Frequently asked questions

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?

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.

What do I need to do if the GAO 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.

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 GAO provides an estimate of costs which graduate students incur.

What funding options are available?

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 for which you are eligible to apply.

How do I get an application form?

Please refer to the How to apply section.

What is the application deadline?

15 November 2017 for the 2018 entry programme.

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 15 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 Graduate 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 llm@law.cam.ac.uk.

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 due to the limited number of places available each year.

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

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

Can I specialise in a particular area of law on the Cambridge LLM?

Yes, you can. Candidates who offer at least three papers from those listed under international law, commercial law, European or intellectual property law topics (or a thesis in lieu of one of them) will have the letter '(i)', '(c)', '(e)' or '(ip)' respectively placed against their name in the class list to indicate that they specialised in that subject.

I have checked the website thoroughly, together with the GAO 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 llm@law.cam.ac.uk.

Multiple offers

If in addition to the LLM you have applied for admission to the MCL programme or another University of Cambridge course for the same year of entry and have received an offer of a place, you must choose between the offers. The election is irrevocable and permanent. Please note that no one who accepts an offer to join the LLM programme will be allowed to transfer to the MCL, or vice versa.

Obtaining a visa

If you need a visa to study at Cambridge, obtaining the relevant documentation is your responsibility. Please see the GAO's webpage on immigration for details on the procedure for obtaining a visa to study at Cambridge. Delays can easily occur with the granting of a visa so you should begin the procedure as early as possible.