The minimum academic entry requirement for the Cambridge LLM is a First Class degree in law from a UK university or its equivalent from an overseas institution. This means you will typically be placed well within the top 10% of law students in your jurisdiction. Students may apply during the final year of their first degree in law. Successful applicants who are studying towards a law degree, other degree, or similar relevant qualification at the time their application is assessed will have an academic condition attached to the LLM offer.
A first degree in law (meeting the requirements of the previous paragraph) is the preferred preparation for the LLM. However, in exceptional and rare circumstances, applicants without such a degree may be considered, provided they can demonstrate that academically they are within the top 10% of lawyers in their jurisdiction. Applicants will typically demonstrate this through substantial relevant professional legal experience or having obtained a professional legal qualification with the equivalent of a First Class result.
Applications are assessed as a gathered field. Candidates are selected for an offer from those meeting the minimum academic requirement, in order of assessed strength of application, but overall offer numbers are limited to the University-allocated LLM quota.
All applicants for the Cambridge LLM programme must provide prescribed proof of English language ability before their application will be considered.
The following details should be noted carefully:
- The Cambridge Law Faculty imposes more demanding English language requirements than other Faculties in the University. These specific requirements supersede any less demanding general University requirements. This is to ensure that applicants have the necessary facility to deal at a sophisticated level with complex legal materials.
- These language requirements are mandatory both as to the level of ability which must be demonstrated and the time at which proof of meeting those standards must be submitted. Applications will not be considered unless they are compliant in both these respects. Given the exceptionally large number of applications for the Cambridge LLM programme, we are not able to entertain requests for individual waivers of these requirements no matter how compelling the circumstances.
Proof of ability
1. All applicants who are nationals of a country on the Postgraduate Admissions Office's 'List A' must provide proof of nationality. These applicants are not required to sit a language test in order for their application to be considered. However, an offer of a place on the Cambridge LLM programme may be made conditional on the applicant providing some prescribed proof of language ability before the offer can be accepted.
2. Subject to the specific exception noted in (3) immediately below, all applicants who are nationals of a country other than those on List A must provide a compliant IELTS or TOEFL language test certificate at the time of application for the LLM programme. The deadline for applying for the 2023-24 programme is 1 December 2022. Applications will not be considered without this documentation.
3. Applicants who are not nationals of a country on List A but who have (or expect to have) successfully completed a three-year full-time university degree in English within the last two years at a university located in a country on list A must provide proof of that programme of study, and are not required to sit a language test in order for their application to be considered. However, an offer of a place on the Cambridge LLM programme may be made conditional on the applicant providing some prescribed proof of language ability before the offer can be accepted.
Required ability level
Where a compliant IELTS or TOEFL language test certificate is required before an application will be considered, the minimum levels of ability which must be demonstrated are as follows:
1. IELTS: At least 7.5 overall with at least 7.0 in each of the individual sections of reading, writing, listening and speaking.
2. TOEFL: At least 110 overall with at least 25 in each of the individual sections of reading, writing, listening and speaking.
Please note that candidates must meet the minimum requirements in all elements of the language test in the same sitting; it is not possible to combine results from multiple tests in order to meet the language requirement.
Deadline for providing proof of language ability
1. Proof of nationality of a List A country, or proof of undertaking a three-year full-time university degree in English at a university located in a country on the PAO's List A, must be provided at the time of application for the LLM programme. The deadline for applying for the 2023-24 programme is 1 December 2022.
2. Compliant IELTS or TOEFL language test certificates, where these are required before an application will be considered, must be provided at the time of application for the LLM programme. The deadline for applying for the 2023-24 programme is 1 December 2022.
You do not need to provide evidence of your financial position when you apply for the Cambridge LLM (unless you wish to be considered by the University's Cambridge Trust for funding), but you should note that all offers of a place on the Cambridge LLM are subject to a finance condition. If you receive an offer of a place on the Cambridge LLM, you will need to submit a Financial Undertaking Form to PAO to meet the finance condition. This form provides evidence to the University that you can cover the cost of your fees and living expenses whilst studying at Cambridge. Please refer to the Finance section for more details.