Triangle

Course overview

BA Law thoroughly covers the foundations of English law. Core modules examine areas including tort, contract, trusts, criminal law and public law. 

Our optional modules allow you to specialise in the areas of law that interest you. If you don't want to practise law as a career, you can choose optional modules from subjects outside of the school, which will expand your knowledge and career opportunities in a wide variety of sectors.

We also offer the opportunity to apply in your second year to transfer to one of our four-year programmes, which include a year abroad at a partner law school in locations including Australia, Europe or the USA. Students who have participated have proved to be very attractive to employers.

You will graduate with specialist knowledge and the transferable skills and confidence you need to stand out to employers as you start your career.

Exemptions

All our undergraduate law degrees allow exemption from the academic stage of qualification as a Barrister. Graduates wishing to qualify as barristers may proceed directly to the vocational stage of legal training - the Bar Training Course.

Students who begin their course in 2022, or thereafter, and who wish to become a solicitor must undertake the Solicitors Qualifying Examination.

There are no exemptions conferred on students who have an undergraduate law degree. A number of institutions offer courses preparing students to pass the SQE. Some of these institutions guarantee a place for Nottingham graduates with at least a 2:2 degree.

Why choose this course?

Recognised by

Spend a year abroad

studying the law of that country, if successful in transferring to one of our four-year degrees

Develop your skills

Workshops and one-to-one sessions develop your legal skills and confidence

Student societies

Award-winning student societies offer mooting competitions, international trips and pro bono opportunities

Annual law fair

offers the chance to network with over 70 legal organisations


Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2023 entry.

UK entry requirements
A level AAA excluding general studies and critical thinking

Please note: Applicants whose backgrounds or personal circumstances have impacted their academic performance may receive a reduced offer. Please see our contextual admissions policy for more information.

IB score 36

A level details

All A level subjects in the arts, humanities, sciences and social sciences are acceptable (except for general studies and critical thinking). However, offers are not normally made to students presenting more than one non-traditional or practical subject (such as art, art and design, computer and information technology, dance, drama and theatre studies, graphics, media and communication studies, and sports and physical education studies).

Depending on personal circumstances, you may be eligible for a contextual offer. These are up to two grades lower than our standard requirements - check your eligibility.

GCSEs

Applicants will need a minimum of five GCSEs at grade 4 (C) or above, which must include English.

For those applicants who qualify for a contextual offer, we will be looking for a minimum of grade 4 (C) in GCSE English, but can offer more flexibility for the remaining grades achieved.

If you have not taken GCSEs, but have studied equivalent international qualifications, you will not be disadvantaged and we will look for the same grade range to have been achieved in the qualifications you have taken. If you will require a student visa but have not studied GCSE/IGCSEs and do not hold another suitable English language qualification, you should expect an IELTS condition to be included within any offer made to you.

Notes for applicants

When considering your application, we will look for evidence that you will be able to fulfil the objectives of the course and achieve the standards required. We will take into account a range of factors additional to, and in some cases instead of, formal exam results.

Candidates taking exams in other systems (for example, International Baccalaureate and other EU systems) will be expected to achieve an equivalent level of attainment. Please view our frequently asked questions for further information.

Mature Students

At the University of Nottingham, we have a valuable community of mature students and we appreciate their contribution to the wider student population. You can find lots of useful information on the mature students webpage.

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

Teaching is primarily by lecture and tutorial class, but some modules are taught by discussion groups and seminars.

You will be assigned to a tutorial class for each module studied. The group, which is usually made up of no more than eight students, meets on a fortnightly basis for each module to discuss pre-arranged questions and any other problems with the tutor.

Some of the second and final-year undergraduate optional modules are taught by the seminar method. This is a method, midway between the tutorial and the lecture, involving presentations from staff and students which are discussed by the class as a whole.

Visit our open days on demand to watch pre-recorded lectures and general talks and see some of our lecturers in action.

