Is it possible to apply the LLM without a law background in UK?


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~!!!~ : )
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~!!!~ : )
quote
tnuchpiam
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!
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!
quote
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?
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?
quote
Alain
This article is quite useful: http://www.llm-guide.com/article/213/llm-programs-for-non-law-graduates
This article is quite useful: http://www.llm-guide.com/article/213/llm-programs-for-non-law-graduates
quote
a graduate diploma in law is the professional qualification needed to be taken after an LLB in order to be a solicitor.
a graduate diploma in law is the professional qualification needed to be taken after an LLB in order to be a solicitor.
quote
tnuchpiam
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 www.ex.ac.uk.into). 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.
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 www.ex.ac.uk.into). 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.
quote
Symphony
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.
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.
quote
Glennie
I may be dense, but why would someone with neither the LLB or legal work experience want to do an LLM?
I may be dense, but why would someone with neither the LLB or legal work experience want to do an LLM?
quote
P_Martini
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.
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.
quote
Good Gosh
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.
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.
quote
Poppet
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.)
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.)
quote
Glennie
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.)


That all makes more sense now. I work in a commercial area, so I guess I was a bit blinkered. I can definitely see the appeal of, say, a specialist IP or human rights LLM to a non-lawyer.
<blockquote>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.) </blockquote>

That all makes more sense now. I work in a commercial area, so I guess I was a bit blinkered. I can definitely see the appeal of, say, a specialist IP or human rights LLM to a non-lawyer.
quote
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.
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.
quote

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