Law (Jurisprudence) | University of Oxford
Justice with her scales and blindfold
Detail of the façade of the Bodleian Library in Oxford showing Justice with her scales and blindfold.
(Credit: David Williams)

Law (Jurisprudence)

mortar boardUCAS codeSee course optionscalendarDuration

3 years or 4 years with year abroad (BA equivalent to LLB)

pencil

Entrance requirements

AAA

phoneContact

+44 (0) 1865 271491
Email Law

tickAdmissions test(s)ox.ac.uk/lnatcrossWritten workNone
bar chartAdmissions statistics*
*3-year average 2016-18

Law:
Interviewed: 41%
Successful: 14%
Intake: 200

Course II:
Interviewed: 34%
Successful: 9%
Intake: 28

 HeadSubject requirements

relevant modern language for Law with Law Studies in Europe (not required for European Law)

 A subject involving essay writing

Subject requirements:       Essential       Recommended       Helpful – may be useful on course

Studying law will not only give you the opportunity to qualify as a solicitor or barrister: it will also help you develop a diverse set of skills which you will be able to apply in many different situations. You will learn to assimilate and analyse complex information, construct arguments, write with precision and clarity and think on your feet.


The Oxford Law degree aims to develop all these skills, but its particular strength is in teaching you to think for yourself. Students are expected to read a good deal, mostly from primary sources, and to develop views not simply about what the law is, but also about why it is so, whether it should be so, and how it might be different.

There are two Law courses at Oxford: Course I is a three-year course; Course II is a four-year course which follows the same syllabus, but with a third year abroad at a university in France, Germany, Italy, or Spain (studying French, German, Italian, or Spanish law), or the Netherlands (studying European and International law). Students on Course II (Law with Law Studies in Europe) gain additional skills through exposure to different legal systems and the different approaches to teaching practised by our European partner institutions.

Students who have graduated in other subjects may undertake the accelerated ‘Senior Status’ version of Course I. For further information about the courses, please refer to the Law Faculty website.

 students at a lecture Law Library students socializing
“Studying Law at Oxford is a unique experience. I feel I have learnt as much about politics, philosophy and sociology as I have about the law! It equips me with the fullest understanding of the law possible. The reasons behind studying something so abstract as Jurisprudence or Roman Law seemed incomprehensible at first, but it all became clear once I started studying them. For example, the ability to see how contract interacts with tort law will help now in exams, as well as when the time comes to leave university and start a career.”
TAMSIN
“There are three main reasons [why I chose Law]: first, I want to protect myself, my family and under-represented groups: women, children, animals, and so on. I have a feeling that law is a powerful shield and weapon. Second, law is a subject with a broad application. I don't have in mind a specific occupation, but I know the type of work I'm interested in (in general terms, represent and care for the under-represented and to catalyse change). Law would allow me to figure out the best match between my legal knowledge and interest. Third, I know that this degree will expose me to many opportunities to build up the set of skills useful for the work I'm interested in.”
LEANNE
“One thing I can never get over is the fact that world-leading academics are teaching you and just the standard of excellence we get here. That main core textbook? Your lecturer probably wrote or edited it. That really famous scientist/academic/judge/barrister/author/poet/etc. very likely sat in the same room you do lectures in. My course is amazing because of my fellow lawyers … not only are we super close outside of the library/tutorials, but the conversations and discussions we can have are indispensable. Building on one another's ideas, thoughts and views from the reading, assessing one another's essays/problem questions.”
JANE

A typical week

You will be studying between one and two subjects at any one time (or up to three subjects in your third year) so in any given week you are likely to have one to two tutorials of an hour each (in a group of two to four students) and be asked to write an essay for each tutorial. Lectures are often regarded as an optional extra, with the tutorial system being our core form of teaching. On average, most students will go to two to three hours of lectures (or seminars for third year options) each week. Most of your working time (we anticipate the workload is 45 hours per week) will be devoted to reading, thinking, and writing your essays in preparation for the tutorial.

