Diploma in Parallegal Studies

The demand for legal services in Uganda far exceeds the supply, and yet access to professional lawyers is often hindered by the high legal fees and the fact that most lawyers are concentrated in urban areas. Paralegals can help fill the current gap in the need for legal services and add value to other sectors where knowledge of the law would enhance performance.

Paralegals are non-lawyers who are qualified by virtue of training received on the key aspects of the law and undertake legal work including mediation by applying the knowledge acquired from the training received. Paralegals play a key role in society by using the acquired legal knowledge to promote access to justice in communities and provide legal aid to vulnerable groups in society while focusing on divergent legal issues.

A ‘prison’ paralegal is a prison inmate who has acquired knowledge through training of the basic laws including criminal law, prison rules, fundamental rights, criminal trial process, as well as other relevant civil laws such as property law and family law. Prison Paralegals can help and support other prisoners in finding solutions to their legal problems by offering legal information, by helping them write applications, helping prisoners understand their rights, prison rules and can provide practical guidance on life in prison.

Therefore, the overarching goal of this Programme is to train and equip prisoners that demonstrate the potential and interest in the study of law with basic legal training with the goal of them being able to offer free legal services to the rest of the prison population.

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Course Overview

course codeCourse Name
DPS111Introduction to law & Legal Systems
DPS112General Principles of Constitutional law
DPS113Criminal law
DPS114Contract Law
DPS115Administrative Law
DPS116Law of Evidence
course codeCourse Name
DPS121Introduction to Legal Research & Writing
DPS122Paralegal Ethics & Professionalism
DPS123Forensic Justice & Criminology I
DPS124Criminal Procedure
DPS125Law of Real Property
DPS126Family law and succession
course codeCourse Name
DPS211Health and the Law
DPS212Introduction to Human Rights
DPS213Forensic Justice & Criminology 2
DPS214Elements of Commercial Law
DPS215Labour law
DPS216Civil Procedure
course codeCourse Name
DPS220Internship-Legal Assistant/Paralegal
DPS221Research Report

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Direct entry from high school: One (1) Principal pass at A-level Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE) and at least 5 passes at Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) or its equivalent.


  1. The Diploma in Paralegal Studies (DPs) program will be a two-year program offered in two (2) semesters per year and taught in six (6) semesters.
  2. The academic year of the programme shall consist of two semesters.
  3. No student shall be allowed to obtain the Diploma beyond a period of three (3) academic consecutive years, including, where applicable, a dead year except with the approval of the University Senate.


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By the end of the course, students should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a sound knowledge of certain fundamental areas of law and a range of legal concepts, values, and principles. 
  2. Advise non-legal audiences on legal matters in a manner that is clear and concise, both orally and in writing.
  3. Demonstrate an ability to conduct research and access legal resources including using online sources of law and legal databases.
  4. Demonstrate an ability to identify issues and apply legal knowledge and principles to simple problems and projects, with a view to constructing relevant, creative, and ethically appropriate responses.
  5. Demonstrate an ability to engage with others in a way that respects diverse opinions and perspectives to achieve relevant and efficient outcomes that reflect the contribution of all those involved.
  6. Demonstrate an ability to reflect upon and analyse the law’s effect on society. 
  7. Students will have the opportunity to gain valuable paralegal knowledge and skills and understand contemporary legal issues from a local perspective.

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The objectives of the Diploma in Paralegal Studies Programme are to:

  • Provide students with an understanding of the theoretical and practical knowledge of the basic concepts of law and a grasp of the legal rights of all individuals including prisoners.
  • Enable the students to develop skills in accessing legal and judicial institutions and processes for public advocacy that will aid them in effectively performing the procedural tasks both in the law office and their target community. 
  • Enable the students to develop a good knowledge of the Ugandan Legal System.
  • Provide students with the skills to conduct research on basic aspects of the law and legal procedure.
  • Enable students to be grounded in the ethics befitting paralegals in accordance with the National Legal Aid Policy.
  • Enable students to think critically, reason abstractly, and use oral and written language effectively.
  • Enable students to understand and value the important concepts of legal ethics, confidentiality, professional responsibility, and the boundaries of and prohibition against the unauthorized practice of law by laypersons.
  • Enable students to enrol for an LLB degree course at any Ugandan University.
  • Prepare students with the knowledge, skills, and other competencies to enable them to provide para-legal services nationally and regionally.
  • Inculcate in students the values of professionalism, social justice, and community service.
  • To enable students to think critically, reason abstractly, and use oral and written language effectively.


To achieve the aims above, the Diploma in Paralegal Studies (DPs) at Cavendish University Uganda shall be guided by the following core values:

  • Commitment to Excellence: Pursue the highest standards in order to nurture excellence individually as a profession and as a community of scholars.
  • Integrity: Adhere to the highest integrity standards in all professional and personal obligations and responsibilities to students, staff, and society.
  • Student and Community focused: Give quality lectures and services to students and the community in order to continuously thrive to meet and exceed their expectations.
  • Professionalism: Maintain professionalism and comply with national and international standards and ethics.
  • Teamwork: Foster a work environment of team building, shared skills, openness and honest communication.
  • Service to mankind: To promote a culture of integrity and service to mankind as part of the University’s social responsibility.

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