Chances of studying for LLM at top uni, if I had to resit a module during LLB year1 ? Watch

GrandPessimist
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I am taking my first-year university exams this year and even though I feel prepared for 3 of my modules, I constantly think that I will fail my 4th module, which is criminal law. I absolutely dread it and think it's so difficult and the fact that I had the worst and most unhelpful lecturers I could possibly have, doesn't help me either.

My question is, if I fail it, which will mean retaking it so it will be capped at 40%, how will that reflect if I decide to apply for a Master's degree at a university like UCL or LSE or, dare I be overly confident, and say Oxford or Cambridge too?

Of course the aforementioned universities only recruit the best of the best from the UK and the world, but would my application be considered at all, if despite failing one module, I move on to get a 1st class degree?

Please let me know what you think. Also any tips on Criminal law would be very much appreciated...


Thank you for reading...
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boffdude
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Suffice to say it won't look very good. If you apply before receiving your final year results this effect will be amplified, since your first year results will (1) be more recent and (2) be a higher proportion of the university marks you have to date. If you want to have a greater chance of success therefore it might be worth waiting till after you secure your degree, or reapplying then if you are unsuccessful before.

In recent years Oxford have cut the number of offers given for the BCL so it is now even more competitive than before to get an offer, which is worth bearing in mind.
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GrandPessimist
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(Original post by boffdude)
Suffice to say it won't look very good. If you apply before receiving your final year results this effect will be amplified, since your first year results will (1) be more recent and (2) be a higher proportion of the university marks you have to date. If you want to have a greater chance of success therefore it might be worth waiting till after you secure your degree, or reapplying then if you are unsuccessful before.

In recent years Oxford have cut the number of offers given for the BCL so it is now even more competitive than before to get an offer, which is worth bearing in mind.
Thank you for your reply!

To be honest, I don't even think I would dare apply for the BCL. One of my lecturers is an Oxford graduate and taught there briefly, and when a final-year student asked him for his advice on the BCL, he told her to not apply because she would be disappointed. The competition is so high that you may only have good chances if you have AAA at A-levels, 1sts during your first year and a first class degree. Not of course to mention that the highest percent of those studying for the BCL are either Oxford or Cambridge graduates...

However, I think it is possible to get a Master's offer in a really good university if you have failed at a module. I have met a person at my uni who suffered from severe anxiety and after failing her first year exams (all four of them) it took her 2 years to overcome her issues and take the supplementary exams. She went on to get the highest marks at the law school during her second year, and now she's predicted to graduate with a First and was offered places at LSE and the College of Europe for a Master's degree.

She is an exceptional candidate in every way though and I know her case is in the minority, but it gives me hope...
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GrandPessimist
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(Original post by boffdude)
Suffice to say it won't look very good. If you apply before receiving your final year results this effect will be amplified, since your first year results will (1) be more recent and (2) be a higher proportion of the university marks you have to date. If you want to have a greater chance of success therefore it might be worth waiting till after you secure your degree, or reapplying then if you are unsuccessful before.

In recent years Oxford have cut the number of offers given for the BCL so it is now even more competitive than before to get an offer, which is worth bearing in mind.
Also, can I ask you something else too?

What are the chances of employment if you have failed a module? I realise there will be some serious explaining to be done if you're applying to law firms, but what about any other jobs??
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boffdude
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(Original post by GrandPessimist)
Thank you for your reply!

To be honest, I don't even think I would dare apply for the BCL. One of my lecturers is an Oxford graduate and taught there briefly, and when a final-year student asked him for his advice on the BCL, he told her to not apply because she would be disappointed. The competition is so high that you may only have good chances if you have AAA at A-levels, 1sts during your first year and a first class degree. Not of course to mention that the highest percent of those studying for the BCL are either Oxford or Cambridge graduates...

However, I think it is possible to get a Master's offer in a really good university if you have failed at a module. I have met a person at my uni who suffered from severe anxiety and after failing her first year exams (all four of them) it took her 2 years to overcome her issues and take the supplementary exams. She went on to get the highest marks at the law school during her second year, and now she's predicted to graduate with a First and was offered places at LSE and the College of Europe for a Master's degree.

She is an exceptional candidate in every way though and I know her case is in the minority, but it gives me hope...
I agree that it is definitely still possible to get a place on a good LLM having had a poor module. Don't interpret what I said before as in any way meaning that you wont be able to get such a place - I simply wanted to make clear that the bad mark will be noticed, will have an impact, and will have a greater impact if you apply before having received your finals results.

If you can get in the top percentiles of your year in later years that should easily compensate for the one bad mark at this early stage. On the LLM at UCL now for instance there are people who have received 3rds in previous undergrad modules. Your example is but an extreme version of the recovery many individuals make between first year and finals. My advice would be to concentrate on doing your best in the upcoming exams, and to worry about any repercussions resulting from bad marks if and when they arise. Worrying about something that may or may not happen is probably only going to add unnecessary stress at this point.

Re the jobs point, that is more outside my expertise so it is probably better for me to leave that to someone with more knowledge. If in doubt a quick call to the relevant graduate recruitment dept is usually a useful way to find out about such things.
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Key123
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(Original post by GrandPessimist)
Also, can I ask you something else too?

What are the chances of employment if you have failed a module? I realise there will be some serious explaining to be done if you're applying to law firms, but what about any other jobs??
In going to flip a new question at you-

Why do you want to do a Masters in the first place?


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GrandPessimist
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(Original post by Key123)
In going to flip a new question at you-

Why do you want to do a Masters in the first place?


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Do you mean why I would like to do a Masters after having failed a module, or why I would like to do a Masters in general?

I am interested in exploring the area of international law, government and diplomacy and a law degree doesn't really give you with this opportunity. There are relevant modules in the final year, but, at least in my uni, they don't always run, because there might not be enough students to form a class. It is normal, I think, because most law students want to be either barristers or solicitors so there is naturally more focus on commercial law modules.
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