School of Law

Undergraduate study

Students laughing at the University of Essex

Exploring justice, promoting human rights

Our undergraduate courses combine rigorous legal training with opportunities to develop practical expertise, giving you the skills and knowledge for careers in law and beyond.

Our approach is global in outlook, explores ideas of justice and reflects our commitment to providing a legal education that is relevant and responsive to the needs of a fast-moving legal landscape.

Our teaching is based on our extensive research expertise and practical experience, particularly in public law, commercial law and human rights, both in the UK and abroad. Your education is enhanced by our internationally diverse community and the breadth of insights this brings into global law and justice

We offer qualifying law degrees (LLBs) that allow you to progress to the professional training stage to qualify as a legal professional. You can also combine your legal study with subjects such as human rights, politics and philosophy, or take a placement year or year abroad.

Explore our Undergraduate courses
Why choose us?
  • Essex is ranked 47th for Law in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2018
  • Over 80% of our School of Law students are in professional employment or postgraduate study within six months of graduating from Essex (DLHE 2017)
  • Gain practical experience with our Essex Law Clinic and Human Rights Clinic

So, what do we have to offer?

A global legal education

Our staff include legal practitioners who work with the United Nations, governments, human rights organisations and corporations around the world. Our Human Rights Centre is an international leader and we were the first university in the UK to sign a memorandum of understanding with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).

A practical legal education

Developing skills and experience is vital for your professional career and we offer many opportunities to put your learning into practice. These include competitions in mooting, negotiation, mediation and client interviewing. You can work alongside practising lawyers to advise real clients at our Essex Law Clinic, gain experience in commercial awareness with our Business and Legal Advice Clinic, as well as work on projects for key human rights organisations in our Human Rights Clinic.

Training and networking opportunities are also organised by our vibrant student-led societies. These include our Law Society and Bar Society, which provides legal advice to the Commonwealth Students' Association (CSA).

Other opportunities include bringing law into the classroom with our award-winning Essex Street Law project, or joining our Human Rights Society, who run a series of activities including careers events, talks, film nights and campaigns. In addition, our programme of Human Rights Centre seminars and Essex Transitional Justice Network lectures expand your knowledge of wider debates in legal research and practice.

Opportunities to study abroad

Many of our undergraduate courses offer a study abroad option allowing you to spend a year at a partner university across the world, including in Europe, the United States, Australia, Hong Kong and Canada. Study abroad takes place in the third-year of your degree before returning to Essex for your fourth year.

As well as being a fantastic experience, study abroad enhances your employability and widens your opportunities after graduation. A period of study abroad on your CV tells employers that you are mature, adaptable, organised and independent.

Although many of our partner universities teach in English, study abroad can also be an ideal opportunity to enhance existing language skills in addition to immersing yourself in a new cultural environment.

“Learning from academics with international reputations as leaders in their fields was amazing. Being able to use the knowledge that I gained every day is a joy. My current position within the Treasury Solicitor's Department is extremely challenging, and I'm glad that I gained such a solid understanding of public law and human rights law; but a degree alone wouldn't have guaranteed me such an amazing job. Additional opportunities at Essex, such as gaining experience in the Essex Law Clinic, really help you stand out from the crowd.”
Chris Burge LLB Law