Tutorials are usually 2-4 students and a tutor. Classes, which are generally organised by individual colleges, are usually 6-10 students. Seminars for second-year Jurisprudence mini-options and  third-year optional courses generally involve groups of no more than 30 students but may on occasion exceed that number if the seminar covers more than one option. Most tutorials, classes, and lectures are delivered by staff who are tutors in their subject. Many are world-leading experts with years of experience in teaching and research. Some teaching may also be delivered by postgraduate students who are usually studying at doctorate level.

To find out more about how our teaching year is structured, visit our Academic Year page.

Course structure

YEAR 1 (TERMS 1 AND 2)

COURSES

  • Criminal law
  • Constitutional law
  • A Roman introduction to private law
  • Research skills and mooting programme

For those on Course II, there are also French/German/Italian/Spanish law and language classes during the first six terms, or, for those going to the Netherlands, introductory Dutch language courses in the second year

ASSESSMENT

First University examinations: three written papers, one each in Criminal law, Constitutional law and a Roman introduction to private law

YEAR 1 (TERM 3), YEARS 2 AND 3 (AND 4)

COURSES

  • Tort law
  • Contract law
  • Trusts
  • Land law
  • Administrative law
  • European Union law
  • Jurisprudence
  • Two optional subjects, chosen from a very wide range of options

Course II: Year 3 is spent abroad

ASSESSMENT

Final University examinations:
  • Tort law, Contract law, Trusts, Land law, Administrative law, European law: one written paper each at the end of the final year
  • Jurisprudence: one shorter written paper at the end of the final year, plus an essay written in the summer vacation at the end of the second year
  • Two optional subjects: normally written papers but methods of assessment may vary
Course II students will also be assessed during their year abroad by the university they attend.

 A full list of current options is available on the Law website.

The content and format of this course may change in some circumstances. Read further information about potential course changes.

Academic requirements

A-levels: AAA
Advanced Highers:AAB or AA with an additional Higher at grade A
IB:38 (including core points) with 666 at HL
Or any other equivalent (see other UK qualifications, and international qualifications)                                          

Wherever possible, your grades are considered in the context in which they have been achieved.  (See further information on how we use contextual data.) 

Subject requirements

Law (Course I)
 Essential:  Candidates are expected to have at least a C/4 grade in GCSE Mathematics, or other evidence to demonstrate that they are appropriately numerate. 
 Helpful:An essay subject can be helpful when completing this course but is not required for admission. 
Law with Law Studies in Europe (Course II)
 Essential:  

To study in France, Germany or Spain candidates would be expected to have the relevant modern language to A-level, Advanced Higher, Higher Level in the IB or any other equivalent. To study in Italy, candidates may be admitted without A-level Italian, though they would be expected to demonstrate sufficient language aptitude to be able to achieve the standard required to study successfully in Italy during the year abroad. Intensive language training will be offered during the first two years of the course.

Candidates are also expected to have at least a C/4 grade in GCSE Mathematics, or other evidence to demonstrate that they are appropriately numerate. 
 Helpful:An essay subject can be helpful when completing this course but is not required for admission.

If, and only if, you have chosen to take any science A-levels, we expect you to take and pass the practical component in addition to meeting any overall grade requirement.

If English is not your first language you may also need to meet our English language requirements.

Applying

All candidates must follow the application procedure as shown in applying to Oxford. The information below gives specific details for students applying for this course.

Admissions test

Test: LNAT
Test date:1 September - 20 October 2019
Registration deadline:                   5 October 2019                                                                                                

All candidates must take the National Admissions Test for Law (LNAT)  as part of their application. A number of other universities also require candidates to sit this test, registration for the test is required and it is the responsibility of the candidate to ensure that they are registered for these tests. We strongly recommend making the arrangements in plenty of time before the deadline. Everything you need to know, including guidance on how to prepare, can be found on the LNAT page.

