The Student Room Group

Staying in London for university or moving out?

I am currently in Year 12 studying psychology, philosophy and politics. I want to study law at university, and I'm having trouble deciding on whether I should move outside of London or stay.

The biggest reasons I'd want to stay in London is for the diversity and the opportunities. I'm originally from London and I grew up in a pretty non-diverse environment on the outskirts, but after coming to college, I realised that I definitely do need the diversity around me to make me feel truly comfortable. Another big reason for staying is that the opportunities for law in this city are endless, and I feel that staying in London may help me network more easily and attend more events whilst still being a student. The negative of staying in London is that the only universities I would want to apply to (KCL or UCL) both require the LNAT, and I'm not sure I'd want to sit it if I'm not 100% sure I want to go to either of them. I feel like it's quite pointless and draining to take the LNAT if KCL & UCL aren't my dream, and they aren't. As well as this, I'll be doing my EPQ, my personal statement and condensing all my knowledge from this year into flashcards over the summer and potentially going abroad, so preparing for the LNAT as well seems like a lot. I know others have done it easily, but I don't think I'll be able to achieve what I need to get in, especially since some of my other stats are already weighing me down. The other problem I have is that London is expensive. I know most people from here will tend to live at home for university, but this isn't an option for me as much as I'd love to. This means I'll be spending more money to match the living expenses here and I'll have more debt to repay (since I'm entitled to the maximum maintenance SFE of £13k) than if I were to go elsewhere. My only worries about going elsewhere is potentially a lack of diversity in the universities that I'm interested in (York, Birmingham, Leeds, Nottingham, Manchester and Sheffield) and having less opportunities career-wise. Law is an extremely competitive field and I worry that London is really where I need to be if I want to secure a training contract at top commercial law firms, since I want to go into competition law or real estate. If there's any fellow POC who have gone outside of London or stayed in London and can share your experiences, I'd really appreciate it as it would help me make a decision.

Also, I am going to open days for Birmingham, York, UCL and KCL in June and then attending a virtual open day for Manchester in July. Any others I attend will be in September - October time and I will be submitting my UCAS application by late October, since my school is really big and around the deadline it gets really busy, so I'd rather ask for help earlier on and decide on my universities by that time.
Original post by bibachu
I am currently in Year 12 studying psychology, philosophy and politics. I want to study law at university, and I'm having trouble deciding on whether I should move outside of London or stay.
The biggest reasons I'd want to stay in London is for the diversity and the opportunities. I'm originally from London and I grew up in a pretty non-diverse environment on the outskirts, but after coming to college, I realised that I definitely do need the diversity around me to make me feel truly comfortable. Another big reason for staying is that the opportunities for law in this city are endless, and I feel that staying in London may help me network more easily and attend more events whilst still being a student. The negative of staying in London is that the only universities I would want to apply to (KCL or UCL) both require the LNAT, and I'm not sure I'd want to sit it if I'm not 100% sure I want to go to either of them. I feel like it's quite pointless and draining to take the LNAT if KCL & UCL aren't my dream, and they aren't. As well as this, I'll be doing my EPQ, my personal statement and condensing all my knowledge from this year into flashcards over the summer and potentially going abroad, so preparing for the LNAT as well seems like a lot. I know others have done it easily, but I don't think I'll be able to achieve what I need to get in, especially since some of my other stats are already weighing me down. The other problem I have is that London is expensive. I know most people from here will tend to live at home for university, but this isn't an option for me as much as I'd love to. This means I'll be spending more money to match the living expenses here and I'll have more debt to repay (since I'm entitled to the maximum maintenance SFE of £13k) than if I were to go elsewhere. My only worries about going elsewhere is potentially a lack of diversity in the universities that I'm interested in (York, Birmingham, Leeds, Nottingham, Manchester and Sheffield) and having less opportunities career-wise. Law is an extremely competitive field and I worry that London is really where I need to be if I want to secure a training contract at top commercial law firms, since I want to go into competition law or real estate. If there's any fellow POC who have gone outside of London or stayed in London and can share your experiences, I'd really appreciate it as it would help me make a decision.
Also, I am going to open days for Birmingham, York, UCL and KCL in June and then attending a virtual open day for Manchester in July. Any others I attend will be in September - October time and I will be submitting my UCAS application by late October, since my school is really big and around the deadline it gets really busy, so I'd rather ask for help earlier on and decide on my universities by that time.

