Why choose this course
Top lawyers not only know what the law is, but they understand why it is this way, what philosophical ideals and values it is based on, and how it can be made better.
If you are keen to get a solid legal education and dig deeper to better understand fundamental questions about why the law functions the way it does, then this is the course for you.
The heightened analytical skills that can be obtained on our LLB in Law (Philosophy, Politics and Law Pathway) are increasingly in demand by employers. As technology eliminates simplistic tasks, employers are progressively seeking law graduates who have complex problem-solving skills, can think abstractly, argue critically and find creative solutions to novel legal problems. This is what our course delivers.
We are ranked in the top 20 for law in the UK by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2021 and 15th for employability in law in the Guardian University Guide 2021.
What you will study
You’ll gain a strong understanding of the main areas of legal knowledge, including law as it regulates the functions of the state (public law and criminal law), regulates relations between private individuals (contract law and tort law), and regulates the ownership and control of land and other property (land law, and equity and trusts).
After your first year, you will immerse yourself in deeper questions about the operation and design of our legal system and the principles of legal change and reform. You will take optional modules on the philosophical, social and political dimensions of law, focusing on cutting-edge legal problems and developing your knowledge of the relation between law and society, and the values and political structures our legal system is based on.
You will learn how to evaluate the law, analyse its application to given situations and apply your legal understanding in a national or international context. We also provide a series of employability training seminars, pro bono opportunities, mentoring and extracurricular activities focusing on client interviewing, negotiation and mooting.
The School of Law has a dynamic team of expert researchers working on the cutting-edge legal questions that you will encounter in your studies. This ranges from how to regulate technology, to using law to combat environmental problems, and how to reform the criminal law, improving business practice and working within international legal frameworks. Read more about the lecturers you will work with.
Drawing on the expertise of the Surrey Centre for Law and Philosophy, law students on the Philosophy, Politics and Law Pathway will be taught by world-leading experts in this field.
The Centre employs over a dozen lecturers in legal and political philosophy and is an internationally-recognised hub for dynamic and innovative research and teaching. A philosophical, political and social perspective on law is embedded within a wide range of modules taught in the School, which will engage and challenge you from day one.
Careers and graduate prospects
We offer careers information, advice and guidance to all students whilst studying with us, which is extended to our alumni for three years after leaving the University.
We offer careers information, advice and guidance to all students studying with us, which is extended to our alumni for three years after leaving the University.
Each year, many of our graduates take up permanent employment with prestigious employers. These have included Clifford Chance, Eversheds and other solicitor firms, sets of barristers’ chambers and legal departments of large companies. We have also placed students in organisations outside law, such as the BBC and Electricité de France.
Our School of Law ranked 15th for employability in the Guardian University Guide 2021. We offer a varied programme of careers sessions, which will provide advice and guidance on what you should do to develop a suitable career path.
In combination with our student Law Society, we run a variety of events, competitions and activities, such as mooting and client interviewing. These are not only enjoyable and rewarding but will also enhance your employability and introduce you to local and regional solicitors, barristers and other legal professionals.
The School of Law also has close links with the University of Law in Guildford and cooperates with them in a number of career-development activities.
Recent School of Law graduates have secured roles such as:
- Compliance Associate, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
- HR Case Manager, Ministry of Justice
- Graduate Scheme Trainee (Banking), Lloyds Bank
- Paralegal, Shoosmiths
- Tax Analyst, Deloitte
- Corporate Paralegal, Meade King LLP
- Claims Handler, Arthur J Gallagher.
Academic year structure
The academic year is divided into two semesters which are both 15 weeks long. Each semester consists of teaching, revision/directed learning and assessment periods.
The Philosophy, Politics and Law (PPL) Pathway explores the same compulsory modules as the LLB in Law, including Public, Tort, Crime, Contract, EU, Land, Equity & Trusts.
To complete the requirements of the PPL Pathway, you must complete a sufficient number of optional modules from the specified list of PPL modules (equal to at least 90 credits or six modules). Upon completion of this Pathway, you will receive a recognised LLB degree, but one that also signals your PPL specialism to prospective employers.
An indicative list of modules that count toward the minimum of 90 credits required for the PPL Pathway (subject to change) are:
- Law & Contemporary Social Issues (15 credits)
- Law & Economics (15 credits)
- Environmental Law (15 credits).
- Dissertation in a PPL topic (30 credits)
- Commercial Restitution (15 credits)
- Jurisprudence I (15 credits)
- Legal Obligation and Punishment (15 credits)
- Medical Law I (15 credits)
- Medical Law II (15 credits)
- Core Issues in Private Law (15 credits)
- Tax Law (15 credits).
Expected progression through the PPL Pathway:
In Year 1, you will take eight compulsory 15 credit modules just as other LLB students.
