student demographics at LSE/UCL/KCL Watch

spaekles
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I am currently looking into different unis to study law at (UG). One of the main deciding factors for me is the environment and the people that I'm going to be surrounded with. I was dead set to aim for KCL but I'm having second thoughts. Here's what I found so far:
KCL demographics:
80%+ White
10%+ South Asian
5%+ Oriental
~40:60 male:female ratio? (perhaps it's different for law major)
Do correct me if I'm wrong.
I am very interested in learning what types of people goes to which unis. What's the average "social status" of KCL students? I do not mean to offend anyone regarding their race and class, I'm just trying to find the best fit for me. How are the demographics of the students at LSE and UCL?
I also read about the problems with the administration at KCL. I have personally experienced problems with "administration" before (e.g. sudden changes for the dates of exams, cancelled classes, not being able to take a class because it's full, etc) and I DO NOT want to deal with such problems again. Is this a big issue there?
Also, what other law programs would you recommend?
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tenacity
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For all three faculties:

~70% are internationals
~40:60 male:female

University-wide percentage of students from state schools in 2017/18 (according to HESA):

KCL: 77.7
UCL: 69.7
LSE: 68.7

LSE has a reputation for excellent industry links particularly in finance and generally as a launch pad for lucrative jobs, but also for notably poor teaching standards and generally for treating its undergraduates like cattle. It was the only even half-decent British university not to receive a Gold or Silver rating in the most recent Teaching Excellence Framework, and there are frequent reports of unskilled and uninterested postgraduates teaching classes. Not too long ago, there was a furore over a Law exam that was brought forward at such short notice that vociferous and ultimately successful student protests resulted. Its students have a reputation for being cliquey, unsociable, and asian. Lots of students have complained about it on here and elsewhere and it is frequently said that transfers out are common. It has a reputation for educational tourism and a disproportionate number of its students do not stay in the UK after graduating.

KCL's Law students achieve less highly than the other two in their GCSEs, A-Levels, and in the LNAT. It receives a similar number of applications, but its class intake is around double that of UCL and LSE. It is the least academically competitive university. I have always perceived it as friendlier than the other two, based on the ill-founded prejudice that less competitive (and probably poorer) students are nicer, but I suspect there is some truth in that. In spite of this, it has a reputation for sending a disproportionate number of students to the Bar. It is more recently known for having (previously had) vast amounts of scholarship money and being nominally based in Somerset House, but classes usually take place elsewhere. Posters on here have said that its accommodation and learning facilities are often unattractive and spread over an unreasonable distance that is predictably not mentioned on open days.

UCL probably has the best reputation for striking a balance between high achievement and social life. It appears to have a more active law society than the other two, particularly as far as social events are concerned. As an indication, Law students have a fresher's fortnight which includes a trip to France. I remember J-SP claiming that its students may suffer from a 'super-rich mentality', but I am unconvinced that this is particular to UCL. One or two posters have previously complained about 'snobbery' among students at open days - specifically infairverona- but these complaints are few and far between and I suspect these people were just unlucky in who they sat next to. I remember some people on here saying it has the best tutorial system after Oxbridge, with tutorials limited to eight students. Whether that is true I do not know. Its Law building recently completed a multi-million pound renovation. If it matters to you, the faculty is currently ranked 2nd and 3rd in the three domestic league tables for Law.

UCL and LSE are viewed as being on a par for Law, with KCL close behind. As someone who received Law offers from all of these this year, I can't think of a single good reason to choose LSE over UCL unless you want to work in finance. The two appear to have equal academic and employer reputation, but UCL Laws consistently: spends more per student, has a smaller student to teacher ratio, a higher standard of teaching, higher rates of student satisfaction, a more academically diverse student body, a more active law society, and none of LSE's elderly and widespread reputation for social maladjustment.

Go to open days for all of them and decide based on that. Outside of IB etc., their brand names will be of equal credit to your CV.
Last edited by tenacity; 3 weeks ago
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tenacity
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(Original post by J-SP)
Law courses tend to be much closer to 70% female - but you’d find that at most unis these days.
My figures are from whichuni, which in turn uses HESA.
https://university.which.co.uk/londo...9-a4f78ba75b0d
https://university.which.co.uk/unive...9-1f5e72d74a6c
https://university.which.co.uk/kings...9-5eba65b9c51d
(Original post by J-SP)
Someone’s misread/misunderstood what I said.

