Top 10 universities in the UK for law degrees 2024
Scroll down for the full list of best universities in the UK for law degrees
|UK law rank 2024
|Law rank 2024
|University of Cambridge
|University of Oxford
|University of Edinburgh
|London School of Economics and Political Science
|King’s College London
|University of Glasgow
|University of Nottingham
|University of Essex
|Queen Mary University of London
The UK is home to some of the leading law schools in the world.
The most traditional way to become a lawyer in the UK is to study for a law degree (LLB). Students who have studied a different subject at undergraduate level can take the graduate diploma in law conversion course. Most students will also need to take further courses and training in order to specialise. These include the Bar Practice Course (replacing the Bar Professional Training Course), which allows graduates to prepare and practise as barristers in England and Wales, and the Solicitors Qualifying Examination.
Many universities also allow students to combine their legal studies with other subjects, making it a joint honours degree.
The legal field offers career options such as barrister, coroner, crown prosecutor, patent attorney or solicitor. A law degree provides students with transferrable skills that can be used in any of these positions.
If you obtain a law degree in the UK, you can practise in other countries, but you may need to undertake Practical Legal Training or the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme, depending on which country you are moving to.
These are the best universities in the UK for law degrees.
Law is one of the London School of Economics and Political Science’s largest departments with more than 60 faculty staff.
Undergraduate students can study the LLB bachelor of laws, as well as the double-degree programme, which involves transferring to Columbia University Law School for two years.
There are two graduate degree programmes offered: LLM master of laws and the executive LLM, which is available to those who have at least three years post-degree work experience in law. The department also offers a PhD programme in law for students seeking to carry out advanced legal research.
Students and faculty staff conduct research in a range of areas including commercial law, environmental law, criminal law and criminal justice, EU law, and human rights. One of their more recent research initiatives is the Law and Economics Forum, which encourages interdisciplinary collaboration between lawyers and economists.
The Modern Law Review is one of the world’s leading academic law reviews and it maintains close ties with the LSE law department. The review is published six times a year and features articles, cases, legislation and reviews.
The University of Edinburgh Edinburgh Law School has a history of more than 300 years.
Three undergraduate programmes are offered: the LLB, the joint LLB honours and the graduate LLB, which is a two-year conversion course for students who already have a degree-level qualification.
For postgraduates, a range of LLM and MSc programmes are available in legal areas such as comparative and European private law, global crime, justice and security and innovation, technology and the law. The university also offers an online master’s programme in areas such as medical law and ethics and information technology law.
As Scotland’s leading legal research institution, Edinburgh Law School is committed to carrying out high-quality research. Students and staff can use the school’s institutes and centres to facilitate their research projects.
UCL was the first university in the UK to have a faculty of common law. It was also the first university to offer degrees in English law rather than civil law.
UCL Law offers three courses: undergraduate, master of laws (LLM) and the MPhil/PhD programme. Alongside the three-year undergraduate degree, specialisms include the opportunity to transfer to the four-year joint LLB/JD degree, where students spend years three and four at the University of Columbia in New York. Alternatively, they can join the law with another legal system LLB, where students spend their third year at the National University of Singapore.
The LLM can be studied part- or full-time; its wide range of modules includes company law, decolonising law, international trade law and religion, state and law, among many others. There is also a range of specialist degree programmes which result in an LLM in a specialised area. These include maritime law, public law, and international banking and finance law.
A total of 15 centres and institutes are affiliated with UCL Faculty of Law, which facilitate legal teaching and research. These include the UCL Centre for Commercial Law, UCL Centre for Empirical Legal Studies and UCL Centre for Law, Economics and Society.
Students and faculty staff work together on research projects, with recent ones being UCL Public International Law Pro Bono Project and Human Rights Beyond Borders.
The University of Oxford has one of the largest faculties of law in the UK. When you apply to study for a law degree at Oxford, you can either submit an open application and be assigned a college on acceptance of your place, or you can apply directly to one of the 30 colleges that offer law degrees.
There are two undergraduate degree programmes available: jurisprudence; and law with law studies in Europe, which includes a year abroad at a university in France, Germany, Italy or Spain. For students who have already studied an undergraduate degree, there is a BA in jurisprudence with senior status, which is a shorter version of the regular law degree.
Oxford has one of the largest cohorts of law research students in the English-speaking world. There are no compulsory courses in the Magister Juris (MJur) taught graduate course; instead students choose from about 40 options to make up credits.
The Faculty of Law engages in research projects throughout the academic year. Current projects include: 100 years of Women in Law at Oxford, Addressing Asylum Harm in Britain, Denmark and Sweden, and AI for English Law.
The University of Cambridge has been teaching law since the 13th century.
The Faculty of Law is known today for its courses in international and comparative law, jurisprudence and legal history. The faculty is also known for its research in the socio-legal and social-science fields.
During the first year of the undergraduate degree, students will learn about civil, tort, criminal and constitutional law. As students progress through their degree, they have the opportunity to specialise in areas such as family law, international law and commercial law.
As well as the undergraduate law degree, the faculty offers two master’s degrees: law and corporate law. There is also a doctorate in law available for students looking to undertake a career in legal research.
The Herbert Smith Freehills Global Visitor Programme facilitates academic exchanges between partner universities. The faculty has also partnered with Harvard Law School to give Cambridge PhD students the opportunity to use Harvard’s facilities.
Top universities in the UK for law degrees 2024
Click each institution to view its World University Rankings 2024 profile
Editor's note: This table was updated in December 2023 to retroactively include Birkbeck, University of London based on their provided data submission. More information on the university's inclusion can be found here