Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply?

See the How to Apply page.

What is the application deadline?

The application deadline is 12:00pm (midday) UK time on 7 January 2020 for the 2020-21 MCL programme. It is not possible to apply after that date.

Do I have to have a law degree to apply for the MCL?

In most cases, yes. Please see Criteria for more information.

Will obtaining an MCL degree entitle me to practice in the United Kingdom?

No. This is the case with all law degrees. There is more information available elsewhere on qualifying to practice as a solicitor and as a barrister in England and Wales. Please refer to the Law Society for information about qualifying as a solicitor and the Bar Standards Board for information about qualifying as a barrister.

What grades do I need to have to be offered a place on the MCL?

See see Criteria.

Can I apply for the MCL if I have not yet completed my first degree in law?

Yes. Note, though, that the MCL Admissions Committee can only consider your application on the basis of grades provided at the time you apply. As a result, if an unsuccessful applicant currently engaging in academic study subsequently receives excellent results, they should apply again in the following year rather than expecting any change in the decision made. It is likely that successful applicants who have not yet completed their first degree in law will be asked to fulfil academic conditions concerning the completion of their studies.

Can I take the MCL if I am from a civil law country rather than a common law country?

Yes. Those from a civil law background take the same course as those from a common law background. Civil law students will need to do extra work to familiarise themselves with the case law method and other attributes of the common law system.

Can I apply for the MCL if English is not my first language?

Yes. If you are not from a country on the Graduate Admissions Office's List A you will need to pass a language test demonstrating proficiency in English.

Do you accept applications from students who already have an LLM?

Yes, but applicants who have done an LLM at Cambridge cannot re-take any of the papers they took while studying for the LLM.

Can I apply for the MCL and another course at Cambridge for the same year of entry?

Yes, but you must make a separate application for each course by the relevant application deadline. If offers of admission are made for more than one of these courses, you will have to choose which course place to accept – you cannot study the MCL and another course concurrently. Your election is irrevocable.

Can I take the MCL on a part-time or distance learning basis?

No. The MCL is a full-time degree programme and students are required to be resident in Cambridge throughout.

How long is the MCL and what are the term dates?

The course starts in the first week of October and finishes at the end of the following June. The term dates are available on the University website.

Once I have applied, when I can expect to find out if I have been offered a place?

By 30 April of the calendar year in which you wish to start the MCL.

If I take the MCL, can I be sure I will be able to get a place at the college I would like to attend?

Unfortunately no, but you can express a preference. Please be assured that those who are accepted by the Faculty of Law for the MCL course always secure a place at one of the Cambridge colleges.  

Will I find out which college I will be affiliated with before the deadline expires for payment of the reservation fee?

It is highly unlikely, given that your application file will only be circulated to colleges for membership consideration once your MCL offer has been set by the Graduate Admissions Office.

If I receive an offer subject to academic or language conditions and fail to meet these conditions, is it possible to obtain a waiver?

It is very unlikely. Should you wish to enquire further, please contact

I have received an offer of an MCL place and would like to attend Cambridge but cannot take the place up for the year for which I initially applied. Is it possible to defer?

Unfortunately no. In line with general University policy, deferred entry is not possible for the MCL due to the limited number of places available each year.

I have received an offer to join the MCL and have a month to pay the reservation fee. Can this deadline be extended?

It is not possible for the deadline to be extended. There are no exceptions to this policy.

I have checked the website thoroughly, together with supporting documentation, but I have a question to which I cannot find the answer. Is there anyone I can contact?

Yes. Please contact


Slaughter and May kindly host two MCL events in February at their London office. Read more

Herbert Smith Freehills Bursaries 2020-21

Herbert Smith Freehills to offer two MCL bursaries for 2020-21. Read more

Postgraduate Open Day MCL presentation

Professor Brian Cheffins, Director of the MCL, gives an overview of the MCL programme. Read more

Travers Smith MCL Bursary Awarded to Maria Markou

The Faculty of Law is pleased to announce that the 2019-20 MCL Travers Smith Bursary has been awarded to Maria Markou. Read more

MCL Student Profiles

Read about some of the MCL graduates and their experiences of studying at Cambridge. Read more

New additions to MCL teaching team

The MCL Director is delighted to announce the recent appointments to the Faculty of Bobby Reddy and Ann Sofie Cloots. Read more