Law at Oxbridge – Oxford Law and Cambridge Law Degrees
Are you considering applying to study Oxford law or Cambridge law? This page will detail the law courses available at Oxbridge, how colleges work and the Oxbridge application process.
Oxford Law or Cambridge Law – Why Oxbridge?
Oxford and Cambridge are considered two of the top universities in the country to study law, so you might want to consider applying as one of your university options. Both universities have highly reputable law faculties, and future employers value a degree from these institutions.
It is important to consider whether this is going to be the right option for you, as it is a very tough selection process. You are also choosing a degree that will most likely lead to career as a lawyer. You are committing 3 years or more of your life to it!
Oxford and Cambridge are known to have exceptional teaching staff and lecturers, and their law faculties have a stellar reputation. Completing a law degree at Oxford or Cambridge will certainly be an asset to your applications to law firms and chambers in the future.
>> Want to find out more on what it’s like to study at Oxford? Read our Expert Insight: Studying at Oxford Law School here!
>> Or are you more interested in Cambridge? Read our Expert Insight: Studying at Cambridge Law School here!
Oxford Law or Cambridge Law – Courses Available
When applying to law at Oxbridge, you should take a look at the courses each university offer.
Cambridge University offers the following law courses:
Cambridge’s undergraduate BA in Law offers an opportunity to apply to take part in their Erasmus+ program, allowing you to study law in France, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain for a year.
And alternatively, the University of Oxford offers:
Undergraduate Course for Graduates
Oxford’s BA in Law with Law Studies in Europe allows you to study a foreign legal system at one of Oxford’s partner universities in either France, Germany, Italy, Spain or the Netherlands.
Oxford Law or Cambridge Law – Choosing a College
Oxford and Cambridge have a different university set up than most universities in the UK – they are unique in their collegiate system. When you apply to Oxbridge to study undergraduate law, you can make your UCAS application to one particular college, or you can make an open application if you have no preference.
Cambridge has 29 undergraduate colleges, and Oxford has 30. It is important to have a look at the university undergraduate prospectuses in order to assess whether you want to apply to a specific college, and if so, which one.
The colleges differ in size, population, location, and some are single sex colleges, whereas others are mixed. It is a good idea to research the colleges and maybe even attend an open day at the universities, because every college is different in structure, layout and culture. It really is a matter of personal preference, from garden size and college grounds to the general college ethos.
Some factors you may want to consider when choosing a college are:
- Is the college in the main grounds of the university or further from the main site?
- How big are the grounds and how many students live there?
Nature of the College
- Does the college have a more modern or traditional feel?
- Is the college a mixed or single-sex college?
- Does the college have its own library, study and computer room and sports fields?
- Can you access the university gym?
- What are the rooms like in the college?
- Does the college offer funding and scholarship awards upon admission?
Oxford Law or Cambridge Law – How Do I Apply?
If you want to apply to undergraduate law at Oxbridge, you will have to choose between one or the other. You cannot apply to both Oxford law and Cambridge law.
You apply for undergraduate courses using the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) and the deadline for doing so is is the 15th October for both Oxford and Cambridge. You can read more about this process on our UCAS Law page.
Note, however, that if you are applying for postgraduate law courses, you’ll apply direct to the relevant university and the deadlines for such courses vary.
If you are invited to the next round of the Oxbridge selection process, you may be asked to sit a written exam or submit essays. And if you are successful enough to be shortlisted, you will be invited to the university for an interview.
For more information on Oxford law admissions and Cambridge law admissions, click on the links!
Oxford Law or Cambridge Law – Interviews
If you make it to the interview stage at Oxford or Cambridge, you will attend one, two or more interviews at your chosen college. For law interviews specifically, you do not have to have any prior legal knowledge, but this is your opportunity to show how you can be a great critical thinker.
The purpose of the interview is to see HOW you approach a problem, not whether your answer is right or wrong. There is usually no correct answer to the questions that the interviewers confront you with, it is all about assessing your thinking process.
Don’t be afraid to think aloud and talk the interviewers through your considerations and conclusions. You may also be asked to take a written exam on the interview day, which could be a theoretical legal essay, or solving a legal problem question.
Some example interview questions, taken from the University of Oxford website are:
What does it mean for someone to ‘take’ another’s car?
- Focus on your reasoning – interviewers will be looking at how you apply this reasoning to hypothetical situations in your explanation
If the punishment for parking on double yellow lines were death, and therefore nobody did it, would that be a just and effective law?
- Interviewers are looking to see you identify the issues in the situation, and whether you can differentiate between if a law is ‘just’ and ‘effective’, and whether the two qualities go hand in hand.
Why stop there? Read our top contributor and Cambridge law student Aditi’s winning advice for excelling in your Cambridge law interview!
5 Top Tips for the Cambridge Law Interview
Applied to Oxford rather than Cambridge? We’ve also got the 5 ultimate tips to impress the Oxford interviewers right here:
5 Top Tips for the Oxford Law Interview
Oxford Law or Cambridge Law – Cambridge Law Test
If you choose to apply to Cambridge University to study Law, you’ll need to take the Cambridge Law Test. Our page on the Cambridge Law Test details more about what the test assesses, as well as providing sample essay questions.
Oxford Law or Cambridge Law – LNAT
If you choose to apply to Oxford law, you will be required to sit the LNAT, an externally set aptitude test. Cambridge University do not currently require the LNAT as part of their selection process.
Attend our LNAT Workshop