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LLM Postgraduate Laws

llm without dissertation uk

Page contents

  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Key features
  • 3 Teaching Centre Support
  • 4 Course overview
  • 5 Key dates
  • 6 Admissions
  • 7 Fees, funding and payment
  • 8 Career opportunities
  • 9 What our students say

You are reading:

Course information>

December 2024

With this world-class flexible Law degree, you could achieve your LLM without a prior degree and choose to specialise in one of 32 areas or select from 68 courses for a general award.

Key features

Learn from the experts.

Academic direction for the degree is provided jointly by Queen Mary University of London and UCL, both of which are ranked in the top 10 Law departments in the UK (2022 QS World University Rankings).

You can choose what you study

You can pursue this LLM degree without specific specialisation and select from 68 offered courses, or you can choose to specialise in one of 32 areas.

Open to non-law graduates

You can achieve your LLM even without a prior degree, via our three possible entry points: the Postgraduate Certificate, the Postgraduate Diploma, and the LLM. Even if you choose not to undertake the full LLM, you can gain a respected postgraduate qualification in law.

Study flexibly online

With up to five years to complete the programme, you can spread the cost of your degree and continue working full time. With no relocation costs, studying for a University of London degree by distance learning can represent a more affordable option than studying on campus.

Worldwide relevance

Gain advanced knowledge of legal issues for careers in law, government, banking and financial services, national and international corporations, regional and international organisations, shipping, the media, human rights and more.

Enhance your employability skills

Throughout this LLM you will be developing and strengthening the Global Employability Skills, highlighted by the University of London Careers Service, that will help you to progress your career. Each of the 32 different specialisms can be mapped against these key skills which you can showcase to employers.

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Teaching Centre Support

Course overview, programme structure, modules and specification show.

Each course is divided into four modules (each assessed separately). Often we recommend the order to take modules to help you study the course effectively.

To complete the qualifications, you must take the following number of courses and modules:

  • PGCert –  Five  modules from  up to four  courses.
  • PGDip –  10  modules from up to four courses.
  • Master of Laws (LLM) –  16  modules from  four  courses.
  • Download the Programme Specification
  • View the Programme Regulations

Progress through your awards

Once you complete the requirements of the PGCert or PGDip, you may progress to the higher award (PGDip or LLM) and simply complete the additional modules necessary to achieve the higher award.

Courses available Show

Admiralty law (Open modal with additional information) (LWM01)

Advanced contract law (Open modal with additional information) (LWM83)

Advanced torts (Open modal with additional information) (LWM82)

Applicable laws and procedures in international commercial arbitration (Open modal with additional information) (LWM03)

Carriage of goods by sea (Open modal with additional information) (LWM05)

Commercial banking law: bank customer relationship (Open modal with additional information) (LWM72)

Commercial trusts law (Open modal with additional information) (LWM06)

Comparative criminal justice policy (Open modal with additional information) (LWM07)

Constitutional and institutional law of the European Union (Open modal with additional information) (LWM08)

Corporate finance and management issues in company law (Open modal with additional information) (LWM09)

Corporate governance and compliance (Open modal with additional information) (LWM80)

Derivatives Law (Open modal with additional information) (LWM75)

Equity and trusts in context (Open modal with additional information) (LWM10)

European union competition law (Open modal with additional information) (LWM11)

European convention on Human Rights (Open modal with additional information) (LWM12)

European internal market (Open modal with additional information) (LWM13)

External relations law of the European Union (Open modal with additional information) (LWM55)

FinTech: Law and regulation (Open modal with additional information) (LWM85)

Foundational and constitutional issues in company law (Open modal with additional information) (LWM15)

Franchising law (Open modal with additional information) (LWM16)

Human rights of women (Open modal with additional information) (LWM19)

Industrial and intellectual property (Open modal with additional information) (LWM20)

Insurance law (excluding Marine insurance law) (Open modal with additional information) (LWM22)

Intellectual property and medicine (Open modal with additional information) (LWM23)

Intellectual property and sport (Open modal with additional information) (LWM63)

Intellectual property on the internet (Open modal with additional information) (LWM24)

International and comparative bank regulation (Open modal with additional information) (LWM64)

International and comparative competition law (Open modal with additional information) (LWM25)

International and comparative law of copyright and related rights (Open modal with additional information) (LWM26)

International and comparative law of patents, trade secrets and related rights (Open modal with additional information) (LWM27)

International and comparative law of trade marks, designs and unfair competition (Open modal with additional information) (LWM28)

International and comparative trust law (Open modal with additional information) (LWM29)

International commercial insurance law (Open modal with additional information) (LWM70)

International criminal law (Open modal with additional information) (LWM30)

International economic law (Open modal with additional information) (LWM31)

International environmental law (Open modal with additional information) (LWM32)

International investment law (Open modal with additional information) (LWM33)

International law of the sea (Open modal with additional information) (LWM34)

International merger control (Open modal with additional information) (LWM57)

International natural resources law (Open modal with additional information) (LWM74)

International refugee law (Open modal with additional information) (LWM60)

International trade law (Open modal with additional information) (LWM36)

International rights of the child (Open modal with additional information) (LWM35)

Jurisprudence and legal theory (Open modal with additional information) (LWM7)

Law and policy of international courts and tribunals (Open modal with additional information) (LWM38)

Law of international finance: syndicated loans (Open modal with additional information) (LWM66)

Law of international taxation (Open modal with additional information) (LWM81)

Law of financial crime (Open modal with additional information) (LWM17)

Law of international project finance (Open modal with additional information) (LWM78)

Law of treaties (Open modal with additional information) (LWM54)

Law on investment entities (Open modal with additional information) (LWM77)

Legislation and statutory interpretation (Open modal with additional information) (LWM79)

Marine insurance law (Open modal with additional information) (LWM39)

Maritime dispute settlement (Open modal with additional information) (LWM84)

Medical law and ethics (Open modal with additional information) (LWM56)

Multinational enterprises and the law (Open modal with additional information) (LWM40)

Private international law in international commercial litigation (Open modal with additional information) (LWM67)

Private law aspects of the law of finance (Open modal with additional information) (LWM69)

Regulation and infrastructure of international commercial arbitration (Open modal with additional information) (LWM42)

Russian law and legal institutions (Open modal with additional information) (LWM44)

Securities law (Open modal with additional information) (LWM71)

Taxation principles and policy (Open modal with additional information) (LWM47)

Telecommunications law (Open modal with additional information) (LWM48)

Transfer of technology law (Open modal with additional information) (LWM49)

United Nations protection of human rights (Open modal with additional information) (LWM61)

Western European legal history (Open modal with additional information) (LWM50)

World trade law (Open modal with additional information) (LWM51)

Youth justice (Open modal with additional information) (LWM52)

Specialisations Show

Choose from 33 specialisations*.

If you choose to specialise, you need to study a minimum number of courses or modules within your specialist pathway. The number depends on the qualification you are working towards:

  • PGCert (a total of five modules) - At least four  modules from  one  specialisation.
  • PGDip (a total of 10 modules) – At least eight  modules from  one  specialisation.
  • LLM (a total of 16 modules from four courses) – At least three complete courses  (12 modules) from  one  specialisation.

*The exception to the rule above is for the PGCert specialisation in Financial sanctions for which you need to study five modules from a list of eight modules falling under the specialisation.

You can decide on any specialisation you wish to take after you register.

If you complete a specialisation, this is outlined on your certificate (for example, ‘Master of Laws in the specialisation: Computer and Communications Law').

Specialisations available:

Banking and finance law show, the list of courses that fall into this specialisation are set out below:, commercial and corporate law show, common law show, comparative and foreign law show, competition law show, the list of courses that fall in this specialisation is set out below:, computer and communications law show, corporate and securities law show, criminology and criminal justice show, economic regulation show, environmental and natural resources law show.

Please note that modules of the International law of the sea (LWM34) course cannot be taken in conjunction with modules of the Maritime dispute settlement (LWM84) course.  

Equity and trusts Show

Family law show, the list of courses that fall in this specialisation is set out below., european law show, financial sanctions show.

The Financial sanctions specialisation is only available with the PGCert.

Financial sanctions (Open modal with additional information)

Financial services law Show

Human rights law show, insurance law show, intellectual property law show, international business law show, international criminal justice show, international dispute resolution show.

Please note that modules of the International law of the sea (LWM34) course cannot be taken in conjunction with modules of the Maritime dispute settlement (LWM84) course. 

International intellectual property law Show

The list of courses that fall in this specialisation is set out below, international justice show, law and development show, legal theory and history show, maritime law show.

Please note that modules of the International law of the sea (LWM34) course cannot be taken in conjunction with modules of the Maritime dispute settlement (LWM84) course.

Media Law Show

Medicine and the law show, procedural law show, public international law show, public law show, sports law show.

The Sports law specialisation is only available with the PGCert.

Tax law Show

How you study show.

The programme is offered online and is fully supported by a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). You study at a time and pace that suits you (subject to course-specific deadlines) using the study materials provided, and revision forums from academic staff.

Study materials

You have access to study materials developed by academics from Queen Mary, University of London (QMUL) and University College London (UCL). These include a Postgraduate Laws Handbook with practical information; Programme Regulations, Study Guides written for your chosen modules; a comprehensive skills guide; and past exam papers, examiners' commentaries and sample scripts, which give you valuable insights into how to perform well in exams.

Online support

When you register, we will give you access to your Student Portal . You can then access your University of London email account and other key resources: 

  • The Student Portal with the University's 'Ask a Question' contact form, and an interactive student induction to prepare you for study.
  • A University of London email account.
  • The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) . Here, you can access electronic copies of all printed study materials, resources including audio-visual and revision guides, and forums to discuss course material and work collaboratively with others. 
  • The Student Café , where you can share perspectives with fellow students from all over the world.
  • The Online Library . As a student at the University of London, you will have access to a range of resources, databases, and journals via the  Online Library . You will be able to contact a team of professional and qualified librarians for any help you require.  
  • The Introduction to English Common Law MOOC, available through Coursera.

Senate House Library  

If you’re based in the United Kingdom, or are visiting London, make sure to visit  Senate House Library . Students studying with the University of London can join the library free of charge. Membership includes a 10-book borrowing allowance, access to all reading rooms and study areas, and on-site access to Senate House Library digital resources. 

Student support

We are committed to delivering an exceptional student experience for all of our students, regardless of which of our programmes you are studying and whether you are studying independently or with a Recognised Teaching Centre.

You will have access to support through:

  • The Student Advice Centre – provides support for application and Student Portal queries.
  • TalkCampus – a peer support service that offers a safe and confidential way to talk about whatever is on your mind at any time of day or night.
  • One-to-one appointments available to book with the Dean and Programme Officer.

Time commitment

You will need to spend about 120 hours on each module (or 1,920 hours for the full LLM). Approximately 40 to 50 hours per module are linked to assessment activity such self-assessment exercises found in the study guides, and preparation for taking the exam.

To complete the full LLM in two years, you will need to study for roughly 20 hours per week throughout the two years. It is up to you how you schedule your studies, depending on your work and personal commitments.

Modules are assessed by a 45-minute unseen written exam, which you can sit in May or October. You can sit your exams at any of our approved centres around the world.

You don't have to sit exams in every session. As long as you finish within your five-year registration period, you can plan your exams as you choose.

More about exams.

Academic Leadership Show

Academic direction for the Postgraduate Laws programmes is provided jointly by the School of Law at Queen Mary, University of London (QMUL) and the Faculty of Laws at University College London (UCL). These schools plan the structure and content, develop and write study materials, set the examination papers and mark scripts.

Dean of Postgraduate Laws

Professor Helen Xanthaki (LLB, MJur, PhD, SFHEA) specialises in legislation, legislative drafting and legislative quality. She is president of the International Association for Legislation, and works as a consultant and trainer in legislative drafting for governments and international/regional organisations.

