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Best Law Colleges & Universities in the UK – Requiring LNAT 2023

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In this article, we will examine the top law colleges and universities in the UK that require the LNAT – the Law National Aptitude Test, or the National Admissions Test for Law, as part of their admissions process for various law courses or programs.

The LNAT is conducted under the auspices of the LNAT Consortium, which manages the content and structure of the test. The actual test itself is administered by Pearson VUE. Candidates can take the LNAT at any of the 500+ test centers around the world, including approximately 150 centers in the UK.

The LNAT Consortium originally comprised of the universities and colleges that began using this test as part of their law program admissions processes. Subsequently there have been changes in the consortium itself, as well as in the list of other non-consortium members who use the LNAT.

Top UK Law Universities & Colleges – Requiring LNAT 2023

In 2023, there are nine top law colleges & universities in the UK which require the LNAT for admissions to their law courses.

  • Durham University
  • King’s College London
  • LSE – London School of Economics and Political Science
  • SOAS
  • University College London
  • University of Bristol
  • University of Cambridge
  • University of Glasgow
  • University of Oxford

The focus of this article will be on aggregating the rankings for these specific universities and colleges. However, the various rankings used here are based on comparison of these institutions with all the law colleges and universities across the UK.

Other than SOAS, all of these institutions are part of the prestigious Russell Group, which consists of many of the top ranking universities and colleges in the UK.

Why and how is the LNAT used in law course admissions

Russel Group institutions like the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge and the LSE consistently feature within the top ten in various UK and global rankings. This attracts hundreds, if not thousands, of applicants to their law programs every year. For example, in the 2021-22 Admissions cycle Oxford received 2046 Law applications, with 72 additional applications for Law with Senior status entry.

Given that many of the candidates may have similar scholastic achievements, the LNAT is used as an additional shortlisting criteria. In addition, given the diverse backgrounds of the applicants, the LNAT, as a standardized test, may supplement the university application and show the applicant’s aptitude for studying undergraduate law.

While all of these institutions use the LNAT part A – Multiple Choice Test (MCT) scores for shortlisting, some may also use the LNAT Part B – essay scores for shortlisting or as an alternative to the personal statement. The LNAT Part A – MCT is scored automatically when the test is completed, whereas the essays in part B are sent ‘as is’ to the various institutions, who will evaluate the essays using their own internal criteria.

Best UK Law Schools & Universities National & Global Ranks – The LNAT List

UniversityTGTHECUGQS
Oxford2114
Cambridge1322
UCL42238
LSE337456
Glasgow5821581
King’s735637
Durham6198592
Bristol1776861
SOAS4050132443

* TG and CUG show UK university rankings nationally, whereas THE and QS are world university rankings – which should provide a context for the wide variations.

Ranking Sources:

Top UK Law Schools & Universities requiring LNAT – Comparative & Contextual rankings

Since the main focus of this article is on universities and colleges that specifically require the LNAT, the table below provides a comparative ranking between the institutions – i.e., how they fare against each other in various rankings.

UniversityTGTHECUGQSAvg
Cambridge12211.5
Oxford21121.5
UCL43333.25
LSE35454.25
King’s74645.25
Bristol86766.75
Glasgow57876.75
Durham68586.75
SOAS99999

The ‘Avg’ column provides the average of the institution’s rank across the different rankings.

Methodology used for compiling these ranking tables

The four ranking sources – TG, THE, CUG and QS are considered to be among the most reliable and robust rankings in the UK.

While all of these rankings may use similar data-points and factors, the weights will vary. For example, one ranking may give a higher weightage to academics and research, whereas another ranking may consider future career prospects and grad salaries to be equally important.

By considering the various rankings together, students will get a more holistic view of these institutions.

UCAS Data for the Best UK Law Schools & Universities requiring LNAT

The table below is compiled using the data available on the UCAS website.

UniversityUCAS Tariff PointsA Levels
Oxford112 – 168AAA
Cambridge152A*AA
UCL152A*AA
LSE136AAB
GlasgowNAA*AA
Kings99 – 152A*AA
Durham152 – 168A*AA
Bristol112 – 165A*AA – AAB
SOAS144 – 165AAA

The wide UCAS Tariff points range can probably be attributed to several factors such as the weightage given to the LNAT scores and contextual admissions.

What are contextual admissions?

Contextual admissions use additional information, such as where a potential student normally resides or the school they attend, to contextually assess their achievements and potential.

Contextual admissions are intended to help identify and encourage students from underrepresented and underprivileged groups, taking into account the circumstances in which a student’s grades have been achieved, thereby adjusting the standard offer.

For example, the University of Bristol has made contextual offers since 2009, with due consideration given to students who

  • attend a state school in the bottom 40 per cent for attainment
  • live in POLAR3 quintiles 1 or 2
  • have completed a University of Bristol outreach event
  • have spent time in care

Read our other LNAT related articles that explore how each University uses the LNAT test scores for their admissions process.

LawMint LNAT Practice Tests
  • Revised LNAT 2024 Edition
  • 30 Full-Length Practice Tests
  • 360 LNAT-Style Passages
  • 1,260 Multiple-Choice Questions
  • All Answers Include Explanations
  • 90 Essay Questions - with model answers
  • Access for 6 Months from Purchase Date
  • Option to Repeat All Tests Thrice for Enhanced Practice
  • Random Shuffling of Answers for Repeat Practice Sessions
  • Use coupon LNAT20 on checkout screen for 20% off
  • Try the Free Full Length LNAT Practice Test
Top Best Law Colleges Universities in the UK Requiring LNAT