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

This 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 course is delivered through blended learning, online and at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies in central London, a member institute of the School of Advanced Study, University of London. The degree is awarded jointly through the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS) and the Institute of Modern Languages Research (IMLR) by the University of London at a ceremony held each year at Senate House.

This innovative and interdisciplinary LLM programme builds on the two institutes’ extensive research expertise in global law and language. Students will be part of the dynamic Legal Translation Hub that brings together practitioners in translation and the law, professional bodies, institutions, governments and corporations. The groundbreaking initiative encompasses international seminars, discussion panels with world experts, and access to multinational research networks.

Contact the institute

If you have specific questions about the MA or MRes degree, please contact Dr Constantin Stefanou or the admissions office.

Degree Overview

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

The course enables 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.

Modules and structure

Core and elective modules are selected according to students’ backgrounds, aims and interests. English is the common language for all students and translation exercises on this course. However, there is no restriction on students’ working language(s), as long as English is included. The method of assessment is ongoing, through coursework and a final dissertation.

Students 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 that engage our students directly with working professionals in the field.  

Core modules 2018–19

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

* Compulsory for those without a legal background/training

Elective Modules*

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

** One elective module must be taken by those with a non-legal background. Two elective modules are taken by those with a legal background. 


15,000 words, topic identified by student, to be agreed with supervisor The MRes consists of a series of three taught modules and a 30,000 word dissertation.

Lecturing and teaching

The majority of the course is taught online and in person by the institutes’ academic staff. 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

One year full time or two years part time. 

About the institute

The Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS) conducts and supports legal research in its broadest sense, both nationally and internationally. Founded in 1947, it houses specialist research centres and innovative partnerships and is home to an active community of researchers, fellows and postgraduate students. It promotes new research agendas in specialist and interdisciplinary areas of law that directly impact policy and practice. It provides research training and online services, a meeting place for organisations and legal scholars from around the world, one of the world’s great legal research libraries and a busy programme of seminars and public events.

The Institute of Modern Languages Research (IMLR) is committed to facilitating, initiating and promoting dialogue and research in modern languages in the UK and globally. It makes a vital contribution to national and international collaborative, 
inter-disciplinary and cross-cultural research by means of seminars, lectures, workshops, colloquia, conferences, a fellowships programme and six research centres.

Both Institutes are members of the University of London’s School of Advanced Study. 

They are within walking distance of the British Library, the British Museum, all four 
Inns of Court, and the Royal Courts of Justice.

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

How to apply

You can apply online via our online applications system.


For more information on how to apply, click here.

Fees, funding and scholarships

Find out more about tuition fees here.

The School of Advanced Study has a range of funding opportunities for home, EU and international applicants. Find out more about funding opportunities here. If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline.

How will this degree benefit me?

The LLM in Legal Translation aims to:

  • Promote best practice in the field by offering a world-renowned and prestigious legal qualification that develops individual careers
  • Build on linguistic knowledge and provide students with the opportunity to obtain a systematic understanding and knowledge of the skills required for the legal translation profession
  • Facilitate an understanding of the theories, values, principles and rules of Legal Translation Studies
  • Give students a 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 in 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

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Apply online for the LLM in Legal Translation