Download the course booklet to find out more about Lancaster University, how we teach Law and what you'll study as a Law student.
Law at Lancaster University
Our students talk about their experience of studying Law at Lancaster University.
17th for Law
The Complete University Guide (2023)
Ranked 55 in the world for Law Times Higher Education 2022
Purpose-built Mock Court Room
Are you interested in developing practical legal knowledge and an understanding of crime, criminology and criminal justice? This Law degree is taught by the world-leading, research-active academics based in our prestigious Law School. They will introduce you to core topics in Criminology and Law and you will explore the connections between the two disciplines as you develop both specialist and transferable skills.
During the degree you will analyse the social, cultural, political and economic contexts of crime and criminal justice, taking an in-depth look at the social circumstances of offending, policies regulating crime, and the social response to criminal activity. The degree draws on the Law School’s expertise in criminal law, international human rights, organised crime, youth justice, cybercrime, policing, prisons and punishment, sex work, hate crime, drugs and substance abuse and gender-based violence.
80% of the Law School’s research was rated as internationally excellent or world leading in the most recent Research Excellence Framework.
You will be taught by lecturers who are actively engaged in research, informing policy and public debate related to criminological and legal issues. Your first year will introduce you to core criminological and legal concepts and perspectives, including criminal law, the English legal system and explanations for crime and offending behaviour. During your second year you will explore a broad range of criminological and legal perspectives, consider how to ‘do’ criminological research and be able to choose a range of optional modules which explore various criminological and legal controversies and issues.
If you would like to take a global perspective on Law and Criminology, you can opt for a semester abroad at one of our highly regarded partner institutions in the US and Canada. By year three, you will have the choice to study specialist subjects in depth from our range of optional modules. You will also explore key legal issues in depth, such as Equity and Trusts.
We have strong links to Chambers, Law firms and related professions from across the UK, including magic circle firms from London. We usually host a judicial lecture series, alumni visits and lectures, and a Law Fair, which is typically attended by lawyers (including trainees, associates and partners) and members of their recruitment teams. All of this should help you to make professional connections, learn more about their firms, and get a head start on your career in Law.
Our student-run Law Society usually organises a wide range of extracurricular activities including mooting and negotiation competitions (typically judged by barristers and members of the judiciary). In recent years they have organised a Law Ball, sporting fixtures, and a careers dinner. Each event is designed to help you build your peer and employer networks.
Your degree can open doors to a wide range of careers within, and beyond, the legal sector. We carefully devise, structure and support our degree programmes to help you prepare for the next step towards a career of your choosing.
Throughout your time at Lancaster University Law School you will have the opportunity to:
All of this will help to optimise your ability to stand out in a crowded employment marketplace. Your degree could lead to a rewarding job in the public, private or third sector, such as:
Wider roles with a need for legal understanding include: Legal Recruitment Consultant, Chartered Company Secretary, Compliance Officer and Investment Banker.
Some of our graduates go on to Graduate Training Schemes or pursue opportunities with: Civil Service, Ministry of Justice, Probation Service, HM Courts and Tribunal Service, HMRC, Local Government and Trading Standards.
An undergraduate degree can also lead on to further study or academia and we have a wide range of postgraduate programmes.
Lancaster University is dedicated to ensuring you not only gain a highly reputable degree, but that you also graduate with relevant life and work based skills. We are unique in that every student is eligible to participate in The Lancaster Award which offers you the opportunity to complete key activities such as work experience, employability/career development, campus community and social development. Visit our Employability section for full details.
A Level AAB
IELTS 6.5 overall with at least 5.5 in each component. For other English language qualifications we accept, please see our English language requirements webpages.
International Baccalaureate 35 points overall with 16 points from the best 3 Higher Level subjects
BTEC Distinction, Distinction, Distinction
We welcome applications from students with a range of alternative UK and international qualifications, including combinations of qualifications. Further guidance on admission to the University, including other qualifications that we accept, frequently asked questions and information on applying, can be found on our general admissions webpages.
Contact Admissions Team + 44 (0) 1524 592028 or via email@example.com
Lancaster University offers a range of programmes, some of which follow a structured study programme, and others which offer the chance for you to devise a more flexible programme to complement your main specialism. We divide academic study into two sections - Part 1 (Year 1) and Part 2 (Year 2, 3 and sometimes 4). For most programmes Part 1 requires you to study 120 credits spread over at least three modules which, depending upon your programme, will be drawn from one, two or three different academic subjects. A higher degree of specialisation then develops in subsequent years. For more information about our teaching methods at Lancaster please visit our Teaching and Learning section.
