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 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 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.


One year full-time.


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. More

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.


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:


In- house Counsel.


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.