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Durham Law School

The LLB Law Degree

The LLB degree is a highly flexible three-year, full-time course. There are approximately 200 students on each year of the LLB. While providing a solid grounding in the main areas of English law, and the skills required in legal research and practice, it also allows for individual specialisation through a variety of optional modules offered by Durham Law School and other Departments in the University.

The degree has been approved as a qualifying law degree by the Law Society and the Bar Council of England and Wales.

Undergraduate modules are taught through a combination of lectures, small group tutorials, larger group seminars and private study. Students are assessed by a mixture of examinations and written assessment methods.


M101 Law LLB

Degree LLB
Year of Entry 2016
Mode of study Full Time
Duration 3 or 4 years
Location Durham City
Typical offers A Level: A*AA

Please also check Requirements and Admissions .
Alternative qualifications
Department(s) Website
Telephone +44 (0)191 334 2856


The LLB degree is a highly flexible three-year, full-time course. There are approximately 220 students on each year of the LLB. While providing a solid grounding in the main areas of English law, and the skills required in legal research and practice, it also allows for individual specialisation through a variety of optional modules offered by the School and other departments in the University.

The degree course provides the opportunity to obtain a qualifying Law degree as recognised by the Law Society and the Bar Council of England and Wales. (Please note: whether or not a degree exempts a student from the academic stage of training to be a solicitor or barrister depends on the modules that the student studies. In practice virtually all of our students choose to study the modules that are required by the Law Society and Bar Council, and thus do gain a Qualifying Law Degree.)

Year 1

The modules which students take in their first year are designed to provide a solid foundation of legal knowledge which can be built upon in subsequent years. Students will study all of the following:

  • Legal Skills (10 credits)
  • The Legal System of England and Wales (10 credits)
  • Tort Law (20 credits)
  • Contract Law (20 credits)
  • EU Constitutional Law (20 credits)
  • UK Constitutional Law (20 credits)
  • The Individual and the State (20 credits)

Year 2

In the second year, you will need to study three further modules in order to obtain a qualifying Law degree. You may then take a further three optional modules, giving you the chance to tailor the course to your own requirements. The compulsory modules for qualifying Law degree purposes are:

  • Criminal Law 
  • Land Law 
  • Trusts and Equity.

An indicative list of optional modules is given in the list below. However, students may also, at the discretion of the departments concerned, elect to take a 20-credit module from the open modules (at first or second year) offered by another department at Durham University.

Level 2 Optional Modules

  • Advanced Issues in Public Law (20 credits)
  • Commercial Law (20 credits)
  • Employment Law (20 credits)
  • The European Internal Market and its Citizens (20 credits)
  • Public International Law (20 credits)
  • Religion and Law (20 credits)
  • Law, Gender and Society (20 credits)
  • Law of Family Relationships (20 credits)
  • Evidence and Criminal Process (20 credits)

Year 3

In the final year, you will study one compulsory 40-credit Dissertation module and four optional modules. Students must choose at least three modules (60 credits) from Level 3 (with an indicative list given below) with the possibility to select one module from Level 2. It may also be possible for you, at the discretion of the departments concerned, to elect to take a 20-credit module from the open modules offered by another department at Durham University at second or third year (although if the chosen module is at Level 2, you will not be entitled to choose a Level 2 Law module).

Level 3 Optional Modules

  • Company Law (20 credits)
  • Intellectual Property Law (20 credits)
  • Law of the International Community (20 credits)
  • Law and Medicine (20 credits)
  • Competition Law(20 credits)
  • International Human Rights (20 credits)
  • Interscholastic Mooting (20 credits)
  • International Criminal Law (20 credits)
  • Advanced Issues in Employment and Discrimination Law (20 credits)
  • Legal History (20 credits)
  • Comparative Constitutional Law (20 credits)
  • Corporate Finance (10 credits)
  • Law in Practice (10 credits)

Full details of the topics covered in individual modules are available on the Law School website

Please note that the list of optional modules available in any year will vary depending on available teaching staff. The lists above provide an example of the type of modules which may be offered.

