Research Masters in the UK


Lofty
I am an Irish law student. I have a B.Sc. in Computer Science, and I will be getting an LL.B. at the end of this academic year. I absolutely hate exams, and I much prefer doing research and writing up projects, so a research masters would be my ideal for me.

Can you recommend any good universities, either in England or Scotland to do a research masters that has a good reputation for research? I'm not going to be going to Oxford or Cambridge, but I have been looking into Edinburgh, Durham, LSE, and UCL, but any other recommendations would be much appreciated.

The area I am interested in doing research are equitable remedies, finders keepers in land law, pretty much anything in criminal, contract and evidence law. So universities known in these areas would be ideal. I absolutely hate company law, public/constitutional law, international and tort law.

The plan is to end up in Oxford or Cambridge doing a PhD, but I need a good masters to show my research quality first.

Well, I'll leave it there. Thanks in advance, and any help is much appreciated.

Slán!
I am an Irish law student. I have a B.Sc. in Computer Science, and I will be getting an LL.B. at the end of this academic year. I absolutely hate exams, and I much prefer doing research and writing up projects, so a research masters would be my ideal for me.

Can you recommend any good universities, either in England or Scotland to do a research masters that has a good reputation for research? I'm not going to be going to Oxford or Cambridge, but I have been looking into Edinburgh, Durham, LSE, and UCL, but any other recommendations would be much appreciated.

The area I am interested in doing research are equitable remedies, finders keepers in land law, pretty much anything in criminal, contract and evidence law. So universities known in these areas would be ideal. I absolutely hate company law, public/constitutional law, international and tort law.

The plan is to end up in Oxford or Cambridge doing a PhD, but I need a good masters to show my research quality first.

Well, I'll leave it there. Thanks in advance, and any help is much appreciated.

Slán!
quote
lmwoods
If all you are concerned about is avoiding exams a lot of universities assess their taught llms by coursework, with a longer dissertation (the length seems to vary considerably across the institutions) finishing the year off. This is a very different thing from a research masters (MPhil) degree. Of course the advantage with the MPhil is that you can choose your own topic, subject to being able to find a supervisor. My impression is that it is less usual to go for an MPhil before you start a PhD over an LLM. That is not to say you can't do it. You might just want to double check what sort of degree you are actually looking at doing - obviously it will affect your choice of universities.
If all you are concerned about is avoiding exams a lot of universities assess their taught llms by coursework, with a longer dissertation (the length seems to vary considerably across the institutions) finishing the year off. This is a very different thing from a research masters (MPhil) degree. Of course the advantage with the MPhil is that you can choose your own topic, subject to being able to find a supervisor. My impression is that it is less usual to go for an MPhil before you start a PhD over an LLM. That is not to say you can't do it. You might just want to double check what sort of degree you are actually looking at doing - obviously it will affect your choice of universities.
quote
Has the Reasear LLM the same reputation than taught LLM? I mean, in ordet to get a job, which LLM it is considered as better?
Has the Reasear LLM the same reputation than taught LLM? I mean, in ordet to get a job, which LLM it is considered as better?
quote
Lofty
To Imwoods

I have been looking at a lot of the programs that are examined by course work. The main problem is, as you have pointed out, that most of them are very specific in nature, and most of them are centred around corporate/commercial, tax, human rights, or European law, etc. which really does not interest me.

There is a very good taught masters on Criminal Justice in University College Cork (and despite any world rankings, UCC is by far the best place to study law at a postgraduate level in Ireland, Trinity is all about the name). I would consider doing either a taught or research masters in UCC if I thought it would put me in good standing to get into the MSt in Oxford (I want a DPhil!) or even the BCL, however, given that nearly all of the Cambridge LLM courses can be examined through essay in lieu of an exam, I would be in heaven if it helped me get in there!

I cant help feel that Oxford and Cambridge would look much more favourably on me as a candidate if I had a masters from a UK university over an Irish one. The problem is, I am very, very broke at the moment, so I couldnt live in London, which means the Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Durham are looking my most likely destinations.

An MPhil is quite rare to see in Ireland, most of the universities here offer their research masters students an LLM degree, but the title doesnt really matter, a masters is still a masters. I wouldnt mind doing research into a land or equity topic. Any universities you can think off that are famous for those subjects?

To Scholarship

Well, the taught LLM gives you instruction by academics in a very specific area, which can help you get a job in a firm that needs a person with those abilities. A research masters shows you have the ability to manage yourself and do independent research into an area of law. Again, a prospective employer can look at this and think to themselves, Ya, Ill hire this guy, he can do high quality work by himself.

Either way, if you have a masters, research or taught, you will be more appealing than another job applicant that only has an undergrad law degree, because it shows you have the ability to learn at a higher level than the undergrad you are competing with has proven. Apart from that, the university you do either in will have a big influence on how it is perceived i.e. the Oxford BCL is going to be better than any old LLM from the North Easter University of the South Western United Kingdom. (I generally find the vaguer the geographical location of the name is, the lower the quality of the institution! LOL)
To Imwoods

I have been looking at a lot of the programs that are examined by course work. The main problem is, as you have pointed out, that most of them are very specific in nature, and most of them are centred around corporate/commercial, tax, human rights, or European law, etc. which really does not interest me.