@bibachu

It's a tough decision to make, but if you don't want to sit the LNAT and you're not interested in attending UCL or KCL, and you want to save money, then perhaps it's best to look outside of London.

London is incredibly diverse, but most cities tend to be so I don't think you have to worry too much about this, though each city will vary in the size of different communities. It would be worthwhile to attend some of the open days of the places you are interested in, so that you can get a feel of the city and university. It might also help you think about whether you can imagine yourself there as a student.

All the best,

Oluwatosin 3rd year student University of Huddersfield
Reply 2
Original post by University of Huddersfield
@bibachu
It's a tough decision to make, but if you don't want to sit the LNAT and you're not interested in attending UCL or KCL, and you want to save money, then perhaps it's best to look outside of London.
London is incredibly diverse, but most cities tend to be so I don't think you have to worry too much about this, though each city will vary in the size of different communities. It would be worthwhile to attend some of the open days of the places you are interested in, so that you can get a feel of the city and university. It might also help you think about whether you can imagine yourself there as a student.
All the best,
Oluwatosin 3rd year student University of Huddersfield

Thank you so much for the insight, this has definitely helped me make a decision! I can 100% see myself being a student in a different city, so I think I’d rather apply for universities outside of London, since my plan is to come back afterwards, and that means I don’t have to bother with the LNAT. I’ll still be attending open days for fun just to see the facilities there, but I’m relieved to hear that there is still a good range of diversity in other cities. Best of luck for your third year!
Original post by bibachu
I am currently in Year 12 studying psychology, philosophy and politics. I want to study law at university, and I'm having trouble deciding on whether I should move outside of London or stay.
The biggest reasons I'd want to stay in London is for the diversity and the opportunities. I'm originally from London and I grew up in a pretty non-diverse environment on the outskirts, but after coming to college, I realised that I definitely do need the diversity around me to make me feel truly comfortable. Another big reason for staying is that the opportunities for law in this city are endless, and I feel that staying in London may help me network more easily and attend more events whilst still being a student. The negative of staying in London is that the only universities I would want to apply to (KCL or UCL) both require the LNAT, and I'm not sure I'd want to sit it if I'm not 100% sure I want to go to either of them. I feel like it's quite pointless and draining to take the LNAT if KCL & UCL aren't my dream, and they aren't. As well as this, I'll be doing my EPQ, my personal statement and condensing all my knowledge from this year into flashcards over the summer and potentially going abroad, so preparing for the LNAT as well seems like a lot. I know others have done it easily, but I don't think I'll be able to achieve what I need to get in, especially since some of my other stats are already weighing me down. The other problem I have is that London is expensive. I know most people from here will tend to live at home for university, but this isn't an option for me as much as I'd love to. This means I'll be spending more money to match the living expenses here and I'll have more debt to repay (since I'm entitled to the maximum maintenance SFE of £13k) than if I were to go elsewhere. My only worries about going elsewhere is potentially a lack of diversity in the universities that I'm interested in (York, Birmingham, Leeds, Nottingham, Manchester and Sheffield) and having less opportunities career-wise. Law is an extremely competitive field and I worry that London is really where I need to be if I want to secure a training contract at top commercial law firms, since I want to go into competition law or real estate. If there's any fellow POC who have gone outside of London or stayed in London and can share your experiences, I'd really appreciate it as it would help me make a decision.
Also, I am going to open days for Birmingham, York, UCL and KCL in June and then attending a virtual open day for Manchester in July. Any others I attend will be in September - October time and I will be submitting my UCAS application by late October, since my school is really big and around the deadline it gets really busy, so I'd rather ask for help earlier on and decide on my universities by that time.

Hi there

Deciding which university to go to can be quite a challenging decision, here are some things that you may like to take into account:

Since one of your major reasons for wanting to stay in London is diversity, I think attending some open days with universities will be quite useful. When I went to open days in year 13, I found that majority universities had a really diverse culture. You may see from many student union websites that there are a range of societies. In terms of the locations that you mentioned, I am from the local region near Birmingham, and I think it is quite a diverse area as well. My cousin from Manchester also noted that there were ranges of people from different backgrounds. Although they will not be as diverse or populated as London, they are still quite good areas to live in.

In terms of future career opportunities, there will be opportunities that you can gain outside of London, however, I do agree with you that most prestigious firms will be located in London. Furthermore, most firms are likely to offer open days, work experiences, vacation schemes and training contracts in London too. As a law student, I have found that the law industry is really competitive, therefore securing those opportunities may be quite useful and contribute greatly towards gaining a successful future career. That is not to say that there will not be opportunities elsewhere, just a bit less.

