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LLM (Master of Laws) Overview

The LLM (Master of Laws) is an excellent way to enhance your employability, deepen your legal knowledge and develop a legal expertise. This page explains what is involved in the study of an LLM as well as where you can study it and the grades you will need.

You might also want to read our 5 Things to Know About LLMs and our LLM Case Study from Kings College London.


What is an LLM (Master of Laws)?

An LLM is an internationally recognised postgraduate law degree called a ‘Masters of Laws.’ Universities offer a general LLM or a specialism which enables students to develop a legal expertise in a field of their choice (for example, Tax Law).

It is usually studied for one year (full-time) or two years (part-time). Many universities now also offer online course options as well. The programme varies between universities and may be comprised entirely of taught modules with examinations or may be research intensive and require a major project such as a thesis.

Who Can Do an LLM (Master of Laws)?

The usual requirement for a successful applicant is the completion of an LLB (Bachelor of Laws) degree. Some universities will also accept an undergraduate degree in another discipline with evidence of a commitment to and interest in law. For international students, a law degree from their home jurisdiction is usually required.

Academic requirements vary from university to university but all require at least a 2:2 at undergraduate and some require a high 2:1 or a First. International students should look at the specific country information on the application websites of the university they are interested in applying to for their academic requirements. English language requirements are also strict for most programmes so the universities’ own websites should be consulted for these requirements as well.

5 Things You Should Know About LLMs

Where Can I Do an LLM (Master of Laws)?

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. Below is an alphabetical list of universities that offer the LLM in the UK.

University
Abertay University, Dundee
Anglia Ruskin University – Anglia Law School, Cambridge & Chelmsford
Aston University –- Aston Business School, Birmingham
Bangor University –- Bangor Law School, Bangor
Birmingham City University School of Law, Birmingham
Bournemouth University, Poole
BPP Law School, London
Bradford University School of Management, Bradford
Brunel University Law School, Uxbridge
Buckinghamshire New University, High Wycombe
Cardiff University – Cardiff Law School, Cardiff
University of Dundee - Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy (CEPMLP). Dundee
University of London City – The City Law School, London
Coventry University – Coventry Law School, Coventry
Glasgow Caledonian University – Glasgow School for Business and Society, Glasgow
Huddersfield University Business School, Huddersfield
Keele University – School of Law, Keele
Kingston University – Kingston Law School
Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds
Leicester De Montfort University Law School, Leicester
Liverpool John Moores University – School of Law, Liverpool
London Metropolitan University (London Met), London
London South Bank University, London
Middlesex University London - School of Law, London
Northumbria University – Northumbria Law School, Newcastle upon Tyne
Nottingham Trent University – Nottingham Law School, Nottingham
Oxford Brookes Univeristy – School of Law, Oxford
Pallas Consortium, Pallas LLM in European Business Law, Colchester
Queen’s University of Belfast – School of Law, Belfast
SOAS, University of London, London
Staffordshire University – Staffordshire Law School, Stoke-On-Trent
Swansea University College of Law, Swansea
Teesside University, Middlesbrough
Thames Valley University – Ealing Law School, Ealing
The Robert Gordon University – Aberdeen Business School
The University of Law, Guilford
The University of Northampton, Northampton
University of Aberdeen – School of Law, Aberdeen
University of Bedfordshire – School of Law, Luton
University of Birmingham – School of Law, Birmingham
University of Bristol – School of Law, Bristol
University of Buckingham School of Law, Buckingham
University of Cambridge – Faculty of Law, Cambridge
University of Central Lancashire – Lancashire Law School, Preston
University of Derby – Derby Law School, Derby
University of Dundee - School of Law Dundee, Dundee
University of Durham - Durham Law School, Durham
University of East Anglia - UEA Law School, Norwich
University of East London (UEL) School of Law, London
University of Edinburgh - School of Law, Edinburgh
University of Essex - School of Law, Colchester
University of Exeter / Dresden University of Technology (Germany), Exeter
University of Exeter School of Law, Exeter
University of Glasgow - School of Law, Glasgow
University of Greenwich, Greenwich
University of Hertfordshire - School of Law, Hatfield
University of Hull Law School, Hull
University of Kent - Kent Law School, Canterbury
University of Lancaster Law School, Lancaster
University of Leeds School of Law, Leeds
University of Leicester School of Law, Leicester
University of Liverpool - The Liverpool Law School, Liverpool
University of London - Birkbeck College School of Law, London
University of London - Centre for Commercial Law Studies (CCLS), London
University of London - Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS), School of Advanced Study, London
University of London - Institute of Commonwealth Studies, London
University of London - King's College London (KCL), London
University of London - Queen Mary (QMUL,) London
University of London - The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), London
University of London - University College London (UCL) London
University of London International Programmes, London
University of Manchester - School of Law, Manchester
University of Newcastle upon Tyne - Newcastle Law School, Newcastle upon Tyne
University of Nottingham - School of Law, Nottingham
University of Oxford - Faculty of Law, Oxford
University of Oxford - Saïd Business School and the Faculty of Law, Oxford
University of Plymouth, Plymouth
University of Portsmouth - School of Law, Portsmouth
University of Reading School of Law, Reading
University of Salford - Salford Law School, Salford
University of Sheffield - School of Law, Sheffield
University of Southampton - School of Law, Southampton
University of Southwales, Pontypridd
University of Stirling - School of Law, Stirling
University of Strathclyde - The Law School, Glasgow
University of Sunderland, Sunderland
University of Surrey - School of Law, Guildford
University of Sussex - School of Law, Politics and Sociology, Brighton
University of the West of England (UWE) - Bristol Law School, Bristol
University of Ulster - Magee Campus, Londonderry
University of Ulster - School of Law - Jordanstown Campus, Newtownabbey
University of Wales, Aberystwyth - Prifysgol Cymru, Aberystwyth, Aberystwyth
University of Warwick - Warwick Law School, Coventry
University of Westminster School of Law, London
University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton
University of York - Centre for Applied Human Rights, York
University of York - York Law School, York

