Masters in Law in UK: Top Universities, Eligibility, Fees, Scholarships, Scope
Masters in Law in UK is a 9 months to 1 year full-time degree available as Master of Science (MS), LLM and Master of Law degree. It can also be pursued part-time and takes 4-5 years to complete. A total of 23,185 international students were enrolled in law programs of UK universities, according to 2017/2018 statistics. Criminal law, family law and employment law are some of the popular specializations in the country.
A bachelor's degree in law, sociology, politics, economics, or relevant subject is required for getting admission in this program. Annual course fees for universities offering Masters in Law in UK ranges between 19,500 GBP to 44,000 GBP. It is equivalent to 17 lakhs – 40 lakhs for an Indian student. Two most common careers options choosen by law graduates are solicitor and barrister. Average earning is 83,000 GBP per annum which is approximately equal to 81 lakhs. Hence, the ROI for LLM in UK is very high.
Why Study Masters in Law in UK?
Given below are a few reasons why the UK is one of the best counties around the globe for studying Masters in Law:
- According to QS World University Rankings for Law (2020), 3 universities of the UK ranks among the top 10 universities around the world offering law degrees.
- The UK Legal Industry generated revenues of 37.1 billion GBP in 2019 which is 4.8% higher than the last year, according to the data released by the Office of National Statistics.
- Average salary earned by individuals in the legal sector is 20% more than the average of all jobs in the UK.
- The increment in paygrade in this sector is 11% per annum while the UK’s average for all jobs is only 7%.
- Legal Department is the 4th highest paying sector for graduates and alumni of UK universities.
Top Universities offering Masters in Law in UK
5 universities of this country rank in the world's top 20 institutions offering law degrees with 2 universities in the top 3. According to the QS News World University Ranking 2020 for law, following are the top 10 universities offering Masters of Law in UK:
|QS Ranking 2020||University||Program Offered and Duration||Tuition Fee (in GBP)|
|2||University of Oxford||MS in Law and Finance: 10 months||38,945|
|3||University of Cambridge||Master of Law: 1 year||41,906|
|Masters in Corporate Law: 9 months||43,355|
|6||London School of Economics and Political Science||Master of Law: 1 year||24,264|
|15||King's College London||Master of Law: 1 year||27,390|
|16||University College London||Master of Law: 10 months||26,160|
|22||University of Edinburgh||LLM in Commercial Law: 1 year||22,850|
|LLM in Corporate Law: 1 year||22,850|
|30||Queen Mary University of London||LLM in Banking and Finance Law: 1 year||23,950|
|LLM in Human Rights Law: 1 year||23,950|
|43||Durham University||Master of Law: 1 year||20,500|
|LLM in International Trade and Commercial Law: 1 year||20,500|
|51 – 100||University of Manchester||Master of Law: 1 year||19,500|
|51 – 100||University of Nottingham||Master of Law: 1 year||19,980|
Other than the courses mentioned above, universities of UK offers other law courses such as MSc in Global Crime, Justice and Security, LLM in International Economic Law, LLM in Intellectual Property Law, LLM in Medical Law and Ethics, LLM in European Law, LLM in Global Environment and Climate Change Law, LLM in Innovation, Technology and the Law, etc.
Course Structure of Masters in Law in UK
Masters in Law in the UK is composed of a total of 180 credits out of which 120 credits are for taught courses and 60 credits are for dissertation. The dissertation is usually 14,000 to 15,000 words long and is based on the specialization chosen by a student.
Some of the courses that you have to study in the UK while pursuing masters in law are:
- International trade and corporate law
- Financial service regulations
- European law
- International economic law
- Human rights law
- Corporate governance
Masters in Law in UK: Highlights
|Degrees Offered||LLM, Masters in Corporate Law, MSc in Law and Finance, Criminology and Criminal Justice, International Trade and Commercial Law.|
Full time – 1 year;
Part-time - 2-5 years
|Eligibility||Relevant bachelor’s degree with minimum 60%|
|Annual Course Fees||19,500 GBP – 43,355 GBP|
|Average Annual Salary||83,000 GBP|
|Job Profile||Barrister, Solicitors, Paralegal, Arbitrator, Legal Executive, etc.|
Admission Process for Masters in Law in UK
To successfully apply in universities of the UK, you need to fulfill the following basic eligibility requirements:
- A bachelor's degree in law, sociology, politics, economics, social policy, psychology, history; or another subject relevant.
