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How to Create an Effective Thesis Statement in 5 Easy Steps

Creating a thesis statement can be a daunting task. It’s one of the most important sentences in your paper, and it needs to be done right. But don’t worry — with these five easy steps, you’ll be able to create an effective thesis statement in no time.

Step 1: Brainstorm Ideas

The first step is to brainstorm ideas for your paper. Think about what you want to say and write down any ideas that come to mind. This will help you narrow down your focus and make it easier to create your thesis statement.

Step 2: Research Your Topic

Once you have some ideas, it’s time to do some research on your topic. Look for sources that support your ideas and provide evidence for the points you want to make. This will help you refine your argument and make it more convincing.

Step 3: Formulate Your Argument

Now that you have done some research, it’s time to formulate your argument. Take the points you want to make and put them into one or two sentences that clearly state what your paper is about. This will be the basis of your thesis statement.

Step 4: Refine Your Thesis Statement

Once you have formulated your argument, it’s time to refine your thesis statement. Make sure that it is clear, concise, and specific. It should also be arguable so that readers can disagree with it if they choose.

Step 5: Test Your Thesis Statement

The last step is to test your thesis statement. Does it accurately reflect the points you want to make? Is it clear and concise? Does it make an arguable point? If not, go back and refine it until it meets all of these criteria.

Creating an effective thesis statement doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With these five easy steps, you can create a strong thesis statement in no time at all.

This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.


llm without dissertation uk

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Is it possible to apply the llm without a law background in uk.

llm without dissertation uk

Posted Aug 20, 2009 12:53


Hi everyone, I'm a international student who wants to apply the LLM programme, but I don't have a prior law degree or work experience, am I eligible? I've read some websites, and found that some universities have a programme named "Graduate Diploma in Law", does anybody know this diploma?. Graduate Diploma in Law+LLM will cost me 2 years, is it possible if I want to get the LLM degree in 1 year? Some universities say that normally they accept applicant holding a prior law degree or having a law background(like work experience etc.), but they also accept applicant in a relevant discipline. Is the latter exception? And could you please give me some names of those kinds of universities which you can ensure the possibility of accepting a non-law background applicant?. If you know some precedents, please tell me!! Thanks in advance~!!!~ : )

llm without dissertation uk

Posted Aug 20, 2009 13:34

As far as I know, a Graduate Diploma in Law is normally a taught course minus a dissertation (requiring about nine months to complete). At some universities, it allows those who have satisfactorily completed the coursework to transfer to the LLM, which can then be completed by just meeting the rest of the Master's degree requirement: the dissertation. A Graduate Diploma in Law may also be a conversion course for those without a law degree. As such it prepares a candidate for legal practice -- that is, providing him or her with the academic-stage qualification for Bar Vocational Course or Legal Practice Course). Again, as far as I know, the Universities that do not require a law degree for a pursuit of an LLM course are Lancaster and Aberystwyth, among others. Just take a look at their websites. I hope I was not mistaken!

Posted Aug 20, 2009 19:17

Hi tnuchpiam, I've read the websites of Lancaster and Aberystwyth, but all the LLM courses in Aberystwyth are distance learning. Anyway, thanks for your help. I'm planning apply the Lancaster. And one more question, : ) How long does the first kind of Graduate Diploma that you mentioned take? Coursework+LLM dissertation=1 year or 2 years?

llm without dissertation uk

Posted Aug 20, 2009 22:12

This article is quite useful: http://www.llm-guide.com/article/213/llm-programs-for-non-law-graduates

llm without dissertation uk

Posted Aug 20, 2009 22:25

a graduate diploma in law is the professional qualification needed to be taken after an LLB in order to be a solicitor.

Posted Aug 20, 2009 23:19

Well, Jacktheripper, a diploma coursework + dissertation (= LLM) would take one year: nine-month coursework + three-month dissertation. All LLM programmes at Kent, for example, offer this kind of arrangement (I found this in its 2009 Postgraduate Brochure, page 20), but I am not sure if an applicant needs a law degree. The best thing to do is to ask the people there directly. Exeter's Law Postgraduate Prospectus also indicates (on page 12) that the School also accepts, for an LLM course, "a UK Honours degree of at least an Upper Second Class Honours standard (or an overseas equivalent standard) in a non-Law subject, where the applicant can demonstrate substantial relevant legal experience". Moreover, the Prospectus also has this to say: "Applicants with a first degree in another discipline and no experience of law may want to consider the Graduate Diploma in Law, delivered by INTO University of Exeter in conjuction with the School (see www.ex.ac.uk.into ). Successful completion of the nine-month Graduate Diploma guarantees progression onto one of our LLM programme". However, it does not how long it will take to obtain an LLM. I hope it takes only one year (9 + 3 months)? Again, the best thing to do is write to ask the School.

llm without dissertation uk

Posted Dec 10, 2010 16:13

I've been accepted without LLB or any legal background for LLM in University of London.... but it is for external studies. Starting in January in order to sit exam in October 2011.

llm without dissertation uk

Posted Dec 11, 2010 07:10

I may be dense, but why would someone with neither the LLB or legal work experience want to do an LLM?

