Postgraduate study

Law LLM by Research

Awards: LLM by Research

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Law

The LLM by Research is an excellent opportunity to focus on a period of dedicated research and can be a bridge to doctoral study.

As a student on this programme, you will consolidate and build on the legal research and writing skills you acquired during previous legal studies, by planning and completing a dissertation of up to 30,000 words. You will work independently but under specialist academic supervision, within your chosen field of law.

The topic of your dissertation can be chosen from any of the School’s legal research fields in which we have supervisory expertise, including commercial law, criminal law and evidence, criminal justice, EU law, IP, media and technology law, international law, legal history and legal theory, medical law, private law, and public law.

The programme will enhance and develop your ability to manage and engage with both primary legal sources and academic literature on your chosen topic, present critical and engaged legal arguments, and maintain the coherence of those arguments over a substantial piece of written work.

The framework of the LLM by Research allows you time and intellectual space to work in your chosen field, and to refine and develop this initial phase of the project for future doctoral work.

The programme does not have formal coursework elements, other than initial training seminars alongside PhD students. This makes the LLM by Research a particularly attractive option for those wishing to undertake postgraduate research on a part-time basis, while pursuing legal practice or other employment.

As a research student at Edinburgh Law School you will have access to a wide range of training and support to help you achieve your best work with us.

As a postgraduate research student, you will be able to draw upon a fantastic range of resources and facilities to support your research while at Edinburgh Law School. The Law School’s library is one of the best of its kind in the UK, while the University’s Main Library has one of the largest and most important collections in Britain. All University of Edinburgh postgraduates also have access to the legal collection of the National Library of Scotland.

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in law, or a social science subject.

Entry to this programme is competitive. Meeting minimum requirements for consideration does not guarantee an offer of study.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

For 2020 entry we accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.5 in each module)

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 23 in each module)

  • PTE Academic: total 67 (at least 61 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)

  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 176 in each module)

  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

For 2021 entry we will accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 7.0 in the writing component and 6.5 in each other module)

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 25 in writing and 23 in each other module)

  • PTE Academic: total 67 (at least 67 in writing and at least 61 in each of the other "Communicative Skills" sections)

  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 185 in writing and 176 in each other module)

  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about our language requirements:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
LLM by ResearchLaw1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
LLM by ResearchLaw2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees

Featured funding

*School of Law funding opportunities

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Postgraduate Office (Research)
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 650 2022
  • Contact: phd.law@ed.ac.uk
  • School of Law (Postgraduate Office)
  • Old College
  • South Bridge
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9Y

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible.

Start date Application deadline
14 September 2020 30 June 2020
11 January 2021 30 September 2020

*(Revised 14 November 2019 to include application deadline information.)

You must submit two references with your application.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Postgraduate Office (Research)
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 650 2022
  • Contact: phd.law@ed.ac.uk
  • School of Law (Postgraduate Office)
  • Old College
  • South Bridge
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9Y