The majority of students studying law at university choose a Law LLB because it’s a qualifying law degree in England and Wales. Completing a Law LLB degree will allow you to immediately advance your legal studies, equipping you to take the LPC (replaced by the Solicitors Qualifying Exam – SQE in 2021) if you want to become a solicitor or the BPTC if you want to become a barrister.
These types of law degrees are described as ‘qualifying’ because they cover seven core modules that you will need to continue your training. The core LLB Law modules could include any seven of the following:
Learn more about LLB compulsory modules on our dedicated LLB syllabus page.
You can also study optional modules as part of an LLB Law degree, including:
Each university will offer different optional modules, with some universities offering up to 60 non-compulsory modules to choose from. You can use this opportunity to develop your knowledge in areas of law you may want to work in after university.
To learn more about different areas of law, see our dedicated Areas of Law guide.
A Law BA is a Bachelor of Arts degree with a focus on law. If you study a Law BA, you have the option to switch some of your course modules for non-law subjects and combine them with a selection of law modules.
Unlike the Law LLB, the Law BA is not a qualifying law degree. This means that this type of law degree will not enable you to qualify or practice as a solicitor or barrister through the traditional route. A Law BA degree does not feature all of the compulsory core modules that an LLB Law course does.
This means that once you complete your BA Law course, you will be unable to immediately take an LPC, SQE or BPTC course when you graduate. Instead, if you want to practise as a solicitor or barrister after studying a Law BA, you will need to take a PGDL – more commonly known as a law conversion course. The good news for aspiring solicitors is that the introduction of the SQE in 2021 means that doing the PGDL after completing a Law BA is no longer a compulsory element of qualification – the SQE is open to all non-law and qualifying law degree holders.
A Law BA course does give you greater flexibility over what you study compared to an LLB. You can combine a BA in Law with other subjects that interest you. It allows you to keep your options open when it comes to your career path too. A BA in Law is highly regarded in non-legal careers such as journalism and politics, where legal knowledge could prove useful.
Increasingly, UK universities are offering LLB and BA Law courses combined with languages. As more potential lawyers explore the possibility of practising law overseas, combining a legal course with a modern languages module helps widen available career options.
A combined law and languages course lasts for four years, and the final year usually involves an option to study abroad, giving you the chance to experience non-UK legal systems. A law degree with a language could be favoured by international law firms and organisations who may prefer lawyers who can speak with their colleagues in other major markets, or who could speak with clients who they work with in multiple countries.
Plus, experiencing other European judicial systems will give you an insight and understanding into the various legal challenges faced by international businesses.
Many UK universities offer law courses combined with other subjects.
Some examples of these types of law degrees include:
Jurisprudence is the ‘science’ or ‘philosophy’ of law. Where legal theory focuses on the law in practice – meaning how it functions and operates in societies – jurisprudence includes the study of law generally, plus its different philosophical schools of thought.
A BA in Jurisprudence Law is offered at several red brick and Russell Group universities in the UK, including:
Like an LLB Law degree, Jurisprudence is a qualifying law degree even at BA level.
If you want to study law in Scotland, a Scots Law LLB is the equivalent of an LLB Law degree in England and Wales. However, if you choose to study Scots Law in Scotland and later decide to practise law in England and Wales, you would need to complete a PGDL. This is because there are significant differences between the legal systems.
However, some accredited universities in Scotland offer a combined English and Scots Law LLB, which enables you to study both legal systems.
If you qualify in England or Wales, but decide to practise in Scotland, you would have to complete a Qualified Lawyers Assessment.
To become a solicitor in Scotland, you will need to study an LLB with an accredited university in Scotland. 10 Scottish universities are currently accredited by the Law Society of Scotland to offer the Scots Law LLB, including:
|The University of Aberdeen||Yes|
|The University of Abertay||No|
|The University of Dundee||Yes|
|The University of Edinburgh||Yes|
|The University of Glasgow||Yes|
|Glasgow Caledonian University||Yes|
|Edinburgh Napier University||Yes|
|Robert Gordon University||Yes|
|The University of Stirling||Yes|
|The University of Strathclyde||Yes|
More than 50 UK universities offer the opportunity to study law online. Online legal courses are popular with mature students studying law and those who don’t want to relocate for university. If you’re considering studying law online, here are some of the universities offering these types of degrees.
|The University of Law|
|University of Central Lancashire|
|Queen Mary University of London|
|University of Greenwich|
If you think studying law at university is the right step for you, why not take our fun, interactive quiz – ‘Which City Should I Study Law In?’ to help you decide on the right uni for you.
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