Master of Laws (Common Law) Program - Curriculum

Full-time students are expected to complete the LL.M. CL Program in one year; part-time students will normally complete it in two years. Students from a common law background may choose to start the Program in either May or September; students with no formal common law training must start the LL.M. CL Program in May.

Over the course of the Program, students must successfully complete 30 credits of course work, consisting of:

Required Courses

Students must complete at least one of the following three courses:

Canadian Public Law (LAW 505 - 5 credits)

This course provides the concepts of Canadian public law, preparing students for the more advanced and specialized courses taken to complete their degrees. Topics covered include foundations of Canadian law and Canadian constitutional law.

Canadian Private Law: Contractual Obligations and Remedies (LAW 515 - 5 credits)

This course provides an introduction to core common law concepts in the area of contractual obligations and remedies, preparing students for more advanced and specialized courses taken to complete their degrees.

Canadian Criminal Law and Procedure (LAW 525 - 5 credits)

This course provides the concepts of Canadian criminal law and procedure, preparing students for more advanced and specialized courses taken to complete their degrees.

Seminar Paper or Legal Research and Writing

Students must also complete one of Seminar in Topics in Common Law Theory and Practice (LAW 560 - 3 credits) or Advanced Legal Research and Writing (LAW 530 - 4 credits). In LAW 560, students complete this requirement by enrolling in and successfully completing one of the graduate or upper-year J.D. seminars or workshops. The seminar or workshop must be 3 credits and include a substantial written research paper as one of the methods of evaluation.  LAW 530, which is offered once per year, is an intensive 4-credit course, which focuses on research methodology, legal analysis and legal writing. 


Students complete their remaining credits by successfully completing courses chosen from the graduate or upper-year J.D. curriculum offered by the Allard School of Law. These include courses commonly assessed by the NCA. Please consult registration, course timetable and exam schedule information for descriptions of course offerings.

LLM CL students are permitted to count a maximum of 6 credits from J.D. courses towards their degree. LL.M. CL students wishing to take more J.D. courses for credit towards their degree must complete coursework in addition to the regular requirements for J.D. students enrolled in those courses. The additional coursework will be determined by the course instructor(s) in consultation with the Director, Graduate Professional Programs and Associate Dean, Graduate Studies. Those J.D. courses will be reassigned a graduate course number on the LL.M. CL student's transcript, reflecting the additional coursework.

Additionally, LL.M. CL students enrolled in graduate courses permanently cross listed with J.D. courses (i.e., LAW 506 (Income Tax Law), LAW 508 (Business Organizations) and LAW 509 (Administrative Law)) must complete coursework in addition to the regular requirements for J.D. students enrolled in those cross listed courses.

The following courses are not open to students in the LL.M. CL program:

  • First year J.D. courses;
  • Courses in the research-based LL.M. and Ph.D. programs (LAW 500, LAW 610 and LAW 611);
  • Moots, clinical courses, or trial advocacy (LAW 472); and
  • Courses in other faculties.

Course Approval

The courses selected by each LL.M. CL student must be approved in advance by the Director, Graduate Professional Programs.

Minimum Grading Requirements and Academic Progress

Students are subject to the minimum grading and academic progress requirements as set by Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

Master's students must achieve a minimum of 68% in all courses. However, up to 6 credits of coursework with grades of 60-67% may be counted towards a master's program. A standing of Fail (F) will be assigned to courses with grades that fall below 60%. Where a failing grade is obtained in a course, and on the recommendation of the graduate program and the approval of the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, the student may repeat a course for higher standing or take an alternate course. Please note that if you fail a course in your last term you will not be able to graduate until you have repeated the course or have taken and passed an alternate course. 

Students who repeat a course must obtain a minimum mark of 74%. When a student repeats a course, both marks will appear on the transcript.

Under Allard School of Law rules, all grades above 90% must be approved by the Graduate Committee.

Penalties for Late Assignments

The Allard School of Law's standard policy for late assignments is as follows:

For each or any part of a day that the assignment is late, including weekends and statutory holidays and other days when the law school is closed, the student will lose 5% of the maximum possible value of the assignment for the first day or part of a day that the assignment is late and an additional 2% for each subsequent day or part of a day.

Example: A paper worth 100 possible marks that is handed in one day late would automatically lose 5 points. The same paper handed in 10 days late would lose an additional 18 marks for a total mark loss of 23 marks.

A student can apply for an exemption from this deduction for one or more of the days within the late period. Such application will be made to the Examinations Committee.

Example: if a student hands a paper in 5 days late, but one of those days is a religious celebration for the student, the student can apply for an exemption from penalty for that day. If granted, the student's paper would then be considered to be 4 days late.

Instructors have no capacity to grant extensions. Students must apply to the Academic Policies Committee for exemptions from this deduction.

Academic Honesty & Standards

The UBC Policy on Academic Honesty & Standards begins as follows:

Academic honesty is essential to the continued functioning of the University of British Columbia as an institution of higher learning and research. All UBC students are expected to behave as honest and responsible members of an academic community. Breach of those expectations or failure to follow the appropriate policies, principles, rules, and guidelines of the University with respect to academic honesty may result in disciplinary action.

It is the student's obligation to inform himself or herself of the applicable standards for academic honesty. Students must be aware that standards at the University of British Columbia may be different from those in secondary schools or at other institutions. If a student is in any doubt as to the standard of academic honesty in a particular course or assignment, then the student must consult with the instructor as soon as possible, and in no case should a student submit an assignment if the student is not clear on the relevant standard of academic honesty.

Academic integrity is something that the Allard School of Law and UBC take very seriously. If you have any doubts about expectations and standards, please consult the UBC Policy or Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies' academic honesty & standards for further information.