Law is a stimulating degree that sharpens your thinking and your powers of persuasion while giving you extensive legal knowledge. This prestigious qualification opens doors, not only into the legal profession but to many other areas, such as politics, business, the civil service and the NGO sector. The insight into a different legal system that you gain on this programme can help to set you apart from other graduates.
At Kent, we have one of the top law schools in the UK. Kent Law School is renowned for its world-leading research and its distinctive ‘critical approach’ that places law within the wider context of society. This creates an exciting environment in which to gain your Qualifying Law Degree.
Our degree programme
You study French law and language in your first two years at Kent, alongside compulsory modules in English law. Your third year is spent at university in France, where you are taught in French, and you return to Kent for your final year, gaining a strong grounding in two legal systems.
You study the detail of the law, as well as its history. You analyse judgments and legal developments while taking into account the political, ethical and social dimensions of the law. This ‘critical approach’ enhances what is already a fascinating subject. It helps you to fully understand the law and there are many chances to discuss and debate its role in society.
Teaching is via lectures, small group seminars and case studies. Our popular mooting programme, hosted in a dedicated space within the £5m Wigoder Law Building, gives you the chance to develop advocacy skills in a simulated courtroom setting before a bench comprised of local judges, practising barristers, solicitors and lecturers.
Kent Law School has a supportive environment and your lecturers have office hours where they provide guidance on a one-to-one basis. We also provide:
- the Skills Hub offering tailored guidance, five days a week in term time
- a law librarian to guide you in the use of online and printed resources.
If you are interested in developing your proficiency in a modern foreign language on a three-year programme, you can study:
If you would like to study abroad but be taught in English, you can study for a year in Asia or Canada on our International Legal Studies with a Year Abroad programme, or in mainland Europe on our European Legal Studies course.
Kent Law Clinic is based within our new, purpose-built building. It is ideal for developing your practical skills and has a replica courtroom for mooting.
Our academic resources are extensive. You have access to a wide range of materials, including:
- collections of legislation and case law in UK, European and international law
- Lawlinks, our award-winning gateway to online legal resources
- major legal databases that are used on a daily basis in the legal profession
- audio recordings of your lectures.
There are plenty of activities related to your studies, including:
- Kent Student Law Society for aspiring solicitors
- Kent Temple Law Society for those intending to go to the Bar
- Kent Critical Law Society
- Kent Canadian Law Society
- Nigerian Law Society
- European Law Students’ Association (ELSA) Kent.
Kent Student Law Society and Kent Temple Law Society arrange events that are attended by members of the legal profession, many of them Kent alumni. They include QCs, judges, barristers, solicitors and members of the Bar Council and Law Society.
In previous years, events have included the:
- Kent Law Fair
- Kent Law Ball
- Temple Dinner.
Kent Critical Law Society has also put on events where students, academics and practitioners can debate topical – and often controversial – legal issues.
We have approximately 100 legal professionals registered on our Professional Mentoring Scheme, and leading law firms visit the campus to attend the annual Kent Law Fair, offer mock interviews, or run workshops.
We regularly hold careers talks given by practising lawyers (many of whom are Kent alumni) and host guest lectures given by some of the leading legal figures of our time.
Law at Kent was ranked 14th in The Times Good University Guide 2017 and 15th in The Guardian University Guide 2017. In the National Student Survey 2016, 91% of Law students at Kent were satisfied with the overall quality of their course.
For graduate prospects, Law at Kent was ranked 5th in The Guardian University Guide 2017. Of Law students who graduated from Kent in 2015, 94% were in work or further study within six months (DLHE).
In the National Student Survey 2016, 90% of French students at Kent were satisfied with the quality of their course. French at Kent was ranked 1st for research quality in The Complete University Guide 2017.
French at Kent was ranked 14th for graduate prospects in The Times Good University Guide 2017. French students who graduated from Kent in 2015 were the most successful in the UK at finding work or further study opportunities (DLHE).
The course structure below gives a flavour of the modules that will be available to you and provides details of the content of this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.
