We teach the law that matters. We are ‘freer, more daring and more experimental’ than a traditional law school, so your legal education is relevant and responsive to the needs of a changing society. Our approach is global in outlook, based on justice, and engaged with real-world problems.
Our LLB Law provides you with a rigorous academic training in the discipline of law. We enable you to develop an approach to the discipline so that you can see each subject area as part of an integrated whole. We emphasise an awareness of the place of the law of England and Wales in its European and international frameworks.
You develop a critical awareness of the nature of law within its social, political and economic contexts. Not only will you learn legal rules, but you will also consider the function of law in society, the philosophy of law, policy issues and law reform. You learn to consider, evaluate and respond to alternative and, possibly, conflicting points of view.
You cover all the key areas of law, as well as a wide range of optional topics including:
Copyright and trademark law
International environmental law
Law and literature
The use of evidence
At Essex we specialise in commercial law, public law, and human rights law. We are 3rd in the UK for research power in law (THE research power measure, REF2021) and 47th for Law in THE World University Rankings by Subject 2023.
Our law course allows you to develop your intellectual and critical faculties, encourage you to think independently and teach you to present rational, coherent and accurate arguments orally and in writing.
Our lecturers work with the UN, the UK government, and with EU and foreign governments.
You gain work experience advising real clients through opportunities such as the Essex Law Clinic.
We stimulate your desire to pursue justice and become an agent for change.
Your education extends beyond the university campus. We support you in expanding your education through offering the opportunity to spend a year or a term studying abroad at one of our partner universities. The four-year version of our degree allows you to spend the third year abroad or employed on a placement abroad, while otherwise remaining identical to the three-year course.
Studying abroad allows you to experience other cultures and languages, to broaden your degree socially and academically, and to demonstrate to employers that you are mature, adaptable, and organised.
If you spend a full year abroad you'll only pay 15% of your usual tuition fee to Essex for that year. You won't pay any tuition fees to your host university
When you arrive at Essex, you can decide whether you would like to combine your course with a placement year. You will be responsible for finding your placement, but with support and guidance provided by both your department and our Employability and Careers Centre.
If you complete a placement year you'll only pay 20% of your usual tuition fee to Essex for that year.
Our expert staff
Our internationally diverse community of staff and students gives us a breadth of cross-cultural perspectives and insights into law and justice around the world.
This community, combined with opportunities to study abroad during your time with us, ensures you graduate with a genuine worldview and a network of international contacts.
Volunteer at the Essex Law Clinic where you can use your knowledge and skills to serve the community and help those most in need of legal services
Take advantage of networking opportunities throughout the year with visiting law firms
At Essex we don’t just prepare you for the legal profession. We stimulate your desire to pursue justice and equip you with the skills and knowledge to become an agent for change, whatever career path you choose.
From the start of your course, we challenge you to think deeply, broadly and strategically about career paths. Over the first two years, alongside law subjects, you will take a career management module designed to help you identify personal strengths and goals, understand what employers (both within and outside law) are looking for and enhance your employability profile.
We also hold an annual law fair, attended by law firms and vocational qualification providers. Our graduates pursue careers in the law and in a wide range of other sectors including business and commerce, accountancy, insurance, banking, central and local government, academia, teaching, social work and the police force.
Our mantra is: be realistically ambitious. This involves understanding yourself and the rapidly changing and increasingly competitive graduate jobs market. Throughout your time at Essex, advisors in our Student Development Team, working closely with colleagues in our School, are available to help you formulate your career plan.
UK entry requirements
A-levels: ABB, including one essay based subject
GCSEs: Law with Finance requires GCSE Maths grade C/4
BTEC: DDD, depending on subject studied - advice on acceptability can be provided.
IB: 32 points or three Higher Level certificates with 655, including a Higher Level essay based subject grade 5.
We are also happy to consider a combination of separate IB Diploma Programme Courses (formerly certificates) at both Higher and Standard Level. Exact offer levels will vary depending on the range of subjects being taken at higher and standard level, and the course applied for.
We can also consider combinations with BTECs or other qualifications in the Career-related programme – the acceptability of BTECs and other qualifications depends on the subject studied, advice on acceptability can be provided. Please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information.
Access to HE Diploma: 15 level 3 credits at Distinction and 30 level 3 credits at Merit, depending on subject studied - advice on acceptability can be provided.
