Entrance Requirements - South African Graduate


Hi Everyone!

I'm currently in my final year of study at Rhodes University in South Africa (LLB) and will complete my degree at the end of this year. I also have a Bachelor of Commerce Degree in Economics and Law from the same university.

I am looking to apply to the following universities in the UK to do my LLM in International Trade/Business Law starting September 2011:
QMUL
KCL
SOAS
UCL

I see on all the university websites that the academic requirement is usually a Upper Second Class Honours Degree which according to some research I've done is an average of above 60%.

My university, while smaller than the better known universities in South Africa such as Stellenbosch and University of Cape Town, is known in the legal community for having very high standards. Mostly because are exams are more difficult because we shy away from multiple-choice exams and most of our exams consist of questions that are scenario/problem based placing emphasis on application of the law rather than 'parrot-fashion' repetition of theory.

My average so far is just above 60% (60.6%) and according to some research I've done the universities in England generally accept our grades as is and don't downscale them. Am I correct in saying that this means that our standard is comparable and that my degree, provided all goes as plan until completion, will be a Second Class Honours Degree and I comply with the academic requirements of the schools I'm looking to apply to?

I am 22 years old so have not had much chance to gain work experience, but I do have some that I've gained working at the local Legal Aid Clinic as well as with a Labour Law firm in my vacation time.

I know that it is not possible for you guys to tell me if I'll get in because admission is very subjective based on each university, but in your opinion, do I have decent chance of getting accepted to the above schools with my grades or should I not bother and try some US schools rather?

Also note that I will not be applying for any financial aid and I will be paying full tuition and that Rhodes University is an English taught university (as opposed to Stellenbosch which is Afrikaans medium) and English is my native language so the language requirements shouldn't be a problem!

Thanks for any help you can provide!
Hi Everyone!

I'm currently in my final year of study at Rhodes University in South Africa (LLB) and will complete my degree at the end of this year. I also have a Bachelor of Commerce Degree in Economics and Law from the same university.

I am looking to apply to the following universities in the UK to do my LLM in International Trade/Business Law starting September 2011:
QMUL
KCL
SOAS
UCL

I see on all the university websites that the academic requirement is usually a Upper Second Class Honours Degree which according to some research I've done is an average of above 60%.

My university, while smaller than the better known universities in South Africa such as Stellenbosch and University of Cape Town, is known in the legal community for having very high standards. Mostly because are exams are more difficult because we shy away from multiple-choice exams and most of our exams consist of questions that are scenario/problem based placing emphasis on application of the law rather than 'parrot-fashion' repetition of theory.

My average so far is just above 60% (60.6%) and according to some research I've done the universities in England generally accept our grades as is and don't downscale them. Am I correct in saying that this means that our standard is comparable and that my degree, provided all goes as plan until completion, will be a Second Class Honours Degree and I comply with the academic requirements of the schools I'm looking to apply to?

I am 22 years old so have not had much chance to gain work experience, but I do have some that I've gained working at the local Legal Aid Clinic as well as with a Labour Law firm in my vacation time.

I know that it is not possible for you guys to tell me if I'll get in because admission is very subjective based on each university, but in your opinion, do I have decent chance of getting accepted to the above schools with my grades or should I not bother and try some US schools rather?

Also note that I will not be applying for any financial aid and I will be paying full tuition and that Rhodes University is an English taught university (as opposed to Stellenbosch which is Afrikaans medium) and English is my native language so the language requirements shouldn't be a problem!

