Admissions - Frequently Asked Questions
What are your standard entry requirements?
- A levels: AAA/ABB (with a requirement for AAA for M131 International Legal Studies)
- International Baccalaureate: IB Diploma with 34 points overall, or 17 points at Higher Level
- BTEC Diploma: Distinction, Distinction, Distinction
We are also pleased to welcome applicants with a variety of international and domestic qualifications – please contact us for more information.
We also offer a 'senior status', two year LLB for non-law graduates (M106), and generally require applicants to the programme to have a good first degree at B-/2.1 level or above – please contact us for more information.
Why are your published entry requirements AAA/ABB?
The Law School routinely ranks as one of the best law schools in the UK in a variety of national league tables and in the National Student Survey. We are proud to provide an outstanding critical legal education with excellent career prospects upon graduation. Our standard offer is AAA/AAB, but we welcome and are happy to consider applications from students who are predicted grades of ABB or equivalent.
Why have I received an offer in which the conditions vary if selected as my firm choice?
The Law School is continuing to pilot a conditionally reduced offer scheme in the 2017-18 admissions cycle for the majority of its programmes (with some exceptions) for applicants who are taking three full A levels, or the International Baccalaureate, for the first time. Where such offers are made, the conditions of entry are reduced only if Kent Law School is accepted as a firm choice to enable us to better manage demand.
The current pilot scheme will be reviewed at the end of the admissions cycle. We welcome and value all applicants, and a significant proportion of successful applicants to Kent Law School will continue to receive our standard offer, which remains AAA/AAB or equivalent.
We encourage and recognise academic achievement: we are part of the University’s Scholarship for Academic Excellence, which automatically gives financial recognition to outstanding achievement in a variety of university entry level qualifications.
Why don't you ask for grades of AAA at A level?
Although A levels (and other equivalent qualifications) provide a useful common baseline for entry, when we assess your application we are interested in more than just your grades. We are interested in you as an individual, and base our decision on your application as a whole, making use of an AAA/AAB offer for most of our programmes to enable us to consider a broader range of applicants who can demonstrate through their application that they are actively thinking about the law. This doesn't mean that we don't have students who obtain grades of AAA at A level – we do (and a significant number). We also recognise that whilst good A level students often go on to become very good degree level students, the academic freedom at university means that students who weren't always the very best A level students can thrive given greater space to learn and think.
In short – although we value and place significant importance on your achievement to date, we also value and recognise your potential, taking great interest in your reasons for choosing to study law. This is particularly important to us as a critical law school, as we want our students to be actively interested in thinking about the law in broad terms, and to be interested in discussing, questioning and engaging with the law as they learn.
What should I include in my personal statement?
The personal statement is your opportunity to speak to us directly about your interest in law – it is the one place on the application where we are able to get a sense of you as a person, and to read about why you have decided to study law at university. It should be personal, and should be about why you are interested in law, not why law in general is interesting (we know this already!). It can be helpful to give examples to illustrate the points that you make.
The personal statement is also the place to include your achievements and activities (at school/college or outside), including those which you feel tell us most about you as a person, and about your suitability for university level study.
Visit the UCAS website for more and advice about writing your personal statement.
Do you interview applicants?
Although we interview a small number of applicants, the majority of decisions are made on the basis of the application form alone. This doesn't mean that you should be concerned if you are called for interview – this means that we are interested in you and want to find out more about you.
Are applicants required to sit the LNAT?
No, we don’t require applicants to take the LNAT test (nor do we receive the results for those who take the test for entry elsewhere).
What happens if I miss the conditions of my offer?
If you are made an offer, choose Kent as your firm or insurance choice, and fall short of the academic requirements of your offer, we will automatically reconsider your offer and decide whether we are still able to accept you. Although there is no guarantee of acceptance at this stage, if we have spaces remaining it is possible that we could still decide to accept you if you only narrowly miss the conditions of your offer, and tend to accept a small number of applicants this way each year.
Do you accept applications from mature students?
We welcome applications from mature students and recognise the valuable perspectives and insight that they can bring.
How do you view deferred entry?
We are happy for applicants to apply for deferred entry to any of our programmes, or to apply having already obtained their A levels (and other equivalent qualifications) in a previous year.
Do you require particular subjects at A level (or equivalent qualifications)?
The critical, interdisciplinary way in which we teach law – drawing upon historical, political, social and contextual interpretations - means that we welcome students with a wide variety of A levels (and other equivalent qualifications), and believe that it is possible to develop an interest in and useful academic skills for law through a variety of A level subjects.
