Many Canadians choose to study the 2-year Graduate Entry LLB in the UK. On this page, you will learn about this accelerated law program, the benefits of studying law in the UK, entry requirements, how to practice law when you come back to Canada, the costs of the 2-year LLB program, and a lot more.
What is a 2-Year Law Degree in the UK?
The 2-year LLB degree in the UK is an accelerated version of the 3-year Bachelor of Laws degree. Only students that have completed an undergraduate degree can apply to the 2-year LLB Senior Status program. The program is also called an Accelerated LLB or Graduate Entry Law Degree. Completing a UK LLB degree is equivalent to completing a Juris Doctor (JD) degree because it allows you to become a lawyer in Canada. Note that this shortened type of law degree is not offered in Canada.
Why Do Canadians Choose Graduate Entry LLB Degrees in the UK?
There are many reasons why so many Canadians choose to study the Senior Status LLB degree in the UK. Below are 7 most common benefits of pursuing this degree:
As a graduate entry student, you will complete your LLB degree in 2 years instead of 3 years in Canada. This is a significant advantage because it will allow you to enter the job market faster, build your career, and ultimately start earning a lawyer’s salary sooner.
UK’s Senior Status degree is cheaper than any JD program in Canada. Because you only study for 2 years in the UK, you will end up paying tuition and the cost of living in the UK only for two years, unlike in Canada, where you must pay for 3 years of law school and 3 years of living expenses. After all, law school is expensive in Canada.
Completing the 2 year LLB degree in the UK can provide a pathway to becoming a qualified lawyer in the UK and other jurisdictions around the world, not just Canada. UK’s law degree is highly recognized in other common law countries.
The LLB degree in the UK provides a solid foundation in legal knowledge and analytical skills that can be transferred to a range of professions. Even if you don’t pursue a legal career, the critical thinking and problem-solving skills you develop during your studies can be valuable in a variety of fields.
Studying in the UK can provide valuable international experience to help you stand out in the job market. It can also help you build a global network of contacts that will be useful throughout your career. Plus, you can travel around Europe during holidays and weekends!
UK law schools are known for their high-quality education. Studying in the UK can provide access to top-tier faculty, cutting-edge research, and excellent resources and facilities.
Entry Requirements for the Accelerated LLB in the UK
The 2-year Graduate Entry LLB degree requirements are as follows:
- A completed undergraduate degree in any subject;
- A “B” average in your undergraduate degree;
- Personal statement demonstrating your motivations to study law;
- Resume/CV with the most up-to-date experience and skills;
- Reference letter from an academic and/or professional source; and
- High school and university transcripts.
The above requirements may vary between universities. For example, some may require a reference letter others won’t. Some may require a video interview, while others don’t.
Practice Law in Canada with a UK Senior Status LLB
All graduates of the UK’s Senior Status law degree programs are eligible to practice law in Canada. Upon returning to Canada, you will have to undergo the NCA assessment process, where the NCA will assign you, usually 6 accreditation exams, to complete.
You will generally be assigned the 6 mandatory exams below that cover the core law subjects:
- Foundations of Canadian Law
- Canadian Criminal Law
- Canadian Constitutional Law
- Canadian Administrative Law
- Canadian Professional Responsibility
- Legal Research and Writing
Best UK Law Schools for the Senior Status Law Degree
Many law schools in the UK offer a 2-year Senior Status degree. Almost every university has such a program. Below is a complete list:
University of Aberdeen
University of Kent
University of Law
University of Birmingham
University of Leeds
University of Bristol
University of Leicester
University of Northampton
University of Buckingham
Nottingham Trent University
University of Cambridge
University of Oxford
University of Central Lancashire
Queen Mary University of London
City, University of London
Queen’s University Belfast
University of Derby
University of Sheffield
University of Dundee
SOAS University London
University of Essex
University of South Wales
University of Exeter
University of Southampton
University of Glasgow
University of Greenwich
University of Sussex
University of Hertfordshire
University of Hull
University of York
Cost of a Graduate Entry LLB in the UK
The tuition fee for international students who study for a 2-year Senior Status degree in the UK is, on average, £18,850 a year. After conversion to Canadian dollars, it is about $30,800 a year. The cost of the degree varies on which university you choose.