The following courses do not offer modules outside of the subject area due to the structured nature of the programmes: Architecture, Law, Physics, Engineering, Medicine, Sports and Exercise Science, Biochemistry, Biology, Biomedicine and Biomedical Science.
Information contained on the website with respect to modules is correct at the time of publication, and the University will make every reasonable effort to offer modules as advertised. In some cases changes may be necessary and may result in some combinations being unavailable, for example as a result of student feedback, timetabling, Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies' (PSRB) requirements, staff changes and new research.
This engaging module immerses you in a broad investigation of criminal law, typically including legal rules, substantive crimes, the conditions of criminal responsibility, and law in practice. We will explore the scope of law and its enforcement in a political, economic, moral and social context.
You will develop an understanding of the principles of criminal liability, and the elements of major offences typically including homicide to theft, fraud to sexual offences, and offences against the person. You may also have the opportunity to explore such topics as complicity, inchoate offences and defences.
We encourage lively discourse and debate through a combination of workshops and seminars, both of which are linked to a lecture programme. This will help you to consolidate knowledge, analyse and argue about criminal law.
Our teaching is research-led and you will be encouraged to read as widely as possible on the subject. Not only does this module provide the foundation for further study in your second year and beyond, but it also establishes key skills in presentation, critical analysis, and intelligent debate.
This year-long module introduces you to the central tenets of the English Legal System and supports the development of the legal skills that will see you through your degree.
The module is your initiation into legal reasoning and the process of legal research. Within it we would typically include such topics as:
A combination of lectures, workshops and seminars provides you with a sustained opportunity to: deepen your knowledge of the English Legal System; learn how to read legal cases and journal articles and critically analyse legal materials; write law essays; and problem solve.
The module was developed by Dr Siobhan Weare who co-authored one of the leading textbooks in this area of Law.
This module provides an introduction to criminology and criminal justice. You will benefit from a multi-disciplinary approach, which allows you to focus on the social, political, cultural and economic contexts of crime, deviance and criminal justice.
The module has a three-part structure and begins with criminological perspectives. This is your chance to delve into a range of key perspectives in criminology including biological, psychological, sociological and feminist. You’ll also consider the ways in which the media influences representations of crime.
In part two we will move on to contemporary criminological issues such as domestic violence, green criminology, serial killing, revenge porn, drugs, sex offending and hate crime. Part three then provides a critical overview of the key criminal justice agencies in the UK (such as prison, police and probation) – at this point we also explore approaches to punishment.
You will be taught by expert lecturers who will introduce you to cutting-edge research. Due to our unique approach to first year, you will study alongside students from across the University, which brings real diversity to the discussions within our small group teaching and workshops, enriching your learning experience.
Contract Law at Lancaster is studied from an interesting perspective – we begin by looking at resolution for breach of contract. This includes monetary compensation, injunctions and orders compelling parties to carry out their promises.
By starting at the end, you are constantly reminded of the purpose of Contract Law (to provide a remedy to an aggrieved party when the other party has broken its contractual obligations). It also means that you get to practice applying the law while studying this important but difficult topic, and, you will be able to competently address the main concern of clients when you begin practicing law: resolution.
Of course, we also typically study the formation of contract, terms of contract, and their interpretation and enforceability. But heavy emphasis remains on remedy.
The module involves self-study of the historical and theoretical aspects of contracts and contract law, including ‘Contract in Context’ which was co-authored by staff member Dr Richard Austen-Baker.
Criminological theory and philosophy is a key theme of this module. The module aims to introduce the main theoretical approaches in criminology from its origins to the present day. The module introduces and examines the main types of theory that have sought to explain crime, criminality and social control. The critical philosophical approach adopted in this module encourages students to see social order and crime as theoretical problems rather than social facts available for straightforward empirical investigation.
The European Union as a legal system operates differently to English law. This module will give you a basic understanding of the institutions of the EU, the way law is created and developed, the principles governing relations between the EU and its Member States, and the substantive law of the EU.
This core module introduces you to torts. You will critically explore the key torts and tort principles typically including such topics as trespass to the person, negligence, torts of strict liability and vicarious liability. You will also consider defences to torts and remedies for aggrieved parties.
