Universities are open-minded about the subjects pupils study at standard grade and higher level, provided good grades are achieved and they have studied enough academic subjects. Whilst there are no set subjects apart from higher English, some law students do feel that modern studies was a helpful choice at school, though it is not a pre-requisite. Universities will use grades achieved at higher level to decide whether to offer a place at university. Often the best thing to do is to choose a selection of subjects however it is advisable to research each university to find out how the LLB is taught and what the universities are like as some might suit you more than others.
Different universities ask for different grades, and these change every year, but getting into a law degree can be competitive. A guide to the minimum requirements for each university is listed below and it's a good idea to study hard during the standard grades with the idea of studying hard at higher level also. It is important to note that the requirements below should be achieved in one sitting unless otherwise stated.
Entry requirements vary from university to university and you should always check the details on respective websites or at university open days to ensure you know what the entrance requirements are at each institution. Further details can be found on the UCAS website.
Access to the graduate level LLB (the accelerated LLB) is only available to university graduates.
Please note: only an LLB from one of the ten universities accredited by the Law Society of Scotland forms part of the route to qualification as a solicitor. We would recommend you check with your university to ensure the course is an accredited LLB, if you wish to qualify as a solicitor in Scotland in the future. Any other course, such as a BA in law or an LLM will not form part of the route to qualification as a solicitor in Scotland.
|University||Higher Grades Required||Additional Information|
|Aberdeen||AAAB or AABBB||BBBB minimum in S5 to be considered. N5 English required / H English desirable|
|Abertay||ABBB||N5 Maths and English at B Must include H English or 'literate subject'|
|Dundee||Typical: AABBB Minimum: ABBBB||Must have H English at B. Need N5 Maths or a Science at B|
|Edinburgh||AAAAA - ABBB||At least BBB in S5 to be considered. H English required at first attempt. Need N5 Maths or an approved science at C|
|Edinburgh Napier||Typical: ABBB||Adjusted: BBBC or ABCC to include English or another literary subject* at grade B. N5 Maths and English at C|
|Glasgow||AAAAA - AAABB||H English required. LNAT required**|
|Glasgow Caledonian||AABBB||N5 Maths required at C. H English required at B|
|Robert Gordon||AABB||H English required at B (or written subject requiring use of English)|
|Stirling||AABB (one sitting), AABBB (two sittings)||No additional requirements|
|Strathclyde||AAAAB (AAABBBB over two sittings)||H English required at B. N5 Maths required at C, or I2 Maths at C.|
** University of Glasgow applicants will also have to sit a type of 'aptitude' test called the national admissions test for law (LNAT) - http://www.lnat.ac.uk/
Thinking about going to university can be daunting and it's hard to know what to expect when starting your law degree. Law student, Samantha Whale, shares her top tips for studying law below.
Pick your subjects wisely
At school you may find social science subjects such as religious and modern studies are useful to prepare you for studying law. My advanced higher religious studies really helped me to improve my research skills as I had to complete a dissertation.
Taking a language may open up more opportunities
I didn’t do this but in some ways I wish I had, as you can study law with a language and it opens up opportunities to study international law and travel. However, most universities do offer opportunities to travel during the course so check what your options are, even if you are not taking a language with law.
Be motivated for self-study
Sometimes it can be hard to motivate yourself to study, especially if you find the subject difficult or boring. I have had to study subjects which I have found both challenging and immensely boring – for me I enjoy case based subjects such as criminal and family law and find statutory based subjects such as constitutional law less interesting. Others may prefer the opposite!
Get as much work experience as possible
It is true that 3rd year is time to knuckle down and really think about this but why wait? Get as much experience as you can - either general experience or in your chosen field if you know what it is you want to do. Employers are not only looking for good grades they are looking for students who are committed to what they want to do and have taken the initiative to gain experience. I was lucky enough to find a criminal advocate who allowed me to shadow him through a trial and gain valuable experience. If you can gain experience in the legal profession, that is great but all kinds of work experience will be helpful when it comes to applying for traineeships later on.
Attend court cases
This gave me a much deeper insight into the roles of solicitors and advocates and reaffirmed to me that I wanted to be an advocate.
Look up the book of Scottish Legal Terms
I didn’t know this book existed when I started university but it would have been so useful to have this.
Read quality newspapers regularly
This will improve your vocabulary and help you to understand some of the longer and more complex cases you will face.