Please note that the first-year modules listed for this degree are compulsory. Contact us for more detail about the exact composition of this programme of study.
|Possible modules may include||Credits|
|LW313 - A Critical Introduction to Law||30|
The module will introduce students to critical legal techniques grounded in critical legal and social theory, feminist and queer theory, postcolonial theory and law and the humanities. Throughout the course, concepts are introduced through socio-legal and critical investigation of selected case studies - such as new pieces of legislation, emerging political campaigns and prominent litigation - ensuring that the course maintains a focus on law in action. Particular attention will be paid to developments in foreign jurisdictions and in the international arena. Accordingly, case studies will alter from year to year, and draw heavily on research projects on-going in the Law School. The course has a heavy focus on primary legal materials and core critical texts, but will also draw on film, museum artefacts, art and literature as appropriate.
|LW327 - The English Legal System and Skills||4|
Part A: English Legal System
This module provides an overview of the English Legal System, including the following indicative topics:
1) An introduction to Parliament and the legislative process
2) The court structure and the doctrine of precedent
3) An introduction to case law, including how to identify and the importance of ratio decidendi and obiter dicta
Part B: Introduction to Legal Skills
The module also gives students an introduction to the basic legal skills that they will develop further in their other modules throughout the degree. The focus here is on specific exercises to support exploration and use of the library resources that are available, both in paper copy and electronically through the legal databases, and on understanding practices of legal citation.
|LW588 - Public Law 1||30|
Constitutionalism: history, theories, principles and contemporary significance
Models of Government at national, local and supra-national levels
Human Rights history and contemporary significance and deployment
The scope of governmental authority and its limits
Judicial review and other forms of citizen redress
|Possible modules may include||Credits|
|LW592 - Public Law 2||15|
The module builds on the understanding of constitutional government developed in Public Law 1 to examine the changing nature of the state in new modes of governance and governmentality. The focus is on the shift away from the vertical character of the relationship between state and citizen to a more diffuse mode of governing populations through expertise, techniques of management, and biopolitics.
In recent times there has been a shift away from states governing through legislation as a mode of command and control. Legislation is increasingly understood as enabling administration and governance rather than as the definitive word on a social or political problem. In some respects, this is a continuation of legislation as a mode of authorising the exercise of public power. However, the nature of power deployed and regulated through legislation has changed. Government through officials or agents directly responsible to Ministers or Parliament is increasingly replaced by quasi-government authorities (QUANGOS) whose strength is technical expertise. While the administrative state as it has evolved in the last century views this shift as a new strength in public administration, the key weakness is that accountability in the exercise of public power is lacking. What are the implications of these transformations for public law? How has public law facilitated these developments? What are the socio-legal and critical legal responses to these developments? These are the central concerns of this module. It thus offers a specialised and complementary extension of themes and issues introduced to students in Public Law 1 in Stage 1 of the LLB degree.
The administrative authorities that have emerged in the era of the new administrative law post 1970s - lack the formality of liberal constitutional protections. Consider the relative informality in the administration of ASBOS. Moreover, the traditional public/private divide has broken down - e.g. the privatisation of prisons, private corporations providing public services such as nursing homes or transport. The absence of social consensus, or unitary sovereign power has meant that the governance of gambling, security, the environment, gender and sexuality, science and technology, are not phenomena that can be dealt with through traditional liberal concepts or constitutional mechanisms. This module will examine how public law has been the site of social, political, and legal contestations regarding these issues.
|LW593 - European Union Law||15|
This 15 credit undergraduate law module is designed to introduce law students to foundational legal principles of the European Union (EU). It will place particular emphasis on studying the role and impact of the judicial institution of the EU, namely the Court of Justice of the EU, in interpreting the scope and effects of Union law.
This module builds on the knowledge that students acquire in Public Law 1 where they are provided with a basic introduction to the history of the EU, the main institutions of the EU and key constitutional issues arising from the supremacy of EU law. It will focus predominantly on certain aspects of EU law not addressed in Public 1, including the free movement rules underpinning the single market.
|LW539 - Droit Francais||30|
The module comprises a short introduction to the French legal system followed by a more detailed analysis of French public law and French private law.
