12 Best Universities for Law in the UK
Law is an incredibly popular subject for students to study at university, and the UK is home to some of the best law schools in the world!
It’s no surprise that many students hope to study Law given the range of modules on offer and the numerous career opportunities available after studying.
Some universities really stand out in their unique approach to teaching Law, so choosing the right university can significantly influence the structure and content of your degree.
Below you’ll find a guide to the twelve best universities for Law in the UK:
1. University of Oxford
The University of Oxford is a world-famous university, renowned for the quality of the legal professionals and scholars it counts as alumni. Many of the world’s leading textbooks and lectures are written by those who work – or have worked – within the university’s Law faculty, meaning that undergraduate students there learn directly from leading legal minds.
The outstanding faculty, coupled with the opportunity for one-to-one tutorials between students and tutors, and the expansive range of resources available across the Bodleian Libraries, makes the University of Oxford an exceptional place to study Law.
The application process is rigorous but incredibly rewarding for successful candidates, so prepare for a challenge if you choose to apply here!
Please note, the Oxford Scholastica Academy has no official affiliation with the University of Oxford.
2. University of Cambridge
Much like the University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge boasts an incredible Law degree programme. The two often compete for the top spot in university rankings in the UK and across the world, on account of the great expertise found within each faculty.
The University of Cambridge is also renowned for the range of optional modules on offer for Law undergraduates. Students are offered modules such as “Animal Rights Law”, “Criminology” and “International Law”, among others.
The teaching style is very similar to the University of Oxford’s, however there is one major difference in how students are assessed.
At Oxford University, students study three compulsory modules across the first two terms of their first year. They’re assessed in their Moderation exams (Mods) after studying these three subjects, and then aren’t formally assessed again until the end of their final year.
Conversely, students at Cambridge University are assessed at the end of each academic year, spreading the pressure of exams across the three years of study. Keep this in mind if you’re deciding between these two great universities!
3. London School of Economics and Politics
LSE offers an excellent Law programme, attracting students from all over the world with their unique approach. The university’s specialism in social science and politics informs the teaching style and promotes discussion around pertinent legal issues.
Overall, this results in an especially broad approach to tackling legal problems, drawing heavily on economic and political theory, and makes for a distinctive experience studying Law.
Complementing this unique approach is LSE’s focus on practical legal skills, including mooting, advocacy and experiential learning. The importance of these skills shouldn’t be understated, and those who study at LSE certainly benefit from a head start in the working world.
And what’s more? LSE’s law school sits a stone’s throw away from some of the top barrister’s chambers and law firms in London, making it the perfect location from which to build a legal network.
4. University College London
Not far from the LSE, UCL also sits amongst many of the excellent legal practices in London.
The university is especially recognised for its strong links with top commercial law firms, including Slaughter and May and Freshfields, as well as a number of great barristers’ chambers. The university works alongside many of these firms to offer networking opportunities for students. It’s no surprise that so many UCL students go on to secure training contracts at Magic Circle firms.
UCL also puts great emphasis on legal innovation. The Institute of Brand and Innovation Law epitomises their focus on tackling emerging legal issues in fields such as intellectual property and media law. This is just one of many examples of UCL’s reputable approach to teaching Law.
5. University of Edinburgh
The University of Edinburgh has an international reputation of excellence for its law school, both at undergraduate and postgraduate level. It’s arguably the best UK university to offer Scots law, and those looking to study here should appreciate this difference when considering future employment opportunities.
That being said, Law students at the University of Edinburgh are exposed to a broad range of legal opportunities in Scotland and beyond! The networking opportunities at the university are especially strong, and coupled with the quality of its academic offerings, the university is a top choice for those looking to practise as a solicitor in Scotland and beyond.
The law school also sits in the Old Town of Edinburgh, making for a beautiful backdrop to your studies!
