How to Apply
All LLM applications should be completed online. Entry requirements for taught postgraduate courses can be found via the links on the individual course pages. You will need to complete all sections of the application process, including:
- the provision of two referees
- full transcripts of your undergraduate marks
- a copy of your degree certificate
- IELTS/TOEFL certificates where necessary.
Our LLM degree is very popular and therefore, places fill up fast. We would strongly encourage all applicants to apply as early as possible for a place in our 2013/14 intake. An early application is advised for applicants who require visas to study in the UK.
Durham Law School is proud of its commitment to the prompt processing of online applications. Although it may be possible to make a conditional offer pending the supply of original documentation, please facilitate the admissions process by supplying documents without delay.
In order to apply for a research degree, you must meet our entry requirements including the provision of a research proposal. Once you have checked that you meet the conditions, your first step should be to make informal contact with a potential supervisor.
The second step in the application process is to complete the online application form.
Please note that all induction events take place in October and the 1st October is the starting date for new research student in Durham Law School.
In order to be admitted, students must satisfy the following criteria:
- You must have a relevant Bachelor's degree or equivalent overseas qualification. Where the degree is in a discipline other than Law, you must demonstrate a sufficiently deep understanding of the relevant areas of the law or legal thought, which will usually require your degree to have included a substantial Law component. Our minimum standard for admission is a good Upper Second Class Honours degree or equivalent. Guidance on equivalent grades from overseas institutions can be found here. For those applying to read for an MPhil or PhD, we normally expect applicants to have a recognised Master's degree (average grade of at least 65% or equivalent) or a Master's degree by research. Those with a Master's degree are expected to provide alternative evidence of the ability to successfully undertake high quality written research.
- If English was not the language of instruction for your degree, you must demonstrate competence in English. Our minimum standard is 7.0 on every component of the IELTS test. Students must achieve this standard before commencing studies.
- You must supply two academic references. (For students who have completed their degree studies a long time ago, we may accept one professional reference and one academic reference. If you think this may apply to you, please seek guidance from the Postgraduate Secretaries.) Applicants should not email references to us themselves. Each reference must be either emailed by the referee directly to us (firstname.lastname@example.org) or posted to us on headed paper in an envelope that has been sealed and signed by the referee (Postgraduate Secretary, Durham Law School, Palatine Centre, Stockton Road, Durham DH1 3LE).
- You must submit a satisfactory research proposal. Please see below.
- We must have the necessary expertise in the School. We therefore request that you make informal contact with a potential supervisor to discuss your application and research proposal at an early stage. You should note, however, that such contact does not necessarily mean that you will eventually be accepted.
- In general, you must be able to undertake your research using resources available via Durham. For example, if you wish to undertake comparative law research, we would expect you to explain in your proposal where you would obtain the materials for this, as the Durham University library has limited materials from non-UK jurisdictions.
Your applications must include the following:
- A proposal for the research project you wish to undertake. Without this your application cannot be considered. The UK system of research degrees is driven by the student's own choice of project, rather than projects being dictated by supervisors.
- The name of the member of academic staff within the Law School whom you believe could act as your primary supervisor. To identify a member of staff please consult the list of potential areas of supervision and then approach the identified person to ask whether they would be willing and able to supervise you. You are advised to discuss your draft proposal with this person in advance of your application. Your application should clearly state with which potential supervisor you have discussed your proposal.
As part of the application process, you may be requested to amend your proposal before we come to a final determination on its suitability.
The research proposal must include some description of the research context, i.e. the state of the current research, including a brief survey of existing academic literature in the area of study. It should set out the research questions to be answered in the thesis and the sources and methods which the students proposes to use. A provisional outline may be appended, but is not necessary.
Preparing Your Application
Before writing your proposal and making your application you may find it very useful to consult the available literature on becoming and being a research student such as:
- P Cryer, The Research Student’s Guide to Success 3rd Rev Ed (2006 Buckingham: Open University Press)
- T Greenfield (ed.), Research Methods for Postgraduates 2nd Ed (2002 London: Arnold)
- D Leonard, A Woman’s Guide to Doctoral Studies (2001 Buckingham: Open University Press)
- R Murray, How to Write a Thesis 2nd Ed (2006 Buckingham: Open University Press)
- E Phillips & D Pugh, How to Get a PhD: A Handbook for Students and Their Supervisors 4th Rev Ed (2005 Buckingham: Open University Press)
- G Wisker, The Postgraduate Research Handbook (2001 Houndsmills: Palgrave)
- D Wilkinson, The Essential Guide to Postgraduate Study (2005 London: Sage)
For more information, please contact the Postgraduate Secretaries.
Durham Law School, Palatine Centre, Stockton Road, Durham DH1 3LE