There is a very good taught masters on Criminal Justice in University College Cork (and despite any world rankings, UCC is by far the best place to study law at a postgraduate level in Ireland, Trinity is all about the ‘name’). I would consider doing either a taught or research masters in UCC if I thought it would put me in good standing to get into the MSt in Oxford (I want a DPhil!) or even the BCL, however, given that nearly all of the Cambridge LLM courses can be examined through essay in lieu of an exam, I would be in heaven if it helped me get in there!

I can’t help feel that Oxford and Cambridge would look much more favourably on me as a candidate if I had a masters from a UK university over an Irish one. The problem is, I am very, very broke at the moment, so I couldn’t live in London, which means the Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Durham are looking my most likely destinations.

An MPhil is quite rare to see in Ireland, most of the universities here offer their research masters students an LLM degree, but the title doesn’t really matter, a masters is still a masters. I wouldn’t mind doing research into a land or equity topic. Any universities you can think off that are famous for those subjects?

To Scholarship

Well, the taught LLM gives you instruction by academics in a very specific area, which can help you get a job in a firm that needs a person with those abilities. A research masters shows you have the ability to manage yourself and do independent research into an area of law. Again, a prospective employer can look at this and think to themselves, “Ya, I’ll hire this guy, he can do high quality work by himself.”

Either way, if you have a masters, research or taught, you will be more appealing than another job applicant that only has an undergrad law degree, because it shows you have the ability to learn at a higher level than the undergrad you are competing with has proven. Apart from that, the university you do either in will have a big influence on how it is perceived i.e. the Oxford BCL is going to be better than any old LLM from the North Easter University of the South Western United Kingdom. (I generally find the vaguer the geographical location of the name is, the lower the quality of the institution! LOL)
quote
irishguy
Hey,

If your eventual goal is to get a PhD, then I would either apply directly to the University you intend to study in, or do a taught LLM in an area that has some bearing on the topic you would like to study eventually. The problem with doing a research masters is that they ALWAYS take at least two years to complete (at the very most a year and a half). When people get to that stage they find that it is more worthwhile to convert it into a PhD instead. In most Universities, England or Ireland, you are admitted as a research student onto the Research Masters register for you first year. Then there is an examination of your progress and a decision is made about whether to admit you to the PhD program or not.
Cambridge normally requires a first on your undergraduate degree and a first on a taught masters degree, usually their own, before admitting people to the research register. I think LSE is the same, but you only need a 68% average on the taught masters. Not sure about other UK Universities.
If your interest is in equity and history, then there are some fantastic options on the Cambridge LLM, and you can do a dissertation in lieu of one subject, which would demonstrate your research potential. Some examples of topics that would be useful for this area are: Restitution, Commercial Equity (all about trusts and equitable principles) and possibly one of the Legal HIstory courses.
If you are looking to do a research degree before heading over, then I would have o recommend that you go for name over substance. It is MUCH easier to be admitted if you are coming from an institution that Oxford and Cambridge are familiar with. On the LLM last year there were only students from Trinity, UCD and UCG. If your heart is set on Oxford or Cambridge, get a famous supervisor in Trinity or UCD in the area you are interested in, get the MLitt, then apply. Anyway, hope it goes well for you in the interim.
Hey,

If your eventual goal is to get a PhD, then I would either apply directly to the University you intend to study in, or do a taught LLM in an area that has some bearing on the topic you would like to study eventually. The problem with doing a research masters is that they ALWAYS take at least two years to complete (at the very most a year and a half). When people get to that stage they find that it is more worthwhile to convert it into a PhD instead. In most Universities, England or Ireland, you are admitted as a research student onto the Research Masters register for you first year. Then there is an examination of your progress and a decision is made about whether to admit you to the PhD program or not.
Cambridge normally requires a first on your undergraduate degree and a first on a taught masters degree, usually their own, before admitting people to the research register. I think LSE is the same, but you only need a 68% average on the taught masters. Not sure about other UK Universities.
If your interest is in equity and history, then there are some fantastic options on the Cambridge LLM, and you can do a dissertation in lieu of one subject, which would demonstrate your research potential. Some examples of topics that would be useful for this area are: Restitution, Commercial Equity (all about trusts and equitable principles) and possibly one of the Legal HIstory courses.
If you are looking to do a research degree before heading over, then I would have o recommend that you go for name over substance. It is MUCH easier to be admitted if you are coming from an institution that Oxford and Cambridge are familiar with. On the LLM last year there were only students from Trinity, UCD and UCG. If your heart is set on Oxford or Cambridge, get a famous supervisor in Trinity or UCD in the area you are interested in, get the MLitt, then apply. Anyway, hope it goes well for you in the interim.
quote
And what about social life and networking in a Reasearch LLM??? It gives the impression that each student is researching alone. Is it true? How are de courses? They have a lot of classmates or are only a few?
And what about social life and networking in a Reasearch LLM??? It gives the impression that each student is researching alone. Is it true? How are de courses? They have a lot of classmates or are only a few?
quote
Lofty
To Irishguy,

First off, thanks for the information. My plan so far seems to be, finish my degree here in Limerick, do a masters in UCC (mainly because Im from Cork, and I will be able to live for free and work part time while doing it), then go to the Kings Inns, then apply to Oxford or Cambridge. If I had say, a 2.1 in all of my degrees (i.e. my B.Sc, LL.B. LL.M. and BL), what would be my chances of getting in to say, the M.St. in Oxford?

