Oxford BCL / Cambridge LLM Admission Requirements

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LiamLeLaw
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I was just wondering a few things about the Oxford BCL & Cambridge LLM admission requirements. So I'd very much appreciate it if any of you have any experience / want to share something about the following questions!

(1) For the grades requirement (i.e. a 1st class hons), is it one of those requirements where once you meet it then the actual / average marks you get don't really matter? Or is it one of those things where they secretly expect a high 1st because everyone else is actually getting a high 1st class?

(2) Are publications going to boost one's chances of getting a place at the BCL / Cam LLM?

(3) What would you say is the most decisive factor in one's application?

(4) Any other thing you might wanna say on the topic lol


Thanks a lot for your help everyone!
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leage_beagle
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If you look at the yearly class books from the BCL (I can't speak for the LLM), many candidates will have achieved more than 'just' a first class degree. Publications can be helpful, and many, though not most, candidates will have one. Prior professional experience can also be helpful, as can academic achievements such as prizes, and scholarships. It is quite a competitive course to get on to, and there are always more than a handful of successful applicants who have some top of the class in their respective undergraduate institutions. That said, not everyone has that profile, and there's no harm in applying - I would imagine good references and a well written writing sample help too. I've never been in the room where the admissions decisions are taken, but I would imagine the most decisive factor is demonstrated academic achievement.
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Johnny ~
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(Original post by LiamLeLaw)
I was just wondering a few things about the Oxford BCL & Cambridge LLM admission requirements. So I'd very much appreciate it if any of you have any experience / want to share something about the following questions!

(1) For the grades requirement (i.e. a 1st class hons), is it one of those requirements where once you meet it then the actual / average marks you get don't really matter? Or is it one of those things where they secretly expect a high 1st because everyone else is actually getting a high 1st class?

(2) Are publications going to boost one's chances of getting a place at the BCL / Cam LLM?

(3) What would you say is the most decisive factor in one's application?

(4) Any other thing you might wanna say on the topic lol


Thanks a lot for your help everyone!
You will be expected to offer a First as a minimum. You will also be required to submit a grades breakdown and a reference that asks for (among other things) your referee's estimation as to where in your cohort you place. Most people seem to have 'strong firsts', often with prizes or very high class ranks. It's similar to the admissions process to top unis and law firms - they may 'only' want AAA for example, but a big chunk of candidates will vastly exceed that.

Yep

Grades, grades, grades

Full-time professional work experience seems to be valued by Cambridge in particular - there are lots of practising lawyers, clerks, etc. on their LLM, and they do make an effort to offer more 'practical' modules (or tie what they're teaching to practice/the real world). Oxford's BCL module offering is more theoretical on average, though there are of course lots of current affairs-y modules.
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LiamLeLaw
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(Original post by Johnny ~)
You will be expected to offer a First as a minimum. You will also be required to submit a grades breakdown and a reference that asks for (among other things) your referee's estimation as to where in your cohort you place. Most people seem to have 'strong firsts', often with prizes or very high class ranks. It's similar to the admissions process to top unis and law firms - they may 'only' want AAA for example, but a big chunk of candidates will vastly exceed that.

Yep

Grades, grades, grades

Full-time professional work experience seems to be valued by Cambridge in particular - there are lots of practising lawyers, clerks, etc. on their LLM, and they do make an effort to offer more 'practical' modules (or tie what they're teaching to practice/the real world). Oxford's BCL module offering is more theoretical on average, though there are of course lots of current affairs-y modules.
Thanks for your advice both of you.

I'm mainly worried because I don't have a "high" first, but I figure my grades are within top 5 of my cohort (just an estimate). I got some prizes (e.g. essay prizes) and scholarships, but they don't really have a "wow" factor to them. I am aiming to get something published as well.

So I'm not sure I can compete with those who top every course and get the highest first that is humanly possible
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leage_beagle
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If those things - scholarship, prize, and cohort position - are correct, you should definitely apply. The cohort position alone would be a point in your favour.
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Johnny ~
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(Original post by LiamLeLaw)
Thanks for your advice both of you.

I'm mainly worried because I don't have a "high" first, but I figure my grades are within top 5 of my cohort (just an estimate). I got some prizes (e.g. essay prizes) and scholarships, but they don't really have a "wow" factor to them. I am aiming to get something published as well.

So I'm not sure I can compete with those who top every course and get the highest first that is humanly possible
If you're in the top 5, you've got a high first mate! Well done!
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username2549021
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(Original post by LiamLeLaw)
I was just wondering a few things about the Oxford BCL & Cambridge LLM admission requirements. So I'd very much appreciate it if any of you have any experience / want to share something about the following questions!

(1) For the grades requirement (i.e. a 1st class hons), is it one of those requirements where once you meet it then the actual / average marks you get don't really matter? Or is it one of those things where they secretly expect a high 1st because everyone else is actually getting a high 1st class?

(2) Are publications going to boost one's chances of getting a place at the BCL / Cam LLM?

(3) What would you say is the most decisive factor in one's application?

(4) Any other thing you might wanna say on the topic lol


Thanks a lot for your help everyone!
I did the BCL, and I had no publications. I remember the application guidance said that a publication my strengthen or detriment your application (all other things being equal), but that not having publications would not count against you.

The most decisive factor is not clear. Personally I believe it is the essay that you submit, and your references.

I think any degree that is 70 or over is good enough to apply. Because, I only got 72 from a non-Russell group university and got in, but friends who got higher than that got rejected. That said, the higher your position in the class, the better (probably)
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username2549021
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(Original post by DrewDeer)
I did the BCL, and I had no publications. I remember the application guidance said that a publication my strengthen or detriment your application (all other things being equal), but that not having publications would not count against you.

The most decisive factor is not clear. Personally I believe it is the essay that you submit, and your references.

I think any degree that is 70 or over is good enough to apply. Because, I only got 72 from a non-Russell group university and got in, but friends who got higher than that got rejected. That said, the higher your position in the class, the better (probably)
But I had other things going for me, like awards for getting the highest mark in my class for various subjects. I think they view each application on its merits. And there is no ideal application that they are looking for
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LiamLeLaw
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(Original post by username2549021)
But I had other things going for me, like awards for getting the highest mark in my class for various subjects. I think they view each application on its merits. And there is no ideal application that they are looking for
Thank you so much for that info! Do you mind telling me (here or through private message) what "other things" you had going for you? (E.g. what subject prizes did you get? Were there any other awards and stuff?)
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