May 2024 intake Show

December 2024 intake show, entry requirements show.

For the LLM entry point , you normally need one of the following:

  • A Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from the University of London, or equivalent, with at least second-class honours; or
  • A Bachelor’s degree from the University of London, or equivalent, with at least second-class honours, where at least half the units are in law-related subjects; or
  • Membership of the Bar or Solicitors’ professional association in England or Wales, or equivalent.

If you do not meet the LLM entry requirements, successful completion of the PGDip will allow progression to the LLM.

For the PGDip entry point , you normally need the following:

  • A Bachelor’s degree in any discipline from the University of London, or equivalent, with at least second-class honours.

If you do not meet the PGDip entry requirements, successful completion of the PGCert will allow progression to the PGDip.

For entry to the PGCert , you normally need one of the following:

  • A post-school qualification in any discipline which is at least 1-year full time in duration and considered comparable to at least FHEQ level 4; or
  • At least five years’ relevant work experience, such as accounting, banking, finance or insurance.

We accept relevant qualifications at higher FHEQ levels for each requirement respectively.

We accept a range of qualifications from around the world:  see a full list for details .

Your entry point is just your starting point in the Postgraduate Laws programmes. Once you satisfy the requirements of the PGCert, you may progress to the PGDip, and then on to the LLM, provided that you complete your study within five years.

English language requirements

You need a high standard of English to study this programme. You meet our language requirements if you have achieved one of the following within the past three years:

  • (IELTS) International English Language Testing System – overall score of at least 6.5 and at least 6 in the written test.
  • (TOEFL) Test of English as a Foreign Language – overall score of 92 or above with at least 22 in the Reading and Writing sub-tests and at least 20 in the Speaking and Listening sub-tests.
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) – overall score of 59 or above with at least 59 in both Reading and Writing elements and at least 54 in Speaking and Listening elements.
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English.
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (grade C or above).
  • Duolingo: must achieve an overall score of at least 120.

Provision on the Postgraduate Laws programmes is fully electronic. Our students are expected to have excellent internet access. However, if circumstances prevent you from accessing the internet, you can make a case to the programme director, who has discretion to offer printed copies of the basic learning materials. This is reserved for extraordinary circumstances and solely for the purposes of enhancing accessibility: examples include disability or imprisonment.

More about computer requirements.

Recognition of prior learning Show

If you have studied material as part of a previous qualification that is comparable in content, level and standard to our, you may be exempted from the equivalent course of our degree. This is known as  Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)  or Exemption. You will not need to study or be assessed in the module(s) to complete your award. 

Master of Laws (LLM):   You may be awarded RPL for up to five modules (four of which normally from the same course) 

Postgraduate Diploma in Laws:   You may be awarded RPL for up to three modules (normally from the same course); 

Postgraduate Certificate in Laws : You may be awarded RPL for up to one module.  

To be considered for RPL you should make a formal request within your application when applying for the programme. Or, you can submit an online enquiry , if you have already applied. 

You will need to have met the entrance requirements for the programme to be considered for RPL.  

We can only consider whole, passed prior learning. Usually there is no time limit for when you should have passed your previous qualification(s)/ examination(s), that you are basing your RPL application on. 

We will not consider RPL if you have already entered for the assessment in the module concerned.  

Discretionary RPL 

Your qualifications will need to be assessed by specialist academics on a case by case basis , before we can approve RPL. This is known as discretionary RPL. A formal application is required and an RPL application fee is payable. The RPL application fee is non-refundable, even if your prior learning is not recognised.  

Your qualification must be at the appropriate level (equivalent to a UK Level 7 or postgraduate qualification and above) to be considered.  

For your discretionary RPL request to be processed, you will need to provide: a completed RPL request form, the supporting documentary evidence (normally a scanned copy of an official transcript and syllabus of your previous studies) and the discretionary RPL fee. 

You should apply as early as possible to ensure we have sufficient time to review your qualifications and so you can register by the registration deadline. 

Note: All discretionary RPL requests must be submitted by the dates specified for the specified for the May or December session in the year that you apply. We must receive all required supporting evidence by the deadline stated. 

If you submit your discretionary RPL application but are too late to be considered for RPL in the current session, we will still process your application to study the programme. If you receive an offer, you can still register. If you wish to be considered for RPL in a subsequent session, then you shouldn’t register on the modules you want to apply for RPL.  

How to request RPL: 

Additional information about the process of applying for RPL .  

Further information regarding RPL is covered in the Recognition of Prior Learning section of the appropriate  Programme Regulations and Section 3 of the General Regulations .

Fees, funding and payment

The fees below relate to new students registering for the 2023-2024 session. On average, fees are subject to a five per cent year-on-year increase. 

Students who registered earlier can view their fees on the Course Fees page . 

** Prior to 2023-24, an initial registration fee was charged in addition to the module fees. From 2023-24 the initial registration fee has been conglomerated into the fee for each module. Therefore, students initially registered before the 2023-24 academic year will pay reduced module fees to account for the initial registration fee already paid.

*From 2023 the online examination administration fee will be charged once for each examination sitting held online, including resits.

More about programme fees .

Please note: all student fees shown are net of any local VAT, Goods and Services Tax (GST) or any other sales tax payable by the student in their country of residence. Where the University is required to add VAT, GST or any other sales tax at the local statutory rate, this will be added to the fees shown during the payment process. For students resident in the UK, our fees are exempt from VAT.

Further information on Sales Tax .

Your payment provider may apply additional transaction fees (if in doubt, please check with them before making a payment).

Funding your study Show

The combination of our competitive fees and option to pay as you go, avoidance of the considerable cost of living in London and possibility to continue earning whilst you study represents excellent value for money. In addition, there may be additional sources of support depending on where you live and how you choose to study.

More on funding your study.

Scholarships and bursaries

Up to 18 scholarships per year are available for high-performing students on the Postgraduate Laws programme. Bursaries are available for all University of London LLB alumni for their LLM, PGDip or PGCert programme fees at 30 per cent. All applicants (including LLB alumni) residing in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka or Malaysia can take advantage of a 40 per cent bursary for the LLM, PGDip or PGCert. More on LLM scholarships and bursaries.

Via Canon Collins , we offer scholarships to nationals of Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia or Zimbabwe.

Can I get sponsored?

If you're employed, your employer may be willing to cover part/all of the programme fees if you can make a compelling case as to how this programme will boost your contribution to the workplace.

Our courses are ideal for employers because they get to retain you as an employee and benefit from your learning from the moment you begin.

How can I get sponsored by my employer?

We have a template available to help you present a case to your employer.

Employer sponsorship business case template [PDF]

Paying for your course Show

You can pay your fees in a number of ways, including an online payment facility via the Student Portal and Western Union Quick Pay.

More on how to pay your fees

Career opportunities

Careers opportunity show.

The Postgraduate Laws programmes provide you with many of the key attributes required by law firms – advanced, specialist legal training and the ability to work in a multinational legal environment. Our graduates regularly advance to high-level positions in a variety of sectors, including banking, financial services, financial regulation, human rights agencies, NGOs and public service.

Many professional associations and Bar Councils also accept our qualifications towards professional development quotas. For example, in England and Wales, the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority accredits our programmes (including individual modules taken on a standalone basis) towards Continuing Professional Development (CPD) hours.

What do employers think of our graduates?

We advise you to explore the local recognition status before you register, even if you plan to receive support from a local teaching institution.

You’ll have access to a wide range of careers and employability support through the University of London Careers Service, including live webinars and Ask Your Careers Questions Live sessions.

Transferable skills you gain from studying a LLM at the University of London

Transferable skills are mapped against the 10 core employability skills promoted by the University of London Careers Service. Transferable skills aid students to be able to understand how to utilise their degree to upskill effectively in their chosen area or change careers. These skills are identified from a range of sources, including the World Economic Forum (2020) Future of Jobs Report, Skills for the Future (2019) and additional research conducted by the Research Unit of The Careers Group, University of London:

  • Adaptability & resilience , learnt through the management of students’ own learning, including working effectively to deadlines;
  • Collaboration , learnt through the formation of peer study groups, the peer review of submissions that do not count for assessment, and socialising online;
  • Communication , learnt through the use fluent and effective communication and discussion skills in a written context;
  • Complex problem-solving , learnt through the use of problem-solving skills in learning and assessment; and through the capacity to handle ideas and scrutinise information in critical, evaluative and analytical ways;
  • Creativity & innovation , learnt through learning and assessment that promotes the formation of own views and opinions, and their expression in innovative and original arguments beyond those in bibliography;
  • Decision-making , learnt through the students’ organising of information, and the assimilation and evaluation of competing arguments;
  • Digital skills , learnt through the distance learning aspect of teaching and learning;
  • Emotional intelligence , learnt through open mindedness and the exercise of initiative and personal responsibility;
  • Leadership , learnt through the individual with management of personalised learning in the programme, which includes personal timetabling, learning, and progress; and
  • Persuasion & negotiation , learnt through the organisation of the students’ professional and personal commitments to fit in their demanding programme of study. It is also learnt through creating convincing and sound arguments during assessment.

Careers support Show

You’ll have access to a wide range of careers and employability support through the University of London Careers Service, including live webinars and online drop-in sessions.

More on the University of London Careers Service

Tailored support for careers in the refugee and humanitarian fields is available through regular programme events, webinars and careers resources.


What our students say.

llm without dissertation uk

Hear from our graduates about why they chose the University of London’s online LLM.

Start dates

  • May 2024 - application deadline closes 5 May 2024

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UCL Faculty of Laws

  • LLM (Master of Laws)
  • Fees, Funding and Scholarships
  • Offer holders
  • Specialist Degrees 2024-25
  • Specialist Degrees 2023-24
  • Modules 2023-24
  • Modules 2022-23


Master of Laws (LLM)

On the Master of Laws (LLM) programme at UCL Laws, you’ll be joining a community of some of the brightest and most ambitious graduate students from all over the world.

Skip to:  Overview |  Specialist degrees  |  Programme structure |  Planning your programme | 

Applications for the September 2024 intake opened on Monday 16th October 2023.

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Our 10 month LLM programme provides the ideal platform for you to develop expertise in specialist subject areas, and benefit from research-led teaching from the people who are recognised as experts in their field.

Through the wide variety of taught modules we offer – from commercial and corporate law, human rights law and global health governance, to environmental law, intellectual property and legal history – you can explore your intellectual interests freely or choose to specialise in a particular area of legal research.

As part of the teaching and assessment throughout the programme, you will be able to practise and enhance your abilities to think critically and analyse legal arguments. The Research Essay completed throughout the programme, will give you the opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of a particular area of law and your research skills, as well as your own capability to structure cogent arguments and write for a legal audience.

If you’re already in practice, you can choose to study part-time and complete the LLM over two or even five years. 

Specialist degrees

In addition to the general Master of Laws (LLM) programme there are a number of specialist degree programmes available that allow you to obtain a Master of Laws (LLM) in a specialist area, for example a Master of Laws (LLM) in Corporate Law. If you wish to obtain a LLM specialist degree you must select a minimum of 60 credits from the qualifying modules listed in that specialism, plus write your Research Essay in the area of the specialism.

If you would like to undertake a specialism, you must apply to that specialism route when you submit your application for the programme.

  • Browse our available Specialist Degrees 2024-25
  • Browse our available Specialist Degrees 2023-24


  • Complete your LLM degree in just 10 months when studying full-time, giving you a head start in industry
  • Be a part of our global student community and take advantage of our unrivalled UCL Laws Society which delivers an outstanding programme of activities and events each term
  • Develop your skills and legal knowledge by taking part in mooting and debating competitions as well as pro-bono opportunities, allowing you to provide legal advice and give back to the local community  
  • Access specialist careers support from our in-house Careers Consultant
  • Work in our state of the art faculty, Bentham House, which provides an inspiring home to our staff and students. Located in the heart of central London providing you with a unique opportunity to draw on the resources of the centre of the UK’s government, legal and financial communities

Programme Structure

The Master of Laws (LLM) programme can be undertaken on a full-time basis in 10 months, on a part-time basis across two academic years, or on a flexible basis in up to five academic years. To successfully complete the LLM Law programme (whether full-time, part-time or flexible), you will need to obtain 180 credits consisting of taught modules and a Research Essay.