UCL has a reputation of attracting the super rich over the other London universities. Ultimately any university attracting a number of international students will by default have a significant proportion of their students who are wealthy. But UCL has a sub-section of this group who are absurdly wealthy - across various nationalities. It’s not to say there aren’t “super rich” at other universities, there’s just more of a cohort of them at UCL - it’s probably where LSE and Imperial are more specialist in terms of their faculties, and also they are just more evident given the much higher student numbers at UCL (UCL has five times the amount of students as LSE and nearly three times the amount of Imperial).
The original post: https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho...0&postcount=13

How do you know that UCL has more of these people than the other London unis?
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tenacity
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(Original post by J-SP)
Guardian = 6th
Times = 4th
These figures are one year out of date.
(Original post by J-SP)
This app is rubbish. Someone from TSR really needs to sort it out...

Tenacity - you’re being a bit pedantic. My previous post says it’s only my opinion/perception.

HESA data only covers UK students - internationals will impact student demographics. I’d also recommend looking at POLAR data rather than percentage of state school educated as a sign of socio-economic diversity.

I don’t know. It’s just a perception/opinion based on my experience of working with all London universities. But given the size of UCL, I’d bet money there was more of them. I’ve generally come across more of them anyway.
I have simply addressed your points. If you say that 'there is more of a cohort of [the super-rich] at UCL', you can expect to be asked for evidence (which you cannot provide).

There is little reason to assume that internationals will increase the proportion of females at university, particularly when many of them come from countries with traditional male domination of Higher Education. All we can do is use the available figures. I will have a look at POLAR.
(Original post by J-SP)
2017 intakes:

KCL LLB cohort: 235
UCL LLB cohort: 200
LSE LLB cohort: 175
To be pedantic here, the OP did not specify the LLB courses, but what is your source for this?
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tenacity
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(Original post by J-SP)
UCAS data. There’s a Legal Cheek article that references it if you google “super law schools legal cheek”.
My neolithic laptop cannot handle the data linked in the article

I read this in an admittedly seven year old thread: https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho...35&postcount=4
As you can see, the statistics there cover all law courses and not just the LLB. It has been a while since then but I see no reason for this picture to have changed much. Struggling to find better sources but as a guide, Wikipedia claims UCL has a total of 1,030 law students and KCL 1,976.
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spaekles
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(Original post by tenacity)
~70% are internationals
Wow, 70%? It seems my estimate was way off then 😅. Is this high number of internationals only a London uni thing? Anyways thanks for the long reply, it's very helpful for me.
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spaekles
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(Original post by J-SP)
Interesting that UCL seems to have a fairly high drop off in student numbers from year one to year two.

KCL will also have higher numbers where the PPL course is also within the law faculty.
What do you think causes this high drop off from year 1 to year 2? And what is your opinion on the PPL course? I am interested in the courses included but the 1 year extra over standard LLB kinda puts me off. Am I better off just doing the LLB+specialization?
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xlizzy
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I've had my eye set on Lincoln Uni for a few years now but then I started looking out at different unis when I went to London recently and i fell in love with the idea of going uni there. so I was thinking about UCL, KCL and LSE.

I don't know if they all use GCSE grades to way in your acceptance as I'm not sure if my GCSEs would be strong enough (results in August) and for college I'm taking Law, Film Studies and Classical Civilization. I hope these are strong course to take for theses unis.

I really wanna work hard to get the top grades in theses subjects and hopefully reach the required A-LEVEL grade. I think I would be eligible for a contextual offer for UCL as I fit there requirements for lower A-LEVEL grades because of where I am based and the college I'm going to. But for the others not so sure.

And during all this I'm gonna be working at McDonald's, would that be too much stress or not?

So my question is:
1) Do theses Unis way in GCSE grades heavily.
2) Are my college courses good enough?
3)Should I practice for the LNAT during 1st year of college?
4) Should i try to balance my work life and college or just focus on college?
5)Should I go open days for theses unis next year and stay a few days to get the feel on the city?
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harrysbar
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(Original post by xlizzy)
I've had my eye set on Lincoln Uni for a few years now but then I started looking out at different unis when I went to London recently and i fell in love with the idea of going uni there. so I was thinking about UCL, KCL and LSE.

I don't know if they all use GCSE grades to way in your acceptance as I'm not sure if my GCSEs would be strong enough (results in August) and for college I'm taking Law, Film Studies and Classical Civilization. I hope these are strong course to take for theses unis.

I really wanna work hard to get the top grades in theses subjects and hopefully reach the required A-LEVEL grade. I think I would be eligible for a contextual offer for UCL as I fit there requirements for lower A-LEVEL grades because of where I am based and the college I'm going to. But for the others not so sure.

And during all this I'm gonna be working at McDonald's, would that be too much stress or not?

