The Queen's Master of Laws (LLM) degree is a nine- to twelve-month program that deepens students’ legal knowledge and research skills with a view to further studies at the doctoral level or careers in research, policy work or legal practice.

Candidates should have obtained high standing in an undergraduate or first law degree (LLB, JD or equivalent). In exceptional circumstances we will accept candidates whose previous degree(s) are not in law but in cognate fields.

Students have considerable freedom to design a course of study that meets their needs and aspirations.

Students interested in legal theory and legal philosophy should consider pursuing an LLM with a Specialization in Political and Legal Thought. 

All LLM students are required to take two graduate seminars, Legal Research Methods & Perspectives; and Advanced Legal Research, and complete a research project under the guidance of a faculty supervisor. Students have a choice as to the length of the research project and the number of other courses they take:

  • Thesis option: two mandatory graduate seminars plus one additional course and a master's thesis not to exceed 35,000 words in length, exclusive of footnotes, endnotes, bibliography, appendices, tabulated data, tables of cases, and tables of contents, that must be defended orally before an examination committee.
  • Mini-Thesis option: two mandatory graduate seminars plus three additional courses and a substantial graduate research project (or "mini-dissertation") of 13,000-18,000 words.
  • Course-Paper option: two mandatory graduate seminars plus five additional courses and a graduate paper of 9,000-10,000 words.

While the Law School offers some dedicated graduate-level courses, most graduate courses are offered in conjunction with JD courses (though methods of assessment differ for graduate students in these classes).  Admission on a part-time basis is limited. Degree requirements for part-time students vary slightly from those for full-time students.

LLM students in the International Law Program in England may complete three courses at the Castle before arriving at Queen’s, allowing them to start – and finish – their studies three months earlier.

More information

The School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs offers a full list of learning outcomes on their website.

Practicing in Canada

Please note that obtaining an LLM or PhD in Canada does not qualify students who do not have an LLB or JD from a Canadian university to practice law in Canada. International students who are interested in practising law in Canada should contact the National Committee on Accreditation.


Potential Applicants


If you are a potential applicant please see our Graduate Admissions Process for information and a link to the application portal.

Applicants do not contact potential supervisors prior to applying for admission.  Normally, supervisors are assigned when we admit applicants to our Program. Our application form allows applicants to suggest potential supervisors.  If there is someone you are interested in working with, please add that professor’s name to the application form. On the Research Interests webpage, you can find potential faculty supervisors under the various research areas. Availability of supervisors depends on current supervision numbers and if sabbaticals or leaves occur.