Article by Perrine Lindsay
In the first year of my BA degree, I came to realise that I wanted to pursue a career in law. My secondary school and Sixth Form didn’t teach law which is why I hadn’t considered it for university. The most ‘out-there’ subjects were A-level Business Studies or Psychology (these were new options introduced to the school). Law, as a career, didn’t appear to cross our mind. So, at university, I emailed law lecturers, the head of the law school, admissions staff, etc, but I had no chance of transferring to a law degree. However, after weeks of pleading emails and persistent rejection, hope presented itself. A lecturer informed me about the Accelerated LLB Law course. But what is it?
In this article, I will explain what the Accelerated LLB (Bachelor of Laws degree) course is, my outlook of the programme and how the course differs from the GDL (Graduate Diploma of Law). I will follow this section with the advantages and disadvantages of the Accelerated LLB in question. Although you must come to your own conclusion, I have inferred that the LLB degree is the best option for someone looking to gain a clear understanding of core areas of law.
The Accelerated course is a two-year LLB, exclusive to graduates. Most university acceptance conditions rely on students achieving a 2:1 from their previous degree. SI-UK (Study in UK) provides a list of the universities currently offering the course; there are about twenty in the UK.
Potential students are to complete a UCAS undergraduate application. The online form will be the same as your first degree application and will likewise be available via the UCAS website. You are required to fill in your details, such as your name and education, alongside a personal statement (I know. Please, no, not again). If you feel that you may need additional help, UCAS will answer any enquiries via email or telephone. And because the course is an undergraduate degree, the application remains the same.
I met with a Senior Lecturer within my university who informed me of the following:
Now, I know this may sound ideal, and you’re probably reading this thinking that this is all pro pro pro, but let’s look at two notable cons that I have spent a lot of time reflecting on over the year.
Firstly, and the one I feel to be the most important to consider is that you will not have undergraduate student funding. Let me repeat this. Student Finance will not send you any money. To quote them exactly:
“studying for a qualification that’s equivalent to or lower than a qualification you already have… means while you’re studying your new course, you’re not able to get a:
You may still be able to apply for: Parents’ Learning Allowance, Adult Dependants’ Grant, Childcare Grant, Disabled Students’ Allowance.”
I know this will come as a shock to you, as it did myself, but there are other means to obtain financial assistance to go towards your tuition and maintenance living costs. The most helpful are grants and trusts. Websites, such as Turn2Us, identify grants you can apply for if you meet their criteria. Enter your name, postcode and gender and the site will generate 10-20 grants of which you are eligible. Apply! There’s no harm in applying and every little helps. These charities and societies include, for example, the Vegetarian Charity or The Prince Trust. If successful, they can choose to contribute a certain amount towards your educational fees.
But, the perhaps most obvious solution to ease your money worries is to get a part-time job. This will make your university experience that much more relaxed and will help you to stay organised. It’s important to always view the good in the bad.
Another solution is to ask your university what extra financial help they have to offer. Universities tend to provide bursaries to assist you through your time at their institution. This is a massive help and shows that this part of the uni process isn’t all doom and gloom. Universities also tend to operate student advice sessions. Email your university’s Student Services for further information about this. Many Student Services offices allow drop-in meetings too.
The next con focuses on the ‘Accelerated’ aspect of the course. Yes, it’s accelerated, or as lecturers like to say ‘crammed’. That means lots of work to do in just two years. Both years will count towards your final grade. But, make sure to bear in mind that you’ll be spending your first year with first-year students who are on the 3-year LLB course. Let’s say you’ve graduated from your previous course and you’re around 21-years-old. You’ll be in lectures with students aged 18. This may affect you because these students will be in their first-ever year of university and their first year won’t affect their final grade. Professional advice from a lecturer at my university suggested that students on the Accelerated course should avoid making revision friends with the younger students. The reason for this being that the exams are very different, even though you’ll be attending the same lectures. Your exams will be longer, harder, and you will have to answer more questions. But don’t worry, your tutorial groups, or as some call them ‘seminar groups’, will only have students on the same course as you.
To conclude, be sure you know what you’re meant to be learning and don’t get confused with the 3-year course programme. The easiest way to do this could be by staying within the Accelerated course circle, especially to understand the content of your course. But still, try and make friends with students outside of your course too!
Now that we’ve considered both the advantages and the drawbacks to the Accelerated LLB, it’s necessary to complete further research. I hope my outlook of the course may prove itself useful, but my experience is just one of many. Be sure to make the right choice for you.