The School of Law at the University of Aberdeen dates back to the University’s foundation in 1495. Today, it is one of the largest law schools in Scotland, admitting some two hundred and fifty students each year, as well as over forty international exchange students.
The School offers both undergraduate and taught and research postgraduate degrees, as well as the Diploma in Legal Practice and Professional Competence Course. The current Head of the School of Law is Greg Gordon.
The 2019 Complete University Guide league rankings placed Aberdeen at 5th in the UK. 2019 The Times league rankings also placed Aberdeen at 5th in the UK. The School of Law at the University of Aberdeen, one of the four “ancient” universities of Scotland, with the law being taught here since 1495.
The School of Law offers an extensive range of both undergraduate and postgraduate programs of study. The universities pride themselves on delivering high quality, engaging and academically challenging programs. Our learning environment is one of support and personal development leading to well rounded and highly employable graduates. The School of Law offers a wide variety of LLB degrees. This includes the LLB with English Law, a degree that satisfies the accreditation criteria of both the English and Scots authorities. We also offer LLB degrees which provide students with the opportunity for a year studying abroad and we offer an accelerated degree for graduates. A varied Graduate program is offered including taught Masters degrees, research degrees and the Diploma in Professional Legal Practice. There is an annual Summer School run with Baltimore and Maryland Universities, USA.
The School of Law has around 50 academic staff, 900 LLB undergraduates, 345 taught postgraduate students made up of 200 LLM, 80 Diploma in Professional and Legal Practice and 65 postgraduate research students.
We are ranked a Top 10 UK Law School in all three of the most recent major league tables (The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020, the Guardian University Guide 2020 and The Complete University Guide 2020).
The School of Law is located in Aberdeen, the Energy Capital of Europe. The city has a long history of international trade and a rich local cultural heritage. Aberdeen also offers easy access to the beautiful and varied landscape of the North East of Scotland.
The history of the School of Law began with the establishment in 1495 of King’s College, Aberdeen, the original university in Aberdeen, by William Elphinstone, then Bishop of Aberdeen and himself a former lawyer. From 1505 onwards, King’s College endowed two professors of law- one for Canon law, another for Civil Law. Canon law ceased to be taught at King’s College due to the Reformation which saw a purging of King’s professors. The latter, Civil Law, would continue to be taught at King’s College, subsequently in the United University, until today[9]. The tradition has produced scholars such as T.B.Smith, Peter Stein.
In 1860, King’s merged with Aberdeen’s other university, Marischal College, to form the current University. However, it was not until 1895 that John Dove Wilson revived Scots Law at Aberdeen as a B.L (Bachelor of Laws) and 1910 as the LLB degree[10]. The University taught Law at Marischal College until the expansion of King’s College. The School of Law and its Library subsequently moved to St.Mary’s buildings until once again, was moved to its current accommodation in the Taylor Building.
Today, the School of Law has around one thousand students studying undergraduate and postgraduate programs and houses two research centers: the Centre for Property Law and the Civil Law Centre. In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), the School submitted 35.7 FTE staff, the third-highest number of legal research staff in Scotland, after Glasgow (37.95) and Edinburgh (48.74). Five of the School’s research submissions were rated the highest 4*, the same number as Dundee and Stirling, but behind Glasgow’s fifteen, Strathclyde’s twenty and Edinburgh’s thirty. The School achieved thirty 3*, forty-five 2* and twenty 1* submissions.
Available courses
• Business Law and Sustainable Development with Dissertation (LLM)
• Criminal Justice (LLM)
• Criminal Justice and Human Rights (LLM)
• Dispute Resolution (LLM)
• Energy and Environmental Law with Dissertation (LLM)
• Energy and Environmental Law with Professional Skills (LLM)
• Energy Law with Dissertation (LLM)
• Energy Law with Professional Skills (LLM)
• General Law (LLM)
• Human Rights (LLM)
• Human Rights and Criminal Justice (LLM)
• Intellectual Property Law (LLM)
• Intellectual Property Law with Professional Skills (LLM)
• International Commercial Law with Dissertation (LLM)
• International Commercial Law with Professional Skills (LLM)
• International Law (LLM)
• International Law and International Relations (LLM)
• International Law and Strategic Studies (LLM)
• International Trade Law (LLM)
• International Trade Law and Treaty Negotiation with Professional Skills (LLM)
• Natural Resources Law (LLM)
• Oil and Gas Law with Dissertation (LLM)
• Oil and Gas Law with Professional Skills LLM (LLM)
• Private International Law (LLM)
• Public International Law (LLM)
Student life at Aberdeen
You will find information about the key things you need to know as a student, including an overview of the support services available to all students who are ready to help you throughout your time at university. You will also find practical information and advice to help you get the most out of your student life. Whatever you are looking to exercise your intellect, your body, or your voice, there are lots of opportunities at the University of Aberdeen. These often come at little or no extra cost and can enhance your CV and boost your career prospects. The city of Aberdeen truly has something for everyone. It is a vibrant modern city, with striking granite architecture, a rich and inspiring history, a dynamic modern art scene, and a stunning, dramatic coastline. For more information about Aberdeen City and links to the entertainment, nightlife and cultural sights on your doorstep, visit the Aberdeen City pages on the main University site. The University of Aberdeen has teamed up with the Lonely Planet to create an exclusive new travel guide showcasing all that the Granite City has to offer students.