In Year 2, you will take three core compulsory modules and one optional module in each semester. The options available include several modules on the PPL Pathway.
You may then decide to gain work experience through our award-winning Professional Training placement programme, or else progress straight to final year.
In your final year, you will take four optional modules each semester, which include a number of options from the list of PPL approved modules.
Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability, student demand and/or class size caps.
Important: In light of the Covid-19 pandemic the University has revised its courses to incorporate the ‘Hybrid Learning Experience’ in a departure from previous academic years and previously published information. The University has changed the delivery (and in some cases the content) of its programmes. Further information on the general principles of hybrid learning can be found at: Hybrid learning experience | University of Surrey.
We have updated key module information regarding the pattern of assessment and overall student workload to inform student module choices. We are currently working on bringing remaining published information up to date to reflect current practice in time for the start of the academic year 2021/22. This means that some information within the programme and module catalogue will be subject to change. Current students are invited to contact their Programme Leader or Academic Hive with any questions relating to the information available.
The University operates a credit framework for all taught programmes based on a 15-credit tariff. Modules can be either 15, 30, 45 or 60, 75 and 120 credits, and additionally for some masters dissertations, 90 credits.
Please note: If there is an optional Professional Training placement as part of your course you can view the full module listing for this on the relevant programme specification.
The structure of our programmes follows clear educational aims that are tailored to each programme. These are all outlined in the programme specifications which include further details such as the learning outcomes:
Course timetables are normally available one month before the start of the semester. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week (Monday–Friday). Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities. View our Timetabling Policy (PDF).
For our core law subjects, teaching consists of weekly lectures and tutorials.
You’ll carry out extensive research into the law in preparation for tutorials. During the tutorial, you will engage in solving complex legal problems through advocacy, mooting and discussion of legal principles and rules, using legal sources as the basis of your answers and presentations.
During tutorials you will engage with varied teaching methods, drawing upon material covered in lectures and your own independent reading. Tutorials may involve traditional seminars or inquiry-based learning, and may include opportunities to debate contentious issues, and to work in teams for presentations or mooting. We offer a dynamic and inclusive teaching environment, where every student is supported in building their skills and pursuing their academic interests through our courses.
In addition, other modules (such as second and third year options) have different formats and use a range of innovative teaching methods, including seminar discussions, group work, projects and interactive learning as appropriate to the subject matter.
There may be occasions when the delivery of your teaching is supported by graduate teaching assistants. The University has a set of procedures that govern the use of postgraduate research students in this way.
Contact hours can vary across our modules. Full details of the contact hours for each module are available from the University of Surrey's module catalogue. See the modules section for more information.
As a student at Surrey, you can also sign up to our free courses in the following areas:
Living in student accommodation is a great way to meet new people and spark friendships.
Do I meet the requirements for this course?
We require you to submit a full application so that we can formally assess whether you meet the criteria published. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide an outcome based on an enquiry (via email, webform enquiry, phone or live chat).
Other international qualifications
If you are an international student and you don’t meet the entry requirements to this degree, we offer the International Foundation Year, run by the Surrey International Study Centre.
English language requirements
IELTS Academic: 6.5 overall including 6.0 in Writing and 5.5 in each other category.
View the other English language qualifications that we accept.
If you do not currently meet the level required for your programme, we offer intensive pre-sessional English language courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.
We normally make offers in terms of grades.
Recognition of prior learning
The University of Surrey recognises that many students enter their higher education course with valuable knowledge and skills developed through a range of professional, vocational and community contexts. If this applies to you, a process called recognition of prior learning (RPL) may allow you to enter your course at a point appropriate to your previous learning and experience, or to join the start of a course without the formal entry requirements. This means that you may be exempt from certain elements of study in the course for which you have applied and be awarded credit based on your previous qualifications/experience. There are restrictions on RPL for some courses and fees may be payable for certain claims.
Please see the code of practice for recognition of prior learning and prior credit: taught programmes (PDF) for further information. Please contact Admissions on +44 (0)1483 682222 with any queries.
The annual tuition fees for courses starting in October 2021
LLB (Hons) (with professional training year)
Professional training £1,850
- Fees for UK students: The University will apply annual regulated increases in the fee rates as set by Government each year, in order to maintain the same value in real terms.
- Fees for EU students: The UK is now no longer part of the EU, we are awaiting further instruction from the UK government and we will publish this as soon as it is provided. Find out more information about Studying in the UK and the Scholarships for EU students.
- Fees for international students: Annual fees will increase by 4% for each subsequent year of study, rounded up to the nearest £100, subject to any overriding applicable legislative requirements.
