The LLB (Honours & Ordinary)

Welcome to the LLB!

At the University of Edinburgh, there are two main types of undergraduate law degree:
  • The LLB Honours degree (studied over four years)
  • The LLB Ordinary degree (identical to the first two years of the LLB Hons degree)
The LLB at Edinburgh is designed to prepare you for a career as a lawyer in Scotland, providing the ideal foundation for further professional study. In accordance with the stipulations of the Law Society of Scotland and the Faculty of Advocates, we will ensure you get the knowledge you need for a future in the profession. Although the degree is based on Scots Law, English Law and other systems are considered too.

The LLB is also a fantastic preparation for many other career paths outside of Law, as you will gain many valuable transferable skills.

What will I study?

For most of you studying at university for the first time, you will study the four-year LLB Honours degree. The four-year degree is the standard format for an undergraduate honours qualification in Scotland.

The Ordinary Years

In the first two years, known as the Ordinary years, you will study a range of compulsory law courses in order to gain a general overview of the law. These courses include all of the courses required by the Law Society of Scotland to enter into training for the Scottish legal profession. You will also have the opportunity to take a small number of credits in option courses, allowing you to pursue further study in law or criminology, or something from a different discipline.

Some of our current students have shared their stories with us. Read about their experiences here.

First Year

You will take 120 credits of study.

You will study six compulsory courses. Theses courses are all required by the Law Society of Scotland for entry into training for the Scottish legal profession:

You will also choose a maximum of 40 credits of option courses. These can be additional law courses, courses in Criminology, or other courses provided by the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (subject to availability). The courses indicated here are correct for the 2016/17 year. These may be subject to change year-on-year.

Find out more about the optional courses in year one.

Before choosing these optional courses you should discuss your choice with your Personal Tutor.

What is a Personal Tutor?

Please note: Students who do not wish to progress towards legal practice may substitute some or all of the compulsory courses for other law or criminology (Ordinary level) courses.

Second Year

You will take 120 credits of study.

You will study nine compulsory courses. Those marked with an asterisk (*) below indicate those courses which are required by the Law Society of Scotland to enter into training for the Scottish legal profession.

You will also choose a maximum of 10 credits of optional courses. These can be additional law courses, courses in Criminology, or other courses provided by the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (subject to availability). The courses indicated here are correct for the 2016/17 year. These may be subject to change year-on-year.

Find out more about the optional courses in year two.

Before choosing these optional courses you should discuss your choices with your Personal Tutor.

Please note: Students who do not wish to progress towards legal practice may substitute some or all of the compulsory courses for other law or criminology (Ordinary level) courses. For those studying the LLB Ordinary, or Graduate LLB, this is the final year of study.

The Honours Years

The final two years, Honours years, provide you with the opportunity to delve deeper into legal subjects in which you have an interest. You will have more time in which to pursue study around these subjects and classes involve more participatory and involved learning. You will also complete a piece of independent but supervised research in the form of the 10,000 word dissertation. You may also choose to study a year abroad in your third year. 

Read about the honours experience from one our recent graduates.

Third Year

Your third year of the LLB (Hons) degree provides you with the opportunity to further develop your legal skills and knowledge and pursue specialist study in subjects of your choice and interest.

You will take 120 credits of study.

You will study one compulsory course.

The remaining 100 credits will be taken from a large range of specialised law and criminology options courses. These courses include Gender and Justice, Asylum and Refugee Law and Policy and Media Law. The courses indicated here are correct for the 2016/17 year. These may be subject to change year-on-year.

View the full list of option courses for year three.

The third year is also the year that, if you chose to do so, you can take a year to study abroad. Please note that if you choose to take a year abroad you must discuss your study options with your Personal Tutor as it may be necessary to fulfil your credit requirements with extra study in year four.

Visit the Study Abroad pages.

Fourth Year

You will continue to expand your specialist knowledge with further optional courses . You will also develop your legal research and writing skills by undertaking a 10,000 word dissertation.

You will take 120 credits of study.

You will take 40 credits as part of the compulsory dissertation element of the degree programme. The dissertation is 10,000 words on a topic of your choice in an area of Honours study undertaken in your 3rd year. You will be supported and supervised by an appropriate academic supervisor who you will meet at least four times during the dissertation process. You will also take some non-credit bearing dissertation induction classes.

Read more about the dissertation.

The remaining 80 credits will be taken from a large range of specialised law and criminology options courses. These courses include Family Law, Human Rights, Freedom of Expression Law Clinic and Robotics and the Law. The courses indicated here are correct for the 2016/17 year. These may be subject to change year-on-year.

View the full list of optional courses for year four.

This is the final year of the LLB (Hons) programme.

Moving on to the Legal Profession

If you are planning on entering the Scottish legal profession, you will need to complete the Diploma in Professional Legal Practice (known as Professional Education and Training stage 1, or PEAT 1) after you graduate. You can apply for the Diploma during your fourth year.

View more information about the Diploma in Professional Legal Practice at Edinburgh.

NOTES:
Please be aware that all option courses may be subject to change year on year. The courses listed on these and linked pages are indicative for the noted year of study. They may not be available for subsequent years due to teaching resource, availability and demand.

What are the entry requirements for the LLB?

How do I apply?

Who can I talk to for further information?