a shortage of places available for this test. If you fail to submit documentary proof of your IELTS results on or before 7 August 2020, your application will not be considered further. No further extension on IELTS submission will be allowed.

No. Admission to the PCLL is founded primarily upon academic merit on a year-on-year basis. In line with this admission policy, we do not consider deferred admissions except in the most exceptional cases.

Yes. You are required to submit a separate application to each of the providers.

No. Although you may apply to more than one PCLL provider, you must select only one PCLL provider as your first preference. At the close of the application period, all three PCLL providers exchange their lists of applicants who have made them their first preference. If you have made more than one PCLL provider your first choice, you will be disqualified by all providers from that year’s application process.

No. The basis for admission to the PCLL is academic merit. The most important indicator of academic merit is your common law qualification. A limited number of PCLL places may be offered to candidates based on their academic merit, supplemented by evidence of law-related working experience (not including internships and mini-pupillages) of not less than two years’ continuous duration. Such working experience must be evidenced by supporting documents (See “3. Supporting Documents” in “Important Notes to Applicants”.).

Yes. Copies of supporting documents sent by fax or email will be acceptable at first instance. However, should an offer be made to you, you will be required to submit the originals including the official transcript of the final award of your law qualification which must be sent directly to CUHK LAW by the awarding institution and your original IELTS score report which must again be sent directly to CUHK LAW by the testing organization by the stipulated deadline. CUHK LAW will not return any supporting documents submitted by applicants. All documents submitted will be destroyed if the application is unsuccessful.

No. Admission is based on your academic merit, which is determined with reference to academic records.

No. You do not need to make a separate application for the award of a UGC or Distinguished Scholarship Place. Students will be notified of any such awards as soon as possible during the admission process. In many cases this will only be after final results are known in August of the year of admission.

No. CUHK LAW will not provide you with advice about your likelihood of admission.

Because of keen competition, only UGC-funded students are eligible to apply for accommodation in Postgraduate Halls on the Shatin campus. Students may wish to note that the teaching site for the PCLL is at the CUHK Graduate Law Centre in Central.

No. According to the General Regulations Governing Postgraduate Studies, a student registered for a full-time course of study shall not take up any full-time employment, paid or unpaid, during term time within the normative period of study except by permission of the Graduate Council. Since the PCLL is an intensive programme, CUHK LAW will not normally support applications for taking up full-time employment.

Tel:(852) 3943 4313
Fax:(852) 2994 2505
E-mail:pcll.law@link.cuhk.edu.hk
Address:Faculty of Law
6/F, Lee Shau Kee Building
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Shatin, New Territories
Hong Kong