Thanks for any help you can provide!
quote
Tabmas08
Hi fellow Rhodent
I am an ex Rhodes Student, graduated with my LLB in 2006 so its a pleasure to see if I can help you.
I got into UCL and other unis for LLM starting Septmber though I opted to go to LSE and so I know having an LLB from Rhodes is no problem.
Your problem maybe that you will be competing with academically exceptional students who also have either work expereince or extra activities or internships to thier cv.I don't know about SOAS but I know you may have a hard time getting into UCL ,QMUL or KCL with just BcomLaw and an average of just above 60's%.
If you really want to do your Masters this year I suggest you cast your net wider, not just unis in London, try the midlands and Scotland too.
Alternativley if you can wait, I would suggest you get some work expereince for at least 1-2 years then apply for your Masters.Your work expereince will bolster any shortfall on the side of academic marks and it will also give you a better understanding of what your LLM should focus on.Infact, if you can, do your legal articles, I did and even though I left the practise I know having done them and passing the board exams also bolstered my applications.
You are still young so there is no rush.

Hope that helps!
Hi fellow Rhodent
I am an ex Rhodes Student, graduated with my LLB in 2006 so its a pleasure to see if I can help you.
I got into UCL and other unis for LLM starting Septmber though I opted to go to LSE and so I know having an LLB from Rhodes is no problem.
Your problem maybe that you will be competing with academically exceptional students who also have either work expereince or extra activities or internships to thier cv.I don't know about SOAS but I know you may have a hard time getting into UCL ,QMUL or KCL with just BcomLaw and an average of just above 60's%.
If you really want to do your Masters this year I suggest you cast your net wider, not just unis in London, try the midlands and Scotland too.
Alternativley if you can wait, I would suggest you get some work expereince for at least 1-2 years then apply for your Masters.Your work expereince will bolster any shortfall on the side of academic marks and it will also give you a better understanding of what your LLM should focus on.Infact, if you can, do your legal articles, I did and even though I left the practise I know having done them and passing the board exams also bolstered my applications.
You are still young so there is no rush.

Hope that helps!
quote
Hi fellow Rhodent
I am an ex Rhodes Student, graduated with my LLB in 2006 so its a pleasure to see if I can help you.
I got into UCL and other unis for LLM starting Septmber though I opted to go to LSE and so I know having an LLB from Rhodes is no problem.
Your problem maybe that you will be competing with academically exceptional students who also have either work expereince or extra activities or internships to thier cv.I don't know about SOAS but I know you may have a hard time getting into UCL ,QMUL or KCL with just BcomLaw and an average of just above 60's%.
If you really want to do your Masters this year I suggest you cast your net wider, not just unis in London, try the midlands and Scotland too.
Alternativley if you can wait, I would suggest you get some work expereince for at least 1-2 years then apply for your Masters.Your work expereince will bolster any shortfall on the side of academic marks and it will also give you a better understanding of what your LLM should focus on.Infact, if you can, do your legal articles, I did and even though I left the practise I know having done them and passing the board exams also bolstered my applications.
You are still young so there is no rush.

Hope that helps!


Thanks so much! That average so far is for my 4th year and I hope to boost that to 65% average this year if that helps :) Good to hear another Rhodes student made it!

I'm also looking to apply to City University in London, University of Utrecht in Netherlands and Université de Lausanne in Switzerland as far as European universities are concerned, and to a couple of schools in the US also (UC Hastings, George Washington, UC Davis. Penn State).

Do you have any suggestions regarding good schools elsewhere in England?
<blockquote>Hi fellow Rhodent
I am an ex Rhodes Student, graduated with my LLB in 2006 so its a pleasure to see if I can help you.
I got into UCL and other unis for LLM starting Septmber though I opted to go to LSE and so I know having an LLB from Rhodes is no problem.
Your problem maybe that you will be competing with academically exceptional students who also have either work expereince or extra activities or internships to thier cv.I don't know about SOAS but I know you may have a hard time getting into UCL ,QMUL or KCL with just BcomLaw and an average of just above 60's%.
If you really want to do your Masters this year I suggest you cast your net wider, not just unis in London, try the midlands and Scotland too.
Alternativley if you can wait, I would suggest you get some work expereince for at least 1-2 years then apply for your Masters.Your work expereince will bolster any shortfall on the side of academic marks and it will also give you a better understanding of what your LLM should focus on.Infact, if you can, do your legal articles, I did and even though I left the practise I know having done them and passing the board exams also bolstered my applications.
You are still young so there is no rush.