Skillegal programme

We offer a series of optional workshops on skills such as presentation, communication and negotiation. Delivered by a range of law firms and chambers from London and the regions, the workshops are designed to be interactive and fun and to provide you with an understanding of the skills needed to become a successful lawyer. The legal profession will be looking for evidence of these skills when you apply for legal training in your penultimate year.

Legal Skills Team

The Legal Skills Team help undergraduate law students with their academic legal skills. Their aim is to ensure that every student, regardless of background or performance, has someone they can approach to discuss the development of their legal study skills.

We run a legal skills programme that caters for all students throughout the academic year and offer a variety of seminars and workshops for different year groups to address and respond to the specific needs of each.

Teaching methods

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials

How you will be assessed

Assessment is predominantly by written examination, although some modules are assessed only by coursework, and a few modules are assessed by a mixture of examination and coursework.

Where a module lasts for one semester, assessment is undertaken at the end of that semester. Where a module fills two semesters, assessment is at the end of the second semester, although your progress will be measured throughout the year.

Assessment methods

  • Coursework
  • Dissertation
  • Essay
  • Examinations

Contact time and study hours

In year one, you will spend 8 to 10 hours per week in lectures taught by leading law academics. You'll have a tutorial every fortnight on Law of Contract and Public Law. In Introduction to Law and Legal Theory, you will have a one-hour seminar every other week.

You will also study optional modules outside the School of Law, which may be taught via a variety of methods. Beyond formal taught sessions, you'll be expected to engage in self-directed study, including reading case law and legislation and preparing answers to tutorial questions.

Study abroad

On this course, you can apply to switch to a four-year degree and spend your third year studying abroad in Australia, Canada, China, Europe, New Zealand, South Africa, Singapore or the USA. This is a competitive process, dependent upon satisfactory performance and subject to availability.

Teaching is typically in English, but there may be opportunities to study in another language if you are sufficiently fluent.

This will give you the opportunity to broaden your horizons and enhance your CV by experiencing another culture. For those intending to follow a legal career, the grounding in different legal systems will prove very attractive to prospective employers and particularly those with an international dimension.

Study abroad locations are based on existing destinations. Options may change due to, for example, curriculum developments, updates to partnership agreements or travel restrictions. Where changes occur, these will be reflected on our course webpages as soon as possible.

Year in industry

An optional placement year is available for all undergraduate students whose course does not have a compulsory placement or study abroad element. The university's Careers and Employability Service will support you in arranging this.

Placement years give you in depth exposure to an organisation and its opportunities. A successful placement year will often result in a graduate job offer as organisations seek to identify talent.

Placements

Our placements and internship programme offers a range of opportunities alongside detailed careers guidance, equipping you with the skills to compete in the graduate jobs market. You'll have the opportunity to develop key skills and experience in the workplace.

Study Abroad and the Year in Industry are subject to students meeting minimum academic requirements. Opportunities may change at any time for a number of reasons, including curriculum developments, changes to arrangements with partner universities, travel restrictions or other circumstances outside of the university’s control. Every effort will be made to update information as quickly as possible should a change occur.

Modules

In year one, you will take core modules in Law and Legal Theory, Law of Contract, and Public Law, as well as optional modules from outside the school.

Core modules

Introduction to Law and Legal Theory

The module provides an introduction to the basic techniques of legal study and reasoning. It familiarises law students with the main theoretical perspectives on law while connecting this knowledge to the practical operation of the law and its impact on society. It also encourages the development of a critical approach to understanding law in its context.

Law of Contract

This module is concerned with aspects of the substantive principles of general contact law. Topics include aspects of contract formation and vitiating factors, the contents of contracts, and discharge and remedies.

Public Law

This module examines the nature of constitutionalism and the structure of the UK state. Core constitutional concepts - limitations on governmental power, the rule of law, human rights - are analysed. 

