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Law degree entry requirements

Thinking of studying a law course? We unpack the degree requirements needed for both in-year and Clearing law courses at UK universities.

Eleanor Foulds
by Eleanor Foulds
Last Updated:
17 Aug 2023

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What's a law degree?

Law degree entry requirements

What subjects do you need to study law?

Best universities for law in the UK

Universities with lower entry requirements for law

How to compare law courses

How to compare law courses in Clearing

What if you can't find a law course in Clearing?

What's a law degree?

Studying for a law degree can be done in different ways. You’ll typically undertake an LLB if you’re interested in practising as a lawyer, whereas a BA/BSc degree will allow you to focus on law more as an academic subject to be applied to different fields.

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Law degree entry requirements

The minimum UCAS points to study a law course ranges from 104 points (CDD at A-level; MMP-DM at BTEC level) to 152 points (A*AA at A-level; D*DD at BTEC level).

Law Degree Entry Requirements

Type Minimum Grades/Points Required (with Foundation Year) Minimum Grades/Points Required Maximum Grades/Points Required Average Grades/Points Required
UCAS Points 32 104 152 128
BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma PP MMM-DMM D*DD DDM
International Baccalaureate 24 28 40-42 32

LNAT Exams

Included in law degree requirements will be an LNAT exam, which is the National Admissions Test for Law. Here are the universities, many of which belonging to the Russell Group, that require you to take the test.

  • University of Bristol
  • Durham University
  • University of Glasgow
  • King's College London
  • The London School of Economics and Political Science
  • University of Nottingham
  • University of Oxford
  • SOAS University of London
  • University College London, Faculty of Laws

What subjects do you need to study law?


For applicants with A-levels, many law courses will require you to have achieved at least 2 A-levels, with the more elite courses asking for three. You won’t usually need an A-level in law. Typically, subjects such as dance, art, physical education, photography, general studies and critical thinking won’t be counted as part of your points total.


Entry requirements for BTEC applicants range from D*DD for the top universities, to as little as MMM. In some cases, you may need to have studied a specific subject or have a combination of BTECs and A-levels, but this will be subject to particular entry requirements.


For most courses you'll need a minimum of five GCSEs with a grade C/4 or above, including English, maths and science.

International Baccalaureate

Some courses will ask that you have at least a 6, 6, 5 or a 6, 6, 6, at Higher Level. Many courses won't require you to have studied a specific subject, but will ask that you have at least either a grade 4 in Higher Level English or a grade 5 in Standard Level English.

A small number of universities do offer law degrees with integrated foundation years, specifically for students who don’t have the required qualifications to gain direct entry onto their degree programme. The first year is designed to equip students with the necessary knowledge and skills for degree-level study.

The entry requirements for these courses are as little as 32 UCAS points, which may be a good option for you. It’s important to remember though, that not only will your degree take longer to complete, but the extra year will also add additional course fees and living expenses to the cost of your studies.

Foundation courses you may wish to consider include:

Remember that universities don’t just assess you on your grades or UCAS points total. They'll also take into account your personal statement and how well you’ve communicated your passion for the subject. They'll also want to see what you can contribute to university life, so will look favourably on students who’ve been active members of clubs and societies at college or sixth form.

Some universities may also ask students to attend an interview or selection day, with your performance here being a part of your application.

Top tip: If you've only just missed out on the grades/UCAS points needed for your chosen university, give them a call to see if they would be willing to accept you based on your personal statement and interview performance. There are no guarantees, but it’s worth a try.

Best universities for law in the UK

Our sister site, the Complete University Guide, publishes university league tables every year ranking UK unis nationally and in 70+ subject areas. Check out the latest rankings to get an idea of the best UK unis for law.

Universities with lower entry requirements for law

Although your grades might mean you’re not eligible for certain law courses, some of them have much lower entry requirements, including:

Don’t think that these courses aren’t as worthwhile as those with tougher/higher entry requirements. You'll still be applying for a highly regarded degree that'll both challenge you and help you build towards your future.

How to compare law courses

You can compare courses based on all these important factors right here on Whatuni. To start your search, head over to Whatuni’s Find a Course tool and enter ‘law’ into the search bar. Then you can start browsing through the information pages for each course, comparing the entry requirements for law and the other important factors listed above.

List of law courses on Whatuni

You can filter your search by location, university and the type of course you want to study. You can also enter your predicted grades which will provide a personalised list of suitable courses that match these:

Law course search on Whatuni

Order a prospectus

Once you’ve compiled a list of courses, you need to decide which of your shortlisted universities you’d be most happy at for the next three to four years. A good place to begin your research is to order a university’s prospectus, which will give you an overview of what they offer in terms of learning facilities, accommodation, social activities, financial and student support.

Book an open day

For each university you’re considering, book an open day. This'll give you a chance to have a closer look at the campus and perhaps speak to current students and/or potential tutors. Open day events are really useful for helping you build a picture of what your life there might be like and whether you’d enjoy it.

Find and book open days now.

Read student reviews

Before making any final decisions, we also suggest you check our student reviews. These will give you an honest insight into what it’s really like to study and live at your shortlisted universities. Simply enter the university name and/or subject name to see what students are saying:

Law student reviews on Whatuni

How to compare law courses in Clearing

You’ll be able to use Whatuni to compare law courses available in Clearing. Whatuni’s Clearing tool will allow you to personalise your Clearing search based on the grades you receive or are predicted to get, what area you’d like to study in, a particular university or even based on your chance of being accepted.

In the meantime, pre-register for Clearing. You’ll receive regular advice leading up to Clearing, have access to Whatuni’s Clearing guide and be able to save and compare law courses once Clearing begins.

What if you can’t find a law course in Clearing?

If you haven’t been able to find or secure a place on a suitable law course, don’t despair. There are still a number of other options available to you:

  • Study a law HND/HNC: Higher National Diplomas and Certificates are vocational based courses that are the equivalent to one (HNC) or two (HND) years of a bachelor’s degree. They aim to produce graduates who are ready for employment in a wide range of law-related careers. The entry requirements for law HNDs and HNCs are a lot lower than for a degree – as low as 32 UCAS points.
  • Study a law foundation degree: Much like HNDs, foundation degrees (FdSc) are vocational-based courses that last two years full-time and are worth two years of a bachelor’s degree. Entry requirements range from 36 and 64 UCAS points (C – CC) at A-level or MMP at BTEC level 3 extended diploma. They are ideal for those who didn’t get the grades for entry onto a degree or for mature students looking to re-enter higher education. After completing a foundation degree, students can progress onto further years of a law degree.
  • Study a joint honours degree: If you can’t find any suitable law courses, then another option is to look for joint honours degrees that include law as one half of the degree. Subjects most commonly paired with law in joint honours courses include business, criminology, history, language, politics, psychology and sociology. Make sure you research these courses thoroughly – paying close attention to module options – before making any decisions.
  • Take a gap year and resit your exams: If none of these alternative options appeal to you, or you have your heart set on a particular course at a particular university, then you could opt to resit your exams and apply to start in the following academic year.

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