By Bryan - 17 May 11 5:38 PM

I'm thinking of going to a 'brick' uni to study Law. Now, do I need to declare convictions since it will only be a degree?

Surely just to study the subject only a Basic could be done?

After all I do Law via the OU and no check was required!

Plan: Get the English LLB then do the 2 years graduate entry for the Scottish LLB. As I have the advantage of a clear Basic in the near future I think I stand a good chance of a decent job. My head in the clouds here?

I will be around 34 on getting the above two. Would also love to get the Msc in Forensic Psychology and Criminology.

Have no idea what job to aim for. I also don't want to cut out jobs as over qualified!! Danger I think of education, could in turn cut jobs out.

Need direction and have no idea. Something needs to change or I will be in a early grave!

My grammar is borderline I was told which holds me back in a way. School was a bad time due to various issues.

Post Edited (Bryan) : 13/09/2011 20:12:03 (GMT+1)

By Tough - 11 Feb 11 12:54 AM

When i applied to uni they were only interested in unspent offences and never requested any crb checks.I would ask chris stacy, he is your best bet to ask because i beleive he has studied law Smile
By Bryan - 17 May 11 5:38 PM

What did you do? Chris do you know the answer?
By Tough - 11 Feb 11 12:54 AM

I did electrical engineering which is totally different to law ??
By Christopher Stacey - 18 Jun 08 1:26 PM


It's worth taking a look at the page we have on the Information Hub on the main site which links to a useful document on University Admissions. See

I wish I could remember what the situation was when I applied to University. I didn't have convictions at the time. When I did (during my 2nd year) they were again fine with it, but made it clear it would be difficult for me to practice. When I applied to do my Masters, my convictions were still unspent, so I had to disclose them (I therefore can't remember whey they just asked for unspent or for all - again, it didn't really matter to them. They were fine with them. That tends to be what you find with Universities.

It's interesting that on the above page, the document we link to mentions law in section 5.1. Certainly, courses that have placements (often Health and Social care, etc), and those which result in Admission to a profession (as it states in the document, although I can't think of a course that is like this), then clearly they'd be able to ask for spent convictions.

However, from my understanding of a law course, I would think that the questions should only relate to unspent convictions, because they tend not to involve placements, and an LLB doesn't give you admission into the legal profession - it simply exempts you from one element of the process - you would still have to go through the process of disclosing all convictions).

Have you actually asked any possible Uni's what their questions are? That would be the first thing I'd be doing I think. I'd be interested to know the response.
By Anonymous - 5 Sep 10 3:02 AM

For what it’s worth Bryan, I started my Uni studies with the OU in prison. During the final year of my sentence I was on day release to a ‘brick’ Uni, so obviously they knew and were quite happy with it. On release I carried on at the same Uni to get my first degree. That was in Sociology. I can honestly say I’ve never had a problem with Universities and any problems have arisen when it came to employment. I then did a Masters in Criminology and tried the professions with zero results. The Criminology degree did carry a large element of criminal law, but it was the CRB checks that everyone wanted that stopped any further progression.

Your grammar will let you down for entry, unless you’re diagnosed dyslexic or there is some other medical reason. Your local college will do the 18 month preparation for Uni entry, (I’ve forgotten the name of the course), which should bring you up to scratch. If you’re a mature student, over 21, you don’t need formal qualifications. You’ll make loads of friends of your own age group; every Uni has its own mature student’s association and somewhere along the way your education will come in handy, if not when you’ve finished, then later. Just don’t expect education to provide you with an immediate job on completion – the CRB and degree’s don’t always see eye to eye! Having said that, I’ve yet to meet someone who says their degree was a waste of time and they’d rather not have done one.

With all due respect



By Newton - 6 Sep 10 12:30 PM

Hi Bryan

Mrs. Newton here - hubby thought I may be able to help.

I taught in a local further education college for years and years!!!! I think the course IanC was talking about is an Access course. This course is designed for adults students (usually over 21 or 25) who for some reason or another do not have formal 'school' qualifications (A' levels or GCSE's). Usually they are a one year full time course or two year part time course. There are varying courses on offer and they also vary from one college to the next so you will have to look them up to find one that will fit your requirements. If you have a particular problem with grammar then you should perhaps think of doing an adult literacy course before you embark on the Access course. It's not as bad as it sounds and usually free! on the Access course you accumulate 'points' for each unit you take and universities will expect you to get a minimum number of points in order to gain entry. There is also, usually, a computing, maths and study skills component. It is great preparation for university and I would strongly recommend this course if you do not have the other qualifications.