Hope that helps!</blockquote>

Thanks so much! That average so far is for my 4th year and I hope to boost that to 65% average this year if that helps :) Good to hear another Rhodes student made it!

I'm also looking to apply to City University in London, University of Utrecht in Netherlands and Université de Lausanne in Switzerland as far as European universities are concerned, and to a couple of schools in the US also (UC Hastings, George Washington, UC Davis. Penn State).

Do you have any suggestions regarding good schools elsewhere in England?
quote
Tabmas08
I am sure you will do well in your exams..at least you are done with Contract and Delict...right? Though you should be doing Sale and Insurance now and even though people complained I loved Dr Glover.
I would suggest applying to Warwick, Nottingham and even Leicester.
I got into all of them and they have a wide variety of modules which is lacking in even some top 5 unis.It seems like you really want to do your Master's so keep trying.But wait...if you are in final year now, then getting into Uni would only be September next year...right? Then you have a couple of months so don't worry.
I am sure you will do well in your exams..at least you are done with Contract and Delict...right? Though you should be doing Sale and Insurance now and even though people complained I loved Dr Glover.
I would suggest applying to Warwick, Nottingham and even Leicester.
I got into all of them and they have a wide variety of modules which is lacking in even some top 5 unis.It seems like you really want to do your Master's so keep trying.But wait...if you are in final year now, then getting into Uni would only be September next year...right? Then you have a couple of months so don't worry.
quote
Sunnylady
Hello Rhodes,

I am Nigerian but I did my undergrad studies in London obtaining my LLB from KCL. You share similar fears with my Nigerian friends who obtained their LLB degrees from Nigerian instituitions. First off, I'm pretty sure that at this point South African univeristies are regarded more highly than Nigerian univeristies and I can confirm that many of my Nigerian friends with 2.1's secured LLM offers with top UK and US universities.

Just a few tips.
You have a 2.1 at the moment but try to raise the marks to a higher 2.1 grade to boost your chances, but in any case you have a 2.1 which (in theory) automatically quailfies you to undertake study in good UK unis.

Ok so the best/most reputable UK unis (in descending order) for the LLM program are Oxbridge (obviously) LSE, KCL and UCL Followed by Bristol, Durham and Nottingham. QMUL and SOAS have strong law departments as well. Manchester, Birmingham, Lecister (redbrick unis) are decent enough.

To get into lse you need a high 2.1. I think you might be able to get into UCL and KCL with an average 2.1 e.g 60-64 percent (not necessarily a high 2.1) IF you have excellent references and an impressive personal statement. The limited work experience you have will definitely aid you. I got into LSE for the LLM program with only three weeks experience in a law chambers where I interned over the summer.

With a 60percent score and a good personal statement/reference I think you definitely have a high chance of getting into QMUL (the academic requirments are lower than KCL and UCL). You have a 2.1 so I don't think it would be fair to recommend you go to Lecister univerity. Your grades are good enough to get you into at the very minimum Nottingham and QMUL. So please don't limit your opportunities. Also the admission tutors scrutunize your individual socres and if for eg you are applying for an LLM in commercial law, it would be very beneficial to get good grades in commerce-related modules.

In sumamry, your grades are good enough; what you need to do is get strong references and construct a formidable personal statement. Increasing your scores wouldn't hurt either.

The above advice applies if you are resolute on commencing the LLM program next year. If you're not so keen on doing so, you could wait a few years and apply after work experience (which is the advice I received from most lawyers) but I still went on to apply because my parents inisisted on it.

Goodluck! :-) If you have questions don't hesitate to send me a message.
Hello Rhodes,

I am Nigerian but I did my undergrad studies in London obtaining my LLB from KCL. You share similar fears with my Nigerian friends who obtained their LLB degrees from Nigerian instituitions. First off, I'm pretty sure that at this point South African univeristies are regarded more highly than Nigerian univeristies and I can confirm that many of my Nigerian friends with 2.1's secured LLM offers with top UK and US universities.

