University of Aberdeen School of Law

The Legal Cheek View

The University of Aberdeen is one of four “ancient” universities of Scotland, with law a founding discipline when it was established in 1495. Nowadays, the School of Law prides itself on delivering high quality, engaging, and academically challenging programmes.

Popular degree offerings at undergrad include its classic LLB, which is a qualifying law degree in Scotland, and its LLB with English Law – a qualifying law degree in England and Wales. The opportunity to qualify in both England and Scotland is a big draw according to one law student we spoke with. “The possibility for dual qualification is standout at Aberdeen, given that not all Scottish unis offer this,” she tells us.

At postgraduate level it also provides a general LLM as well as a diverse array of specialised LLM programmes in dispute resolution, trade law, oil and gas, human rights, international law, commercial law and more.

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In terms of its vocational qualifications, along with its well-established Diploma in Professional Legal Practice (DPLP) for those seeking entry into the Scottish legal profession, the school has introduced an SQE1 preparation course for those wishing to qualify south of the border. This is delivered in an online form, with students receiving access to the programme for 12 months.

The course covers the 13 areas of functional legal knowledge tested in SQE1, along with ethics and professional conduct. It includes practice sessions with multiple choice questions, essential for exam readiness. The course, while designed for independent study, features tutor-led sessions and the chance to participate in topic-specific discussions on the school’s platform.

This prep course focuses solely on SQE1 and will be available from summer 2024. The university plans to offer a separate course for SQE2 starting in 2025.

In terms of the law school facilities, the Taylor Building houses the law school on its first floor which was built in 1964 to commemorate Sir Thomas Murray Taylor, former principle of the university. Just a short walk from King’s College, the Taylor Building, sitting within the Old Aberdeen campus, is undoubtedly situated in one of the most beautiful areas of the city.

On the library front, students are spoilt with the huge Sir Duncan Rice Library, affectionately dubbed the “SDR” by students. “The Sir Duncan Rice library is a stand-out when it comes to the facilities,” says one Aberdeen insider. “As soon as you walk in, you’re amazed by how incredible it is – my friends are always there which sometimes makes it difficult not to get distracted – but that’s definitely on me!” For those wanting to get ahead of deadlines in a space with fewer distractions, we’re told that the Taylor Library is the place to be, often having more space available than the popular SDR.

When it comes to having a quick study break, or a bite to eat, the Students’ Union also comes highly rated by our interviewee. “It’s got such cheap food,” she reveals, “so makes for a nice treat after a long stint in the library. Whether you fancy gyoza, pizzas or chicken ramen, you can find pretty much anything you fancy at the SU”. And, with it being just a five-minute walk from the campus, it makes for a convenient lunch spot for busy students. For a caffeine hit, we’re told that Kilau Coffee is the student fave, being a top spot for “amazing coffee and cute sandwiches” which is perfect for “a wee study break”.

For those law students who like to play as hard as they work, Aberdeen also fails to disappoint. “The nightlife is amazing at Aberdeen,” we’re told. “There’s plenty of student nights to go to during the week. Also, I’m a big fan of a pub Friday at the Red Lion. But, if you like disco music, techno or pop – there’s a club for everyone.”

One “huge attraction” of Aberdeen law school is “undeniably” the Aberdeen Law Project (ALP), which is the first law project in the UK that is founded, led, and operated purely by students. Our interviewee “recommends that every Aberdeen law student should get involved with the ALP, because it’s incredibly rewarding”. The Aberdeen Law Society is also one of the largest and most active societies on campus.

“I just won my first case over summer with the ALP which was about guide-dog discrimination,” one student explains. “Being rejected at a restaurant for having a guide-dog with her, this client didn’t qualify for legal aid and was able to use the Aberdeen Law Project to win her case.” She emphasises how “you can put what you’re currently learning into practice, whilst learning how to fill out court forms and go through the tribunal process.”

Other societies include the university’s Bar Society and the Aberdeen Student Law Review. Law students also can get involved with the law school’s community initiatives, which can involve conducting workshops on employability skills for inmates in nearby prisons, as well as organising teaching sessions on law for local schools.

For those keen to press the flesh, the school regularly hosts an array of networking events. “From LinkedIn networking sessions to having law firm trainees drop in and run events, there’s always something going on,” we’re told. There are also the classic law fairs running on campus, which are “always a great way to chat with law firms in person,” in the words of one law student. The law school will also send out weekly careers e-mails to keep budding lawyers in the loop when it comes to juicy work experience and job opportunities.


SQE courses

SQE1 Preparation course

For law graduates of either English or Scots law, this SQE1 Prep course is fully online, takes place over 12 months and costs £2,350.


LLM study route options

The University of Aberdeen has a huge array of LLM options available to students. There are two study routes to choose from; students can either opt for the traditional LLM programme which includes a dissertation, or for certain LLM programmes, students can opt for the ‘professional skills’ pathway.

The professional skills option allows students to undertake certain skill workshops and modules instead of undertaking a dissertation. Find out more about the professional skills pathway here.

The list of LLM courses are below, followed by the list of LLM options available for the professional skills route:

Traditional LLM options:


LLM with professional skills:

Undergraduate law courses


CB Davidson Fund

This scholarship provides limited financial support for postgraduate students within the School of Law. It is for graduates in law from outside the UK to study in Aberdeen, and for students and graduates of the University of Aberdeen who wish to travel outside of the UK for research purposes.

Value: up to £2,500

Deadline: two rolling deadlines each year – 31 March and 30 September

The Vikram Reddy Memorial Scholarship

This scholarship is offered to support one postgraduate student from the United Kingdom through a one year on campus full time Master of Laws (taught or research) programme (LLM).

Value: £1,000

Deadline: applications open Spring 2024

In Aberdeen Law School's own words