LLB Law with French Law

If you are seeking a career with an international dimension in law, business or commerce this degree provides excellent preparation. This programme has been designed to meet the need for a generation of lawyers equipped both legally and linguistically to deal with the legal business created by membership of the European Union. In each of the four-years of the degree you will study approximately two thirds English law and one third French and French law.

Birmingham Law School is the most established law school in one of the largest legal communities in the country. For over 85 years we have made a major contribution to teaching and scholarship, and you’ll learn from academics who are leaders in their fields and the authors of many key works used by practitioners today. 

Course fact file

UCAS code: MR11

Duration: 4 years

Places Available: 15

Applications in 2014: 90

Typical Offer: AAA and a satisfactory performance in LNAT (More detailed entry requirements and the international qualifications accepted can be found in the course details)

Start date: September

Details

Photo of a female student studying at the University of Birmingham

The European Union has opened up new horizons for the professional lawyer. If you have the knowledge and skill to deal with legal and commercial matters across the EU, allied to a firm command of a European language in addition to English, you have much to offer. This programme lasts four years, with the third year spent abroad. It is primarily a law degree, with French as an important subsidiary element.

The French legal system belongs to the continental European family of legal systems known as Civil Law. The characteristic feature of Civil Law countries is the importance they attach to codified abstract rules. The Civil Law tradition has had a major influence on the design and development of the law of the European Union. By contrast, England is the home of of one of the world's other great legal families, that of the Common Law, a family which also embraces many nations outside Europe including the USA. The special characteristic of the Common Law is the importance it attaches to decisions of the courts. During the programme you will familiarise yourself with both legal systems, thereby gaining comparative experience of two of the world's major legal families. Any student hoping for a career in international law, commerce or business will find their opportunities significantly enriched by this programme.

Why study this course

  • Transferable skills - A law degree prepares you for a wide range of careers
  • Employability - Birmingham is one of the top universities in the UK for graduate employment
  • Placement year abroad - Bordeaux, Orléans, Paris, Quebec, Strasbourg
  • Extensive opportunities - including mootingpro bono and debating
  • Professional links - placement schemes, annual law fair, visits to leading firms
  • Dedicated facilities - including the Harding Law Library and Law common room
  • Student Experience - see what our students have to say about our degrees

Modules

First Year 

We assume that you have no prior knowledge of the law, so, in the first weeks we provide an introduction to the study of law. This explains the structure of the legal system, the range of legal sources and methods of reasoning, including the application of logic and analogy. You then study the following modules:

Second Year

Third Year

In the third year you follow an approved course of study at a French or French-Canadian university. You will acquire a thorough grounding in the law of France or Quebec and broaden your education by comparing the English legal system with that of your host country as well as by studying alongside ‘home’ students. We currently offer places at the following universities:

France:

  • Bordeaux IV
  • Orléans
  • Paris II
  • Strasbourg II

Canada:

  • Université Laval, Québec City, Canada.

Upon completion of the programme you will receive both a Birmingham degree and a Certificat de Droit Français from the Universities of Bordeaux, Paris and Strasbourg and a Licence en Droit from the University of Orléans.

I've gained so much from this opportunity to discover another culture, and becoming fluent in another language has really helped me in interviews with law firms. Another language is a skill that large law firms in particular look for, but they are also looking for the independence, maturity and insight that you will gain from a year abroad. (Zoe Sivelle, 2011 Graduate)

Final Year

Semester 1 Semester 2
French for Law Year 4 A (10 credits) Criminal Law (20 credits)
Optional Law modules (2x 20 credit modules from those available on the LLB degree) French for Law Year 4 B (10 credits)
Optional Law module (1x20 credits)
OR Optional French Modules (20 credits) (Sem 1+2) OR French Legal Dissertation (20 credits) (Sem 1+2)

The final year of your programme allows you to be flexible. You are required to study French Language and Criminal Law, but you can either choose three of the optional law modules available on the LLB programme or two from Law and one from the French department, or two from Law and write a dissertation on an aspect of French law.

20-credit optional modules normally available from Birmingham Law School include: 

There is also the option to write a dissertation on a prescribed legal topic.

Fees and funding

Fees for 2014 were:

  • Home/EU students - £9,000 p.a
  • International students - £12,565 p.a

Learn more about fees and funding

Scholarships

  • The Law School offers subject specific scholarships for international students of £3,000 p.a. Full details of how to apply can be found on our scholarships page

Entry requirements

Typical offer: AAA and a satisfactory performance in LNAT

Required subjects and grades: French A level at grade A

Additional information:

General Studies is not accepted but a good performance may be taken into account if you fail to meet the conditions of the offer.

