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10 myths about studying law online

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LLB (Hons) Law degree is one of the most prestigious and well-established professional qualifications. Because of the nature of the course, which is focused on applying legal knowledge in practical circumstances, many people are sceptical that it cannot be studied ‘properly’ online. Here at University of Essex Online, we regularly receive questions about the details and legitimacy of our law degree so we thought we’d share our knowledge and dispel the ten most common misconceptions about studying law online…

1. “It’s not a ‘real’ law degree”

Without a doubt, this is the most common misunderstanding we hear about our online law degree, and online law degrees in general. And we can say once and for all, that it definitely is! Our LLB (Hons) Law is a Qualifying Law Degree (QLD), approved by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Bar Standard Board and is the first step for students considering practising law professionally as a solicitor or barrister.

2. “Anyone can just buy a law degree online”

With the rise of counterfeit degree certificates available to purchase online from fake universities1, it’s not surprising that a lot of people view online degrees with suspicion. However, our course is delivered by Kaplan Open Learning (Essex) Limited, an experienced online learning provider and with our discussion forums, regular lectures, assignment deadlines and directed reading, students thinking that they can just buy their way to an LLB (Hons) Law will quickly discover that this course is no easy ride!

3. “Online law tutors aren’t experienced”

The tutors at University of Essex Online are solicitors, barristers and established law lecturers, and every one is more than qualified to teach law at the LLB level. Dr Naila Anwar, the Head of Law, was awarded a PhD degree from the School of Law, University of Nottingham (NU). Naila has worked as a lecturer and tutor at a number of prestigious universities, including Sheffield International College (SIC), Nottingham Trent University (NTU), Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC) and many more.

4. “The course won’t cover standard topics”

There’s a common perception about online law degrees; people mistakenly think that the modules and topics will be easier than traditional campus courses. Being a QLD the LLB (Hons) programme at University of Essex Online covers all foundation modules including Constitutional and Administrative Law, Law of European Union, Criminal Law, Law of Contract, Law of Tort, Property Law, Equity and Law of Trust, and Legal Research. Along with these core modules this programme also covers a number of compulsory and optional modules. The modules are designed and delivered in a way that in addition to subject-specific knowledge, students will also gain a range of skills including advocacy skills, analytical and problem-solving skills needed to build a successful career in law or a number of other related careers.

5. “Graduates can only practise law, their options after graduation are really limited”

Not true! Law opens up many opportunities for students to develop their careers, both inside and outside the legal field; this includes preparing graduates for roles in finance, human resources, education, local and central government, the voluntary sector or management. Our graduates also develop a number of transferable skills that they can use in almost any workplace, including communications, presentation, writing, analytical and critical-thinking skills.

6. “The course doesn’t use standard textbooks”

Although most modern degree courses are moving away from being entirely textbook-based, this doesn’t mean that the valuable knowledge and study skills they help students to develop are also being lost. At University of Essex Online, we combine standard e-textbooks with recorded lectures to create a full-rounded and engaging learning experience. And what’s more, copies of the e-textbooks are completely free to our students as they’re included in our course fees. Along with e-textbooks, students will have access to an online library.

7. “It’s easy to cheat your way to a passing grade”

With quick and anonymous access to online journals and academic papers online, increasing the opportunities for plagiarism, it’s easy to imagine that cheating your way to a degree is common these days. At University of Essex Online we use the Turnitin plagiarism detection software to monitor students’ work and if a submission is found to be in breach of our rules and regulations, procedures are in place to escalate the matter (which may lead to disciplinary action being taken).

8. “You won’t get to graduate as a law student”

Graduates of University of Essex Online are invited to attend a graduation ceremony at the University of Essex, Colchester Campus. This exciting day gives students the chance to reflect on their achievements and celebrate with family and friends. There is also no mention of online study on the University of Essex degree certificate; the mode of study is only mentioned on the transcripts that accompany your final grades. Read our blog post about our 2015 graduation ceremony

9. “You don’t get any one-to-one tutor support or class discussion time”

While it’s true that face-to-face meetups aren’t part of an online degree, every student at University of Essex Online student receives individual tutor support via email and telephone (plus feedback on assignments). We also recognise that discussion is an important part of learning, especially for a challenging discipline like law, so our students are graded on their contributions to our discussion forums. Tutors also run live Q&A sessions that allow students to communicate in real-time.

10. “Employers don’t respect online qualifications”

Approach towards online qualifications has changed in the last few years and with so much of our everyday lives now online they’re given the same respect as a traditional campus-based qualification. Being a partner of the University of Essex, all of the online degrees delivered by University of Essex Online are bound by the same academic standards, rules and policies as degrees studied on campus.


We hope that this post has resolved any doubts you might have about studying law online with University of Essex Online. If you want to find out more about our CertCE and LLB (Hons) Law courses, please visit our Law department page. Still have questions? Chat with our team or download our prospectus today!