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University of Oxford, Faculty of Law


The BCL is the best graduate law degree in the world. The reasons are three-fold: our brilliant scholars, the brilliant students who come from all over the world, and the unique teaching method. The BCL is not an LLM, because we teach our students in tutorials as well as seminars. This method gives the students closer contact with our faculty than LLM’s provide. And it means that the students receive feedback on their own writing that cannot be matched in an LLM. And equally importantly, the BCL subjects are at the heart of the Faculty’s outstanding research profile.

In the BCL, you can be a specialist or a generalist. You can focus your efforts on philosophy of law or corporate finance or international law or human rights law; alternatively you can put together your own diverse mixture of courses.
  • The Bachelor of Civil Law (BCL) – is a one-year postgraduate programme for those who have an outstanding law degree from a common law jurisdiction.
Research programmes The doctoral programme in Law is the largest and strongest in the English-speaking world. The Law Faculty's community of research students extends across a wide range of legal and interdisciplinary specialisms corresponding to the diverse interests of Faculty members. A research student benefits from close academic supervision of your work. Research students play a central role in the intellectual life of the Faculty, collaborating in numerous discussion groups and colloquia and participating in many BCL course seminars.
  • The Master of Philosophy in Law (MPhil) – a one-year research degree that can also serve as the first year of a DPhil, available only to those proceeding from the Oxford BCL
  • The Master of Studies in Legal Research (MSt) – an entry-level one-year research degree that can also serve as the first year of a DPhil
  • The Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil) – a major research degree requiring three to four years of study and setting the highest standards of academic achievement
Other courses
  • The Master of Science (MSc) – in Criminology and Criminal Justice is a specialist one year programme run by our Centre for Criminology. The MSc is open to those with a degree in a relevant discipline other than law.
  • The Master of Philosophy in Criminology (MPhil) – is a one year degree available only to those proceeding from the Oxford MSc in Criminology.
  • The Postgraduate Diploma in Intellectual Property Law and Practice – is a one year part-time masters-level course for people embarking on a career in IP law and practice.
  • Master of Studies in International Human Rights Law - Oxford University’s Department for Continuing Education provides a part-time graduate degree offered over 22 months.
    For more details see http://humanrightslaw.conted.ox.ac.uk/.
International Students at Oxford The University’s international reputation for world-leading research, its range of resources supporting graduate study including libraries, laboratories and other specialist facilities are powerful draws. Oxford’s departments and colleges seek to admit graduate students of the very highest caliber and future potential, irrespective of nationality or other background.

The University has a long experience of welcoming international students who quickly feel settled in both their academic and social life. Oxford’s student community is truly international. Students currently come from over 130 countries around the world and study a wide range of subjects. International students make up one third of their student body, including 14 per cent of our full-time undergraduate students and 63 per cent of our full-time postgraduates. The mix of cultural diversity and intellectual rigor is an essential part of Oxford.

The Faculty of Law

Law has been taught in Oxford for some 850 years. For centuries law meant Roman law. The idea of bringing the common law into the university was conceived here in the eighteenth century and realized in 1758 when Sir William Blackstone became the first Vinerian Professor of English Law. Oxford has since been home to many of the key figures of the modern common law such as Anson, Dicey, Pollock, Cheshire, Cross, Morris and Hart.

Today's Oxford's Law Faculty keeps faith with all this history, and the study of the common law, including its interaction with modern legislation and regulation, remains central to our pursuits. But their work has also been enriched over the years by strengths in comparative law, the philosophy of law, international law, and most recently European Law. Their historic connection with the Roman tradition has been reborn in its collaborations with continental European universities. And specialist centres in criminology and socio-legal studies mean that Oxford is now unsurpassed as a place for interdisciplinary work connected with the law and its development.

With more than 120 faculty members and 300 postgraduate students, the Law Faculty is one of the largest Law Faculties in the English-speaking world, and offers postgraduate legal education of unparalleled breadth and depth. Oxford expertise includes private, public and criminal law, as well as international law, comparative law, philosophy of law, legal history, socio-legal studies, and criminology. In several of these areas, Oxford is the unrivalled world leader.

Financial Support

For further details about funding please visit:


A Message from the Dean of the Faculty of Law

India Law Journal’s Founder Director, Vikrant Pachnanda communicated with Professor Timothy Endicott, Dean of the Faculty of Law who told him that Oxford has the world’s strongest graduate programme in legal studies, and that means that we have a close link with India. Brilliant Indian students have become an important part of Law in Oxford, and we are beginning to build this into a deeper, two-way relationship. In November 2008, he visited Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore in order to talk to alumni, current students, professors, legal practitioners, Vice-Chancellors and Ministers about the future of Law in Oxford and Law in India. He said that he plasn to come back with a set of lectures by Oxford legal scholars in India. Alumni have a real love for Oxford, and that is a great strength as Oxford looks to them to help them to improve scholarship funding for Indian students. Meanwhile, they already offered a substantial array of scholarships for which Indian students are eligible. He hopes that students will consider applying for one of the graduate programmes in Oxford: a law school in which graduate degrees are deeply woven into the research and writing that my colleagues are doing, at the forefront of 21st-century legal studies.

Student Reflections

'I studied for the BCL in 2004-5, and opted for the public law and jurisprudence courses. The normative and analytical bases of legal education at Oxford complemented very well my undergraduate legal education in India, which took a largely political and sociological approach to law. The collegiate system which facilitates much interaction with non-lawyers may be new, and enriching, to those who have studied in the specialised 'law schools' in India.’

‘This, coupled with a globally diverse graduate community, ensures that there is about as much learning from one's peers as in the classrooms and the libraries. ‘

‘I would recommend the BCL to anyone with a serious interest in law.'

Tarunabh Khaitan, BCL

‘There is little one can say to introduce the University of Oxford to an Indian student. The name is synonymous with being a bastion of intellect, diligence and academic commitment. The first aspect that attracted me to Oxford was the respect it inspires in any domain. A degree from the University of Oxford guarantees respect and a certain label of excellence in any career. Add to this the additional brand value of the BCL as a programme designed to model a thorough understanding of the law.’

‘There are no weaklings in the BCL class. It is a concentration of the best young legal minds sieved from across the globe with painstaking precision. The course is designed to differ from standard LLMs in its rigour and scope. The study of four highly advanced courses through a combine of tutorials, seminars and lectures ensures an unmatched level of specialization. This is more so given that the faculty list reads like an inventory of the best-known names of international legal academia.’

‘As a student aspiring to venture into a career in international law, I am convinced that the BCL and the networks I forge at Oxford will open avenues for me that few other law schools can boast of.’

Harsh A Poddar, BCL

Further Information

For further information about the degree programs please contact:

University of Oxford, Faculty of Law
St Cross Building
St Cross Road
Oxford OX1 3UL
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)1865 271490

Email: graduate.enquiries@law.ox.ac.uk

Web: www.law.ox.ac.uk

For details of the application procedure and links to college information, please visit

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