Just a few tips.
You have a 2.1 at the moment but try to raise the marks to a higher 2.1 grade to boost your chances, but in any case you have a 2.1 which (in theory) automatically quailfies you to undertake study in good UK unis.

Ok so the best/most reputable UK unis (in descending order) for the LLM program are Oxbridge (obviously) LSE, KCL and UCL Followed by Bristol, Durham and Nottingham. QMUL and SOAS have strong law departments as well. Manchester, Birmingham, Lecister (redbrick unis) are decent enough.

To get into lse you need a high 2.1. I think you might be able to get into UCL and KCL with an average 2.1 e.g 60-64 percent (not necessarily a high 2.1) IF you have excellent references and an impressive personal statement. The limited work experience you have will definitely aid you. I got into LSE for the LLM program with only three weeks experience in a law chambers where I interned over the summer.

With a 60percent score and a good personal statement/reference I think you definitely have a high chance of getting into QMUL (the academic requirments are lower than KCL and UCL). You have a 2.1 so I don't think it would be fair to recommend you go to Lecister univerity. Your grades are good enough to get you into at the very minimum Nottingham and QMUL. So please don't limit your opportunities. Also the admission tutors scrutunize your individual socres and if for eg you are applying for an LLM in commercial law, it would be very beneficial to get good grades in commerce-related modules.

In sumamry, your grades are good enough; what you need to do is get strong references and construct a formidable personal statement. Increasing your scores wouldn't hurt either.

The above advice applies if you are resolute on commencing the LLM program next year. If you're not so keen on doing so, you could wait a few years and apply after work experience (which is the advice I received from most lawyers) but I still went on to apply because my parents inisisted on it.

Goodluck! :-) If you have questions don't hesitate to send me a message.
quote
Tabmas08
Rhodent..Sunnylady has made some good points.I just realised that all the uni's I recomended to you are the ones that have LLM Human Rights law coz that's what I will be studying.I lost sight of the fact that you want to do Commercial Law so though I don't know about Durham and Bristol..Ive heard they are good and try Edinburgh too.Sunnylady has the advantage of having studied in the UK so she is in a good position to suss out important aspects of UK studies.
I disagree over the LSE requirements..they only take a First class for LLM, they get about 1 700 LLM applicants per year and only pick about 220.
The best you can do is aim for at least an upper second just to be safe and try your best to ace commercial subjects like contract,business structures,incolvency,lease and agency etc so they can see proof of your strengths.Cast your net wide whne making applications..you have nothing to lose.
Once again good luck my fellow Rhodent and being a Rhodent already shows how great you are so...no worries:)
Rhodent..Sunnylady has made some good points.I just realised that all the uni's I recomended to you are the ones that have LLM Human Rights law coz that's what I will be studying.I lost sight of the fact that you want to do Commercial Law so though I don't know about Durham and Bristol..Ive heard they are good and try Edinburgh too.Sunnylady has the advantage of having studied in the UK so she is in a good position to suss out important aspects of UK studies.
I disagree over the LSE requirements..they only take a First class for LLM, they get about 1 700 LLM applicants per year and only pick about 220.
The best you can do is aim for at least an upper second just to be safe and try your best to ace commercial subjects like contract,business structures,incolvency,lease and agency etc so they can see proof of your strengths.Cast your net wide whne making applications..you have nothing to lose.
Once again good luck my fellow Rhodent and being a Rhodent already shows how great you are so...no worries:)
quote
P_Martini
Hi Rhodent:

I would strongly recommend that you develop a diverse list of universities, that you look beyond the U.K. (if only just to look) for some programs to throw onto the end of your list, and to apply early in the process (by which I mean October 2010). If you've got a 2.1, you'll find somewhere good to study. Good luck!
Hi Rhodent:

