As you may or may not have noticed, there are a lot of Canadians at Leicester (like me!). A large majority of us come here to study law and that’s thanks to Ben Reed, the Student Recruitment Administrator, and Gemma Turton, the Deputy Undergraduate Admissions Tutor in Law, who tour Canadian universities to inform Canadians of Leicester Law. It’s so lovely to see more and more Canadians join the Leicester Law family every year.
In Canada, law school is a post-graduate program, meaning we have to have an undergrad degree with a high GPA and a high score in the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) to study law. Because of this, a large majority of Canadians at Leicester already have an undergrad degree and some have had their dreams crushed in not being accepted to law school. So, when Leicester is there to pick up the pieces of our broken hearts, we happily and gratefully accept the offer. Upon applying and/or arriving in Leicester, a big question we ask ourselves is whether we should do the fast-track two-year LLB course or the full three-year LLB course.
Naturally, there are pros and cons to both, so I’ll make a list of each for both courses.
LLB Law – Senior Status (Pros)
- It’s only two years! It goes by very quickly, and if you’ve been in (or even out of) university for a while and are just itching to get out and have your law degree already, this is a great way to fast track it.
- You only study the core modules so you develop that crucial foundation and those key skills that you can take back to Canada and do a more specific Masters in Law (LLM) or find an articling position in any area of law.
- It’s cheaper than staying in Leicester for 3 years because you have one less year to apply for your visa and pay for NHS, one less year of tuition to pay, and one less year of living costs.
LLB Law – Senior Status (Cons) / LLB Law (Pros)
- The Senior Status is only two years long so it goes by very quickly, and you might feel like you haven’t fully immersed yourself in the study of law and you’re just dipping your toes in. Meanwhile, the LLB is three years long so there’s an overall more relaxed pace.
- You don’t get any optional modules on the Senior Status course. This one was a big one for me because optional modules are the modules that a) allow for you to narrow your degree down and b) allow for you to enjoy your degree that much more, because you’re not only studying modules you’re required to study.
- In the Senior Status, because the pace of your studies is quite intense, you may find yourself overwhelmed if you join extra-curriculars. But, on the other hand, it’s just a matter of knowing your limits and effective time management.
- If you’re on the Senior Status course and you’re not planning on doing your LLM in Canada, you’ll have more accreditation exams (NCAs) to write upon your return to Canada because you’ve only learned the ‘bare minimum’. Those optional modules in the three-year course may waive some of your NCAs. It may be worth comparing how much it costs you to study for and write the NCAs with an extra year of living and studying in the UK.
- Because you’re only in the UK for the two years, you have a tendency to stick with the other Canadians who are also only in the UK for the two years. It also doesn’t help that you’re put in tutorials together because you’re on the same course stream (i.e. the Senior Status rather than the regular LLB). You forget that you’re in England and you end up missing out on learning about British culture and immersing yourself in it. Of course, this should be easily remedied, but this is what I see happening with the Canadians currently. In the regular LLB, because you’re with everyone for three years, you’re more inclined to make friends with everyone and anyone, so you have more international friends and you become truly immersed in British culture.
- For the Senior Status, both years count towards your degree; for the regular LLB, first year doesn’t count towards your degree and so serves as a sort of ‘taster’ year during which you can find good study habits through trial and error and learn how to learn law.
LLB Law (Cons)
- It’s three years long, so if you’re just so tired of university and just want to get out, that extra year will most likely feel extra long.
- It’s one more year’s worth of a visa, paying for NHS, paying tuition, and living costs.
So, as we saw, Senior Status cons and basically remedied by the LLB Law pros. If you can’t tell, I’m a huge advocate for the three-year course.
If your main reason for coming to Leicester is to get that law degree and then go back home, I recommend the Senior Status course. If your main reason for coming to Leicester is to get an international experience, I highly recommend the three-year course, maybe with a Year Abroad (found under ‘Course Structure’ in the link provided). If your main reason for coming to Leicester is to study law and/or go into a career in law, I highly recommend the three-year course. You can see all the Leicester’s Law course offered here.
Let me know if you have any questions about the two- or three-year course or if you disagree with any of my points! I’m happy to discuss!