The study of law in the UK is similar to Canada due to the Common law heritage. The School of Law at the University of Leicester (pronounced ‘less-ter’) has numerous connections with Canada, with over 240 Canadian students and Canadian staff to research interests and publications. We welcome applications from Canadian students for both undergraduate and postgraduate programs - in fact, Canadians account for almost 20% of our law student population.
In the UK students enter law undergraduate degree programmes immediately after high school, where they embark on a three year ‘LLB Law’ undergraduate degree. We also offer a two year ‘LLB Law - Senior Status’ undergraduate degree for those who already have an undergraduate / bachelor’s degree in another subject.
University of Leicester
Support for Canadian students
Support for Canadian law students at the University of Leicester is second to none amongst UK universities. Sessions are held to welcome students once term commences and to provide guidance and support regarding what they need to do if they wish to return to Canada to work as lawyers. Follow up meetings are held to provide up-to-date information about accreditation - so students are informed about any changes with the National Committee on Accreditation in Canada. We also arrange for students’ transcripts to be sent directly to the NCA upon graduation.
Canadian Law Society
Canadian students can also benefit from the student-run Canadian Law Society. The Society arranges a wide range of activities including social events, academic workshops, career development and personal support. Recent activities have included attending a hearing at the House of Lords, a mooting masterclass and league and civil claims workshops emphasizing Canadian practical skills. Guest Speakers include lawyer Jack Lavers, Dr. Chris Waters (academic in international law) and the Honourable Robert Hyslop, a Provincial Court judge from Newfoundland. Social events have included trips to the local ice rink in Nottingham, bowling and hosting the after-party for the annual Law Ball. They also have a website which has information about coming to Leicester from their own experiences, and information about what students must do once they return to Canada after getting a law degree from Leicester.
Canadian Students Accreditation and Alumni
Many of our Canadian students return to Canada after they have graduated to pursue legal careers. The School of Law supports students wishing to do this by providing advice sessions and guidance. See here for more information about returning to Canada after completing your degree
We asked our Canadian students why they chose to come to Leicester and how they feel about their time here. This is what some of our current Canadian students have to say about their time here
Differences between studying in the UK and Canada
It is important to realise that there are a number of difference between studying in the UK and Canada. These include:
- Entry: In the UK, students may enter law degree programmes immediately after high school, where they embark on an undergraduate three year LLB Law degree (i.e. students do not require a prior degree before embarking on a law degree). Those with a degree already can embark on a two year fast track degree at Leicester (the Senior Status degree programme).
- Applying: In the UK, applicants submit one online application to a central service (UCAS) and the application is then dispatched to the University (or Universities) that the applicant selects. Applicants can apply to up to 5 Universities. Applications are usually considered as soon as they arrived, and are not stored and assessed at a panel.
- Transfers: In the UK, students tend to start and complete their degree at the same University and do not transfer between institutions. In addition, it is often not possible to transfer in to the second year of a degree programmes or possible to use Canadian University credits towards your UK law degree.
- Definitions: Particular terms have different definitions in the UK, for example:
- ‘school’: in Canada higher education establishments are often referred to as ‘school’, whereas in the UK, the term ‘school’ generally only refers to the education establishments that children attend. In the UK, higher education establishments are just referred to as ‘University’.
The exception to this is the name of our department – The School of Law.
- ‘courses’: in Canada, the series of teaching sessions relating to a subject is called a ‘course’, whereas in the UK, ‘course’ will refer to the complete degree programme as a whole. In the UK, the series of teaching sessions relating to a subject is referred to a ‘module’.
- Structure of university degree programmes: In Canada, a student’s degree programme may be made up of a major as well as a number of classes in different subject areas to earn a required number of credits per semester. At the University Of Leicester School Of Law first year students follow a set curriculum of purely law modules. This is also the case in the second year for students on the two year Senior Status LLB degree programme. For those students on the three year LLB degree programme, there are a number of core and optional modules that students must study, all of which are law modules. This is the case at many other UK Universities too.
- Term dates: In the UK, semester dates run in a similar format to this
- Late September to mid December = Teaching
- Mid December to mid January = Christmas vacation
- Mid January to the end of January = Examination period
- End of January to the end of March = Teaching
- End of March to early May = Easter vacation
- Early May to mid May = Teaching
- Mid May to the end of June = Examination period
Exact term dates for each year can be found here. In order to comply with University and UK Border Agency visa regulations, students must be in Leicester during all teaching and examination periods.
- Registration and module (‘course’) selection: Whereas in Canada registration and module (‘course’) selection occurs during the summer. In the UK however this tends to occur during the last two weeks of September and is done on-line. In addition, for Law degree programmes students are not required to select modules as all first year modules are compulsory. Information regarding registration is sent out during late-August as part of a joining pack.
- Reading lists and timetable: In the first year, reading lists and timetables are generally not provided until the first week of term.
- The qualification. A law degree from a UK University is not the same as a law degree from Canada. See our page on accreditation for more information.
Further important note!
Neither ice hockey nor Tim Hortons have reached Leicester yet. However, there is a rink and team in Nottingham (just a 30 minute train ride away) and with an ever-increasing number of Canadians in Leicester, a petition to Mr Horton may be required!