T-levels: Distinction, depending on subject studied - advice on acceptability can be provided.
What if I have a non-traditional academic background? Don’t worry. To gain a deeper knowledge of your course suitability, we will look at your educational and employment history, together with your personal statement and reference.
You may be considered for entry into Year 1 of your chosen course. Alternatively, some UK and EU applicants may be considered for Essex Pathways, an additional year of study (known as a foundation year/year 0) helping students gain the necessary skills and knowledge in order to succeed on their chosen course. You can find a list of Essex Pathways courses and entry requirements here
If you are a mature student, further information is here.
International & EU entry requirements
We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.
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Other English language qualifications may be acceptable so please contact us for further details. If we accept the English component of an international qualification then it will be included in the information given about the academic levels listed above. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications
If you are an international student requiring a visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.
If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.
If you’re an international student, but do not meet the English language or academic requirements for direct admission to this degree, you could prepare and gain entry through a pathway course. Find out more about opportunities available to you at the University of Essex International College here.
Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field. The following modules are based on the current course structure and may change in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.
We understand that deciding where and what to study is a very important decision for you. We’ll make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities as described on our website. However, if we need to make material changes, for example due to significant disruption, or in response to COVID-19, we’ll let our applicants and students know as soon as possible.
Components and modules explained
Components are the blocks of study that make up your course. A component may have a set module which you must study, or a number of modules from which you can choose.
Each component has a status and carries a certain number of credits towards your qualification.
What this means
You must take the set module for this component and you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component but you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
You must take the set module for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
Compulsory with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
The modules that are available for you to choose for each component will depend on several factors, including which modules you have chosen for other components, which modules you have completed in previous years of your course, and which term the module is taught in.
Modules are the individual units of study for your course. Each module has its own set of learning outcomes and assessment criteria and also carries a certain number of credits.
In most cases you will study one module per component, but in some cases you may need to study more than one module. For example, a 30-credit component may comprise of either one 30-credit module, or two 15-credit modules, depending on the options available.
Modules may be taught at different times of the year and by a different department or school to the one your course is primarily based in. You can find this information from the module code. For example, the module code HR100-4-FY means:
The department or school the module will be taught by.
In this example, the module would be taught by the Department of History.
Land law is a topic that affects all of us, playing a fundamental role in regulating people's rights over one of the most valuable and useful legal assets. This module is designed to provide you with a sound understanding of the key features of land law, including its underlying principles and its importance in regulating property relations in response to social policy needs. Students will learn about the distinction between personal property and land, the framework for establishing and enforcing various different interests in land.
This module introduces the fundamentals of the UK constitution and the foundations of judicial review. The module explores: the nature of the constitution; the structure of governmental power; the sources of constitutional rules; and the fundamental principles underpinning the UK constitution. The module considers the functions of the three branches of government (executive, legislative and judicial) and how they are accountable. The module examines the framework for protection of human rights in the UK and introduces the grounds of judicial review.
How effective is criminal law? How do you break down a criminal law statute to its component parts? And how do you then interpret it? Understand criminal law in England and Wales. Read and critically analyse judicial decisions. Assess and answer factual problems, raising issues of criminal liability.
What are the main skills expected of a law graduate? And what key personal factors will inform your career choice? Get ready for the opportunities and challenges of the graduate labour market. Undertake activities, workshops and session that help you develop, building your key skills and competencies.
What are the legal consequences of contract failure? How do you calculate damages? Examine key aspects of contract law. Identify legal issues in simulated case studies and learn to construct legal arguments. Apply legal principles and precedent cases to resolve simulated legal problems. Build the numerical skills to calculate damages.
Who is liable for causing psychiatric harm? Or for causing economic loss? Study the foundations of negligence liability, examining further aspects of tort law. Gain experience of applying the principles of negligence liability to duty-based scenarios. Read and critically analyse judicial decisions.
What is meant by breach of trust? What are the constitutional elements of a fully constituted trust? How can that trust be terminated? Study the principles governing the law of trusts. Examine the development of equity, equitable principles and equitable remedies. Analyse social and legal contexts in which trusts arise.
This compulsory second year module, taught in the Spring term, aims to build upon the legal skills which students encounter in the first year module LW105 Legal Skills.