Terms one and two

During the first week of term one, you will attend the LLM Induction Programme, which includes a series of events to welcome you to UCL Laws and to UCL as a whole, and to complete your formal registration onto the LLM programme.

In the second week of term, you will begin your first classes.

There are ten weeks of classes per term, with a break for reading week after week five. Throughout the term, you will be able to take advantage of the wide range of events held within the faculty and across UCL, including special lectures, mooting, debating and activities organised by the UCL Laws Graduate Law Society.

Your assessments, including any coursework essays are normally submitted in the first week of term three. All examinations take place during term three and can be scheduled at any time during this term. The examination schedule is published at the end of term two.

During the entire year from September to June you will work on your Research Essay (RE)  which will be submitted at the end of term three.

You will follow the same programme as full-time students above, except for the following:

  • Your degree will be completed over two academic years
  • In your first year, you will take 90 credits of taught modules
  • In your second year, you will take the remaining 45 credits of taught modules and the 45 credit Research Essay
  • You will therefore complete module selection twice: once at the start of your programme and again in the summer before you return to your second and final year.

You will be invited to attend induction at the start of your first year with the full-time students.

Please note that you will  be attending classes with full-time and flexi  LLM students.  Module teaching can be scheduled between 9am-8pm on weekdays.  You will be able to reference the timetable when making your module selections each year.

  • You will have up to 5 academic years to complete your degree.
  • You can plan how you would like to complete your 135 taught module credits over that 5 year period based on your personal circumstances (or earlier if you plan to complete the degree in fewer than 5 years).
  • We will prompt you to select modules each year.  You may wish to have a year or more where you do not take any modules; this is possible.
  • It is recommended that you only complete your Research Essay at the end of your degree, in the same year that you are due to complete all of your taught module credits.

You will be invited to attend induction at the start of your first year with the full-time students.

Please note that you will  be attending classes with full-time and part-time  LLM students.  Module teaching can be scheduled between 9am-8pm on weekdays.  You will be able to reference the timetable when making your module selections each year.

Programme delivery 

The LLM Law programme consists of 180 credits (equivalent to 90 European Credit System ECTS-credits).

Class attendance is expected throughout the duration of the academic year in which you are registered.

Your attendance will be monitored regularly through a combination of class registers, meetings with personal tutors, examination attendance, coursework and RE submission. Except in the case of certain extenuating circumstances, such as illness or a bereavement, you must seek prior approval from the Director of Taught Graduate Programmes for any absences from the programme.

LLM Law programme modules can be taught in a combination of seminars, lectures and tutorials. Methods of instruction for each module are usually found on our module summary pages . 

You will be expected to actively participate in class discussions, particularly for seminars and tutorials.  You may also be asked to work in teams and make presentations to the rest of your class.

Each module is supported by a dedicated Moodle page containing materials such as reading lists, links to relevant websites and academic articles, as well as the latest news on the subject. Most of your classes are held at UCL, but some of our classes are held at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies or at other colleges affiliated with the University of London.

Assessment in taught modules is often by examination, an assessed coursework essay, or through a combination of both. There may be other forms of assessments such as oral presentations, output for audience or group projects.

Assessments, including examinations and coursework essays, are normally submitted in term three and can be scheduled at any time during this term.

During the programme, you will research and write a Research Essay (RE) which counts towards your final grade.

You will be expected to select a research topic in consultation with your academic advisor within an area of law that reflects your specialist degree (if applicable). The Research Essay is submitted at the end of term three.

If you choose to study flexibly (up to five years) it is possible to complete the Research Essay earlier in the programme, but it must be completed within the same academic year of registering for the Research Essay Module.

Marks for assessments taken in term three and awards are expected to be published by the end of August, following completion of the programme.

The LLM Research Essay (RE) is a written assignment consisting of 9,000 words. You can choose to write in any area of law. You will be allocated an RE advisor who provides guidance on choosing the topic and researching and writing the essay.

The RE is different from doctoral research. You will not be expected to develop an original thesis, although when it is complete, you should be able to demonstrate a solid understanding of a particular aspect of law and the ability to explain and criticise it convincingly. The RE does not merely describe the law, but presents an argument.

The RE has several aims. Each student will learn more about a particular aspect of law in depth and enhance their ability to develop and deliver a cogent argument, research efficiently and comprehensively, and write for a legal audience. The RE adds breadth to the programme since guidance is available for a wide range of topics beyond those offered through the taught modules. The opportunity to pursue the project with the guidance of an academic advisor is often a very special part of the LLM programme for each student.

In term one, the student will formulate a topic and be assigned to an advisor. Research and writing continues in terms two and three with submission at the end of term three. The best preparation for the Research Essay is to read articles in respected journals in related areas of law and you are encouraged to do this before you arrive at UCL.

Planning your programme

With a wide selection of graduate taught modules to choose from, there are numerous possible combinations of study on the LLM. Add to that the diversity of the Research Essay (RE) and you really can follow a unique programme. To get the most out of your LLM degree it is important that you plan your degree pathway, module choices and RE topics in advance. You will be expected to indicate your module choice and specialism in your personal statement and make your module selections before arrival.

Specialisms and modules can only be changed in exceptional circumstances with the approval of the Programme Director. 

If you choose to obtain the general LLM Law degree you can  study any combination of  Masters level taught modules on offer at UCL Faculty of Laws. The compulsory Research Essay may be written on any area of law.

If you wish to obtain a LLM specialist degree you must select a minimum of 60 credits from the qualifying modules listed in that specialism, plus write your Research Essay in the area of the specialism.

You are required to choose your modules prior to the start of your programme of study.  You will be given access to the module selection process after you have been made and accepted your unconditional offer and after you have pre-enrolled.

The Masters level taught modules offered in the Faculty of Laws have varying methods of delivery and assessment, and the modules on offer can change from year to year. For more details of each module please refer to the Modules page.

You may take any combination of modules within the requirements of your specialism, regardless of which term(s) they are taught in or how they are assessed. However, you are advised to carefully consider the teaching and assessment load for your chosen modules.

When planning your programme of study you must ensure you do not select any modules that take place at the same time on the same day. Timetables for each module will be provided at the time of module selection. 

All modules studied must be Masters level taught Laws modules. It is not possible to study Undergraduate level taught modules at UCL nor Masters level taught modules at another institution in order to obtain credits as part of the LLM programme.

The Research Essay (RE) is a compulsory essay that you will complete throughout your programme of study.

You will be asked to indicate your RE topic in October. You may choose any topic but if you are studying a LLM specialist degree your RE topic must be related to that specialism. Some advisors will offer suggested titles to help you define your chosen area.

At advanced, graduate level you should start the programme already having a reasonably clear idea of the subject matter of your RE. If you are unsure, you should start to think about topics that have sufficient volumes of literature and articles that can be utilised in conducting your research, will sustain your interest and will enable you to showcase your writing ability.

Find out more

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  • Register your interest

Please read the  FAQs for graduate applicants and offer holders . If you still need to contact UCL Admissions, you can submit an enquiry via the Admissions Contact Form on the page.

You can also contact the LLM admissions team, particularly for queries relating to scholarships:

Email:  [email protected]  Tel:  +44 (0)20 3108 8430

Unfortunately, the UCL Laws Graduate Office does not accept drop-in visitors. 

llm without dissertation uk

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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LLM Master of Laws

LSE Law School's LLM is unmatched in the international, comparative and interdisciplinary approaches and courses that it offers. It is a leading LLM programme, delivered at one of the world's best law schools.

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Introduction The LLM programme


Why study law? Careers and prospects


Student life at LSE Intellectual life, extracurricular activities, facilities, living in London


FAQs Frequently asked questions

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Applications / Contact us How to find out more about the LLM

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LLM Programme Structure and courses

 further links.


LLM Prizes Prizes awarded to our LLM students


LLM Programme regulations


Current Students Assessment Support and Advice


LLM Student handbook Guide for current students


Support during your studies Academic guidance, advice and pastoral care


Pro Bono How to contribute

Recommended pages

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The LLM at Birmingham Law School

With over 100 years of history as a leader and innovator of professional legal education in the UK, Birmingham Law School offers the opportunity to specialise and consolidate your legal knowledge through the Birmingham LLM. 

Birmingham Law School sits at the heart of a world top 100 University, delivering legal education to recent graduates and professionals alike. Through our world-class research and Centre for Professional Legal Education and Research, you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in a thriving academic community contributing to the development of policy, law and discussion around the world. 

The Birmingham LLM allows students to follow one of our specialist programme pathways, providing the opportunity to develop expertise in new, emerging and integral areas of law or have complete flexibility with our General Law programme. 

Our postgraduate degrees

  • LLM General
  • LLM International Commercial Law
  • LLM Commercial Law 
  • LLM International Criminal Law and Justice 
  • LLM Criminal Law and Criminal Justice 
  • LLM International Human Rights 
  • LLM Human Rights 
  • LLM Global Energy and Environmental Law  
  • LLM Intellectual Property Law 
  • LLM Law, Data and Technology 
  • LLM International Disputes 
  • LLM Commercial, Banking and Finance  
  • LLM International Law and Security 
  • LLM Environmental, Social and Governance Law and Policy 
  • LLM Law and Social Justice 
  • LLM International Business Law
  • LLM Energy and Environmental Law (Distance)
  • MSc Law, Regulation and AI Ethics

Find out more about:

  • Scholarships
  • International applicants
  • Modules of study

Postgraduate scholarships available

llm without dissertation uk

The College of Arts and Law is offering a range of scholarships for our postgraduate taught and research programmes to ensure that the very best talent is nurtured and supported.

Learn more about our scholarships

Request more information 

llm without dissertation uk

I have enjoyed studying a diverse array of legal topics, assessed through different methods, to overall enhance my learning capabilities; and it’s been great to interact and study with such a passionate and enthusiastic cohort of students. Being a member of the Birmingham community comes with endless opportunities and activities. A highlight for me has been the variety of guest lectures hosted by the Law School, with renowned figures and industry professionals. Sophia ( Read Sophia's story )

AI and Data Science Masters Scholarships

We are offering awards of £10,000 to upskill UK students to progress into the AI and Data Science workforce. Scholarship funding will be for students from under-represented groups, particularly women, Black and disabled students and those from low-socioeconomic backgrounds. This scholarship is open to students with a 'home' fee status only.

The deadline for round one applications is 23:59 (UK time) on Sunday 31 March 2024.

Apply now   

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LLM, PG Dip, PG Cert

Llm master of laws (general).

A Master of Laws (LLM) is a postgraduate degree designed for law and non-law graduates to to enhance your academic legal knowledge. With the Master of Laws (General) you can enjoy maximum flexibility in your choice of modules and dissertation topic. The course has been purposely designed to be an innovative, adaptable programme that allows you to  customise your studies to suit your preferred areas of interest and can open up pathways to careers such as a Paralegal, Legal Secretary, Legal Executive, Barrister Clerk, Teacher and more.

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Entry requirements

Minimum second-class honours degree

Course requirements ➔

Next start date

February 2024, study online.

If you’re looking for a more flexible approach to your studies, why not consider our online study option?

The law in context

An innovative programme with maximum flexibility in the choice of modules and a dissertation topic of legal rules as they are applied in the real world.

Our Employment Stats

  • 95% of postgraduate students in employment were in highly skilled employment 15 months after graduating (2020/21 Graduate Outcomes data). Contains HESA Data: Copyright Jisc 2022.

