The University of Bristol has a reputation as one of the finest institutions not just in the United Kingdom, but throughout the world. Usually featuring in the top 10 of any league table, graduates are well placed find employment in some of the most elite law firms around.
Whilst not in the very top handful of universities, Bristol is securely fixed alongside similarly elite institutions such as Nottingham and Durham. Standard admissions for the LLB course are AAA-AAB, although in the present climate only students with a superb personal statement and/or compelling reasons will be lucky to receive an offer without top marks across the board.
General Studies and Critical Thinking are not accepted for admissions purposes. In addition, students must sit the LNAT to gain entry to the llb course at Bristol law school.
Bristol Law School is based in the historic Wills Memorial Building, which dominates Park Street, the main approach to the university. All classes on the llb course are all held within the building, meaning that whilst students have the privilege of studying in one of the grandest buildings in the city, they are often called upon to ascend the steps to various nooks and crannies in far flung corners of the building. Assemblies and examinations are conducted in the Great Hall, which does genuinely have the feel of Hogwarts about it.
The law library is open for 70 hours per week during term time and is host to a solid selection of books. However, it can become extremely crowded during busy periods and the limited number of computers can pose a problem if one needs access to an article or law report not found on the shelves.
Whilst there are sufficient sockets for students to bring in laptops to use, they should remember that Bristol is not a campus university and it is relatively easy for anyone to wander in off the streets. The installation of swipe-operated turnstiles has cut down instances of theft however.
Owing to the age of the buildings, lecture theatres in the university are not particularly large when compared to other universities, though some can easily accommodate around 80 people.
Bristol Law School is home to over 40 highly qualified and enthusiastic academic staff, drawn from numerous jurisdictions and educated at some of the finest universities from around the world. In addition, many lecturers have taught at these elite institutions, including Oxford, Cambridge, Yale and Gothenburg as well as numerous other elite universities across Europe, Asia and the United States.
The Dean of Bristol Law School, Malcolm Evans, was made OBE in 2004 for services to the promotion of human rights. Many staff at the university specialise in forms of international law – notably human rights – which is reflected in the international make up of the faculty.
Bristol Law School is situated in the heart of Bristol. The area around the Wills Building is home to everyday high street shops around the Clifton Triangle (such as Sainsbury’s and the essential-for-students Borders) as well as more eclectic, independent stores along Park Street. There are copious amounts of restaurants, takeaways and cafes in the area and the massive (and aesthetically monstrous) Student’s Union building is a short walk away.
The Autumn of 2008 will also see the completion of one of the largest building projects in Europe, when the ‘Cabot Circus’ shopping centre opens. As well as the shops one may find in any major city, Cabot Circus will also feature a high-tech cinema complex and a Harvey Nick’s.
As with all major cities, Bristol has its fair share of ‘no go’ areas. However, the University is actually situated amongst some of the most expensive real estate in the United Kingdom and most students should not find themselves in any danger if they use a little common sense.
As with most universities, Bristol has fully implemented the top-up fee regime, meaning that undergraduate home and EU students will pay £3,225 on the llb course. International students pay considerably more, with LLB fees around the £11,000 a year mark.
Accommodation at the university varies a great deal in price. Accommodation ranges from £1900 to £5200 per year. It is essential to properly investigate the various types of accommodation on offer. As noted above, some is shared; some have basics such as a basin, whilst others are self-contained full en suite facilities.
Also, the non-campus nature of the university means that a lot of accommodation may be a relatively long way away from the main lecture and seminar rooms – something to think about when deciding where to live. There is also the option of living in private rented accommodation. Such accommodation can range from the incredibly cheap and nasty to the vastly expensive and luxurious.
One of the great advantages in living in the Clifton area around the Wills building is that there is less need to venture aboard Bristol’s notorious bus network. Clifton Village is well stocked with local stores and the centre of Bristol and the Broadmead shopping centre is not far away (although walk back up Bristol’s hills may be less tempting). There are also good road links to the nearby Mall Shopping Centre at Cribbs Causeway.
Bristol operates a very active careers service, with several advisors dedicated solely for law in particular. There is everything you would expect from a first rate careers centre; CV workshops, interview preparation, application advice and general career guidance. The centre also plays host to various key-note speakers within the legal world, with major law firms visiting with great frequency.
Times Law School ranking:
Guardian School Law ranking:
£3225 per year
University of Bristol
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