The United Kingdom is one of the best countries to study law in the world, hence the large influx of overseas students as well as Brits ramming through the gates of UK law schools to be equipped with invaluable knowledge.
Many of the UK’s top universities are scattered all over its various regions. Often seemingly docile villages and towns are home to the best UK law schools, and as such are positively teeming with life and activities during term time and start of each semester; then the reverse is the case whenever the students go on holiday, returning the villages to a relatively comatose state.
Studying your law course in the UK can be rewarding and exciting. Most law schools are highly reputable and the degrees conferred on the students are recognised anywhere in the world. However, with so many reputable schools in sight, choosing the best UK law school can be a painstakingly gruesome affair.
You need to look at it from your own perspective – what law school is best for you? And when choosing for YOUR best UK law school it is wise to consider location, league tables, tuition fees, campus and learning environment.
According to the majority of league tables the top three best law schools in the UK are: University of Cambridge, London School of Economics and University of Oxford. It is important to note that the league table is constantly revised, as a result, the top one university in 2012 might move downwards by 2013, so make sure you always check for the most up-to-date edition of league tables.
Having said that, it is unwise to wholly rely on league tables when choosing best UK law schools, because one size does not fit all when it comes to institutions. Although the importance of institutional reputation and performance cannot be overlooked, students ought to consider the ‘bigger picture’ before making a choice. Factors such as: state-of-the-art sports facilities, excellent careers and employability team with astounding liaison with renowned employers; continued support for students after graduation and so on, are also very important and should come into play when making your choice.
Tuition fees differ from university to university in the UK. The majority of tuition fees for LLM courses increased and this in part could be as a result of the recent hike in tuition fees in the UK to a maximum of £9,000 for undergraduates in 2012.
On average majority of the best UK law schools charge between £6,000 and £9,000 for European Union/home students; and the figures are considerably higher for international students reaching up to £20,000. For example for its 2012-2013 intake Middlesex University charged EU/home students £7,500 for its LLM program in Employment Law and £10,600 for international students. If cost is a consideration t is important to be kept abreast of the changes in tuition fees when choosing your law school.
Your choice of best UK law school may well be influenced by your choice of study mode. If you are opting for full-time study a campus university may well be the perfect choice for you. However, it is important to note that some universities are best for students who want to study law part-time or via distance learning – and some law schools offer all options. The University of Reading offers Postgraduate law courses like LLM Oil and Gas, LLM International Commercial Law and LLM International Corporate Finance as a full-time (I year) and part-time (2 years) option. The part-time study option is a great way to fit work and other commitments such as family life around your postgraduate degree.
Similarly, the distance learning option allows for virtual learning, with 100% of the taught modules done online. There are many best UK law schools offering great distance learning LLM programs, such as the Robert Gordon University (Aberdeen) where you can study LLM Construction Law and Arbitration and LLM Employment Law and Practice, from the comfort of your home anywhere in the world. Benefits of studying your LLM by distance learning include: gaining a recognised qualification at an institution of your choice while combining full-time employment with study, any time and any place you choose.
With the availability of many transport options in the United Kingdom such as: buses, tube (underground), train (overground), DLR (Docklands Light Railway), Cable car (London) and coach services; you are spoilt for choice when it comes to travelling around. With this in mind getting to your chosen law institution need not be arduous. However, it would be unwise to live too far from your chosen law school, for example living in London and travelling to Newcastle to attend lectures, while possible, would be costly and very tiring. And the time wasted travelling could have been spent researching and studying.
It’s important that your chosen university is easily accessible to you to make your life and studying as convenient as possible. Most universities have halls of residence that are located very close to the campus, similarly local estate agents also provide student accommodation which are usually within walking distance to the campus.
If you are interested in studying law in London - our great article on Law Schools in London has some useful advice.