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LLB Law (Honours and Ordinary)

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 objectives

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)


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 (2023-24)

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.

Student Profiles

Find out what it's like to study for an LLB Law degree at Edinburgh Law School from our students.

Miguel, a 2023 graduate of the LLB programme talks about what it's like to study at Edinburgh Law School.

Peter, a 2023 graduate of the LLB programme talks about what it's like to study at Edinburgh Law School.

Jordan, a student on the LLB programme talks about what it's like to study at Edinburgh Law School.


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


Phone: +44 (0)131 650 3565