You will be at university for three years; a significant amount of time where you be immersed in the uni lifestyle. Maybe you plan to relocate for university and will be moving away from family and friends. Perhaps you are looking for a law degree that covers specific modules, which means your options are limited and competition for places is fierce.
These are just some of the considerations that make choosing the right law university for you very important. Below is a table comparing some of the best universities for law in the UK. This table has been compiled using university ranking websites as a guide – rankings and entry requirements are subject to change.
Please note that this is not a definitive list. There are other universities offering law courses that have not been included in the table.
|University||Typical A-Level or IB Offer||Admissions Test : Interview||Complete University Guide Ranking (for Law)|
|University of Aberdeen (LLB)||ABB,|
|No : No||6|
|Abertay University (LLB)||ABB,|
|No : N/S||28|
|Aston University (LLB)||AAB-ABB,|
|No : No||46|
|Bangor University (LLB)||ABB-BBB|
80-128 UCAS points
|No : N/S||45|
|University of Bedfordshire (LLB)||At least 80 UCAS points, 64 from 2 A-Level passes||No : No||90|
|University of Birmingham (LLB)||AAA,|
|No : No||24|
|University of Bristol (LLB)||A*AA or A*A*B,|
Contextual Offer: AAB,
|LNAT : Yes||19|
|Brunel University London (LLB)||ABB,|
|No : No||52|
|University of Cambridge (BA)||A*AA,|
|Cambridge Law Test : Yes||1|
|Cardiff University (LLB)||AAA-AAB,|
|No : No||30|
|City, University of London (LLB)||ABB,|
|No : No||75|
|De Montfort University (LLB)||BBB, at least 120 UCAS points.|
|No : No||59|
|University of Dundee (LLB)||ABB,|
|No : No||11|
|Durham University (LLB)||A*AA,|
|University of East Anglia - UEA (LLB)||AAB,|
|No : Only in exceptional circumstances||29|
|University of Edinburgh (LLB)||A*AA-ABB,|
|No : No||7|
|University of Essex (LLB)||BBB,|
|No : Yes||51|
|University of Exeter (LLB)||AAA,|
|No : No||13|
|University of Glasgow (LLB)||AAA,|
|LNAT : Yes||23|
|LNAT : Yes||4|
|Keele University (LLB)||ABC-BBB,|
|No : No||34|
|University of Kent (LLB)||AAA-AAB|
|No : No||22|
|Lancaster University (LLB)||AAB|
|No : Yes (if borderline grades or unconditional offer)||15|
|University of Leeds (LLB)||AAA,|
|No : No||96|
|University of Leicester (LLB)||AAB,|
|No : No||37|
|University of Lincoln (LLB)||BBB,|
|No : N/S||44|
|University of Liverpool (LLB)||AAA,|
|No : No||35|
|Liverpool John Moores University (LLB)||BBB, 26 points||No: No||49|
|LNAT : Yes||9|
|University of Manchester (LLB)||AAA,|
|No : No||21|
|Manchester Metropolitan University (LLB)||BBB-BBC,|
|No : N/S||54|
|Newcastle University (LLB)||AAA,|
|No : Yes||31|
|University of Nottingham (BA/LLB)||AAA,|
|LNAT : Yes||12|
|University of Oxford (Qualifying BA)||AAA,|
|LNAT : Yes||2|
|Oxford Brookes University (LLB)||BCC,|
|No : N/S||79|
|University of Portsmouth (LLB)||AAB-ABB, |
|No : No||38|
|Queen Mary University of London (LLB)||A*AA,|
|No : No||27|
|Queen's University Belfast (LLB)||AAA,|
|No : No||17|
|University of Reading (LLB)||AAB,|
|No : No||32|
|Robert Gordon University (LLB)||BBC,|
|No : No||40|
|Royal Holloway, University of London (LLB)||AAB-ABB, |
|University of Salford (LLB)||BBB,|
|No : No||76|
|University of Sheffield (LLB)||AAA,|
|No : No||18|
|SOAS University of London (LLB)||AAA-AAB,|
|LNAT : Yes||43|
|University of Southampton (LLB)||AAA,|
|No : No||26|
|University of Stirling (LLB)||ABB,|
|No : No||20|
|University of Strathclyde (LLB)||AAB-BBB,|
|No : No (unless applying to Clinical LLB)||8|
|University of Sussex (LLB)||AAB-ABB,|
|No : No||33|
|University of Surrey (LLB)||BBC,|
|No : No||61|
|Swansea University (LLB)||AAB-BBB|
|No : No||36|
|UCL (LLB)||A*AA, |
|LNAT : Yes||3|
|University of Warwick (LLB)||AAA, |
|No : No||25|
|University of York (LLB)||AAA or A*AB or A*A*C, 36 points||No : Yes||16|
It may be that you had your heart set on a specific university for law, but you didn’t quite achieve the grades needed for entry. Your first choice of law university might have been taken out of your hands, which will affect your choice.
