College of Law awarded LLB powers

In the biggest shake-up in legal education since the launch of the LPC, the College of Law has become the first non-university-affiliated law school to win degree-awarding powers.

From September 2006, students completing the college’s GDL and LPC will graduate with a law degree (LLB) rather than a diploma. It also has the power to award students LLMs.

College of Law chief executive Nigel Savage said: “This is a big difference in status for us. It’s a public acknowledgment from the Government that we’ve achieved a certain standing.”

College of Law arch rival BPP Law School has also applied for degree-providing status, but has not yet received government approval. BPP chief executive Peter Crisp said he does not expect the results of the Quality Assessment Agency (QAA) review until mid-2007, but declined to comment further.

Savage added: “The college isn’t going to get into undergraduate law degrees in competition with the universities.” He did not rule out the possibility of going head-to-head with universities in the future, however.

The Privy Council’s decision to bestow degree-awarding powers follows a review by the QAA and a recommendation to the Department for Education and Skills.

“Increasingly students are degree shopping,” Savage explained. For example, most overseas students who want to be international lawyers want a US or English law degree and would be happy to study in either country.