A non-qualifying law degree is a higher education course which leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree. It’s a three or four-year course which includes law modules, but also allows for the study of other topics outside of law.
If you want to study law with a mix of other topics, a Bachelor of Law degree offers a great alternative to studying law at university than the traditional route.
Unlike an LLB, a BA in Law degree does not offer a direct pathway to taking the LPC solicitor qualification or BPTC barrister qualification. However, the LPC is being phased out to be replaced by the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE), which enables university graduates with a non-law related degree to qualify as a solicitor in England and Wales.
Since the introduction of the SQE, this means that if you want to become a solicitor, you can study either a BA in Law or an LLB before advancing to the SQE. For aspiring barristers however, bear in mind that completing a BA in Law will still require students to complete a law conversion course to obtain a qualifying law degree before beginning their Bar Course.
In terms of what you can expect from a Bachelors in Law degree and an LLB, many UK universities offer a BA in law combined with other subjects. An LLB focuses purely on law, namely seven core modules that you will need to qualify as a solicitor or barrister.
A small selection of universities do offer the opportunity for BA Law students to study seven core modules in order to make the Bachelor in Law degree, a qualifying degree. You should check with the university at which you want to study if this is an option.
If you want to study topics outside of the seven core legal modules, a BA in Law degree enables you to combine your legal studies with topics such as:
The list is not exhaustive.
Should you decide that you want to switch from your law BA to an LLB, some law schools will allow you to do this after your first or second year of university. Before completing your UCAS application, you should check with universities that you want to apply to whether this is an option.
Most Red Brick and Russell Group universities in the UK offer non-qualifying Bachelor of Law degrees with a variety of subjects that you can combine with your legal studies. Some universities offer specialty BA Law Courses, including Oxford, which has a BA in Jurisprudence degree.
Yes. However, the route to becoming a solicitor will be different to becoming a barrister with a non-qualifying law degree. Various universities and law schools will still offer graduate law conversion courses, but with the introduction of SQE, these are optional.
After completing a non-qualifying law degree, it is a good idea to undertake additional training prior to taking the SQE. It might be the case that you will need to complete a law conversion course with specific education providers before you can take the SQE with them.
All graduate law conversion courses used to come under the same name – the GDL – but most universities have now launched revamped conversion courses under different names, including the PGDL.
To train as a barrister, the GDL will remain compulsory for non-qualifying law degree graduates. Different law conversion courses offer a range of extra study options.
If you choose to study a non-qualifying law degree, there are plenty of career options available to you upon successful completion of your course. You can advance your learning and training to pursue a career as a solicitor, barrister, chartered legal executive, a paralegal or other job types in the legal profession, such as a legal conveyancer.
The flexibility of a BA Law degree, given that you can study other topics, means that should you decide not to pursue a legal career, there’s great value in holding a Law BA combined with another subject. Your academic knowledge and transferable skills will almost certainly be sought after by employers across a variety of industry sectors.
If you want to know more about studying law at university, access our free range of guides:
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