Most of our degree programmes don't require a specific A level (or equivalent) subject, and students apply with a variety of combinations of subjects. Some of our programmes with a year abroad (for example, English and French Law), will require an A level (or equivalent) in the appropriate language, whilst others, taught entirely in English (such as European Legal Studies and International Legal Studies) don't have any language requirements.
Is A level Law an 'acceptable' A level for entry?
Studying A level Law is fine, and perfectly acceptable for entry to Kent (although isn't a requirement – nor does having or not having A level Law impact the decision we make on your application). We recognise that Law is a subject which many students don't have the opportunity to engage with before coming to university, and that A level Law can provide a useful – if limited – introduction to law as an academic subject.
If I apply for M131 and am unsuccessful, will I automatically be reconsidered for M100?
Yes. International Legal Studies (M131) are two of our most competitive courses, and as a result, we are only able to make a limited number of offers. We do however, automatically reconsider all applicants to these programmes for M100 (the single honours law) if we aren't able to consider them for their original programme of choice, with no additional application for M100 required.
How do you regard professional experience?
Where applicants have relevant professional experience the Law School encourages them to include this in their application. However, professional experience will only exceptionally be regarded as a substitute for the meeting academic entry requirements in a university entry level qualification, and only where the experience is extensive, senior, and directly relevant.
Can I apply if I've previously studied at another university?
We welcome applications to our two year Senior Status LLB from people who have successfully completed a first undergraduate degree with a 2.1/B average.
All applicants who have previously undertaken university level study should include this in their application, even if applying for entry to a three or four year undergraduate degree, and even if the previous study was incomplete
Where the Law School feels it appropriate to consider an applicant who has previously undertaken incomplete university level study, it will expect performance in that prior qualification to be a 2.1 level or above (or equivalent). The Law School will ordinarily seek to obtain references from the institution(s) at which the previous study has been undertaken to better understand the academic history of the applicant.
Please note that applicants who have undertaken any study at NQF level 4 or above will not be eligible for entry to the Certificate in Law.
What is a Qualifying Law Degree?
A Qualifying Law Degree (QLD) includes core areas of law (called the Foundations of Legal Knowledge) and is currently recognised by the Bar Standards Board and the Solicitors Regulation Authority, as satisfying the first stage of professional training. Successful completion of a QLD gives students the opportunity to progress directly to the second stage of profressional training; currently the Legal Practice Course (LPC) for aspiring solicitors or the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) for aspiring barristers.
All undergraduate programmes at Kent Law School (including all our joint honours programmes) offer the opportunity to obtain a Qualifying Law Degree.
Please note however, that the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) have announced their intention to introduce the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) for prospective solicitors, doing so by 2020 at the earliest. Transitional arrangements will enable students who start a Qualifying Law Degree before the introduction of the SQE to finish and qualify under the current or new system.
The SRA have prepared the following information about the forthcoming introduction of the SQE:
Studying law? Or thinking of studying law?
Thinking of becoming a solicitor?
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has announced it will be introducing the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE). The earliest date for introduction is September 2020.
This will be a national assessment for anyone who wants to qualify as a solicitor in England and Wales. It will provide a fair and consistent assessment for all candidates regardless of whether they have taken a law degree or qualified through new routes like the solicitor apprenticeship.
If you have already started your law degree, or will do so before the SQE is introduced, you will be able to finish and qualify in the same way as before or qualify under the new system.
Under the current system you must complete both the academic and vocational stages of training as well as meeting the character and suitability requirements to become a solicitor. The academic stage is achieved by either a) a qualifying law degree or b) a non law degree in a different subject and completing the Common Professional Examination. The vocational stage comprises:
- the Legal Practice Course
- a two year period of recognised training
- the Professional Skills Course
So what will qualifying look like for solicitors after 2020?
- having a degree or equivalent
- two stages of the SQE assessment
- having a two year period of work experience
- meeting the character and suitability requirements to become a solicitor
The SRA will be providing information and guidance about how to qualify in the new system so keep checking its website.
Watch the SRA's video http://www.sra.org.uk/sra/policy/training-for-tomorrow.page
Can I apply if I've studied or part-studied a Qualifying Law Degree elswhere?
The Law School will only consider applicants who have previously part-studied a qualification conveying a Qualifying Law Degree (QLD) in England and Wales, or any of the Foundations of Legal Knowledge required for the award of a QLD, for entry to stage 1 of its three and four year degree programmes.
The Law School will always consider the requirements of the legal profession (the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Bar Standards Board) where it feels it appropriate to do so.
Can I visit the Law School?
Yes - you are more than welcome to visit and we would be pleased to meet you. You can come to visit us before or after you've applied, and can do so either through the formal Open Days and Applicant Days organised by the University, or by contacting us directly to arrange an informal visit to the Law School and the University.