The module examines changes that have taken place in relation to the traditional notion of parliamentary sovereignty with reference to the UK's membership of the EC/EU and the incorporation of the ECHR via the Human Rights Act. 

This module also covers the procedures and major principles of judicial review of administrative action and fundamental aspects of civil liberties law, including the powers of the police.

Plus 40 credits of modules from outside the school.

In addition to the core and optional modules offered on your course, you may also choose from a range of modules offered by the Language Centre. These allow you to learn a language alongside your studies opening up career opportunities around the globe. You may start a new language as a beginner or improve existing skills, visit the Language Centre to explore your options.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on Tuesday 30 August 2022.

In year two, you will take further core modules covering criminal law, foundations of tort, and land ownership. You will also take optional law modules and/or modules from outside the school.

Core modules

Criminal Law

This module includes an introduction to the general principles of criminal law and the study of some offences.

Foundations of Tort

The module covers the tort of negligence and other major torts.

Land Law

This module examines the nature of land ownership in English law, and the conceptual framework of the creation and transfer of estates and interests in land. This module also examines the principal third party interests affecting land, with particular emphasis on their creation/acquisition and their protection through changes of ownership.

Optional modules include:

Family Law

This module involves a critical analysis of the law relating to spouses and cohabitants. It focuses on the definition of the family in law, on legal remedies for domestic violence, and on the regulation and legal consequences of marriage breakdown. 

Foundations of International Criminal Law

This module provides an introduction to the institutions, substantive law and procedure, and policies of international criminal justice. Starting with an introduction to the historical origins international criminal law in the wake of the Second World War with the International Military Tribunals at Nuremberg and Tokyo, before turning to the birth of modern international criminal law with the creation and operation of the ad hoc Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. We will then focus on the International Criminal Court, the most important international institution operating in this field to date.

The module examines how, beyond, creating a permanent international court mandated to investigate and prosecute core international crimes within its jurisdiction, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court created a regime for the investigation and prosecution of international crimes within national legal systems.

Online Regulation and E-Commerce

The module introduces you to the laws and regulations that apply to online settings and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in general. While focussing primarily on the UK legal perspective, it develops also a comparative legal approach, in view of the cross-border performance of its subject matter.

Therefore, it engages with fundamental questions about the development of Internet governance, to then proceed with examining pertinent issues of jurisdiction and enforcement, the development of a seemingly borderless, global digital economy, and the range of liabilities which emerge from relevant ICT contexts.

In this respect, the module expands on the transactional aspects of e-commerce, looking at the specific challenges involved in setting up an e-commerce business, from minimum information requirements and the design of the relations between providers of goods and services and their customers through terms and conditions. Subsequently, it examines the formation of contracts online, the special obligations businesses incur in relation to consumer protection in the field of online provision of services, and the specific regulatory regimes which govern online payments.

Along these lines, it discusses cloud computing, cryptocurrencies, online legal tech, smart contracts, digital assets, disputes over the use of domain names and social media regulation.

Finally, the module touches briefly upon issues of licensing, online creativity and content, data protection and online defamation, which are explored in greater depth within other, dedicated modules.

Student Law Office

A simulated Clinical Legal Education module. Students assume the role of student advisers in a Law Clinic and the tutor assumes the role of a Law Clinic Supervisor. Material is delivered using simulated case studies and activities, where you attend whole group and small group sessions depending on the specific tasks related to the case study.  

You will work independently and in small groups to prepare for, and conduct, the set practical tasks in each case study reporting back to the tutor, such as interviews with clients, writing letters, advising clients, advocacy/negotiation exercises with the tutor/facilitator role-playing as the client/supervisor/ judge/mediator as appropriate. You attend and observe a court or tribunal hearing.

The module replicates practical student experience in a Law Clinic (from fact gathering client interviews, providing advice, representing clients to observing final hearings). You will complete independent self-directed study, small group work and attend whole group sessions. 