The Law School at Durham does not offer a 'Senior Status' LLB. The only undergraduate courses currently on offer are the three-year, full time, LLB; and the four-year LLB (Year Abroad). Both are applied to using the UCAS code M101 (applicants for the LLB (Year Abroad) opt into that degree course when they come to the end of the first year of the LLB). It is also not possible to combine Law with another subject.

Students on this programme learn through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, informal but scheduled one-on-one support, and self-directed learning, such as research, reading, and writing.

All of these are supported by a state of the art virtual learning environment, Durham University Online (DUO). Seminars and tutorials are much smaller groups than lectures, small enough to allow one-on-one interaction with professors and lecturers. Indeed, we are one of only a handful of law schools that teaches in groups as small as eight students.

This emphasis on small-group teaching reflects a conscious choice to enhance the quality of the learning experience rather than the quantity of formal sessions. In fact, the degree programme is designed to feature fewer formal sessions and more independent research as students move from their first to their final year.

Small-group teaching and one-on-one attention from the personal academic advisor (provided for all students when they enter the programme) are part of the learning experience throughout, but by the final year classroom time gives way, to some extent, to independent research, including a capstone dissertation—supported by one-on-one supervision—that makes up a third of final year credits.

In this way the degree programme systematically transforms the student from a consumer of knowledge in the classroom to a generator of knowledge, ready for professional or postgraduate life. These formal teaching arrangements are supported by “drop-in” surgeries with teaching staff and induction sessions that begin in the week before the start of the programme and continue at key times throughout each year of the programme.

Students can also attend an extensive programme of research-focused seminars where staff and visiting scholars present their cutting edge research.

Subjects required, level and graded

In addition to satisfying the University’s general entry requirements, please note:

  • We welcome applications from those with other qualifications equivalent to our standard entry requirements and from mature students with non-standard qualifications or who may have had a break in their study. Please contact our Admissions Selectors
  • Mature applicants are invited to send a copy of their curriculum vitae to the Law School Admissions Secretary for advice before submitting a formal application through UCAS
  • We do not include General Studies or Critical Thinking as part of our offer
  • If you do not satisfy our general entry requirements, the Foundation Centre offers multidisciplinary degrees to prepare you for a range of specified degree courses. 
  • Completion of the National Admissions Test for Law (LNAT) Examination is required.

We do not interview candidates for the LLB degree.

LNAT: National Admissions Test for Law

Durham Law School uses the National Admissions Test for Law (LNAT) to assist in selecting applicants for admission. The LNAT is used by several Law schools at universities in the UK and is a uniform test for admission to their undergraduate Law degrees. Anybody who wishes to be admitted to an undergraduate Law degree at one of the participating Universities must sit the LNAT as well as applying through UCAS.

Performance in the LNAT is one of a number of grounds on which admissions selectors determine the relative merit and potential of applicants. As a part of this process, performance in the LNAT may be used to distinguish between otherwise similar candidates, alongside the other evidence available to admissions selectors from a candidate's UCAS application.

It is important to note the following:

  • Both parts of the LNAT examination - the multiple choice score and the essay - are always considered by admissions selectors when assessing an application;
  • No minimum score is required for the multiple choice part of the LNAT.

In our assessment of an LNAT essay, admissions selectors in the Law School look - in particular - for evidence of the following positive attributes:

  • Focus on the particular question;
  • Clarity of expression and fluency of prose;
  • A logical progression and structure;
  • Reference(s) to relevant evidence;
  • An ability to recognise, and address, counter-arguments;
  • A concise and effective conclusion.

For further details, including registration instructions, deadlines and timescales, sample test papers and details of test centres worldwide, see the LNAT website at:

While it is possible to apply for deferred entry to Law via UCAS, applicants should note that they would be required to take the LNAT test in the year that they apply. For example, a candidate applying in autumn 2015 for deferred entry in October 2017 would be required to take the LNAT in the 2015 admissions cycle.

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