UCL Faculty of Laws

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UCL Faculty of Laws
UCL Faculty of Laws logo.jpg
Established 1826
Dean Dame Hazel Genn
Administrative staff
Undergraduates 450
Postgraduates 390
Location Bentham House, London, United Kingdom
Website www.ucl.ac.uk/laws

The UCL Faculty of Laws is the law school of University College London (UCL). It is one of UCL's 11 constituent faculties and is based in London, United Kingdom.[1] It is one of the world’s leading law schools, ranking 11th globally in the 2015 QS World University Rankings by Subject for Law.[2][3][4] Established in 1826, the Faculty was the first law school in England to admit students regardless of their religion, and the first to admit women on equal terms with men.

The Faculty has a student body comprising over 450 undergraduates, 350 taught graduates and around 40 research (MPhil/PhD) students and offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate degrees.[5] It publishes a number of journals, including Current Legal Problems, Current Legal Issues, and the UCL Jurisprudence Review.

Notable alumni of the Faculty include Mahatma Gandhi (leader of the Indian independence movement), Chaim Herzog (President of Israel 1983–1993), Sir Ellis Clarke (President of Trinidad and Tobago 1976-1986), Lord Woolf (Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales 2000-2005), Lord Goldsmith QC (Attorney General for England and Wales 2001-2007), Terry Davis (Secretary General of the Council of Europe 2004–2009) and Chao Hick Tin (Judge of Appeal in Singapore 2008-2015).


Bentham House, the main building of the UCL Faculty of Laws. The Gideon Schreier Wing can be seen to the right.

The Faculty was established in 1826 and is one of the oldest law schools in England. It was the first law school in England to offer a systematic university education to men and women, irrespective of religious beliefs and social backgrounds. The Faculty’s first professor was the noted legal philosopher, John Austin (Professor of Jurisprudence). Andrew Amos, a successful barrister, became the first Professor of English Law (and later Professor of Medical Jurisprudence).

Hazel Genn was appointed as dean of the Faculty in September 2008.[6]

In November 2010 the Faculty launched the UCL Judicial Institute, the first specialist academic centre for research and teaching about the judiciary to be established in the UK.[7]


The Faculty is based at Bentham House, Endsleigh Gardens, a few minutes’ walk from the main UCL campus. The building is named after philosopher, jurist and reformer Jeremy Bentham (1748–1832), who is closely associated with UCL. The main building was originally constructed in 1954–8 as a headquarters for the National Union of General and Municipal Workers: the exterior decoration includes at fifth-floor level five relief sculptures of industrial workers by Esmond Burton.[8] It was acquired by UCL and occupied by the Faculty in 1965.[9] In the mid-2000s, the Faculty expanded into the adjacent 1970s building in Endsleigh Street, formerly the B'nai B'rith Hillel House (a social and residential centre for Jewish students), now renamed the Gideon Schreier Wing.

Facilities at Bentham House include teaching rooms, lecture halls, a courtroom for moots, a student lounge, a coffee bar and two computer cluster rooms.[5]

In November 2014 an £18.5 million redevelopment of Bentham House received planning permission.[10] Levitt Bernstein are the architects for the project.[10]



The main portico of University College London

The Faculty was placed joint first in the UK for the proportion of its research activity in the top two star categories (75% 4*/3*) in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise.[3] It is home to a number of associated research centres and institutes:[11]

  • Centre for Commercial Law
  • Centre for Criminal Law
  • Centre for Empirical Legal Studies
  • Centre for Ethics & Law
  • Centre for International Courts & Tribunals
  • Centre for Law & Economics
  • Centre for Law and the Environment
  • Centre for Law and Governance in Europe
  • Institute of Brand and Innovation Law
  • Institute of Global Law
  • Institute for Human Rights
  • Jevons Institute for Competition Law and Economics
  • Judicial Institute



The Faculty receives an average of around 2,500 applications for approximately 140 undergraduate places each year.[12] The minimum entry requirements are A*AA grades at A-level, plus a pass in a fourth subject at AS level and a high LNAT score.[13] All candidates to whom an offer is contemplated being made who are identified as requiring particular consideration are interviewed.[13] There are no places available through the UCAS clearing process.[12]


The Faculty admits approximately 350 students to its graduate LLM course each year.[5]

The minimum entry requirements for the MPhil and PhD are a bachelor's degree with a first or high upper second honours together with an LLM with an average grade of 65% (ideally with evidence of first class ability).[14]


The Faculty publishes a number of journals, including Current Legal Problems, Current Legal Issues, and the UCL Jurisprudence Review.

Public lectures[edit]

The Faculty hosts a number of free public lectures each week (including the Current Legal Problems series) on a wide range of legal topics. These lectures are delivered by eminent academics from major universities around the world, senior members of the judiciary and leading legal practitioners.


