University of London External LLB (law degree) - interested?

The University of London External LLB is a correspondence-based law degree that has been issued for more than 150 years. In some jurisdictions the degree does help one gain admittance to the legal profession.

Depending on one’s qualifications and entry route chosen, there are between 9-12 courses that must be taken, with anywhere from 2-8 years allowed to complete the degree.

Is there anyone in Taipei who is thinking of enrolling in this program? According to the website, there are approximately 40 or so people in Taiwan studying for it. I’m thinking about it because I’d like to have something to show for my years in Taiwan than just pidgin Chinese and English teaching. At the same time I don’t know if I’d have the discipline to commit to 20 hours of legal study per week on my own, hence this post. There are countries where local tutorial support exists, but Taiwan is not one of them.

It won’t be easy, it won’t be cheap and success is not a given, but I’d like to find out if there are any takers.

Incidentally I won’t be going to back to Canada anytime soon as my wife is Taiwanese, so I’m definitely looking at the long haul here in Taiwan.


See discussion [url=

The link isn’t really relevent

There are 2 people studying this program in Taiwan, I used to study the Master’s level, but have to admit quitting it this year. The other people have noted that the textbooks “run out” for the later courses so you would need to make sure you can source these cheaply before commiting.

My personal experience with London External follows.

Basically you are given a study guide which is a like a “summary” of some important cases/theories, a textbook focused on the main issues and then streams of cases/articles and also you get access to 8-10 legal databases and an underutilized “student network”/web-forum… The summary is supposed to be a guide, but I found this discussion frustratingly broad. I was doing the IP specilization and my final exam for one topic covered everything from trademark history/filing/regulations in 5 jurisdictions plus international agreements through dilution and “other issues” to parallel imports selective distribution networks, EU competition laws (a. 81/2) and free movement laws (a.28) and design patent regulations as well as certification marks and “tribal knowledge”, ie, is the Redskins an offensive TM?

The final exam only asked about parallel imports that was 1 page in the study guide. This is the biggest problem - you have zero “weighting” of the relevance and importance of different elements you study and the exams are short and require detailed answers (as clarification, the study guide for that exams was about 600 pages long and included around 40 cases/articles and covered 5 chapters (60-80 pages each) of the textbook.

Finally, the editing of the study guide is wrong and the wrong cases are cited or misspelled. This means you end up having to check up on the summarised cases as well. For each 120 hour section I would spend maybe 140-50 hours studying

The exam fees charged by the BTCO are also extortionate - I paid 8000nt to sit three 45minute exams.

On the positives, it is a reputed program and is accredited as a QLD and is very cheap - the LLB is only about 1000GBP per annum for a 3 year graduate conversion.

In the end, if you are working in the field and want to improve your employability I would still recommend it since it’s the only one you don’t need residential weekends for. I have stopped studying not because I couldn’t pass the exams or hated the program but I was not receiving the support from my company to continue with the program - I had to use my own holiday allowance to sit exams and was left a little burned out from FT-job + study, also I was offered a training contract back home so will take that and recieive all the support I need.

If you are good at organizing your time and are willing to commit to the program and can budget for failry minor unexpected costs I would still recommend it as not everyone has the time/money for a 2 year grad conversion at law school.

Good luck

PS sorry for spelling mistakes
PPS look into malaysia for sitting exams and getting a good support network since hundreds of Malays qualify using London External

Old copies of The Bears’ Guide to Distance Learning and Alternative Education say that in order to study at-a-distance through the University of London, you have to (for bachelors-level programs) arrange to take a bunch of A-level and O-level exams like the Brits do, or (for graduate courses) already have a previous degree from the University of London. Is any of this not true anymore?

The University of South Africa has a similar structure, except that it’s colleges gained independence as universities in their own right, leaving Unisa only with the distance education programs. Relatively inexpensive, but standards have been slipping since…well, you know. No idea about their law programs, which would of course be different from British law. (Especially now that “traditional” law has received some sort of limited recognition, e.g. for black people practicing polygamy.)

I believe that at least one of the Australian universities offers programs at a distance.

If this is going to be studied by distance education, I would have thought the Ministry of Education would have something to say about it, like ‘We don’t recognize your distance education degree’. If that’s changed, I’ll be delighted.

Several of them do. I completed my Masters degree last year by distance education, with Monash University.

Itakitez, thanks for your detailed response.

Regarding textbooks, what do you mean by “run out”? I’m assuming that apart from a few supplied texts with each course registration, we would be responsible for purchasing most of the required and recommended books anyway. Has sourcing from Page One or other bookstores been a problem?

And were you doing this completely on your own, or were you able to meet up with fellow students in the real world from time to time?
I ask because I’m not coming from a legal background - it might be of some benefit to be able to converse with others in legalese and further develop the kind of oral communication skills the legal profession requires.

Fortigurn - yes this degree is not recognized by the Taiwanese government, but that’s not a concern for me.

There are other people studying here, like I said there were two other guys on the LLB program, but it’s really not as common here as malaysia or HK. That is why I recommend that you look into how expensive links to malaysia would be and budget for flights/hotel and maybe the residential weekends there. I think the one in HK closed, although that may have been affiliated by nottingham?

Also, do you need to meet people RL or would just a few internet buddies be sufficient? I know there are groups hanging around the social networking sites and other forums full of posts from people studying the London External LLB.

I was studying the masters so can’t advise wrt the LLB, especially since for LLM all the books are provided and the only missing texts could be found on lexisnexis or other database - however, one complaint I had was not having the international level database when this was needed - so although studying american law at one point, I was unable to access the american case studies… but this won’t affect you

Good luck, whichever you decide