Are you interested in a Law degree? Don’t know if you want to study French Law or English Law? Why not study both? Read on for the experience of a first-year English and French law degree at a UK university.
There are currently five universities in the UK that offer the dual degree French and English Law. They all confer a UK Bachelor of Law, King’s College London, Queen Mary University London, and Exeter University also allow the student to obtain the level “Master 1” from their partner French university, UCL and Essex University obtain a French “Licence” with their dual degree.
Other universities, such as Warwick offer a bachelor in English Law with French Law, but without the possibility of obtaining a dual degree.
Expat Student client Claire is studying a dual English and French Law degree at Queen Mary University of London. She has just finished the first year of her four-year degree, and is very much enjoying her studies.
Speaking to Expat Student, Claire told us: “It’s an amazing experience, the subject is very interesting. I only knew a little bit about English and common law so it was fascinating to discover the difference between the English legal system and the French one.”
Studying as a first-year of English and French law degree
Despite the challenging and intensive course, Claire says she has never struggled to get used to the English university system, and commends the support from her teachers, who are only ever an email away. Her teachers are invested in her learning and are always available to help.
With only 30 students studying English and French law degree in Claire’s year, Claire has developed close relationships with both her teachers and other students. Her fellow students mostly come from international backgrounds, including students with French nationality who have lived abroad, and students who have lived and studied in France.
A typical day of an English and French law degree student
University students enjoy increased freedom and independence – no two days are ever exactly the same! However, Claire has provided Expat Student with a picture of her typical day.
Much of Claire’s studying is independent, working at home or in the library. Her typical day might include two hours of lectures or seminars on the university campus, and then one hour of tutorial. As part of her course, Claire receives one hour of tutorial per subject per week. After lunch, Claire goes to the university gym on campus, which she likes because of how convenient it is and how cheap it is to become a member. In the afternoon, she likes going to the library: “We have a huge library, it’s nice to be able to work with your friends and discuss things that you don’t understand. Our library is open 24 hours a day, but my favourite time to go is in the afternoon.”
“An English and French law degree includes a lot of individual work, reading and writing essays. Even when we’re not in class, my friends and I meet up in the library to discuss our projects and essays”.
After dinner, Claire either spends time with her friends or studies in her room.
Claire credits her university degree with improving her written and formal English: “When I lived abroad I only knew English orally, but this year I am learning how to write an essay, how to write a formal presentation, and improving my subject-specific vocabulary.”
Studying an English and French law degree has given Claire an edge in the employment market, especially since comparatively few Law students study two legal systems. Claire hasn’t decided whether she wants a career in the English legal system or the French one, but studying a dual degree means she can keep both options open. She says, “I’m interested right now in international law and I think this double degree will open up a lot more opportunities than simply doing a French Law degree in France. When you are looking at masters or final year internships, studying a dual degree will be very helpful, and you can mention it in your cover letter.”
Internships and Placements
Claire is currently an intern at Allen & Overy, an international law firm with headquarters in London. Claire is working in their Paris office, in Mergers and Acquisitions. Claire told Expat Student: “It’s exciting, I am learning a lot. I am mostly doing French law, which is really great because I haven’t had the chance to study a lot of French law this year.”
Her summer internship will give Claire work experience in French corporate law, and help her with her studies next year.
Working while studying
Claire manages to juggle studying and work by using the Host app, which allows her to sign up for specific events and shifts rather than committing to a set work schedule. Being able to choose the days she works allows her to prioritise her university studying, while still earning some money for living as a student.
For students who are more interested in a steady income and set shifts, there are many part-time jobs available for students in London, and indeed all over the UK. From retail to tutoring, there will be something available no matter your skill set.
Living in London
Coming from Paris, Claire has loved the move to a big city: “It’s an amazing city, there are so many districts to discover. What I really like about London is that no matter your interests, you will always find something to do or somewhere to go. There are so many restaurants and so much amazing food to eat, and the number of museums there are in the city is incredible. The National Gallery is very famous, and I saw recently that there is a Jack the Ripper museum that I really want to go to. The city is a bit expensive, but you will always find something to do no matter your budget.”
Claire’s tips for a successful first year studying abroad
Moving to a new country and studying a new subject can be daunting, but Claire has one key tip for any students thinking of studying abroad: “Don’t be scared, you will have so much fun!”
Claire also encourages any first-year university students to get involved with as many societies and activities as they can: “If you’re interested in a society just go for it, you will have time to fit it in around your studies. First year is the perfect chance to get involved with as much as you can, meet new people and discover a new city. Do not be nervous about introducing yourself to people, everyone is new and they will all be sociable!”
Getting support doing a law degree overseas
Interested in studying abroad? Expat Student can help.
If you are interested in studying English and French law degree in the UK, or more broadly studying in the UK, Expat Student can give you tailored advice and support throughout the application process. Queen Mary University of London is just one of the universities that offers a dual English and French Law degree; others include King’s College London, University College London, the University of Essex, and the University of Exeter. Take advantage of Expat Student’s expert knowledge and advice, and achieve your ambitions. Expat Student has relationships with top UK universities, and can provide personalised support throughout the application process, no matter the subject you want to study.
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