This course is a four-year degree involving a year abroad at a German university in either Berlin or Bayreuth. Students on this programme will familiarise themselves with both Civil Law and Common Law, 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. Approximately two-thirds of your time will be spent on English law and one-third on German and German 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.
LLB Law Graduate
“Alongside my degree, I have had the opportunity to work on campus for one of the largest law firms in the world and through the help and support of the academics and the Holdsworth Club Law Society I have been successful in attaining a training contract at an international law firm starting in 2016.”
The German 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 course 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.
Law modules are taught by Birmingham Law School, and the German modules by the Department of German Studies – one of the very best in the UK. Approximately two-thirds of your time will be spent on English law and one-third on German and German Law.
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
Professional links -
placement schemes, annual law fair
, visits to leading firms
Placement year abroad - spent at one of Germany's top Law Schools in Bayreuth or Berlin
We are currently restructoring this programme based on student feedback and some elements are awaiting formal approval.
Students will study the following modules (Legal Methods and Skills, Public Law, Law of Contract, Criminal Law), together with an introduction to German law and the German legal system, plus a German language module.
In this year you again study compulsory law modules (Legal Foundations of the European Union, Land Law, Law of Torts, Advanced Legal Writing and a project module), as well as modules on German law and German language.
You spend this year living in Germany and studying at either Bayreuth University or Freie Universität in Berlin alongside German law students. You are given help to select appropriate subjects and tailor tuition to your specific needs and interests. On successful completion of the year, you will be awarded a graded certificate by the German university.
The year abroad pushed me academically, developing my ability in German and gaining an understanding of a significant European legal system. But most importantly, studying Law with German allowed me to stand out from the rest when applying to law firms. (Joseph Kamyar, 2011 Graduate)
In your final year back in Birmingham, you will study German language modules and will complete a dissertation. You also choose 60 credits of options available in the Law School.
Modules normally available include:
There is also an opportunity to research and write a dissertation on a legal topic of your own choice.
The optional modules listed on the website for this programme may unfortunately occasionally be subject to change. As you will appreciate key members of staff may leave the University and this necessitates a review of the modules that are offered. Where the module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you make other choices.
We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2016/17 are as follows:
- Home / EU: £9,000
- Overseas: £14,250
Eligibility for Home/EU or Overseas fees can be verified with Admissions. Learn more about scholarships and awards
- The Law School offers subject specific scholarships for students of £3,000 p.a. Full details of how to apply can be found on our scholarships page
- Typical offer:
- AAA and a good LNAT score
- Required subjects and grades:
- German A level at grade A
General Studies is not accepted but a good performance may be taken into account if you fail to meet the conditions of the offer.
Please note that we have reviewed our policy on the IB Diploma for 2016 entry and our offers will now focus on performance in Higher Level subjects. For more information and details please read our 2016 IB Diploma requirements.
All applicants for 2016 entry will be required to take the National Admissions Test for Law (LNAT)
Other qualifications are considered – learn more about entry requirements.
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 one of our foundation pathways, which offer specially structured programmes for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on Birmingham International Academy web pages.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
The Law Society Education and Training Department
Birmingham has transformed into one of Europe's most exciting cities. It is more than somewhere to study; it is somewhere to build a successful future.
Clubs and societies
The Guild has over 200 Societies, community volunteering groups and associations for you to join; they cover every topic and activity that you can think of - there really is something for everyone.
Student Experience Officers
Our Student Experience Officers will help you get the most out of your academic experience. They will offer research opportunities, study skills support and help you prepare for your post-university careers. They will also organise social events, such as field trips, to help you meet fellow students from your course.
Coming to Birmingham might be your first time living away from home. Our student accommodation will allow you to enjoy your new-found independence in safe, welcoming and sociable surroundings.
The City of Birmingham
One of Europe's most exciting destinations, Birmingham is brimming with life and culture, making it a wonderful place to live, study and work.
Our students fall in love with the city - around 40% of our graduates choose to make Birmingham their home.
The University of Birmingham has been welcoming international students onto our campus since 1900.
We have one of the largest and most vibrant international student communities in the UK, with 5,000 international students from more than 150 different countries and 31% of our academic staff from overseas.
If you would like further information about entry requirements, how to apply and funding options, then you can visit our international students webpage. You may also wish to take a virtual tour of our campus and watch the video below to hear our international students say their favourite thing about the University of Birmingham.