Postgraduate study

Law LLM by Research

Awards: LLM by Research

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Law

The Edinburgh Law School is a vibrant, collegial and enriching community of legal, sociolegal and criminology researchers and offers an excellent setting for doctoral research.

Our doctoral researchers are key to the School’s research activities and we work hard to ensure that they are fully engaged with staff and projects across all of our legal disciplines.

You will find opportunities in the following fields:

  • company and commercial law
  • comparative law
  • constitutional and administrative law
  • criminal law
  • criminology and criminal justice
  • environmental law
  • European law, policy and institutions
  • European private law
  • evidence and procedure
  • family law
  • gender and sexuality
  • human rights law
  • information technology law
  • intellectual property law
  • international law
  • labour law
  • legal theory
  • media law
  • medical law and ethics
  • obligations
  • contract delict
  • unjustified enrichment
  • property, trusts and successions
  • Roman law and legal history
  • socio-legal studies
  • tax law

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.

Postgraduate researchers enjoy full access to the University’s research skills training which the Law School complements with a tailored research and wider skills programme.

The training programme in Semester One (six seminars) includes workshops on research design, writing and research ethics.

Postgraduate researchers are able to draw upon a fantastic range of resources and facilities to support their research.

The Law School has one of the most significant academic law libraries in the UK which offers outstanding digital resources alongside a world-leading print collection (almost 60,000 items including a unique collection for Scots law research).

You will also have access to the University’s Main Library which has one of the largest and most important collections in Britain, as well as the legal collection of the National Library of Scotland.

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 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

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
LLM by Research1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
LLM by Research2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees

Featured funding

*School of Law funding opportunities

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Postgraduate Research Office
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 650 2022
  • Contact: phd.law@ed.ac.uk
  • School of Law (Postgraduate Research Office)
  • Old College
  • South Bridge
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9Y
Programme start dates Application deadlines
12 September 2022 31 May 2022
9 January 2023 30 September 2022

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
13 September 30 June
17 January 30 September

You must submit two references with your application.

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

Further information

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