Arts students STILL work harder than law students, latest stats suggest

Leading education think tank sparked outrage among wannabe lawyers last year after claiming they don’t work as hard as their counterparts in other disciplines


For the second year running a leading education think tank has suggested arts students work harder than law students.

The Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) has released the findings of its latest ‘Student Academic Experience Survey’ — and wannabe lawyers are bound to have a few things to say about it.

The in-depth survey — which received over 15,000 student responses — has, not for the first time, suggested that creative arts students have a greater workload than their counterparts studying law.

Examining contact hours, independent study hours and work undertaken outside the course, the number crunchers at the HEPI suggest your average law student is clocking up 29 hours study each week. In comparison, the study suggests aspiring artists are clocking up 34 hours, a full five more a week.

According to the report the average university-goer is putting in 33 hours of study. This would mean law students — who often tell anyone who will listen how tough they have it — actually have a below-average workload compared to students on other subjects.

Total workload hours by subject


Aspiring teachers (42), architects (40), vets (37) and engineers (31) all have a longer working week, according to the data. For the second year running medicine and dentistry came out on top with an average working week consisting of 47 hours.

However, law did see off the likes of business studies (27), social studies (27) and linguistics (27). Once again those studying mass communications had it easiest, with an average working week consisting of just 25 hours (anyone for a career in journalism?)

But this isn’t the first time the HEPI has suggested that law students have it easy.

Last summer Legal Cheek reported on the findings of the think tank’s 2015 survey. As with this year’s, it suggested arts students put in more hours of study than wannabe lawyers. Attracting over 130,000 views and 107,000 social media shares, the controversial findings triggered a heated debate between students below the line.

Let the argument commence (again).


Saggy old Barristard

Neil Buchanan!

My favourite scouser in the 1990s!

Is he still alive?


Medicine is ridiculously hard, fair play to the medics.

Until we reach the physical sciences, a lot of the courses look quite practical and vocational, I wonder if that has any effect?

All I can say is that from my own Oxbridge experience lawyers were always in the library and my friends doing human sciences, languages, English, and history confirmed that we did a lot more work than them.

Maybe the issue is that lawyers have so much work that they invariably end up flapping and burying their head in the sand and not doing it. I know that had I done all my reading and gone to all my lectures I would have been working 16 hour days for the whole term.

I had assumed law was just as volumous elsewhere, rather like medicine….am I wrong?


I think whatever subject you do you should put in an honest 40 hours at the minimum. Far more likely to get a 1st that way.

Lord Harley of Counsel K.StJ. LLM LLB MDA BSc DPhal Us B&Q BBQ WTF ABBA LOL

Who needs to study 40 housr p/w when you can just make up your degree results

Lord Harley of Counsel K.StJ. LLM LLB MDA BSc DPhal Us B&Q BBQ WTF ABBA LOL


true to form.


This is true in my experience – art students and architects work completely insane hours. Obviously it’s a different kind of work though.


Having done a BA in History and an LLB, the LLB was harder


Doesn’t matter if they work harder, they’ll still be jobless at the end of it all.


As an art student I am expected to be in the studio working 9-4 everyday minimum. I have gone in 10-4 every Saturday this year and i work from home. Every two weeks before deadlines we spend 9-9 in the studios working about 110 hours in the fortnight.

I’m not saying art courses are harder than law , not by any means, but we definitely have a larger work load.


I can see this with art, and other degrees requiring lab or studio time. The title suggests the article is about all arts subjects though, including English etc, which is misleading


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