Key information

Start date
Duration
1 year
Start of programme
September
Attendance mode
Full-time or part-time
Location
Campus
Fees

Home student fees: £15,130 per year
Overseas student fees: £25,740 per year

Please note that fees go up each year. 
See postgraduate fees for further details.

Course code
M3U1
Entry requirements

A 2:1 degree in a relevant undergraduate degree.  

If you have a lower degree classification, your application may be considered if you can present a strong case, either through relevant work experience, other legal qualifications, or a strong supporting statement. References are not required, but can help build a stronger application if you fall below the 2:1 requirement or have non-traditional qualifications. 

See international entry requirements and English language requirements.

Course overview

Our LLM (Master of Laws) programme gives you the opportunity to study at our vibrant School of Law with its unique focus on the legal systems and legal challenges of the Global South generally and Asia, Africa and the Middle East in particular.

The structure of the LLM allows you to create your own programme of study, choosing from a wide array of modules, including those in comparative law, international law, law and development, commercial and trade law, human rights, environmental law, Islamic law and dispute resolution.

In addition, students may be able undertake modules outside of the School of Law, opening up SOAS’s array of world-leading options in languages, cultures, arts, humanities, politics, economics and finance, and beyond.

Students complete the LLM by undertaking a dissertation, developing an extended research project on a topic of their choice. 

LLM (Master of Laws) and Specialisms

Depending on the modules you take, you will graduate with an LLM (Master of Laws) or on a specialist pathway. Our specialist pathways are:

Why study LLM (Master of Laws) at SOAS?

  • SOAS is ranked in the UK top 20 (QS World University Rankings 2023)
  • We're ranked 6th in the UK for employability (QS World University Rankings 2023)
  • Our research publications have been rated first in the UK - and our School of Law rated sixth in the UK - in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021

Why you?

The LLM (Master of Laws) programme is ideal for LLB graduates or legal professionals who wish to expand their knowledge of, and critical engagement with, law, particularly as it relates to the Global South.

You will join an international alumni of graduates from the LLM at SOAS, many of whom are now working at the UN, in NGOs, in government, in private practice, in policy work or in academia.

Global Partnerships

This programme can be offered as part of a dual LLM degree with a number of our partnering Universities. 

For further information about our LLM Dual degree partnerships, please visit Global Partnerships.

Structure

Students must take modules to a total value of 180 credits, consisting of a dissertation (60 credits) and 120 credits of taught modules. Taught modules are worth either 15 or 30 credits. The dissertation topic will be connected to one of the taught LLM modules studied.

Please note that not all modules listed will be available every year.

Important notice

The information on the website reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session. The modules are indicative options of the content students can expect and are/have been previously taught as part of these programmes. However, this information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change. 

Compulsory module

Guided modules

Teaching and learning

All Masters programmes consist of 180 credits, made up of taught modules of 30 or 15 credits, taught over 10 or 20 weeks, and a dissertation of 60 credits. The programme structure shows which modules are compulsory and which optional.

We recommend that part-time students have between two-and-a-half and three days a week free to pursue their course of study. 

Contact hours

As a rough guide, 1 credit equals approximately 10 hours of work. Most of this will be independent study, including reading and research, preparing coursework, revising for examinations and so on. It will also include class time, which may include lectures, seminars and other classes. Some subjects, such as learning a language, have more class time than others. At SOAS, most postgraduate modules have a one hour lecture and a one hour seminar every week, but this does vary.

Knowledge and understanding

  • Students will acquire specialist knowledge of the chosen subject areas of law.
  • This includes, but is not necessarily limited to, knowledge and understanding of the following:
    1. the theoretical and practical underpinnings of law;
    2. the context in which law is made, interpreted, adjudicated, and amended;
    3. the role played by law in different social and economic environments;
    4. the role and function of legal institutions;
    5. the weight and significance of different sources and methodologies.
  • Students will develop knowledge of how to locate relevant materials and assess their relevance and/or importance.

Intellectual (thinking) skills

  • Students should develop rigor in analysis and assessment of legal arguments.
  • Students should develop the ability to understand, summarise and critically assess differing perspectives on theoretical debates.
  • Students should develop independence of thought and the confidence to challenge the accepted wisdom.
  • Students should learn to identify issues and formulate questions for further research through independent work.
  • Students will be encouraged to bring to bear their own previous experience and knowledge in addressing legal issues in an interdisciplinary manner.

Subject-based practical skills

The programme will help students develop the ability to:

  • Write clear research essays and dissertations.
  • Research in a variety of specialized research libraries and institutes and online, and retrieve, sift and select information from a variety of sources.
  • Present seminar papers and defend the arguments therein.
  • Discuss ideas introduced during seminars.
  • Develop essay and dissertation research questions.
  • Read legal source materials rapidly and critically.
  • Present legal arguments in moots and debates.

Transferable skills

The programme will enable students to:

  • Communicate effectively in writing.
  • Structure and communicate ideas and arguments effectively both orally and in writing.
  • Read and comprehend significant quantities of reading rapidly and effectively and develop critical faculties.
  • Find and use a variety of written and digital materials, especially legal materials, in libraries and research institutes.
  • Present (non – assessed) material orally.
  • Develop teamwork skills.

SOAS Library

SOAS Library is one of the world's most important academic libraries for the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, attracting scholars from all over the world. The Library houses over 1.2 million volumes, together with significant archival holdings, special collections and a growing network of electronic resources.

Scholarships

Title Deadline date
Felix Non-Indian Scholarship
Felix Scholarships
Sasakawa Studentships
SOAS Master's Scholarships
Tibawi Trust Award

Employment

SOAS Law graduates leave SOAS as civic minded and critically engaged individuals who can effectively contribute to their communities and societies. With a thorough understanding of the legal dimensions underlying many of our global challenges today, our Law students are valued by employers due to their analytical skills, specialist knowledge, and global perspective.

SOAS Law graduates have found the LLM a vital boost to their work as legal professionals and that this Law Master provides an excellent base for further study towards a research degree such as a PhD leading to an academic career.

Recent graduates have been hired by organisations including:

  • PwC LLP
  • BLM Law
  • BloombergNEF
  • British Medical Association
  • Clifford Chance
  • DAC Beachcroft LLP
  • Department for Work and Pensions
  • EY
  • HM Treasury
  • Latham & Watkins
  • Legal Cheek
  • Linklaters
  • Simpson Millar Solicitors
  • The Economist
  • Travers Smith
  • Vodafone
  • World Cancer Research Fund

Find out about our Careers Service.