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  • Study Type

    Full time & Part time available

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  • Start Date


  • Course Duration

    Full-time: 1 year; Part-time: 2 years

  • Course Type


  • Course Fees


Course content

The Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Studies is a one-year full-time (or two-year part-time) research course and is awarded on the basis of a dissertation not exceeding 30,000 words, inclusive of footnotes but exclusive of appendices and bibliography. Students are assigned a supervisor by the Faculty's Degree Committee.

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Course detail

The main aims of the course are:

- To give students with relevant experience at first-degree and/or Master's level the opportunity to carry out focussed research on an approved research topic in the field of Law under close supervision;
- To give students the opportunity to acquire or develop skills and expertise relevant to their research interests;
- To enable students to engage in work which is innovative and at the leading edge of legal scholarship

A dissertation submitted for the Diploma in Legal Studies must afford evidence of serious study and the ability to discuss a difficult problem critically.

An applicant interested in writing a thesis on international law should apply for the Postgraduate Diploma in International Law.


The course is exclusively by independent research. The proposed research topic is considered by the Degree Committee during the application process. While individual arrangements vary, the student should normally receive one-to-one supervision at least once a month.

There are no compulsory seminars or classes, however, students are encouraged to attend some or all of the classes provided by the Faculty's Research Training and Development Programme.

Students are encouraged to attend Lectures, especially at LLM level, within the general field of their research.

The Cambridge Journal of International and Comparative Law (CJICL) is an open access, peer-reviewed academic journal founded and run by the postgraduate community at the Faculty of Law.

Students have the opportunity to give a presentation on their current research at the termly Graduate Research Seminars.

Supervisors are required to submit termly reports to the Student Registry which students can access online via their self-service accounts on CamSIS.


A thesis, not exceeding 30,000 words in length, including footnotes, but excluding appendices and bibliography, shall be referred to two Examiners, appointed by the Degree Committee, who may, at their discretion, examine the student orally on the thesis and on the general field of knowledge within which it falls. Each Examiner shall submit a separate report to the Degree Committee on the student's thesis, and the Examiners shall submit a joint report on the student's performance in the oral examination, if held. The Degree Committee, after considering the reports of the Examiners, shall resolve whether or not the student is entitled to be awarded the Diploma.


Diploma candidates may apply to continue to the MLitt or PhD by completing and submitting a Graduate and Scholarships Application Form (GRADSAF) by the relevant deadline.

Continuation to the MLitt or PhD is subject to (a) a satisfactory outcome in the examination for the Diploma in Legal Studies, (b) a satisfactory recommendation on the clarity and feasibility of the applicant's proposed MLitt/doctoral research following its assessment by the Diploma examiners through an informal discussion with the applicant and (c) the availability of a supervisor.

In appropriate circumstances, a student may be allowed to count not more than three full-time terms or five part-time terms towards the requirements for the MLitt or PhD.

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Funding Opportunities

For detailed information about all possible funding sources (Faculty funding, University funding, and College funding) please refer to the Faculty of Law's website.

General Funding Opportunities:

Visit the PG Dip Legal Studies page on the University of Cambridge website for more details!




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Recipient: University of Cambridge

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