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This set of Frequently Asked Questions addresses issues that LLM offer-holders for the 2020-21 academic year might have. We will add to and update this FAQ as and when further information becomes available. In addition to this information, please also consult the wider range of FAQ on the University’s Graduate Admissions Office website.

Q. I’m worried that I won’t get the degree result that I need to meet my academic condition because of all the disruption caused by Covid-19. What can I do about that?

We are not able to consider applications to modify or waive academic conditions until after you have received your degree result. Cambridge is far from alone in having substantially revised its grading conventions this year, in light of the global situation, and we anticipate that many of your institutions will have made similar adaptations and have mitigation committees in place to which students particularly badly affected can appeal to have their grade adjusted in light of their personal circumstances. So, please await your degree results and, if you have missed your academic condition, use your local procedures to appeal (if available and appropriate to you) before approaching us to request a waiver. If your university has adopted a simple pass/fail or other approach that means you simply cannot produce an academic result of the sort expected, follow the instructions in the University’s FAQ for what to do if you are in this situation.

Q. I’m worried that I can’t book a language test or access the new online tests that I need to meet my language condition. What can I do about that?

First, read the University’s FAQ response on this point. We hope that the vast majority of you with language conditions still outstanding can now access the TOEFL Special Home Edition Test, which can be taken remotely.  In addition, IELTS and TOEFL test centres have now re-opened in many countries to enable students to take tests in person.  For updates about IELTS testing please see the IELTS website.  For updates about TOEFL testing, please see the TOEFL website.  If for some reason you cannot take a test remotely or at a test centre, please read the University’s FAQ response on this point for further guidance.

Q. By what date will I need to be in Cambridge, and so from when will I need to request accommodation from my college?

The University has confirmed that the term dates will be as normal. That said, those of you coming from overseas will need to bear in mind the possibility of having to comply with quarantine requirements on arrival in the UK (the rules on this, of course, may change in light of developing circumstances).

Q. When will LLM induction take place?

The Faculty’s induction events that would ordinarily have taken place in person in the very first week of term (the week of October 5) will this year take place in form of online introductory lectures that have been released on Moodle in mid-September, to be followed by further presentations on your LLM at Cambridge in order to help you orientate yourselves in the programme as early as possible. In addition, we are planning an induction event in the first week of term – and will provide more information on that via Moodle soon. Your College will also have induction plans, and you should expect to hear about those separately.

Q. I’m concerned that, owing to personal health or other circumstances, I may not be able to participate in any in-person teaching. Will I be able to do that?

As the University has said, we will be doing all we reasonably can to meet the needs of students whose individual circumstances mean that they cannot attend any in-person teaching. We are awaiting clarification of the extent to which the University will permit entirely remote participation in programmes such as the LLM. However, we are putting in place plans that should enable us to deliver interactive teaching in as many papers as possible online at times of day that work for a wide range of global time-zones. We will share further information about our plans in this regard as soon as we can. If, however, you do anticipate that you are likely to want to take part in the LLM programme remotely for some or all of the academic year, there are some basic IT and practical arrangements which we would recommend to help ensure an effective learning experience, as follows:

  • A quiet space in which to work that offers privacy and a comfortable working surface. Headphones may be useful to cut out any background noise.
  • A stable broadband internet connection that you can ensure is not congested at times of teaching by the online activities of other members of your household. As a benchmark, the UK Government considers ‘decent’ broadband to be 10Mbps download / 1Mbps upload; anything below this could result in degraded and so unsatisfying teaching and learning experience. You can check your broadband service’s speed for both download and upload using
  • A Windows 10 or Mac (Mac OS 10.10 or later) desktop or laptop computer. We are recommending this specification as these are the oldest operating systems on which Microsoft Teams (which we are using for much of our teaching) will run.
  • And lastly, so you can participate fully and satisfactorily in any interactive teaching sessions conducted online, a decent webcam (either built-in to your computer, or external) and a decent microphone (ideally integral to headphones or webcam).

Q. I have further questions not covered by these FAQ or the University’s FAQs. Whom can I contact?

Please do ensure that you have read all the publicly available information before contacting us. But if you cannot find the answer you need, then please email and we shall be in touch as soon as we can. Please note that we are not yet ready to provide any detailed information about the teaching of specific papers on next year’s course – we are currently working hard to be able to provide that sort of information to you all later in the summer.

Q. I have either accepted or am planning to accept my Cambridge LLM offer, but I think that my individual circumstances might mean that I will (or may) not be able to attend in-person teaching. What, if anything, should I do now?

It would be helpful for our planning purposes to have early notice of any students intending to enrol on the course this October who think that they may fall in this category. We would like to hear from you, so please do contact us on as soon as possible to let us know, in broad terms, about your situation.