The Master of Laws (LLM) degree requires at least one year of full-time study, or the equivalent in part-time study. It entails completion of a thesis, and there is no requirement for coursework. The aim is to develop in a candidate the skills needed to understand recent developments in the Law. Applicants must have a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) or Bachelor of Laws with Honours (LLB(Hons)) degree, or alternative qualifications and experience acceptable to the University.
While it is not a requirement that the findings presented in the thesis shall represent a substantial contribution to knowledge in the field of Law, a candidate is expected to choose an appropriate topic that can be completed with 12 months of full-time study, conduct the research professionally and appropriately, and report the findings clearly, accurately and succinctly.
This degree prepares candidates for employment in law firms, local and national government agencies, commerce and higher education. It is also a recognised entry qualification for the PhD degree.
Regulations for the Degree of Master of Laws (LLM)
Admission to the Programme
- Admission to the programme shall be subject to the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities) on the advice of the Dean of Law.
- Every applicant shall either
Structure of the Programme
- A candidate shall present a thesis embodying the results of research undertaken under supervision.
- The research should be of a kind that a diligent and competent student should complete within one year of full-time study.
Duration of the Programme
A candidate shall normally follow a programme of study for the equivalent of not less than one year of full-time study and not more than two years of full-time study. Exceptions shall be permitted only with the approval of the Dean of Law.
Examination of the Thesis
- The Dean of Law (or nominee) shall appoint a Convener of Examiners who shall oversee the thesis examination.
- The thesis shall be assessed by at least two examiners, at least one of whom shall be external to the University.
- The candidate's supervisor shall not be an examiner but may make a report on the work of the candidate to the Convener of Examiners.
- Each examiner shall supply a written report on the thesis and recommend a mark and grade on the basis of the thesis as submitted, and an overall result selected from the options as specified in clause (e) below.
- examiners may recommend that a thesis:
- be accepted without requiring amendments;
- be accepted subject to minor corrections being made at the discretion, and to the satisfaction, of the Convener of Examiners;
- does not meet the criteria for the award of the degree, but may be revised and resubmitted for examination;
- does not meet the criteria for the award of the degree, and should be rejected without right of submission.
- Amendments (regulation 4(e)(ii)) and revisions (regulation 4 (e)(iii)) shall be completed by a specified date to be determined by the Dean of Law.
- A candidate shall be permitted to revise and resubmit a thesis for examination once only.
- If a revised and resubmitted thesis is finally accepted, the result shall be either 'Pass' or 'Fail' (i.e. ungraded) and without eligibility for the award of the degree with distinction or credit.
- Where examiners cannot agree on a result, the Convener of Examiners should so report to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities) or nominee who shall arrive at a decision after consulting a referee who should normally be external to the University.
Level of Award of the Degree
The degree may be awarded with distinction or with credit.
The Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities) on the advice of the Dean of Law may in exceptional circumstances approve a course of study which does not comply with these regulations.