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Revealed: The staggering differences behind universities’ LLB places

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Exclusive: There are more law students at Liverpool than Oxford and Cambridge combined

More law students starting their degrees in 2016 accepted offers to study at the University of Liverpool than any other university.

A grand total of 580 aspiring lawyers accepted offers to study at Liverpool in 2016, according to UCAS’ end of cycle data. By Legal Cheek’s number crunching, only two more universities surpassed the 500 mark. These were the University of Leicester (515) and Leeds Beckett (505). Other law schools dominating the ranks include Nottingham Trent (480), Northumbria University (470) and City, University of London (460).

The Russell Group universities, popular recruiting grounds for top City law firms, also attracted their fair share of wannabe lawyers. Aside from Liverpool, the University of Birmingham had the second largest Russell Group cohort (450), with Exeter following on 420. Four-hundred-and-ten aspiring lawyers accepted degree places at Bristol in 2016, while the same can be said of 400 Leeds students and 375 Cardiff students. The London School of Economics had the smallest Russell Group law cohort with 185. Oxford had 235 acceptances; Cambridge had 215.

By contrast, 16 universities’ 2016 law cohorts did not hit triple figures. Buckinghamshire New University took on 35 lawyers last year, Suffolk 25, and at the very bottom of the table sits the University of Cumbria, with just 10 new students. A list of all universities ordered by the number of law students who accepted places to study there in 2016 can be viewed below.

What’s perhaps more interesting than the university intakes themselves is tracking internal university trends. It’s no secret law student numbers are on the up; over 23,000 people started law degrees last September, a 5% increase on the 2015 figure. This trend is reflected in a number of individual higher education providers. At Aston University, for example, the number of students taking up law degrees has increased massively, from 115 in 2014, to 170 in 2015 and 220 in 2016. At the University of Bristol, the increase is more subtle but it’s still there: the figure was 335 in 2014, rising to 400 in 2015 and 410 most recently. The universities of York, Roehampton and Suffolk provide further examples.

But it’s certainly not increases across the board.

By way of example, 665 started law degrees at BPP in 2014. This figure fell by some distance to 535 in 2015; now it stands at 240. Other examples include the University of Southampton and Southampton Solent. At the former, 255 people agreed to a place on Southampton’s undergrad law course in 2015; 195 did so in 2016. At the latter 95 accepted offers to study law in 2015, just 50 did the same in 2016.

Table of UK law schools by 2016 acceptances

Law school2016 acceptances
Liverpool580
Leicester515
Leeds Beckett505
Nottingham Trent480
Northumbria470
City, University of London460
Birmingham450
Essex445
UWE445
Exeter420
Kent415
Liverpool John Moores415
Westminster415
Bristol410
The University of Law410
Leeds400
Portsmouth400
Birmingham City390
Cardiff375
Queen’s University Belfast375
Manchester Metropolitan370
Sheffield Hallam365
Coventry360
De Montfort340
Hertfordshire315
Durham310
Hull305
Manchester305
Queen Mary University of London305
Lincoln295
Nottingham295
Swansea295
Salford275
Sheffield270
Strathclyde270
Newcastle260
Reading260
Sussex255
Warwick255
Chester250
Middlesex250
Surrey250
Oxford Brookes245
Aberdeen240
BPP240
Keele235
Oxford235
King’s College London230
Aston220
Southbank220
Cambridge215
Lancaster215
York215
Ulster210
Edinburgh210
East Anglia205
Brunel200
East London195
Southampton195
Northampton190
Plymouth190
University College London190
Central Lancashire185
London School of Economics185
Anglia Ruskin180
Edge Hill180
SOAS165
Teesside160
South Wales160
Aberystwyth150
Canterbury Christ Church155
Dundee155
Huddersfield155
Bournemouth150
Wolverhampton145
Greenwich140
Birkbeck135
Robert Gordon135
Bradford130
Derby130
Edinburgh Napier130
Roehampton130
Staffordshire130
Sunderland125
Abertay110
Gloucestershire105
London Metropolitan105
Kingston100
Bedfordshire95
West London95
Bangor90
Royal Holloway90
Stirling85
Winchester85
Brighton70
Liverpool Hope60
Southampton Solent50
Glasgow Caledonian45
Bolton40
Buckingham40
Worcester40
Buckinghamshire New35
Suffolk25
Cumbria10

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