The number of applications made to study law this year has increased more than any other course

Exclusive: Most university subjects reporting a drop

The number of UCAS applications made to study law this year has increased by 5,410 since last year. This is more than any other course, both in percentage and real number terms.

As of UCAS deadline day this year (24 March), 130,640 applications were made to study law. This is up by 4.3% on 2016, when 125,230 forms were submitted. Note this is the number of applications, not applicants, and that applicants can make up to five applications per UCAS cycle.

Two other courses, maths and architecture, reported similar but slightly lower increases of 3.6% and 4.1% respectively. Two more courses, social studies (3%) and computer sciences (1%), experienced small rises too, while the number of applications to mass communications and documentation stayed the same.

For the other courses, all 14 of them, application numbers dropped. The starkest of all was for subjects allied to medicine (-15%), though technologies experienced a pretty sharp decrease (-12%) too.

This was also the case across all five joint honours subjects, which are considered separately from UCAS’s 20 single honours courses. Combined arts experienced a 9% drop in applications, as did sciences combined with social sciences or arts. Combined sciences applications took a 7% tumble.

2016 and 2017 university applications by course:

Subject Apps (2016) Apps (2017) % difference
Medicine and dentistry 85,650 82,380 -4%
Subjects allied to medicine 377,960 321,790 -15%
Biological sciences 269,190 266,020 -1%
Veterinary science 28,970 27,680 -4%
Physical sciences 105,150 102,990 -2%
Maths 47,750 49,510 4%
Engineering 159,420 156,280 -2%
Computer sciences 120,120 121,080 1%
Technologies 8,280 7,310 -12%
Architecture 40,780 42,450 4%
Social studies 232,060 239,300 3%
Law 125,230 130,640 4%
Business studies 318,680 309,380 -3%
Mass communications and documentation 61,890 62,130 0%
Linguistics 62,660 59,250 -5%
European languages 18,230 16,930 -7%
Non-European languages 5,520 5,190 -6%
History and philosophy 81,040 74,610 -8%
Creative arts 261,930 246,350 -6%
Education 86,730 86,210 -1%
Combined arts 48,180 43,680 -9%
Combined sciences 30,980 28,810 -7%
Combined social sciences 31,380 30,620 -2%
Sciences combined with social sciences or arts 56,820 51,550 -9%
Social sciences combined with arts 47,780 47,000 -2%

Data in table via UCAS.

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