- Fees for international students with an integrated foundation year: The programme fee for Year 0 will match the lowest Year 1 overseas fee rate from across the substantive programmes for that year of entry. Students subsequently progressing into Year 1 will be liable for the same fee as overseas students joining at Year 1 for the same programme in that year. Annual fees after Year 1 will increase by 4% for each subsequent year of study, rounded up to the nearest £100, subject to any overriding applicable legislative requirements.
The University will assess your fee status. If you are unsure whether you are likely to be considered a home, EU or overseas student for fees purposes, the UKCISA website offers more information.
- Students in receipt of a Tuition Fee Loan: will have their fees paid by the Student Loans Company in line with their schedule.
- International students, or UK/EU students who have not taken out a Tuition Fee Loan: are required to pay their fees either in full at the beginning of the programme or in two instalments as follows:
- 50% payable 10 days after the invoice date (expected to be early October of each academic year)
- 50% in January of the same academic year.
The exact date(s) will be detailed on invoices. Students on certain part-time programmes, where fees are paid on a modular or stage basis, are not eligible to pay their fees by instalment.
If you are sponsored: you will provide us with valid sponsorship information that covers the period of your study.
Professional Training placement fees
If you are studying on a programme which contains a Professional Training placement year there will be a reduced fee for the academic year in which you undertake your placement. This is normally confirmed 12 to 18 months in advance, or once Government policy is determined.
See the information about 2020/21 academic year Professional Training placement fee.
Scholarships and bursaries
We're committed to making sure that we offer support for students who might need it.
David Ebsworth Overseas Professional Training Year (PTY) Scholarship
You have the option to complete a Professional Training placement as part of this course. This will give you the opportunity to develop your professional, academic and personal potential, helping to prepare you for your future career.
A significant proportion of placement students at Surrey are offered graduate-level jobs or go onto postgraduate study.
Find out more about Professional Training placements and discover how these have transformed our students’ lives and career choices.
Please note: as this is a new course, no placements have taken place yet.
To get an idea of what you can expect, students from our other law courses worked for the full year, either in the UK or abroad, or spent half the year on a work placement and the other half studying at one of our partner universities in countries such as the Netherlands, Sweden, France, Singapore and Australia.
Many Professional Training placements are paid, with the opportunity to experience a variety of contexts, including solicitors’ offices, local authority legal departments, non-governmental organisations and corporations.
Some examples of organisations that participate in this scheme include:
- Penningtons Manches
- Citizens Advice Bureau
- 5 Chancery Lane Commercial Barristers
- National Centre for Domestic Violence
- Bail for Immigration Detainees
- Thompson & Co Solicitors.
Applying for placements
You can apply for numerous opportunities via an open and free-to-all process. Placement providers use their own recruitment and selection procedures and the majority of students will secure their placement in this way.
Students are generally not placed by the University, however we offer support and guidance throughout the process alongside access to a vacancy portal representing thousands of placement opportunities each year. We also provide support if you wish to source your own placement.
Find out about more about the application process.
Please be aware there may be travel costs incurred when attending interviews and assessment centres at the placement provider’s premises.
Terms and conditions
When you accept an offer of a place at the University of Surrey, you are agreeing to comply with our policies and procedures, the student regulations , and our terms and conditions. These terms and conditions are provided in two stages: first when we make an offer and second when students who have accepted their offers register to study at the University. View an example of our offer terms and conditions and our registration terms and conditions (PDF) from the 2020/2021 academic year as a guide as to what to expect.
Please note: our offer terms and conditions will generally be available in the September of the calendar year prior to the year in which you begin your studies. Our registration terms and conditions will vary to take into account specifics of your course and changes for the specific academic year.
This online prospectus has been prepared and published in advance of the academic year to which it applies. The University of Surrey has used its reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content or additional costs) may occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for a course with us and before you accept an offer. Read more.
In particular we wish to draw your intention to the following matters affecting the academic year 2021/2022:
- Covid-19 - In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the University has had to change the delivery (and in some cases the content) of its programmes, together with certain University services and facilities for the 2020/2021 academic year. These changes include the implementation of a hybrid teaching approach, details of which can be found here [link]. It is anticipated that these programme changes and the hybrid learning approach will be adopted throughout the academic year 2021/2022, however, given the changing nature of the pandemic, this is being kept under continuous review. Detailed information on all changes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic is available at the coronavirus course changes page. The linked pages set out information relating to general University changes and will also direct you to consider additional information relating to specific programmes.
- Brexit - The UK is now no longer part of the EU. We are awaiting further information and instruction from the UK government and we will publish this as soon as it is provided. EU students applying for programmes in the academic year 2021/2022 and students applying for courses with placements abroad should visit our dedicated webpages for the latest information on how the UK’s departure from the EU will affect their courses.