High prices in London can be quite an issue, and because how populated the area is, competition for law firm opportunities will also be quite fierce in London, which is something you have to overcome. As a student at Kent, I often choose to apply for opportunities in London, and commute down when I receive any open days, or interviews. Although the cost of travelling can be high, I think this is much less compared to the cost of renting in London, which is something you may like to think about.

Personally, I did not take the LNAT exam. However, if you are certain you do not want to take it, and studying for it may drastically affect your other grades, it may be in your best interest to apply to other universities. There are universities that do not require the LNAT exam. If you choose the LNAT route, not only is important that you received a high score on LNAT, it's important that you receive high a level grades for applications, it would really depend on how you think your academics will go.

I hope this helps :smile:
Chloe
University of Kent student Rep
Reply 4
Original post by University of Kent
Hi there
Deciding which university to go to can be quite a challenging decision, here are some things that you may like to take into account:
Since one of your major reasons for wanting to stay in London is diversity, I think attending some open days with universities will be quite useful. When I went to open days in year 13, I found that majority universities had a really diverse culture. You may see from many student union websites that there are a range of societies. In terms of the locations that you mentioned, I am from the local region near Birmingham, and I think it is quite a diverse area as well. My cousin from Manchester also noted that there were ranges of people from different backgrounds. Although they will not be as diverse or populated as London, they are still quite good areas to live in.
In terms of future career opportunities, there will be opportunities that you can gain outside of London, however, I do agree with you that most prestigious firms will be located in London. Furthermore, most firms are likely to offer open days, work experiences, vacation schemes and training contracts in London too. As a law student, I have found that the law industry is really competitive, therefore securing those opportunities may be quite useful and contribute greatly towards gaining a successful future career. That is not to say that there will not be opportunities elsewhere, just a bit less.
High prices in London can be quite an issue, and because how populated the area is, competition for law firm opportunities will also be quite fierce in London, which is something you have to overcome. As a student at Kent, I often choose to apply for opportunities in London, and commute down when I receive any open days, or interviews. Although the cost of travelling can be high, I think this is much less compared to the cost of renting in London, which is something you may like to think about.
Personally, I did not take the LNAT exam. However, if you are certain you do not want to take it, and studying for it may drastically affect your other grades, it may be in your best interest to apply to other universities. There are universities that do not require the LNAT exam. If you choose the LNAT route, not only is important that you received a high score on LNAT, it's important that you receive high a level grades for applications, it would really depend on how you think your academics will go.
I hope this helps :smile:
Chloe
University of Kent student Rep

Thank you so much for the advice. My top two choices outside of London right now are Manchester and Nottingham.

Would it be better to stay in a city with good transport links and commute to London for opportunities or focus on the city that I’m in?
Original post by bibachu
Thank you so much for the insight, this has definitely helped me make a decision! I can 100% see myself being a student in a different city, so I think I’d rather apply for universities outside of London, since my plan is to come back afterwards, and that means I don’t have to bother with the LNAT. I’ll still be attending open days for fun just to see the facilities there, but I’m relieved to hear that there is still a good range of diversity in other cities. Best of luck for your third year!

Thanks @bibachu 🤗

All the best with your uni application!

Oluwatosin 3rd year student University of Huddersfield
Original post by bibachu
I am currently in Year 12 studying psychology, philosophy and politics. I want to study law at university, and I'm having trouble deciding on whether I should move outside of London or stay.
The biggest reasons I'd want to stay in London is for the diversity and the opportunities. I'm originally from London and I grew up in a pretty non-diverse environment on the outskirts, but after coming to college, I realised that I definitely do need the diversity around me to make me feel truly comfortable. Another big reason for staying is that the opportunities for law in this city are endless, and I feel that staying in London may help me network more easily and attend more events whilst still being a student. The negative of staying in London is that the only universities I would want to apply to (KCL or UCL) both require the LNAT, and I'm not sure I'd want to sit it if I'm not 100% sure I want to go to either of them. I feel like it's quite pointless and draining to take the LNAT if KCL & UCL aren't my dream, and they aren't. As well as this, I'll be doing my EPQ, my personal statement and condensing all my knowledge from this year into flashcards over the summer and potentially going abroad, so preparing for the LNAT as well seems like a lot. I know others have done it easily, but I don't think I'll be able to achieve what I need to get in, especially since some of my other stats are already weighing me down. The other problem I have is that London is expensive. I know most people from here will tend to live at home for university, but this isn't an option for me as much as I'd love to. This means I'll be spending more money to match the living expenses here and I'll have more debt to repay (since I'm entitled to the maximum maintenance SFE of £13k) than if I were to go elsewhere. My only worries about going elsewhere is potentially a lack of diversity in the universities that I'm interested in (York, Birmingham, Leeds, Nottingham, Manchester and Sheffield) and having less opportunities career-wise. Law is an extremely competitive field and I worry that London is really where I need to be if I want to secure a training contract at top commercial law firms, since I want to go into competition law or real estate. If there's any fellow POC who have gone outside of London or stayed in London and can share your experiences, I'd really appreciate it as it would help me make a decision.
Also, I am going to open days for Birmingham, York, UCL and KCL in June and then attending a virtual open day for Manchester in July. Any others I attend will be in September - October time and I will be submitting my UCAS application by late October, since my school is really big and around the deadline it gets really busy, so I'd rather ask for help earlier on and decide on my universities by that time.

