It can seem like there is a law for everything, with new laws created all the time to keep up with a society that is ever evolving, socially, politically and economically. But what is the theory underpinning these laws?
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As it turns out, there is a lot of theory behind our laws, and a degree in law gives you the chance to learn all about the legal framework that we are all expected to operate within. Over three years (full-time), you will gain a solid understanding of why laws were created and what they are for.
This demanding degree combines theory with practice in an almost 50/50 ratio, so while there will be essays to write, you will also tackle case studies and learn from real-life examples. Some UK universities even have their very own mock courtroom, and to get through the three years you really need to have bags of motivation and the right attitude.
Different Types of Law Degrees
A law degree at the undergraduate study level is awarded as a LLB Bachelor of Laws and takes three years of full time study to complete. Some universities also offer degrees as a Bachelor of Science (BSc) and a Bachelor of Arts (Ba Hons). Depending on which type of law degree you choose to study your course content may differ.
Law can also be studied alongside other subjects through courses such as:
What modules will I study?
Over the course of a three year law degree you will undertake a range of core and optional modules, allowing you to specialise in your preferred area of law. Below you can see some examples of module topics on offer:
- Criminal Law
- Family Law
- Commercial Law
- Legal History
- European Law
- International Human Rights
- Law and Medical Ethics
- Employment Law
- Corporate Finance
A Masters degree in law is the best way for an aspiring lawyer to learn more about the sort of specialised knowledge and skills necessary to standout as a top candidate for professional jobs in this sector. A Masters degree boosts employability and opens up lots of new, more specialised opportunities in your career where employers prefer competitive training.
Graduates with a masters in law, moreover, are increasingly being scouted by organisations around the world.
But before pursuing your degree it’s a good idea to ask the right questions. Let’s take a look at all you need to know about studying for a Masters degree in law.
What Is A Masters In Law?
A Masters in law degree focuses on the advanced study of legal practices and theory. Some programs are accredited professional courses, while others are specialised academic LLM (Masters of Law) degrees which let you specialise in a specific area, such as copyright or corporate law. The LLM degree is the most common graduate law degree program in the UK, and it is internationally recognised.
Other types of Masters in law include the BPTC (Bar Professional Training Course), which prepares you for a future working as a qualified barrister. If you want to pursue a career as a solicitor, you would need to take the LPC (Legal Practice Course).
You can study either full or part-time for a Masters in law. Full-time courses can be completed in a year, while part-time courses will stretch out over two years.
Law is a wide subject, and before starting your degree you will be asked to choose the aspect of law that you want to specialise in. Some of the choices will include:
- Business Law
- Civil Law
- Criminal Law
- Employment Law
- European Law
- Financial Law
- Human Rights Law
- Intellectual Property Law
- Labour Law
- Media Law
- Public Law
- Taxation Law
- Welfare Law
Each university offers different specialised programs, and it might be that your preferred university doesn’t provide a degree for the aspect of law you want to specialise in.
There are over 100 universities in the UK that offer law degrees and depending on the university you are applying to the entry requirements can vary significantly. You will typically be required to achieve the following A Level Grades and UCAS Points:
- A Level Grades: A*AA - AAA
- UCAS Points: 152 - 144
Top 5 Universities for Law Degrees
- University of Cambridge
- University of Oxford
- Queen Mary University of London
- Durham University
- London School of Economics and Political Science
You may also be required to undertake a university admissions test for a Law Degree. You can find out more about the Law National Aptitude Test (LNAT) over on our article: University Admissions Tests, A Complete Guide.
Entry requirements for a Masters in law will vary according to the exact type of degree, as well as the university and program. To study for a BPTC or an LPC, you will need to possess at least a Bachelor of Law or equivalent, while some programs might require you to sit an aptitude test or take an entrance interview. To help you understand postgraduate interviews we have put together an article for the top 10 questions that are likely to pop up and the best ways that you can answer them: Top 10 Postgraduate Interview Questions.
If you don’t have an undergraduate law degree, it is possible to apply for conversion courses that you would complete before going onto studying for a Masters in law. A good example of a conversion course is a GDL (Graduate Diploma in Law).
A law degree provides students with a great start to gaining a career in the legal profession. Various job roles gained by law graduates include:
- Trainee Solicitor
- Corporate Banker
To achieve a career in the legal industry students are required to undertake further professional training such as enrolling for the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) or the Legal Practice Course (LPC). Find out more about these courses here.
It's worth noting that law was one of the most employable degrees in 2016 with 90% of students entering full time work or further study within 6 months of graduating. According to the destination of leavers from higher education survey, graduates were also on an average salary of around £19,500. You can find out more about the most employable degrees with our article: Top 10 Most Employable Degrees.