What is a Law Degree?
A Law Degree, which abbreviated equivalent LLB comes from Latin Legum Baccalaureus (translated as the Bachelor of Laws) is a graduate course, which provides basic knowledge of the UK law system and is a foundation for the further, more specialised legal career. After successfully completing the Law Degree course, you will be able to continue your study at Master’s level (LLM)
Almost all UK law courses allow students the option of taking a year’s professional placement at a firm, while overseas study is also available. Students can also choose to combine Law with another subject such as business, politics or journalism. All LLB programmes at UK universities are formally accredited by the Law Society of England and Wales and the Bar Council of England and Wales as qualifying law.
The course can be studied in a variety of formats, that include full-time, part-time and online, depending on university and time you are able to commit. A Law Degree usually takes three years in England and Wales. It is an academic qualification and does not qualify you as a lawyer; for that, you need to do further professional studies.
Where can I complete the Law Degree course?
- University of Cambridge
- University of Oxford
- University of Dundee
- London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
- University of York
- University College London (UCL)
Apart from its prestige and ranking position, other factors have to also be taken into consideration. You may want to study close to your hometown, in a vibrant, multicultural environment, in a place that offers plentiful career opportunities, or at a school that has affordable tuition fees. Whatever your priorities are, there is a wide range of law schools to suit your academic and personal preferences.
What does the Law Degree course contain?
A law degree combines the academic study of legal theory with applying law to real-life scenarios. You’ll learn about criminal law, public law and company law as well as legal issues relating to topics such as property, the environment and human rights. The course equips you with the core knowledge and skills needed to go on to study to become a solicitor or barrister but is equally useful for any career where thinking logically and communicating clearly are important.
As part of the LLB, students have the opportunity to supplement these core units with a variety of optional modules. It is important to have a thorough look at the course content to see whether it suits you and to find out about the additional modules you can take. This will help you to decide which university would be best for you to graduate from.
What can I expect during the course?
In order to be able to interpret law correctly, you need to understand it well and have your analytical skills very well developed. Be prepared for spending lots of your time on reading various legal texts and cases that you will have to apply to real life scenarios.
Throughout the course you will also be practising your critical thinking and debating skills, via in-class discussions, collecting and evaluating the value of pro- and con- arguments. All the above skills are vital for the successful legal career, therefore the more you work on them, the sooner they will become your second nature.
You will also have to provide a lot of written work, showing your understanding of the theories and ability to apply them into real life. The written assignments will be a core part of your final assessment and will decided on the type of your degree – whether it is a 1st or 2nd class or a simple pass. The degree class will consequently affect your chances for further legal education and job prospects – the higher your degree, the more valued you are within the legal community.
What are the entry requirements to apply for a Law Degree course?
Entry requirements at law schools in the UK vary from one university to another, however in order to be admitted for a Law Degree course, you need to provide an A Levels equivalent and prove proficiency in English Language, if it is not your mother-tongue.
In terms of your A Levels subjects, there are no strict rules, however, some universities and colleges may have, their internal list of “preferred” subjects and those may include English Literature and History. The top universities also require their prospective students to have studied at least three A Levels with results of AAA or AAB, and in some cases at least one A*.
Some colleges and universities may also evaluate your academic and logical thinking skills prior to accept your application. This can be done via written assessment or interview with one of the tutors, or both.
What are the opportunities after obtaining a Law Degree?
Although a Law Degree is only a first step to a professional legal career, and you may have to pursue further studies if you want to become a solicitor, barrister or a court judge, it does not mean that you cannot apply for any job within the legal sector. The options for an LLB graduate include jobs such as:
- Legal Advisor.
- Public Prosecutor.
- Teacher or Lecturer.
- Legal Manager.
- Legal Services Chief
In terms of earnings, the starting salary for a lawyer in England and Wales is around £25,000 and it increases rapidly while gaining years of experience. UK lawyers who have more than ten years of experience and have achieved higher educational ranks and titles can earn around £100,000 per year.