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LLM Masters in Law by Research

Gain legal research skills and specialist knowledge of an area of law with this masters by research degree. At various stages in your legal career, a research degree can help you develop professionally and improve your career prospects in this competitive sector.

Course length 1-2 Year(s)
Location Collegiate Campus

Course description

Demonstrate your aptitude for legal research and develop a specialist knowledge in a specific aspect of law with this specialist research degree.

If you work in the legal profession, a masters qualification can contribute to your professional development. On this course you choose to research an area of law which means you can specialise in a field and enhance your career prospects.

If you work with, or have an interest in, law, it is likely to boost your employability in an increasingly competitive market. It is a benefit if you are looking to join the legal profession as a solicitor or barrister and want to stand out from the crowd of undergraduates.

You choose the area of research for your thesis, although we are available to provide guidance. It is ideal if you want to become a specialist in a particular area of law or to develop your interest in a specific legal topic. You develop your research skills as well as the ability to produce in-depth and persuasive academic writing.

During the course you work largely independently but you are guided by an experienced supervisor in a supportive environment. You can access legal materials in our dedicated law library in the learning centre, which is open 24-hours a day during term time. Our IT systems are set up so that most of your learning and research can be done anywhere off campus where you have access to a suitable internet connection.

Entry requirements

2017 entry requirements

Normally you need to have a first or upper second class honours degree which involved the study of law or legal philosophy.

You are required to submit a proposal which specifies • the research question(s) to be addressed • your initial ideas • the legal or policy issues to be examined • an indication of the relevant literature • an outline of the methodology to be used.

We interview all applicants and you will be asked to provide a sample of your work.

If English is not your first language, you are required to have an average IELTS score of 7.0. This must include a written English score of 7.0 and a score in all other categories of at least 6.0. If your English language skill is currently below IELTS 7.0 or equivalent we recommend you consider a Sheffield Hallam University Pre-sessional English course which will enable you to achieve an equivalent English score

If you do not have such academic qualifications we may consider your application individually, based on your personal, professional and work experience, and other formal qualifications. You may also be able to claim credit points which can reduce the amount of time it takes to complete your qualification at Sheffield Hallam. Find out more

International and European entry qualifications

If you are an International or non-UK European student, you can find out more about the country specific qualifications we accept on our international qualifications page.

Course structure

Full-time – one year
Part-time – two years
Typically starts in September or January, but it may be possible have a different start date

Typical modules may include

Course design

The content of this course depends on the particular area of law you choose to study. It is agreed by your supervisor at the start of the course based on the pre-entry submissions you have made.

Successful completion of the course requires the submission of a 30,000 thesis and an oral or approved alternative examination.


Our staff have particular areas of expertise where they can offer supervision for study at masters level. See our staff pages for further details – https://www.shu.ac.uk/about-us/academic-departments/law-and-criminology/staff.

Assessment Assessment is via the submission of a 30,000 word thesis, and a short viva examination, on an agreed legal topic.


Following this degree you may choose to pursue a law-related career in places such as • the Crown Prosecution Service • Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs • the police service • the Trading Standards Institute • youth offending teams • advice centres.

A masters qualification in law is widely respected across many professions and therefore your career options can be varied. Opportunities can be found in • academia • politics • journalism • social work • the civil service.

You may find your skills also translate well in business and commerce within national or multi-national companies.

Holding a masters degree is now a significant requirement for study at doctoral level. It provides a recognised pathway to the PhD route and a research-based masters qualification provides an opportunity for extended and in-depth study which is lost in traditional taught-based degrees.


Home / EU student

Please note tuition fees may increase in each subsequent academic year of your course, subject to government regulations on fee increases and in line with inflation. More information can be found in the ‘Tuition Fee Increases’ section of our Fees Regulations (PDF, 2.10 MB)

2017/18 academic year

Full-time – typically £4,195 a year
Part-time – typically £2,098 a year

Fees are aligned to Research Councils UK (RCUK) fees.

Postgraduate loans of up to £10,000 are available across the majority of subject areas.

International student

2017/18 academic year

Typically £13,250 for the course

Additional course costs

This link allows you to view estimated costs associated with the main activities on specific courses. These are estimates and, as such, are only an indication of additional course costs. Actual costs can vary greatly depending on the choices you make during your course.

Additional costs information

How to apply

Complete the application form available at www.shu.ac.uk/study/form

Any offer of a place to study is subject to your acceptance of the University’s Terms and Conditions and student Regulations.

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