This module aims to develop a critical understanding of Constitutional Law. The course seeks to problematise the legitimacy of the constitutional arrangements of the UK. A contextual approach is adopted which entails drawing upon historical, political, comparative and jurisprudential materials. The module will constantly question whether Constitutional Law functions as a 'real' regulator of legitimacy or as a symbolic one.
This module also provides an introduction to Administrative Law, and Human Rights/Civil Liberties in the UK.
This module covers the major types of trust and the key elements required for their validity and operation as well as relevant aspects of equitable remedies. The overarching imposition of Equity will be interwoven with the discussion of the substantive types of trust. As well as an in-depth exploration of the workings of each mode of trust, the emergence of each will also be examined before modern uses and policies are considered. Key current developments in relation to the law of trusts will also be drawn upon.
The company law module covers the key areas of company law from incorporation to insolvency including corporate personality and piercing the corporate veil, the company’s constitution, contracts and companies, directors’ duties and minority shareholder protection. These practical, substantive areas of company law are discussed in accordance with relevant theories relating to the corporation and its role in society generally.
The Competition Law module is designed to give students a good grounding in contemporary competition law and the economics and policy which underlie it. The main focus will be on EU and UK competition law, but reference will also be made to US and Australian law where it provides a useful counterpoint. The module will examine the way in which antitrust and behavioural economics interact and inform the development of competition law and policy. Substantive areas such as the main EU antitrust provisions, their UK counterparts, and the merger control regimes in the EU and UK will be covered. The module will cover the basic provisions but special focus will be given to areas of controversy or recent reform. The enforcement of the law will also be given special consideration.
This full-unit option offers you the opportunity of developing and using research skills by undertaking a piece of documentary or field research in an area of criminology.
You will prepare a dissertation based on empirical research on a topic within the field of criminology. You should agree your topic with your supervisor, who will need to have expertise in the agreed area so that they can provide guidance for your research.
This module focuses on the crimes that power makes possible. Criminological theory and research has traditionally prioritized the crimes of the powerless over and against the crimes of those that make laws, wield influence and capital or authorize State violence. As such, this module will introduce you to theory, research, and case-studies on corporate and white-collar crimes, as well as state crimes like genocide and torture, in order to provide an analysis of the commission and punishment of such crimes.
Is there a criminal justice preoccupation with risk and prediction? If so, how helpful has this been to date?
This engaging module will tackle these fundamental questions and deepen your understanding of why some criminals appear to choose a life of crime: ‘criminal careers’ being the criminological term.
You will be taught by research-active academics who are experts in the field and you will explore some of the key contributions of research in this area, including work published by our teaching staff. For instance, staff research will inform your lectures on the criminalisation of children in care and the issue of ‘onset’ in criminal careers. Departmental research will also feed into your study of perceptions of ‘risk’ and ‘risky’ populations. A co-authored book (Soothill, Fitzpatrick & Francis, 2009 – ‘Understanding Criminal Careers’) is also used to support this module.
Topics covered include onset, persistence and desistance. You will also critically analyse some of the unintended consequences of research into this area – as well as considering the future implications on criminology of those consequential findings.
This option can be taken alongside third year taught half-unit modules in Criminology. You can therefore take one of the third year Criminology option modules and be assessed in the usual way (one essay plus exam) for a half-unit, and can also undertake this half-unit extended essay on a topic related to that particular module.
The topic does not have to relate directly to a taught module and, if you wish, you can talk to staff about a small piece of documentary or other research in relevant areas of Criminology.
For this extended essay you will be individually tutored and therefore the availability of the option is subject to the department's ability to provide a suitable supervisor for you chosen subject.
The dissertation is an independent, in-depth inquiry into a research topic of your choosing, subject to there being a suitable expert in the department to supervise your project. The topic will relate to a key legal question or issue and may also directly relate to your professional/career interests.
This is your opportunity to make a contribution to the legal and academic community with new and original research and writing on a legal issue.
An engaging and highly relevant module, Drugs, Crime and Society examines the nature and extent of drug taking in the UK and beyond.
You will be taught by research-active lecturers who will introduce you to the latest research in this field and contemporary debate. For example, you might study current research and publications concerning cannabis cultivation, world markets, and drug distribution among friends (also known as ‘social supply’).
This module introduces you to the principles of the law of evidence in criminal cases. It also introduces you to the nature and theory of proof. These general issues are developed through the study of particular topics such as the burden and standard of proof; confessions and illegally obtained evidence; disputed identification evidence and other warnings to the jury; hearsay; the credibility of witnesses and bad character evidence.
