Cambridge University LLM

About the Cambridge LLM programme

The Cambridge LLM is a one-year taught masters programme. Students are required to take four courses (or ‘papers‘) in total. The course offerings are sufficiently varied to enable students to pursue a wide range of interests. Some students elect to obtain a general LLM, choosing papers from various unrelated legal fields. Others choose to specialise in commercial, European, international or intellectual property law, taking at least three papers in one of these areas so as to receive a designation to their LLM indicating the specialism pursued. Those who opt to specialise, but want some breadth or variety, frequently take a paper outside their specialism alongside the three within it.

While many students know in advance which papers they would like to take, there is no obligation to commit before arrival. The Faculty runs a Subject forum  in the first week of term where course convenors talk about their courses. Students are then permitted to attend various courses over the first week or so before deciding which suits them best.


Each year there are approximately twenty-five courses on offer in the LLM Those subjects designated as seminar courses are examined by means of an 18,000 word thesis only. While most of the courses offered in 2016-2017 will run in 2017-2018, a few changes in the list are made from one year to the next and the Faculty cannot therefore guarantee that all subjects will be offered. The Faculty usually publishes a list of the available papers for the following academic year at the end of June/beginning of July.

Candidates generally have a free choice of papers from those prescribed although there may be unavoidable timetable clashes and certain combinations of papers may be prohibited.

Candidates who offer at least three papers from those listed under international law, commercial law, European law or intellectual property topics (or a thesis in lieu of one of them) will have the letter ‘(i)’, ‘(c)’, ‘(e)’ or ‘(ip)’ respectively placed against their name in the class list to indicate that they specialised in that area of law.

An LLM Subject Forum is held at the beginning of each academic year to help current LLM students decide which courses to take. Course convenors for each course discuss the goals and objectives of their course. These presentations are available online to listen to or read.

Cambridge LLM by numbers

  • approximately 1,000 applications
  • approximately 160-180 students take the LLM each academic year
  • 40-50 countries represented
  • 10-15 average size of small group class