- IELTS or TOEFL test scores as proof of English language proficiency
Eligibility for Masters in Law in the UK Admission
Minimum scores required in bachelors and IELTS/TOEFL tests for admission in top universities of the UK:
|University||Eligibility||Minimum IELTS Score||Minimum TOEFL iBT Score|
|University of Oxford||Bachelor's (3/4 years) with 65%-75%||7.5||110|
|University of Cambridge||Bachelor's (4 years) with 75%||7.5||110|
|London School of Economics and Political Science||Bachelor's with 65%-75%||7.5||109|
|King's College London||Bachelor's with 65%-70%||7.0||100|
|University College London||Bachelor's degree with 60%||7.5||109|
|University of Edinburgh||Bachelor's with 60%||7.0||100|
|Queen Mary University of London||Bachelor (min 3 years) with 60% to 70%||7.0||100|
|Durham University||Bachelors with 60%-70%||7.0||102|
|University of Manchester||Bachelors in law||7.0||103|
|University of Nottingham||Bachelors with 60% or GPA-3/4||6.5||-|
For an MSc in Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Oxford: If you failed to meet the required standard for an undergraduate degree, having extensive employment experience within the field of criminal justice may be regarded by the Board of Admissions.
Documents Required for Masters in Law in the UK Admission
- Completed application form
- Official transcript(s)
- Proof of English language ability-IELTS, TOEFL iBT scores.
- Statement of purpose/personal statement
- Written work
- References/letters of recommendation
Requirements for UK Student Visa
All international students from outside the UK or EU, need to apply for a Tier 4 UK visa to study in the UK. Tier 4 general student visa is issued to foreign students who are more than 16 years old and want to get enrolled in universities in the UK. Requirements for the same are as follows:
- Details of passport
- Recent passport size photograph
- Criminal record (if any)
- Proof of financial sufficiency
- Unconditional written consent of sponsor to the visa application
- TB test results if the candidate is from a country that has to take the test.
Cost of Studying Masters in Law in UK
Students planning to study abroad must keep in mind that they have to bear three types of costs: Pre-arrival Cost, Tuition Fees, and Cost of Living.
Pre-arrival Cost is incurred before arrival to the study destination, while you are in your home country. These include application fees for universities, student visa, and fees of entrance exams required to study in the UK:
|Type of Expense||Cost (in GBP)|
|UK Student Visa Fee||326|
|University Application Fee||Variable|
Tuition Fees for Masters in Law in UK
The tuition fees for the Masters of Law in UK range between 19,000 GBP to 43,000 GBP. For an Indian applicant, it ranges from 17 lakhs to 40 lakhs as per the current conversion rate (May 2020).
Living Cost in the UK
It’s always a good idea to plan your tentative expenses, especially for study abroad destinations like the UK. With expensive cities like London, the cost of travel and accommodation in the UK is 174% higher compared to India.
The living cost in the UK varies depending on the location. The cost is higher the further South you go whereas it’s comparatively cheaper up North.
Besides rent, there are also non-academic costs that international students living in the UK need to take care of. Tabulated below are few such expenses.
|Cost Involved||Average Expense (in GBP)|
|Telephone and Internet||40|
Other than the above-mentioned expenses you should keep an average of 250 GBP handy for other expenses and emergencies.
Scholarships for Masters in Law in UK
Pursuing a law degree can cost like crazy especially when it’s from a country as expensive as the UK. However luckily, there are plenty of scholarships for international students in the UK that one can opt for to ease up the financial burden. Tabulated below are some of the university-specific scholarships.
|University||Scholarship||Applicable for||Scholarship Value|
|University of Oxford||Oxford-Finnis Graduate Scholarship in Law||PG course in the Law||Course fees and a grant for living costs|
|Felix Scholarships||PG courses||Course fees, a grant for living costs (around £15,100) and one return flight from India to the UK|
|Clarendon-scholarships||Masters courses||5,003 GBP - 15,009 GBP|
|University of Cambridge||Prathiba M Singh Cambridge Scholarship||Indian students in PG Law course||Variable|
|3 Verulam Buildings LLM Scholarship||Students commercial law courses of LLM||10,000 GBP|
|Gates Cambridge Scholarship||PG courses||Variable|
|King's College London||Bosco Tso & Emily Ng Scholarship||LLM law program||22,500 GBP|
|Norman Spink Scholarship||LLM law program||10,000 GBP|
|University College London||UCL Laws Academic Excellence Scholarships||PG Law degrees||10,000 GBP fee reduction|
|University of Edinburgh||Tercentenary Awards for Excellence||PG Law degrees||5,000 GBP|
|Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation Scholarships||Indian students in PG courses||Variable|
|Queen Mary University of London||School of Law International Postgraduate Scholarships||PG Law courses||2,000 GBP|
|Norman Palmer Partial Scholarship||PG Law courses(full time)||1/3 off tuition fees|
|Durham University||Commonwealth Scholarship||PG courses||Variable|
|University of Manchester||School of Social Sciences - India Scholarship for Masters Study||Indian students in PG social sciences||5,000 GBP (fee waiver)|
|Commonwealth Scholarships and Fellowships Plan (CSFP) General Scholarship||PG courses||Variable|
|University of Nottingham||South Asia Postgraduate Excellence Award||Students from South Asia||4,000 GBP of tuition fees|
|Developing Solutions Masters Scholarship||Students from selected Commonwealth countries||50% or 100% of tuition fees|
Find out more scholarships for pursuing masters in the UK here.