llm without dissertation uk

Posted Dec 14, 2010 22:08

I knew a couple of people who did a joint master's program (not law) which incorporated a few law courses, but I didn't know anyone who wasn't a lawyer. I have to think that it's nearly impossible to get an offer.

llm without dissertation uk

Posted Dec 14, 2010 22:11

the only reputable universities to admit non-lawyers to their llms are edinburgh and lse. lse do so only exceptionally. edinburgh regularly admit non-lawyers for their international law llm.

llm without dissertation uk

Posted Dec 14, 2010 22:45

Essex also regularly admits non-law students, but that is because they are a major human rights institution and they are appealing to students with other backgrounds who wish to gain knowledge of human rights/humanitarian law/public international law etc. I have also known professors of sociology and political science who have acquired LLMs to make their research/teaching more interdisciplinary. Also, some non-lawyers with scientific or engineering backgrounds often seek LLMs in intellectual property .... So I'm not sure why it seems that odd that non-lawyers would be interested in an LLM, but the specialization of the LLM is pretty central to why a non-lawyer would pursue one. I doubt we'd see non-lawyers trying to pursue LLMs in commercial law or corporate finance for example (and I doubt any programs would accept them anyway.)

Posted Dec 15, 2010 09:25

llm without dissertation uk

Posted Dec 15, 2010 15:23

As mentioned above, Edinburgh does regularly admit non-lawyers to the LLM programme but it makes up a very small percentage of the group. You would be expected to familiarise yourself with legal concepts as no dispensation is given for not being familiar with the study of law. That being said, you probably already would realise that a non-lawyer would need to do extra work to do well in a law programme. There were several non-lawyers when I did the LLM in International Law. They mainly came from politics, IR, etc. However, recently I have met several who studied other social sciences and of course there are the science/IT backgrounds that go for IP/IT related courses, while finance/banking backgrounds opt for a commercial/corporate programme.

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Frequently asked questions

How do i get an application form.

Please refer to the How to apply section.

What is the application deadline?

The deadline for receipt of LLM applications for the 2024 entry course is 5 December 2023. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

What do I need to do if the PAO policy requires me to provide proof of language proficiency?

You will need to pass a test demonstrating proficiency in English and submit the results with the rest of your supporting application documents . You should take your language test early enough to ensure that you receive the results in time to submit them electronically with your application. Unlike other parts of the University, the Faculty of Law requires submission of language tests results by the application deadline. The LLM Committee will not consider applications without the required language test results.

Do I have to have a law degree to apply for the Cambridge LLM?

Generally yes, but not always. The LLM Admissions Committee does consider applications from those with a non-Law first degree, provided that in addition to their degree they have substantial relevant professional legal experience or have obtained a professional legal qualification with the equivalent of a First Class result. However, a first degree in Law is the preferred preparation for the Cambridge LLM.

What grades do I need to have achieved to be offered a place on the Cambridge LLM?

Usually a First class degree from a UK university or its overseas equivalent, but further details are available in the Admissions criteria .

Can I apply for the Cambridge LLM if I have not yet completed my first degree in law?

Yes, and we welcome such applications. Note, though, that the LLM Admissions Committee can consider your application only on the basis of grades provided at the time you apply. If you have done well in your first couple of years at university, but possibly not quite well enough to be a strong candidate for admission, waiting for a year until you have finished your degree with outstanding results in the final year may be the better option. If you do apply before you have completed your first degree in law and your application is successful, your offer is likely to have academic conditions attached.

Can I take the Cambridge LLM if I am from a civil law country rather than a common law country?

Yes. Those from a civil law background are welcome, and take the same courses and receive the same degree as those from a common law background. The interaction of students from a wide of variety of legal families greatly enriches discussions inside and outside the classroom. Civil law students are invited to attend a series of optional lectures on the common law held just before the LLM course begins. Students wanting further instruction in the common law method might also consider attending the English Legal Methods summer course run by Cambridge's Institute of Continuing Education .

Can I apply for the Cambridge LLM and another degree programme at Cambridge for the same year of entry?

Yes. However you must make a separate application for each programme, and if offers of admission are made for more than one of these programmes, you will have to choose which offer to accept – you cannot study for the Cambridge LLM and for another degree concurrently.

Do you accept applications from students who already have a UK LLM?

Generally no, but we do make exceptions in cases where applicants plan to use the Cambridge LLM to develop their studies in a different direction to their previous UK LLM The different direction needs to be evident from the application.

How long is the Cambridge LLM Programme?

The Programme starts in the first week of October and finishes by the end of the following June. The University's term dates can be found on the University website.

Can I take the Cambridge LLM on a part-time or distance-learning basis?

No. The LLM Programme cannot be taken by correspondence or on a part-time basis. Since the LLM is oriented around lectures starting in October and ending in May, it is only possible to begin the LLM Programme in October.

How much will it cost to do the Cambridge LLM?

This depends on whether you are from the UK, another European Union country or elsewhere. The PAO provides an estimate of costs which graduate students incur .

What funding options are available?

See the PAO fees and funding web pages for details of the composition (tuition) fees and college fees, and for estimated living costs in Cambridge. This section of the PAO website also provides detailed information about sources of funding, including the online database of scholarships, studentships and bursaries . You can use this search facility to find sources of funding for which you are eligible to apply.

