How to Apply
Applications for the Cambridge LLM are made in two steps. The application deadline for submitting your GRADSAF (application form) is 15 November 2015. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.
The two-step application process
The following information is for general guidance only. You must also consult and read carefully the information supplied by Cambridge University’s Graduate Admissions Office (GAO) on the admissions process. GAO is the central university office handling graduate applications for all Cambridge Faculties and Departments. Additional requirements specific to the Law Faculty, including the application deadline dates, are set out below.
There are two methods for applying:
- Online application through the GAO website; or
- Paper application which is available to download from the GAO website.
The online application is the preferred method of application. It has two stages, and the Faculty will not consider your application until you have completed both stages. It is your responsibility to ensure that your GRADSAF (application) reaches the GAO by 15 November 2015, although earlier submission is advised. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.
The first stage involves creating an account and completing the Graduate Admission and Scholarship Application Form (GRADSAF) by 15 November 2015. The GAO sends usernames and passwords for the self service page within 30 hours of registration. The second stage involves uploading all the required documents by the deadline given to you by the GAO in your self service account.
After submission of your initial GRADSAF application, the GAO's self service facility will be the mechanism for the Law Faculty and the GAO to communicate with you, and vice versa. You must consult it regularly. It will show the status of your application and its outcome once that has been decided. If your application is successful, this facility will show any conditions attached to your offer, and also which college has offered you membership. This facility is also the place where you will submit any additional documents that are required once an offer has been made, such as degree certificates or financial undertaking forms, in order to meet the conditions of your offer.
The Cambridge LLM Admissions Committee will only consider applications that fully comply with the two-step application deadlines. The initial GRADSAF application form must be received by the deadline of 15 November 2015. And, at the second stage, the Law Faculty requires the following essential documents to be received through the online application system by the deadline given to you by the GAO in your self service account:
- Transcripts for all university degrees obtained or pending
- A minimum of 2 and a maximum of 3 academic references (letters of recommendation)
- CV (2 pages maximum)
- For those who are not native speakers of English and who have not undertaken their previous law degree in an English-speaking university, IELTS or TOEFL scores.
Do not submit additional documents such as secondary school certificates, work experience letters or published papers. Significant academic and professional achievements should be included in the GRADSAF application form itself and/or in your CV, or be mentioned by your referees. The Cambridge LLM Admissions Committee will not review documents other than the ones it has specified as essential.
These essential documents are submitted in the second stage of the online application process. It is your responsibility to upload the required documents (your academic transcripts, CV and language test (if applicable)) via the self-service page. The online application system will notify your referees that they are required to submit their references direct to the GAO using the electronic submission system, and will include details of how to do so. However, it is your responsibility to contact your referees prior to submitting your application form to ask them to act as recommenders, and, after you have submitted your application, it is also your responsibility to ensure that your referees have submitted their references before the application deadline. The system does not send reminders to your referees.
Once your application is complete and ready to be considered by the Cambridge LLM Admissions Committee, you will be notified by the online application system.
In selecting referees, remember that academic references from someone who knows you well and can describe your special attributes are likely to be the most useful. Letters of recommendation which explain how you performed in your academic studies in comparison to your peers are also of particular value to the LLM Admissions Committee.
The Cambridge LLM selection process
Once fully completed applications are received by the GAO, they are forwarded to the LLM Admissions Committee in the Faculty of Law. The Committee considers applications on their academic merits. Decisions made by the LLM Admissions Committee are then relayed to the GAO, which notifies applicants through the self-service page of offers and rejections and, in the case of offers, of any conditions attached.
The LLM Admissions Committee will only start reviewing applications after the closing date. We do not make offers on a rolling basis, but instead consider the gathered field of more than a thousand applications. As a result, there is no special advantage in applying early. The Committee aims to send out all offers of admission at around the same time in late February/early March 2016. Please note that we do not operate a waiting list. The Committee is unable to provide feedback to unsuccessful applicants, and will not entertain requests for reconsideration.
All Cambridge LLM offers are conditional in the first instance, as every applicant has a finance condition (proof of funding for the LL.M) and a college membership condition (all Cambridge students must belong to a college) attached to their offer. The latter is the only condition that requires no action on your part. The GAO will send your application to colleges in order of the preferences you indicated in the application. But do not worry about meeting this condition: you will become a member of some College, even if it is not your college of choice.
Those who have not completed their first law degree at the time of their application may also have academic conditions attached to their offer.
All Cambridge LLM application decisions will be released by 15 March 2016 for the 2016-2017 programme. The outcome of your application will be available on your online self-service page. If your application is successful, you will also receive a formal offer notification from the GAO by email. Subject to your meeting the conditions of your offer, your place on the Cambridge LLM is guaranteed as soon as your offer appears on the online self-service page.
If your application is unsuccessful, you will learn about this decision first on your online self-service page. The GAO will also notify you by email. The Law Faculty does not contact unsuccessful applicants.
If you receive an offer of a place on the Cambridge LLM
Congratulations! The Law Faculty hopes that you will choose to study in Cambridge, and embark on a year-long journey of intellectual discovery with a stimulating peer group of outstanding lawyers from all around the world. Additional steps have to occur, however, before you can take up your place on the Cambridge LLM.
As noted above, all formal offers of a place on the Cambridge LLM are conditional in the first instance, as they automatically come with finance and college membership conditions attached. In addition, some offers will have academic conditions attached. These are typically imposed on applicants who have demonstrated exceptional academic promise, but who have yet to complete their first law degree.
In order to confirm your place, you must formally accept your offer. This is your formal undertaking that you will enrol in the LLM Programme (subject to meeting any other conditions of the offer, such as financial or academic conditions that may apply to you). This is again done through the self service system. You must then also provide proof that you have satisfied all the conditions attached to your offer. This must all be done by 31 July 2016.
At the same time as you are notified that your application has been successful and that your have been offered a place, GAO also forwards your application to colleges in the order of the preference stated in your application. You will be notified via the self service system of the offer of a college place. This means that you have then fulfilled your college condition.
Meeting the other conditions of your offer requires action on your part. This will involve the submission of additional documentation via the online self service system. You must submit the financial undertaking form in order to meet the finance condition, and, if necessary, the grades obtained in your degree so as to prove you meet your academic condition. Make sure you submit all the necessary documentation before 31 July 2016, otherwise your conditional offer will lapse because the conditions have not been met by the deadline. As noted above, meeting your college condition requires no action on your part.
Immigration and visa requirements
Submitting all your necessary post-offer documents as soon as possible is particularly important for those who need a visa to study in the United Kingdom. The GAO cannot issue the CAS forms that are required for any student visa application until your offer is unconditional. You need to obtain your visa (for non EU/EEA nationals) in advance of 1 October 2016 to be able to take up your place in the LLM Visa processing times vary in UK embassies and consulates around the world, but it may take up to two months in some cases for visa applications to be processed. Please see the University’s GAO webpage on immigration for details on the procedure for obtaining a visa to study at Cambridge.