  • Applicants taking the International Baccalaureate Diploma require: 36 points (including 6, 6, 6 at Higher Level)
  • All applicants will be required to take the National Admissions Test for Law (LNAT) 

Other qualifications are considered – learn more about entry requirements.

International students:

Birmingham Law School has a thriving community of over 200 international students across our LLB programmes. All international qualifications which are equivalent to A-Level will be considered for entry. Learn more about international entry requirements

If your first language is not English you must provide an English language qualification. Recognised qualifications include:

  • IELTS: 7.0 with no less than 6.5 in any band

If you need to improve your level of English in order to meet the minimum entry-level requirement you may be able attend one of the full-time courses run by our English for International Students Unit

Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in the Birmingham Foundation Academy, a specially structured programme for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on the foundation academy web pages.

How to apply

Apply through UCAS at www.ucas.com

Learn more about applying

Key Information Set (KIS)

Key Information Sets (KIS) are comparable sets of information about full- or part-time undergraduate courses and are designed to meet the information needs of prospective students.

All KIS information has been published on the Unistats website and can also be accessed via the small advert, or ‘widget’, below. On the Unistats website you are able to compare all the KIS data for each course with data for other courses.

The development of Key Information Sets (KIS) formed part of HEFCE’s work to enhance the information that is available about higher education. They give you access to reliable and comparable information in order to help you make informed decisions about what and where to study.

The KIS contains information which prospective students have identified as useful, such as student satisfaction, graduate outcomes, learning and teaching activities, assessment methods, tuition fees and student finance, accommodation and professional accreditation.

Learning and teaching

Photograph of students consulting books in the University of Birmingham library

As a Birmingham student, you are joining the academic elite and have the privilege of learning from world-leading experts in their fields. Learning here at the Law School is research-led, drawing upon the expertise of staff to provide excellent teaching. We regard teaching and research as inextricably linked and mutually reinforcing. Our staff are frequent participants in legal debates and contribute regularly to the policy-making process.

Our teaching reflects original thought and insight which has helped to shape the contours of the discipline of law. Respondents to the National Student Survey have acknowledged the enthusiasm of our staff and their ability to explain things clearly and make material intellectually stimulating. We encourage all our students to challenge us and draw their own conclusions.

Central to Learning and Teaching in the Law School at the University of Birmingham is critical enquiry, debate and self-motivation, summed up by the term enquiry-based learning.

Enquiry-based learning describes an environment in which learning is driven by the shared enquiry of students and tutors. This approach will enable you to take control of your own learning as you progress through your degree. Moreover, it will encourage you to acquire essential skills that are highly valued in the competitive employment sector: creativity, independence, team-working, goal-setting and problem-solving. Enquiry-based learning places you at the centre of your own learning process so that you learn through involvement and ownership and not simply by listening.

What you can expect?

Throughout your Law degree you can expect about 13 hours of contact time per week made up of approximately ten hours of lectures and three hours of seminars. During your first year you will undergo a formal transition review to see how you are getting on and offer you help for any particular areas where you need support.

Lectures

Lectures are an important method of teaching used in the School, intended to provide a structured framework for learning and dispensing essential knowledge. They won't tell you all you need to know, but they should help you to navigate the reading you're expected to undertake to pursue your studies effectively. A good lecture can be an eye-opening and mind-broadening experience.

Seminars

Seminars are smaller group classes, which involve the development and testing of ideas in discussion, with a high degree of student input. A successful class is one in which the module teacher says very little, intervening only to comment, steer and occasionally inform or correct.

Seminars are not ‘mini-lectures’. In all seminars you are expected to be prepared and to participate. They provide a forum for discussion and exchange of ideas, and all students are expected to be able to participate actively. This is tremendously important at university level and will help you to clarify and extend your understanding of the topics you are studying, as well as develop confidence in expressing yourself orally.

Seminars in law also provide an opportunity to learn the difficult but vital skill of applying the law to factual situations.  This is assessed in exams through ‘problem questions’. For your seminars directed to this skill you will be given the facts of problem questions in advance, and you devote time to working out your own answers beforehand, then testing those answers in argument during the seminar.

Assessment methods

Birmingham Law School uses a variety of methods to assess student performance, this includes exams, essays and dissertations. At the beginning of each module, you'll be given information on how and when you'll be assessed for that particular programme of study.

  • Examinations take place in the summer term (May/June) and core modules are typically assessed by a 3-hour exam with optional modules assessed by a 2-hour exam. There are no January exams at Birmingham Law School.
  • Essays vary in length (1000-4000 words) depending on whether the essay is only part of the assessment for the subject or whether the subject is assessed 100% by essay.
  • Dissertations are individual research projects into a specific topic and vary in length (up to 10,000 words) depending on the credit value of the subject which is being assessed by dissertation.