Once I have applied, when can I expect to find out if I have been offered a place?

All admissions decisions will have been made by 1 March. However, it may take further time before you receive notification. Applicants will be notified of the decision relating to their application via their self service account by the Postgraduate Admissions Office.

If I receive an offer, can I be sure I will be able to get a place at the college I would like to attend?

Unfortunately this cannot be guaranteed, since some colleges are significantly oversubscribed. But you can express a preference. And if you are offered a place on the Cambridge LLM you can be certain you will be accepted by one of the colleges, even if it is not the one you prefer.

If I receive an offer subject to an academic condition and fail to meet this condition, is it possible to obtain a waiver?

It is very unlikely. If you consider that your final results have been affected by unforeseen and exceptional circumstances, you may submit a formal request for a waiver to the Cambridge LLM team at [email protected] .

I have received an offer of a place on the Cambridge LLM, and would like to take up the offer, but I cannot now attend in the year for which I initially applied. Is it possible to defer?

No. In line with general University policy, deferred entry will not be possible for the LLM.

Do I have to write a dissertation as part of the Cambridge LLM?

No, you do not have to write a dissertation, but a dissertation option is available for those who wish to undertake some independent research. For example, in seminar courses, students are examined through a (compulsory) dissertation. In addition, in many of the LLM courses there is the option of writing a dissertation in lieu of the examination. A candidate whose topic is approved for a dissertation in lieu of an examination will receive a prescribed amount of individual advice from an appropriate dissertation advisor. Students may only write one dissertation for their Cambridge LLM, and their chosen dissertation topic cannot overlap substantially with material covered in another course.

I have checked the website thoroughly, together with the PAO website and supporting documentation, but I have a question I cannot answer. Is there anyone I can contact?

Yes. Please contact the Cambridge LLM team at [email protected] .

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’What is an LLM?’ and other questions about law postgraduate study

targetjobs editorial team

Last updated: 1 Oct 2023, 15:29

PGDL or GCL? LLM, MA in law or an MPhil? Discover the range of postgraduate courses open to you in law, typical entry requirements and how to decide which course is right for you.

Supported by:

The University of Law

Hero image for ’What is an LLM?’ and other questions about law postgraduate study

There is a huge variety of law-focused postgraduate courses open to both law and non-law graduates. Which is best depends on what you want to achieve – and which mode of study suits you best. In this article, we guide you through your options and key considerations:

  • Good and bad reasons to pursue postgraduate study
  • LLM, MA, PGDL and GDL: acronyms explained
  • Law conversion course: FAQs answered

Masters for law graduates: FAQs answered

  • Course fees and funding options
  • Choosing a course and place of study
  • Postgraduate study in Scotland

You can browse law course providers on targetjobs.

Why do postgraduate study in law?

Non-law graduates wishing to qualify as barristers must complete an approved conversion course before the Bar course .

Non-law graduates aspiring to become solicitors are either required to undertake a conversion course if following the legal practice course (LPC) qualification route* or strongly advised to do so under the solicitors qualifying examination (SQE) route . In fact, many law firms that sponsor non-law graduates through the SQE route insist upon it. Some course providers also have it as an entry requirement for their SQE preparation study programmes.

Law graduates can complete a masters degree with the aim of consolidating their expertise in an area of law, perhaps because they are passionate about the subject or to boost their employment prospects in law or a related career field. They might also complete an LLM as a way to start undertaking SQE training and gaining qualifying work experience (QWE) – or to start on a career in academic research.

If you are a law graduate, however, bear in mind that pursuing a masters should not be a fallback option if you don’t know what else to do. A masters degree can be costly and is hard work, so you need genuine commitment and interest in the subject for it to be worth the expense. In addition, the belief that doing a masters can make up for poor degree results by demonstrating that you do have academic ability is usually a false one. Most law firms and chambers look for a consistent academic record, so having an LLM will not erase the fact that you only just scraped a 2.2.

Find out more about qualifying as a solicitor or barrister .

Mortarboards on a wooden floor surrounded by celebratory confetti

What are LLMs, PGDLs and other postgraduate qualifications in law?

  • LLM: master of law. A taught masters level degrees designed to provide specialist knowledge in one area of law. It is usually taught through a mixture of lectures and seminars with a dissertation in the final term.
  • MA: master of arts. This can be taught or research-based. An MA is likely to be more general than an LLM and may not be automatically recognised as a law degree by the Solicitors Regulation Authority or the Bar Council when studied in combination with another subject (see below).
  • MPhil and PhD: master of philosophy and doctor of philosophy. These are specialised research degrees, typically lasting two to four years. A PhD requires significant original contribution to the academic discipline, whereas an MPhil requires a less substantial thesis. An LLM is often required for entry on to these courses.
  • GDL and PGDL: graduate diploma in law and postgraduate diploma in law . These are most typically conversion course qualifications and incorporate masters-level academic study without the dissertation (see below).

Law conversion course FAQs

What law conversion courses are there and what’s the difference between a gdl and a pgdl.