Students will develop a range of skills relating to legal research and project planning, which will both support their learning in the final year of their degree, and constitute valuable transferable skills in their own right.
In particular, LW254 Legal Research Skills will act as a foundation for LW304 Final Year Research Project and students will develop a research proposal for LW304 as part of their assessment for LW254.
What are the constitutional issues around the institutional structure of the EU? How has this changed with enlargement? Understand EU law to obtain a qualifying law degree. Examine the concepts of EU law and how different areas are connected. Analyse EU law within its political and socio-economic context.
This module incorporates a range of teaching activities, workshops and panel sessions that encourage you to take ownership of your personal and professional development in order to compete in the graduate labour market. You will be able to identify, articulate and evidence your employability skills, and will develop a critical understanding of your place in the world of work.
This module provides you with an opportunity to undertake a substantial piece of legal research on a topic of your choice. You can work alone or with others in groups, under the supervision of a member of staff. Your project may take the form of a written report, but may equally be a blog, website, film or other outcome.
On a placement year you gain relevant work experience within an external business or organisation, giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market and providing you with key contacts within the industry. The rest of your course remains identical to the three-year degree.
On your year abroad, you have the opportunity to experience other cultures and languages, to broaden your degree socially and academically, and to demonstrate to employers that you are mature, adaptable, and organised. The rest of your course remains identical to the three-year degree.
For most modules, you attend two lectures a week and one fortnightly tutorial
Tutorials provide the opportunity to discuss the law, apply the law to factual problems, and develop legal arguments
Basic IT skills training is available and training in the use of LEXIS and WESTLAW (legal research tools) is also given
You are encouraged to take part in moots (mock trials), negotiation competitions and other practical exercises
Virtually all modules are assessed by a combination of written examination and coursework
Examinations are held at the end of each academic year
Your first year marks do not count towards your final degree classification
Fees and funding
Fees will increase for each academic year of study.
Applications for our full-time undergraduate courses should be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Applications are online at: www.ucas.com. Full details on this process can be obtained from the UCAS website in the how to apply section.
Our UK students, and some of our EU and international students, who are still at school or college, can apply through their school. Your school will be able to check and then submit your completed application to UCAS. Our other international applicants (EU or worldwide) or independent applicants in the UK can also apply online through UCAS Apply.
The UCAS code for our University of Essex is ESSEX E70. The individual campus codes for our Loughton and Southend Campuses are 'L' and 'S' respectively.
You can find further information on how to apply, including information on transferring from another university, applying if you are not currently at a school or college, and applying for readmission on our How to apply and entry requirements page.
If you are an undergraduate student residing in the UK who has received an offer to study with us in October 2023, you will receive an email invitation to book onto one of our Applicant Days. Our Colchester Campus Applicant Days run from February to May 2023 on various Wednesdays and Saturdays, and our Southend Campus Applicant Days run from March to June 2023 on various weekdays and Saturdays. Applicant Days provide the opportunity to meet your department, tour our campus and accommodation, and chat to current students. We appreciate that travelling to university events can be expensive. This is why we have increased our Applicant Day Travel Bursary cap, allowing you to claim up to £150 as reimbursement for travel expenses. For further information about Applicant Days, including Terms and Conditions and eligibility criteria for our Travel Bursary, please visit our Applicant Days webpage.
If you are an overseas offer-holder, you will be invited to attend one of our virtual events. However, you are more than welcome to join us at one of our in-person Applicant Days if you are able to, so if you’d like to book a place, please contact our Applicant Day Team at email@example.com
Visit Colchester Campus
Home to 15,000 students from more than 130 countries, our Colchester Campus is the largest of our three sites, making us one of the most internationally diverse campuses on the planet - we like to think of ourselves as the world in one place.
If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tours allows you to explore our University from the comfort of your home. Check out our Colchester virtual tour and Southend virtual tour to see accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.
Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.
At Essex we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive student community. We offer a wide range of support to individuals and groups of student members who may have specific requirements, interests or responsibilities.
The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include, but are not limited to: strikes, other industrial action, staff illness, severe weather, fire, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack (whether declared or not), natural disaster, restrictions imposed by government or public authorities, epidemic or pandemic disease, failure of public utilities or transport systems or the withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications. The University would inform and engage with you if your course was to be discontinued, and would provide you with options, where appropriate, in line with our Compensation and Refund Policy.
The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and
Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.