Taught by subject experts

Taught by a combination of former and current practitioners, as well as research and teaching academics who are focused on legal practice, not just theory.

Course Details

The Master of Laws (General) LLM programme is designed for those who desire flexibility in the choice of modules and dissertation topic while studying. The programme design means that you can choose modules based on the criteria most important to you. Whether you have a particular career goal in mind, or are studying for pure enjoyment, the Master of Laws (General) programme allows you maximum control over your degree. You can also choose to study our Postgraduate Certificate Law (General) or our Postgraduate Diploma Law (General).

When you study the LLM Master of Laws (General) with us you will:

  • Be taught by subject matter experts , former and current practitioners and research and teaching focused academics.
  • Benefit from strategic partnerships with firms, regulators and accreditation bodies, which inform our programme development.
  • Improve your employability by gaining important transferable skills and mapping your career with our careers team.
  • Strengthen your network – connect with other students, faculty and industry professionals on an international scale, and seek out opportunities for future placements and job opportunities
  • Increase your earning potential – the 2022 Graduate Labour Market Statistics found that postgraduates on average earn £6,500 more than their graduate counterparts.
  • Get ahead of the competition – gain in-depth knowledge of your topic of interest and become a subject expert, which will provide you with a competitive edge in the job market.
  • Enjoy flexibility - We understand that everyone’s circumstances are different. That’s why we offer a wide range of study modes (full-time, part-time, on campus, online) across our courses to provide you with the greatest choice and flexibility you need to succeed in your studies. 
  • Prepare for the future of Legal Technology – study modules in legal technology and gain insight into this emerging area of law.
  • Enjoy maximum flexibility - the course has been purposely designed to be an innovative, adaptable programme that allows you to  customise your  studies to suit your preferred areas of interest.

Our flexibly structured course is delivered by qualified lawyers and research and teaching focused academics, bringing their expertise and experience into the classroom to provide you with the real-world insight that can help prepare you for the practical application of the law.

Please note that, due to Home Office regulations, students who require a Student Route visa to study with us are not permitted to study online and can only choose face-to-face taught modules.

Course Structure

  • The Postgraduate Certificate Law (General), (PGCert), can be studied part-time over 35 weeks or full-time over 18 weeks.
  • The Postgraduate Diploma Law (General), (PGDip), can be studied part-time over 74 weeks or full-time over 35 weeks.
  • The LLM Master of Laws (General) can be studied part-time over 24 months or full-time over 12 months.

Postgraduate Certificate Law (General)

Term 1 (full-time) or 1-2 (part-time)

In addition to a general induction to the programme, there is a two-week induction covering the Key Principles of the English Legal System. This is compulsory for non-law students, but also open to law students wanting a refresher in the fundamentals of the law of England and Wales. This would be useful for any student who has taken a considerable break from legal education.

You may then choose two from the list of elective modules* which includes modules such as:

  • Company Law in Practice
  • International Trade Law
  • International Human Rights Law
  • International Criminal Law
  • Medical Law and Ethics
  • Advocacy and Bar Skills**
  • Civil and Criminal Litigation**
  • Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution**

View the elective module guide

*All elective modules are subject to availability

**If you achieve 55% or above in these three modules and successfully complete your Master's programme, you will be exempt from the University’s BPC Selection Event.

Postgraduate Diploma Law (General)

Please note: This course is not our Postgraduate Diploma in Law (PGDL) conversion course , which provides a pathway into practice for non-law graduates who want to progress onto further study to qualify as a solicitor or barrister in England and Wales.

Terms 1-2 (full-time) or 1-4 (part-time)

You may choose four modules from the list of elective modules* which includes modules such as:

Terms 1-3 (full-time) or 1-6 (part-time)

Terms 1-2 or 1-4:

You will complete:

  • Research Methods Training to help you prepare for your dissertation

You may then choose four (two per term) from the list of elective modules* which includes modules such as:

• Company Law in Practice • International Trade Law • International Human Rights Law • International Criminal Law • Medical Law and Ethics • Advocacy and Bar Skills** • Civil and Criminal Litigation** • Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution**

Term 3 or 5-6

Dissertation in one of your Elective Module subject areas.

Course Start Dates

  • Full-time: Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, London Bloomsbury, London Moorgate, Manchester, Nottingham and Online (Hong Kong)
  • Part-time: Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, London Bloomsbury, London Moorgate, Manchester, Nottingham and Online (Hong Kong)

September 2024

  • Full-time: Birmingham, Bristol, Hong Kong, Leeds, London Bloomsbury, London Moorgate, Manchester, Nottingham and Online (Hong Kong)
  • Part-time: Birmingham, Bristol, Hong Kong, Leeds, London Bloomsbury, London Moorgate, Manchester, Nottingham and Online (Hong Kong)

February 2025

Study LLM Master of Laws (General) Online starting February 2024, September 2024 or February 2025

Make an Enquiry

Course requirements.

The course demands show you the requirements, prior knowledge and commitments our course will involve.

Find out more ➔

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Study Online

If you’re looking for the perfect combination of a flexible study programme to fit around your other commitments together with the benefit of our expertise, experience and employability focus, why not consider our online study option?

LLM Master of Laws (General) Online ➔

study online

open days Upcoming Dates

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Course Information

  • Course dates

With so many options for studying this course, you can be sure to find a start date and study option to suit your needs.


Modules are assessed by a three hour unseen written examination or 4,500 word coursework assignment.

All assessments are conducted online.

The dissertation module will be assessed by submission of a thesis (15,000 words), and provides an opportunity for sustained, in-depth and intensive investigation into, and reflection upon, your chosen specialist area.

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The course has an innovatively flexible structure, with specific assessments that are conducive to effective learning.

The approach to learning and teaching on the Master of Laws programmes is predominantly learner-centred. Each taught module is divided into a number of Units which are presented using the Prepare, Engage, Consolidate approach.

Prepare : this represents all the work the student needs to complete before attending the relevant workshop. Traditional lecture content will be presented in short bite-sized segments of approximately 10 minutes to better engage the modern student. Guided independent research and reading will be expected as part of a student’s preparation.

Engage: this represents the interactive element of the Unit. This could be a face to face workshop, a synchronous online workshop or an asynchronous online activity.

Consolidate: this represents the final part of the Unit and can be used by students to check their understanding of the Unit immediately after their Engage activity or as part of their revision for the module or both.

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Employability We Set You Up For Success

We care about your career, which is why we offer support with job applications and other work experience opportunities as soon as you accept your place.

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Find a career that suits you

Fees and applying.

  • How to Apply
  • Fees and Funding
  • International

You can apply for this course directly with the University.

This course cannot be chosen to study alongside our Legal Practice Course (LPC). For more information on the choice of Master's to study alongside our LPC, please visit the LPC page .

Please note: Our Master of Laws (LLM) programmes are not a direct route to qualification as a Barrister or Solicitor in the UK.

Please note: Our Hong Kong courses are not yet open for applications. If you are interested in finding out more about studying in Hong Kong , please register your interest today.

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2023/24 Course Fees (For courses starting on or after 1st July 2023)

PGCert Law (General)

Domestic students London: £4,200 Outside of London: £3,800 Non-domestic students London: £5,850 Outside of London: £5,050

PGDip Law (General)

Domestic students London: £8,350 Outside of London: £7,600 Non-domestic students London: £11,700 Outside of London: £10,050

LLM Master of Law (General)

Domestic students London: £12,550 Outside of London: £11,350 Non-domestic students London: £17,500 Outside of London: £15,100

Hong Kong students:  HKD $120,000

2024/25 Course Fee (for courses starting on or after 1 July 2024)

Domestic students London: £4,550 Outside of London: £4,000 Non-domestic students London: £6,200 Outside of London: £5,700

Domestic students London: £9,000 Outside of London: £8,000 Non-domestic students London: £12,400 Outside of London: £11,400

Domestic students London: £13,450 Outside of London: £11,900 Non-domestic students London: £18,500 Outside of London: £17,000

Hong Kong students:  HKD $133,400

By studying a Master's degree you could be eligible for a Postgraduate Loan .

If you’re a ULaw alumnus, you may be eligible to receive our £1000 Academic Master's Alumni Discount .

We also have a range of scholarships and bursaries available which make studying with us more affordable than ever. 


We have students from over 120 different countries throughout our campuses, with a dedicated team to help international students.

If you are an international student and are coming to the UK to study, then you must apply to the Home Office for a visa. In most cases you will need to obtain a Student Route visa . In order to apply for this visa you must be sponsored by an education provider which is licensed by the UK Home Office.

The Home Office has also introduced a Graduate Work visa which allows Graduates to work flexibly, switch jobs and develop their career in the UK for 2 years post completion of a UK degree. The Graduate route is an unsponsored visa, meaning students will not need a job offer to apply for this visa.

Please note that the University does not currently provide visa sponsorship to students for part-time study. We also cannot sponsor students for online courses due to Home Office regulations.

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  • Degrees and awards

International Trade Law

Develop the knowledge to practise trade law or work for governments, international businesses and NGOs. Join this flexible online LLM you can study part-time, with optional Professional Skills training in treaty negotiation.

Key info - LLM

This indicative cost is based on 180 credits of study over two years, starting in September 2024.

Prepare for career success in international trade.

Join an online LLM that gives you a route to specialise in treaty negotiation.

International trade law and trade negotiation are attracting increased interest given economic globalisation, trade wars, world events like Brexit, and emphasis on sustainable development issues in trade policy.

Gain the specialist legal skills you need to succeed in this fascinating and challenging field.

With this unique online law programme, you can choose to graduate with one of two LLM qualifications:

LLM in International Trade Law

  • 100% online, with a dissertation, or

LLM in International Trade Law and Treaty Negotiation with Professional Skills

  • online, with an on-campus Professional Skills summer school in place of a dissertation.

You can also study this degree full-time on campus with a dissertation or Professional Skills option.

Earn your LLM without taking a career break

With flexible part-time hours, you can study this degree around full-time work.

You’ll earn an LLM from a respected UK law school. And you’ll graduate ready to start or progress your career in government, trade finance, law firms, business, industry associations and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

What you’ll study

You can choose to study for either an:

  • LLM in International Trade Law – studying 100% online
  • LLM in International Trade Law and Treaty Negotiation with Professional Skills – studying online with an on-campus Professional Skills Summer School
  • or start with one of the short courses that make up this degree.

How you’ll study

LLM International Trade Law is delivered 100% online, with a dissertation. You can study with us anywhere in the world and manage your study hours to suit you.

LLM in International Trade Law and Treaty Negotiation with Professional Skills is delivered via blended learning. It combines flexible online study with a Professional Skills Summer School on campus in Aberdeen in lieu of your dissertation.

  • Online learning

Your online teaching is delivered through MyAberdeen, our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). It holds all the materials, tools and support you’ll need in your studies. Take a look around MyAberdeen .

You can access your learning materials on computer, smartphone and laptop, 24 hours a day. You’ll find a range of resources at your fingertips, including online lectures, case studies, projects and videos.

You’ll also have online access to our award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library and the Taylor Law Library, a dedicated resource for law students. Both have first-class collections of reference works in law and related subjects. Find out more about our libraries .

Your tutors

You’ll learn from an experienced and enthusiastic team of academics and legal practitioners. They’ll challenge you with complex, realistic scenarios as you develop your expertise in this exciting, fast-growing area of law.

This degree is assessed online via methods including online discussion boards, essays and quizzes.

If you attend the on-campus Professional Skills Summer School, assessment elements will take place while you’re on campus.

Study hours

Hours for online courses.

If you plan to study part-time, we recommend you take no more than 30 credits per term.

15-credit courses

  • Around 150 hours of study and assessment time to complete.
  • You’ll study 8 – 10 hours per week per term, plus more at assessment times.

