Best Law School in England

How to Choose a Law School in the UK

Guest post: Rachel Campbell

With over 150 universities and colleges in the UK, it can be difficult to choose the best place to study for your law degree, especially as there can be vast differentiations between the courses available. So that you apply to the right institutions, here are some of the important factors to consider, to help you choose a law school in the UK.

1) What kind of location do you want to study in?

Choosing the right location is crucial for many students. As the city (or campus) will be your home for the next three to six years, depending on your course, it can have a huge impact on your university experience and success.

Although they rarely admit it, many students look for the cities with the best party atmospheres. However, as a prospective law student, try to consider other factors as well – to make sure you don’t end up being overly distracted.

Think about whether you would rather stay nearer to home or move further afield. Also, try to choose a location with plenty of legal firms in the surrounding area, so that you can gain valuable work experience as you study.

2) Do you want a more practical or theoretical law degree?

Universities around the UK offer a variety of different law courses. One factor that differentiates many of them is whether they offer complete theoretical study, or if practical experience is involved.

Some law degrees offer students the chance to take a “sandwich year”, where you get to work for a legal firm full-time for a year, before your final year of studying. Practical courses can also offer mock trials, allowing you to gain valuable experience for your legal career.

If the more practical approach isn’t for you, there are law courses that stick to a more theoretical route, without a sandwich year. If you are planning to go for a more theory-based course, look for universities that offer electives so that you can select some of your own modules.

3) What areas of the law are you most interested in?

Although some law degrees do offer electives, the majority of modules you study at any university will be fixed and mandatory. Therefore, it is important to look closely at the core modules on offer at different institutions to determine whether the course content will fit with the career path you are looking to take after university.

While the majority of modules will be quite generic, it is a good idea to start thinking about whether there is a legal sector you would prefer to specialize in so you can determine whether any particular courses could help you develop your knowledge in that area. Does criminal law appeal more to you than business law, or do you see yourself working within family law, property law or environmental law?

4) Strictly law or a joint honors degree?

Another factor to think about when choosing a law school in the UK is whether you want to study a complete law degree, or combine law with another subject. The second option – a joint honors degree – could provide you with more options after graduation, especially if you’re not convinced a traditional legal career is for you.


Interesting facts:

The University of Edinburgh School of Law, founded in 1707, is a school within the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, dedicated to research and teaching in law. Known today as Edinburgh Law School, it is located in the historic Old College, the original site of the...

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