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Master of Law (LLM)

Course Description

The Cambridge LLM (Master of Law) is a nine-month taught programme commencing at the beginning of October each year and ending in June of the following year. The LLM, as a masters degree, is intended for those who wish to pursue further legal studies after completing their first degree in law, including those who are considering an academic career or intend to practise law. The advanced nature of the LLM is reflected in the fact that the programme is organised and taught separately from the undergraduate law degree at Cambridge. All of the LLM courses are specifically tailored for the LLM programme.

LLM students take four courses of their choice from a list of over 30 options, each most commonly assessed by means of a three-hour written examination at the end of the LLM year although students may elect to write an 18,000 word thesis in lieu of the written examination for one course only subject to prior formal approval of their dissertation topic.

Students may opt to specialise in commercial, European, international or intellectual property law by choosing at least three of their courses from those designated as being in one of these areas of specialism. Alternatively they may select from the entire range of LLM courses and obtain a non-specialised LLM degree.

See the website http://www.llm.law.cam.ac.uk/

Course detail

At the end of this postgraduate programme students can be expected to have greatly enhanced knowledge of their chosen specialist subjects areas, an increased ability to apply sophisticated and rigorous analytical techniques to primary and secondary legal materials, and a better facility in advancing robust evaluations of doctrinal and policy arguments in the fields of their studies and more generally.


The LLM is a nine-month taught programme which begins in October and ends in the following June. Students must take four courses, but have a free choice as to which four they choose from a list of over 30 course offerings. In most courses student numbers do not exceed 35.

One-to-one supervisions are unlikely, except for those students who choose to write a thesis in lieu of examination for one their four courses. These students receive a number of one-to-one sessions with their thesis supervisors.

Teaching typically comprises a minimum of 16 two-hour seminars and lectures for each of their four courses, supplemented by teaching in small groups where course numbers are greater than 20.

There are no formal 'practicals', but all LLM students are expected to undertake substantial amounts of reading arising from seminars and lectures and to produce written work for some sessions.

In addition to the seminars and lectures for each course, provision is also made for discussion in smaller groups where the number taking a course exceed 20.

LLM students are encouraged to contribute to the student law review, the Cambridge Journal of International and Comparative Law. In addition many LLM students are involved in the Faculty's Graduate Law Society.

This style of presentation is reserved for PhD students, but LLM students are welcome to attend.


Placements are not organised through the Faculty, and are not part of the LLM programme, but many LLM students successfully organise placements for the period immediately following completion of their studies.


LLM students have the option of writing a thesis of 18,000 words in lieu of examination for one of their four courses.

Certain LLM subjects may be assessed by an essay of 7,000 words plus a two-hour examination, rather than the more typical three-hour examination or 18,000-word thesis.

LLM students sit a three-hour written examination at the end of the LLM year for each of their four courses, unless they have already submitted a thesis in lieu of examination for one of their courses.

Formative assessment (ie assessment not contributing to final grades) is delivered by way of individual feedback on students' essays or partial thesis drafts (for those electing to write a thesis). Students may submit up to three essays for each course they are taking. Course convenors and lecturers will advise on topics, but the aim is to produce a short piece of writing which provides a concise, rigorous argument or analysis of the issues in question.


A number of students wish to remain in Cambridge after completing their masters degree in order to pursue a further research degree. Cambridge offers research degrees of varying length: the Diploma in International Law, the Diploma in Legal Studies, the MLitt degree and the PhD degree.

Students wishing to continue their studies at Cambridge by undertaking a research degree in law should apply for their chosen course through the Graduate Admissions Office by completing a GRADSAF application form and submitting it by the relavant deadline.

The Faculty of Law website contains information about the options available at:

How to apply: http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/applying

Funding Opportunities

Information about sources of funding is available from the Faculty of Law's LLM website at: http://www.llm.law.cam.ac.uk/scholarship_information.html

and from the University's Graduate Admissions Office website at:

Visit the Master of Law (LLM) page on the University of Cambridge website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Applicants for this course should have achieved a UK First class Honours Degree.

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