Postgraduate study

Comparative and European Private Law LLM

Awards: LLM

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

Drawing on both the civil and common law tradition, this unique programme offers the ideal platform for you to develop expertise in core areas of private law from a comparative perspective, and to benefit from research-led teaching from legal scholars who are recognised as experts in their field.

It provides you with the opportunity to obtain an advanced qualification that is both academically rigorous and professionally beneficial, by combining the comparative study of key areas of private law with the dynamics of European harmonisation initiatives.

The programme is particularly suited to those who have studied a range of private law subjects at undergraduate level, although it is also open to those whose undergraduate law degree has combined other specialisations.

This programme offers a wide range of subjects that deal with various aspects of private law from a comparative and European perspective, as well as courses on legal theory and legal history. In addition, you can select courses from a wide list of options offered by the School, allowing you to tailor the LLM to your specific interests.

You must complete 180 credits of study – 60 credits are taken in the compulsory dissertation and the remaining 120 credits are taken in taught courses. You will choose a minimum of 80 credits from the core courses and up to 40 credits of option courses.

Please note that due to unforeseen circumstances or lack of demand for particular courses, we may not be able to run all courses as advertised come the start of the academic year.

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
LLM1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2021/22
LLM2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2021/22

This programme is designed to equip students with recognised Masters-level training in European Private Law.

You will receive advanced legal training enabling you to identify and interpret problems relating to private law using tools of comparative analysis.

As well as providing training in legal research, you will gain an understanding of the main challenges for modern comparative law, including issues of European harmonisation. The programme will also enable students to progress to the PhD should they so wish.

This programme will provide you with an excellent foundation for both doctoral research in the growing field of comparative and European private law and legal practice in transnational law firms, or employment in international organisations.

These entry requirements are for the 2022/23 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2023/24 academic year will be published on 3 October 2022.

A minimum UK 2:1 honours degree from a UK university, or its international equivalent, in law.

We will also consider candidates with a degree in a related discipline which includes relevant prior study.

Supporting your application

Relevant work experience is not required but may increase your chances of acceptance.

Relevant professional qualifications will be considered.

Preference will be given to those with grades above the minimum requirements due to strong competition for places on this programme.

Students from China

This degree is Band C.

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

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified*:

  • IELTS Academic: total 7.0 with at least 7.0 in the writing component and 6.5 in each other component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 100 with at least 25 in writing and 23 in each other component.
  • CAE and CPE: total 185 with at least 185 in writing and 176 in each other component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: 70 overall with at least 70 in the writing component and 62 in each other component.

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, Trinity ISE or PTE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

(*Revised 17 November 2021 to add accepted PTE Academic qualifications.)

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
LLM1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
LLM2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments.

The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on:

  • your programme
  • the duration of your studies
  • your tuition fee status

Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Edinburgh Law School Postgraduate Office
  • Old College
  • South Bridge
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9YL

Due to high demand, the school operates a number of selection deadlines. We will make a small number of offers to the most outstanding candidates on an ongoing basis, but hold the majority of applications until the next published selection deadline when we will offer a proportion of the places available to applicants selected through a competitive process.

Deadlines for applicants applying to study in 2022/23:

Round Application deadline Places awarded by
1 06 December 2021 20 January 2022
2 07 February 2022 06 April 2022
3 18 April 2022 01 June 2022
4 30 June 2022 15 July 2022

Please note that the deadline for meeting the conditions of an offer is 18 August 2022.

You must submit one reference with your application.

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

Further information

  • Edinburgh Law School Postgraduate Office
  • Old College
  • South Bridge
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9YL