How to Get a Law Degree in the UK

There are many career options that can offer a very rewarding future both in terms of job satisfaction and in terms of finances. One of the areas that you can move into if you want to enjoy a long and highly respected career is law but you do need to put the work in so that you can gain the relevant qualifications.

Earning a law degree can open up many different options for you within the legal sector. In order to study law at university in the UK, you will need to meet the entry requirements for the university you wish to study at. Competition for places on law degree courses has increased with more students now looking to study law at UK universities. As a result of this, universities look to try and attract the best students and this means that many have strict entry requirements in place. One of the most popular options is the LLB course, which is the equivalent of a BA or BSc.

What are the entry requirements?

The entry requirements for a place to study law at a UK university can vary from one educational institution to another. They differ between countries too, as Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales all have variations of entry requirements which differ from England. Thankfully, on the UCAS application board there is always a conversion scale so you can assess your results if you wish to study in another part of the UK.

Your GCSE and A Level results will be taken into consideration when you apply for a law degree course. In terms of GCSEs you will generally need to have at least a grade C in maths and English. Many universities will also be looking for a minimum of three A Levels with grades of all A or all A and one B. Some may even want at least one A* as part of your A Level results.

Some universities may offer alternative routes onto law degree courses such as foundation programmes. However, this is something that varies from one university to another so you would need to check with the university that you are considering applying to for your law degree.

Another thing to bear in mind is that some universities have preferences with regards to the subjects that you have studied when it comes to your A Levels. Some may be looking for qualifications in so called ‘hard’ subjects such as maths, English, and sciences.

Some of the most prestigious universities have a list of subjects that they prefer and this does not include what is known as ‘soft’ subjects like business studies or media studies. With this in mind, you need to ensure you choose the right subjects to study when doing your A Levels- and to some extent your GCSEs. Many of these universities will require an AAA or AAB result sheet from A Levels.

The best subjects to get onto a law degree course

There are a number of preferred subjects that top universities prefer when it comes to accepting students onto a law degree course. Curiously to some, law A Level is not a necessity. However, you should aim to do a selection of A Levels in areas that will prove beneficial to your legal studies and to your future career in the legal field. This could include subjects such as English Language or History. Try to steer clear of the ‘soft’ options when choosing A Levels, as this could hamper your chances of getting into the university of your choice.

There are other routes that you can take in the event that you do not study law at university or are unable to attend university at all. For instance, university graduates that have not studied law can opt to do the GDL (Graduate Diploma in Law) if they wish to enter a career in the legal field. This then provides the basis to train as a solicitor. If you have not attended university at all, you may be able to opt for a legal apprenticeship in order to develop a career within this field.

Once you are on your law degree course, you will be assessed on a number of different areas such as examinations, verbal presentations, and coursework. If you are looking to specialize in a particular area of law, you may be able to opt for a joint degree such as criminology and law. Some educational institutions may also offer sandwich courses for those that want to focus on a particular area of law. The key thing is that you need to make your decisions early on with regards to your legal career, as this will help to ensure you choose the right A Levels and the right degree course.

After you have gained your degree

Once you have passed your law degree in the UK, you can then follow up with post graduate courses such as the LPC if you want to become a solicitor or the BPTC if you are looking to become a barrister. You then also need to decide where you want to practice law. For instance, you may prefer to work for a private practice or even set up on your own. On the other hand, you may prefer the option of working for the government or even for the Crown Prosecution service.

Finding work after a degree can be tricky in any profession, so always try and get your foot in the door of a firm via an apprenticeship or part-time job whilst you are still studying at university. This way, when your studies end you can easily transition into full-time work.