So my question is:
1) Do theses Unis way in GCSE grades heavily.
2) Are my college courses good enough?
3)Should I practice for the LNAT during 1st year of college?
4) Should i try to balance my work life and college or just focus on college?
5)Should I go open days for theses unis next year and stay a few days to get the feel on the city?
The London unis you have listed are a whole different ball game to Lincoln university in terms of how hard they will be to get into so you need to do everything you possibly can to maximise your chances of getting offers. They will consider every aspect of your UCAS application and one thing I would consider re evaluating, if I were you, is my A level choices. Whilst most unis do not require any particular A level subjects for Law, I don't think that Film Studies would be very well regarded by highly competitive unis - in fact, LSE have listed it as one of their "non- preferred" subjects which they don't advise applicants to pick unless their other two subject are in traditional, academic subjects.

There is nothing you can do now about your GCSE grades, (hopefully they will be good) but I would think about swapping Film Studies for a more traditional subject - something you studied at GCSE like English, History, Religious Studies etc.... It is also a good idea to start going to Open Days asap - even this summer if possible. Maybe start with a couple of competitive unis that are quite close to home so that you can visit for the day. It would be good for you to attend the Law talks and to start speaking to staff there directly about their GCSE and A level requirements - both in terms of grades and preferred subjects, if any.
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xlizzy
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(Original post by harrysbar)
The London unis you have listed are a whole different ball game to Lincoln university in terms of how hard they will be to get into so you need to do everything you possibly can to maximise your chances of getting offers. They will consider every aspect of your UCAS application and one thing I would consider re evaluating, if I were you, is my A level choices. Whilst most unis do not require any particular A level subjects for Law, I don't think that Film Studies would be very well regarded by highly competitive unis - in fact, LSE have listed it as one of their "non- preferred" subjects which they don't advise applicants to pick unless their other two subject are in traditional, academic subjects.

There is nothing you can do now about your GCSE grades, (hopefully they will be good) but I would think about swapping Film Studies for a more traditional subject - something you studied at GCSE like English, History, Religious Studies etc.... It is also a good idea to start going to Open Days asap - even this summer if possible. Maybe start with a couple of competitive unis that are quite close to home so that you can visit for the day. It would be good for you to attend the Law talks and to start speaking to staff there directly about their GCSE and A level requirements - both in terms of grades and preferred subjects, if any.
I can't this summer as I'm busy all next month and this month but there are other opening days for unis near me later on in the year and it's good as one is in the top 20s for law on the league table to that's good as I will have a better insight.

I'm more interested in UCL tbh but wouldn't they consider the fact I have 2 acidemic and traditional A-levels already or they all stand out on their own and by doing film studies it does lower my chance a lot of getting accepted.

Should I swap Film Studies for Politics or as I wanna focus more on criminal law should I do criminology instead. But I don't have any interest in Politics at all.

I know UCL are fine with students doing film studies so should I sacrifice one uni and still do Film Studies or just change it all together to make my application look better. But I feel like could justify my reasoning behind picking Film Studies or is there no point.
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xlizzy
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(Original post by J-SP)
None of your A-levels are considered a “traditional” academic in its true sense.

Don’t do an A-Level if you are not interested in it though. There’s little point and can be quite risky if it means up you get a substandard grade.

What A-Level grades do you think you will get (realistically)?

There are other London unis - Queen Mary, City, SOAS might be other options if you can’t get into UCL or LSE
I had emailed both UCL and recently LSE, UCL said they are fine with my options as long as I get the grades required, I'm waiting for LSE to email back.

I couldn't say because I haven't done any of these subject before as I'm going in total fresh. I'll try to see the guidence councillor about my options for Uni during the first week of term.

I might start having to look 😆 as my options don't seem to properly satisfy these Unis. KCL is the only one that doesn't really mind so hopefully I can get it.

I trying not to make a full decision yet as I don't know how my A-levels will go. I said to myself by the end of 1st year if I feel confident with my A-levels I'll apply to these but I don't then I'm gonna go "basic" level Unis.

