Frequently Asked Questions about studying Law at Essex
Here are answers to the questions we often get asked by
people thinking about applying to the School of Law at Essex.
You can also see lots of information about Law courses
offered at Essex in our Coursefinder.
FAQs for all LLM courses
FAQs for LLM in International Human Rights Law
1. Who can I contact about my application?
Please contact our Undergraduate
Admissions Office by e-mail at:
firstname.lastname@example.org for any
undergraduate admissions enquiries.
the entry requirements to study law at the University of Essex?
The standard requirements are AAB in
three A levels. For those studying the International Baccalaureate, the
standard conditional offer will be 36 points. For other qualifications
please see our prospectus. For mature applicants (aged over 21) the entry
requirements are different, please contact our Undergraduate Admissions
Office at: email@example.com.
3. Why was
I / am I being interviewed?
It is our policy at Essex to interview
as many prospective students as possible so that we can get to know you and
vice versa. Some students will also be interviewed if we have not been able
to make an offer on the paper application only, for example where that
person has been out of education for some time or the predicted grades do
not meet our standard conditional offer requirements. We do not like to
dismiss prospective students out of hand and so will endeavour to interview
in order to be able to make a more informed decision.
will I hear back from the interview?
We will endeavour to move speedily
following the interview and the decision should reach you within two weeks.
that I don't do as well as I hope and don't meet your standard conditions?
If you find that you have slipped down
a grade or two in August please don't panic. We cannot promise anything, but
we will consider your situation in full. We will be in contact with you.
Law at Essex
1. How is the
academic year organised?
Essex works on a basic calendar of
three terms each of ten weeks. The autumn term will commence in the first
week of October for a period of ten weeks. There is then a four week
vacation for the Christmas break. Classes recommence in January for the
spring term for a further ten weeks, ending with a four week vacation.
Classes recommence in March/April for the summer term for a further ten
weeks. Exams usually take place during May/June. The teaching day commences
at 9am. and ends at 6pm. Lectures can be
timetabled between these hours. Wednesday afternoons are traditionally kept
free of teaching.
2. How many hours
of teaching can I expect?
The law modules at Essex are taught
over approximately 12 hours per week. In the core modules, students can
expect two hours of large-group teaching (lectures) per week and one
3. What does LLB
It is an abbreviation of the Latin for
Bachelor of Laws. Wherever you see this degree designation at Essex you can
be assured that all of the Law Society requirements will have been met,
which means that the degree will exempt the student from the first stage of
professional training. Some Universities on the other hand use different
letters â€“ some having non-qualifying LLBs, whilst others have qualifying
4. Will you send
me preparatory reading over the summer?
We do have a list of suggested reading
material that is sent to you upon formal acceptance of a place at Essex.
This will usually be sent to you in September and is intended to help you to
prepare for your forthcoming classes.
5. How are the
law degree courses structured?
All law degrees contain a mixture of compulsory and optional modules and
a combination of 30 credit modules and 15 credit modules. On the three year
LLB, 225 credits are compulsory modules; these largely comprise those
subjects required by the Solicitorâ€™s Regulation Authority and Bar Standards
Board in order for a student to graduate with a â€˜qualifyingâ€™ law degree.
Students are also required to take the module LW105 Academic Legal and
Professional Skills, which teaches the key skills needed to succeed on a law
Students are able to choose the remaining 135 credits from a range of
optional modules available, or to take modules from other departments. The
4 year LLB Laws (Including Year Abroad) is structured identically to the
LLB, save that the third year will be spent at a partner university
overseas, with the student returning to Essex for their fourth year;
students may be required to take a language module in their first two
years. The four-year joint course LLB courses include the same 225 credits
of compulsory law content, with the remaining modules including some
compulsory study in their other subject, and optional modules from both
disciplines. The three-year BA joint courses include a mixture of law
modules and modules from the second discipline. For the LLB English and
French Law (with Matrise/Master I) two years are spent in the UK and two at
partner universities in France. Again, please refer to the prospectus for
6. What is the
The School of Law as a whole comprises
forty-one full-time members of staff and the intake is typically
two-hundred. This gives a staff-student ratio of roughly 1:15 in the
department as a whole. In tutorials (small-group teaching) there are usually
12 students to one tutor.