Recognised conversion courses have many names. These include the graduate diploma in law (GDL), which is otherwise known common professional examination (CPE). It was the main conversion course for the LPC qualifying route and for the Bar course and is still available. However, some course providers are offering a postgraduate diploma in law (PGDL) instead, which is centred around SQE requirements but should also be suitable for the Bar course.

Other conversion courses are offered as masters degrees, usually either as an LLM or an MA in law. Some of these masters courses also include top-up preparation for either one or both of the SQE assessments.

Another way of converting to law is to undertake an LLB (bachelor of laws) qualification through an accelerated senior status degree route. It is essentially an intensively taught law degree, which is aimed at non-law graduates who wish to gain a qualifying law degree in two years rather than three.

What do I study on the PGDL or another law conversion course?

To meet the requirements of the Bar Council (and for the LPC route*), a law conversion course must cover the seven foundations of legal knowledge:

  • criminal law
  • equity and trusts
  • EU law (in context)
  • contract law
  • public law (constitutional, administrative and human rights).

When comparing courses, study the module breakdowns carefully. You will likely find that PGDLs designed for the SQE cover these areas too as an essential grounding in law, but it is worth confirming.

How long does a conversion course take?

Course duration varies according to how you study and the content of the course, but in general the GDL and masters courses take around a year full time (two years for the MA), while it may be possible to study the PGDL intensively in eight months when done full time.

What are the entry requirements for law conversion courses?

These vary according to the institution, but for UK students the main requirement for a GDL or PGDL is typically a 2.2 bachelors degree. Entry requirements for senior status degrees can be stricter, eg a 2.1 degree.

How do I apply for a law conversion course?

Applications for full-time law conversion courses, including the PGDL and GDL, are made through a centralised application system ( lawcabs.ac.uk ). Applications for part-time courses are made directly to the course provider. You can typically apply for courses from the October each year, but deadlines vary according to course providers. The earlier you apply, the better.

Find out more about law conversion courses .

Advice on postgraduate study from the University of Law

What masters courses are available in law.

There are many taught masters open to law undergraduates and those who have undertaken a conversion course: most usually LLMs but also MAs in law.

Some LPCs* and Bar courses are offered as LLMs, allowing you to gain a masters qualification at the same time as your vocational qualification. Similarly, many of the SQE preparatory study programmes run by course providers allow LLB graduates to take extra credit to gain an LLM, so law graduates can gain the postgraduate status while also qualifying as a solicitor via the new route, too.

Other LLMs are focused on gaining further specialist knowledge: for example, you could do an LLM in commercial or immigration law. Some bring together two subject disciplines, such as business and law. Some LLMs courses promise you a certain amount of QWE, setting you on the way to passing your SQE.

How long do law masters courses take to study?

Typically, masters are one year full time and two years part-time, although some MA in law conversion courses are two years full time.

What is the difference between an LLM and an MA in law?

Generally, an LLM in law is more specialist than an MA in law. If you specialise in one particular type of law. it may well give you additional knowledge to help you specialise in that area of legal practice after you qualify as a solicitor or barrister. It is also testament to your intellectual capabilities, evidence of which is particularly sought-after by top firms and chambers

When combined as a joint subject, an MA in law may not be recognised as a qualifying law degree by the Solicitors Regulation Authority or the Bar Council if you seek to become a practising solicitor or barrister (so do check before applying). However, it is still a masters-level qualification, develops your legal skills and knowledge, and may be particularly valuable in preparing you for careers outside of law but where legal knowledge is useful, such as public policy or international relations.

What are the entry requirements for a masters degree in law?

The individual entry requirements on course listings vary, but it isn’t uncommon for the admissions tutors of LLMs and masters in law courses to stipulate a minimum of a 2.1 in law.

How do I apply for an LLM or MA in law?

For full-time LLMs related to the LPC or SQE, you apply via lawcabs.ac.uk . Otherwise, you apply directly to the course provider.

How much do postgraduate courses in law cost and how do I fund my studies?

Fees for a full-time taught or research postgrad can vary: typical costs for UK students are around £9,000 to £20,000. Follow our advice for finding funding:

  • Check with the institution for the scholarships and grants they offer. Some universities offer awards to students continuing their studies at the same institution, while some are available for graduates from elsewhere.
  • The Inns of Court offer support for aspiring barristers undertaking the conversion and Bar courses.
  • Many law firms will pay for their trainees’ conversion course/LPC/SQE preparation (firms often recruit two years in advance). Browse solicitors’ firms on targetjobs and compare what support they offer.
  • Some chambers will allow you advance you money from your pupillage award (earnings) the year before, which could be used to fund your Bar course. Browse chambers profiles on targetjobs to see what’s on offer at individual sets.
  • Trusts and charities sometimes provide grants, often for students from underrepresented backgrounds or those who have achieved academic excellence. Ask your careers service for directories to help identify them.
  • Awards from Research Councils are the main source of funding for research students. See ukri.org for details.
  • For research students, postgraduate teaching posts are useful ways to earn some money and fees can sometimes be offset against earnings.
  • Postgraduate students can apply for a postgraduate masters or postgraduate doctoral loan from the government. There are eligibility conditions: visit gov.uk for more details.

