LLB is an abbreviation of the Latin Legum Baccalaureus, which translates as Bachelor of Laws. The history of the first law degree can be traced all the way back to the 12th Century and the University of Bologna – one of the world’s oldest (and Europe’s first) universities. It was here that four famous legal scholars established a school of law, from which the LLB developed.
Today, the Bachelor of Laws LLB is one of the most common and competitive around the world, providing a gateway for aspiring solicitors and barristers to enter the legal profession. Plus, some LLB programmes offer an opportunity for students to study law overseas and learn about international legal systems.
Although it is not necessary to have an LLB in order to become a lawyer, it provides you with an understanding of numerous fields of law and legal systems. This can be a great advantage further down in your career, as it gives you a general idea of the areas that interest you, and of the industry sector you will be working in.
The Law LLB is the most popular qualifying law degree among those that aspire to be a solicitor or to qualify as a barrister. It’s important to note that post-graduate training is required to qualify as a barrister or solicitor, and not all those who opt for the Law LLB become lawyers. There are plenty of pathways to becoming a lawyer, but the LLB is the most common one today.
You can study an LLB in several ways. You can opt for a four year course, for example, that offers the option to study abroad for a year. Some of these may also include the option to study another legal system – such as EU Law. You may also want to consider a combined degree, such as Law and Politics. If you are concerned about lower attainment, a number of higher education institutions offer degrees with a foundation year.
An LLB Law Degree covers seven compulsory core modules, which form the basic requirements for a qualifying law degree in England and Wales. As part of your LLB, you can supplement any of the seven core areas of study with a variety of optional modules.
The course itself will require extensive reading, giving you the ability to analyse and refer to various texts, which is a crucial skill for studying an LLB. At most universities, you will be required to write a law dissertation in your final year.
When choosing a university where you will study your Law LLB, you should consider the optional modules available, and whether these align with your areas of interest. Different universities could have different optional modules available and may be known for certain courses in particular. This will help you select the right university at which to study law.
The core LLB Law modules will likely include any seven of the following:
There are also many optional law modules that you can study in addition to your core units. Some include:
There are many, many more options, with different universities offering different combinations. Some universities have courses that count as ‘half-modules’, allowing you to choose more optional modules.
Some students find the freedom that comes with choosing their own modules and exploring different fields of law very comforting, while others may choose to stick to the more ‘textbook’ law modules. Whatever your preference, rest assured that there is a lot of choice when it comes to LLB degrees!
To apply for enrolment on an LLB Law programme, you will need to apply through UCAS. Your UCAS law application will need to include your grades (and/ or predicted grades), a personal statement and a teacher’s reference.
Many universities do not have compulsory A-Level subjects needed for Law applications. However, there are definitely better subjects than others when it comes to background knowledge and pre-university preparation. History and Politics, as well as Economics are all considered great options for future Law students.
You can apply to up to five universities as part of your UCAS application, and you don’t have to apply for the same course at each university. However, you should try to apply for similar courses to ensure that your law personal statement remains relevant to the course that you are applying for. For instance, make sure your personal statement also focuses on aspects of politics if you are applying for a Law & Politics degree.
When applying for an LLB course, keep in mind important deadlines, and create a timeline so you can ensure everything is submitted on time. Your school may support you with the process, helping with your application or providing reminders for the key UCAS deadlines.
The University of Law (ULaw) LLB is the equivalent of a BA Honours or BSc. If you aspire to be a solicitor, the ULaw LLB in Law programme prepares you for SQE 1. If you are looking to pursue a career as a barrister, the Bachelors of Law LLB will equip you to progress onto ULaw’s Bar Practice Course (BPTC).
If you plan to study an LLB Law Degree at an LNAT university – such as Oxbridge, Bristol or Durham – you will have to sit the Law National Aptitude Test (LNAT). This is an entrance exam that some universities require you to take during your application process. The test is used by admissions tutors to assess the competencies required to study law, and to decide which students to offer a place when they demonstrate similar academic scores.
To see which universities require you to take the LNAT, visit our dedicated LNAT Universities page. For more information about how the test works, take a look at our LNAT guide. Plus, we’ve got a step-by-step guide to LNAT Preparation, and you can save 20% on all of our best LNAT Prep products with LNAT Prep Packages.
LLB course fees vary between universities and the type of LLB Law Degree you take. Fees for standard, three-year LLB programmes can range from £9,000 up to £20,000 for domestic students. International students can expect to pay anywhere between £40,000 and £60,000.
Accelerated, two-year LLB courses can cost anywhere between £11,000 and £25,000 for domestic students. For international students, costs can amount to anywhere between £45,000 and £80,000.
LLB course fees at London universities and Russell Group universities tend to be higher than those at other universities outside London.
You can take out a student loan to finance your course fees and potentially some of your living costs.
Some universities offer scholarships or bursaries, which are made available to students who meet certain criteria in terms of circumstances and merit. For example, The University of Law offers financial assistance through several scholarships and merit-based awards.
It’s recommended that you check with the university to which you are applying to find out if there’s any funding support available.
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