30-credit courses

  • Around 300 hours of study and assessment time to complete.
  • You’ll study 15 – 20 hours per week per term, plus more at assessment times.

You can also study this degree full-time. You can take a maximum of 60 credits per term.

  • Around 600 hours of study and assessment time to complete.
  • You’ll study around 40 hours per week per term, plus more at assessment times.

This is an indicative guide to the time required for a typical student at this level to achieve the learning outcomes.

You can largely set your own study hours each week to cover the materials. MyAberdeen is available 24/7, so you can log in and study when it suits you.

There may be some activities that are scheduled at a fixed time, such as online meetings with your tutor, or assessments with deadlines. But otherwise, you can access and work through each course at your convenience.

Hours for 60-credit dissertation

A 60-credit dissertation is around 600 hours of study time. This is around one term of full-time study.

You will dedicate a full term to your dissertation and work on it full-time.

Hours for on-campus Professional Skills: International Trade Negotiation

For LLM International Trade Law and Treaty Negotiation with Professional Skills, you’ll join us on campus for two weeks in late May/early June.

  • Hours: 72 hours, full-time over two weeks
  • Dates: Weeks 44 and 45 of the academic year. See the week-number dates for your chosen year of study .

If you have time, you’re also welcome to join us on campus for some preparatory sessions in Week 43. Session topics include teamwork, professional writing, presentation skills and basic Excel. Attendance in Week 43 is completely optional.

Study experience

When you study with us, you can expect a first-class support structure so that you’re never alone in your studies.

But learning online does mean you have to motivate yourself and manage your own time.

Your most important commitment to your course will be time – the time to work through, reflect on and understand your teaching materials.

Before you start a course that involves a high degree of independent study, we recommend looking at the time you will be able to devote to your course each week:

  • Be realistic
  • Create a weekly schedule as a guide

If you have any questions about studying online, get in touch with our friendly team . We’re here to help.

Our first-class support structure will ensure that you aren’t alone in your studies. You’ll have contact with your tutors via MyAberdeen and email. You can use social media and discussion boards to chat with your fellow students too.

We provide a wide range of services to support you in your studies and beyond:

  • Careers and Employability Service – including one-to-one advice sessions
  • Disability support
  • Library support
  • Student Support Service – help with finances, stress, wellbeing and non-academic issues
  • Student Learning Service – study support, with advice sessions available via phone or Skype
  • Aberdeen University Students’ Association (AUSA) – run by students for students
  • Toolkit – clever apps and free training that can make your study life easier

Wherever you are in the world, you’ll feel part of our very special Aberdeen learning community.

Use your local university libraries

We’re a member of the Access scheme run by the Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL).

Access study spaces, books and journals in your area

The SCONUL Access scheme allows you, as a University of Aberdeen student, to access books and resources at university libraries across the UK and Ireland, or visit them for a quiet place to study.

You’ll be able to use study spaces, books and journals at over 150 university libraries which belong to the scheme.

Find out about the SCONUL Access scheme for libraries .

Your support team

Our friendly team are here to answer any queries you have before, during and after your studies.

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Dr Burcu Yuksel

Burcu is the degree coordinator. She’ll be on hand to answer any questions about degree content before you start and to help you throughout your studies.

llm without dissertation uk

Amanda Rose

Amanda is part of the School’s support team. She’ll be there throughout your studies to answer any of your non-academic queries.

llm without dissertation uk

Get in touch

The online education team is here to answer any questions you have right now about this qualification, or about studying online.

Online learning in the School of Law

Advocates share their experiences of working while studying online Law courses with us.

Where this will take you

You’ll graduate with an LLM, ready to start or further your career in a range of international trade areas, including:

  • businesses involved in the import or export of goods
  • industry associations
  • government departments
  • NGOs with interests in trade and sustainable development issues.

You can also pursue a career in academia in this area of law and/or conduct a PhD study.

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Lifelong career support

Our career support doesn’t stop when you graduate.

You have access to our free careers service while you study, and beyond.

  • 1:1 appointments
  • Interview prep
  • Job opportunities

Fees and funding

The fee quoted above is based on you starting your studies with us in the 2024/25 academic year.

We have confirmed that our fees will rise by 5% for the 2025/26 academic year. Our indicative cost includes a 5% fee rise each year.

llm without dissertation uk

Pay as you go

Don’t worry, you do not have to pay the full degree fee upfront.

You can pay for your degree one term at a time. This gives you a flexible way to spread the cost.

How pay as you go works

Pay as you go allows you to spread payments over several terms.

When you pay

You make a payment before the start of each term.

How much you pay

You only pay for the credits you want to study in the upcoming term.

It’s up to you how many credits you take each term. This gives you control over your costs and your workload.

  • Taking fewer credits will increase the length of your studies.

We break down the total cost of this qualification into cost per 15 credits and your dissertation or summer school.

Costs for this degree, starting in academic year 2024/25

Course fees per 15-credits

  • £1,290 in academic year 2024/25.
  • £1,355 in academic year 2025/26.
  • £1,425 in academic year 2026/27 (provisional).

Dissertation (60 credits)

  • £5,160 in academic year 2024/25.
  • £5,420 in academic year 2025/26.
  • £5,700 in academic year 2026/27 (provisional).

Summer school (60 credits)

  • £5,920 in academic year 2024/25.
  • £6,220 in academic year 2025/26.
  • £6,540 in academic year 2026/27 (provisional).

Tuition fees typically rise a little each academic year and will rise by 5% for the 2025/26 academic year. Fees for 2026/27 are based on a further 5% increase, but are provisional and subject to change.

Example payment schedule

This is an example payment schedule for tuition fees. It’s based on the typical route through the degree.

You can take more or fewer credits per term than is shown in this example.

Term 1) September – December 2024 | Academic year 2024/25

  • Take 30 credits worth of courses.
  • Fee for term = £2,580.
  • Payment due in September.

Term 2) January – April 2025

  • Payment due in January.

PgCert exit point

With 60 credits earned, you now have the option to exit with a PgCert.

Total fee for this route to your PgCert = £5,160 .

Term 3) May – August 2025

  • Summer break. There is no teaching in the first summer of your degree.
  • No payment due.

Term 4) September – December 2025 | Academic year 2025/26

  • Fee for term = £2,710.

Term 5) January – April 2026

Pgdip exit point.

With 120 credits earned, you now have the option to exit with a PgDip.

Total fee for this route to your PgDip = £10,580 .

Term 6) May – August 2026

  • Undertake your 60-credit dissertation or 60-credit summer school.
  • Fee for dissertation = £5,420.
  • Fee for summer school = £6,220.
  • Payment due in May.

LLM complete

On passing your dissertation, you’ll have earned 180 credits and will be awarded an LLM.

Total tuition fee if following this route to your Masters:

  • with dissertation = £16,000
  • with summer school = £16,800 .

Infographic summarising the example payment schedule described above.

Additional costs

On-campus course costs.

This degree features on-campus course options. If you take an on-campus course as part of your degree, your fee covers the tuition for this.

However, it does not cover the cost of any travel, accommodation or visa you might require in order to join us on campus. You will have to pay for your own travel, accommodation and visa costs.

Learning resources

Access to all the essential books and resources you need are included in your tuition fee. They’ll be made available to you online and you do not have to buy your own copies.

You may wish to set aside a small budget for printing, depending on how you like to work.

Funding your studies

There are several ways you may be able to get help funding your studies:

  • Employer sponsorship – we accept full and partial fee payments from sponsors
  • Student loans
  • Scholarships – search our funding database for scholarships

Find out more about funding options .

Student card

All our students are entitled to a University of Aberdeen student card. This gives you access to a range of student discounts around the city and online.

20% Alumni discount

You’re entitled to 20% off our postgraduate taught degrees and short courses if you have a degree from the University of Aberdeen. View Alumni discount details .

How discounts work

Discounts are applied during your application process. You can only use one discount per application.

Why choose the University of Aberdeen for your online LLM?

Study at a university with one of the largest and most internationally experienced teams of legal experts in any European law school.

llm without dissertation uk

Flexible hours and 24/7 access, so you can study when it suits you.

llm without dissertation uk

Over 525 years of excellence

Graduate from the fifth-oldest university in the English-speaking world, founded in 1495.

llm without dissertation uk

20% alumni discount

University of Aberdeen alumni receive 20% off fees for this online degree.

Entry requirements

  • A 2:1 (upper-second) honours degree (or equivalent) in Law.
  • Relevant practical experience in a related field will also be beneficial.

These are our minimum entry requirements. They are given as a guide and do not guarantee entry.

International students

We welcome students from around the world.

See our minimum entry requirements above. If you do not have qualifications from the UK, check equivalent qualifications for your country .

Visa requirements

You do not need a visa to study online with us.

But if you will be joining us on campus for part of this degree, you may need to obtain a visa to do so. You will need to make your own transport, accommodation and visa arrangements to study with us here in Aberdeen. If you have a visa query, email [email protected] for advice.

English language requirements

Teaching is delivered in English.

If English is not your first language, use our English requirements checklist to see if you need to provide evidence of your English language skills when you apply.

English language tests and scores

If you do need to provide English language test scores, these are the tests and minimum scores we accept for this course or degree.

These are our Postgraduate Higher requirements.

IELTS Academic and IELTS Online (not IELTS Indicator or IELTS General Training)

  • 6.5 overall
  • 5.5 for listening and speaking
  • 6.0 for reading and writing

TOEFL iBT and TOEFL iBT Home Edition

  • 17 for listening
  • 21 for reading
  • 20 for speaking
  • 21 for writing
  • TOEFL DI code is 0818

Cambridge English: B2 First, C1 Advanced, or C2 Proficiency

  • 176 overall
  • 162 for listening and speaking
  • 169 for reading and writing

LanguageCert International ESOL B2 Communicator (Written and Spoken)

  • Overall High Pass
  • 33 for listening, reading and speaking
  • 38 for writing

PTE Academic (online test not accepted)

  • 59 for listening, reading, speaking and writing

For more information about language qualifications see our English Language Requirements page .

How to apply

You apply through our online Applicant Portal . It allows you to upload relevant qualifications and documents.

Applying to the University of Aberdeen is always free.

What you need to apply for this degree

  • Degree transcript
  • Personal statement

Start with our step-by-step guide . It explains degree transcripts, what to write in your personal statement and how to use our Applicant Portal.

When to apply

You can apply to start in either September or January.

Apply as early as you can. This is so we have time to review your application and get a decision to you. We also want to ensure you have time to enrol before teaching starts.

September 2024 intake

Teaching starts on 23 September 2024 .

Application deadlines will be announced in due course.

January 2025 intake

Teaching starts on 27 January 2025 .

IT requirements

You will need access to:

A computer (PC, laptop or Mac) operating on either:

  • Windows 10 or later
  • macOS 10.15 (Catalina) or later.

Most teaching materials are smartphone- and tablet-friendly. But we recommend a proper laptop or desktop for completing assignments comfortably.

Reliable internet access

We recommend:

  • a wired connection
  • a minimum download speed of 2 Mbps so you can take part fully in live sessions.

Speakers or headphones

  • We recommend a headset with built-in microphone and earphones if you’re likely to study in an environment with background noise.
  • A webcam is optional, but you may like to use one for some interactive sessions.

We’ll give you access to Office365 applications. This means you can use online versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint and install these programs on up to five personal devices.

If your course requires specialist software, we’ll provide you with access to this and a licence that lasts throughout your studies.

See our detailed IT requirements for more information.

  • Short courses

NEW: Try our degree scheduler

Choose your courses

Choose your courses

See all the courses that are part of this degree and choose what you want to study.

Manage your study schedule

Manage your study schedule

Control the pace and cost of your degree. Decide how much you want to study each term.

Save to your wishlist

Save to your wishlist

Save your schedule to your wishlist so you can view and edit anytime.