A hand putting money into a piggybank, with a scattering of coins nearby

How do you choose the right law postgraduate course?

  • Think about which study method suits you best: do you learn well via an online course and distance learning or do you perform better in a classroom environment?
  • Check out the course providers’ facilities and, if you are not already being sponsored by a law firm or secured a pupillage, their connections with employers.
  • Discuss further study options with your tutors and ask professors in your law faculty for their thoughts (even if you aren’t studying law)
  • Attend postgraduate information fairs, run from October to January by a number of universities, and ‘getting into postgrad’ sessions run by your careers service.
  • Check the value of your course with potential employers (for instance at law careers fairs) to make sure that it puts you on the right track for employment.
  • Contact the course director or admissions tutor for details of what previous students have gone on to do.
  • See if you can speak to a current student on the course to get an insider’s view. The admissions team should be able to put you in touch with current students who are happy to talk to you. Alternatively, you could try identifying and reaching out to them on LinkedIn – here’s how .

What about law postgraduate study in Scotland?

The academic requirement for qualifying as a solicitor or advocate in Scotland is a bachelors of laws (LLB), but non-law graduates can study it via a two-year accelerated route. All students then need to pass the diploma in professional legal practice or DPLP (the vocational component) before moving on to a traineeship (the work-based component).

However, LLB students can progress to an LLM (or a postgraduate certificate/diploma). Some LLM students then go on to take the DPLP and qualify as a lawyer, while others call upon their further knowledge of the law in a different career or go into academia.

Find out more about qualifying and studying in Scotland .

*Note that many of the top law firms have switched to the SQE route to qualification and no longer support the LPC route, so new students may not wish to study the LPC. The University of Law has a good guide to what current LPC students should do next (note: the article is an advertising feature).

People reading this also searched for roles in these areas:

  • Law graduate jobs

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  • Master of Laws

LLM Master of Laws Degree in the UK

Gain the in-depth knowledge, skills and experience needed for a successful career in law.

Master of Laws is a postgraduate course designed for law graduates and practising lawyers to specialise in a particular area, such as tax, environmental or employment law. An LLM course generally lasts one year full-time and 24 months part-time, and students will select the module or area they wish to study and complete a dissertation over the learning period.

Leading experts with academic and practical experience and knowledge teach LLM programmes. Each LLM is supported by guest lecturers drawn from the government, the professions and the financial world, and while studying an LLM, you will have the opportunity to gain legal experience by working on real-life cases, improving your employment prospects.

master of laws application

Each LLM is designed to enhance your employability in a legal context through ‘practice-ready’ modules. You will also interact with leading academics, researchers, judges, officials and practitioners from various legal systems.

Most law schools have limited places available, so it is important to have a clear idea of what you wish to focus on during the application phase. An LLM UK qualification will provide graduates with a competitive edge in a crowded job market and also offer the chance for a change in direction for those currently employed.

LLM Course Duration and Assessment

LLM courses last one-year full-time and two years part-time, and students are assessed by examinations on legal issues and findings and a dissertation.

LLM Course Fees

International students can expect to pay between £20,000 to £40,000 per academic year when studying for a Master of Laws in the UK. Elements that affect international tuition fees include location, UK university ranking and global reputation.

University of Cambridge’s Master of Law (LLM), which is the number one ranked LLM in the UK, will cost overseas students £37,500 per year. Durham University’s LLM, however, ranked 6th in the UK, is only £24,900 per year. Below are the UK's top five Master of Laws programmes and their international fees.

LLM Course Options

LLMs in the UK provide a wide range of specialist areas to help you develop your legal skills and knowledge. Students can often choose from over 20 specialist electives to build their own LLM - each is fully flexible with full-time and part-time study options, meaning that you can undertake an LLM at any time in your academic or professional career.

Popular LLM specialisms include:

  • LLM Commercial Law
  • LLM Corporate Finance Law
  • LLM International Business Law
  • LLM The Law of Investigations
  • LLM The Law relating to Fraud and Financial Crime
  • LLM The Law relating to International Financial Transactions
  • LLM UK and International Banking Law

Master of Laws Careers

An LLM degree provides students with a competitive edge in the job market, especially in highly specialised fields of law. It can also help students advance their careers by demonstrating their commitment to continuing education and professional development.

Many law firms prefer LLM graduates to join their teams, as they have specialised knowledge in a particular area of law. LLM graduates can work as associates and partners or even start their own law firms.

LLM graduates can pursue a career in academia by teaching law at law schools and universities, and government agencies also hire LLM graduates to work in different positions, such as legal advisors, judges, and administrative law judges.

LLM degree graduates will move into legal or corporate practice and also take on roles in management, business, banking, non-governmental organisations, research and teaching. Traditional legal roles include lawyer, risk analysis and litigation. If LLM graduates wish to remain in the study, a number also choose to study for a PhD .

Average Salary for LLM Professionals

The average marketing salary for LLM graduates in the UK varies depending on the specific job title, level of experience, and industry.

According to the UK job search website Indeed, the average salary for LLM professionals in the UK is around £49,000 per year as of March 2023. However, this figure can range from around £25,000 per year for entry-level positions to over £100,000 per year for senior positions in some areas of law.

