About the LLM
Admission to the LLM is highly selective. The LLM selectors must choose from a large pool of well-qualified candidates. In evaluating applications, the selectors take into consideration the applicant's grades and class rank, letters of reference, the coherence of the applicant's proposed programme of study, and any significant professional accomplishments. LSE's LLM applicants typically originate from up to 100 countries and the grades normally required for admission are tailored to the system of legal education in the countries from which applicants have obtained, or will obtain, their qualifications.
Places are normally only offered to applicants with very good grades in their law studies (for example, a first or very high upper second in the UK LLB), and who rank amongst the best graduates of their law schools. Applicants with a very good degree in another discipline together with very good grades in an appropriate graduate diploma in law (such as the UK's Graduate Diploma in Law) may also qualify for a place. Applicants without an educational background in law may apply, but would need to demonstrate a high level of professional or academic experience in areas closely related to the subjects they wish to study in order to be considered for a place (see entry requirements).
Since 2013-14 all LLM courses have been half-unit courses. Students take seven taught half units of their choice plus a compulsory half unit Legal Research and Writing Skills course (which is assessed by a 10,000 word dissertation). Many of the taught half-unit courses are freestanding but some courses are linked together in so far as taking one is a pre-condition of taking another. Even in such cases of linkage, however, the individual half units will be assessed separately.
There are around 120 courses on the LLM although not all courses are offered every year; students should therefore confirm the availability of courses they regard as crucial to their study plans. They should also consider the terms in which their favoured courses will be offered so that their work can be spread manageably across the Michaelmas and Lent terms.
Formal study is supported by several series of evening 'LLM Specialist Seminars' in which leading practitioners, judges and scholars in various legal fields discuss matters of current controversy or special complexity with students in informal small group sessions. Last year, around 50 such sessions were delivered.
Students can choose courses from the whole range of Law options (subject to timetable constraints and class size requirements). Alternatively, students may obtain approval to take one or in exceptional circumstances two complementary subjects from another master's degree at LSE in place of the equivalent number of law subjects. For example, international lawyers may choose to take a course in international relations; criminologists may take a course in sociology; constitutional lawyers may take a course in political theory; and company lawyers may take a course in financial reporting.
The Law Department attaches great importance to active participation by students taking LLM courses. Accordingly, LLM courses are typically taught through seminars of no more than 30 students which meet for two hours each week. Courses with historically large enrolments are taught through lectures but the lectures are supplemented by regular small-group classes. Students are expected to prepare by reading prior to seminars and classes.
Examinations usually take place in June, though a small number will be timetabled for the start of the Lent term on a trail basis and dissertations are submitted towards the end of August.
Part-time students take four half-unit courses each year. Students may also register on an extended part-time basis, taking two half-unit courses each year. It is usually possible to satisfy continuing professional education requirements by pursuing the LLM part-time. Part-time students attend the same sessions as full-time students, so students will need to confirm that course timetabling does not conflict with their other commitments.
If students take courses which fall predominantly within one specialist area they can request that their chosen specialism be included in the name of the degree, for example, LLM Public International Law, LLM Labour Law. The recognised specialist areas are indicated below:
Banking and Financial Regulation
Competition, Innovation and Trade
Corporate and/or Commercial Law
Corporate and Securities Law
Criminology and Criminal Justice
Human Rights Law
Information Technology, Media and Communications Law
Intellectual Property Law
International Business Law
Public International Law
Legal Research and Writing Skills will provide a distinct series of lectures and tutorials on legal research skills to assist in the writing of a dissertation on a topic of the student’s choice.
Supervision of dissertation writing will be standardised across the programme, with two half-hour supervisory meetings to be offered to each student, one in the middle of the Lent term, and one in the summer term. The mark for the dissertation will constitute one eighth of that for the degree (since the dissertation counts as a half unit) but the importance of the dissertation is reflected in a requirement that a distinction in the LLM will require the award of at least a merit mark (60 per cent or above) for the dissertation.
You can find the most up-to-date list of optional courses for LLM in the Programme Regulations section of the current School Calendar.
You must note however that while care has been taken to ensure that this information is up-to-date and correct, some circumstances may cause the School to subsequently change, suspend or withdraw a course or programme of study, or change the fees that apply to it. The School will neither be liable for information that after publication becomes inaccurate or irrelevant, nor for changing, suspending or withdrawing a course or programme of study due to circumstances outside of its control. You must also note that places are limited on some courses and/or subject to specific entry requirements. The School cannot therefore guarantee places on its courses. You should visit the School's Calendar, or contact the relevant academic department, for information on the availability and/or content of courses and programmes of study. Certain substantive changes will be listed on the Updated graduate course and programme information page.
For further information on the programme, please see LLM.
The LLM programme provides excellent prospects for graduates seeking to start their career with a Training Contract in UK and international firms both in London and major commercial centres around the world, with in-house legal departments or government legal services. Some graduates go on to pursue a career at the Bar. Graduates with a legal qualification from their home jurisdictions and relevant experience join a variety of employers in legal and other sectors such as financial and management consulting. Others may continue their careers in national, regional and international courts or work in a legal capacity within an NGO or Multilateral Organisation. The LSE LLM also provides an excellent starting point for those wishing to pursue a PhD and or a career in academia. Recent employers who have hired graduates from this programme include Clifford Chance, Schoenherr, White & Case, Wolf Theiss, Diageo, Louis Vuitton, Australian Attorney General’s Office, 4 Kings Bench Walk Chambers, PWC and the Human Rights Commission.