I cannot afford to live in Dublin to go to Trinity or UCD. I know Trinity is a sister college of Oriel College in Oxford and St Johns College Cambridge, and if I had John Temple Lang, or Hilary Delany, or Gerard Whyte, or William Binchy, as a supervisor Id have a much better chance of getting into Oxford or Cambridge, but I simply cannot afford it. I might be able to convince a bank to give me a loan to go to Durham or Edinburgh, (as Im sure Oxbridge will look much more favourably on them than any Irish college) but Im not definite on that.

While I was going to do the LLM in Criminal Justice in UCC, I would change over to a research one if I thought I could get Professor Steve Hedley, or Professor Irene Lynch Fannon, or Professor Caroline Fennell,or Professor John Mee, or Professor David Gwynn Morgan, or Declan Walsh as my supervisors. The first two both went to Oxford, and Hedley also went to Cmabridge, and he taught there for 18 years. The rest are fairly famous in their own right. John Mee would be fantastic for a research masters in equity. The main reason for choosing the Criminal Justice masters is that its very good preparation for being a Barrister.

I know five people from UCC that have gone on to bigger and better things. One girl I know definitely went to Cambridge this year, not sure if it was for taught or research masters though? Two went to do the BCL in Oxford, and one went to Harvard, the other to Yale, both for taught LLMs.

My reasons for wanting to go to either of those two arent just for the value-added marks and prestige they will bring to me as a Barrister and legal commodity; I want to be able to say Ya, I went there. It was a fantastic experience! Trinity just doesnt offer that sort of feeling (although that's probably because I'm a proud Cork man and am sworn to passionately dislike everything Dublin has to offer! LOL)

To Scholarship

Many people who are doing research LLMs sit in on classes that are delivered to the taught students. They arent examined at the end of the year, but they do get to make some friends in the taught class. Research can be quite lonely, but when you are a research student, you have better access to the faculty than taught students, and getting your name spread in those circles can be much more lucrative in the long run, as these are practicing lawyers and jurist, not just wannabe students. A research student could actually be in a better position to network than most taught students.
To Irishguy,

First off, thanks for the information. My plan so far seems to be, finish my degree here in Limerick, do a masters in UCC (mainly because I’m from Cork, and I will be able to live for free and work part time while doing it), then go to the Kings Inns, then apply to Oxford or Cambridge. If I had say, a 2.1 in all of my degrees (i.e. my B.Sc, LL.B. LL.M. and BL), what would be my chances of getting in to say, the M.St. in Oxford?

I cannot afford to live in Dublin to go to Trinity or UCD. I know Trinity is a sister college of Oriel College in Oxford and St John’s College Cambridge, and if I had John Temple Lang, or Hilary Delany, or Gerard Whyte, or William Binchy, as a supervisor I’d have a much better chance of getting into Oxford or Cambridge, but I simply cannot afford it. I might be able to convince a bank to give me a loan to go to Durham or Edinburgh, (as I’m sure Oxbridge will look much more favourably on them than any Irish college) but I’m not definite on that.

While I was going to do the LLM in Criminal Justice in UCC, I would change over to a research one if I thought I could get Professor Steve Hedley, or Professor Irene Lynch Fannon, or Professor Caroline Fennell,or Professor John Mee, or Professor David Gwynn Morgan, or Declan Walsh as my supervisors. The first two both went to Oxford, and Hedley also went to Cmabridge, and he taught there for 18 years. The rest are fairly famous in their own right. John Mee would be fantastic for a research masters in equity. The main reason for choosing the Criminal Justice masters is that it’s very good preparation for being a Barrister.

I know five people from UCC that have gone on to bigger and better things. One girl I know definitely went to Cambridge this year, not sure if it was for taught or research masters though? Two went to do the BCL in Oxford, and one went to Harvard, the other to Yale, both for taught LLM’s.

My reasons for wanting to go to either of those two aren’t just for the value-added marks and prestige they will bring to me as a Barrister and legal commodity; I want to be able to say “Ya, I went there. It was a fantastic experience!” Trinity just doesn’t offer that sort of feeling (although that's probably because I'm a proud Cork man and am sworn to passionately dislike everything Dublin has to offer! LOL)

To Scholarship

Many people who are doing research LLM’s sit in on classes that are delivered to the taught students. They aren’t examined at the end of the year, but they do get to make some friends in the taught class. Research can be quite lonely, but when you are a research student, you have better access to the faculty than taught students, and getting your name spread in those circles can be much more lucrative in the long run, as these are practicing lawyers and jurist, not just wannabe students. A research student could actually be in a better position to network than most taught students.
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