Choosing the right university for you will always be a challenge and choosing the right course dependent on a university adds another hurdle to the mix...
This is a very difficult question to answer, because everyone’s ‘best’ university will look very different: you can of course look at league tables, where universities are ranked according to certain measures, like teaching quality, ratio of staff to students, or research quality.
But that will only take you so far. In terms of the course and department, you need to decide what kind of teaching you like (would you like mostly lectures, or do you prefer lots of smaller seminars or tutorials, where you get to discuss things with your fellow students in small groups?), whether you’d like to study just Law or if you’d like to combine it with another subject (for example Law with French, Geography, or Economics), what the modules are like (do you get lots of choice, or do you have to study exactly what the university tells you?), and what the employment opportunities are like (does the university link up with charities where you can get practical experience during your degree? What do the Careers Team offer?) – and these are just a few of the things you need to think about!
You also need to have a good look at the university itself – go to an open day if you can! You may find the ‘perfect’ course for you, but it’s in a big city with no campus, whereas you were hoping for a smaller on-campus experience. You also need to look at the facilities that are important to you, like gyms, cafes, or libraries, and there may be other things that you need to consider, like availability of certain scholarships, ease of travelling back to your hometown, or the selection of accessible accommodation.
Ultimately, of course the rating of a Law degree can be important, but more important is for you to decide what your priorities are when choosing the five universities to apply to – you can then do your research and rank universities according to what you are looking for, not what someone else thinks you are looking for.