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We look forward very much to welcoming students to our LLM programme in October 2020. The following information is intended to provide guidance as to the intended shape of the academic year for LLM students given the changes that have had to be made in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic.  We will continue to monitor and respond to the changing public health situation, and will be adding to or, if necessary, amending the information on this page as the summer progresses.

Teaching

In normal circumstances, LLM teaching takes two principal forms: weekly two-hour classes in each subject (which for most papers normally involves some combination of lecture-style content and a discursive, interactive element) and four interactive workshops across the year. The Faculty has reflected carefully on how LLM teaching can best be rearranged in order to ensure that it can continue to be delivered effectively in the current circumstances.

In 2020–21, LLM papers will all involve some combination of recorded lectures that will be made available for students to view online, and which will supply the lecture elements of the usual weekly two-hour classes, and regular opportunities for interactive discussion with peers and course teachers. The latter will come in various forms for different papers: whole class interactive sessions, course workshops, office hours etc. The lectures will be pre-recorded and made available online so that students will have the opportunity to view and make notes on the lecture, and complete assigned reading, prior to taking part in relevant interactive discussion sessions. Whether these sessions are held in-person or remotely (via an online video conferencing platform) will be determined by applying the Faculty’s Interactive Teaching Principles. Much more detailed information about each paper on the LLM has been circulated, in form of a LLM Paper Guide 2020-21, to all LLM offer-holders in early August. An updated version of this Guide will be provided to all confirmed offer holders in mid-September.

Library and resources

The Squire Law Library’s team is working to ensure that all the elements of library provision will be in place and ready for the new academic year. The Library responded to the challenges of the recent Covid-19 lockdown by placing a stronger emphasis on electronic services to allow students to access resources remotely and at their convenience. Our aim will be to continue with that approach by strengthening and re-balancing our resources as much as possible to take advantage of the many online options whilst retaining physical publications in the Squire – books, journals, law reports, etc – for those who prefer to use and work with the print copies. The Library and the Faculty are working closely together to ensure a safe re-opening of the physical library within the David Williams Building observing the social distancing rules and creating a safe and healthy environment for students who wish to visit and use the study areas and facilities across the three floors of the library.

Assessment

Provided that University approval has by then been obtained, the Faculty expects to be able to announce its assessment plans for 2020–21 by the beginning of Michaelmas Term. The Faculty has reviewed feedback from students and examiners on the 2019–20 online examinations and is now in the process of considering the most appropriate way of delivering assessment in 2020–21 with a view to adopting a fair and academically robust assessment model that will be resilient in the face of potentially rapidly changing public health circumstances during the course of the academic year.

Questions and concerns

If you have concerns about travel arrangements, or about increased susceptibility to infectious diseases, or disabilities impacted by COVID-19, please refer to the University’s advice on exceptional circumstances and its Covid-19-related information concerning disability and increased susceptibility to infectious diseases; if you have queries relating to such matters, please follow the contact routes set out on the relevant webpage. You may also find it useful to look at the University’s advice for prospective postgraduate students and offer holders. If you are an LLM offer-holder and have other queries relating to the LLM programme in 2020–21, please consult our FAQs page or, if your question is not answered on that page, contact the Faculty by emailing LLM2020entry@law.cam.ac.uk.