Oxford trumps Cambridge in world law school rankings, again

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Eight UK institutions land top 50 slots, a drop on last year’s results

A new global university power list has said that the University of Oxford’s law faculty is better than Cambridge’s.

QS World University Rankings compiled the new data by questioning thousands of university academics and graduate employers. The research website then took this information and ranked law schools in accordance with six key criteria: academic reputation, employer reputation, student-to-faculty ratio, international attraction, research quality and impact of work published.

According to the new 2017 table, released this week, Oxford University is home to the United Kingdom’s top performing law school. Ranking second globally, Oxford, for the second consecutive year, saw off stiff competition from its Cambridge cousin, which finished in third.

It was also good news for the capital’s legal institutions. The London School of Economics (seventh), University College London (12th) and King’s College London (joint 18th) all landed top 20 slots.

The University of Edinburgh, which finished 28th last year, rose four places to claim 24th on the 2017 table. Rounding off the global top 50, Queen Mary University of London and Durham University finished 37th and 40th respectively. Neither Nottingham nor Bristol, which featured on the 2016 list in 41st and 49th place respectively, made it to the top 50 this time around.

For the fourth year running, the accolade for the world’s best law school went to Harvard University. You can view the full list here.

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fuck QMUL


Clearly a London South Bank graduate

Want some vinegar on that chip matey?



Waiting for all the salty comments concerning QMUL.



I actually got rejected from Oxford and went to QMUL for undergrad. I ended up doing postgrad at an Oxbridge college, did some lecturing and ended up being conscripted to interview students for the undergrad course. I only did it for one round, but my experience was 10% of interviewees were shoo- ins, the other 90% could have gone either way and it was splitting hairs. My understanding is that the undergrad course was roughly similar in terms of quality and demands, but the Oxbridge course had almost double the firsts.

A couple of years after you’ve left, university doesn’t seem to matter much. Everybody is an individual, people develop at their own pace. Those who obsess about university into their late 20s and beyond seem to have something off about them.



Ha understanding that the two undergrad courses were roughly similar! Mate you have no idea.



Kk thx m8.



Oxford being better than Cambridge in Law is uncontroversial, I think. Cambridge is better at physical sciences etc. but Oxford has long been the pre-eminent law school in the UK.



not as good as Vestminster law skool



Hey guys just graduate with a desmond from Keele. Currently on a gap yah volunteering in an orphanage in Tibet. Looking at taking a career in law by the balls! What are my chances at getting that TC?


Jolly Dezza

Look at maccies they can sort ya


Keele Desmond

Fuck you prick you work at maccies. I’m going places


Jolly Dezza

Only place your going is round the drive through!!



Savage, 10/10.

Not Amused

This is actually pretty damning.

Many of the old ‘good’ universities keep slipping further and further down tables. When you accept that Edinburgh teaches Scots Law (so isn’t really relevant to readers of this site) we see the utter paucity of strong options our young people have.

I personally think Bristol, Manchester and Nottingham need to take a long hard look at themselves. Reading, York, Sheffield, Newcastle, Cardiff, Exeter, Leeds, Liverpool – all need to see this as an opportunity to change.

We cannot accept a situation where at the same time as charging record and exorbitant fees, children are given an utterly substandard, factory based, learning experience. We need substantive university reform and in my view only a government action to standardise grade boundaries (as we did with A’levels back in the day) will expose a corrupt and failing service which provides cushy jobs and lets down our kids.



There are plenty of Edinburgh law grads working at City law firms



I have found Edinburgh University to be held in high regard by the top firms in London. There are hundreds of Scots Law qualified Edinburgh lawyers working in London firms (some have completed the QLTS to qualify as English solicitors but many have not)



Well city firms do need janitors



You utter imbecile.


Chippy scots law student spotted


Heh, far from it mate. Just someone who resents two-bit asshats like yourself.


There’s hundreds of Scots lawyers in the City generally, whether they be from Edinburgh, Glasgow or Aberdeen. It’s a common move.


Top 100 in the world

I see Kent made the top 100 beating a number of Russell Group unis






KCL better than Durham?



It’s not? These rankings are such rubbish.



We have one of the oldest and most established educational systems in the world, that benefits from teaching in a universal language. With other countries investing more in their educational systems and taking a more innovative approach, is it really that surprising that they have caught up with our very traditional/conservative system?

Considering more international universities have learnt the benefit of teaching their courses in English too, I can only see this trend continuing, especially now our universities will be monumentally screwed over by Brexit.


mc trainee

Edinburgh? 😂😂😂 nobody gives a rats ass about Scots law!



Demonstrating your ignorance, the key areas as far as City law is concerned (Corporate, Finance) are generally the same across borders.


mc trainee

I’m a second year trainee and I have not come across any work to do with Scotland or Scottish law. Scotts can have their independence and f*** off with their kilts.



Yyyyeah. They’re the same insofar as they all use English law.

Ignorance on stilts.


Dr Wullie Wallace

Really? One of the oldest systems which many modern laws are based on WORLDWIDE, you still at the Citizens Advice Bureau ??


Old grandpa

Ah yes, the comments for this article are bound to be vintage Legal Cheek. May the Flame Wars commence!


Princess Hani

This is why I went to Queen Mary. I had offers from Harvard, Columbia, Yale, Oxford and Cambridge but turned them down.



Are BPP even in the rankings?


Carl Lygo








The Holy trinity – Oxford, Harvard and Cambridge


It's obvious

Widely accepted Cambridge undergrad law is the gold standard, just as how Oxford BCL is the gold standard at postgrad.






Even we at Cam have long considered the Cam Law ‘Tripos’ to be somewhat easier. We spread the exams over three years. Oxford still does them all at once (9 exams) over 8 days (including the Saturday).



Recently graduated from law at Oxford. to generalise, we felt that Cambridge was probably slightly more intense on a day to day basis but our finals were true hell – can’t conceive of anything topping them as far as a horrific 10 days (and the build up) is concerned, bar physical torture.

The only real difference is finals, and that’s just a question of physical and mental endurance. The 2.5 years test your smarts; FHS tests your strength (silly really)



Totally agree. I really don’t understand why all of the exams have to be at the end. Oxford pays lip service to students’ mental health. Final exams should not be an endurance test.


Final Year Law @Oxford

After Harvard, Oxford is the most prestigious university in the world. A lot of former US presidents and senators have studied at Oxford just to have the name on their resume!



What do you think about Reading University?


Leeds Met!

Where did Leeds Met end up in all of this? Top 25?



still can’t get pupillage



But UK’s own trusted league table says otherwise:

Similarly, QS keeps giving the top spot to Harvard, when Yale has been ranked #1 in the US for the past 25 years. And, no QS, NYU is not equivalent to Stanford.


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