The Faculty is regarded by many to be "the best law faculty in the UK".[15] In 2009 the Independent University Guide ranked the quality of teaching at the Faculty joint first in the UK alongside the University of Oxford.[16] During a recent peer-review assessment conducted by The Sunday Times, the Faculty recorded perfect scores for teaching and research quality, confirming its reputation as one of UCL’s most outstanding departments.[17]

In 2009, the Faculty enjoyed a 100% graduate employment rate, compared to 99.7% at the University of Oxford, 98% at the University of Cambridge and 97% at the London School of Economics.[16] Many graduates go on to pursue legal careers at 'Magic Circle' law firms and leading barristers’ chambers.[16]

In the 2014 QS World University Rankings by Subject UCL is ranked 12th in the world (and 4th in Europe) for Law.[18] In domestic rankings UCL is ranked first for Law in the 2014 Guardian University Guide,[19] third in the 2014 Complete University Guide[20] and 6th in the Times and Sunday Times League Table.[21]

UCL Law Society[edit]

The majority of students become members of the UCL Law Society upon matriculation. The Law Society is led by the President and 15 other officers who are (apart from the First Year Representative) elected in March towards the end of the academic year. The Law Society organises a wide range of events for members including competitions in mooting, debating, negotiation and client interviewing. There is also a strong focus on career development with regular events with leading barristers’ chambers and law firms.

Notable academic staff[edit]

The Faculty has more than 50 full-time academic staff, including 29 professors, many visiting professors and distinguished judicial and other visiting academic staff. The current list of professors include:

Visiting Professors

Notable alumni[edit]



See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Academic Units of UCL". UCL Academic Services. Retrieved 24 August 2010. 
  2. ^ http://www.topuniversities.com/university-rankings/university-subject-rankings/2015/law-legal-studies#sorting=rank+region=+country=+faculty=+stars=false+search=>McCall, Alastair (19 September 2008). "Double first for Oxford". London: Times Online. Retrieved 24 August 2010. 
  3. ^ a b "RAE 2008: law results". London: The Guardian. 18 December 2008. Retrieved 24 August 2010. 
  4. ^ Paton, Graeme (9 October 2009). "Oxford beaten by UCL in league table". London: The Telegraph. Retrieved 24 August 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c "About UCL Laws". UCL Faculty of Laws. Retrieved 24 August 2010. 
  6. ^ "Dame Hazel becomes dean of UCL law". The Lawyer. 29 September 2008. Retrieved 26 January 2012. 
  7. ^ "UCL launches institute to teach students about workings of the judicial system". Legal Week. 15 November 2010. Retrieved 15 November 2010. 
  8. ^ Cherry, Bridget; Pevsner, Nikolaus (1998). London 4: North. The Buildings of England. London: Penguin. p. 274. ISBN 0140710493. 
  9. ^ Harte, Negley; North, John (2004). The World of UCL 1828-2004 (3rd ed.). London: UCL Press. p. 235. ISBN 1-84472-068-3. 
  10. ^ a b "Green light for Levitt Bernstein's £18.5 million UCL scheme". Building Design. 3 November 2014. Retrieved 16 November 2014. 
  11. ^ "UCL Laws Research: Areas of Expertise". UCL Faculty of Laws. Retrieved 26 August 2010. 
  12. ^ a b "Frequently Asked Questions". UCL Faculty of Laws. Retrieved 24 August 2010. 
  13. ^ a b "UCL Laws Undergraduate Programmes". UCL Faculty of Laws. Retrieved 24 August 2010. 
  14. ^ "UCL Laws Research Degree Programmes". UCL Faculty of Laws. Retrieved 24 August 2010. 
  15. ^ Blair, Alexandra (26 May 2005). "The tests to select the best". London: The Times. Retrieved 24 August 2010. 
  16. ^ a b c Battersby, Matilda (30 July 2010). "Law". London: The Independent. Retrieved 24 August 2010. 
  17. ^ McCall, Alastair (19 September 2008). "Double first for Oxford". London: Times Online. Retrieved 24 August 2010. 
  18. ^ "QS World University Rankings by Subject 2014 - Law". QS Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. Retrieved 1 March 2014. 
  19. ^ "University guide 2014: league table for law". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  20. ^ "University Subject Tables 2014 - Law". The Complete University Guide. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  21. ^ "University Guide 2014 - Law". Times Newspapers. Retrieved 24 September 2013. 
  22. ^ The London Gazette: no. 49583. p. 4. 31 December 1983. Retrieved 2013-01-7.
  23. ^ "Dame Bernice Dies". Antigua Observer. 12 September 2011. Retrieved 28 September 2011. 

External links[edit]