This module will focus on hate crime, but will draw on notions from a range of international sources and jurisdictions.
Issues covered will focus on the question of what is ‘hate crime’, before ensuring that you gain an understanding of the harms of ‘hate crime’. There will be a discussion of the perpetrators of ‘hate crime’ as well as the policing of such. The international perspective to this module will be gained from a discussion of ‘hate crime’ as a human rights problem, with a particular focus on freedom of speech. Substantive issues will also be explored, notably, the notion of criminalising collective memory, with a focus on outlawing Holocaust denial and other crimes against humanity.
Here we aim to provide you with a robust understanding of the theories and principles that underpin health care ethics and health care law. We will engage with theories from both an individual and a societal perspective, helping you to develop your critical evaluation skills and establish your own ethical viewpoint.
The module leaders will introduce you to their own research and will adjust the topics covered to ensure that the module focuses on the most up-to-date developments in the field. Examples of potential topics include:
While we will facilitate the workshops, the sessions will be predominantly led by you and other students as we aim to accommodate your interests and foster a sense of autonomous learning.
This module introduces the principles of UK immigration and asylum law. Asylum is a subject seldom out of the press and it has received unprecedented political attention in the last decade. Given that immigration is now such a wide subject, with a number of major new statutes, you will only be introduced to selected highlights and the module will focus mainly on the asylum process. Consideration of the general issues is developed through the study of particular topics such as the nature of an asylum claim and the link between human rights and asylum. Immigration detention and the foreign prisoner crisis and deportation issues will also be discussed. If possible, the module will be supplemented by a visit to the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal.
Focusing on new technologies and our own research in this area, this module addresses the changes in the law that are necessary to accommodate the impact of the internet, developments in 3D printing, artificial intelligence, and advancements in bio-technology.
You will examine intellectual property law and the protection of intangible property, particularly copyright and patent law. And you will explore the theories that justify the legal protection of human creativity, whilst also studying its practical application.
You will consider copyright protection and its basic tenants alongside the defences and exceptions that allow society to benefit. Following this, you will look at the impact of the Internet and the ability to infringe upon copyright at an unprecedented level.
We will also cover the basics of patent law protection, along with issues relating to the ownership of patents by employers. And you will undertake an in-depth study of the current UK and international policies relating to bio-technology patents.
This module will introduce you to the field of international human rights law. It will provide an overview of the historical and philosophical foundations of human rights, various substantive rights that are protected through universal and regional instruments, as well as giving a general introduction to the international mechanisms for human rights protection and promotion.
The module aims to provide the you with both substantive and procedural knowledge of human rights protection, as well as knowledge and understanding of some of the key contemporary challenges in international human rights law.
The indicative syllabus will cover a variety of substantive topics in terms of current human rights standards. This will partly be a study of international treaties, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and partly be the study of specific protection for vulnerable groups, such as minorities and women as well as current issues in human rights law such as poverty, non-state actors and conflict. The way in which local and global political and social structures influence the enjoyment of human rights will also be addressed.
How does the law relate to land and property? And is the current law still fit for the 21st Century?
Our Land Law module immerses you in real life scenarios to promote an understanding of how the law actually works. You are given the opportunity to work through legal problems as though you are advising a client, and we discuss some of the documentation and protocols that are used by property lawyers.
We encourage lively debate and discussion, and aim to develop your skills in thinking and reasoning logically and creatively, challenging convention and understanding how land law has shaped our environment and society. You should also have an appreciation of the ways in which land law has developed and changed.
Topics typically covered include:
Your lecturers will be specialists in their field and active researchers. Current research within the teaching team addresses the system of land registration for the protection of title or ownership of land, and the history of property law and how well it works.
To what extent does English law accommodate religious belief and practice? How has the law interacted with religion historically? What is the current interplay between law and religion? And how does the UK model of religious accommodation compare with those adopted in European jurisdictions?
Religion in the 21st century continues to attract and engage the attention of the government, parliament and the courts - as it has done throughout English legal history. Law and Religion, an engaging, policy-significant and popular module, will tackle the central questions outlines above and introduce you to the laws that regulate religion and belief in the UK.
Typically the module covers the following topics:
The module focuses on two very pertinent topics in the area of religion and law: the application of Islamic law in the UK, and religious tribunals in the UK. We will draw on our research as we discuss issues that are high on the agenda of policy makers and are part of current media discussion.
