Programme Code: M100 LLB
Mode of Attendance: Full-time
The SOAS Law Degree will provide student’s with a unique educational experience and equip them with a distinctive set of skills. In common with other law schools, the degree program will result in our students obtaining a Qualifying Law Degree (QLD), allowing them to pursue a career in legal practice should they wish to do so. But more than this, the SOAS Law degrees will immerse our students in the legal traditions and practices of a number of jurisdictions, and provide them with a critical understanding of the role of law in the world today.
While providing our students with a solid grounding in key legal principles and methodologies, we seek to do more than that. The SOAS Law Degree aims to produce highly skilled, civic minded and critically engaged graduates, who can contribute to their communities and societies in myriad ways. In the first year our students are introduced to the core elements and principles of the English legal system, and provided with the key analytical skills necessary for undertaking a demanding law degree program. During this first year students will also be introduced to elements of legal principle and practice from other countries.
However, in the second and third years our students will be even more fully immersed in the distinctively SOAS program. Our students can choose from a wide array of optional courses that draw on the unique research expertise of our staff. The emphasis we place on choice, and research-led teaching, will allow our students to pursue a number of distinct specialisms as their degree progresses, but whichever path they choose to focus on the courses they study will all be imbued with that distinctive SOAS dimension, that stresses critical engagement and understanding of the role of law in the world at large. In an increasingly globalised and interconnected world, the SOAS law degree truly responds to the needs of a new generation of law students.
The degree provides students with a wide range of analytical and transferable skills and is suitable for any profession in which a non-specialised degree is required. The degree structure provides students with a qualifying law degree for the purposes of both the Solicitors Regulation Authority and Bar Standards Board and exempts students from academic stage of legal training.
You should ensure that you are taking at least two A levels from the list of preferred subjects (given below). We are happy to accept any subject (including General Studies) as the third A level you offer, provided the other two subjects appear on the approved list. If you are not able to offer two preferred subjects, you should contact the Admissions Office to ascertain whether you can still be considered for admission.
The A level should be in a language that is foreign to you and should not be in your first language. You should indicate in your personal statement (on your UCAS application) that the foreign language A level you are studying is not your first language.
Preferred A levels:
Ancient History, Anthropology, Arabic, Archaeology, Bengali, Biblical Hebrew, Biology, Biology (Salters-Nuffield), Biology (Human), Biology B, Business, Chemistry, Chemistry (Nuffield), Chemistry (Salters), Chinese, Classical Civilisation, Classical Greek, Computer Science, Drama (WJEC specification), Drama and Theatre Studies, Dutch, Economics, Economics B, Economics and Business, Economics and Business Studies (Nuffield), English Language, English Language and Literature, English Literature (specifications A or B where applicable), Environmental Science, Environmental Studies, Film Studies, French, Geography A, Geography B, Geology, German, Government and Politics, Gujarati, History, History of Art, History of Art and Design, Information and Communication Technology, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Law, Mathematics, Mathematics (MEI), Further Mathematics, Pure Mathematics, Modern Greek, Modern Hebrew, Music, Panjabi, Persian, Philosophy, Physics, Physics (Advancing Physics), Physics (Salters-Horners), Polish, Portuguese, Psychology, Psychology A, Psychology B, Religious Studies, Russian, Sociology, Spanish, Statistics, Turkish, Urdu, Welsh, & Welsh (Second Language).
Transfers from other universities
We will consider applications for transfer direct to the second year of the LLB from students who are currently studying the first year of LLB programmes at other English or Welsh universities or within the University of London International Programme. These applications must be made through UCAS.
Applicants are generally required to meet our standard school entrance requirements and be working at a 2.1 level in their current LLB studies; although those working at a good 2.2 level may also be considered in appropriate circumstances. Each case will be considered by the admissions team on an individual basis taking into account all aspects of the application including personal statement and reference, which must, with the exception of applicants from the International Programme of the University of London, be provided by your current university.
National Admissions Test for Law (LNAT)
Applicants with standard qualifications (such as A levels, International Baccalaureate or other High School qualifications considered equivalent to A levels) are not required to take the National Admissions Test for Law (LNAT), but the School of Law will consider making lower offers (eg AAA, AAB, ABB or 37, 36, 35 in International Baccalaureate) to candidates who do so and perform promisingly in that Test.
We welcome applicants with non-standard qualifications (including Access to Higher Education Diploma and Foundation Courses) all of whom are required to take the National Admissions Test for Law (LNAT). Students offering level 3 BTEC qualifications either on their own or in combination will be required to take the LNAT.
The LLB is assessed over three years through a combination of unseen exams, essays and other projects. Most modules will have a combination of an end of year exam and an essay, where the balance will ordinarily be 80/20, but this does vary depending on the module.
The availability of optional/elective courses may vary in a given academic session due to factors such as staff absence and student numbers. For an up to date list of courses running in a given academic session please refer to the degree structures as listed on the SOAS website for the degree programmes taught by each Department.
Students must take five compulsory modules, all core/compulsory full-unit modules.