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Book an open event

Thinking of studying for a postgraduate degree at the University of Hertfordshire? Let's Talk Postgrad is the perfect opportunity for you to speak directly to our expert academics to learn more about your course of interest, life as a postgraduate student and the opportunities that further study offers.

Hourly subject sessions take place from 18 - 22 March, at 16.00 or 17.00 .

This online event will help you to:

  • find out more about module content, delivery and assessment methods
  • ask about employment prospects, our invaluable industry connections, accreditations and placement opportunities.

Master of Laws LLM

Why choose herts.

  • Strong industry links with law firms and specialists
  • Expert teaching led by practicing solicitors and barristers
  • Real-life scenario experience in our £10m Law Building which includes a full-scale replica Crown Court Room

A first degree in Law (or a subject in a related discipline, such as Business, Political Science or International Relations) at a minimum of 2:2. Or, an overseas qualification which is equivalent to a UK Honours degree, minimum 2:2 classification.

You must satisfy the University’s English language requirement for the course, which is a GCSE grade 4 or above (Grade C or above under the old grading structure), or IELTS at 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each band. For country specific qualifications, please visit our  Your Country  page.

Contact our Admissions Tutor at  [email protected]  to further discuss entry requirements.

Get access to personalised content, tailored towards your interests:

  • Information on your favourite courses
  • Tips to help you through the application process
  • Blogs, vlogs and advice from current students

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Students have career flexibility as you select modules to best fit your individual career goals and aspirations. 

Hertfordshire Law School has helped graduates forge successful careers for 40 years. You’ll benefit from our global reputation for being forward-thinking, innovative, and responsive to the world around us. 

Students with ideas for a new business, or wishing to grow an existing business, can access the support and networks of our University’s Enterprise Team. The award-winning Enterprise Hub building on de Havilland campus, which has been part-funded by the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, and our status as a University Enterprise Zone , reinforce an entrepreneurial vision that runs through the University. Support is available for early-stage businesses and entrepreneurs to use as and when it suits their needs, alongside access to our academic experts, talented graduates, facilities and equipment.  

You may wish to pursue a future in the private or public sector, as an in-house lawyer in a specialised industry, in academia or progress into a research career.   

Work placement

This course offers a placement year pathway 

Hertfordshire Law School host networking events providing students with the opportunity to meet with industry connections

College Lane, LRC, £10m Law Building with a full-scale replica Crown Court Room [Law Court social area], Enterprise Hub, Café Ambition

As shown by Brooks and Youngson ( 2016 ), 50% of placement students and more likely to secure graduate-level work and have higher starting salaries (on average £2,000 per year) upon completion of their degree in comparison to non-placement students. 

About the course

Perhaps you're keen to study Law but haven’t yet managed to find the course that feels just right for you. Our LLM in Law is what you've been looking for to elevate your career and focus on your specialism.

The course is flexible with much focus on fitting with your own needs, interests and professional aspirations. 

The LLM in Law pathway you'll study four modules of your choice from a wide range of module options.  

You have a one-year course option and a placement year pathway available. 

The course is flexible and will enable you to combine your interests and specialisms, to tailor your course according to your dreams and professional ambitions. 

Benefit from our strong relationships with law firms which include SA Law, Debenhams Ottaway and Browne Jacobson. You will access Law Fairs, employer workshops, and networking events 

Experience innovative teaching and assessments with an authentic ‘real-life’ business focus will enable you to develop the intellectual, transferable, interpersonal and practical skills needed for your career in the professional, commercial, business or academic sectors. 

Focus on industry ‘hot topics’ to ensure you have knowledge that will be of particular relevance to your future employers 

Gain industry insights with guest speakers invited into teaching sessions to share their experiences and help students with career choices. 

Why choose this course?

This course provides:  

Expert well-connected and up-to-date teaching  

Pastoral support throughout the course 

Hands-on exercises and discussions, to consolidate and deepen your learning and give you the intellectual, transferable, interpersonal and practical skills you need to follow a career in private practice, commercial sector, academia or research.  

Flexible module choices for you to tailor the course to your professional goals and interests 

Participation within an active law society 

Wide range of employability boosting co-curriculars 

Access to careers support for duration of degree and 4 years following graduation.  

Campus working locations in both our College Lane and De Havilland campuses,  

Use of our LRC spaces , Law Court social area, Enterprise Hub, and Café Ambition. 

The School follows a blended learning approach to the delivery of its programmes, with a strong emphasis on accessibility and inclusivity. Our strategic focus centres around community, inclusivity, diversity of opportunity and employability in line with the University strategic objective (2020-25) of ‘Transforming Lives’ through the three pillars of Offering Opportunity, Building Community and Embracing Flexibility.    

Students are well-placed in Hertfordshire to visit London and explore important legal landmarks such as the Supreme Court, Houses of Parliament, Royal Courts of Justice and the Inns of Court.  

Opportunities for students to attend Legal Talks and Conferences relating to their specialism. 

In addition:

Gain client-facing casework experience working within our award-winning pro-bono Law Clinic providing community-based legal services.  

Apply to take part in a wide range of co-curricular and pro bono activities, including commercial awareness, adjudication, mediation, advocacy, mooting and legal technology, design & innovation. 

Our academic staff range from specialists with PhDs to Qualified Barristers and Solicitors, Judges, Competition Law experts and Legal Risk Consultants, our teaching staff provide a wide range of skills and experience. Their connections with Law Firms and Industry ensure that they remain up to date with legal and commercial developments   

We are a diverse and international Team, with staff from around the world, so many have themselves experienced being an international student so can empathize with our international applicants. 

Strong Industry Connections: Benefit from our relations with law firms such as SA Law, Taylor Walton, Sherrards, Debenhams Ottaway, Machins, Curwens, Longmores, Cleveland Scott York and Spencer West, to name but a few, and institutions such as HSBC and Eisai. Students expand their employment and networking opportunities by attending regular Law Fairs, employer workshops, and networking events. 

We’re very proud of its diverse student population and is an active partner in inclusive futures  

LLM students will have access to our inclusive futures fair in semester A

4th for law in the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES, Advance HE, 2023)

What will I study?

You will study two modules during Semester A and two modules in Semester B. Each module will be taught through a two-hour Seminar each week together with a rich blend of online activities. You will also join a Research Methods and Skills seminar every fortnight in your first semester of study to help you develop your academic writing and research skills that you will need for your module courseworks and Dissertation. In Semester B and C you will study for your Dissertation with the help of an expert supervisor 

Students with interest in mooting and advocacy can gain ‘real life’ experience of litigation in action in our replica Crown Court. 

Digitally enhanced blended learning experience making full use of technology and using authentic activities and assessments to ensure you develop skills and understanding required in your future career

Modules are taught by law specialists and involve group work, discussions, debates, and practical sessions to consolidate your learning and develop vital skills of persuasion and negotiation, leadership, teamwork and presentation.  

Independent study will deepen your knowledge throughout the course 

Assessment is carried out via a combination of coursework, written assessments and practical tasks, depending on the modules chosen. There are no exams.  

Assignments will offer further opportunities to demonstrate your knowledge, formulate arguments and offer solutions to complex challenges.

Students expect to leave with: 

Research skills using a range of sources, including verbal questioning 

Evaluation skills and the ability to interpret and explain complex information clearly 

Analytical skills 

Reasoning and critical judgement skills 

Ability to formulate sound arguments 

These skills are in demand by employers and connect with the graduate attributes outlined by the university enabling students to demonstrate professional capability in a number of sectors and roles through competency and strength-based evidence required throughout the interview process. 

Lateral thinking and problem-solving skills 

Ability to write concisely 

Confident and persuasive oral communication skills 

Attention to detail and the ability to draft formal documents with precision. 

Extensive range of optional modules on offer, enabling you to tailor to your own professional goals and preferences. 

We emphasise the importance of authentic assessment where students are assessed in a manner designed to replicate aspects of situations and tasks they may face in the workplace. 

A number of our staff are very active researchers, with particular expertise in Artificial Intelligence, Sustainability, Cybercrime, Medical, Company and Investment Law.  

Students have opportunities to explore and potentially become involved in local and international research projects and initiatives.

Further course information

Student experience.

At the University of Hertfordshire, we want to make sure your time studying with us is as stress-free and rewarding as possible. We offer a range of support services including; student wellbeing, academic support, accommodation and childcare to ensure that you make the most of your time at Herts and can focus on studying and having fun.

Find out about how we support our students

You can also read our student blogs to find out about life at Herts.

Other financial support

Find out more about other financial support available to UK and EU students

UK Students

  • £11100 for the 2023/2024 academic year
  • £925 per 15 credits for the 2023/2024 academic year

EU Students

  • £15450 for the 2023/2024 academic year
  • £1290 per 15 credits for the 2023/2024 academic year

International Students

  • £13545 for the 2024/2025 academic year
  • £1130 per 15 credits for the 2024/2025 academic year
  • £16450 for the 2024/2025 academic year
  • £1370 per 15 credits for the 2024/2025 academic year

*Tuition fees are charged annually. The fees quoted above are for the specified year(s) only. Fees may be higher in future years, for both new and continuing students. Please see the University's Fees and Finance Policy (and in particular the section headed "When tuition fees change"), for further information about when and by how much the University may increase its fees for future years.

View detailed information about tuition fees

Living costs / accommodation

The University of Hertfordshire offers a great choice of student accommodation, on campus or nearby in the local area, to suit every student budget.

View detailed information about our accommodation

Read more about additional fees in the course fact sheet

International/EU applicants without pre-settled status in the UK

Apply through our international/EU application portal

Home and EU applicants with pre-settled/settled status in the UK

Apply using the links below:

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Postgraduate taught

llm without dissertation uk

Get to grips with key legal principles

Year of entry: 2024 (September)

1 year full-time, 2 years part-time

York Law School

September 2024 ( semester dates )

Apply for this course

Masters Taster Day

Join us on 13 March to get a taste of why so many people love living and learning at the University of York.

Graduates of law in the 21st century need more than a thorough knowledge of legal rules.

Study theoretical and economic contexts of law and gain the solid foundation you need to further your career. Our LLM Law gives you the flexibility to delve into a range of specialisms, meaning you'll be able to study the things that really interest you. 

Legal practitioners are involved in the design and delivery of key aspects of all our programmes. You'll benefit from our international outlook, interdisciplinary approach and research and learn from academics whose research is making a real impact in their field.

Research excellence

Ranked a top 25 law school in the UK according to the Times Higher Education's ranking of the latest REF results (2021)

1st for 'Learning opportunities'

among the Russell Group universities included for law in the 2023 National Student Survey (NSS).

Problem-based learning

A modern, dynamic learning method that ensures you experience and understand law in its practical, social and theoretical contexts

Course content

Through our combination of core and option modules, you'll develop a solid knowledge base in legal theory and practice while also tailoring the course to focus on what interests you most.

All of our modules are informed by research, including areas such as corporate and commercial law and international human rights law.


Core modules.

  • Legal Systems and Research Methods

Option modules

You will also study five option modules. In previous years, options have covered topics such as:

  • International Business Negotiation
  • Financial Crime
  • Issues in the Philosophy of Criminal Law
  • Art: Commodity or Valuable
  • Law and Society
  • Law & Circular Economy
  • Comparative Constitutional Law & Theory
  • Intellectual Property
  • International Trade Law & Regulation
  • International Commercial Arbitration
  • Practice of Corporate Transactions
  • Private International Law
  • Practice of Commercial Transactions
  • International Criminal Justice
  • International Business Management and Emerging Markets
  • Ethics and Sustainability Reporting
  • Law & Commercial Transactions
  • International Corporate Governance
  • Foundational Issues in Legal Theory
  • Art and Law: Parallel Perspectives
  • Art: A problematic lifecycle
  • Applying International Human Rights Law

Our modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.

