Application numbers 50 per cent higher than expected
The College of Law’s new LL.B law degree is on course to have a higher number of students in its first year than any of the more than 50 law degrees that have launched in the UK in the past decade. Its innovative two-year undergraduate degree, which starts in September, has so far attracted more than 600 applications, 50 per cent more than initially envisaged, and between 200 and 250 students are predicted to enrol.
According to figures published by higher education body UCAS, out of the 53 undergraduate law degrees launched by UK higher education institutions between 2003 and 2011 the highest number of students accepting places in the courses’ first year was 123.
The greater than expected application rates have prompted the College to increase the number of its nationwide centres offering the LL.B in 2012 from three to four. The course will run at the Guildford centre on top of the Chester, Birmingham and London Bloomsbury centres as initially planned. From 2013 the LL.B will also be extended to the Bristol and York centres.
The course has also received support from major law firms with leading Manchester-based law firm Pannone and City law firm Dechert both sponsoring scholarships for College of Law LL.B students. The College of Law is the leading provider of professional legal education and training in Europe and already offers a range of post-graduate courses for both aspiring and qualified solicitors and barristers.
Its LL.B will be the first of its kind, grounded on practice-based learning designed to prepare students for the modern world of law. In contrast to many traditional law degrees, the College’s LL.B has at its heart the teaching of professional skills that are essential when entering the legal industry, including analysis, problem solving, drafting and research.
Places are still available on the LL.B in September 2012 through clearing. Each LL.B centre is open for informal drop-in sessions from 9.30am to 5.30pm on Monday to Friday throughout August and on Saturday August 18 to allow potential students to tour the centres and meet staff.
Sarah Hutchinson, Board Member for Business Development at the College, said: “We have been pleased by the even stronger than expected interest in our LL.B in its first year from both potential students and the legal profession. This only goes to vindicate our long-held belief that there is a need for a law degree which focuses on developing students’ professional legal skills and boosting their employment prospects in the competitive world of law.”
Employability is a key feature in the course design, with workshops to help students understand and exploit the career opportunities inherent in the fast-changing UK and global legal services markets.
All of the College’s tutors are qualified lawyers who have practised in law and have many years experience of delivering legal education. The LL.B will feature 11 hours per week of face to face teaching, equating to 768 hours over two years. Learning methods also include specially developed e-learning and multimedia technologies, such as computer-generated avatars playing the part of law firm clients.
The course runs for two years, with tuition fees set at £9,000 per year, allowing students to save substantial amounts of money on both fees and living costs compared with traditional three-year degrees.
Richard Hough, graduate recruitment partner at international law firm Allen & Overy, said: “The College of Law is putting together an exciting LL.B which puts legal practice at the heart of the law degree. We welcome the focus on the practical aspects of law, which follows Allen & Overy’s own approach to clients and client service. We would consider a potential trainee with a College LL.B just as we consider LL.B students from other universities.”