At this moment in time Lincoln would my firm choice and UCL is more like my aspirational uni but if I get in/feel confident about my grades then that would be my firm choice.
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xlizzy
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(Original post by J-SP)
What GCSE grades are you expecting?
English Language - 6
English Literature - 5
Maths Foundation - 4/5 (I know this is my downfall)
Biology - 6
Chemistry - 7
Physics - 4 (down fall again)
History - 6
Drama - 6
Re - 6/7
Imedia - L2D (7)

I know my GCSEs are particularly good or strong so that's why I'm hoping to get around A/A* in college.
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harrysbar
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(Original post by xlizzy)
English Language - 6
English Literature - 5
Maths Foundation - 4/5 (I know this is my downfall)
Biology - 6
Chemistry - 7
Physics - 4 (down fall again)
History - 6
Drama - 6
Re - 6/7
Imedia - L2D (7)

I know my GCSEs are particularly good or strong so that's why I'm hoping to get around A/A* in college.
It's up to you - careers advisers would suggest taking at least one traditional subject if you hoping to apply to competitive unis, preferably continuing one you have already taken at GCSE rather than picking another new subject to go with Law and Classical Civilisation. It's good that you're looking into upcoming Open Days - don't forget to book your place early even if the event isn't until September, as the popular subject talks can get booked up
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xlizzy
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(Original post by harrysbar)
It's up to you - careers advisers would suggest taking at least one traditional subject if you hoping to apply to competitive unis, preferably continuing one you have already taken at GCSE rather than picking another new subject to go with Law and Classical Civilisation. It's good that you're looking into upcoming Open Days - don't forget to book your place early even if the event isn't until September, as the popular subject talks can get booked up
Can you please list the traditional subjects as I am confused as to what it is because I don't understand how law doesn't count as it is one of the oldest England along with Science and Maths.

I don't wanna countine with anyone from GCSEs and don't see a point in doing History as I am already taking a history based subject.

I'm gonna see if I can get any close by me booked for the next term break
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harrysbar
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(Original post by xlizzy)
Can you please list the traditional subjects as I am confused as to what it is because I don't understand how law doesn't count as it is one of the oldest England along with Science and Maths.

I don't wanna countine with anyone from GCSEs and don't see a point in doing History as I am already taking a history based subject.

I'm gonna see if I can get any close by me booked for the next term break
Traditional subjects would be English, History, Geography, R E, Maths or Science.

Law isn't considered a traditional subject since it's not a National Curriculum subject taught in all schools.

There will be lots of Open Days coming up in July, September & October, they tend to be at weekends.
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xlizzy
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(Original post by harrysbar)
Traditional subjects would be English, History, Geography, R E, Maths or Science.

Law isn't considered a traditional subject since it's not a National Curriculum subject taught in all schools.

There will be lots of Open Days coming up in July, September & October, they tend to be at weekends.
oh okay I see thnx and again I really hate those subjects as I am so tired of it from GCSEs that I really don't wanna do it. I was thinking of Politics or Economics instead of film studies but again I really don't have an interest in them subjects.

I'll probably do September as I'm working and have NCS during July
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harrysbar
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(Original post by xlizzy)
oh okay I see thnx and again I really hate those subjects as I am so tired of it from GCSEs that I really don't wanna do it. I was thinking of Politics or Economics instead of film studies but again I really don't have an interest in them subjects.

I'll probably do September as I'm working and have NCS during July
Politics would be preferable to Film Studies, not sure about Economics since you are doing Foundation maths
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xlizzy
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(Original post by harrysbar)
Politics would be preferable to Film Studies, not sure about Economics since you are doing Foundation maths
I didn't think about this happening so I didn't go to any other classes during opening evening expect the ones I had set my mind to, so now I'm in the situation of picking something that I would find hard or dislike.

Economics wouldn't work for me then because it has maths involved I guess. Well I've emailed LSE on the subject just waiting for a response.
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xlizzy
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(Original post by J-SP)
Do subjects you are interested in. Don’t force yourself to do subjects just because of some potential suggestion of what might or might not work.

You’ll need to focus on subjects that give you a good chance of getting stronger grades.
Hmmm... Very true and I was hoping Film Studies would have been my strong point as I really do find that the most interesting and I have kinda done something like that in high school and got a level 2 distinction on that piece, so I used that to help me decide.

And I'm stressing over 1 uni that I don't really mind not getting into for me its getting into UCL and they are totally fine with it same with KCL, so it's the question of whether I should risk it and keep doing Film Studies or drop it and pick someone more LSE approved.
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harrysbar
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(Original post by xlizzy)
I didn't think about this happening so I didn't go to any other classes during opening evening expect the ones I had set my mind to, so now I'm in the situation of picking something that I would find hard or dislike.

Economics wouldn't work for me then because it has maths involved I guess. Well I've emailed LSE on the subject just waiting for a response.
Yup Economics has quite a lot of graphs and stats in it which is why most sixth forms/colleges will only let you do it if you're good at maths. How sure are you that you even want to do Law? You haven't studied it yet so you may not even enjoy it....

At the end of the day, it is important to study A levels you think you will enjoy. In your case, that seems more important than choosing preferred subjects since you don't know at this stage whether you will end up applying to the sort of unis that have preferred lists, or even that you will continue wanting to study Law at uni.
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