Undergraduate LLB – University Law Degree Overview
If you’re thinking about studying an LLB university law degree, you may be wondering what to expect on the course and which universities to apply to. This page gives you all the information you need to make sure you make the degree decision that’s right for you.
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LLB Law Degrees
Hundreds of universities across the UK offer undergraduate LLB law degree courses. It is therefore important to do your research and make sure you choose the LLB law degree that’s right for you. Law tends to be very competitive and sought-after, making entrance requirements high. This is an important factor to be kept in mind when weighing up which LLB law degree courses to apply for.
The main undergraduate law degrees are:
- The Law LLB Degree (Bachelor of Laws); and
Both tend to be three year courses but the main difference is that LLB law degrees tend to be ‘qualifying law degrees’. This means you can move straight onto the LPC (should you wish to qualify as a solicitor) or the BPTC (should you wish to qualify as a barrister).
BA law degrees do not tend to be automatically qualifying law degrees meaning that you cannot automatically move onto the LPC or BPTC should you wish to qualify as either a barrister or solicitor. You would need to undertake a law conversion course, such as the GDL. It is important therefore to double check, either way, with the relevant universities whether their law degrees are ‘qualifying law degrees’ or not.
Many universities offer LLB courses with an additional year to study French Law or German Law. Other universities offer mixed courses such as a Politics, Philosophy and Law LLB, for example. It is therefore important to consider whether you wish to study straight law or incorporate it with another subject. Choosing the right LLB law degree for your future career is essential!
Which is better – a law degree or a conversion course? Read the full debate here and make your judgement!
What Does an Undergraduate LLB Law Degree Involve?
Unlike a lot of other undergraduate courses, there are 7 compulsory modules that you must study in order to complete a university law degree.
These modules are:
- Constitutional Law
- Criminal Law
- Contract Law
- Property/Land Law
- Equity & Trusts
- EU Law
- Tort Law
You normally study these modules in the first two years of your degree. In your third year, you are usually able to select around 4 modules of your choice. For example:
- Anti-Discrimination Law
- Commercial Law
- Company Law
- Competition Law
- Conflict of Laws
- Cyber Law
- Employment Law
- Environmental Law
- Family Law
- Intellectual Property Law
- International Criminal Law
- International Protection of Human Rights
- Media Law
- Medical Law
- Private International Law
- Public International Law
You can also choose to write a dissertation in law at most universities as one of your modules.
It is always good to choose modules that may be relevant to your future career, if you have thought that far. Otherwise, selecting modules that genuinely interest you and will keep you motivated is a great idea.
If you choose a degree program with a year abroad to study a foreign legal system, you will typically study this in the third year of your four year programme.
Don’t forget that different universities have different course structures, so you should check the university law undergrad pages for more information!
Find out more on how to survive law school with this guest blog post >>
LLB University Law Degree Entry Requirements
Entry requirements to study an LLB university law degree are high. This is because it is a highly sought-after degree. The course requires strong intellectual capability and commitment to extensive reading lists and study hours. Graduating with an LLB law degree is an attractive asset to legal employers and to employers in other corporate fields – it indicates strong academic ability.
Although there are no subject specific requirements for law at A-Level or the equivalent, the entry requirements can be tough. Universities ask for very high exam results.
Some example entry requirements are:
|University||Entry Requirements||IB Minimum
|University of Bristol||AAA||36
|University of Cambridge||A*AA||40
|University of Edinburgh||A*AA||43
|King's College London||A*AA||35
|University of Leeds||AAA||35
|University of Oxford||AAA||38
|University College London||A*AA||39
|University of Westminster||ABB||32
|University of York||AAA||36
Choosing a University
In addition to the information contained on this page, take a look at our Choosing a University page, which contains a full list of the factors to consider when applying to university. Once you have weighed up your options you will be in a good position to think about applying for the courses that are right for you.
If you’re thinking about Oxbridge, you might want more specific information studying law at Oxbridge.
Applying to University (UCAS)
You will be required to apply for most undergraduate LLB law degrees via the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).
Your UCAS law application includes your grades, a personal statement and a teacher reference. Your law personal statement can really make you stand out from the crowd. That’s why it has its own dedicated page on The Lawyer Portal.
We also provide a section for teachers: UCAS Reference for Law – A Teacher’s Guide
You can state up to five universities on your UCAS form. You don’t have to apply for the same course at each university. However, it is important to apply for similar courses so that your law personal statement remains relevant for every course that you apply to.
To give you an example of how competitive undergraduate law courses can be, see the table below setting out the number of undergraduate university law course applicants versus the number accepted onto courses:
|Number of applications||110,885||117,020||122,850||117,830||123,820||122,660||128,020
|Number of acceptances||22,030||21,850||22,720||22,080||23,740||23,695 ||24,300
In terms of making applications via UCAS, your school should be a position to offer you the support you need. They will often guide you through the process and make you aware of the key deadlines.
But we recommend that you also take personal responsibility, making sure that you are 100% up-to-speed on your application. It is also important to keep an eye on the UCAS website to make sure you adhere to all the relevant deadlines for submitting applications.
Will I Have to Sit the LNAT?
The Law National Aptitude Test (LNAT) is an aptitude test that some universities require you to take during your application process. The test challenges your verbal reasoning skills, ability to understand and interpret information and capabilities of analysing information and drawing conclusions. It is not a test of your legal knowledge!
To find out more about LNAT, take a look at our LNAT section.
Note: UK universities that require you to pass the LNAT are:
Score Higher with an LNAT Workshop
How is a Typical LLB Law Degree Structured?
If you want to study law at university, you may be wondering how many hours a week you might have to attend classes, and how your course will be structured.
Every university has a different weekly timetable, but the course will generally consist of a 2 hour lecture for each module, and two one-hour tutorials. As you will study 4 or more modules every year, law courses tend to have a two-week timetable, so you will have alternating tutorial subjects each week. Lectures are usually attended by every student on the course, and tutorials are smaller classes of about 10-20 students.
Tutorials give you a chance to ask your tutors for help. You will normally have to answer legal theory questions, complete legal problem questions and practice essay writing in preparation for tutorials. You will also be expected to attend sessions with your personal academic tutor, who will be able to advise you on your course and law career path.
Lectures and classes only total around 10 hours each week, so you are expected to do most of your reading and study time outside of class. Law requires you to be a very self-motivated and organised student, and you should be prepared to complete extensive reading lists.
Thinking about taking a placement year? Read this >>
Step-by-Step University Law Application Process
Step 1 – Deciding on Law – making sure that an LLB law degree is right for you.
Step 2 – Doing Legal Work Experience
Step 3 – Choosing a University
Step 4 – Completing UCAS
Step 5 – Writing a Law Personal Statement
Step 6 – Completing LNAT Exam (If Applicable)
Step 7 – Interview (in special circumstances, usually not required)