Graduate Employability Rate for an LLM Degree

According to the Guardian University Guide 2023 Law subject rankings, the following five universities have the highest percentage of graduates who find graduate-level jobs or are in further study at a professional or higher education level within 15 months of graduation.

Master of Laws UK Entry Requirements

A first or second-class honours degree, or equivalent internationally recognised qualification in Law, is required, as well as an understanding of the basic principles of public and private law. Other degrees will be considered if substantial legal knowledge and experience can be proved.

Most universities require applicants to hold a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree or an equivalent law degree from a recognised institution. Some universities may also accept applicants with degrees in other subjects if they have relevant work experience in the legal field.

Some LLM courses may require applicants to have relevant work experience in the legal field, and applicants are typically required to provide academic or professional references to support their application.

  • Typical IELTS requirements :  6.5 overall, with no lower than 6.0 in any one component.

Please note that entry requirements vary for each UK university .

Where can I study Master of Laws in the UK?

To learn more about the best Law LLM courses in the UK, find details on the top ten ranking Law universities in the Guardian University Guide 2024  below:

Study a Law Master's in the UK

If you are interested in studying for an LLM degree in the UK, arrange your free consultation today. Don't forget the  Premium Service will guarantee you at least one offer from a UK university.

Contact SI-UK about your LLM application

What is the English language requirement for LLM?

An English Language level equivalent to IELTS 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component is required to study a Master of Laws in the UK.

How many courses do I need to take to qualify for an LLM specialism?

Each UK university has different requirements for this. LSE, for example, requires all LLM students to take a total of eight courses, usually over a period of one year of full-time study.

Can I study an LLM part-time?

Yes, LLM courses are available part-time.

What financial help and scholarships are available?

UK universities endeavour to support all students while studying in the UK , and a limited number of international scholarships are available each academic year for students to apply for.

What is a law conversion course?

A law conversion is designed to bring non-law graduates up to the same standard as law graduates. It is an entry point for non-law students wanting to build a strong foundation and academic background in law before going on to the next stage of their qualification.

Can I apply for an LLM if I do not have a law degree?

Yes, you can apply for an LLM without a law background, but you will need to demonstrate a high level of professional and academic excellence in areas closely related to the subject.

What do LLM graduates go on to do?

Master of Law graduates go on to work in law, academia and research.

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LLM: Frequently asked questions

1. when can i apply to the llm.

 Applications open in October for the following academic year.

2. Is there a deadline for applying?

We set no deadline in advance as we operate a system of rolling admissions, which means that we close to new applications when the programme is full. We therefore strongly recommend that you apply as soon as possible.

3. How do I apply?

You apply to the programme via the online application system.

see   How To Apply .

4. How can I contact the Graduate Admissions Office?

Contact information can be found at the link below.

see  Graduate Admissions . 

5. What is the application fee?

Please see the  Application pages  of the LSE website. 

6. What are the admission requirements?

The minimum entry requirement to the LLM Programme is a UK 2:1 or equivalent degree in law (LLB or equivalent) or a conversion degree.

Each application is considered on its own merits. In evaluating an application, the selectors take into consideration an applicant's grades and class rank, letters of reference, the coherence of an applicant's proposed programme of study and any significant professional accomplishments.

see  Graduate Admissions .

see  Country and Regional Specific information .

7. Can I apply if I do not have a law degree?

Students without a law background may apply to the LLM programme, but they need to demonstrate a high level of professional or academic experience in areas closely related to the subjects they wish to study. Recent graduates who have neither studied law nor passed a "conversion" course are only admitted in exceptional circumstances. 

8. What is a law conversion course?

Common Professional Examination/Graduate Diploma in Law (CPE/GDL) courses, commonly known as "law conversion courses", enable non-law graduates and in some instances, non-graduates to complete the foundations of legal knowledge required by the academic stage of training. (Note that these courses are not offered at LSE).

9. What is the English language requirement?

Minimum English language requirement for law

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) with a minimum score of 630 in the written test, 267 in the computer based test or 109 in the internet based test (with a minimum of 27 in writing, 24 in listening, 25 in reading and 22 in speaking) or   

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) with a minimum overall score of 7.5 (with a minimum of 7.0 in the listening, writing and reading elements and 6.5 in the speaking element).

See  English Language Requirements .  

10. How much are the tuition fees and how do I pay them?

See  How to Pay Fees . 

11. What financial help and scholarships are available?

See  Funding .

12. Can I study the LLM part-time?

Yes. The programme can be taken part-time over two or four years.

Students studying for the LLM over two years take two full units each year (four courses is equal to two full units);

Students studying for the LLM over four years (extended part-time) take one full unit each year (two courses is equal to one full unit).   

13. Can I study the LLM programme online (distance learning)?

No, this is not an option.

14. How many courses do I need to take?

To satisfy the LLM Programme Regulations students are required to complete four units. All courses on the LLM programme are half units therefore students will take eight half units. All students take the compulsory LL4F9 Legal Research and Writing Skills course and select seven other courses from a wide range of LLM courses.

see  LLM Programme Regulations .

15. What is an LLM specialism?

Students who take courses that fall predominately within one specialist area can request to have their specialism included in the name of their degree. The list of specialisms and the courses that are within those specialist areas can be found at the link below.

see   Specialisms .

16. How many courses do I need to take to qualify for a specialism?

To qualify for a specialism you will need to take four courses from within that specialist area.

17. How are courses assessed?

Courses are assessed in one of three ways:

Examinations - the majority of LLM courses are assessed via written two-hour exam in the main examination period (May/June).

Essays - some LLM courses are assessed via an 8,000 word essay or similar to be submitted in May.

Dissertation - the compulsory LLM course Legal Research and Writing course is assessed via a 10,000 word dissertation to be submitted in August. 

Further information can be found in the LLM Student Handbook which all students will receive at Orientation in September.

18. Where can I find course descriptions / reading lists?

Brief course guides can be viewed at the following link. (Note that these are the current academic year guides).

See  Course Guides .

19. How are the courses taught?

Courses are normally taught in seminar groups, meeting for two hours each week. However, there are some - usually larger - courses which are taught by a combination of lectures and a smaller number of smaller follow-up classes.

20. How long does it take to complete the LLM degree programme?

The LLM programme is a full-time 12 month programme. The programme can also be taken on a part-time basis - 24 months part-time or 48 months extended part-time. 

21. When / where do I need to register?

See  Student Services - Registration . 

22. What are the term dates?

See  Term Dates .  

23. When is orientation?

Orientation week usually begins the Monday before the start of the Autumn Term. Registration is usually the Friday before orientation.

See   Student Services - Welcome .

24. What do LLM graduates go on to do?

The LLM programme is sufficiently flexible to make it appropriate for many different career paths. It allows prospective law teachers to develop expertise in a wide range of subjects or in a particular specialised area; it enables practitioners to cultivate expertise in new fields; it provides a basis for a career in the city of London or other financial centres; and it offers relevant education and training for those entering the foreign service of their governments, working for non-governmental organisations (NGOs) or preparing for many other professions.

For more information see  LSE graduate destinations .

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Jan 29, 2023

Written By Lawrence Topley

Can you do an LLM without a law degree?

A Master of Laws, known as a LLM, is a postgraduate law degree that allows students to gain a deeper insight into specific areas of law. Whilst it is possible for non-law students to complete a LLM at some providers, there are others who require a law degree or vast levels of relevant experience. This article aims to address the entry requirements of an LLM, the type of work you will have to complete and where it could lead your career.

The Entry Requirements

Entry requirements for LLMs differ from place to place. Before highlighting some examples of the different requirements that may crop in your search for a LLM, it is worth noting that sometimes these requirements are indicative of the course you are enrolling for.

This is because the modules on the degree may be designed for students who have experience in these fields of study. So do not be disheartened if you are not eligible for some of the courses, there are still plenty out there for you to successfully apply to.

The entry requirements can be very specific, and so there is no clear cut answer for all LLMs. For example, a LLM in Banking and Finance at the University of Law requires that you have an undergraduate degree with a 2:1 minimum. Although you may have to take a two-week induction, there are no further requirements. However, some LLMs state that if students without a law background apply, they must show that they have a high level of professional and academic experience to be considered.

Hopefully, these entry requirements should act as a guide for you in choosing the right course for your current knowledge and study background. Most of them are in place because students without such experience or knowledge would struggle to keep up with the degree.

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A Typical LLM Course

As with most masters degrees, both law and non-law, you will likely be required to write a dissertation. These are around 15,000 words long, and you’ll have to complete written assessments throughout the course. LLMs are renowned for being very research oriented, with a lot of independent study. There are two key takeaways from this.

The LLM Career Path

The first is that completing a LLM is very challenging in terms of the skills you will require. If you do not have a background of plenty of independent research and writing, you may want to build up these skills before you enrol on one of these courses. In turn, the challenge of an LLM is also reflected in their prestige and attractiveness to law firms, so do not let this put you off, these skills can be developed during the course.

The second is that you should be certain that this is the course for you. Without a high passion or interest for the degree, you will struggle to meet the demands of a testing course. In addition to this, you should be confident that you want a career in this area. In most cases this is a desire to work as a lawyer in a specific sector such as Environmental Law. However, due to the heavy research nature of the degree, this also can open up a route to teaching in this field.

An important note for non-law students that are wanting to progress into a career in law, is that an LLM is not a qualifying law degree. While it will provide valuable insights into the legal profession, a standard LLM will not provide the skills necessary to pass the SQE exams. However, providers like the University of Law offer a LLM Legal Practice (SQE1&2), with exam prep incorporated into the course. Click here to learn more about this option.

Finally, you do not need a LLM to obtain a training contract. Whilst they are still very highly regarded by firms, as they show your passion and commitment to an area of law, they are not essential.


  • Benefits of studying the LLM
  • Can I do an LLM after a BA law degree?
  • How do I choose an LLM specialisation?
  • How do I choose an LLM?
  • Is an LLM an MA?

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As an aspiring solicitor, it’s likely that you’ll need to study a course with a leading law school in the not-too-distant future. To help you make an informed decision, we’d like to put you in touch with our partner law schools. They can give you all the details you need about course fees, funding options and more.

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LLM by Research

  • Entry Year 2024
  • Duration Full time 12 Months, Part time 24 Months

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The LLM by Research is primarily made available for those who wish to complete a research degree in one year (full-time) and may be particularly suited to those who already have some practical expertise.

The intended subject of the research should normally be one in which the Law School does not offer a taught Master's degree. Whilst the work is primarily individual, you will be advised to take some research training in the form of appropriate LLM modules or modules from the Faculty Research Training Programme.

Typically, successful applications contain a viable research proposal and are focused on our areas of research expertise, further entry requirements can be found below. Please check our staff profiles for precise areas of expertise.

As a student on this degree, you will write a dissertation (35,000 words), with the supervision of one of our academics. There are no taught module requirements for this degree.

Your department

  • Law Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Entry Requirements

Academic requirements.

2:1 Hons degree (UK or equivalent) in Law or any other subject.

We will also consider applications on an individual basis if you have lower qualifications, or a qualification that is not included on our list of international qualifications, or experience in professional legal practice.

If you have studied outside of the UK, we would advise you to check our list of international qualifications before submitting your application.

English Language Requirements

We may ask you to provide a recognised English language qualification, dependent upon your nationality and where you have studied previously.

We normally require an IELTS (Academic) Test with an overall score of at least 6.5, and a minimum of 5.5 in each element of the test. We also consider other English language qualifications .

If your score is below our requirements, you may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language programmes .

Contact: Admissions Team +44 (0) 1524 592032 or email [email protected]

Fees and Funding

There may be extra costs related to your course for items such as books, stationery, printing, photocopying, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits. Following graduation, you may need to pay a subscription to a professional body for some chosen careers.

Specific additional costs for studying at Lancaster are listed below.

College fees

Lancaster is proud to be one of only a handful of UK universities to have a collegiate system. Every student belongs to a college, and all students pay a small College Membership Fee  which supports the running of college events and activities. Students on some distance-learning courses are not liable to pay a college fee.

For students starting in 2023 and 2024, the fee is £40 for undergraduates and research students and £15 for students on one-year courses. Fees for students starting in 2025 have not yet been set.

Computer equipment and internet access

To support your studies, you will also require access to a computer, along with reliable internet access. You will be able to access a range of software and services from a Windows, Mac, Chromebook or Linux device. For certain degree programmes, you may need a specific device, or we may provide you with a laptop and appropriate software - details of which will be available on relevant programme pages. A dedicated  IT support helpdesk  is available in the event of any problems.

The University provides limited financial support to assist students who do not have the required IT equipment or broadband support in place.

For most taught postgraduate applications there is a non-refundable application fee of £40. We cannot consider applications until this fee has been paid, as advised on our online secure payment system. There is no application fee for postgraduate research applications.

For some of our courses you will need to pay a deposit to accept your offer and secure your place. We will let you know in your offer letter if a deposit is required and you will be given a deadline date when this is due to be paid.

The fee that you pay will depend on whether you are considered to be a home or international student. Read more about how we assign your  fee status .

If you are studying on a programme of more than one year’s duration, the tuition fees for subsequent years of your programme are likely to increase each year. Read more about  fees in subsequent years .

Scholarships and Bursaries

You may be eligible for the following funding opportunities, depending on your fee status and course . You will be automatically considered for our main scholarships and bursaries when you apply, so there's nothing extra that you need to do.

Unfortunately no scholarships and bursaries match your selection, but there are more listed on scholarships and bursaries page.

If you're considering postgraduate research you should look at our funded PhD opportunities .

We also have other, more specialised scholarships and bursaries - such as those for students from specific countries.

Browse Lancaster University's scholarships and bursaries .

Related courses

  • Diplomacy and International Law LLM
  • Diplomacy and International Law MA
  • Diplomacy and International Law (Distance Learning) LLM
  • Diplomacy and International Law (Distance Learning) MA
  • Environment and Law LLM
  • International Business and Corporate Law LLM
  • International Human Rights Law LLM
  • International Law LLM
  • International Law and International Relations LLM
  • International Law and International Relations MA
  • Law MPhil/PhD

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Join our on-campus open day this February to talk to students and lecturers and find out how and when to apply.

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Important Information

The information on this site relates primarily to 2024/2025 entry to the University and every effort has been taken to ensure the information is correct at the time of publication.

The University will use all reasonable effort to deliver the courses as described, but the University reserves the right to make changes to advertised courses. In exceptional circumstances that are beyond the University’s reasonable control (Force Majeure Events), we may need to amend the programmes and provision advertised. In this event, the University will take reasonable steps to minimise the disruption to your studies. If a course is withdrawn or if there are any fundamental changes to your course, we will give you reasonable notice and you will be entitled to request that you are considered for an alternative course or withdraw your application. You are advised to revisit our website for up-to-date course information before you submit your application.

More information on limits to the University’s liability can be found in our legal information .

Our Students’ Charter

We believe in the importance of a strong and productive partnership between our students and staff. In order to ensure your time at Lancaster is a positive experience we have worked with the Students’ Union to articulate this relationship and the standards to which the University and its students aspire. View our Charter and other policies .

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