Subject Guide

Law Degree

Uni Compare  · Sep 24th 2020

Law is broadly separated into two branches, civil law and criminal law


Earning a law degree is a huge accomplishment and can open all kinds of doors. Any qualifying law degree university can mark the start of a promising journey through academia or work, so read on to find out exactly what law degree UK careers await you, and trust us, there are plenty of careers with a law degree available.

Law degree

What can you do with a law degree?

Having a sound knowledge of the law is a major asset for any role in government, be it local or national. If you’re looking to make a change and a positive contribution to society and the way things are run, consider a role in parliamentary civil service or council department management.

Almost any industry would benefit from hiring a graduate with a law degree or a qualifying law degree or a law degree online. Whether it’s a publishing company or a biscuit factory, all businesses have to tread carefully when it comes to their hiring practices, work regulations, copyright infringement etc. Check out companies that interest you and see whether they have vacancies for legal consultancy roles.

Budding writers with a law degree UK or with masters degree in law will find themselves a step ahead of the competition, as they will have an understanding of a law and politics degree that allows them to write confidently about current affairs (not to mention the know-how to navigate any awkward libel situations). And while print journalism is on the decline, there are still roles to be had in all kinds of media and it is a great example of there being alternative careers with a law degree available.

And of course, the first thing many people think of when picturing an undergraduate law degree or even a bachelor degree in law is donning robes and entering the courtroom. But not all law degrees provide entry into the world of barristers and solicitors; this usually requires some extra steps after your LLB qualifying law degree, so check out the ‘What happens after I graduate?’ section below to find out more, you can also check out the various part-time law degree courses that are on our site too.

So, what can you do with a degree in law or even with any law degree apprenticeships or an online law degree UK?

Turns out - quite a lot!

What can I do with a law degree?

What about your personal career path? What can you do with a law degree?

Think carefully about your expectations and standards for working hours and rates of pay. Being a solicitor can be massively rewarding (both personally and financially), but it can also be physically demanding in terms of work-life balance. This will suit some people but not others, so do your research before committing to a pathway to be sure that it’s a good match for your lifestyle.

In such a competitive field, it’s wise to get some work experience. This boosts your student CV and also gives you a taste of different fields, from conveyancing properties to police work or advisor at the Citizens Advice Bureau.

Consider your passions: roles in public advocacy, family, immigration and business are all closely linked to a law degree.

The skills you develop on an LLB Law degree (and an online law degree or a law foundation degree or a law conversion degree) are wide-reaching. The ability to structure an argument, select information, present ideas and work as a team will make law graduates great candidates for many roles. Specific circumstances apply, too: if you’ve gained an Open University law degree while working or raising children, for example, you can already demonstrate excellent time-management and organisational skills.

Civil law is concerned with non-criminal law, including property, family, wills, contracts and torts, whereas criminal law covers crime related law. A portion of law graduates won’t necessarily wish to become lawyers when they have graduated, but are fascinated by the legal system and everything that it entails, which is also why a part time law degree is a good option too. Also, many graduates complete their degree in another subject and then choose to take a law conversion course, known as the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) or even a Medical Law degree enabling them to practice law thereafter and become a solicitor or barrister.

Furthermore, students can gain a Bachelor’s of Laws (LLB) degree where students typically spend the entirety of their time studying the law, or a Bachelor’s of Arts and Bachelors of Science degree (BA, BSc) where candidates tend to explore other areas and modules outside of law during the programme.

The knowledge gained through the degree is vital for certain job roles such as a case handler, paralegal roles, or as a legal assistant and/or secretary.

What A Levels do I need?

Prospective candidates wishing to enrol onto a Law degree course at university do not necessarily have to hold a law A-level, and it isn’t seen as an advantage or a disadvantage either. Universities prefer students to have a range of strong grades – especially in subjects that include analytical and communication skills, such as history or English literature.

Students are advised to check with their universities UCAS requirements and their top choices for degree courses before applying to ensure they understand what they need to obtain to receive an offer successfully. You can also see our Law personal statement examples; these will help you to gain an insight into what you need for your personal statement.

What are my study options?

Students, during their studies, whether they choose to study an LLB, BA or a BSc in Law, may learn about the English Legal Process, Contract Law, Principles of Criminal Law, Legal Methods, Skills and Reasoning and Constitutional and Administrative Law, which are all considered to be core subjects. Although, individuals may also study Media, Internet and Child Law, as well as Law and Medicine, Intellectual Property Law and a Public International Law degree or even a Law and Psychology degree.