Hello!
I understand your conflict but I would also think what you want to get out of your university experience, not just thinking of the future as important as that is. One thing I love about Lancaster is our location, we are just a bus or train ride away from the Lake District. As an earth and environmental science student I do lots of fieldwork here including residential trips. It is also great for recreational trips for example the day after my exams finished in my first year me and my friends went swimming in Lake Windermere and had a BBQ, an experience you wouldn't get in London! Lancaster's campus also makes me feel very safe with our 24/7 security and college porters always available if you need them. If you are still thinking about future employment, Lancaster also has a great careers team and have helped me apply for internships and work experience with JBA Consulting and the Environment Agency. I do feel your conflict and it is always possible to do a placement year degree where you could get a placement in London to get some experience and you could move back to London once you graduate. Feel free to ask anymore questions if you have any.

Thanks, Lucy (Lancaster University Student Ambassador)
Original post by bibachu
I am currently in Year 12 studying psychology, philosophy and politics. I want to study law at university, and I'm having trouble deciding on whether I should move outside of London or stay.
The biggest reasons I'd want to stay in London is for the diversity and the opportunities. I'm originally from London and I grew up in a pretty non-diverse environment on the outskirts, but after coming to college, I realised that I definitely do need the diversity around me to make me feel truly comfortable. Another big reason for staying is that the opportunities for law in this city are endless, and I feel that staying in London may help me network more easily and attend more events whilst still being a student. The negative of staying in London is that the only universities I would want to apply to (KCL or UCL) both require the LNAT, and I'm not sure I'd want to sit it if I'm not 100% sure I want to go to either of them. I feel like it's quite pointless and draining to take the LNAT if KCL & UCL aren't my dream, and they aren't. As well as this, I'll be doing my EPQ, my personal statement and condensing all my knowledge from this year into flashcards over the summer and potentially going abroad, so preparing for the LNAT as well seems like a lot. I know others have done it easily, but I don't think I'll be able to achieve what I need to get in, especially since some of my other stats are already weighing me down. The other problem I have is that London is expensive. I know most people from here will tend to live at home for university, but this isn't an option for me as much as I'd love to. This means I'll be spending more money to match the living expenses here and I'll have more debt to repay (since I'm entitled to the maximum maintenance SFE of £13k) than if I were to go elsewhere. My only worries about going elsewhere is potentially a lack of diversity in the universities that I'm interested in (York, Birmingham, Leeds, Nottingham, Manchester and Sheffield) and having less opportunities career-wise. Law is an extremely competitive field and I worry that London is really where I need to be if I want to secure a training contract at top commercial law firms, since I want to go into competition law or real estate. If there's any fellow POC who have gone outside of London or stayed in London and can share your experiences, I'd really appreciate it as it would help me make a decision.
Also, I am going to open days for Birmingham, York, UCL and KCL in June and then attending a virtual open day for Manchester in July. Any others I attend will be in September - October time and I will be submitting my UCAS application by late October, since my school is really big and around the deadline it gets really busy, so I'd rather ask for help earlier on and decide on my universities by that time.

Hi there,

Luckily you only need to choose 5 universities to apply for in October, so you can still pick a broad range. I recommend looking at the modules and opportunities (networking, societies, work placements etc) for each law course and see what can provide what you're looking for the most. Diversity can be a concern but the best way to navigate this is to visit and decide for yourself.

All the best,
Jaz - Cardiff student rep

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