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Posted March 23, 2023

University of Oxford BCL – is it the same as an LLM?

University of OxfordThe University of Oxford does not offer a Master of Laws but it offers two courses which are similar to a taught LLM – one of these is the BCL.

BCL Oxford top facts 

BCL tuition fees: Home students, £30,180; International students, £45,590
Application fee: £75
Number of BCL applicants: 660 per year
Number of PG law courses: 9 taught; 7 research
Law school undergraduate students: 720
Student/faculty ratio: 7:1
Eligibility criteria: First-class degree in law; minimum GPA 3.7 out of 4
Minimum IELTS: 7.5
Minimum TOEFL: 110
Course start date: late September

University of Oxford BCL

Studying an LLM at Oxford Law Faculty

The University of Oxford does not offer a Master of Laws degree, instead it offers two courses which are similar to a taught LLM at other universities.

The obvious postgraduate programs on offer that are equivalent to an LLM at the Oxford Faculty of Law are the Bachelor of Civil Law (BCL) and Magister Juris (MJur) courses. These postgraduate law courses have additional tutorials as well as the seminars and lectures which are usually found on LLM programs.

The University of Oxford also offers the MSc in Law and Finance (MLF), a unique program offered jointly by the Oxford Law Faculty and the Saïd Business School. This program is designed to enhance knowledge of relevant economic and financial contexts and provide students with advanced interdisciplinary understanding of the field.

The Oxford BCL

The University of Oxford’s Faculty of Law prides itself on its unique educational approach, where its postgraduate law programs are taught through tutorials as well as seminars and lectures.

Oxford’s Bachelor of Civil Law (BCL) is one of the most highly regarded taught masters-level qualifications in the common law world, and it is designed for practitioners and academics with a common law background. All Oxford BCL graduates get an opportunity to develop their skills in a specialised area of law and study legal practices relevant to the modern world. The tutorials on the Oxford BCL offer students an opportunity to participate and present ideas with leading academics to gain practical experiences of the modern world.

The BCL program offers students the chance to choose four courses from a list of 40 options, including the option to write a dissertation. Here are the courses that are currently available, please note, not all options are available every year

  • Advanced and Comparative Criminal Law
  • Advanced Property and Trusts
  • Business Taxation in Global Economy
  • Civilian Foundations of Contract Law
  • Commercial Negotiation and Mediation
  • Commercial Remedies
  • Comparative Constitutional Law
  • Constitutional design and constitution-making
  • Comparative Contract Law in Europe
  • Comparative Copyright
  • Comparative Corporate Governance
  • Comparative Corporate Law
  • Comparative Equality Law
  • Comparative Human Rights
  • Comparative Public Law
  • Competition Law
  • Conflict of Laws
  • Constitutional Principles of the EU
  • Constitutional Theory
  • Constitutionalism in Asia
  • Corporate Control: Law and Finance
  • Corporate Finance Law
  • Corporate Insolvency Law
  • Corporate Tax Law and Policy
  • Criminal Justice, Security and Human Rights
  • Dissertation - BCL/MJur/MLF
  • European Business Regulation: the Law of the EU's Internal Market
  • Families and the State: Adult relationships
  • Families and the State: Children and the Law
  • Human Rights at Work
  • Incentivising Innovation
  • International Commercial Arbitration
  • International Criminal Law
  • International Dispute Settlement
  • International Economic Law
  • International Environmental Law
  • International Human Rights Law
  • International Law and Armed Conflict
  • International Law of the Sea
  • Jurisprudence and Political Theory
  • Law and Computer Science
  • Law and Society in Medieval England
  • Law in Society
  • Legal Concepts in Environmental Law
  • Legal Concepts in Financial Law
  • Medical Law and Ethics
  • Modern Legal History
  • Philosophical Foundations of the Common Law
  • Philosophy, Law and Politics
  • Principles of Civil Procedure
  • Principles of Financial Regulation
  • Principles of Intellectual Property Law
  • Private Law and Fundamental Rights
  • Regulation
  • Relationship to “Law and Computer Science” option
  • Restitution of Unjust Enrichment
  • Roman Law (Delict)
  • Taxation of Trusts and Global Wealth
  • Trade Marks and Brands
  • Transnational Commercial Law

University of Oxford

The Oxford Law Faculty

The Faculty of Law at the University of Oxford is one of the largest in the UK, comprising a federation of 30 law schools within the University of Oxford's colleges.

Oxford Law Faculty offers a unique educational experience that distinguishes it from other law schools by offering graduate degrees that are taught in both small tutorials and classes, including the BCL, MJur and the MLF. Additionally, the Faculty of Law at Oxford has the largest doctoral program in Law in the English-speaking world.

The Faculty of Law at Oxford also provides an exceptional mooting program, which enables undergraduate and postgraduate students to engage in a diverse array of competitions, both internally and externally. The opportunities that this provides can be very advantageous in the students’ future careers.

As a law school, Oxford ranks among the best in the world, with courses that aim to enhance students' comprehension of legal reasoning, develop their abilities to analyse legal situations critically, and foster students' confidence in presenting and discussing their interpretations. Graduates from the Oxford Faculty of Law are likely to become leaders in their chosen fields, serving as an inspiration to lawyers worldwide.

Oxford Law Faculty teaching staff

Oxford Law Faculty comprises of over 150 legal scholars, drawn from both the individual colleges and the University of Oxford itself. The faculty and teaching staff in the law department comprises a diverse set of industry experts, professors and academics who have a collective aim to ensure the best possible learning experience for their student body.