Each degree course may vary slightly with the modules available. However, the core subjects tend to stay the same. Individuals should research their favourite course programmes to see what modules they will be studying during their time as an undergraduate, to ensure they are learning something that is of interest to them, which is why choosing the right university and course is essential.

An LLB will lead to the law society, or bar qualifying exams, which if successfully passed, will mean that the individual is qualified to practice Law. However, studying a BA or BSc programme in law won’t lead to the same level, and students will benefit more from conducting their research beforehand to understand what degree course they need to complete for their career aspirations, it will also have different law degree entry requirements.

LLB courses tend to last for three years, although, sandwich courses involving studying a language alongside law will increase the length to four years due to time spent studying abroad. There are also combined degrees available offering individuals the chance to study two subject areas, such as a Business and Law degree (sometimes known as a Business Law degree) or a Law and Criminology degree and Law degree, which has different law degree requirements as well.

Law degree

How long is a law degree?

A law degree can take around three years, which is common for an undergraduate degree, but for those that are studying.

What should I expect from studying Law?

Studying law and its relevance to society and justice gives meaning and reason to students, and for those fascinated by the subject, this will prove absorbing. However, studying law, in whatever degree format, is an intense and challenging degree to study due to its workload and what it requires of its students. Students should expect to spend lots of time reading Judgments, case studies and trial notes and many nights at the university library!

How will I be assessed?

Assessment is typically through examinations and coursework, and examinations may also be broken down into pre-release, seen and open book exams.

What skills will I learn from studying Law?

Law degrees provide candidates with the skills required to practice in law, through mooting – which is a mock legal hearing where students can argue points of Law – and Pro Bono work, which is representing clients at a low charge, or free due to low income or due to their circumstances. Depending on the modules taken, students may also gain skills in specific areas, such as family, finance or commerce.

Additionally, general skills gained through studying the degree include, research, analytical thinking, practical problem solving, interpretation, explanation of complex subjects, good oral communications, teamwork, negotiation, attention to detail and the ability to draft formal documents.

Also, students who choose to attend university will gain transferable skills that they can take with them through employment and life, such as organisation and time-management skills due to completing deadlines, and social skills from working with others in presentations and group work.

Why study Law?

Law is a well-respected study area, which is valued by many employers and opens up amazing career opportunities. Law is embedded into our society. Therefore, the need for graduates to understand and hold the ability to practice law will always be present.

The academic study of Law will allow students to gain insight into the legal system, and obtain a broad, but thorough understanding of the subject. Individuals will gain skills in analysis, written and verbal presentation as well as critical thinking and the ability to present and manage arguments.

The skills gained through studying law are also transferable to other careers, such as the civil service, teaching and the voluntary sector. Many look to develop these skills while still taking their degree on a distance learning law degree as well.

Consider your passions: roles in public advocacy, family, immigration and business are all closely linked to a law degree.

What happens after I graduate?

If candidates wish to become a barrister or solicitor, they will need to complete the Legal Practice Course (LPC), or the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC). However, these two routes are highly competitive and tough, and law graduates can seek employment in a selection of professions and organisations as their skills and knowledge are sought after.

Will it help me get a job?

So can you get any jobs with a law degree UK?

Of course you can! So what jobs you can do with a law degree?

The knowledge gained through the degree is vital for certain job roles such as a case handler, paralegal roles, or as a legal assistant and/or secretary. Although, skills such as attention to detail, problem-solving and critical thinking will allow individuals to get far in the employment industry.

Students will learn about court systems, legal language and how to work within a team as well as on their own which is vital to gaining employment in law.

What types of jobs can I get from studying Law?

You can find plenty of jobs with a law degree, such as: solicitors, barristers, working in private practice, government legal service, in-house legal departments or the Crown Prosecution Service.

It will be tough to find work in this area without a Law degree, unless you know of another way of how to become a solicitor without a law degree.

Other areas with law degree jobs opportunities may include, academia, business, politics, banking and media.

What can I study after Law?

Postgraduate degree programmes for students wishing to continue with their studies include studying for the Bar (BPTC), pursuing an LLM programme to specialise in an area of law (such as human rights or medical ethics), gaining a master’s degree in law, or working through a teaching qualification such as a PGCE degree.

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