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Undergraduate degrees

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.

The LLB is not only a gateway to practising law: many of our graduates opt not to practise law, and the LLB is an excellent grounding for many other careers, including politics, policy and government work, as it will provide you with a range of useful oratory, academic and professional skills.

Students in a lecture

Programme overview

The programme aims to promote advanced knowledge and understanding of the theory, concepts and rules of Law in their socio-economic, institutional, and historical frameworks. While the programme is grounded in Scots law and the Scots legal system, you will also be made familiar with the law and legal systems of the other parts of the United Kingdom, the European Union, and the wider world.

Teaching is offered in the first two years of foundational ‘Ordinary’ courses, and you will also enjoy the benefit of two further years of ‘Honours’ level study which enables you to choose from up to 40 specialist courses covering a wide range of theoretical, practical, and historical fields of study.

The Honours programme in years three and four places a strong emphasis on developing your analytical ability, with emphasis on written and oral skills, and opportunities to hone the latter through participation in legal ‘moots’ which reproduce a courtroom environment. Such mooting is just one of the ways in which the Law School encourages you to develop legal skills through a range of innovative learning methods.

Edinburgh Law School has been at the centre of the teaching and practice of law since its earliest days. You will have easy, local access to:

  • the Edinburgh Sheriff Court;
  • the Supreme civil and criminal Scottish courts;
  • the Crown Office;
  • the Scottish Government;
  • the Faculty of Advocates; and
  • the Law Society of Scotland.

You will come into frequent contact with the personnel of all of these institutions, both through field trips to these institutions and through external teaching provided by personnel from these institutions on the programme.

Though the degree is designed to offer the possibility to graduate with a qualifying degree for professional practise in Scotland, a number of graduates also go on to qualify and practise as a lawyer in other jurisdictions, in accordance with the relevant local conversion requirements and any further study required in the non-Scottish destination jurisdiction.

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 (studied over three years)

Accreditation

Our LLB programmes are accredited by the Law Society of Scotland. You will be required to study certain courses to graduate with a fully qualifying degree.

You will be introduced to general legal principles and legal techniques and will study compulsory courses including:

  • Scottish Legal System
  • Critical Legal Thinking
  • Family Law
  • Public Law of the UK and Scotland
  • Contract Law
  • European Union Law.

You will also take a selection of optional courses.

You will build on the skills and knowledge obtained in Year 1 with a selection of compulsory courses including:

  • Property Law
  • Jurisprudence
  • Public Law and Individual Rights
  • Business Entities
  • Commercial Law
  • Succession and Trust Law
  • Delict
  • Criminal Law
  • Evidence

You will also take one optional courses.

You will receive advanced legal skills training during your honours study and will have the opportunity to specialise further by studying advanced law courses, chosen from a wide range of optional courses, alongside the compulsory Advanced Legal Writing course.

If you are studying law with a language you will spend Year 3 abroad. For other students, study abroad is an option.

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

You choose further optional advanced law courses to expand your specialist knowledge, and you will normally write a dissertation. This will help you develop your legal research and writing skills.

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

If you are planning to enter the Scottish legal profession, you will need to complete the Diploma in Professional Legal Practice after you graduate. You can apply for the diploma during the final year of the LLB programme.

Programme structure

To help you find out more about the compulsory and optional courses in this degree programme we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Programme structure (2019-20)

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.

Enquiries

All enquiries regarding undergraduate applications to Law should be made to the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Science Admissions Office.

Email: CAHSS.UGAdmissions@ed.ac.uk

Phone: +44 (0)131 650 3565

It is possible to combine the study of law with another named academic discipline, so that you study both subjects throughout your time at Edinburgh and develop a deep knowledge of both subjects. Such degrees provide you with the opportunity to learn about the intellectual interactions between the subjects and to combine multiple intellectual interests.

Lecture

If you decide to study a law and language degree you will study abroad in your third year at an institution which teaches in the named language of your degree programme (Spanish, German, or French), offering you the chance to have a culturally immersive experience in another country whilst also developing you legal and language skills.

At present Edinburgh Law School offers the following joint honours degrees. Please follow the relevant link for entry requirements and information about the degree you are interested in.

Each of these programmes is studied over four years and you will take a range of courses from both the Law School and the School in which your programme is combined.

To see the full programme structure for each of the joint degree options please click on the relevant link above.

Please be aware, if you wish to qualify for entry into training for the legal profession, it can be difficult to get all the subjects required by the Law Society of Scotland. Depending on the joint degree you choose, you may need to take extra courses in some years in order to meet the requirements set by the Law Society of Scotland. You should discuss your course options with your personal tutor as soon as you register in year one, to ensure that your career goals can be met by your degree programme structure.

One of the attractions of the Edinburgh LLB joint Honours degree, however, is that it is possible to revert to a 'pure' law degree at (or indeed before) the end of the first year, or sometimes even at a later date, should you decide to do so. This means that the joint Honours degree allows you to keep your options open even after you've started your degree here at Edinburgh. Depending on what courses you have taken up to the point you decide to change, you may still have to take extra courses in order to meet the requirements of the Law Society of Scotland for entry to training for the legal profession.

Enquiries

All enquiries regarding undergraduate applications to Law should be made to the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Science Admissions Office.

Email: CAHSS.UGAdmissions@ed.ac.uk

Phone: +44 (0)131 650 3565

The Graduate LLB is a two-year programme intended for those who already hold a degree level qualification and wish to obtain an undergraduate qualification in the law. For this reason, it is a very attractive conversion course for graduates from all disciplines and nationalities wishing to pursue a career in the law.

Students in a lecture

The Graduate LLB is primarily designed to prepare you for entry to the Scottish legal profession and is the ideal foundation for further professional study in law, usually the Diploma in Professional Legal Practice (known as Professional Education and Training stage 1, or PEAT 1). In accordance with the stipulations of the Law Society of Scotland and the Faculty of Advocates, we will ensure you get the legal skills and knowledge you need for a future in the Scottish legal profession.

Though the degree is a qualifying degree for professional practise in Scotland, a number of graduates also go on to qualify and practise as a lawyer in other jurisdictions, in accordance with the relevant local conversion requirements and any further study required in the non-Scottish destination jurisdiction.

It is also an excellent grounding for many other careers, including politics, policy and government work, as it will provide you with a range of useful oratory, academic and professional skills.

You will be introduced to general legal principles and legal techniques and will study compulsory courses including:

  • Scottish Legal System
  • Critical Legal Thinking
  • Family Law
  • Public Law of the UK and Scotland
  • Contract Law
  • European Union Law

You will also take a selection of optional courses. Please note if you intend to practise law in Scotland you will be required to take all law optional courses.

You will build on the skills and knowledge obtained in Year 1 with a selection of compulsory courses including:

  • Property Law
  • Jurisprudence
  • Public Law and Individual Rights
  • Business Entities
  • Commercial Law
  • Succession and Trust Law
  • Delict
  • Evidence
  • Criminal Law

You will also take one optional course. Please note if you intend to practise law in Scotland you will be required to take all law courses.

Programme structure

To help you find out more about the compulsory and optional courses in this degree programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Degree structure (2019-20)

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.

Enquiries

All enquiries regarding undergraduate applications to Law should be made to the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Science Admissions Office.

Email: CAHSS.UGAdmissions@ed.ac.uk

Phone: +44 (0)131 650 3565