Students must take two core/compulsory full-unit modules, two core/compulsory half-unit modules and one full-unit option (either a law module or open option).
Year Two Option List
Students must take the equivalent of one Unit from either the option list below or a SOAS open option.
Year Three Option List
Students must take four optional modules from the option list below including (if permitted) an Independent Study Project. Students may choose to do a final year module offered at one of the other University of London Law Schools: King’s College, UCL, Birkbeck, QM and LSE, and/or another SOAS open option module.
Teaching & Learning
Most law units are taught through a mixture of lectures and seminars or tutorials; on average one 2-hour lecture a week and 1 tutorial each week. Where a module has relatively low numbers, it is likely that it will run entirely on a seminar basis. Students are expected to prepare for and contribute to classes.
Most law modules are examined by a combination of module work and written examination.
Final year students may, with permission, undertake an Independent Study Project, requiring the submission of a 10,000 word essay.Special Features
The Departmental emphasis on Asian and African legal systems means that the SOAS LLB is unique in the comparative and international nature of much of its teaching, even in core English law subjects. All students undertake some study of African and Asian laws and are strongly encouraged to take specialised modules in the laws of selected geographical areas or countries in Africa and Asia as well as to study legal issues in a trans-national context. The growth of environmental law expertise in the School means that the School is now one of the major international Centres for the study of Environmental and Sustainable Developmental Law.
- Knowledge and understanding of the fundamental doctrines and principles which underpin the law of England and Wales particularly in the Foundations of Legal Knowledge as specified from time to time by the professional bodies; A knowledge of the sources of that law, and how it is made and developed; of the institutions within which that law is administered and the personnel who practice law;
- The ability to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of a wide range of legal concepts, values, principles and rules of English law and to explain the relationship between them in a number of particular areas;
- Students are also expected to acquire specialist knowledge in course units outside the Foundations of Legal Knowledge. This includes, but is not necessarily confined to, knowledge and understanding of the following: the theoretical, practical and comparative underpinnings of legal doctrine; the context in which legal initiatives take place; the role played by law in different social, cultural and economic environments; the role and function of legal institutions, including those in selected legal systems in Asia and Africa, and those of the international community; the weight and significance of different sources and methodologies; knowledge of how to locate relevant materials and assess their relevance and/or importance.
Intellectual (thinking) skills
- Students should become precise and careful in their assessment of legal arguments, and understand the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches to legal issues.
- Students should be able to engage in theoretical and conceptual debate concerning the role of law and legal institutions.
Subject-based practical skills
- To apply knowledge to complex situations;
- To recognise potential alternative conclusions for particular situations, and provide supporting reasons for them;
- To select key relevant issues for research and to formulate them with clarity;
- To use standard paper and electronic resources to produce up-to-date information;
- To make a personal and reasoned judgment based on an informed understanding of standard arguments in the area of law in question;
- To use the English language and legal terminology with care and accuracy;
- To conduct efficient searches of websites to locate relevant information; to exchange documents by email and manage information exchanges by email;
- To produce word-processed text and to present it in an appropriate form;
- To write good essays and dissertations.
The programme will encourage students to:
- Structure and communicate ideas effectively both orally and in writing; and digest rapidly and effectively substantial amounts of reading.
- Develop critical awareness of issues in various subject areas.
- Use a wide range of written and digital materials, in libraries and research institutes, of a kind and range that they will not have used as undergraduates.
How does a degree in Law help with my career?
The Law department at SOAS provides students a thorough, specialist knowledge of comparative law, human rights, environmental law and international law. Students also develop a range of skills valued by many employers including: critical judgment skills; problem-solving skills; the ability to formulate sound arguments; and the ability to interpret and explain complex information clearly.
Who do graduates work for?
SOAS Law graduates have gone on to pursue careers directly related to law, or used their skills and expertise to get take up professional and management careers in both the private and public sectors. The Law degree programmes have also enabled graduates to continue in the field of research either at SOAS or other institutions
Destination of 2015 graduates (Undergraduates: single honours degrees and Senior Status LLB degree)
All undergraduate students are contacted 6 months after graduation (so for undergraduate students this is in January) to find out what they were doing - working, studying or something else, such as travelling. We find out this data in the summer, so here is the latest information from the 73 known destinations of the 2015 UK, EU and International graduates of single honours and Senior Status LLB studies within the department.
Allen & Overy LLP
CMS Cameron McKenna
Gibson Young Solicitors
Lawyers for Human Rights
Lloyds Banking Group
Ronald Fletcher Baker
Advice and Information Volunteer
Corporate Social Responsibility Co-Ordinator
Marketing and Social Media Intern
For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website.
- Occupational profiles for 600 career areas on Prospects
- Postgraduate study information and database on Prospects
- For more information about careers, visit Careers Tagged
A Student's Perspective
From a personal experience, I can confirm that today’s employers become extremely impressed with you if you have a law degree from SOAS, as it provides you with the necessary intellect needed for today’s globalised world.