Master of Laws (LLM) Programme

Programme Structure

The Master of Laws (LLM) programme can be undertaken on a full-time basis in one year, a part-time basis in two years, or on a flexible basis in up to five years. See Modes of Study. Each year of the programme is a full twelve months, running from September to September. Specific term dates can be found here.

To obtain a Master of Laws (LLM), a student must successfully complete a total of 180 master level credits, including 120 credits of taught modules and a 60-credit Independent Research Essay (IRE). Taught modules are either 15 or 30 credits. Full-time students complete all 180 credits in twelve months. Part-time students study 60 credits in their first year and 120 credits (including the IRE) in their second year. In flexible study mode, students can apportion credits across each year of study in agreement with their personal tutor.

The following timetable describes a year of full-time study:

Terms one and two
During the first fortnight of term one, students attend the LLM Induction Programme. This is a series of events to welcome them to the faculty and UCL, get them formally enrolled in the programme, and help them make their final specialism degree and module choices. It also includes the first week of classes, which begin in the second week of term. During that week, students are free to attend any classes they wish before registering in their taught modules at the end of the week.

There are a total of ten weeks of classes per term, with five weeks before and five weeks after each reading week. There is also a wide variety of different events held in the faculty and at UCL during terms, including special lectures and opportunities to participate in activities such as moot court, debating, sports, social gatherings, and the graduate student law society.

Term three
Assessed 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 term. (The examination schedule is published at the end of term two.) Students also continue to work on the IRE.

After the examination period has ended in term three, students finish researching and writing their IRE's for submission at the start of September.

The LLM programme consists of 180 credits (72 ECTS), which is equivalent to 1,800 hours of study. This is the same as 48 weeks of full-time work (based on a 37.5-hour work week).

Students are expected to be in attendance at UCL throughout the duration of the academic year in which they are registered, from September to September. This includes the summer term, but excludes the approved UCL vacation periods in December and March/April. Term dates can be found here.

Attendance will be monitored regularly, through a combination of class registers, meetings with personal tutors, examination attendance and coursework and IRE submission. Students should not be absent from the programme for any reason other than extenuating circumstances, such as illness, bereavement etc., without prior approval from the Director of Taught Graduate Programmes.

LLM modules are taught either in seminars or in lectures and tutorials, depending on the number of students enrolled in the module. Methods of instruction are listed on the module summary pages. There is normally one two-hour seminar or lecture per teaching week in each taught module. Typically, full-time students have eight hours of classes per week (for 20 weeks in total), possibly with additional tutorials. Seminars and tutorials involve class discussions and students are expected to participate actively in those discussions. In some seminars and tutorials, students may be asked to work in teams and make presentations to the rest of the class.

Each module is supported by a dedicated website containing materials such as reading lists, links to websites and articles, and news on the subject.

Most classes are held at UCL, but some are held at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS) or at other colleges affiliated with the University of London.

Assessment in taught modules is normally by examination, assessed essay, or a combination of both. Details of specific methods of assessment can be found on the module summary pages. Assessed coursework essays are normally due at the start of term three and all examinations are held in term three.

During the programme, students research and write one 60-credit IRE of up to 12,000 words. They select a research topic within an area of law that reflects their degree specialism (if applicable) and in consultation with their advisor, who will be selected from the Faculty of Law’s schedule of available experts. The IRE is submitted at the start of September, normally at the end of the LLM programme. For students in flexible study mode, it is possible to research and write the IRE earlier in the programme, but it must be completed within 12 months of registering in the LAWSG099 module.

Provisional taught module and IRE marks and recommended awards will be published at the end of October following completion of the programme.

Modules from other UCL faculties
Students may choose up to 30 credits from graduate modules taught in other UCL faculties and departments. The module or modules chosen must help build a coherent programme of study and be commensurate with an award of Master of Laws. The inclusion of non-LLM modules must be approved by the Faculty of Laws Director of Taught Graduate Programmes and also by the Faculty hosting the module or modules, prior to the modules being registered


The application process for the 2015-16 academic session is now open.

Please note, for the 2015-16 intake, we are not accepting the TOEFL test. If you have an English condition to meet, you must take one of the alternative tests listed here instead.