The first part of the module mainly addresses French constitutional law. The lectures and seminars will canvass a number of salient issues, namely: the historical role and contemporary relevance of French constitutional documents; the institutional organisation of constitutional and political authority in France; the evolving powers of the Conseil constitutionnel; and recent major law reforms.
The second part of the module discusses the French law of obligations. The lectures and seminars will consider a range of key topics, such as the role and functioning of private law courts, with specific reference to the Cour de cassation; main features of the French law of obligations (contract law and tort law).
The module also introduces students to the rigorous discipline of the dissertation juridique, the commentaire d'arrêt and the cas pratique, three types of exercises which they will encounter on a regular basis during their year in France.
|LW315 - Introduction to Obligations||15|
This module introduces the law of obligations, which comprises the private law of duties and rights to which individuals and organisations are subject. Traditionally, it includes the law of contract and tort (but not property). As well as introducing some of the content (which is covered more extensively in LW650 and LW651), a key focus is on the institution of the common law through which most of the law of obligations has emerged. This aspect is especially explored through the case classes, which run alongside the lectures and seminars.
|LW316 - Foundations of Property||15|
Property is something we tend to presume we know about, and rarely examine as an idea or practice closely. Most often we use it to connote an object or thing, and presume that it has something to do with ownership of that object. It is so simple to say my property or this is mine. This module begins to unpack and examine the ideas and practices of property more closely: How are property claims constructed? What do we mean by ownership? What happens when a number of competing ownership claims in one object exist? When preparing for the module it will be useful to think about (and collect material on) current debates over contested ownership (or use) of property and resources: art collections or cultural artefacts, land or natural resources dispossessed, land squatted, etc. And why, in our jurisdiction in particular, has such a strong link been made between being a property owner (in this context a home-owner) and a good citizen.
Going abroad as part of your degree is an amazing experience and a chance to develop personally, academically and professionally. You experience a different culture, gain a new academic perspective, establish international contacts and enhance your employability.
Students on a four-year degree programme spend a year between Stages 2 and 3 at one of our partner universities in France. For a full list, please see Go Abroad. Places are subject to availability, language and degree programme.
You are expected to adhere to any academic progression requirements in Stages 1 and 2 to proceed to the Year Abroad. If the requirement is not met, you will be transferred to the equivalent three-year programme. The Year Abroad is assessed on a pass/fail basis and will not count towards your final degree classification.
|Possible modules may include||Credits|
|LW700 - Law Year Abroad||120|
The year abroad involves the delivery of taught content (and the assessment of that content) at a partner institution which will enable students to achieve the intended specific and generic learning outcomes of this module. Students will take modules equivalent to a full year of academic study; the exact composition of which will be as agreed with the appropriate Programme Director, or as set out in the learning agreement ('the agreed modules'). The curriculum will vary depending on the partner institution and the agreed modules but will be relevant to the students programme of study and will contribute to achievement the programmes educational aims and learning outcomes.
|Possible modules may include||Credits|
|LW598 - Equity and Trusts||15|
This module, normally taken in Stage 2, introduces the student to the main principles and doctrines of equity and trusts. It is designed to challenge the somewhat dull image of this area of law and to encourage a critical and imaginative understanding of the subject. The law of equity and trusts is contextualized within a historical, social and jurisprudential inquiry thereby providing a much wider range of possible interpretations of its development and application. What then becomes central to the modules approach is the complex interrelation of law with ethical, political, economic and jurisprudential considerations, and that between legal outcomes, pragmatic concerns and policy objectives.
