Undergraduate Study at Aberdeen

Undergraduate Study at Aberdeen

Sam Williams - LLB English Law

Scottish student Sam Williams shares his experiences studying for his LLB Law with English Law at the School of Law, University of Aberdeen.

Shanardra Fadhilah - LLB English Law

Indonesian student Shanardra Fadhilah shares her experiences studying for her LLB Law with English Law at the School of Law, University of Aberdeen.

Undergraduate degrees

We offer an LLB and LLB(Hons) as well as a variety of combined undergraduate law degrees. Our Law With English Law Degree Programmes are qualifying in all four constituent nations of the UK (Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland). Please note that further professional practise qualifications together with ‘on the job’ practical experience are required in each country to achieve qualified solicitor status.

In addition to our qualifying law degrees, we also offer interdisciplinary programmes for those with an interest in the legal field. Choose from MA Legal Studies (options available) and MA Criminology and Sociology.

LLB Law

The LLB requires three years to complete, during which students must give a satisfactory performance in a broad selection of law subjects. The LLB curriculum does not assume that a student necessarily wishes to enter the legal profession. Students are nevertheless given the opportunity to include in their course of study those courses which will give full exemption from the professional examinations of the Law Society of Scotland and the Faculty of Advocates.

LLB Law with Honours

In the latter part of the second year of their LLB, students decide whether they wish to apply for the four-year degree of LLB with Honours. Admission is on the basis of academic performance. Students take six Honours subjects, studied over two years. Also, each student is required to prepare a dissertation of approximately 10,000 words. The selection of courses available in any given year is set out in the Honours Prospectus.

LLB (Hons)

Combined LLB Degrees

A law degree may be combined with language study or with any number of other subjects:

A law degree may also be combined with the study of the law of another country:

Students who take an option in foreign law spend their third year studying abroad. To be considered for the year abroad (and thus to receive the combined degree) students must show satisfactory academic results in their first and second year.

Accelerated two-year LLB for Graduates

The Law School have places available for well qualified graduates seeking admission to the two year LLB programme.

 

Part-time LLB

An LLB may be awarded by part-time study over five years. The programme is available to both graduates and non-degree holders.

LLB Law with English Law

Our degree in Law with English Law is taught via a selection of courses designed to enhance your learning and prepare you for a future career or further study. A key element of this degree is the choice it offers you in respect of your future decisions regarding the legal profession. Although no longer a formal prerequisite for qualifying as a solicitor, our Law with English Law degree will cover most of the relevant subjects and skills to be tested in the SQE. It can then be supplemented by taking a dedicated SQE preparation course, either at the University of Aberdeen (a potential offering for this is currently under consideration) or through an external provider (the SRA maintains a list of external providers). Completing the Law with English Law degree additionally gives you a Scots Law qualification, should you wish to practise law in Scotland.

The School of Law will continue to monitor any further developments regarding the SQE and review the content of its Law with English Law degrees, to ensure it correlates as far as possible with SQE requirements.

Please see above for Accelerated LLB Law with English Law. This option is available for those who hold a good undergraduate degree in another discipline.

Important changes to the qualification route for solicitors

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), which regulates the solicitors’ profession in England and Wales, is introducing major changes to the qualification route for solicitors from 1 September 2021. These will involve taking a Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE), a two-stage process that replaces the existing Qualifying Law Degree, legal practice course and traineeship.  It should be noted that candidates must pass SQE1 before they can attempt SQE2.  Initially, there will be two sittings for each exam per year, although the frequency of exams will likely increase gradually over time and in accordance with demand.

The SRA has put in place transitional arrangements for qualifying as a solicitor through the new SQE. Students who commenced their Law with English Law degree in September 2020 (or earlier) will therefore have a choice between taking the traditional route or the SQE route to qualify as a solicitor in England and Wales. Students who accepted a place but then deferred their September 2020 start date by one year will also have this choice, provided they commence their studies by 31 December 2021.  However, all other students, from 1 September 2021 onwards, will be required to do the SQE if they intend to practise as a solicitor in England and Wales. For further details on the transitional arrangements, please see here.  

Qualifying as a solicitor

The new qualification route will require the following: any undergraduate degree (or equivalent), successful completion of the SQE and a period of recognised work experience, and satisfaction of character and suitability requirements. The SQE component itself will comprise two exams, with SQE1 testing legal knowledge and SQE2 testing practical legal skills. For more details on the new qualification route, and the latest updates, please see the SRA website. It is important that you check the SRA website regularly for the most up to date, accurate information. It should be noted that a Qualifying Law Degree is still required to qualify as a solicitor in Northern Ireland.

What will the new SQE cost?

The fees for sitting both parts of the SQE are currently expected to be just under £4,000 in total (including £1,558 for SQE1 and £2,422 for SQE2).

In addition to the examination fees themselves, there can be a substantial cost associated with taking a dedicated SQE preparation course. Although this is still an emerging market, the SQE preparation courses currently on offer by external providers range from £7,500 (for online courses) to £11,000+ (for courses delivered on campus).

If the cost is likely to be an issue for you, it may be possible to undertake an SQE preparation course whilst also working in paid employment to gain qualifying work experience (which remains a requirement for admission as a solicitor in England), or as part of a training contract with one of the larger law firms if they offer to cover the cost (some have previously covered tuition fees for the Legal Practice Course).

Qualifying as a barrister

The Bar Standards Board (BSB) regulates the barristers’ profession in England and Wales. In 2019, it introduced a new pathway to becoming a barrister, the Future Bar Training Programme.  However, the BSB still requires prospective barristers to have studied particular subjects (known as ‘Foundations of Legal Knowledge’) and to have gained specific legal skills.  The Foundations of Legal Knowledge are essentially equivalent to a Qualifying Law Degree and are therefore already covered by our existing Law with English Law degrees. Please see the BSB website for further information.

MA Legal Studies

Legal Studies is a Joint degree which is an attractive option for students who wish to combine the study of the law with another discipline – we have a wide range of other subjects.

Law is concerned with the legal rules by which society is regulated, and the legal system(s) in which these rules operate. It is often seen as a purely vocational subject for those who wish to become lawyers, but law is interesting in its own right: a society’s laws and legal system are a product of historical, social, political and economic forces and, accordingly, the study of law gives an insight in to the nature of society itself.

Note that the MA in Legal Studies does not qualify students to enter the legal profession in Scotland (or England).

Additional Information

Foreign Study Exchange

The School of Law supports its students who decide to participate in the Study Aborad Exchange which gives  them the oportunity to spend part of their studies in one  of our partner institutions. Please visit the Go Abroad pages for more information. 

University Calendar

Please visit the University Calendar for information on all undergraduate degrees offered by the School of Law.

Tuition Fees

Information on tuition fees can be obtained from the InfoHub.