Admissions criteria

Academic requirements

Trinity StudentsThe normal minimum academic entry requirement for the Cambridge LLM is a First class degree in law from a UK university or its equivalent from an overseas institution. For overseas students this means you will typically have been placed in the top 5-10% of your class. Students may apply before they have completed their first degree in law, but successful applicants in this category will usually have academic conditions attached to their offer.

The Cambridge LLM Admissions Committee will consider applications from those whose first degree is not in Law provided 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.

Finally, the LLM Admissions Committee will not normally offer a place on the Cambridge LLM to an applicant who already holds or is currently studying for an LLM from another UK institution. Exceptions are occasionally granted, however, where the applicant proposes to use the Cambridge LLM to change the direction or focus of their studies.

Language requirements

All applicants for the Cambridge LLM programme must provide prescribed proof of English language ability before their application will be considered. The following details should be noted carefully:

  • The Cambridge Law Faculty imposes more demanding English language requirements than other Faculties in the University. These specific requirements supersede any less demanding general University requirements. This is to ensure that applicants have the necessary facility to deal at a sophisticated level with complex legal materials.
  • These language requirements are mandatory both as to the level of ability which must be demonstrated and the time at which proof of meeting those standards must be submitted. Applications will not be considered unless they are compliant in both these respects. Given the exceptionally large number of applications for the Cambridge LLM programme, we are not able to entertain requests for individual waivers of these requirements no matter how compelling the circumstances.

Proof of ability

1. All applicants who are nationals of a country on the Graduate Admissions Office's 'List A' must provide proof of nationality. These applicants are not required to sit a language test in order for their application to be considered. However, an offer of a place on the Cambridge LLM programme may be made conditional on the applicant providing some prescribed proof of language ability before the offer can be accepted.

2. Subject to the specific exception noted in (3) immediately below, all applicants who are nationals of a country other than those on list A must provide a compliant IELTS or TOEFL language test certificate by the date indicated below. Applications will not be considered without this documentation.

3. Applicants who are not nationals of a country on list A but who have (or expect to have) successfully completed a three-year full-time university degree in English at a university located in a country on list A must provide proof of that programme of study, and are not required to sit a language test in order for their application to be considered. However, an offer of a place on the Cambridge LLM programme may be made conditional on the applicant providing some prescribed proof of language ability before the offer can be accepted.

Required ability level

Where a compliant IELTS or TOEFL language test certificate is required before an application will be considered, the minimum levels of ability which must be demonstrated are as follows:

1. IELTS: At least 7.5 overall with at least 7.0 in each of the individual sections of reading, writing, listening and speaking.

2. TOEFL: At least 110 overall with at least 25 in each of the individual sections of reading, writing, listening and speaking.

Deadlines for providing proof of language ability

1. Proof of nationality of a list A country, or proof of undertaking a three-year full-time university degree in English at a university located in a country on list A, must be provided by the deadline set for general application documentation.

2. Compliant IELTS or TOEFL language test certificates, where these are required before an application will be considered, must be provided no later than 10 December 2015. However, ideally they should be provided by the deadline set for general application documentation.

Financial requirements

You do not need to provide evidence of your financial position when you apply for the Cambridge LLM (unless you wish to be considered by the Cambridge Trusts for funding), but you should note that all offers of a place on the Cambridge LLM are subject to a finance condition. To meet your finance condition, you will need to submit a Financial Undertaking Form to GAO by 31 July 2016. This Form provides evidence to the University that you can cover the cost of your fees and living expenses whilst studying at Cambridge. You should provide this evidence as soon as you can, but in any event no later than 31 July 2016.

Please see the GAO '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 GAO website also provides detailed information about sources of funding, including the GradFund online database of scholarships, studentships and bursaries. You can use this search facility to find sources of funding (some of which are provided by Colleges) for which you are eligible to apply.

Accepting conditional offers of a place on the Cambridge LLM.

If your application is successful, your offer of a place will inevitably be subject to finance and college conditions and may also be subject to academic conditions (see If you receive an off of a place on the Cambridge LLM). The Graduate Admissions Office (GAO) must receive formal evidence of your having met the conditions by the end of July 2016 in order for you to join the LLM in October 2016 (although it is in your own interests to provide the evidence that you have met all of your conditions as soon as you can). If evidence is not available by the required date, your conditional offer will lapse.