  • LLM Dissertation

You'll complete a 12,000-word dissertation  on a topic of your choice, under the supervision of a member of staff from the York Law School. You'll prepare your dissertation proposal during the Research Skills for Dissertation Writing   module.

There is wide flexibility in choosing your topic.

The York approach

Every course at York is built on a distinctive set of learning outcomes. These will give you a clear understanding of what you will be able to accomplish at the end of the course and help you explain what you can offer employers. Our academics identify the knowledge, skills, and experiences you'll need upon graduation and then design the course to get you there.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Discuss and critically evaluate the fundamental principles and theories of common, civil and international law systems and apply a comprehensive understanding of the operation of such principles to the analysis of legal and commercial problems.
  • Apply and adapt problem-solving skills working efficiently and effectively to develop effective solutions to diverse, complex and integrated legal, practical or societal problem scenarios.
  • Influence debate in chosen areas of specialisation and interest by developing well-reasoned, critical and creative arguments, theories and solutions to broader legal issues within society, supported by researched evidence, with the capacity to draw on these to produce original responses.
  • Reflexively draw upon and apply a broad awareness of perspectives and interests in their work, capable of taking into account ethical, social, political, professional, commercial, financial, business, international, policy, human rights, ethnic, gender and client interest considerations when evaluating propositions and solving problems.
  • Record, reflect on, and evaluate the strengths, weaknesses and progress in their own personal learning and professional development.
  • Develop legal research skills including: the use of computer databases and search strategies; critical evaluation of normative research questions, determine research methodologies which can be used to successfully address such questions, apply the skills and knowledge developed on the programme to a selected problem, and plan, project manage and implement a substantial project with minimal guidance.
The staff are the best part of studying at the University of York, their expertise and style elegantly guided me through each subject area. The student body is actively invited to work alongside staff for the betterment of the students, courses and university as a whole. Kristian, LLM Law

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees for 2024/25.

Students on a Student Visa are not currently permitted to study part-time at York.

For courses which are longer than one year , the tuition fees quoted are for the first year of study.

  • UK (home) fees may increase in subsequent years (up to a maximum of 2%).
  • International fees may increase in subsequent years in line with the prevailing Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rate (up to a maximum of 10%).

Fees information

UK (home) or international fees?  The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK (home) or international student.  Check your fee status .

Find out more information about tuition fees and how to pay them.

  • Postgraduate taught fees and expenses

Funding information

Discover your funding options to help with tuition fees and living costs.

We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2024/25 throughout the year.

If you've successfully completed an undergraduate degree at York you could be eligible for a  10% Masters fee discount .

Funding opportunities

  • UK government Masters loans
  • Funding for UK students
  • Funding for international students

Living costs

You can use our  living costs guide  to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.

Teaching and assessment

You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace.

Teaching format

You'll receive innovative, practical and relevant teaching. Dependent on your option module choices, teaching methods will include problem-based learning, simulations and student law firms. You'll also attend masterclasses from legal practitioners and academics.

Problem-Based Learning (PBL)

A core teaching method employed in some of our modules is problem-based learning (PBL) . This will involve you working in a “student law firm” in which you will work on simulated, real-life corporate and commercial law problems brought to you by virtual clients. You will learn to identify the relevant legal principles, and unravel the legal and contextual issues that lie at the heart of the problem. As in real life, the problems are messy, and typically involve several legal topics interacting and overlapping.

Additional learning resources

You will also learn through a range of other resources including seminars, written subject guides, and a variety of relevant material in our virtual learning environment.

Teaching location

York Law School  is located on Campus East. Nearly all of your teaching will take place within the Law building or nearby on Campus East.

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's  easy to get around campus  - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

We use a variety of assessment methods to help you develop different transferable skills. These include presentations, posters, participation in seminars, client advice, coursework and your dissertation. For certain modules, you will be assessed through a reflective portfolio.

llm without dissertation uk

Related courses

  • LLM International Corporate and Commercial Law
  • LLM Legal and Political Theory
  • LLM International Human Rights Law and Practice

Discover York

llm without dissertation uk


We offer a range of campus accommodation to suit you and your budget, from economy to premium.

llm without dissertation uk

Student life

Explore campus and city life and hear what our current students have to say about living here.

llm without dissertation uk

Lively, full of culture and beautiful, York is regularly voted one of the best places to live and visit in the UK.

llm without dissertation uk

Find out more about York. Chat to staff and students and take the tour, on campus or online.

  • Postgraduate study
  • Postgraduate taught courses

LLM - The Sheffield LLM

Explore this course:.

Applications for 2024 entry are now open. Apply now or register your interest to hear about postgraduate study and events at the University of Sheffield.

School of Law, Faculty of Social Sciences

Two postgraduate students working together in a seminar room in Bartolomé House

Course description

The Sheffield LLM is a flexible programme, giving you the opportunity to gain expert knowledge and skills across a diverse range of legal topics and to tailor the course to your own interests and career aspirations. 

Teaching is research-led and practice-oriented. You are encouraged to undertake your own independent research to support your learning. There are opportunities to get involved with conferences and research seminars, many of which involve visiting experts from the UK and overseas, as well as staff from the School of Law.

The course is delivered through seminars in each subject area, with assessment through essays and a dissertation.

By opting for the Sheffield LLM you retain maximum flexibility. You can choose modules from across our whole range of LLM pathways, as detailed below. This course is ideal if you’re looking for a strong foundation that covers a range of different areas of study.

If you prefer to specialise in a particular subject area, the Sheffield LLM also offers, under the same course code, the option to follow one of two specialist pathways:

  • LLM Corporate and Commercial Law
  • LLM International Law and Global Justice

If you’re not sure which specialist pathway you want to follow, don’t worry, you can stick with the Sheffield LLM without specialising, or opt to follow one of the pathways on arrival. The choice is yours.

Individual modules offered may vary from those shown depending on staff availability and the number of students selecting each module.

An open day gives you the best opportunity to hear first-hand from our current students and staff about our courses.

Find out what makes us special at our next online open day on  Wednesday 17 April 2024 .

You may also be able to pre-book a department visit as part of a campus tour. Open days and campus tours

  • 1 year full-time
  • 2 years part-time

The course is delivered through seminars or a combination of lectures and seminars in each subject area.

Assessment is through essays and a dissertation.

School of Law

Three postgraduate students walking up the staircase of Bartolomé House

At the School of Law, you will learn to identify and address the complex legal, moral, ethical and social questions that underpin the law. You will be taught by academics, some of whom are practising legal professionals, that are researching at the cutting edge of law and criminology. Our commitment to research-informed teaching means their discoveries become yours, as this research filters into teaching.

Our courses have been developed in consultation with the legal profession and have a strong international focus to develop you into a highly employable graduate. Top law firms regularly visit us to meet our students and take a hands-on approach by contributing to your wider education. They also interview our high-achieving students for jobs.

Our school is acclaimed for its exceptional research performance, aided by our world-leading academics, as well as our pioneering research centres and projects. 91% of our research is rated in the highest two categories in the REF 2021, meaning it is classed as world-leading or internationally excellent.

We endeavour to help you build the employability skills that employers value. At the School of Law we have a dedicated pro bono centre offering you a range of practical experiences. You will have the opportunity to work in our FreeLaw Clinic, fight injustice with our Criminal Justice Initiative and Miscarriages of Justice Review Centre, and gain work experience with our commercial clinic for start up businesses, CommLaw, delivering legal advice on commercial legal issues.

You can also provide practice support to litigants in person with Support Through Court and have the opportunity to get involved with local projects and charities such as Victim Support and Citizen’s Advice Sheffield.

You’ll be based at Bartolomé House, where you will learn through a variety of lectures, tutorials, seminars, and group work. You can also enhance your degree by taking advantage of our careers and employability sessions and there are also a variety of student societies that you might join. This includes the student-run Edward Bramley Law Society.

Student profiles

XUE ZHENG YAP Student Profile

At Sheffield, there's something for everyone.

Xue Zheng Yap Postgraduate student, LLM - The Sheffield LLM

Postgraduate LLM student, Xue, tells us about his course experience as an international student.

Entry requirements

Minimum 2:1 undergraduate honours degree in a law or a subject with a sufficient legal component.

Other qualifications and relevant work experience will be taken into consideration alongside qualifications.

You can apply now using our Postgraduate Online Application Form. It's a quick and easy process.

More information

[email protected]

Russell Group

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All Resources

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:

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 ). 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.

Related Law Schools

Featured schools.

University of Maryland - Carey School of Law

LLM specializations in business law, cybersecurity law, health law, environmental law, IP law, and more

Trinity College Dublin (TCD)

3 taught LL.M. programs, M.Litt. & PhD

Vanderbilt University Law School

One-year programs for international lawyers: General LL.M., Law & Business Track, or Thesis Track

Schools mentioned

  • University of Wales, Aberystwyth
  • University of London - LL.M. Programme

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  • Study in UK /

Cheapest LLM in UK

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  • Updated on  
  • Sep 1, 2023

llm without dissertation uk

The UK is considered an ideal destination for pursuing law. The country offers students a unique opportunity to explore diverse specializations like Tort Law, Sports Law, Entertainment  Law, and Intellectual Property Rights. The average salary for a lawyer in London can be 83,000 GBP (8,351,211 INR) per year. So if you dream of practicing law in the land of royals, here are the cheapest LLM programs in the UK for international students. 

This Blog Includes:

Documents required for llm in uk, university of lancaster law school, university of exeter school of law, the university of nottingham – school of law, university of durham – durham law school, university of bristol – school of law, the university of manchester – school of law, king’s college london (kcl), university of warwick – warwick law school, university of edinburgh – edinburgh law school, queen mary university of london (qmul).

Benefits of Studying Law in the UK

Application Process For LLM In UK

To apply to universities in the United Kingdom, you must meet the following fundamental eligibility requirements:

  • A bachelor’s degree in Law, Sociology, Politics, Economics, Social Policy, Psychology, History, or a related field.
  • Scores on the IELTS or TOEFL tests as evidence of English language proficiency.

Also Read: Study LLM at Cambridge University

  • Completed application form
  • Official transcript(s)
  • Proof of English language ability- IELTS, TOEFL iBT scores.
  • Statement of purpose /personal statement
  • Written work
  • References/letters of recommendation

Score High in IELTS with Leverage Live Experts

Top 10 Cheapest Universities In the UK To Study LLM 

Here are the top UK universities offering cheapest LLM courses in UK:

According to The Guardian’s law school rankings, the University of Lancaster is one of the top in the UK. The LL.M. can be highly personalized, for example, in topics such as Intellectual Property Law, European Union Law, International Terrorism and Law, and International Environmental Law, which are all emerging fields. In addition, the school provides complete specialist degrees in fields like Human Rights Law and Corporate Law. In addition, living costs in Lancaster are rather low (at least compared to a city like London).

  • Tuition – 19,940 EUR (1,721,021 INR)
  • Duration – 12 months 
  • Minimum IELTS – 6.5 

Programs Offered

  • International Business and Corporate Law LL.M
  • International Human Rights Law LL.M.
  • International Human Rights and Terrorism Law LL.M.
  • International Law LL.M.

Also Read:  Study Masters in UK for Less than 14 Lakhs

The Law School at the University of Exeter is also listed among the best in the United Kingdom by The Guardian. It provides an LL.M. in Commercial Law and an LL.M. in International Law in addition to a general LL.M. The program’s professors are all highly-trained practitioners who combine academic theory with practical experience. The gorgeous Streatham campus of Exeter is a plus.

  • Tuition – 19,400 EUR (1,674,414 INR)
  • Intakes – September
  • Minimum TOEFL –  90 

 Programs Offered

  • LL.M. in Commercial Law3. LL.M. in International Law, Conflict and Security
  • LL.M. in European Law
  • LL.M. in Intellectual Property Law

Also Read:  UK Universities That Issue Offer Letter Within 14 Days

The University of Nottingham ‘s School of Law is regarded as one of the best in the United Kingdom. It is consistently listed in the top 20 of The Guardian’s league table and The Complete University Guide’s ranking each year. It offers a wide range of LL.M. programs in human rights law, International Public Law, and Maritime Law.

