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Study Civil Law abroad

About this subject

  • About this subject
  • Is this the course for me?
  • Careers prospects
  • Studying Law
  • Where to study?
Civil Law

Civil law refers to the branch of law that deals with disputes between individuals or organisations in which a victim may be awarded compensation. Unlike criminal law in which individuals are prosecuted by the state for wrong-doing, civil law is based upon the principles of personal retribution where wrong-doing can be amended through the payment of a financial sum.

There is one significant difference between the court proceedings for a civil and criminal case, and this concerns the examination of evidence. While in criminal court cases the prosecution must prove the defendant guilty “beyond reasonable doubt,” civil cases prove guilt on a balance of possibilities.

Civil law can cover a variety of legal issues from family law and business law to sports law and negligence claims.

Is this the course for me?

If you’re passionate about the British legal system and you want to study how to represent people’s rights in a non-criminal capacity, then you might want to consider studying for a degree in civil law.

Of course while a passion for law is pivotal for the study of the legal system, it is also vital to remember that law is not the easiest of subjects. As well as learning the structure of the legal system itself, students will be expected to learn previous case studies and apply these to real-life scenarios. All successful law students are not only self-motivated hard workers, but also have sharp minds and fantastic analytical skills.

Careers prospects

The majority of students who decide to study law, do so with the intention of working within the legal profession, whether as a solicitor or as a barrister. Studying a legal degree allows graduates to study for the Legal Practice Course without having to take the Graduate Diploma in Law Qualification first. Given the module options available for those studying Civil Law, there are a wide number of fields for graduates to specialise in depending upon their interests.

However, not every graduate decides to pursue a career within the legal system, and quite often many law graduates will enter the world of work without any post-graduate qualifications, Law graduate skills are particularly transferable to business and finance sectors, as well as social and welfare industries.  Human resources, accountancy, journalism and work within the police forces are often popular jobs for law graduates.

Studying Law

Like many degree programmes such as medicines, competition for places on law degree programmes is particularly strong and as such the entry level requirements to study are likely to reflect this. Most courses will require that students have a minimum of 3 strong A-level qualifications (or equivalent) which should showcase their suitability for the course. Qualifications in subjects such as law, economics, English and history will all strengthen your application, although they are not compulsory.

There are also a number of post graduate courses available for those wishing to specialise in civil law, however most courses will require that applicants have a 2:1 degree with previous law experience.

If you are a non-native speaker of English, then you will need to prove that there are no barriers that will limit you from accessing the course content. All foreign students will be requires to sit an IETLS test and score a minimum of 6.0 – 6.5 in order to demonstrate this.

Although the minimum length of a Civil Law degree course is 3 years, many prestigious degree programmes will last for four years to allow undergraduates the opportunity to gain work experience within the legal industry. The top Universities for law in the UK also require all students to sit the national admissions test for law [LNAT] test before the course programme starts. Post –graduate courses will last from a year (GDL) to three years for professional training.

Where to study?

There is such competition for places on Civil law courses that the decisions you make today regarding your institution of study will have a significant impact upon your future; particularly if you want to qualify as a solicitor or barrister. If you are planning on studying for the legal practice course, then make sure you attend a prestigious university that allows you to gain work experience within the legal industries as this will strengthen your application for post-graduate study. Universities such as Cambridge, Oxford, Durham, University College London, Kings College London, Nottingham, Glasgow, Exeter and Bristol are all seen as well-established Universities for law as they require all undergraduates to sit the LNAT test before entry to their degree programmes.

Of course it is also important to choose somewhere that will make you happy for the duration of your course, particularly if you’re opting to live away from home. Wherever you choose to study, your degree will end up costing you a lot of money, so you need to ensure that you get the most out of your time as a student. As such it is important that you consider whether the surrounding culture will add to the pleasure of your University years as well as academic benefits of studying at a particular institution.

Another consideration to take into account is the cost of your course, as well as the grade requirements. Most Universities will only accept graduates with high academic recods, so before deciding that law is the course for you, check that your predicted grades meet these requirements. Given that a Civil Law course can consist of up to four years, budgeting is also vital. Can you afford the fees? Can you afford the living costs?

If you’re struggling to secure funding, there are a number of scholarships and grants available.

What Civil Law courses are there?


Intellectual Property


Law (Specific Statutes)

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