The academic staff’s strong command of legal research mirrors that of the department as a whole, with faculty members belonging to a wide range of legal areas and jurisdictions, including constitutional law, public law, international law, commercial law and criminology. 

The Oxford Law Faculty admits and offers support to a diverse student body from all over the world, boasting a student-to-faculty ratio of approximately 7:1.

University of Oxford

An international perspective

A third of the student body at the University of Oxford is made of international students from more than 138 nationalities. 48% of the academic staff also come from across the globe.

The University of Oxford is at the forefront in studying topics of worldwide interest, and the challenges of globalisation alike. The university is an integral part of the International Alliance of Research Universities, a collaboration that brings together a shared vision of empowering and educating future world leaders. Its students benefit from various study abroad opportunities, worldwide internships and an unparalleled international experience. 

There are more than 200 cultural societies at the University of Oxford that can help those away from home feel more comfortable in a new environment.

The University of Oxford also has an academic support department and language centre which are both on hand to help students improve their academic writing capabilities, this can be particularly beneficial for those whose first language isn’t English. 

BCL application process

There are a number of steps involved in successfully submitting an application to the University of Oxford’s BCL program. It is recommended that you start your application at the earliest opportunity and submit it at least two weeks before the deadline. To start your application, visit the course page and click the 'Apply' button.

International students who require a visa or Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) number are encouraged to apply even earlier. If there are entry places still available by March, applications may still be considered, but will not be eligible for scholarships. 

Each course has specific indicators on its page, and this will either show as ‘Open to applications’, ‘Closing to applications’, ‘Closed to applications’ or ‘Admissions via separate process’

With the University of Oxford’s academic standards being exceptional, only those with outstanding first law degrees are admitted to a postgraduate law course. Applicants are expected to register three references who can give an informed view of their suitability to study the course.

Supporting documents, including official transcripts and a CV/resume are required as a part of the application.

A final decision is usually shared with the applicant 8-10 weeks after the deadline. 

University of Oxford

BCL fees, funding and financial aid

The annual tuition fees for the Oxford BCL students who are residents of the UK is £27,460 and the course fees for international students is £41,480. This covers the cost of teaching, university facilities and academic support.

The living costs, accommodation and any extra charges are not included in this amount, so students, both UK residents and international, need to ensure adequate funds to support living. The general monthly expenditure in Oxford ranges between £1,290 and £1,840 – more details can be found on the university's funding page.

The University of Oxford offers academically able students various scholarships and in most cases students will be automatically considered for scholarships for which they may be eligible. 

Other law courses to study at Oxford Faculty of Law

The University of Oxford Faculty of Law is among the most reputable institutions for research programs in law in the English-speaking world, in fact Oxford’s reputation for masters-level legal education has few equals.

Oxford Law Faculty offers multiple taught and research programs with a variety of legal fields to specialise in – the postgraduate taught courses on offer are:

  • Magister Juris (MJur) – counterpart to BCL for students from civil law background
  • MSc in Criminology and Criminal Justice(full-time/part-time)
  • MSc in Intellectual Property (part-time)
  • MSc in International Human Rights Law (part-time)
  • MSc in Law and Finance
  • MSc in Taxation (part-time)
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Intellectual Property Law and Practice (part-time)
  • MSt in Legal Research

The postgraduate research degrees available are:

  • MPhil in Law
  • MPhil in Criminology
  • MPhil in Socio-Legal Studies
  • DPhil in Law
  • DPhil in Criminology (full-time/part-time)
  • DPhil in Socio-Legal Studies

University of Oxford

Law societies at Oxford

The University of Oxford is home to a range of societies which are university-wide, such as Oxford Law Society, the Oxford Bar Society, Oxford Junior Lawyers Against Poverty and Oxford Women in Law Society, there are also multiple college law societies.

Each college law society will organise networking dinners and guest speakers throughout the academic year. Some dinners are organised with alumni, tutors or speakers from the industry, thus providing opportunities for students to interact and build a strong network. 

The entire list of college law societies can be found here – these societies enable students to engage in discussions with peers as well as alumni to gain practical experiences through relevant and intersting activities.

Student life at Oxford

In an extremely competitive educational landscape, only the absolute best graduate students can make it to Oxford. The University of Oxford has been ranked as the best university in the world by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings for seven consecutive years. 

The University of Oxford has a strong Student Union, which enables students to connect with the community. The Oxford University Student Union (OUSU) is the representative voice for students at Oxford who are committed to empowering the students. The OUSU manages communication between the community residents and students to ensure safety and convenience of living for students.

Staff and management at the University of Oxford deeply value curiosity and commitment to excellence from their law students. The academic faculty also provides access to invaluable careers support and a guidance team to ensure that the student body is always kept up to date with exclusive resources and opportunities. 

The city of Oxford

One of the most enriching experiences about studying at the University of Oxford comes from the fact that the charming colleges are spread across the beautiful city. Situated towards the south of England, the university is not just a hub for science and innovation; it also has deep-rooted cultural heritage that is unlike any other, except perhaps Cambridge.

The modern, bustling city of Oxford is also an inspirational place to live and study, boasting a multitude of museums, art galleries and performance spaces across the city that blends a holistic learning approach within the local communities. Nearby countryside is also easily accessible, as is Oxford’s famous tradition of rowing and punting with breath-taking views of the waterways.

Much of the city’s population is made of young students and professionals who add to its charm and unique culture. There is little to worry about in terms of safety and security, as Oxford ranks in the top safest student cities in the UK. 

Contact information

The Faculty of Law
University of Oxford
St Cross Building
St Cross Road
Oxford, OX1 3UL

Telephone: +44 1865 271491 



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