LLM (Master of Laws) Overview
The LLM (Master of Laws) is an excellent way to enhance your employability, deepen your legal knowledge and develop an expertise. The following page outlines the key information each prospective student needs to consider when deciding to undertake an LLM.
What is an LLM?
A Masters of Law degree, commonly shortened to an LLM, is a postgraduate degree in law. It accredited by universities across the United Kingdom and is internationally recognised by employers.
An important development and progression from a Bachelor of Laws (or an LLB), the LLM allows students to specialise in particular areas of law. For example, students can decide to gain expertise in tax, commercial, employment, environmental and criminal law, amongst many other fields.
Who Can Do an LLM?
As the LLM is a postgraduate degree, candidates are normally expected to have completed an undergraduate degree. While many universities require prospective students to have a Bachelor of Laws degree (an LLB), some universities also accept candidates who have completed a non-law undergraduate degree provided they demonstrate a keen interest and aptitude for law.
International students must have completed an equivalent legal qualification in their home jurisdiction in order to apply for an LLM course, although again, some universities will allow those who have a degree relevant to law, like sociology, politics and some humanities degrees onto their programmes.
The qualification takes a year full time or two years part-time to complete, allowing both recent graduates and employed solicitors to further their legal education.
Where Can I Do an LLM?
There are around 100 institutions that provide the LLM programme in the UK. Many universities do not offer the same specialisms so it is important to research what is on offer before applying. Visit our courses page to compare some of the UK’s top LLM universities.
Costs and Funding
While the fees for an LLM course vary between institutions across the UK, the cost of an LLM generally ranges from £6,000 to £15,300 for Home and EU students and £13.980 to £25,000 for international students.
UK students can apply for a government Masters Loan of up to £10,609. Various academic institutions also offer scholarships to mitigate the cost of completing an LLM.
It is important for prospective candidates to consult the relevant universities for specific fees and scholarship opportunities. Different institutions may also offer different fee rates for distance learning and part-time students.
Why Should I do an LLM?
Completing a Masters of Law goes beyond undergraduate level of knowledge and allows individuals to emphasise their commitment and knowledge of the law. This is particularly important in the highly competitive field and helps to increase individuals’ employability.
It also offers immense networking opportunities through the university’s careers centre, law societies and visiting representatives from different firms.
while studying, you can also take advantage of internship opportunities open to graduates to gain experience in the industry and develop important legal skills.
How to Apply
Unlike undergraduate degrees that require an application through UCAS, LLM applications are made directly to the institutions either online or through paper copies.
Applications open in October and close by the end of the year or early spring the following year. As the deadlines vary, it is important to check the specific university requirements.
As such, the processes and required documentation vary across institutions. However, candidates are generally required to complete:
- An application form,
- A personal statement detailing your motivations for applying for the LLM and abilities
- An academic (and possibly professional) reference, a (CV)
- Degree transcripts with a breakdown of module grades
- Examples of written work
Words: Siobhan Ali
Lucy Sutcliff studied the International Financial Law LLM at King’s College London. She discusses her experiences of LLM life in our LLM Case Study – Kings College London.