How Much Does it Cost to Study an LLM (Master of Laws)?

The fees for the full-time LLM vary between universities. For UK and EU students, fees start at around £4,590 (Teeside University) but can be as high as £15, 300 (Cambridge University). International fees are higher and can be anywhere between £10,000 up to £25,200 (Cambridge University). Fees for part-time LLMs and distance learning vary and applicants should consult specific universities’ websites for further information. Prospective students must also keep in mind the cost of living in the city where their LLM is located.

There are various scholarship and grant opportunities at various universities that can be explored by applicants. The government also provides student loans to UK postgraduate students of up to £10,000.

At this point in time, it is unclear what effect the Brexit referendum vote will have on EU students’ fees in the future.

Advantages of an LLM (Master of Laws)

As the legal job market continues to be very competitive, an LLM may give a candidate an advantage by showing an interest and expertise in a legal field that may set them apart. Developing knowledge in a specific field indicates to employers a level of interest and commitment beyond undergraduate level. Achieving strong results during the LLM will also impress employers who all seek applicants with a solid record of academic achievement.

It also offers both informal and formal networking opportunities throughout the year that students may attend. Through a university’s career office, there are usually talks and events organised with major law firms while involvement with student law societies will usually encompass additional opportunities to connect with other aspiring solicitors, barristers and legal academics. There are also a myriad of internship and pro bono opportunities that offer legal work experience to develop skills further and enhance any CV.

Applying for an LLM (Master of Laws)

Applications for most programmes open in October each year (for a September start the following year)  and either close before January or in early Spring. It is important to pay attention to the universities’ deadlines to avoid disappointment.

Most courses will require all undergraduate degree transcripts with a breakdown of module subjects and grades for each year of study. They will also require one or two academic references from undergraduate studies. On top of these requirements, most universities will ask for details of work experience via a CV or resume and a personal statement or cover letter detailing the applicant’s suitability and reasons for applying to the programme. Other admissions requirements may ask for a writing sample to assess the applicant’s suitability for the demanding programme. It is therefore important for an applicant to reflect upon the skills, experiences and interests that render them an ideal applicant and why they wish to study a chosen specialism if applicable.

LLM (Master of Laws) Case Study

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.

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