A number of prizes are available for outstanding performance in assessments at the end of each academic year. Many of these prizes are sponsored by law firms across the UK.

Studying at degree-level is likely to be very different from your previous experience of learning and teaching. You will be expected to think, discuss and engage critically with the subject and find things out for yourself. We will enable you to make this transition to a new style of learning, and the way that you are assessed during your studies will help you develop the essential skills you need to make a success of your time at Birmingham.

Feedback

Developing skills and enhancing academic performance is a key part of a university education and the Law School provide feedback on your work throughout your degree. You'll receive feedback on each assessment within four weeks, so that you can learn from and build on what you have done. To enhance the student learning experience, the Law School provides the following:

  • Individual feedback on academic performance is provided during progress review meetings with your personal tutor throughout the year.
  • All academic members of staff will have feedback and office hours during which you can see them without prior appointment and speak to them on a 1-1 basis to discuss feedback or other academic support you may require.
  • Individual feedback on both assessed and non-assessed essays within four weeks of submission. This feedback will cover
    • What was done well
    • What was not done well
    • How the above relate to the mark achieved and the marking criteria
    • What could be done to improve the next piece of work.
  • Generic feedback on examination papers will be offered to students following the publication of results in June each year.
  • In addition to generic feedback, individual feedback is offered to all students who have failed and are entitled to re-sit the examination.

Legal Skills Advisory Service (LSAS)

In addition to the feedback you will receive from academic staff, our Legal Skills Advisory Service will help you develop skills particular to studying law. We run daily drop-in sessions and weekly workshops open to all undergraduate Law students. LSAS will help you to develop skills which are crucial to legal study. Workshops include:

  • How to prepare for seminars and lectures
  • How to answer essay and problem questions
  • How to read cases and articles
  • How to learn from feedback and tackling common mistakes
  • How to manage your time effectively
  • How to prepare for exams

Employability

Photo of a job application with a pencil

Birmingham Law School's Centre for Professional Legal Education and Research (CEPLER)provides a diverse range of opportunities and activities to enhance knowledge, skills, confidence and employability - all the things that help graduates to stand out from the crowd in a competitive jobs market.

Our students can benefit from activities, opportunities, help and resources in areas including:

Careers

  • CEPLER's extensive provision of careers lectures and skills workshops offers advice and guidance on a range of specialist areas of law and legally-related careers. In addition to practical skills sessions on how to present yourself and succeed at interview. View information on our careers lectures provision. Or to find out about other careers activities.
  • We are forging links right across the legal community and beyond to public, third sector and non-law commercial organisations to provide valuable work experience placements

Pro Bono

  • CEPLER's Pro Bono Group began in 2009 and has grown from one Street Law Project to a diverse portfolio of opportunities to build your experience and serve the community. Visit the Pro Bono Group page for full details on the range of projects.

Mooting & Advocacy

  • Being able to evidence your experience of advocacy is a key advantage in the over-subscribed legal profession. CEPLER offers skills sessions and three Mooting competitions, as well as Debating and Negotiation.

Education

  •  CEPLER is developing new and innovative approaches to teaching to give you experience of real world law. So far, we have introduced two new practice-based modules: Regulation of the Legal Profession, which will encourage you to question assumptions about lawyers and their role in society; and Advocacy, which covers a range of skills such as mooting, negotiation and mediation, along with court observations and presentation skills development.

Professional accreditation

This degree is a ‘qualifying’ degree; this means that it provides exemption from the first or academic stage of the examinations required by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and Bar Standards Board before you can qualify as a solicitor or barrister.

Barristers

In order to practise in England and Wales the intending barrister must first join an Inn of Court. Many students do this while taking their degree. The School has its own Inns of Court Students’ Association from which details can be obtained about joining an Inn. On successful completion of the degree intending barristers must take a further one-year full-time course, the Bar Professional Training Course leading to the second part of the Bar examination. There then follows a one-year period of Pupillage – a form of apprenticeship in a barrister’s chambers.

Solicitors

On completion of their degree intending solicitors  take a one-year full-time course. This is called the Legal Practice Course (LPC). Thereafter, there is a two-year training contract (apprenticeship in a firm of solicitors), all or most of which must be taken after completing the LPC. Fuller information on both the Bar and the Solicitors’ professions is given in the Law School Handbook. The official bodies, from which complete particulars should be sought, are as follows:

The Council of Legal Education
4 Gray’s Inn Place
London
WC1R 5DX

The Law Society Education and Training Department
Ipsley Court
Redditch
Worcestershire
B98 OTD