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LLM (Master of Laws) in Property Law

An LLM (Master of Laws) in Property Law encompasses the study of legal rights and obligations surrounding the ownership of property. Knowledge of both statutory and case law is combined to provide students with a current picture of the ever-changing legal landscape. Study of this discipline offers a sound grounding in various facets of property ownership, including freehold, leasehold and legal covenants. A focus on research skills ensure students leave with transferable skills vital for success in industry. In America this is often referred to as an LLM in Real Estate Law.

The comprehensive course structures allow students to engage in modules that develop their interests in both commercial and domestic property law. A wide range of issues will be covered in an LLM in Property Law, including tenancy agreements, sale of property, inheritance, searches of the land registry and squatters’ rights. Property law is a varied and developing field that has adapted to the challenges of technological advancement. Of particular interest to many students is the rapidly expanding area of intellectual property law, which offers the opportunity to study ownership of ideas and the trade marking process. 

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LLM in Property Law – who's it for?

Property LawAn LLM is a highly respected qualification in itself, with significant commercial applications, meaning there are many reasons for students to opt for this speciailism. It is particularly useful for current legal practitioners, new graduates and realtors or estate agents. With competition for graduate legal jobs increasing year on year, an LLM in Property Law can help applicants to stand out from the crowd to potential employers and demonstrate commercial awareness. Similarly landlords and business owners will also find the course a highly beneficial means of improving legal knowledge and understanding.

The LLM in Property Law can be studied on a full- or part-time basis. Plus, the availability of distance learning options by some institutions ensures the course is accessible to students across the globe.

Where can you study an LLM in Property Law?

Currently there are no courses in the UK offering a specific LLM in Property Law, although study of the module at this level is available as part of a general LLM degree. For students interested in specifically the study of Intellectual Property law, options are available with courses at the prestigious King’s College London and Nottingham Law School.

Outside of the UK study of an LLM in Property Law is available at several US institutions, including the University of Miami School of Law and John Marshall Law School, which both offer distance-learning programs. For those willing to relocate, the California Western School of Law (CWSL) in San Diego has a specially designed course that has been adapted to introduce students from other nationalities to the US property law system.

What qualifications do you need to study an LLM in Property Law?

Entry requirements to study an LLM in Property Law will vary depending on the institution, but as a general rule a Law LLB undergraduate degree with a 2.2 classification or above is necessary. Some institutions will accept a decent grade in another law-related subject. English language proficiency is also essential, with high IELTS and TOEFL scores a prerequisite for international students. As the academic standard required can vary, potential students are advised to view the institution’s website or contact the university admissions team directly. You can find out more about English proficiency requirements here.

For entry to US-based courses, a JD degree from an accredited law school is required, or for foreign students an undergraduate LLB degree. All courses require letters of recommendation from previous academic tutors alongside a satisfactory personal statement.

An LLM in Property Law advances careers in...

Real estate

Town planning

Commercial letting

Building and construction

Legal services

5 fascinating facts about Property Law

1. Historically in the UK all property was owned by the monarch and was distributed to favoured servants through use of the feudal system.

2. Until the Married Women's Property Act in 1882 women were not allowed to own property in their own right.

3. In the past certain groups of individuals were prevented from having any rights of property ownership, and were themselves regarded as property – eg slaves.

4. Due to the Occupier's Liability Act of 1957, if a trespasser becomes injured, the owner of the property can be liable to pay damages.

5. The Napoleonic Code, written in 1804, was the first attempt by a government to codify principles of property ownership into a statute.

Recommended reading

Property Law: Cases and Materials by Smith & Dawsonera

New Perspectives On Property Law: Obligations and Restitution by Hudson

Land, Indigenous Peoples and Conflict by A Tidwell & B Zellen

Property Law by Phillip Kenny and Russell Hewitson

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