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LLM (Master of Laws) in Civil Law

An LLM in Civil Law is an internationally recognised program designed to teach students about the relationship between organisations and individuals. The syllabus deals with the rights of individuals in law and what their legal options are in relation to the governing laws in a specific country. If a person suffers as the result of an accident at work, or feels a contract is unfair, or has a dispute regarding a property, then civil laws are exercised. Legal professionals who have an LLM in Civil Law are qualified to help settle these kinds of disputes, and then negotiate a compensation payment or another agreement to the benefit of their client. 

Although Civil Law does share some common ground with Common Law is that rather than following a precedent that has been previously set in a legal dispute, a judge will have more freedom to interpret the text of a statute independently for each individual case, thereby rendering outcomes much less predictable.

Find LLM programs in Civil Law

Number crunching the LLM in Civil Law

Civil Law1.4 million+ civil claims make it to court in the UK every year

100+ LLM programs in the UK that include elements of Civil Law

56% of people working in Public Law are women according to the Law Society

LLM in Civil Law – who's it for?

It usually takes a year to complete an LLM in Civil Law full time, and people choose to invest in this qualification for lots of different reasons. They may be moving to the UK from abroad and wish to find out more about another country’s legal system, or want to improve their career prospects in this particular area of law. Alternatively, it’s possible that they wish to improve their CV by attaining a qualification from a top university. This can be an especially attractive option for people who’d like to move into an elite position with a highly competitive recruitment process.

Where can you study an LLM in Civil Law?

No institutions in the UK offer an LLM in Civil Law alone; however the subject is covered in a number of LLM course offered by some of the country’s top universities. At the University of Cambridge the Faculty of Law holds an annual subject forum where students can choose which route to take, and many of the options provided, like Public Law, touch upon Civil Law. At Queen Mary, University of London, the LLM courses are structured around various areas of legislation, including Public International Law and Human Rights Law, both of which are closely related to Civil Law.

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

To be considered for a place on most LLM courses, candidates need to have achieved a first degree in law. Regardless of which country they are from, admissions staff usually prefers their students to have been within the top 5-10% of their cohort group. They will accept applications from people who are still undergraduates, but there will be minimum requirements attached to any offer. Sometimes people who have a first class result in another discipline and substantial experience of the legal profession may be eligible.

Apart from the high level of self-directed study, students will be analysing, discussing and comparing intricate legislation: therefore graduates whose first language isn’t English are required to have high IELTS (or equivalent) scores of 7 or above or TOEFL: 107 or above. Because of ongoing changes in the law we advise international students to regularly check the UK Government's visa and immigration information to make sure they can fulfil the necessary requirements. Most individual institutions also have useful information on the Tier 4 requirements for international students, and can offer assistance in terms of student queries about their specific English language requirements. Click here to find out more about English Language requirements for International Students.

Student case study

Okke Pollanen is an LLM Ambassador for the University of Kent Law School, he is very positive about the delivery of his course and the potential outcomes. He explains: “The critical, cross-disciplinary approach adopted in both research and teaching across Kent Law School is the primary reason for selecting to study my LLM at Kent. The program involves a high level of autonomy and responsibility for managing one’s own work, allowing students to develop critical and analytical abilities applicable to both academic and professional careers.”

An LLM in Civil Law advances careers in...

Practicing law



The judiciary

5 fascinating facts about Civil Law

Modern Civil Law systems are based on ideas derived from ancient Roman law.

In some countries Civil Laws coexist with other legal traditions like Islamic Law and Common Law.

Civil Law excludes Criminal Law.

Individual Civil Laws often lack detail, that’s so they can adapt to social change.

Civil Laws are designed to be straightforward and accessible to the average citizen.

Recommended reading

General Principles of EU Civil Law by Norbert Reich

A Practical Approach to Civil Procedure by Professor Stuart Sime

Charting the Divide Between Common and Civil Law by Thomas Lundmark

Civil Litigation 2015-2016 by Susan Cunningham-Hill and Karen Elder


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