The LLM in Legal Translation is a unique and specialised postgraduate translation programme awarding the prestigious Legum Magister (Master of Laws, or LLM).

It combines legal translation theory and practice with training in the law. The course is suitable for practising translators and lawyers wishing to broaden their qualification portfolio. It is equally suitable for those starting out in the profession and wishing ultimately to have their own practice, or to work within a wide range of national and international corporate and public institutions. The LLM will also be of interest for those who would like to join the burgeoning academic discipline of legal translation studies.    

The LLM in Legal Translation is an unparalleled opportunity – both as career development for those who have already worked as translators or lawyers, and for those entering the profession – as a way to acquire benchmark interdisciplinary skills and benefit from the latest groundbreaking research in the field.  

Core and elective modules are selected according to students’  backgrounds and aims. All language combinations are accommodated via our portfolio supervision scheme that runs alongside the course. The method of assessment is ongoing, through coursework and a final dissertation the subject of which is chosen by the student.  

Students will receive one-to-one tutor feedback and personalised guidance. A number of extra-curricular activities are offered in addition to free regular events organised by the institutes for professionals in the field.  
The course will enable participants to develop an international network of contacts with students and fellows at IALS, IMLR and across the School of Advanced Study as a whole, and to immerse themselves in a world-leading research environment. In addition, LLM students have access to the unparalleled holdings of the University of London libraries.


Entry requirements

The normal minimum entrance requirement would be a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree from a recognised university in the UK, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard (for example a grade-point-average of 3.0 or higher).

Applications from candidates who do not meet the formal academic requirements but who offer alternative qualifications and/or relevant experience, could be considered


Structure and Assessment

Credit value: 180

This LLM, which can be taken over one year or two, is comprised of six modules plus a dissertation of up to 15,000 words.

Core modules 2017–18

  • Introduction to Law*
  • Legal Translation Theory
  • Legal Translation Practice
  • Themes in Legal Translation
  • Research Methods Training for LLMs

Elective modules**

  • Legal Drafting I
  • Legal Drafting II
  • Comparative Legislative Studies I
  • Comparative Legislative Studies II

Dissertation (15,000 words, topic identified by student, to be agreed with supervisor )

Availability of elective modules may vary from year to year.

*Compulsory for those without a legal background/training
**One elective module must be taken by those with a non-legal background. Two elective modules are taken by those with a legal background (that is, those who do not need to take the “Introduction to Law” module). 


Teaching, learning and assessment

The course will be taught primarily by the institutes’ academic staff, while the Themes module comprises a series of lectures by leading experts from research and practice.
Faculty members have published with leading academic presses and journals, have translated major government reports as well as national and European Union legislation, and worked on prominent cross-border cases. 

Mode of Study

The LLM course mode of study is 12 months full-time or 24 months part-time. 


English Requirement

All students whose first language is not English must be able to provide recent evidence (gained in the last two years) that their written and spoken English language is adequate for postgraduate study. This requirement is specified in order to ensure that the academic progress of students is not hindered by language difficulties and that students are able to integrate socially while studying and living in the UK.

Further information can be found on the English language competency section of our Entry Requirements page.


How will this course benefit me?

The LLM in Legal Translation aims to:

  • Develop individual careers through this world-renowned and prestigious legal qualification, thereby advancing practice in the field 
  • Provide students with the opportunity, building on linguistic knowledge, to obtain a systematic understanding and knowledge of the skills required for the legal translation profession, whether practised in-house or independently 
  • Facilitate an understanding of the theories, values, principles and rules involved in the discipline of Legal Translation Studies
  • Give students critical awareness of issues in translating legal concepts across jurisdictions, in texts from various genres, and for different purposes 
  • Enable students to complement high-level expertise with evolving technologies, with a discriminating eye for their appropriate use
  • Incorporate pre-professionalisation by exploring ethics, codes of conduct, business skills, and a wide array of real-world scenarios and contexts
  • Enable students to develop an understanding of techniques applicable to research and advanced scholarship and to demonstrate independence and originality in the application of knowledge


Why choose this degree?

The interdisciplinary nature of the programme means that applicants are not required to have a prior law degree or a professional qualification in law, although advanced competences in at least two languages are a pre-requisite. 

  • You are a lawyer who wishes to build upon your existing language skills and engage in challenging work in an international environment
  • You have professional experience working as a translator and want to obtain a legal qualification while deepening your knowledge of the latest legal translation theories and research
  • You are a graduate in law or related disciplines who wishes to pursue a career as a legal translator
  • You are a graduate in modern languages, general translation studies, or other related disciplines who wishes to pursue a career as a legal translator
  • You work at a law firm, corporation, government or institution and would like to enhance your career prospects with the prestigious LLM qualification
  • You have a background in university lecturing in law, modern languages, general translation studies, or other related disciplines and you are looking to enhance your qualifications in order to teach legal translation studies