Solent, Cumbria and London South Bank outperform Russell Group rivals in law degree league table

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By Thomas Connelly on

Cambridge bags top spot on latest Guardian list

Solent, Cumbria and London South Bank — credit Wikimedia commons

Solent University, the University of Cumbria and London South Bank University have outperformed a host of their elite Russell Group rivals in the latest law school power list produced by The Guardian newspaper.

Solent scooped 5th spot on this year’s comprehensive list, ahead of Russell Group duo the University of Glasgow (6th) and Durham University (7th), while Cumbria (8th) ranked higher than the likes of the University of Aberdeen (9th) and the London School of Economics (10th).

Elsewhere, London South Bank (11th) finished above King’s College London (12th), the University of Leeds placed 13th, while Scottish duo Abertay University and the University of Edinburgh secured 14th and 15th spots respectively.

The annual rankings assess university law faculties on a number of criteria including student to staff ratio, student satisfaction, levels of feedback and percentage of law grads with a career after six months. The newspaper’s number bods then generate a score out of 100 and rank the law schools accordingly.

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The University of Cambridge (1st) was once again crowned top law faculty in the UK, leaving its rival the University of Oxford to take 2nd place. University College London (UCL) and the University of Dundee placed 3rd and 4th respectively. At the other end of the table, the University of Wolverhampton finished 99th, the University of Salford 100th and Leeds Beckett University in 101st.

Sticking with law school rankings, the University of Leeds’ Professor Alastair Mullis has gone one step further and produced a league table of league tables. The rankings, now in their third year, bring together the three main annual tables: The Complete University Guide, The Times Good University Guide and The Guardian University Rankings.

In Mullis’ list, the top five law faculties are: Cambridge (1st), Oxford (2nd), UCL (3rd), University of Glasgow (4th) and Durham University (5th).

The Guardian is always interesting in that its focus is different from the Complete University Guide and Good University Guide (Times)”, Mullins told Legal Cheek. “However, anyone thinking about where to study law would be well advised to look at all three league tables, preferably over the last three years. That universities like Cumbria, Solent and London South Bank do well in The Guardian reflects high levels of student satisfaction in those places and good employability stats (though not necessarily training contracts in leading law firms).” Mullins continues:

“Sneering about their results misses the point. Clearly Solent is not a better law school than, for example, Durham or Bristol but the fact is that Solent appears, according to The Guardian, to be doing a really good job with the students it takes.”

Top 20 Law Faculties 2020:

Ranking Law school Overall Guardian score (out of 100)
1 Cambridge 100
2 Oxford 92.5
3 UCL 87.3
4 Dundee 86.8
5 Solent 84.4
6 Glasgow 84.1
7 Durham 83.4
8 Cumbria 83
9 Aberdeen 82.7
10 London School of Economics 82.1
11 London South Bank 82
12 King’s College London 81.2
13 Leeds 81
14 Abertay Dundee 80
15 Edinburgh 79.4
16 Kent 78.9
17 York 78.6
18 Nottingham 78.1
19 Worcester 77
20 Bangor 76.8

The full rankings can be found here.

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