Law students more likely to quit uni than their maths, languages and history-studying peers

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By Adam Mawardi on

Lack of value for money among reasons cited by unhappy undergrads

Law students are more likely to drop out of their undergraduate degrees than their maths, languages and history-studying counterparts, according to new stats.

Data collected by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) reveals that 5.8% of law students fail to finish their course — a higher drop out rate than for mathematical sciences (5%), languages (4.5%), history and philosophy (4.2%).

The subject boasting the greatest number of quitters is computer sciences (9.8%), according to the figures, followed by business (7.4%), creative arts and design (7.2%) and engineering and technology (7.2%). By contrast, medics, dentists and vets appear to be the most committed, with a drop out rate of only 1.5%. You can see a full breakdown of the results below:

Dropout % by subject

Rank Subject Dropout rate (%)
1. Computer sciences 9.8%
2. Business 7.4%
=3. Creative arts and design 7.2%
=3. Engineering and technology 7.2%
=3. Mass comms 7.2%
=6. Architecture & planning 6.7%
=6. Biological sciences 6.7%
8. Education 6.2%
9. Agriculture 5.9%
=10. Law 5.8%
=10. Subjects allied to medicine 5.8%
12. Social studies 5.7%
13. Combined subjects 5.2%
14. Mathematical sciences 5.0%
15. Languages 4.5%
16. History and philosophy 4.2%
17. Physical sciences 3.9%
18. Medics, dentists and vets 1.5%

A survey by training course provider, The Knowledge Academy, found that most students consider dropping out in their second year. Reasons to throw in the grad cap and gown include a lack of value for money, followed by not enjoying the subject and not learning enough practical skills.

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Uni fee frustrations have soared following the government’s decision to almost triple tuition costs in 2012. Aspiring lawyers can now cough up as much as £9,250 per year for their LLBs, whereas some international students can expect to pay upwards of £20,000.

The dropout rates, first published by The Tab, follow a recent survey which revealed the universities with the country’s happiest law students. According to the findings, produced by the National Student Survey, the University of Lincoln came on top, with 95% of undergrads reporting they were happy with their legal studies. Behind Lincoln, Glasgow and Aberystwyth were named second and third, scoring 94% and 93%. Elite Russell Group players for the most part, however, struggled to land the top spots.

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