I did an Access course myself many many years ago and landed up teaching - which I still do from time to time as I am semi retired. I didn't retire too long ago (only last year) so am still fairly up-to-date. I then taught on the Access course myself for many years.

If I can be of any help to you please do not hesitate to get in touch and I will answer as many of your questions that I can. I will even look into colleges that may offer this type of course if you can give me a broad location of where you may want to study and maybe help you in that aspect.

All the very best - GO FOR IT!!!!!!
By Bryan - 17 May 11 5:38 PM

Hi, Thank you for all your replys.

I've made contact with various universities to ask the policy on unspent and spent convictions. Shall post the response in due cource.

I have no intention of working with vulnerable people therefore resulting in a Enhanced check. Nor have I any intrest in doing work that comes under the heading of the Standard check. Having discussed my convictions they would NOT stop me becoming a Lawyer if I desired to be. That based on no re-offending! At the moment no real desire but you never know in a few years. Been three years since I was last in court as the accused and have every desire to maintain that.

As of Januaray 2013 I will have a clean Basic which is of major relief to attain employment in the future. I think and have been told having a Law degree will do me good esp if I have both the Scottish and English LLB.

I have got out my head that ALL well paid jobs intail either a Standard or Enhanced check. Why did I have this set within my head? No idea to be frank!

I've came across the LLB being able to be done online however the Scottish Govt only offer £500.00 towards the cost. So I will need to keep going on the same road ie OU untill I attain the English LLB. That way I can use it to access the Scottish LLB and fingers crossed have saved to do it online.

There is no access cources in the locality provided by the colleges.

If I had stayed at school rather than enter the big bad world at 16 I could have attained Highes aka 'A' Levels. Therefore resulting in the ability to go straight to a brick uni. However the OU is a God send to people like myself.
By Bryan - 17 May 11 5:38 PM

Attached document talks about convictions. It appears to me as my offences did not involve jail or a fine above £1000 I don't need to declare. I can also see no legal ground for the uni to get a Standard check or indeed an Enhanced. The Law Society does ask for a Standard but that is nothing to do with studying for a Law degree.

So for the moment I can see no reason why I should declare spent convictions.

Post Edited (Bryan) : 21/09/2011 22:37:04 (GMT+1)

By Hailzes - 25 Sep 11 11:27 PM

Before I started my open Uni degree I applied through UCAS and had to declare my offence. I met with the Dean of my chosen Uni and he was incredibly supportive and helpful. It didn't personally hinder me. My offence is manslaughter and at the time I was still on parole.
Hope that helps
By Invictus - 6 Jan 11 12:18 PM

I have looked at open university, and some of their courses, there is an option for self funding, however when I complete the eligibility calculator it advises of £1,230 funding. I dont mind this but the Degree course ammounts to more.

You guys sound like you are further down the line then myself, please can you advise me on how the funding works? as I was unable to obtain any further information from their site.

I may be interested in taking the psychology BCs (Honours) Looking at my local university the degree cost is about £3750.00 not sure how this works.

I will give them a call when I get time away from work. but at the moment 10 hours a day, an hours travel each side dont have much time.

Cheers peeps.

By Bonbon - 12 Oct 11 12:46 PM

Hi Bryan,

After serving three years for GBH I went to a sixth form college followed by a uni to study law. At no point was my offence an issue. And they never required a CRB check.

By AJH - 20 Aug 10 5:04 PM

Hi Bonbon - I suspect that if you wanted to do the LPC (Legal Practice Course) or the Bar entrance exam it might have been an issue, but just to do an LLB I can't see why a CRB would be required.

On the whole Universities are pretty good with people with convictions.
By Bonbon - 12 Oct 11 12:46 PM

Hi Andy - yes indeed, quite probably. And certainly when trying to get a training contract it would become very difficult.
By Christopher Stacey - 18 Jun 08 1:26 PM

Interestingly, if you get past the LPC (i.e. get regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, which is of course a big "if" in itself), individual solicitors are only entitled to know about spent convictions (if they even ask about them at all) as it is only the professional body (not individual employers) that are exempt from the ROA within the legal profession!