7. What happens
when I first arrive at the University of Essex?
Students will attend an induction meeting in the School of Law, as well
as University based events such as tours of the campus. Students are
assigned a personal academic tutor in the School who will be happy to answer
any problems or queries; their personal tutor will also be their tutor for
the compulsory first year module Academic, Legal and Professional Skills
(ALPS). The first week is also a chance to attend social events in order to
assimilate into university life and to make new friends.
8. How many
examinations will I have to sit?
In the first year of the LLB Law and LLB Law (Including Year Abroad) you
will be required to sit two examinations; students on the LLB English and
French Law and the joint degrees will have more examinations. For the
remainder of your time at Essex the number of examinations very much depends
upon which optional modules you choose. Typically, 30 credit modules have
three hour exams and a coursework element and 15 credit modules are assessed
either by a two hour exam or by coursework.
9. Will I be
required to write essays?
Law is a highly analytical subject and the main mode of assessment is by
written essays and problem-based questions. Problem questions establish a
set of fictional facts that the student is required to understand and
analyse in order to apply the appropriate law. Most modules require
students to submit written essays and/or problem questions. Some of these
will be formative (ie they do not count towards the overall module mark) but
others will contribute to your module mark and some modules are assessed
solely by coursework essays. Students may also write a 15,000 word
dissertation on a topic of their choosing in place of one of their options
in the final year.
10. How are
classes organised and how big are they?
For most compulsory modules, students attend for two hours of lectures
per week and a one hour tutorial each fortnight. Lectures are whole group
classes, with as many as 200 students in attendance. Tutorials are smaller
group classes with 10-15 students per class. Here the students are usually
given a reading list and a number of suggested questions or issues for
discussion to prepare in advance. For the core first year module LW105
Academic, Legal and Professional Skills, students have weekly tutorials in
11. Do you have
many mature students?ã€€
The number of mature students will vary
from year to year but Essex does tend to attract a good level of mature
12. How does the Academic, Legal and Professional Skills module
Academic, Legal and Professional Skills (ALPS) is a 15 credit module
which is compulsory for all law students in their first year. It is
designed to introduce students to techniques and materials essential to the
study and practice of law. ALPS is taught in small groups by full time
members of academic staff and involves a high level of staff-student
contact. It is a practical, skills based module and is assessed by
combination of a portfolio of written assignments and an oral presentation.
13. How does the
Legal Skills module fit in?
This module is a practical module
designed to introduce the students to techniques and materials essential to
the study and practice of law. Because of its importance, this module runs
during the first year of the course for all students and is compulsory. The
module runs for five weeks during both the autumn and spring term.
14. Can I take
another module not connected with the law, for example, History,
History of Art or Languages?
Yes. The number of optional modules a student may take will depend upon
the degree they are studying for but, a student on the three year LLB will
have 120 credits worth of options to fulfil. These options may either be
chosen from among the many and varied law modules that we offer, or a
student may elect to undertake one or more modules in another department.
This can be a good way of keeping up an interest in another subject studied
previously or learning about a completely new area. One requirement is that
the level of the module taken (second or third year level) must correspond
with the current year of study of the student.
15. Can I
transfer from the three-year LLB course to the 'English and European Law'
course, or vice versa?
If you wish to study in France, Spain, Italy, Austria or Germany, you
must transfer either before arriving at University or within the first
week. You must possess at least a grade â€œBâ€ in the relevant language at A
level. If you wish to study at a university which teaches in English, then
you can do so before you start at Essex or after your first year results are
known. Please bear in mind that any student wishing to study abroad for a
year is required to achieve an average mark of at least 53% in their first
16. Will I be
able to transfer from one law programme to another during the course?
There is no automatic right to transfer between law courses once you have
started the course, for example from a four-year joint course, English and
French Law or the Laws (International Year Abroad) course, to the three-year
LLB and vice versa. Whilst it is generally possible to transfer to single
honours Law from the joint honours courses after the first year, it is not
possible to transfer in the other direction without repeating the year
because of pre-requisite requirements in other departments.