I would strongly recommend that you develop a diverse list of universities, that you look beyond the U.K. (if only just to look) for some programs to throw onto the end of your list, and to apply early in the process (by which I mean October 2010). If you've got a 2.1, you'll find somewhere good to study. Good luck!
quote
Sunnylady
At Tabmas 08, I got into LSE for LLM in commercial law with a 2.1 in my LLB degree from KCL. I didnt get a 1st class so its possible to get into LSE with a 2.1, I suppose it may depend on where you obtained your LLB degree from but a 2.1 is def acceptable. Only oxbridge and cambridge require a 1st (according to their prospectus).
At Tabmas 08, I got into LSE for LLM in commercial law with a 2.1 in my LLB degree from KCL. I didnt get a 1st class so its possible to get into LSE with a 2.1, I suppose it may depend on where you obtained your LLB degree from but a 2.1 is def acceptable. Only oxbridge and cambridge require a 1st (according to their prospectus).
quote
P_Martini
At Tabmas 08, I got into LSE for LLM in commercial law with a 2.1 in my LLB degree from KCL. I didnt get a 1st class so its possible to get into LSE with a 2.1, I suppose it may depend on where you obtained your LLB degree from but a 2.1 is def acceptable. Only oxbridge and cambridge require a 1st (according to their prospectus).

Apply early.
<blockquote>At Tabmas 08, I got into LSE for LLM in commercial law with a 2.1 in my LLB degree from KCL. I didnt get a 1st class so its possible to get into LSE with a 2.1, I suppose it may depend on where you obtained your LLB degree from but a 2.1 is def acceptable. Only oxbridge and cambridge require a 1st (according to their prospectus). </blockquote>
Apply early.
quote
Tabmas08
Sunnygirl ,my comment was based on the LSE prospectus for this year which states that the minimum requirement for an LLM is a First Degree. If you got into LSE with a 2.1 that's great...I am sure having done your LLB at KCL also helped so I guess its a case by case decison.
Since you are at LSE..maybe you can tell me more about the lecture system and tutors/advisors.I am coming to do Human Rights LLM in September and would appreciate some inside knowledge.Do you know anybody who is taking the HR specialisim and how they are finding it?

Thanks
Sunnygirl ,my comment was based on the LSE prospectus for this year which states that the minimum requirement for an LLM is a First Degree. If you got into LSE with a 2.1 that's great...I am sure having done your LLB at KCL also helped so I guess its a case by case decison.
Since you are at LSE..maybe you can tell me more about the lecture system and tutors/advisors.I am coming to do Human Rights LLM in September and would appreciate some inside knowledge.Do you know anybody who is taking the HR specialisim and how they are finding it?

Thanks
quote
Sunnylady
P Martin, I applied in March, it wasnt an early application.

Tabma08, if you have another look at the prospectus you'll find that the requirments stated are either a "high 2.1" or a 1st class.

I was given an offer to start in september as well! :) So I have no idea what the teaching structure is like...guess we will find out come September. If it's anything like KCL or UCL, you can expect some lectures and some small seminars with an assigned tutor, sort of like an interactive session where you discuss the topics you preferred for and ask the tutors for clarity on obscure aspects of the topics. But that would be me assuming based on my experriences at Kings. Congrats on your offer!
P Martin, I applied in March, it wasnt an early application.

Tabma08, if you have another look at the prospectus you'll find that the requirments stated are either a "high 2.1" or a 1st class.

I was given an offer to start in september as well! :) So I have no idea what the teaching structure is like...guess we will find out come September. If it's anything like KCL or UCL, you can expect some lectures and some small seminars with an assigned tutor, sort of like an interactive session where you discuss the topics you preferred for and ask the tutors for clarity on obscure aspects of the topics. But that would be me assuming based on my experriences at Kings. Congrats on your offer!
quote
P_Martini
Sunnylady:

Congratulations on your admissions! You'll have a great year, I'm sure!

