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What is an LLM?

Derived from the Latin Legum Magister, which means Master of Laws, the LLM is a one-year postgraduate law degree for students seeking international experience or specialist knowledge in an area of law.

In the United Kingdom, students interested in an LLM programme must obtain a professional degree in law, such as the Bachelor of Laws (LLB), whereas students in the United States, Canada, Australia and a few other countries are required to obtain a Juris Doctor (JD).

The LLM is recognised at an international level and usually lasts one year. Part-time options are also available for those working full-time while being enrolled. The programme aims to prepare students for a wide range of legal careers and allows them to gain advanced practical skills in this field.

What types of LLM degrees are there?

International law is one of the most common areas of study. Other areas of specialisation include taxation, commercial law, human rights law, environmental law, public international law, global health law and Asian law.

What’s the difference between an LLM and a JD?

The LLM is a one-year optional secondary degree for legal professionals who want to achieve advanced knowledge in a specialised course of study and expand their area of practice after obtaining a professional degree in law.

The JD is a three-years post-secondary law degree necessary for students seeking a state license to practice law in the United States after obtaining a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university.

What are the admission requirements?

When applying for an LLM programme, it is important to keep in mind that requirements vary. Most universities in the United Kingdom require students to have completed a professional law degree (or another relevant degree) and show their work experience in the legal field.

Other requirements include law school transcripts, letters of recommendation, work and research experience and language requirements for non-native English speakers.

What LLM programmes do we offer at St Mary’s?

St Mary’s offers a one-year International and European Business Law degree that allows students to spend a semester in London and another in Paris. The programme provides students with focused knowledge on the complexities of international trade and business law as well as contemporary legal trade issues in the post-Brexit world. 

The International Business Law degree lasts one to two years and allows students to gain insight on international business law issues and globalisation effects on the practice of law. Students will also be able to take part in extra curricular and employability events, including a mock trial, mooting and commercial awareness seminars.