UK Human Rights Law

This module examines the impact of the Human Rights Act (1998). Its focus is on the workings of the Act, and on the (interpretative) jurisprudence of the UK courts and the European Court of Human Rights on relevant points.

The module considers the legal and political impact of the Human Rights Act (1998), and reflects upon the idea of human rights and the appropriateness of their application to the resolution of disputes between different members of a democratic society.

The module considers the idea of human rights; the rights in the European Convention on Human Rights, and the enforcement of human rights norms in the United Kingdom. Drawing upon case-law and human rights activism in the three jurisdictions of the UK, it charts the ongoing transformation of the relationship between parliaments, executives and courts, and the development of different theories of rights-adjudication by senior judges. It also assesses the effects of the new rights cultures on different actors such as public authorities and NGOs.

Instead of optional law modules, you may take up to 40 credits of modules from outside the school across years two and three.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on

In year three, you will take your final core modules covering the European Union, and trusts, as well as optional law modules and/or modules from outside the school.

If selected to transfer to one of our four-year degrees, you will spend your third year at a partner law school in another country. After this, you will return to Nottingham to complete your fourth and final year of study.

Core modules

Law of the European Union

This module analyses the legal order established by the European Union (EU) treaties. It considers the law governing the establishment and operation of the EU, including the methods for enforcement of EU law.  This module also considers the substantive law of the European Union. It involves a detailed examination of the law relating to the internal market, and related areas of EU law. 

Law of Trusts

This module examines the conceptual context of trusts, and the requirements for the creation and validity of express private trusts and charitable trusts. This module also examines resulting and constructive trusts, the duties of trustees and the imposition of fiduciary liability, together with associated remedies.

Optional modules include:

Advanced Criminal Evidence

Building on existing foundational knowledge (Foundations of Criminal Evidence), this module will provide opportunities for more specialist, advanced studies in criminal trial procedure and evidence, involving in-depth analysis of key topics with major theoretical, policy and practical significance, and drawing out interdisciplinary links to, eg, psychology, philosophy, criminology, forensic science and socio-legal studies.

Particular topics may include:

  • Common sense inferential reasoning
  • Covert evidence, entrapment and PII (including CHIS; special counsel)
  • Testimonial witness evidence
  • Identification evidence 
  • Principles of examination-in-chief and cross-examination
  • Hearsay and the right to confrontation
  • Vulnerable witnesses ‘special measures’
  • Previous sexual history evidence
  • Bad character evidence
  • Forensic science evidence and expert witness testimony 
  • DNA profiling evidence and probabilities
Child Law

The course is divided into four sections:

  1. Basic Concepts and Guiding Principles: What are the principles which guide the courts in making decisions about children? What are the legal consequences of being a parent? Do parents have rights? Do children have rights?
  2. Children and their Biological Parents: What are the consequences of parenthood outside marriage? What happens if parents cannot agree about how their children should be brought up? Where do the children live if their parents separate? How is the decision made? What is the position of the non-residential parent? 
  3. Children and Third Parties – Guardians, Step-parents, Relatives, Foster parents and Adoptive parents: How can non-parents obtain parental responsibility for – or even become the legal parent of - someone else’s child? 
  4. Children and the State: What state assistance is available to parents temporarily unable to care for their children? When can the state take children away from their parents?
Dissertation

You will explore a topic of your choice under the supervision of a member of staff. The nature and topic of the dissertation will be decided by you and the proposed supervisor. The dissertation will normally be an essay of 46 pages, exclusive of bibliography.

Intellectual Property

The module examines the rationale for intellectual property rights and their commercial importance; the national, European and wider international dimensions of the legal regulation of intellectual property rights; and the law governing the acquisition, exploitation and infringement of copyright and allied rights, including the application of copyright law in the context of modern information technology developments.

International Wildlife Law

Given the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services’ finding that approximately 1 million species of animals and plants are threatened with extinction, and given that a decline in abundance of native species around the globe of 20% has taken place since 1900, biological diversity is seriously in decline.