Applying as early as possible seems to offer the greatest chance of success, though. I have to think that competition is more fierce later in the process.
Sunnylady:

Congratulations on your admissions! You'll have a great year, I'm sure!

Applying as early as possible seems to offer the greatest chance of success, though. I have to think that competition is more fierce later in the process.
quote
orb
i'm a nigerian with a 3rd class llb from university of Nigeria, currently in the Nigerian Law School and in dire need to boost my edge with an LLM in the UK. this is just my first stop and will need kind ideas as to which schools to start applying for,when to do so and relative tuition budgets. thanks
i'm a nigerian with a 3rd class llb from university of Nigeria, currently in the Nigerian Law School and in dire need to boost my edge with an LLM in the UK. this is just my first stop and will need kind ideas as to which schools to start applying for,when to do so and relative tuition budgets. thanks
quote
Tabmas08
Sunnylady
Thanks for the point of correction.

I keep finding people who got tino LSE LLM Comm Law but none for Human Rights:(.
Maybe I will bump into you over there (somewhere around the faculty ) and Congratulations on your offer too!
Sunnylady
Thanks for the point of correction.

I keep finding people who got tino LSE LLM Comm Law but none for Human Rights:(.
Maybe I will bump into you over there (somewhere around the faculty ) and Congratulations on your offer too!
quote
Sunnylady
Lol probably because its deemed to be more luctrative :p. Maybe see you in September then! :)
Lol probably because its deemed to be more luctrative :p. Maybe see you in September then! :)
quote
Sunnylady
P. Martini, thanks! :) i hope so too...
P. Martini, thanks! :) i hope so too...
quote
jdnugget
Hi Rhodians - good to see you are all flying the flag

I was a graduate back in 2003, after much sweat and toil. Since then I have taken a different path, and was wondering if anyone had and advice on the following.

I have an BComm in Economics and Mgt 60% av., (Rhodes), I have spent 10 years in the hotel business at mgt levels up to General Manager, and during this time have completed a PG Dip in Payroll mgt and a few other cert courses etc.

I am set to complete my Masters this year in Internationalization, from WIT and currently have a 73% av., I will also be entering first yr of a phd at the same institution next year. (All going according to plan) I would like to do the PGDip in European Law at Kings College, as E.U. law is going to be a major part of my final dissertation, and this would provide a solid base for study.

So finally my question is, what do you think my chances of entry are with a non-legal background, and if I do get in, and should I decide in the future, would I be able to continue to LLM ?

Thanks
jdhnugget
Hi Rhodians - good to see you are all flying the flag

I was a graduate back in 2003, after much sweat and toil. Since then I have taken a different path, and was wondering if anyone had and advice on the following.

I have an BComm in Economics and Mgt 60% av., (Rhodes), I have spent 10 years in the hotel business at mgt levels up to General Manager, and during this time have completed a PG Dip in Payroll mgt and a few other cert courses etc.

I am set to complete my Masters this year in Internationalization, from WIT and currently have a 73% av., I will also be entering first yr of a phd at the same institution next year. (All going according to plan) I would like to do the PGDip in European Law at Kings College, as E.U. law is going to be a major part of my final dissertation, and this would provide a solid base for study.

So finally my question is, what do you think my chances of entry are with a non-legal background, and if I do get in, and should I decide in the future, would I be able to continue to LLM ?

Thanks
jdhnugget
quote
makson02
i'm a nigerian with a 3rd class llb from university of Nigeria, currently in the Nigerian Law School and in dire need to boost my edge with an LLM in the UK. this is just my first stop and will need kind ideas as to which schools to start applying for,when to do so and relative tuition budgets. thanks
i'm a nigerian with a 3rd class llb from university of Nigeria, currently in the Nigerian Law School and in dire need to boost my edge with an LLM in the UK. this is just my first stop and will need kind ideas as to which schools to start applying for,when to do so and relative tuition budgets. thanks</blockquote>
quote

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