This module will assess the legal and practical issues surrounding responses to massive violations of human rights, before the political and moral issues involved in using national and international courts will be discussed. The imposition of truth commissions as well as other techniques of ‘transitional justice’ to respond to massive human rights violations will be critically analysed in order to deduce the success of such responses.
How should we understand the role of punishment under democracy? How do the historical, cultural and ideological relationships that underpin and, to a certain extent, determine punishment inform our conceptions of Justice, Fairness, and Equality?
This module examines both the historical and philosophical dimensions of modern democratic punishment. We will probe the punitive landscape charted by theorists like Michel Foucault, Norbert Elias, and Emile Durkheim. This module will also consider the “new punitiveness” and the “old” in search of an explanation for the rise of the incapacitative approach to punishment, its permanence and its implications for the legitimacy of the democratic project.
This module covers the conditions under which an English court has jurisdiction to deal with a case having a foreign element (international jurisdiction); which particular municipal system of law is to govern the rights of the parties in such a case (choice of law); the circumstances in which a foreign judgment will be recognised as decisive of the question in dispute by the English court and the methods by which such a judgment may be enforced in England (recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments).
This module will introduce you to a range of sexual crimes and forms of sexual offending as defined by UK and international law.
The module will cover a number of key areas:
Streetlaw is an international network that provides presentations on the law to schools, colleges, community groups and others. It is student-led but supervised by one or more academic staff who check the content before the delivery of the module. It allows community groups to learn about a particular aspect of the law and yet at the same time, ensures students conduct appropriate research and demonstrate transferrable skills, such as public speaking.
We set our fees on an annual basis and the 2023/24 entry fees have not yet been set.
As a guide, our fees in 2022/23 were:
At Lancaster, we believe that funding concerns should not stop any student with the talent to thrive.
We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to help cover the cost of tuition fees and/or living expenses.
There may be extra costs related to your course for items such as books, stationery, printing, photocopying, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits. Following graduation, you may need to pay a subscription to a professional body for some chosen careers.
Specific additional costs for studying at Lancaster are listed below.
Lancaster is proud to be one of only a handful of UK universities to have a collegiate system. Every student belongs to a college, and all students pay a small college membership fee which supports the running of college events and activities.
For students starting in 2022, the fee is £40 for undergraduates and research students and £15 for students on one-year courses. Fees for students starting in 2023 have not yet been set.
To support your studies, you will also require access to a computer, along with reliable internet access. You will be able to access a range of software and services from a Windows, Mac, Chromebook or Linux device. For certain degree programmes, you may need a specific device, or we may provide you with a laptop and appropriate software - details of which will be available on relevant programme pages. A dedicated IT support helpdesk is available in the event of any problems.
The University provides limited financial support to assist students who do not have the required IT equipment or broadband support in place.
In addition to travel and accommodation costs, while you are studying abroad, you will need to have a passport and, depending on the country, there may be other costs such as travel documents (e.g. VISA or work permit) and any tests and vaccines that are required at the time of travel. Some countries may require proof of funds.
In addition to possible commuting costs during your placement, you may need to buy clothing that is suitable for your workplace and you may have accommodation costs. Depending on the employer and your job, you may have other costs such as copies of personal documents required by your employer for example.
Fees are set by the UK Government annually, and subsequent years' fees may be subject to increases. For international applicants starting in 2022, any annual increase will be capped at 4% of the previous year's fee.
The information on this site relates primarily to 2023/2024 entry to the University and every effort has been taken to ensure the information is correct at the time of publication.
The University will use all reasonable effort to deliver the courses as described, but the University reserves the right to make changes to advertised courses. In exceptional circumstances that are beyond the University’s reasonable control (Force Majeure Events), we may need to amend the programmes and provision advertised. In this event, the University will take reasonable steps to minimise the disruption to your studies. If a course is withdrawn or if there are any fundamental changes to your course, we will give you reasonable notice and you will be entitled to request that you are considered for an alternative course or withdraw your application. You are advised to revisit our website for up-to-date course information before you submit your application.
More information on limits to the University’s liability can be found in our legal information.
We believe in the importance of a strong and productive partnership between our students and staff. In order to ensure your time at Lancaster is a positive experience we have worked with the Students’ Union to articulate this relationship and the standards to which the University and its students aspire. View our Charter and other policies.