Cambridge is the best uni for law and Southampton Solent is the worst

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By Alex Aldridge on

New Sunday Times ‘Good University Guide’ mostly tells you what you already knew, although there are a few surprises


Cambridge has pipped bitter rival Oxford to be crowned the best university for law in the 2016 Sunday Times ‘Good University Guide’.

Just behind the Oxbridge duo in the list — which was published yesterday — are London pair LSE and UCL, with Nottingham making up the final member of the top five.

Durham, King’s College London and the universities of Glasgow, Edinburgh and Bristol complete a top ten in which there are few surprises.


Nor will the identities of the universities sitting just outside that elite group cause much shock. Leeds came 11th, Queen’s Belfast 12th, Warwick, Kent and Abertay were 13th=, while Aberdeen was 16th, UEA and Birmingham 17th=, Newcastle 19th and York 20th.

Further down the list, Queen Mary’s law faculty probably has cause to feel hard done by. The Sunday Times (£) has once again failed to recognise the high scores QM has received in the Guardian‘s rankings — which places it as third best in the country — to rank the east London-based institution at just 26th best. How are students meant to make sense of discrepancies like this?

Still — suspending disbelief at the randomness of these league tables — that places QM ahead of fellow Russell Groupers Exeter (31st), Cardiff (33rd), Sheffield (34th), Manchester (35th), Southampton (40th) and Liverpool (43rd).

These supposedly esteemed law faculties won’t be happy to be beaten by upstarts like Swansea (26th), Aston (29th) and Reading (30th).

Still, traditionalists will be encouraged that no Russell Group law department was placed in the bottom 50 of the list of 101 unis. That section was largely reserved for ex-polys, although the universities of Hull (60th), Aberystwyth (65th) and Bradford (67th) also found themselves among the stragglers.

Bringing up the rear of the list was poor old Southampton Solent — which is also ranked worst in the Guardian’s league table. The universities of East and West London just missed out on last position, with Canterbury Christ Church and Roehampton rounding out the bottom five.


The university law faculties that have lost their way [Legal Cheek]