This decline is unprecedented, linked to anthropogenic threats, and driving ever more vocal public protests and direct action by groups like Extinction Rebellion. It is also taking place and continuing despite there being many international treaties in place to tackle the threats and problem.

This module sets out to examine the problem, and the legal response under the principal global treaties that are in place to protect wildlife and habitats.

Issues in Company Law

This module seeks to deal with fundamental and complex issues of corporate law. In the beginning we will set 'the scene' by looking at various business mediums available while focusing on the distinction between private and public companies. 

We will examine how companies are formed, and the consequences of formation - discussing concepts such as the corporate legal personality and the corporate 'veil', and the phenomenon of the corporate group. We will also examine contractual and non-contractual liability of companies and those dealing with them; and finally we will consider various issues relating to shareholding and the share capital of companies.

Law in Practice

You will arrange and complete a 50-hour law related activity placement (approved by the module convener) to take place after the end of your second year of studies. Law-related activities, include, but are not limited to: work experience with a solicitor’s firm or barristers chambers or work as a paralegal, volunteering for a not for profit organisation such as Citizens Advice or a law centre,  or gaining pro bono experience in a legal context, including delivering public legal education presentations to the local community (for example, streetlaw sessions); working in-house in a legal department of a company, or trade union or other organisation,  advising individuals or groups on bringing and defending legal claims, or on non-contentious legal matters, providing advice and assistance on an area of law, including virtual internships.  

You are then required to produce a critical reflective report (and deliver an oral presentation) on the legal and professional skills developed, observed and acquired during the experience, together with a critical evaluation of the legal and wider contextual issues encountered on the experience).  

Mental Health Law and Policy

This module concerns the law relating to people in the psychiatric system. Issues - including hospital admissions, treatment, competency and guardianship, and advocacy on behalf of the mad - are discussed from a variety of perspectives including patient rights, social control, and medical humanitarianism. 

Underlying the module is the question of what madness is, how it is to be responded to, and whether the existing legal provisions are sufficient or appropriate. 

Military Justice

The module builds on a your knowledge and understanding of Public Law, Criminal Law and Public International Law to apply it, along with Military Law, within the military context.

Focusing mainly on the status, internal and external deployment of British armed forces, the module draws on a variety of materials and case studies to examine the domestic and international legal frameworks within which the military operate.

From public inquiries into the Bloody Sunday killings in Northern Ireland, the court martial of soldiers for crimes committed in Iraq and Afghanistan, to the extension of human rights protection to soldiers as well as civilians, and the on-going debate about the prosecution of British soldiers, the module considers whether the scales of military justice are in balance.

Principles of Corporate Insolvency Law

Corporate insolvency gives rise to a number of fascinating and complex questions. Which assets can be claimed by the company's creditors? What should be done with them? How should the proceeds raised be distributed amongst the creditors? How should those responsible for the losses be dealt with? 

The module seeks to develop an understanding of the ways these issues are resolved by the current law. You will be expected to analyse and evaluate the law, and consideration will be paid to the real-world context in which insolvency disputes arise.

Instead of optional law modules, you may take up to 40 credits of modules from outside the school across years two and three.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on

Law with American law

Study aspects of American law by spending your third year with the University of Texas at Austin, Washington University in St Louis or University of Connecticut in the USA.

Law with Australian law

Study aspects of Australian law by spending your third year with the Australian National University in Canberra, Monash University in Melbourne, or in Sydney with the University of New South Wales, the University of Technology or the University of Sydney.

Law with Canadian law

Study aspects of Canadian law by spending your third year with the University of British Columbia in Vancouver or University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario.

Law with Chinese law (Hong Kong)

Study aspects of Chinese and Hong Kong law by spending your third year with the University of Hong Kong (teaching is in English).

