It will be music to most lawyers' ears to hear that law is the hardest degree to get a first in, according to data released by the Higher Education Statistics Agency. In 2015/16, just under 14% of law students graduated with a first class degree.
In addition, in terms of gender diversity, the research shows that law students are also more likely to be female and more ethnically diverse - 34% of law students are from black or minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds, compared to an average of 22% across other disciplines.
We consider these issues in our Opening up or shutting out? report on social mobility in the legal sector.
It is more difficult to get a first class degree in law than it is in any other subject, including medicine. In 2015/16, just under 14% of law students graduated with first class degrees. This is ten percentage points lower than the average across all ‘non-clinical subject areas’ (24%). By comparison, 28% of students graduating in ‘subjects allied to medicine’ got a first. For engineering and technology the figure is 33%, as it is too for computer science. More essay-based subjects such as social studies, and historical and philosophical studies boasted scores of 20% and 21% respectively. Mathematical sciences topped the table with 37% graduating with a first.