Law degree application numbers slump

The number of students beginning law degrees has fallen for the first time in three years.

The total number of people starting undergraduate law in 2006 was 14,925, down from a three-year high of 15,299 in 2005.

The 2006 figure marks the end of a steady increase that began in 2003, when 14,407 applicants were accepted.

The2006figurefor applications to study the subject is not yet published. However, the 2005 figure, the most recent available, shows that the number of applications has fallen, from 19,395 to 19,097.

Ucas spokeswoman Eleanor Stevens said: The decline in the number of applications follows the spike in applications for the year before, which is presumed to be due to the fact that it was the final year before the [top-up fees] were introduced.

However, other subjects were hit harder than law. Sociology application numbers have fallen by 12.6 per cent, while electronics and electrical engineering fell by 13.3 per cent.