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LLM Study: What to Expect

Thinking about studying for an LLM? Want to know more about what you need for the course, what you will be learning and what work you will be doing? You’re in good company, as the LLM is one of the most popular degrees within the Law sector. It’s a Master’s level qualification that can help to develop your knowledge of law with additional training and delve deeper into a topic that interests you, as a lot of courses will offer specialisations. It can also be a way into the sector for graduates who did not study law at an undergraduate level. Read on to find out more about what to expect should you decide to undertake an LLM. 

What is an LLM? 

The LLM is a Master’s level degree that gives students the opportunity to further their legal knowledge and specialise in a particular area of the subject that interests them. While you don’t need an LLM to practice law, the training and expertise gained on the course can give you an advantage over other candidates when applying to jobs in the future. A big draw of the LLM is the specialisation aspect of the courses – students can take LLMs that focus on a wide variety of topics, including the likes of Sports Law, Financial Law, Maritime Law, International Law and more. 

What qualifications do you need for an LLM course? 

Many institutions will expect students to have an honours degree of 2:1 or above in Law to study for an LLM, or other legal-based qualifications like a Graduate Diploma in Law. However, quite a few universities will accept graduates with degrees in other subjects if they have relevant work experience. Get in touch with the university to confirm whether the credentials you possess will be accepted for the course. 

What will an LLM course cover? 

The contents of an LLM will depend on the particular course chosen and the institution where it is studied. There are general LLM Law courses available, most of which offer a flexible programme of elective modules to choose from, allowing students to develop their knowledge across a variety of subjects.  

For students looking to hone in on a particular area of law that interests them, many universities run LLM courses with specialisations. These courses provide a comprehensive education surrounding the specific topic, helping students to become experts in the area. Modules will be explicitly geared towards the specialisation, building on existing knowledge while also developing skills that will be useful both in and out of the legal profession. 

How much work will there be on an LLM course? 

You’ll probably find that there is a lot more work on an LLM course than an undergraduate course. As the LLM is a higher qualification than an undergraduate degree, you will be expected to demonstrate a more in-depth knowledge of the subject matter through the dissertation of up to 15,000 to 20,000 words (which you’ll be asked to put forward in a proposal early on).  

While your tutor will always be there to assist your learning, you will be expected to conduct your own independent research to demonstrate your analytical and research skills as well as an extensive knowledge of the law within your specialist field of study. 

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