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BA Law


The BA Tripos Undergraduate Degree

The term "Tripos" originally referred to the three-legged stool that Cambridge students sat on to take their final exams. You won’t have to sit on a stool these days, but the term "Tripos" has stuck around as shorthand for the degree that you complete when you pass your examinations at Cambridge.

StudentsAt Cambridge, all undergraduate students receive a Bachelor of Arts with Honours (BA) upon completing their course. This means that the undergraduate Law degree at Cambridge is a BA, while many other universities in the UK offer an LLB degree as their undergraduate law programme. The BA in Law at Cambridge, like most LLB programmes, is considered a qualifying law degree.

The Three Year Undergraduate Law Degree

Most Law students will complete the Law degree in three years, studying various areas of Law through a combination of required and optional modules, sometimes called "papers" at Cambridge. You can find information on alternative tracks, including the Erasmus+ scheme, the affiliate degree, or changing into Law from another subject at Cambridge on this website.

First Year

Students on stairs

  1. Civil (Roman) Law
  2. Law of Tort
  3. Criminal Law
  4. Constitutional Law

Second year

  1. Land Law
  2. Contract Law
  3. Option 1
  4. Option 2
  5. Option 3

Third year

  1. Equity
  2. European Union Law
  3. Option 4
  4. Option 5
  5. Option 6 (or Dissertation Seminar)

All first-year students will study the same four modules. However in your second and third years, you will have increasing opportunities to specialise and explore your interests. Almost all of our three-year Law students seek to cover the seven foundation subjects during their degree, and will therefore take Land Law, Contract Law, Equity, and European Union Law in their second and third years. These papers are not strictly compulsory for the completion of the BA in Law however, and students interested in a degree in Law with an exclusively academic interest may take a wider variety of other papers if they so wish. The overall flexibility of the Law Tripos allows students to explore a range of topics, and to tailor their studies as their interests develop. For example, you might choose to focus on interests in commercial law or property law, or in more philosophical, historical and sociological aspects of law, such as jurisprudence, legal history, labour law and criminology.

Studying legal methodologyThere are no set 'tracks' as you hone in on your interests; it is up to you to choose your optional modules. To help you make the best subject choices for your own interests, skills, and career goals, the Faculty of Law holds an annual 'subject forum' at the end of the academic year, at which course organisers for each paper provide information about their papers. You will also have the chance to discuss your choices with your Director of Studies, the person at Cambridge who is responsible for your academic wellbeing.


Students are assessed at the end of each academic year, by way of a three-hour written examination for each paper (or two hours in the case of half-papers). Many colleges offer mock exams in January to help students prepare. Prizes are available for outstanding examination performances.