Thursday, 29 September 2011

University of London International Programmes LLB 2011 grades...why lower than other universities?

QED Law has published results for each subject on the University of London LLB program.

Marks by Subject: QED Law

It's a concern to some students that the grades given on the International program are consistently year on year low in comparison to other Universities.

In my opinion there are a number of reasons for this.

Firstly, the admissions policies allow anyone with sufficient A level or equivalent to enter the program. For example I personally got onto the London LLB with a one year Access to HE course and no academic references. When universities and colleges cherry pick students with high A level results, it isn't any wonder that these same universities consistently achieve higher University grades.

The admission policies of the University of London LLB in this respect can only be a good thing as it opens up the possibility of anyone who is willing to work hard and put the effort in to achieve a law degree. Bearing in mind the circumstances and lives of those who already have jobs and families, opening up an LLB education in this way cannot be argued to be a negative thing. The downside to this though would obviously mean a lower overall grade than Universities and colleges who cherry pick their students.

Secondly, the bulk of students who are on this course do not have English as their first language. Whilst many are able to achieve a high score, there are going to be some who are not able.

Thirdly, independent learning.... There are no lectures or tutorial support with this course. Those that can afford it will seek private tuition, those that can't are on their own. The plus side to this is that it keeps overall costs down. The cost of this program will mean again that the London LLB is open to all and not just the select few. But for those who find independent learning a struggle, this will be reflected in results.

Fourthly and most controversially examiner bias....It's been suggested that when an examiner is marking a paper from their own college or university that he/she has a vested interest in wanting to see those papers do well. As there are very few examiners who have an allegiance to the International program, there is no vested interest in wanting a paper to achieve a high result. The paper is marked purely on it's merits (or lack of) without any bias from the examiner.

Finally it should be realised by any student who wish to go down this route that it's going to be hard work. Do not take this course unless you're willing live, eat and breath law. Any spare moments of the day should be taken keeping your mind on the subjects being studied. You will have to lock yourself in your room and chain yourself to the table to do well. Essential readings will have to be read, cases will have to be read and further readings at least referenced or peroused. It is rewarding but make no mistake, it is hard work. Unless this is realised, you (and me) are going to be one of those in the above table with an average ( or low ) mark.

All this course does is put a handful of text books together with some guidance from the subject guides and expect you to write what you've learnt in 3 hours in May/June. Study time, scheduling, reading cases, networking with other students and private tuition is down to the individual student...you only get out what you put in.

The final result is down to you and no blame can lay at the door of the University for poor performance in exams.

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