Lower Second Class Admissions


K.Philip
Good evening everybody,

I am currently a third year student at Dublin Business School, but due to unforeseen circumstances performed quite poorly in my finals last summer. The chances are that once my LL.B. is awarded it will be of middle lower-second-class standard (around 55%). I also have a summer's worth of work experience, albeit administrative in a city law firm. The degree is awarded by the University of Wales. Is it entirely unreasonable to expect to be accepted into a decent college to study the LL.M. in the United Kingdom with these grades? I wish to specialise in Corporate Law or its aspects (Insolvency, Competition, Intellectual Property). Which courses do you think would be suitable for me to pursue? I would truly appreciate realistic comments rather than the wishful thinking and heavy-handed snobbery I have seen in some threads on these boards.

I have been looking at courses such as:

1. LLM in Corporate Finance Law, University Of Westminster, London
2. LLM in International Commercial Law, Kingston University, Kingston-Upon-Thames
3. LLM in Insolvency Law, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham
4. LLM in Competition Law, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham
5. LLM in International Commercial Law, City University London, London
6. LLM in International Trade Law, University Of East Anglia, Norwich
7. LLM in Intellectual Property Law, Brunel University, Uxbridge, London

Should all these fail, I'm hopeful the University Of Buckingham will accept me to participate in an LLM in International and Commercial Law.

What are your opinions of these courses, and could you suggest some similar courses of merit in the Greater London Area?
Good evening everybody,

I am currently a third year student at Dublin Business School, but due to unforeseen circumstances performed quite poorly in my finals last summer. The chances are that once my LL.B. is awarded it will be of middle lower-second-class standard (around 55%). I also have a summer's worth of work experience, albeit administrative in a city law firm. The degree is awarded by the University of Wales. Is it entirely unreasonable to expect to be accepted into a decent college to study the LL.M. in the United Kingdom with these grades? I wish to specialise in Corporate Law or its aspects (Insolvency, Competition, Intellectual Property). Which courses do you think would be suitable for me to pursue? I would truly appreciate realistic comments rather than the wishful thinking and heavy-handed snobbery I have seen in some threads on these boards.

I have been looking at courses such as:

1. LLM in Corporate Finance Law, University Of Westminster, London
2. LLM in International Commercial Law, Kingston University, Kingston-Upon-Thames
3. LLM in Insolvency Law, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham
4. LLM in Competition Law, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham
5. LLM in International Commercial Law, City University London, London
6. LLM in International Trade Law, University Of East Anglia, Norwich
7. LLM in Intellectual Property Law, Brunel University, Uxbridge, London

Should all these fail, I'm hopeful the University Of Buckingham will accept me to participate in an LLM in International and Commercial Law.

What are your opinions of these courses, and could you suggest some similar courses of merit in the Greater London Area?
quote
Northerner
Hi K.P. McGivney,

I can't comment on any of those programmes, but I would suggest that, in some fashion in your application, you explain (if it's not too personal/private) the "unforeseen circumstances" that caused you to underperform on your finals. Admissions officers are human beings, after all, and may be willing to somewhat gloss over your showing -- especially if your marks in other semesters were relatively strong.

Sorry if that seems like an obvious suggestion!
Hi K.P. McGivney,

I can't comment on any of those programmes, but I would suggest that, in some fashion in your application, you explain (if it's not too personal/private) the "unforeseen circumstances" that caused you to underperform on your finals. Admissions officers are human beings, after all, and may be willing to somewhat gloss over your showing -- especially if your marks in other semesters were relatively strong.

Sorry if that seems like an obvious suggestion!
quote
Interalia
Have you thought about Queen Mary's LLM. It does accept 2nd lowers, the only catch being that you need to work a couple of years first.
Have you thought about Queen Mary's LLM. It does accept 2nd lowers, the only catch being that you need to work a couple of years first.
quote
S_Dimelow
I think you seem to have thought pragmatically and you would have a good chance of being accepted on all of the courses you mention.

