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

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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:

SubjectApps (2016)Apps (2017)% difference
Medicine and dentistry85,65082,380-4%
Subjects allied to medicine377,960321,790-15%
Biological sciences269,190266,020-1%
Veterinary science28,97027,680-4%
Physical sciences105,150102,990-2%
Maths47,75049,5104%
Engineering159,420156,280-2%
Computer sciences120,120121,0801%
Technologies8,2807,310-12%
Architecture40,78042,4504%
Social studies232,060239,3003%
Law125,230130,6404%
Business studies318,680309,380-3%
Mass communications and documentation61,89062,1300%
Linguistics62,66059,250-5%
European languages18,23016,930-7%
Non-European languages5,5205,190-6%
History and philosophy81,04074,610-8%
Creative arts261,930246,350-6%
Education86,73086,210-1%
Combined arts48,18043,680-9%
Combined sciences30,98028,810-7%
Combined social sciences31,38030,620-2%
Sciences combined with social sciences or arts56,82051,550-9%
Social sciences combined with arts47,78047,000-2%

Data in table via UCAS.

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