6. King’s College London
King’s College London is the final London university on this list, and its spot amongst the top twelve is well-deserved – its entry requirements of A*AA are indicative of the course’s academic rigour and high quality teaching!
The university also offers a range of dual degrees and opportunities for studying abroad, offering an enriching educational experience. “Law with Transnational Legal Studies” and “LLB with a Year on Exchange in Singapore” are just a couple of the unique pathways available to students on King’s undergraduate Law course.
King’s are also famous for the breadth of their elective modules, which include “Environmental Law”, “The Russian Legal System” and “Moral Philosophy”.
7. Durham University
Much like Oxbridge, Durham University utilises a collegiate system of admissions, meaning students apply to study at a specific college.
This makes for a great experience as students form close-knit academic communities within their colleges. Law is a subject that benefits immensely from the discussion of legal issues with colleagues, and Durham University makes this incredibly easy!
The university also offers a great number of pro bono opportunities for its students. Notably, Durham University students can volunteer on the university’s “Access for Justice” pro bono project, which allows students to work alongside academics and legal professionals, researching and advising on real cases and boosting their voluntary portfolio.
8. University of Bristol
The University of Bristol is an excellent university for studying Law. Like King’s, they also offer a year abroad, allowing students with a particular aptitude for languages to experience studying Law in countries like Spain or Germany.
Much like the other universities on this list, the grade requirements are high, owing to the challenges of a rich curriculum. However, you can guarantee that graduating with a degree in Law from the University of Bristol will give you a range of valuable legal skills, including research, public speaking and mooting.
The university’s “Clinical Legal Studies” module is especially appealing for those looking to gain real-life legal experience.
9. University of Glasgow
The University of Glasgow is another of Scotland’s excellent institutions for studying Law. Much like the University of Edinburgh, Glasgow University also teaches Scots law, but offers teaching of the common law as well, covering the legal system of England and Wales, amongst other jurisdictions.
Additionally, the law school recently secured funding for a unique law clinic to increase access to justice in Scotland.
The university is ranked 63rd in the world for their undergraduate Law degree, which is unsurprising given the quality of the teaching. Their purpose-built moot courtroom is state-of-the-art, and students are encouraged to take up placements abroad and in the UK, equipping students with as much practical legal experience as possible.
10. University of Manchester
The University of Manchester is yet another great place for Law undergraduates and postgraduates. The university is spread across the vibrant city, and the law school sits in close proximity to many of the great law firms based in Manchester.
The Justice Hub gives students an extra chance for pro bono work to help their local community, whilst the law school fosters a global approach to studying legal issues.
It’s safe to say that Manchester won’t disappoint those looking to study Law in a city which has grown exponentially in the legal scene, and whose resources and facilities are incredibly well-maintained.
11. University of York
As the only law school in the UK to use a problem-based learning approach, the University of York offers an unequalled Law degree. With a range of unique modules, including “Law and Emotion”, “Law and Society” and “Law, Gender and Sexuality”, students are encouraged to combine theory with practical perspectives.
Like others on our list, the university offers opportunities for Law students to study abroad, to experience different legal systems and to gain an international perspective on legal issues.
12. University of Leeds
The University of Leeds offers a Law degree with a comprehensive curriculum, giving students a strong foundation to build upon across the duration of the course.
Students at the university are encouraged to engage with a broad education and to explore ten interdisciplinary themes. These cover a range of topics such as power, ethics, conflict and technology, providing a vast and holistic legal education to Law students.
The University of Leeds also offers a placement year module, providing students with hands-on experience with legal practitioners, law firms and organisations.
These twelve universities stand out for their high teaching quality and rich curricula. It’s important to conduct your own research before choosing a university, but these twelve universities are a great place to start!
By Jamie Emerick
Jamie is a recent Law graduate of Trinity College, University of Oxford. Alongside his writing work with OxBright, offering first-hand advice for those looking to study Law at university, Jamie works at a MedTech firm as an IP Law Assistant, helping to manage their IP portfolio.
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