If you wish to specialise in Corporate law, you may be better looking at corporate governance or, as you have done, insolvency LLMs. Certainly not Intellectual property, which is something completely different. International trade gives the impression of commercial trade and contract law rather than the structuring of a corporate entity and the like, but I'm sure it is just the case that the general programme name is not an overly accurate reflection of the modules on offer. Other than that, the only knowledge I could bestow about your choices would be that if you intend to practice and take a English LPC/BVC then NTU offer one of the best regarded so, after a year settling there, you may be a better set candidate.

Obviously, I don't know how good or bad a candidate you are overall but may I suggest you consider a speculative application or two to an institution such as Cardiff, Bristol, QUB, Warwick, QMUL, Durham (perhaps in that order, depending on your confidence). The reason I say this is that I know of students that have got into a similar subject area with 2:2s at the same sort of average. Sometimes, with a bit of persuasion, sometimes not. Cardiff and Bristol might be the best bet but if you have a genuine reason for your failings which can be backed up by your referees, you never know! Sorry, though, they aren't all in the London area!
I think you seem to have thought pragmatically and you would have a good chance of being accepted on all of the courses you mention.

If you wish to specialise in Corporate law, you may be better looking at corporate governance or, as you have done, insolvency LLMs. Certainly not Intellectual property, which is something completely different. International trade gives the impression of commercial trade and contract law rather than the structuring of a corporate entity and the like, but I'm sure it is just the case that the general programme name is not an overly accurate reflection of the modules on offer. Other than that, the only knowledge I could bestow about your choices would be that if you intend to practice and take a English LPC/BVC then NTU offer one of the best regarded so, after a year settling there, you may be a better set candidate.

Obviously, I don't know how good or bad a candidate you are overall but may I suggest you consider a speculative application or two to an institution such as Cardiff, Bristol, QUB, Warwick, QMUL, Durham (perhaps in that order, depending on your confidence). The reason I say this is that I know of students that have got into a similar subject area with 2:2s at the same sort of average. Sometimes, with a bit of persuasion, sometimes not. Cardiff and Bristol might be the best bet but if you have a genuine reason for your failings which can be backed up by your referees, you never know! Sorry, though, they aren't all in the London area!
quote
naija
hello.
i honestly do not understand the whole admission thing and all.this is because some of the schools specifically stated that second class lower degree were acceptable, so really wats up wiv them refusing some1 who has like 55%?
i have a 2:2 from the university and i am considering applying for LL.M programme into a Warwick or Birmingham.
I would like comments on this particularly from those who have the same class of degree and have been offered admission into any of this schools.
most grateful for anticipated response.
hello.
i honestly do not understand the whole admission thing and all.this is because some of the schools specifically stated that second class lower degree were acceptable, so really wats up wiv them refusing some1 who has like 55%?
i have a 2:2 from the university and i am considering applying for LL.M programme into a Warwick or Birmingham.
I would like comments on this particularly from those who have the same class of degree and have been offered admission into any of this schools.
most grateful for anticipated response.
quote
S_Dimelow
They specifically state it yes, but it is written as a secondary comment to their preference for first or upper second quality students. For example:

Typical Taught LLM entry requirements Birmingham:
A first or upper second class Honours degree in law (or a joint Honours degree with a major law component). Students with lower second class law Honours degrees will also be considered if supported by strong academic references and where some modules were of good upper second class standard.

Plus, apart from those students who suffer from mitigating circumstances of some sort, someone with a 2:2, in my opinion, would struggle to get 'strong academic references' (depending how you interpret strong) because often, the 2:2 is a result of non or bad attendance or lack of work- something which lecturers always pick up on. As I mentioned in my post, that is not to say a student with a 2:2 cant get into a good school at all, only to say that most say that a 2:1 is necessary and so it is a good idea to work hard on the personal statement and be prepared to send in copies of your work which demonstrate a good 2:1 standard, if need be.
They specifically state it yes, but it is written as a secondary comment to their preference for first or upper second quality students. For example:

Typical Taught LLM entry requirements Birmingham:
A first or upper second class Honours degree in law (or a joint Honours degree with a major law component). Students with lower second class law Honours degrees will also be considered if supported by strong academic references and where some modules were of good upper second class standard.