Scope of Masters in Law in UK
A law degree is a gateway to a career as a solicitor or barrister, but it's not the only path one can choose. Many options are available for individuals with a Masters in Law. Jobs directly related to law degree include Arbitrator, Barrister, Lawyer, Paralegal, and Legal Executive.
Practising Law in UK with Masters in Law
UK judiciary system is different for all four parts: England, South Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. However, England and Wales have same legal juridiction and courts. The process of becoming barrister and solicitor is also different.
Barristers represent clients in courts and advise them on legal matters. Clinets could be individuals or organisations. They earn an average annual salary of 51,310 GBP (4.9 lakhs INR). Three stages of becoming barrister are as follows:
- Academic Component: A law degree
- Vocational Component: Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC)
- Pupillage: Work-based learning
Solicitors are responsible for providing legal support, advice and services to clients. They can be individuals, private companies, or public sector organisations. To become a solicitor, students are required to complete vocational Legal Practice Course (LPC), undertake a training contract with a law firm and pass a professional skills course. Average salary offered to them in UK is 37,331 GBP (3.5 lakhs INR) per annum
The graphical illustration below describes the distribution of law graduates in various fields in the UK:
Students with Masters in Law in the UK can seek employment in major firms such as Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Linklaters, Slaughter, and May.
Post-Study Work Visa in the UK
From 2021, a two-year stay back policy in the UK will allow international students to stay in the UK for 2 years after completing their degree program and find work. International students need to apply for a Tier 1 post-study work visa to stay back after completing their course. The graduate visa holder can work in the UK and gain some relevant work experience before they go back to their home country.
Practising Law in India with Masters in Law in UK
Indian students also have the option of returning back to the country and parctise as a lawyer. Bar Council of India (BCOI) currently recognizes 35 UK universities offering a law degree. It has been observed that Indian law firms treat new graduates of both the countries equally in terms of salary offered. However, if someone has a 3 to 4 years of experience of working in a UK law firm before returning to India, he/she may get higher paygrade then what is offered to Indian graduates with similar work experience.
The registration process of becoming a lawyer in India with a degree from BCOI recognized UK university are as follows:
- Apply at a State Bar Council forwards application to Bar Council of India
- Pass the all six subjects of the exam
Students not having a degree from a recognized UK university can also practise law in India if approved by Bar Council of India. Entry-level salaries for lawyers in this country are tabulated below:
|Job Role||Average Annual Salary (in INR)|
|Corporate Lawyer||6.8 lakhs|
|Legal Manager||3.8 lakhs|
|Associate Attorney||2.05 lakhs|
|Legal Advisor||2.36 lakhs|
|Legal Executive||2.37 lakhs|
|Legal Counsel||4.91 lakhs|
Coupled with the quality education offered in law by the world's renowned universities of the UK and ever-growing demand for legal professionals, any international student can build their dream law career and also bag a handsome amount of money.
Ques. How many years is LLM in UK?
Ans. A full-time LLM in the UK takes 9 months to 1 year. However, there are also part-time study options which take 2 years. Some flexible part-time Masters in Law in UK may take 5 years.
Ques. How much does LLM cost in UK?
Ans. Although the cost of studying LLM varies depending on the type of course and university, usually the annual course fee for Masters in Law in UK ranges between 19,500 GBP – 43,355 GBP.
Ques. How do I apply for an LLM in the UK?
Ans. You are required to have a bachelor's degree in a field related to law like politics, economics, etc with a minimum of 60% to apply for Masters in Law in UK. International students must also demonstrate proficiency in the English language by submitting a minimum IELTS score of 7.0 or equivalent TOEFL score.
Ques. What are the best law schools in the UK?
Ans. Some of the best law schools in the UK are the University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, London School of Economics and Political Science, Kings College London, and University College London.
Ques. Can you practice law with an LLM in UK?
Ans. The answer is no. You may be able to study Masters in Law without an undergraduate degree in law but you are required to have an LLB degree for pursuing law in the UK.
Ques. How much do lawyers make in the UK?
Ans. Lawyers in the UK earn an average of 84,900 GBP per annum. This amount varies with a year of experience. The paygrade ranges between 26,400 GBP to 211,000 GBP per annum.
Ques. Which university offers the cheapest LLM in UK?
Ans. Among top universties, University of Manchester, University of Nottingham, Durham University and Queen’s Mary University of London offers the cheapest LLM in UK.
Ques. Can I pursue LLM in UK after LLB in India?
Ans. An undergraduate degree in law is required to apply for LLM. So yes, you are eligible to apply for LLM in UK after LLB in India.