Drawing upon the students experience of the study of law, in particular that gained from Foundations of Property Law and Property Law, this module examines the trust both as a private legal institution (the trust in family and commercial settings) and a public one (the charitable trust), placing special emphasis on the management of the trust and the powers, duties and obligations of the trustee. Yet in departing from conventional approaches this module does not study equity merely in regards to its role as the original creator of the trust. Equity is instead acknowledged to be what it really is - a vital and fruitful component of the English legal system; a distinct form of legal interpretation possessing its own principles and method of legal reasoning, and comprising an original and continuing source of legal development in the sphere of remedies.
|LW599 - Land Law||15|
The focus of the module is private property in English land: title by registration; squatting; owner-occupation; leases; covenants and land development. It builds on the Foundations of Property module to develop an in-depth understanding of English land law, its conception of property and its politics and effects. And it gives experience in how to advise clients on land law problems and on how to avoid problems for clients.
|LW601 - Advanced Level Criminal Law||30|
While the curriculum for LW508 Criminal Law Level I and LW601 Advanced Criminal Law Level H is by and large the same in that the same topics are considered, students following the course at level H will consider each discrete topic to a much greater depth making use of, and improving, skills developed in earlier years of their degree programme.
The module is structured to provide students with the opportunity to explore the major issues in criminal law through class presentation, through consideration of essay style topics and to engage in critical analysis of topics by considering criminal law problem questions. Students will be expected to discuss particular issues of criminal law and their implications for a wider social context. At the commencement of the module students are provided with a Seminar Workbook which outlines the weekly seminar topic and task.
|LW650 - The Law of Contract||15|
This module will offer a one-week overview of Contract law doctrine by reviewing the essentials of contract law gained by students in Introduction to Obligations and provide an overview of the lectures to follow.
Thereafter, students will spend the majority of the time on contract doctrine and problem-solving in contract law, comprised of doctrinal topics not covered in LW315 Introduction to Obligations e.g. breach of contract and remedies, contractual terms, misrepresentation, termination and frustration of contracts and policing bargaining behaviour.
The remainder of the module will focus on contract theory (e.g. freedom of contract, relational contract theory, contract and the vulnerable, contract and consumption). This section of the module will overlay the doctrine covered in the previous section with a basic theoretical framework, and ground students' understanding of critical essay writing in contract law. It will also build on discussion of the purposes of contract law in Introduction to Obligations.
|LW651 - The Law of Tort||15|
The bulk of this module will concentrate on the Tort of Negligence in contrast to students' knowledge of the law of trespass to the person (gained in Introduction to Obligations). Students will focus on the conceptual structure of the tort of negligence, its rise and dominance over other torts, its role in accident compensation, the funding of accident compensation and the role of insurance, and the systems contribution to an alleged "compensation culture". This is primarily doctrinal but informed by various theoretical perspectives examining differing notions of justice.
A smaller part of this module will contrast the predominantly case-based Tort of Negligence with various statutory torts. Students will also consider the Land Torts, drawing further attention to the diverse range of harms protected by tort law and to the diverse conceptual structures of different torts.
Teaching and assessment
Kent Law School emphasises research-led teaching which means that the modules taught are at the leading edge of new legal and policy developments. Kent Law School is renowned nationally for research quality, being ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. All of our research-active staff teach, so you are taught by influential thinkers who are at the forefront of their field. We also have one of the best student-to-staff ratios in the country, which allows small, weekly seminar-group teaching in all of our core modules, where you are actively encouraged to take part.
Most modules are assessed by end-of-year examinations and continuous assessment, the ratio varying from module to module, with Kent encouraging and supporting the development of research and written skills. Some modules include an optional research-based dissertation that counts for 45% or, in some cases, 100% of the final mark.
Assessment can also incorporate assessment through oral presentation and argument, often in the style of legal practice (such as mooting), and client-based work and reflection through our Law Clinic.
