What GCSE do you need to be a lawyer?

April 9, 2023 The Spark Tutoring Team

GCSE is a tricky juncture point for students here in the UK as they start specialising in a career they aspire for. For the pupils who want to be lawyers, sometimes there is confusion among them about which GCSEs to study if they want to pursue something high-paid and stable, such as law.

You will need about five GCSEs to study law. It is not that these subjects will directly contribute to your study of law but serve as a necessary part of the higher education qualification. You will need a minimum level four or grade C in maths, English, and science.

Studying these subjects will prepare a base for understanding law at a deeper level. The law requires a lot outside of subject expertise; humanitarian skills, analytics, logic and reasoning, factuality, reporting and presenting, and many more. Above all, they can help to make commoners understand the law better using common knowledge. Here is a list of the required GCSEs for higher studies in law:

  • English
  • Maths
  • Science
  • History
  • Geography
  • English literature
  • A second language, typically a modern foreign language, such as Spanish, French, or German.

Do you need A-level GCSEs to study law at the university level?

As mentioned, you need to qualify in the subjects above with an A to be able to pursue a law degree at the university. However, different colleges demand different qualifications, and that also depends on the pedigree of the college itself. A regular county college may only need three As and three Bs, while state or national law institutions can ask for As in every subject. Students need to familiarise themselves with the law environment by also studying the law itself. If you want a degree from the top grade college, here is what you need to do – get As in all these subjects:


If you want to get a degree in law, no wonder that you need to get an A in the subject itself. Studying the law requires quite an effort, as it will secure foundational knowledge on the subject for the student. With that, the student can also decide whether they want to pursue further or not, given the nature of pursuing a law degree can be difficult, especially getting an A.

English language

Earning a law degree requires excellent skills in reporting, essay writing, and describing. Hence, a good grasp of the English language and literature can aid the student in developing good language skills. Plus, being good in the language also helps improve communication, which can prove useful while attending to clients and arguing in court.


Maths is a subject that doesn’t contribute directly to the understanding of the law itself. However, universities favour maths as one of the fundamentals of getting a degree. Mathematical skills develop analytical skills and encourage logical thinking, which may aid while looking for solutions to a problem.


Similar to maths, science will increase analytical and logical thinking skills, helping to understand the major subject better. Science is a respected field in academics. Hence universities favour students who have an A in science.

History and Geography

Apart from gathering knowledge about facts and important dates and incidents, both are respected subjects in the academic circle. They also improve thinking and essay-writing skills.

Modern foreign language

Modern foreign languages such as Spanish, French, and German can open new doors for any student’s career. They can either keep their option open to take on another subject while improving language skills can help address and communicate with people belonging to different nationalities. As that can help you address a larger client base, you can also use the experience to seek jobs in respective countries.

What do you need to study in law?

Apart from having required knowledge in GCSEs, the law itself is a vast subject that intersects with other fields and streams such as language, literature, science, maths, etc. there are some modules that the university will cover these are:

  • Civil law
  • Administrative law
  • Criminal law
  • Elder law
  • Land law
  • Public law
  • Tort law

These modules often serve as specialisations for students going further in the subject. Moreover, they can also choose subsets of such modules and focus on them. For example, someone studying criminal law can further specialise in criminal justice or human rights. Corporate law is another example.

Is there a test for qualifying to study law?

Although most universities base their applicants on the grade they got in CGSEs such as science, language, and maths, many also require their students to qualify for the national Law Aptitude tests. The good thing about the law aptitude test is that they don’t indicate pass or fail. However, you will receive a score for completing the test. The test checks a student’s data interpretation skills, deductive and verbal reasoning, etc.

How do universities assess students for law degrees?

The students follow coursework for a few weeks. Then after finishing the coursework, they need to finish their essays on the subject. With that, they need to prepare and submit a dissertation on their specialisation and, finally, pass the examination to receive a law degree.

A career in law is surely a well-paid and stable one, but climbing the ladder and landing your dream job is typically not very easy. Choosing GCSEs can be difficult in matters of studying law; however, having an idea about the profession may give you an advantage. Planning your moves carefully and committing to your target will surely get you to the top of any law firm.