Law with European law

Study aspects of the relevant national law by spending your third year with one of the school's European partner institutions in Vienna (Austria), Copenhagen (Denmark), Rovaniemi (Finland), Rome (Italy), Tilberg (Netherlands), Łódz (Poland), Madrid (Spain), Lund (Sweden) and Zürich (Switzerland). Teaching is in English, except for in Madrid.

Law with International Legal Studies

Study aspects of New Zealand law by spending your third year with the University of Auckland or University of Canterbury. Alternatively, spend your third year studying South Africa law at Stellenbosch University.

Law with South-East Asian law

Study aspects of South-East Asian law by spending your third year with the National University of Singapore (teaching is in English).

Fees and funding

UK students

£9,250
Per year

International students

To be confirmed in 2022*
Keep checking back for more information

*For full details including fees for part-time students and reduced fees during your time studying abroad or on placement (where applicable), see our fees page.

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you may be asked to complete a fee status questionnaire and your answers will be assessed using guidance issued by the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) .

Additional costs

All students will need at least one device to approve security access requests via Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). We also recommend students have a suitable laptop to work both on and off-campus. For more information, please check the equipment advice.

As a student on this course, you should factor some additional costs into your budget, alongside your tuition fees and living expenses.

You should be able to access most of the books you’ll need through our libraries, though you may wish to purchase your own copies or more specific titles.

Scholarships and bursaries

The University of Nottingham offers a wide range of bursaries and scholarships. These funds can provide you with an additional source of non-repayable financial help. For up to date information regarding tuition fees, visit our fees and finance pages.

Home students*

Over one third of our UK students receive our means-tested core bursary, worth up to £1,000 a year. Full details can be found on our financial support pages.

* A 'home' student is one who meets certain UK residence criteria. These are the same criteria as apply to eligibility for home funding from Student Finance.

International students

We offer a range of international undergraduate scholarships for high-achieving international scholars who can put their Nottingham degree to great use in their careers.

International scholarships

Careers

This course will equip you with a thorough knowledge of English law and an in-depth understanding of the areas in which you choose to specialise.

Upon graduating, you can undertake further legal training to become a solicitor or barrister.

The University of Nottingham's law graduates are the 6th most highly paid in the UK above King’s College London and University College London.*

* Chambers Student law firms preferred universities study 2019.

Overseas practice

Law graduates from the University of Nottingham may be eligible to practise overseas including in Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Pakistan, Nigeria and Singapore, where admission to the Bar (or equivalent) can be attained subject to meeting the jurisdictions' conditions.

Graduate destinations

A high proportion of our graduates go on to qualify as solicitors or barristers.

Those interested in a career outside of law use their degree in a wide variety of professions and organisations such as consultancies, business advisory services, marketing, the civil service, public relations, accountancy and campaigning.

Recent graduates have gone on to work at organisations such as Avery Dennison, BAE Systems, Clifford Chance, the London Stock Exchange, and PwC.

Average starting salary and career progression

87.4% of undergraduates from the School of Law secured graduate level employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual salary for these graduates was £25,800.*

The School of Law ranked 5th in the UK for boosting graduate salaries, with graduates earning an average of £4,844 more than expected five years after graduation.**

* HESA Graduate Outcomes 2019/20 data published in 2022. The Graduate Outcomes % is derived using The Guardian University Guide methodology. The average annual salary is based on graduates working full-time within the UK.
** The Economist British university rankings, 2017.

Studying for a degree at the University of Nottingham will provide you with the type of skills and experiences that will prove invaluable in any career, whichever direction you decide to take.

Throughout your time with us, our Careers and Employability Service can work with you to improve your employability skills even further; assisting with job or course applications, searching for appropriate work experience placements and hosting events to bring you closer to a wide range of prospective employers.

Have a look at our careers page for an overview of all the employability support and opportunities that we provide to current students.

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers (Ranked in the top ten in The Graduate Market in 2013-2020, High Fliers Research).

Bar Standards Board

This course is recognised by the Bar Standards Board.

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Important information

This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.