Candidates for Law with Law Studies in Europe who are applying for the French, German, Italian or Spanish law options may be given an oral test in the relevant European language at the time of interview.

Written work

You do not need to submit any written work when you apply for this course.

What are tutors looking for?

Academic achievement, reasoning ability, good communication skills both on paper and verbally, a capacity for hard work, and an interest in Law. For more on admissions, including a video of a demonstration interview, please see the Law Faculty website. For more detail on the selection criteria for this course, please see the Law Faculty website.

Careers

While there is no assumption that our Law graduates pursue a legal career, around 75% of Oxford Law graduates do go on to the legal profession. Although Oxford Law graduates gain a BA in Jurisprudence rather than an LLB, each of the Oxford Law courses counts as a qualifying law degree so Oxford Law graduates can immediately go on to the Legal Practice Course (for solicitors) or the Bar Professional Training Course (for barristers).

Many Oxford Law graduates go on to successful careers practising law outside England and Wales. The Oxford Law courses naturally focus on English law, but the fundamental principles of English common law play a key role in other jurisdictions. Graduates of the four-year course also gain important international knowledge during their year abroad. If you want to know the status of an English law degree in another jurisdiction, please contact the relevant local regulatory body.

Amal is a barrister at Doughty Street Chambers in London specialising in international law, human rights, extradition and criminal law. She was previously a lawyer for the United Nations in the Middle East and at various international courts in The Hague. She says: ‘Studying Law at Oxford taught me to identify what is important, challenge accepted wisdom and not be intimidated. These skills helped me follow an unusual career path that I have found fascinating and meaningful.’ 

Oxford University is committed to recruiting the best and brightest students from all backgrounds. We offer a generous package of financial support to Home/EU students from lower-income households. (UK nationals living in the UK are usually Home students.)

Latest information for UK and EU undergraduates who will begin their course in 2020 can be found here. Further information for EU students starting in 2020 is available here.

The fees and funding information below relates to those who will start at Oxford in 2019.

Fees

These annual fees are for full-time students who begin this undergraduate course here in 2019.

Fee status

Annual Course fees

Home/EU£9,250
Islands
(Channel Islands & Isle of Man)
£9,250
Overseas£26,235

For more information please refer to our course fees page. Fees will usually increase annually. For details, please see our guidance on likely increases to fees and charges.

EU applicants should refer to our dedicated webpage for details of the implications of the UK’s plans to leave the European Union.

Living costs

Living costs at Oxford might be less than you’d expect, as our world-class resources and college provision can help keep costs down.

Living costs for the academic year starting in 2019 are estimated to be between £1,058 and £1,643 for each month you are in Oxford. Our academic year is made up of three eight-week terms, so you would not usually need to be in Oxford for much more than six months of the year but may wish to budget over a nine-month period to ensure you also have sufficient funds during the holidays to meet essential costs. For further details please visit our living costs webpage.

Financial support

Home/EU

A tuition fee loan is available from the UK government to cover course fees in full for Home (UK)/EU students undertaking their first undergraduate degree*, so you don’t need to pay your course fees up front.

In 2019 Oxford is offering one of the most generous bursary packages of any UK university to those on a family income of around £42,875 or less, with additional opportunities available to those from households with incomes of £16,000 or less. This support is available in addition to the government living costs support.  See further details.

Islands
(Channel Islands and Isle of Man)

Islands students are entitled to different support to that of students from the rest of the UK.

Please refer the links below for information on the support to you available from your funding agency:

States of Jersey
States of Guernsey
Isle of Man

Overseas

Please refer to the "Other Scholarships" section of our Oxford Bursaries and Scholarships page.