  • Tuition – 19,980 EUR(1,724,473 INR)
  • Minimum IELTS – 7.0 
  • Master of Laws (LL.M.
  • Criminal Justice (LL.M.)
  • European Law (LL.M.)
  • Human Rights Law (LL.M.)
  • International Commercial Law (LL.M.)

Also Read: India vs UK

Durham Law School is well-known worldwide, particularly for the exceptional quality of its research, which is reflected in the LL.M. program. The Complete University Guide ranks Durham Law as the eighth-best law school in the United Kingdom. The school offers a variety of LL.M. programs in areas like International Trade and Commercial Law, Corporate Law, and other topics. Durham University is located on a magnificent campus in the Northeast of England, close to Newcastle and Leeds, two significant UK cities.

  • Tuition – 23,500 EUR (2,028,285 INR)
  • Intakes – October
  • Minimum TOEFL –  92 
  • LL.M. (General)
  • LL.M. Corporate Law
  • LL.M. in European Trade and Commercial Law
  • LL.M. in International Trade and Commercial Law
  • LL.M. in International Law and Governance

Must Read: Difference Between September and January Intake in UK

Bristol’s School of Law is unquestionably one of the top several in the United Kingdom. The Good University Guide ranks the school 13th in the United Kingdom. Bristol, which was named the finest city in the UK by The Sunday Times newspaper, is a key magnet for international students. It’s also well-connected, with London only a couple of hours away by train. LL.M. programs are available at the law school, including ones in Commercial Law and European Legal Studies.

  • Tuition- 19,900 EUR (1,717,569 INR)
  • Minimum TOEFL – 100 
  • LL.M. Law – General Legal Studies
  • LL.M. Law – Commercial Law
  • LL.M. Law – European Legal Studies
  • LL.M. Law – Health, Law, and Society
  • LL.M. Law – Human Rights Law

Must Read:  How to Defer Admission in UK?

The University of Manchester’s School of Law is likewise highly regarded by The Complete University Guide. It did exceptionally well in graduate prospects, with alumni going on to successful positions in law firms, NGOs, and multinational organizations. Security and International Law, International Financial Law, and Corporate Governance are among the LL.Ms offered by the institution.

  • Tuition – 20,500 EUR (1,769,355 INR)
  • Corporate Governance LL.M
  • Healthcare Ethics and Law LL.M.
  • Intellectual Property Law LL.M
  • International Business and Commercial Law LL.M.

Must Read:  How to Pursue MRes in UK?

King’s is one of the UK’s oldest and most prestigious institutions, with the law school first opening its doors in 1909. It has been offering LL.M. programs since 2007, and they are consistently listed in the top ten of most major rankings magazines. Postgraduate legal programs are available at King’s in various subjects, including International Business Law, International Tax Law, and others. An online LL.M. in International Corporate and Commercial Law is also available.

  • Tuition – 28,770EUR (2,483,138 INR) 
  • Master of Laws LLM
  • Competition Law LLM
  • European Law LLM
  • Intellectual Property & Information Law LLM
  • International Business Law LLM

Must Read:   How to Pursue MPhil in UK?

Warwick has a strong reputation: in The Times’ Good University Guide 2018, the school was placed 20th for Law. In addition, in the Graduate Market Survey, Warwick is placed third in targeting the top employers. There are numerous LL.M. programs to choose from, including those in International, Commercial, and Economic Law and Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation. In addition, need-based financial bursaries are offered for students.

  • Tuition – 19,300 EUR(1,665,783 INR)
  • LL.M. Advanced Legal Studies
  • LL.M. International Commercial Law
  • LL.M. International Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation
  • LL.M. International Development Law and Human Rights
  • LL.M. International Economic Law

Must Read:  Is It Possible to Study MBA Below 20000 GBP?

The University of Edinburgh is one of Scotland’s most prestigious and long-standing institutions, teaching Law since 1707. It offers some of the cheapest LLMs in UK. It is still going strong today, with The Complete University Guide ranking it as the finest in Scotland. Commercial Law, European Law, and Climate Change Law are just a few of the LL.M. programs available to suit all preferences and professional career trajectories.

  • Tuition – 24,000 EUR (2,0,71,440 INR)
  • LL.M. in Law
  • LL.M. in Commercial Law
  • LL.M. in Comparative and European Private Law
  • LL.M. in Corporate Law
  • LL.M. in Criminal Law and Criminal Justice

Also Read:  Study in UK’s Beach Towns and Breezy Cities!

Queen Mary’s School of Law is a relatively new institution, yet it has quickly established a strong reputation since 1965. The Guardian is ranked 17th in the UK, with notably high student satisfaction levels. Queen Mary students benefit from several distinct benefits as a result of their location in London. Not to mention easy access to a myriad of prestigious legal firms and businesses where you can work. There are LL.M. programs available in almost every field, from banking to environmental Law. It isn’t the cheapest LL.M. in the group, but it is reasonably priced compared to other high-quality LL.M.s.

  • Tuition – 24,950 EUR (2,153,434 INR)
  • LL.M. (Master of Laws)
  • LL.M. in Art, Business, and Law
  • LL.M. in Banking and Finance Law
  • LL.M. in Commercial and Corporate Law
  • LL.M. in Comparative and International Dispute Resolution

Must Read:  Affordable Universities 1.5 Hours Away from London

In the United Kingdom, a full-time LLM takes 9 to 12 months. There are, however, part-time study choices that take two years. In addition, some flexible part-time Masters in Law programs in the United Kingdom can take up to five years to complete.

No, that is not the case. Although you can study Masters in Law without having a law degree, you must have an LLB degree to practice Law in the United Kingdom.

The University of Manchester, University of Nottingham, Durham University, and the Queen’s Mary University of London provide the cheapest LLM in the UK .

The cheapest LLM programs in UK are incredible for students who are on a budget. Planning to study abroad but am worried about the on-campus expenses. Apply now for our Leverage Edu Scholarship for the January Intake 2022 and reduce your cost of studying with just one simple form!

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Guide To LLM Dissertation Writing

Find your perfect llm program search our database of over 2500 courses.

LLM Dissertation Writing

Choosing the topic

Five key considerations when choosing your dissertation topic are:

  • Why are you studying an LLM in thr first place?
  • Which modules have you enjoyed the most?
  • Which areas of the law have a good support base at your institution?
  • What are the strengths of your law library?
  • Is your potential topic a wide enough question?

Obviously, choosing a topic is a necessary stage to get underway before you can start researching and writing your dissertation. You should spend time carefully considering the subject of your dissertation as it might end up being the clincher for that  first job  after you finish your studies. Make sure you pick a topic that you find interesting, but that also has the balance of support from your lecturers and professors.

You'll need to be uniquely motivated to produce a dissertation about a subject that none of your lectures or professors knows much about. Understanding why you have picked the particular subject will ensure you're choosing the right topic, but don't spend too much time considering what to do as you'll need to get on with it. 

Dissertation support

You will have plenty of dissertation support organised through your law school. Some of it might be compulsory sessions that you must undertake as part of your LLM program, while others may be support sessions that can help you stay focused throughout your dissertation work.

Make sure you attend these sessions and don’t hesitate to ask questions if in doubt. It might be a good idea to share your dissertation structure with tutors or designated academic contacts that can give you feedback on your progress. Law school libraries usually have  books  that tell you how best to prepare for your dissertation. Keep an eye out for skills sessions on writing or research methods. These will prove useful when you get down to drafting content for your dissertation and will enable you to put to practice acquired skills that you picked up during these sessions.

Planning and organisation

Some people love creating a filing system and hopefully, you're one of them as this is a great way to organise your LLM dissertation. You'll need to keep your research well organised to enable you to quickly access it when you are writing your dissertation. It's a good idea to have research divided into chapters early on.

It's a good idea to follow a file management procedure to save your dissertation material. This material could consist of both printed (photocopies from the library or print-outs of research articles) and online documents. Try to follow a consistent labelling/naming convention so that you can locate documents quickly. For instance, if you have a vast number of online articles and research papers to go through, then categorise them in such a way that they fall under relevant chapters of your dissertation.

Any research you do online will need to be backed up, and of course, you will have the dissertation itself backed up too. Do not have everything saved on one ancient laptop, instead build in a routine for how you save and backup your data daily so it just becomes part of how you work. If you start as early as you can on your dissertation, then you'll be able to build in planning time and create a realistic timetable for your work, with escapes from your dissertation to let you reflect on what you have done so far. 

LLM dissertation


There is no easy or quick way around this, you are just going to have to get going with the research as soon as possible. Remember that law libraries get busy during the second semester so you'll need to get there early in the mornings or stay late sometimes.

You also don't want to wait around for particular texts that have a limited availability. If you realise you need a book that someone else has checked-out of the library, then let the staff know as soon as you know so you have a chance of getting it. Don't forget about online law libraries and resources too, and speak with your academic staff if you are really struggling to access what you need. 

Don't wait until you think you've done all the researching before you start writing up your findings. Writing up an LLM dissertation takes time and thought. Start writing as soon as you start researching and keep planning the chapters of your dissertation as you delve deeper into the research. With a bit of luck and good planning, you will find that the chapters are easy to write. 

Editing and formatting

Find out before you write a single word what format your dissertation needs to be in for printing and submission. Your law school will likely have their own standards, so you should familiarise yourself with this document before you get started. Establish the right format straight away so you are not spending time at the last minute changing formats or the way you have referenced the whole document.

Don't underestimate how long it will take to edit your dissertation – expect to read through each chapter many times as each read through will show you new and interesting mistakes. And if possible, find a willing friend or family member to give it a final read – fresh eyes are likely to pick up small typos or mistakes.  

Printing and submitting

Aim to finish your LLM dissertation with a little time to spare. Towards submission deadlines, university printers are busy places and if you need to print your dissertation at a particular printer then check with them early on to understand how much time they need to get your document ready. You need time for them to print it and time for you to check the printed material as you need to check for formatting errors or any printing mistakes like double pages.  Once you've written your dissertation you can take a calm walk into your submissions office and hand over your dissertation. Obviously, everything went to plan and you've finished your dissertation with time to spare and now it's time to  relax a little .

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llm without dissertation uk

Key information

Module overview.

The dissertation is a supervised piece of research on a topic to be agreed between the student and the chosen supervisor. The dissertation provides students with the opportunity to develop an original piece of academic work in an independent, albeit supervised, way.

The topic of the dissertation can relate to any subject-area covered in any of the modules of the LLM programme. Typically, the dissertation aims to tackle a theoretical, doctrinal, jurisprudential or policy issue that is relevant in contemporary legal scholarship and/or legal policy affairs. As such, students are invited to propose a topic for the dissertation that closely matches their study interest, or practical actual or prospective work or professional experience.

Typically, the dissertation is expected to be bibliographic, on the basis of library, internet, and archival research. In exceptional cases it may contain some original empirical evidence, that the student is expected to collect and analyse independently, subject to supervisor's approval and the student's capacity in the relevant research methodology.

The dissertation entails that the student will develop and demonstrate their analytic, argumentative, writing and presentation skills. The length of the dissertation will be maximum 12,000 words.

Objectives and learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:

  • Acquisition of detailed knowledge in a particular topic
  • Development of critical understanding of a particular topic
  • Development of the capacity to plan and carry out independent research work

Method of assessment

  • Dissertation: 100% (12,000 words due in September)

Important notice regarding  changes to programmes and modules .

Dr Catriona Drew

Public International Law; international legal history (particularly self-determination of peoples), and legal theory

In this section

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