Applying to Scotland - Chances

I’m a current American junior with a few questions about applying to Scottish universities through UCAS

  • If you meet the minimum requirements on the university’s website for a program, is that usually a decent indicator that you will get in, or is it more like American schools where you still have to impress them through other aspects of an application, go above and beyond?
  • Is it one flat fee to apply to all five schools, or is 25 pounds for each school that you apply to? I can’t seem to find any information on the website specifically concerning application fees, and I have a budget from my parents on how much we can spend.

I have a 3.7 GPA, I’m set to pass all of my relevant AP exams (I intend to study law, so English and Government matter the most, I’d imagine), and I have a 27 ACT that I expect to go up when I retake this February. My top choice is currently University of Aberdeen or University of Glasgow, and I technically will meet the minimum requirements for both of them. I’m just not sure if I should treat these schools like targets, reaches, or safeties since I just BARELY meet the listed requirements for LLB students.

You get 5 UCAS choices for the price of 1 application :slight_smile:

For a US student, for most UK unis, in most subjects meeting the published requirements (with a decent LoR and PS) will typically get you an offer. Law can be a bit more competitive, especially for places that use the LNAT as there will be a score threshold to meet (iirc, Glasgow does, but Aberdeen does not).

When you say expect to ‘pass’ your AP exams, do you mean ‘achieve the specific scores that the Unis ask for’? Be aware that you have to report all standardized tests (SAT/ACT, subject tests and APs), including relevant and irrelevant subjects, completed and scheduled to be taken. Fwiw, history is also highly relevant for law, as it’s an essay-based course requiring a lot of reading, writing and analysis.

Once you have your LLB do you intend to practice law in the US or the UK- and have you done the homework on how to qualify to practice in either place?

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Thanks for the info!

I got a 4 on my AP US History Exam, and I expect to get 3s and 4s on the rest of my language/social studies ones, with a 5 on the government one as it’s my best subject. I don’t expect to fail any of my STEM related ones, but I’m less likely to get a 4 or a 5 on those. I think that the only hard requirement is a 4+ on the AP Language and Composition OR AP Literature and Composition test. I’m willing to study as much as I need to in the coming months to achieve that in May. Will it disadvantage me if I show a lower ACT score that improved the next year? Say I go from a 27 to a 29, will it work against me because there was a 27 there at all?

I’m applying to Scotland because of the flexibility that an LLB would give me. I could pursue a JD here in the US, maybe even Canada, or I could continue the path to becoming a solicitor in Scotland. Some Scottish universities also have dual-qualifying degrees where I could continue to pursue a legal career in England or Wales as well. I’m excited about the idea of focusing entirely on law directly out of high school, whereas here in America I would have to pursue a different undergraduate.

I think Glasgow is a reach for you, with likely a few 4 and one 5 at AP. They expect three As at A level from English applicants (roughly equivalent to three 5s), and although they are often more generous to those paying international fees, your achievement is weaker than average. Your performance on LNAT is likely to be key here.

Aberdeen is more of a match, maybe even a safety given international status. However I would work really hard and try to get 4s rather than 3s in your social studies/languages/humanities subjects.

The ACT is not a major element imo, as long as you get the minimum they ask for.

Have you considered Edinburgh Napier or Strathclyde?

I’ve seen their info on UCAS. I’m concerned that if I get a law degree from a school that’s not considered as prestigious, it will be hard to find a job. Are these more within range of my stats?

You won’t find a job (as a lawyer/solicitor) with a UK undergrad law degree straight out of uni anywhere.

In the US you will have to pass a bar exam (NY & CA are the most accommodating for applicants with international degrees), and you would be truly extraordinary if you could do that without doing at least a 6-9 month prep course, as there are very material differences between the US & UK. Once you pass it you will be competing for jobs with freshly-minted JDs, and they will typically trump a UK LLB, no matter what uni.

In the UK you will have to do the Legal Practice Course (1 year, full time) + 2 years of an apprenticeship before you qualify as a solicitor.