*If you have studied at undergraduate level before and completed your course, you will be classed as an Equivalent or Lower Qualification student (ELQ) and won’t be eligible to receive government or Oxford funding

Fees, Funding and Scholarship search

Additional Fees and Charges Information for Law (Jurisprudence)

Students taking Law with Law Studies in Europe will spend the third year of this course abroad. As you will be studying a full year of courses in your host university we do not recommend that you plan to do any regular paid work while you are away.

During the year abroad, students pay significantly reduced fees. For students who started an undergraduate course in 2017, who are going on their year abroad in 2019, the course fees are:

  • Home/EU/Islands students: £1,385 for the year.
  • International students: £8,415 for the year.

For further information, please see the website below for the relevant country:

Home/EU students studying abroad are currently considered for government grants and loans in the same way as when studying in Oxford, based upon the standard eligibility criteria. Students who are means tested in their application for government support will be automatically assessed for an Oxford Bursary and may be eligible for a travel grant. 

If the UK continues to be eligible to participate in the Erasmus+ Programme after leaving the EU, an Erasmus+ grant may also be available to Home/EU and international students. As a guide, students in 2018/19 would receive between €300 and €470 a month depending on their individual circumstances. For students going to France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands or Spain, there is a one-off grant of £500 from London law firm Clifford Chance. Students in Paris may be able to apply for housing benefit, which in 2017/18 was about €165 a month.

Contextual information

The Key Information Sets provides applicants with statistics about undergraduate life at Oxford. But there is so much more to an Oxford degree that the numbers can’t convey.

The Oxford tutorial

College tutorials are central to teaching at Oxford. Typically, they take place in your college and are led by your academic tutor(s) who teach as well as do their own research. Students will also receive teaching in a variety of other ways, depending on the course. This will include lectures and classes, and may include laboratory work and fieldwork. However, tutorials offer a level of personalised attention from academic experts unavailable at most universities.

During tutorials (normally lasting an hour), college subject tutors will give you and one or two tutorial partners feedback on prepared work and cover a topic in depth. The other student(s) in your college tutorials will be from your year group, doing the same course as you and will normally be at your college. Such regular and rigorous academic discussion develops and facilitates learning in a way that isn’t possible through lectures alone. Tutorials also allow for close progress monitoring so tutors can quickly provide additional support if necessary.

Read more about tutorials and an Oxford education

College life

Our colleges are at the heart of Oxford’s reputation as one of the best universities in the world.

  • At Oxford, everyone is a member of a college as well as their subject department(s) and the University. Students therefore have both the benefits of belonging to a large, renowned institution and to a small and friendly academic community. Each college or hall is made up of academic and support staff, and students. Colleges provide a safe, supportive environment leaving you free to focus on your studies, enjoy time with friends and make the most of the huge variety of opportunities.
  • Each college has a unique character, but generally their facilities are similar. Each one, large or small, will have the following essential facilities:
    • Porters’ lodge (a staffed entrance and reception)
    • Dining hall
    • Lending library (often open 24/7 in term time)
    • Student accommodation
    • Tutors’ teaching rooms
    • Chapel and/or music rooms
    • Laundry
    • Green spaces
    • Common room (known as the JCR).
  • All first year students are offered college accommodation either on the main site of their college or in a nearby college annexe. This means that your neighbours will also be ‘freshers’ and new to life at Oxford. This accommodation is guaranteed, so you don’t need to worry about finding somewhere to live after accepting a place here, all of this is organised for you before you arrive.
  • All colleges offer at least one further year of accommodation and some offer it for the entire duration of your degree. You may choose to take up the option to live in your college for the whole of your time at Oxford, or you might decide to arrange your own accommodation after your first year – perhaps because you want to live with friends from other colleges.
  • While college academic tutors primarily support your academic development, you can also ask their advice on other things. Lots of other college staff including welfare officers help students settle in and are available to offer guidance on practical or health matters. Current students also actively support students in earlier years, sometimes as part of a college ‘family’ or as peer supporters trained by the University’s Counselling Service.

More about Oxford colleges and how you choose