Plus, apart from those students who suffer from mitigating circumstances of some sort, someone with a 2:2, in my opinion, would struggle to get 'strong academic references' (depending how you interpret strong) because often, the 2:2 is a result of non or bad attendance or lack of work- something which lecturers always pick up on. As I mentioned in my post, that is not to say a student with a 2:2 cant get into a good school at all, only to say that most say that a 2:1 is necessary and so it is a good idea to work hard on the personal statement and be prepared to send in copies of your work which demonstrate a good 2:1 standard, if need be.
quote
naija
'sup...... s_dimelow
really appreciate ur response to my post.guess i most pray that i get a strong reference to boost my application.
thanks a lot.
'sup...... s_dimelow
really appreciate ur response to my post.guess i most pray that i get a strong reference to boost my application.
thanks a lot.
quote
cann
I would recommend you NOT to waste time with Kingston, it is simply not worth it, unless you do insolvency with John Tribe who is excellent
I would recommend you NOT to waste time with Kingston, it is simply not worth it, unless you do insolvency with John Tribe who is excellent
quote
ele_ctra
Hey,

I have the excact some doubts about my LLB grades and the LLM I am heading to!Actually, I have booen looking to the some LLM programs too.

Can you please tell me what did you finally do with your LLM?Did you get accepted?I hope everything went excellent for you..

Thank you
Hey,

I have the excact some doubts about my LLB grades and the LLM I am heading to!Actually, I have booen looking to the some LLM programs too.

Can you please tell me what did you finally do with your LLM?Did you get accepted?I hope everything went excellent for you..

Thank you
quote
Looking at it from the admissions end - your degree classification is just one of the things we consider when deciding whether to accept you onto our LLM program. We are also looking for:
1. A strong personal statement that shows some knowledge of and interest in the subject.
2. Good references - a "This student has strength X despite weakness Y" type reference, especially from a top-tier UK or overseas University or employer, is better than a boilerplate form letter from a lower-ranked institution. Quality of English in the reference letter is important, too!
3. Good grades in relevant areas - eg for International Commercial Law I'm particularly interested in how you did in LLB Contract Law, less so in Criminal or Land Law.

In general I think admissions tutors will cut some slack for degree results from the highest-tier Universities; if 1)-3) are good I'm unlikely to turn down an Oxbridge applicant with a low 2.2, I'll look seriously at any Russell Group applicant, and I will consider applications from other institutions too. In some cases I may ask to interview the applicant. In exceptional cases I may even consider applicants with 3rd class degrees.
It really depends on a lot of different factors, but you should not let a low 2.2 or even, potentially, a 3rd deter you from applying if it's what you really want to do and can demonstrate your capability and enthusiam in your application.
-Dr Simon Newman, LLM ICL, University of Westminster
Looking at it from the admissions end - your degree classification is just one of the things we consider when deciding whether to accept you onto our LLM program. We are also looking for:
1. A strong personal statement that shows some knowledge of and interest in the subject.
2. Good references - a "This student has strength X despite weakness Y" type reference, especially from a top-tier UK or overseas University or employer, is better than a boilerplate form letter from a lower-ranked institution. Quality of English in the reference letter is important, too!
3. Good grades in relevant areas - eg for International Commercial Law I'm particularly interested in how you did in LLB Contract Law, less so in Criminal or Land Law.

In general I think admissions tutors will cut some slack for degree results from the highest-tier Universities; if 1)-3) are good I'm unlikely to turn down an Oxbridge applicant with a low 2.2, I'll look seriously at any Russell Group applicant, and I will consider applications from other institutions too. In some cases I may ask to interview the applicant. In exceptional cases I may even consider applicants with 3rd class degrees.
It really depends on a lot of different factors, but you should not let a low 2.2 or even, potentially, a 3rd deter you from applying if it's what you really want to do and can demonstrate your capability and enthusiam in your application.
-Dr Simon Newman, LLM ICL, University of Westminster
quote

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