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Study Criminal Law at a UK University

Indian student guide to studying criminal law

Studying criminal law in the UK offers students a deep dive into a robust and historic legal system enriched by centuries of jurisprudential evolution. The UK, with its unique blend of tradition and modernity, provides a fertile ground for examining the complexities of criminal law. From ancient legal doctrines to contemporary challenges like cybercrime, law schools in the UK provide a comprehensive educational experience. 

By choosing the UK, aspiring legal professionals and scholars position themselves at the heart of a global system that has influenced legal frameworks, benefiting from a diverse, challenging, and rewarding academic landscape.

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Types of Criminal Law Courses

Bachelor of Criminal Law

A bachelor's degree in criminal law, popularly available as LLB Criminal Law in the UK, offers an extensive study into areas pertinent to law enforcement and the justice system. Enrolled students engage with subjects such as legal theories within criminal law, the science of criminology, procedural aspects of criminal law, and the intricacies of forensic studies. 

Alongside, they delve into the foundations of legal ethics, principles of constitutional law, and the nuances of human rights. Through this thorough curriculum, learners obtain the aptitude and competence to comprehend and actively participate in the criminal justice sphere.

Acquiring criminal law knowledge fosters analytical thinking, meticulous research capabilities, and adept problem-solving prowess. This academic pursuit positions them ideally for future endeavours in sectors like legal services, policy formulation, advocacy, or roles within law enforcement agencies. These individuals possess a bachelor's in criminal law and are poised to effectively contribute towards shaping a balanced and equitable criminal justice landscape.

Master’s of Criminal Law

A master's degree in criminal law, better known as LLM Criminal Law in the UK, provides an in-depth study of the judicial system. It covers advanced studies in criminal court cases, global criminal law, sophisticated financial crimes, and criminal justice policies. 

The course demands a deep commitment and hones students' legal research, evaluation, and persuasion abilities. Emerging challenges, including online crimes and breaches of human rights, are dissected, allowing students to acquire a multifaceted perspective of contemporary legal challenges. Within this curriculum, students partake in thought-provoking discussions, enhance their proficiency in legal documentation, and frequently benefit from practical learning experiences.

PhD in Criminal Law

In the UK, leading criminal law universities offer the opportunity to undertake a PhD in criminal law. This advanced study allows students to immerse themselves in the intricacies of criminal processes, criminological studies, and legal evaluation. The curriculum seamlessly integrates academic insights with hands-on experiences, often simulating court proceedings and in-depth research undertakings.

Please note the above are expected average fees but will vary depending on the university.


Pursuing criminal law in the UK offers immense value, though it might pose financial constraints, especially for international students. Thankfully, there are several scholarships available that can address these expenses. Below, we have highlighted a few criminal law scholarships offered by UK universities.

Scholarship Name Amount University
LLB and LLB for Grads International Student Scholarship £3,000 per year University of Birmingham
International LLM Scholarship £4,000 Sheffield University
Hodgson Law Scholarship Full tuition and £9,207 stipend University of Liverpool

Jobs and Careers

Common job roles for criminal lawyers depend on the course level they have completed and their expertise in this domain. Job options include:


In the UK, incomes in criminal law differ based on elements such as professional experience and geographical location. Initial salaries for newly qualified solicitors generally range from £27,000 to £40,000 annually. 

Experienced solicitors can earn between £50,000 and £100,000 annually. Barristers' earnings can span from £30,000 to over £300,000, contingent on their specialisation and the volume of cases handled. Those working as public defenders typically receive set salaries, which tend to be less than those of counterparts in the private sector.

Where can I study Criminal Law in the UK?

To learn more about the best criminal law courses in the UK, find details on the top ten ranking Law universities in the Guardian University Guide 2024 below:

  1. University College London
  2. University of Cambridge
  3. University of Oxford
  4. King's College London
  5. London School of Economics
  6. University of Glasgow
  7. Durham University
  8. Solent University
  9. Leeds Trinity University
  10. University of Warwick

Study Criminal Law in the UK

If you want to study criminal law in the UK, arrange your free consultation with SI-UK today.

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Criminal Law FAQ

Which degree is best for criminal law?

The best degree for criminal law is an LLB (Bachelor of Laws), specialising in criminal law. Some institutions also offer specific courses, such as a bachelor's in criminal law or a bachelor's in criminology, which can also be beneficial. For postgraduate qualifications, an LLM focusing on criminal law is ideal.

What should I do after 12th to become a criminal lawyer?

After completing your 12th grade, if you're keen on becoming a criminal lawyer, you should:

What is LLB criminal law?

An LLB in criminal law is a Bachelor of Laws degree focusing on criminal law. It covers all foundational legal subjects but emphasises criminal statutes, procedures, case law, and criminology, preparing students for criminal litigation, prosecution, defence, or policy-making careers.

How many years is criminal law school?

In the UK, an LLB criminal law degree, which can be taken right after high school, is five years long. However, if you first complete a bachelor's degree in another field and then pursue law, the LLB is typically a three-year course. 

Is criminal law a good career in India?

Yes, criminal law is a significant and respected career in India. With the vast and complex nature of the Indian legal system, there's a continuous demand for skilled criminal lawyers. Whether serving as a public prosecutor, a defence attorney, or working with NGOs on human rights issues, the opportunities are varied. Moreover, the evolving nature of crime, especially with technological advancements, means the field is always ripe with new challenges, making it a dynamic and rewarding profession.

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Studying in the UK

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