For comparison, the average cost of a law degree in Canada is $20,700 a year. However, in Canada, you have to pay for 3 years of law school, but in the UK, you will only pay for 2 years. This makes a law degree much cheaper in the UK than in Canada. When you consider the cost of living in the UK for 2 years instead of 3 years in Canada, studying law in the UK becomes a much more affordable option.
How to Apply to 2 Year Bachelor of Law in the UK
The entire application process is online and very straightforward, with you having to upload the required documents. You have 2 options to apply for a Senior Status LLB degree in the UK:
1 – Apply through UCAS: it stands for Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, which allows you to apply to up to 5 law schools at the same time.
2 – Apply straight to law school: you also have the option to apply directly to your chosen law school. This option tends to be cheaper and faster as well as you will have direct contact with the admissions office, which can be beneficial.
When are the Start Dates?
The Accelerated LLB programs start in September for most universities, but some programs may begin in October. Not many law schools have options to start the 2 year LLB degree in January.
Course Structure of a 2-Year UK Law Degree
During your 2-Year Graduate Entry LLB degree, you will study the following core law subjects:
- Public Law, including Constitutional Law, Administrative Law and Human Rights;
- Law of the European Union;
- Criminal Law;
- Obligations including Contract, Restitution, and Tort;
- Property Law; and
- Equity and the Law of Trusts.
The above core subjects are required to be studied in order for your degree to be recognized as a qualifying law degree in the UK, even if you choose the 2-year program. Only qualifying law degrees from the UK are recognized by the NCA in Canada.
It is likely that during your first year, your studies will focus on the core subjects. Although in your second year, you will continue to study the core law areas, you will generally have at least 2 optional areas of law to study. The elective options can be in any area of law. Here are some examples:
- Family Law
- Corporate Law
- Environmental Law
- Intellectual Property Law
- International Arbitration Law
Frequently Asked Questions About the 2-Year Accelerated Law Degree
We are often asked many questions about studying the 2-year Senior Status LLB. Below are answers to the most commonly asked questions:
Can I complete LLB in 2 years in the UK?
Yes, you can complete an LLB degree in 2 years in the UK if you already have an undergraduate degree. The usual LLB in the UK is 3 years long. However, you can enroll in a 2-year program if you have an undergraduate degree from the UK or another country in any subject.
Is a UK law degree valid and accepted in Canada?
Yes, a UK law degree is recognized in Canada. Every UK law graduate must first pass the NCA accreditation process and pass the NCA exams. Then they can go on to fulfill the provincial law society’s requirements to become a lawyer in Canada. In terms of career, many lawyers in Canada have completed a law degree in the UK and practice in Canada. It is widely accepted in most legal markets of the country.
How long does a law degree take in the UK?
A standard LLB program in the UK takes 3 years to complete for full-time students. However, there are variations in the length of programs, such as part-time LLB programs that take longer than 3 years, or accelerated LLB programs that take 2 years but require a prior undergraduate degree.
Can I do LLB in the UK after graduation?
Yes, it is possible to do an LLB in the UK after graduation from another degree program. This is known as a graduate entry LLB program, which is designed for students who have already completed a bachelor’s degree in a subject other than law. Students will generally start researching and applying for these programs in December and January for the intake in the following September.
What are the fees for Graduate Entry LLB?
The fee for a Graduate Entry LLB is, on average, £18,850 a year, which is $40,800 Canadian dollars a year. It is generally cheaper to study law in the UK than in Canada because Canadians can finish law school in 2 years in the UK instead of 3 years in Canada.