Choosing an LLB (Hons) Law Degree? Here’s What You Need to Know
Studying a law degree is challenging, intellectually satisfying and essential if you want to become a solicitor or a barrister in England and Wales. But deciding which course to apply for can be confusing, as there are a number of variations on offer.
To help you choose the next best steps on your higher education journey, we’ll take a look at the three main types of LLB (Hons) Law undergraduate courses on offer that can help you step into a career within the legal profession.
The in-class LLB
It usually takes three years of full-time study to complete a campus-based LLB (Hons) Law. However, some university law schools also offer part-time degree courses (over 4-6 years), so this could be a good option for you if you need to keep working while you study.
Whichever route you choose, your LLB will hone your professional skills and give you a thorough grounding in the core legal principles and law modules you’ll need to gain a qualifying law degree. These include:
If you’ve got a particular career pathway in mind, you’ll be glad to know that after your first year, you’ll be able to choose from a number of optional modules that will allow you to become an expert in certain areas by the end of your final year. These normally focus on areas like:
It’s a good idea to think about which areas of law you’d like to work in and how you see yourself fitting into the legal system. You may choose to apply your legal knowledge by giving legal advice within a law firm, law clinic, as a paralegal or within commercial law, sorting out legal issues for companies. Whichever path you choose, this degree will help you to understand how to apply the law in the real world.
How will I learn?
If you want to study law, doing so on campus can give you plenty of opportunities to interact with your tutor and peers. As well as benefiting from a wide variety of teaching methods (including seminars, group projects, tutorials and class debates), you’ll experience mooting sessions, which provide practical experience of using key legal skills in a courtroom setting.
What will it cost?
Most LLB programmes cost a total of £27,750, which is spread over the duration of your course. Although this might seem expensive, you’ll find that there’s plenty of financial support on offer, including tuition fee loans, loans for living costs and grants for parents who are studying full time.
How will I be assessed?
Traditional campus-based law degrees are becoming more flexible, so you can expect to be assessed via a mix of essays, reports, projects and oral presentations. However, you’re still likely to face several written exams (some universities offer extra preparation for these).
The online LLB
Opt for an online LLB, and you’ll enjoy extra flexibility, as you’ll be able to study from the comfort of your couch and at a time that suits your lifestyle. You’ll still cover the critical legal topics required to gain a qualifying law degree, essential for joining a legal practice.
How will I learn?
If you choose to study online, you’ll access all of your learning materials via a virtual learning platform. However, you won’t be left staring at a computer screen, as online LLBs are highly interactive, encouraging real-time collaboration between law students and tutors. They also incorporate an interesting mix of teaching methods.
For example, The University of Essex’s Online’s LLB is delivered via a mix of lecturecasts, audio recording, animations, written content, videos and case studies. In addition, it includes discussion forums to boost students’ debating skills and live Q&A sessions with tutors. What’s more, every cohort is limited to 20 students to ensure that each individual receives plenty of support.
How will I be assessed?
If exams aren’t your strong point, you could consider studying your LLB online, as you’ll probably find that assignments, presentations, discussion forums and reflective journals have replaced formal exams.
What will it cost?
Some universities will expect you to pay tuition fees of £9,250 per academic year, while others will charge significantly less when it comes to studying online.
However much you’re asked to pay for your online course, you’ll still have full access to the government’s tuition fee and maintenance loans, as long as your degree programme has a course intensity of 25% or more.
What are the entry requirements for LLB courses?
In order to gain a place on a traditional campus-based course, you’ll generally need three decent A levels and five GCSEs at grade 4 or above (including English Language.) Many universities will also accept alternative qualifications such as BTECs and the International Baccalaureate.
Entry requirements for online LLB courses tend to vary, and some universities (such as the University of Essex) will accept either a set of A levels or several years of relevant work experience. You’ll also need GCSEs in Maths and English.
The combined LLB
Interested in taking a law degree with a difference? Then you could opt for a combined LLB (Hons). Available to study in class or online, there are a number of subject combinations to choose from.
One option is the LLB (Hons) with Criminology. This combination is perfect if you have a particular interest in the criminal justice system. As well as gaining a qualifying law degree, you’ll explore topics like criminal justice, criminal behaviour and society’s response to crime.
Meanwhile, If you’re keen to pursue a legal career with a commercial flavour, why not broaden your skills by studying a joint LLB (Hons) Law with Business degree? Depending on the course you choose, you could study subjects like business strategy, operations management, HR, business planning and corporate responsibility.
If you’ve considered studying psychology, this could be useful within your legal career, as this social science will give you some of the key skills needed to succeed in this area, such as problem-solving. The University of Essex Online’s LLB (Hons) Law with Psychology allows you to conduct essential legal research, and you’ll explore areas like human development, social psychology, forensic psychology, developmental science and investigative psychology.
How will I be taught and assessed?
Your course delivery will vary spending on the university you select, but if you’re learning on campus, your timetable is likely to include a traditional mix of lectures, seminars, tutorials and debates. While you’ll probably sit a number of formal exams, your knowledge will also be assessed via essays, reports, presentations and projects.
If you opt for an online combined LLB, you’ll access your course content via a virtual learning environment. Most universities use assignments, projects and presentations to assess their online students, but it’s worth checking your course information carefully, as there are exceptions.
Entry requirements for combined LLBs
Usually, you’ll need three A levels to apply for a full-time in-class combined LLB course, although grade requirements vary. Flexible work-based entry routes are available at some universities, but you’ll still need those all-important GCSEs in English Language and Maths.
Whether you opt for a campus based programme or an online degree, studying law at university is an essential first step towards a fulfilling legal career. CoursesOnline offers a superb selection of LLB (Hons) Law courses that will equip you with an outstanding legal education, so if you’re keen to start your journey and find out further information, take a look at what we have to offer.