Law degrees to be graded gold, silver and bronze under new government proposals

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Follows similar ranking system for universities

Undergraduate law courses will be ranked by factors including quality of teaching and average graduate salary under new government proposals unveiled today.

Last year, the government introduced a gold, silver and bronze grading system for universities and further education colleges as part of its Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). Now, Department of Education bigwigs have mooted plans to extend the Olympic-style rankings to cover specific undergraduate degrees. As well as quality of teaching and graduate salaries, the new subject-specific framework will consider student feedback and drop-out rates.

Today, a ten-week consultation has been launched, which will operate in conjunction with a pilot of the scheme involving around 50 universities and colleges. The results of the latter will not be published.

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Commenting on the extension plans, Universities Minister Sam Gyimah said we are “in the age of the student”, in which “universities will no longer be able to hide if their teaching quality is not up to the world-class standard that we expect”. He continued:

“The new subject-level TEF will give students more information than ever before, allowing them to drill down and compare universities by subject. This will level the international playing field to help applicants make better choices, and ensure that more students get the value for money they deserve from higher education.”

Last summer, Legal Cheek reported that The University of Law (ULaw) was one of 59 universities and colleges to score gold in the TEF’s provider-level rankings. Other top-rated unis include Oxford, Cambridge, Birmingham, Exeter and St Andrews. There were, however, a few surprises. Russell Group trio LSE, Liverpool and Southampton could only muster a bronze rating.

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Not Amused

Well we had to do something.


Hull – a surefire Bronze Medallion law school if ever there was one.

Big Dolla

More transparency is good.

But I feel the ‘overall quality’ of a law degree is poorly judged by student feedback and graduate salaries.

I don’t mean to ignore the viewpoints of students, especially since they are the recipients of the ‘service’. But I feel such feedback will necessarily overemphasise factors such as ‘enjoyment’, which won’t reflect the quality of the degree itself, no matter how important to the students personally.

Similarly with gradute salaries. Sure, it’s important as it indicates how enployable the graduates are, and releasing such data will help students make better decisions. But to judge the overall quality of an academic discipline on salaries seems strange. If Oxford law graduates all became human rights lawyers, and phenomenal ones at that, but consequently earned low wages, does that imply the degree is somehow ‘poorer’?

Not to say that I have a better system for such judgments. Thoughts?


I would say that courses such as law, medicine, accounting, engineering, or any undergraduate degree ingrained in a potential future career in professional services should be rated on employment and salary expectations. I’m not saying ALL students care about such things in these programmes, but a good number of them will and those who don’t should at least have that information available just so they know if they have options.

But I do agree that such metrics are not appropriate for every degree.


How about requiring that all law lecturers have to have been in practice for at least 10 years?

That way, we at least filter out a part of the the Marxist/feminist/queer theory/critical race theory scum who never worked a real job.


Good idea. Too sensible to be considered though, sadly.


Just remind us what ‘real’ jobs you’ve had?


Ask your mum.


1985 called mate, said it wants its joke back.


It wasn’t a joke. I am serious.


This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.


Good idea in theory, but only 50% of law grads enter into a legal career – so the LLB has to remain better than just preparing for practice as thats what the LPC currently does


Looking at the numbers I’d think it’s far fewer than 50% who end up in a legal career.

The % would probably be useful information for students who want a career in law to be able to access before they sign up to a law course.


So the private equity scam that is University of Law is gold and the LSE is bronze. I can see how much respect these grades will have

Russell Group uni final year

Pretty much this.

At the end of the day its why the Guardian rankings are so skewed

Students love to hate on their degree and their lecturers even if they know on the inside its actually a pretty good degree (teaching wise) compared to most law schools out there. They dont realise that and then shit on the firm in the NSS/TEF surveys and the uni pays the price.


Will the likes of London South Bank and London Met be getting the special ranks of Toilet then?

Gris Crayling

They’re both top candidates for the special distinction of attaining the coveted ‘Brown Star’ and matching toilet-roll holder to go with it.


“Purchase tickets for Legal Cheek’s Future of Legal Education and Training Conference on May 23.”


Standard entry ticket: £240 + VAT”

Nearly £300 to listen to a failed barrister called Alex. No ta.




Trumpie “filter out a part of the the Marxist/feminist/queer theory/critical race theory scum who never worked a real job”? Bad idea dude, we had a Marxist lecturer for a module and she was the hottest staffer by a mile. I never missed a single class of hers.


How about abolish certain disciplines taught at certain ‘not-worthy- universities alltogether?


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