If you don’t get into any of the universities you have applied to, you can still apply for a place on a law course at an alternative university through clearing. However, you should consider the fact that this will depend on universities that have places left on your course of choice, so it’s important to do your research on the courses available, as you will have done for the universities you initially chose to apply to.
Choosing the right location to study law is a key consideration when selecting a law university (although some institutions, like the University of Law, have multiple locations to choose from). If you want to remain at home during your studies, then choosing a law university that’s close by will suit you. If you plan to relocate for your studies, you will need to weigh up whether you want to go to a large city university or a university in a smaller city or town.
If you opt to remain at home while studying law at university, you stand to save on accommodation and living costs, while still being close to friends and family. However, you may have to consider travel times and the cost of commuting if the closest university for law to your location is still a considerable distance away.
Being on campus or living nearby to your chosen university offers you the full ‘university experience’. However, you will need to seriously think about accommodation and living costs when studying away from home, especially in big cities. You might need to get a part-time job to cover your costs – something to think about when choosing a location to study law.
Studying law at a university in a smaller city or town might help you to keep accommodation and living costs down.
If the social side of university life is a key factor in your decision-making, bigger city universities offer a diverse range of cultural and entertainment experiences. However, if you would prefer a quieter university experience that enables you to focus entirely on your studies, perhaps a more rural-based university will suit you
This may not be something that immediately springs to mind, but campus layout and accessibility is a key consideration when choosing a university for law, especially in your first year. Knowing where to go and how to get to lectures or where the university library is based can help to reduce uncertainty in those early days at uni.
Campus universities tend to be more structured, with lecture halls, faculties, libraries, student accommodation, and all other university buildings based in one place. This makes things easier to find and helps to build a genuine student community atmosphere.
Non-campus universities tend to be more spread out across a town or city, meaning that if you have lectures in different areas of campus, you will have to factor in travel times. It could be that you have to travel from one side of the town/city to another.
For example, many universities in Central London consist of several buildings and faculties within walking distance of each other. However, the buildings tend to be mixed in with shops, restaurants, or other buildings that are based off campus. Even though they are within walking distance, if you don’t know London well, you could struggle to locate buildings during your early weeks.
The content of your law degree is a key factor in choosing the right university for law. Studying an LLB means that there are several compulsory law subjects that you will cover. However, there is the option to choose some of your own modules in addition to the mandatory modules.
It’s important that you choose a law university that offers courses with modules that you are interested in studying. You will need to think about what area of law you might want to practice in when you qualify as a barrister or solicitor.
You will also need to consider the type of law degree that you want to apply for whether it’s a:
The quality of the teaching is another crucial factor when choosing a university for law, but this differs between each university. It’s worth researching university faculties to learn more about an institution’s law lecturers, their credentials, and their experience to determine which university you think will give you the best academic experience.
If the facilities a university has available are important to you, a bigger city university might appeal to you. Most larger universities tend to offer sports facilities, swimming pools, gyms, restaurants, theatres, and large communal areas to encourage social mixing and extracurricular activities.
If the reputation of a university for law is a key factor in your university choice, then studying law at Oxbridge or a Russell Group University could represent the right choice for you. The well-respected Russell Group is made up of the top 24 universities in the UK.
Each Russell Group university offers highly sought-after law courses, with many law firms favouring graduates from these universities when recruiting for training contracts and vacation schemes.
The 24 Russell Group Universities offering law degrees are:
|University of Birmingham||AAA - 36 IB
|Bristol University||A*AA or A*A*B - 34 IB|
|Cardiff University||AAB - ABB - 35 IB|
|Durham University||A*AA - 38 IB|
|University of Edinburgh||AAA - ABB - 34 IB|
|University of Exeter||AAA - AAB - 34-36 IB|
|University of Glasgow||BBB - 28 IB|
|King’s College London||A*AA - 35 IB|
|University of Leeds||AAA - 35 IB|
|University of Liverpool||ABB - 33 IB
|London School of Economics and Political Science||A*AA - 38 IB|
|University of Manchester||AAA - 36 IB|
|University of Nottingham||AAA - 36 IB|
|Queen Mary University of London||A*AA - 36 IB|
|Queen’s University Belfast||AAA - 36 IB|
|University of Sheffield||AAA - 36 IB|
|University of Southampton||AAA - 36 IB|
|University College London||A*AA - 39 IB|
|University of Warwick||AAA - 38 IB|
|University of York||AAA/A*AB/A*A*C - 36 IB|
Every university accepts a different number of students for their undergraduate law degree courses, while each faculty varies in size. You need to decide whether you would prefer to study at a university with busy law courses and lots of students or fewer students for a more personalised learning experience.
Alternatively, if you decide that university is not for you, perhaps consider a legal apprenticeship.
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