The programme aims to:
- meet the needs of both those contemplating a career in the legal professions and those motivated primarily by an intellectual interest in English and French law and legal issues
- be compatible with widening participation in higher education by offering a wide variety of entry routes
- provide a sound knowledge and systematic understanding of the principal institutions and procedures of the English and French legal systems
- provide a sound grounding in the major concepts and principles of English law, French Law, the law of the European Union, and the European Convention on Human Rights
- develop a critical awareness of law in its historical, socio-economic and political contexts, and to introduce students to a range of different theoretical approaches to the study of law
- offer a range of modules covering the foundations of legal knowledge, as defined by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and Bar Standards Board, which will enable students who successfully complete them to obtain a qualifying law degree
- offer students an in-depth experience of studying French law in a French law faculty (Paris I, Paris X, Bordeaux IV or Grenoble II) where they will obtain either the licence or the Diploma depending upon ability
- offer students the opportunity to live and study abroad with the object of promoting European integration
- offer a range of options to enable students to study some selected areas of law (English, French, comparative) in depth
- offer students the opportunity to develop their French language skills both at a conversational level and at specialist level (French legal terminology)
- provide a curriculum supported by scholarship and a research culture that requires students to engage with aspects of work at the frontiers of knowledge
- offer the opportunity to acquire direct experience of legal practice and to critically reflect on it through participation in the Kent Law Clinic
- enable students to manage their own learning and to carry out independent research, including research into areas of law they have not previously studied
- develop general critical, analytical and problem-solving skills which can be applied in a wide range of different legal and non-legal settings
- enable students to develop skills relevant to their vocational and personal development
- provide students, in their final year, with an opportunity to consolidate their knowledge of common law and civil law through the selection of English law modules together with one recommended optional module (comparative law).
Knowledge and understanding
You gain knowledge and understanding of:
- principal features of the English legal system, including its institutions, procedures and sources of law
- principal features of the law of the European Union and the European Convention on Human Rights
- principal features of the French legal system, including its institutions, procedures and sources of law
- the concepts, principles and rules of a substantial range of English legal subjects, including an in-depth knowledge of some areas of law, and, depending on options, an in-depth knowledge of the law of the European Union, the European Convention on Human Rights, international law and comparative law
- the concepts, principles and rules of French public law, the French law of obligations and several specialised areas of French law as studied in a French law faculty
- French legal methodology including, in particular, the French two-part legal plan for essays and case commentaries
- the relationship between law and the historical, socio-economic and political contexts in which it operates
- French language and French legal language to a reasonably high level
- a range of theoretical and critical perspectives which can be applied to the study of law.
You gain intellectual skills in how to:
- recognise and rank items and issues in terms of their relevance and importance
- effectively apply knowledge to analyse complex issues in both English and French
- collect and synthesise information from a variety of English and French sources
- formulate and sustain a complex argument in English and French, supporting it with appropriate evidence
- recognise potential alternative solutions to particular problems and make a reasoned choice between them
- independently acquire knowledge and understanding in areas, both legal and non-legal, not previously studied
- demonstrate an independence of mind and an ability to critically challenge received understandings and conclusions
- reflect constructively on your own learning processes
- develop your level of French language both in writing and orally.
You gain subject-specific skills in:
- recognising the legal issues arising in factual situations of limited and great complexity in English and French law
- identifying and applying case and statute law
- providing informed and reasoned opinion on possible legal actions and their likelihood of success
- identifying legal and related issues which require research
- locating and using primary and secondary legal, and other relevant sources
- conducting both guided and independent legal research using a range of resources
- critically evaluating an area of law both doctrinally and in terms of its socio-economic and other consequences
- functioning effectively in both English and French languages and in English law
You develop transferable skills in the following areas:
- communication in both English and French – how to communicate effectively, in speech and writing, in relation to legal matters and generally; engage constructively and effectively in arguments and discussions of complex matters; how to use communication and IT for the retrieval and presentation of information, including statistical or numerical data; how to read complex legal and non-legal materials and summarise them accurately; employing correct legal terminology and correct methods of citation and referencing for legal and other academic materials
- information technology – how to produce written documents; undertake online research; process information using databases
- working with others – how to define and review the work of others; work co-operatively on group tasks; collaborate with others and contribute to the achievement of common goals
- improving own learning – how to explore personal strengths and weaknesses; review your working environment; develop specialist learning skills (for example in foreign languages); develop autonomy in learning; demonstrate initiative and manage your own time
- problem solving – how to identify and define problems; explore alternative solutions and discriminate between them.
The University has an excellent employment record, with Kent Law School graduates commanding some of the highest starting salaries in the UK. Law graduates can go into a variety of careers, including:
- solicitor or barrister in a private practice
- company lawyer
- legal work within government at local and national level, or within international institutions such as the EU
- legal work within the charity and NGO sector
- non-legal careers, such as banking, finance and management.