17. Do you
permit direct second-year entrance?
Please see our
direct second year entrance web page.
More about the School
1. Do you have a
personal tutor system?
Yes. At Essex we believe that the student is paramount and the studentâ€™s
welfare is very important to us. All students are allocated a member of
academic staff who acts as their personal tutor for the duration of their
studies at Essex. In the School of Law, we integrate the personal tutor
system with the core first year module Academic, Legal and Professional
Skills (ALPS), so your personal tutor will be your ALPS tutor. The personal
tutor is available for any general welfare issues that the student wishes to
discuss. It is a confidential system.
2. Why is staff
Research is a fundamental aspect of a
lecturer's teaching. Good quality research, like that undertaken by
the School of Law at Essex, will feed directly into the lecturer's
teaching giving students the assurance that they are learning the most
up-to-date law and have the opportunity to analyse cutting-edge
3. Do you
guarantee a place on the Legal Practice Module (LPC)?
We do have an arrangement with the
College of Law which guarantees a place for any student graduating with at
least a lower second class (2:2) degree.
4. Do we help
with placements with law firms?
Students wishing to undertake law
placements in barristers' chambers or solicitors' offices will usually do so
during the summer vacation of their first or second year. We actively
encourage students at Essex who have not already done so to undertake such a
placement. Time spent seeing how the role of a solicitor or barrister is
performed can ensure a more informed choice, which is reassuring for the
student and can be a pre-requisite for many firms. The Careers Centre
at Essex is very good and, in co-operation with the school careers advisor,
organises an annual law careers fair. This is an opportunity for those
students interested in a career in law to listen to a number of interesting
and relevant talks, for example, concerning how and when to apply for
post-qualification training and how to write an effective CV. The University
also arranges for a selection of law firms and other employers to visit the
campus for a special law fair; this is a very good opportunity for students
to talk with solicitors and to compare different firms. However, the
application process will then be up to the student; a career in law demands
a degree of perseverance and determination, and so students are expected to
undertake research on the type of firm that they wish to work in and to make
the formal application.
5. How can we
tell whether you are as good as another University?
This is a difficult question to answer,
but there may be a number of factors that you would like to consider when
choosing between institutions: (1) a higher research rating (as here) will
indicate a research-led department which generally translates into more
up-to-date teaching, (2) a good teaching record (Excellent as here), (3) the
entrance requirements - many Universities now require the equivalent of at
least AAB at A level (as here) which is a sign that the institution is a
selecting University. Other factors that may influence your choice will
include; the course itself, staff-student ratio, travelling distance of the
institution from home, cost, availability and distance of accommodation at
the university, and whether it is a campus or city based
More about the University
1. Can I work
while I am at university?
During term-time students are permitted
to carry on employment, but we urge you to ensure that you keep this to a
minimum so that your studies are not overly affected. The University has an
excellent JobShop on campus, which helps students to find work on
campus, or in the local area.
2. Will I need to
have my own computer?
Any written module work
must be typed and so familiarity with computers is a must. In addition
students may be contacted en bloc via email. However, there is no
necessity to own a computer as there are very extensive computing facilities
on campus with 24 hour availability. In addition, all University-owned
accommodation has networked computing facilities, which means that for
student residents who do own a computer internet facilities are available
from the student's own room, are faster than broadband, are available 24
hours a day seven days a week and are free of charge (that means already
included in the cost of the accommodation). There is also a computing help
desk on campus with trained staff available for general advice.
3. Will I need to
The module supervisor will liaise with
the library to ensure that there is sufficient number of copies available in
the library of the core and supplementary texts. However, for convenience
most students will purchase at least some of their own books each year. We
do have on campus a second hand book shop which will buy used books at a
good price, so that the outlay for the second and final years is a little
reduced. The library also stocks a large range of periodicals and other
materials for use by students. In addition, students will also have access
to a number of databases (including periodicals and other materials) via the
internet, which are free of charge.
There is a branch of Waterstones on
campus which will stock all core texts.
Studying abroad in English
If you want to study abroad but do not feel comfortable learning another
language, then there are plenty of countries where teaching is delivered in
English. We have partner institutions teaching in English in Sweden, the
United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong.