The LLM is a postgraduate Master’s degree in a law discipline. It is an advanced programme that allows LLB or equivalent graduates to pursue an area of law in more detail.  It can be studied full-time (1 year) or part-time (2 years). There are general LLMs in Law for those who may wish to have more flexibility in choosing modules and a dissertation topic. On the other hand, you may wish to pursue a specialised LLM in a particular area of interest. This means that your dissertation and the majority of the modules can only focus on your chosen area of law.

It is important to note that those wishing to qualify as solicitors in the UK must either take the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) or the Legal Practice Course (LPC). The standalone LLM does not exempt you from either of those. A combined LLM in Legal Practice is a good option for those who wish to combine academic in-depth learning of the LLM and the practical aspects of either LPC or the SQE. The advantage of this route is that after completion, you can focus on the final stage of qualifying as a solicitor, receiving a training contract or qualifying work experience.

Where to Study an LLM in the UK

LLMs are widely available from different university providers. You can use a course search tool such as this one to narrow down your search.

LLM Requirements

The grade requirements are typically a 2:1 in an undergraduate law degree or equivalent. Some universities also consider 2:2 degrees where there are extenuating circumstances. In order to apply, you would also need to submit a personal statement and references. International students will need to provide evidence that they meet the English language requirements of the course.

How to Apply?

Each university has an online application form on its website where you can submit your application directly. There is no maximum number of universities to which you can apply.

How Much Does an LLM Cost?

The cost of a full-time LLM can be anywhere around £9,000 to £16,000 for UK students and as much as £25,000 for international students. This sum includes the library subscriptions of universities. In general, this should avoid the additional costs of buying law books, but this may vary across providers.

LLM Funding

Many universities provide scholarships for the LLM. It is best to check individually with each one to find out about the specific requirements. If you are choosing to complete your LLM at the university where you completed your undergraduate degree, you may be eligible for a discount on your tuition fees. You may also be eligible for the government’s Postgraduate Master’s Loan. The maximum amount for this loan is £11,222 but you should be aware that this may not fully cover the fees of more expensive LLM providers. Those wishing to undertake the LLM (LPC) or the LLM (SQE) may also be eligible to apply for the loan.

LLM Job Prospects

Many universities state that about 90% or more LLM graduates become employed within 6 months of completing their degree. The LLM can certainly be advantageous in adding value to your CV.  Those interested in gaining specialist knowledge as required by your chosen career or wishing to pursue a Ph.D. would benefit greatly from an LLM. Those wishing to gain more practical knowledge may wish to focus on the SQE or LPC instead, as some law firms favour practical experience over academic experience. Overall, the employability aspect appears to be subjective, based on the career path you may wish to follow. A good rule of thumb is to research your preferred job position’s requirements to help you decide if the LLM would bring value to your CV.

By Denisa Hristakieva