Help finding a job
Kent Law School has an active careers programme – leading law firms and prominent members of the legal profession visit the University to meet our students. We also work with employers to create work placement opportunities for our students.
The Law School's dedicated Employability and Careers Development Officer can give you advice on how to:
- apply for jobs
- write a good CV
- perform well in interviews.
You also have access to the University's friendly Careers and Employability Service.
Our award-winning Kent Law Clinic gives local people access to free legal advice and representation. As a student, this gives you the chance to work on real cases under the guidance of qualified lawyers. You take on clients and sometimes have the chance to act as the client’s advocate in court or at a legal tribunal.
Our approach to law helps you to develop:
- a detailed knowledge of the law
- sophisticated legal research and writing skills
- practical skills in mediation, negotiation and interviewing clients.
You gain intellectual, analytical and practical skills that are vital to lawyers but also useful in many other professions. These include the ability to:
- think critically
- communicate your ideas and opinions
- manage your time effectively
- work independently or as part of a team.
You can also gain extra skills by signing up for one of our Kent Extra activities, such as learning a language or volunteering.
This programme leads to a Qualifying Law Degree (QLD). A QLD is recognised by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Bar Standards Board as satisfying the first (or ‘Academic’) stage of training required to qualify as a solicitor or barrister in England and Wales.
Please note: the legal education required by solicitors and barristers in England and Wales is currently under independent review. This may impact upon the role of your law degree as part of your professional training process. More information is available from the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Bar Standards Board.
For graduate prospects, Law at Kent was ranked 5th in The Guardian University Guide 2017. Of Law students who graduated from Kent in 2015, 94% were in work or further study within six months (DLHE).
According to Which? University (2017), the average starting salary for graduates of this degree is ‘high’ at £20,000.
The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. Typical requirements are listed below. Students offering alternative qualifications should contact us for further advice.
It is not possible to offer places to all students who meet this typical offer/minimum requirement.
|Qualification||Typical offer/minimum requirement|
AAA/ABB including French grade B
|Access to HE Diploma||
The University will not necessarily make conditional offers to all Access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis.
If we make you an offer, you will need to obtain/pass the overall Access to Higher Education Diploma and may also be required to obtain a proportion of the total level 3 credits and/or credits in particular subjects at merit grade or above.
|BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)||
The University will consider applicants holding BTEC National Diploma and Extended National Diploma Qualifications (QCF; NQF; OCR) on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us for further advice on your individual circumstances.
34 points overall or 17 points at HL including French HL A1/A2/B at 4/5/5 or SL A1/A2/B at 5/6/6
The University welcomes applications from international students. Our international recruitment team can guide you on entry requirements. See our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country.
If you need to increase your level of qualification ready for undergraduate study, we offer a number of International Foundation Programmes.
Meet our staff in your country
For more advise about applying to Kent, you can meet our staff at a range of international events.
English Language Requirements
Please see our English language entry requirements web page.
Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme.
General entry requirements
Please also see our general entry requirements.
The 2018/19 entry tuition fees have not yet been set. As a guide only, the 2017/18 tuition fees for this programme are:
For students continuing on this programme, fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.*
Your fee status
The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.
General additional costs
Fees for Year in Industry
For 2017/18 entrants, the standard year in industry fee for home, EU and international students is £1,350. Fees for 2018/19 entry have not yet been set.
Fees for Year Abroad
UK, EU and international students on an approved year abroad for the full 2017/18 academic year pay £1,350 for that year. Fees for 2018/19 entry have not yet been set.
Students studying abroad for less than one academic year will pay full fees according to their fee status.
Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details.
You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.
Scholarships are available for excellence in academic performance, sport and music and are awarded on merit. For further information on the range of awards available and to make an application see our scholarships website.
The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence
At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence.
For 2018/19 entry, the scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of AAA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages.
The scholarship is also extended to those who achieve AAB at A level (or specified equivalents) where one of the subjects is either Mathematics or a Modern Foreign Language. Please review the eligibility criteria.