LLM non-thesis option

Please note that we do not accept applications directly to the non-thesis option, it is only available with special permission after completion of the course requirements for the thesis program.

Course requirements

The non-thesis option consists of the following requirements:

  • LAW598: Major Research Paper (6.0 units)
  • LAW501: Graduate Seminar in Law and Society (1.5 units)
  • LAW502: Graduate Seminar in Applied Legal Methodology (1.5 units)
  • One non-law, graduate seminar (1.5 units)
  • Three additional courses, which may be graduate-level courses in another discipline, (up to 3 units of) upper-year law undergraduate courses, or law graduate courses (4.5 units)

The major research paper is less extensive than a thesis and and requires less in terms of original analysis.  The paper is generally 12,500 - 17,500 words (50 -70 pages), excluding abstract, notes, bibliography, and any appendices. It must be your own work, but that work may simply review and synthesize existing literature (with due citation).

The major research paper is prepared with the advice and direction of your supervisory committee and is the principle focus of the non-thesis master's program.

Course selection must be discussed with your supervisory committee and then approved by the graduate program director.

Please note: You are not permitted to register for a course that is the same or substantively similar to a course that you have already taken for undergraduate credit, either here or at another university.

Grading standards

Please review and become familiar with grading standards at the graduate level.

Academic integrity

You must avoid any form of academic dishonesty.  See UVic's policy on academic integrity.

Milestones, deadlines and procedures

Use the following milestones to help develop your major research paper:

Complete your coursework and develop your proposal

Your LLM application included a basic proposal. Revise and expand that proposal over the course of your first months, in consultation with your supervisory committee.

Apply to the Human Research Ethics Board for approval (if applicable)

All research involving human participants must receive approval in advance from the Human Research Ethics Board (HREB). Apply early in your program, as approval can take up to six weeks even if there are no changes required. The application should be completed in consultation with your supervisory committee.

Research and write

Begin work on your major research paper well in advance of your estimated completion date. In calculating your completion date, be sure to include 2-3 weeks for each review by your supervisory committee members.

Use the following guides for formatting:

Thesis and dissertation guidelines
UVic thesis template

You must use a consistent citation style. In Law, students normally use the most recent edition of Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation (“the McGill guide”). Other styles are acceptable if used consistently.

You must avoid any form of academic dishonesty.

Initiate the examination process

When you and your supervisory committee agree that the major research paper is ready for examination, begin the examination process.

Allow a reasonable time for your supervisory committee members to review, comment on, and approve drafts. Communicate closely with your committee about their availability as you approach the submission date.

LLM major research papers are examined, in writing only, by your supervisory committee members. There is no oral examination or external examiner.

Final revisions and submission

The last stage of your program is the final submission of the completed and corrected major research paper.

Review the thesis submission procedures and contact the  with any questions.

There are strict submission deadlines that you must abide by in order to avoid additional term fees and graduate at a specific convocation ceremony.

You are responsible for keeping yourself informed of these deadlines and meeting any that apply.

Submission deadlines are established by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and cannot be extended. Timelines do not allow for unexpected delays so set earlier deadlines for yourself if possible.

Complete the following steps as you near completion of your major research paper:

  1. Review the LLM major research paper submission deadlines with your supervisory committee.
  1. Submit an application to graduate. To do this, you must log in to your My Page account, navigate to your 'Graduation' tab, complete the application and submit online. The application to graduate lets Graduate Admissions and Records know that you're preparing to complete your major research paper. The graduation fee will be applied directly to your tuition account.

Deadlines to submit an application to graduate are:

  • July 15 (for November convocation)
  • November 15 (for June convocation and those completing in December)
  • February 15 (For June Convocation and those completing in April)
  1. Submit your final draft to your supervisory committee for review. Include the title page, supervisory committee page and abstract page (the abstract should not exceed 150 words).

Thesis and dissertation guidelines
UVic thesis template

  1. Revise as needed based on the feedback from your supervisory committee and re-submit for their final approval.
  1. When all changes are approved, you must submit email approval from your committee to the graduate assistant along with a PDF copy of your final research paper.

To complete during the FALL term 2014 (for June 2015 convocation):

(to avoid paying spring term 2015 fees)

  • Friday, November 21, 2014: final draft copy of entire major paper to supervisory committee (allowing two weeks for review and feedback)
  • Monday, December 1, 2014: Submit an application to graduate. To do this, you must log in to your My Page account, navigate to your 'Graduation' tab, complete the application and submit online. (applications submitted after this date will be subject to a $10 late fee). Required for anyone planning to attend June convocation.
  • Friday, December 5, 2014: supervisory committee's revisions to student (allowing two weeks to incorporate and obtain final sign off)
  • Friday, December 19, 2014 (noon Pacific Standard Time): deadline for submission of all final documents to Graduate Admissions and Records and Graduate Assistant as outlined in the LLM Major Research Paper Submission Procedures.

To complete during SPRING term 2015 (for June 2015 convocation):

  • Monday, December 1, 2014: Submit an application to graduate. To do this, you must log in to your My Page account, navigate to your 'Graduation' tab, complete the application and submit online. (applications submitted after this date will be subject to a $10 late fee). Required for anyone planning to attend June convocation.
  • Thursday, April 2, 2015: final draft copy of entire major paper to supervisory committee (allowing two weeks for review and feedback)
  • Thursday, April 16, 2015: supervisory committee's last revisions to student (allowing two weeks to incorporate and obtain final sign off)
  • Thursday, April 30, 2015 (noon Pacific Standard Time): deadline for submission of all final documents to Graduate Admissions and Records and Graduate Assistant as outlined in the LLM Major Research Paper Submission Procedures.

To complete during SUMMER term 2015 (for November 2015 convocation):

  • Wednesday, July 15, 2015: Submit an application to graduate. To do this, you must log in to your My Page account, navigate to your 'Graduation' tab, complete the application and submit online. (applications submitted after this date will be subject to a $10 late fee). Required for anyone planning to attend November Convocation.
  • Friday, July 31, 2015: final draft copy of entire major paper to supervisory committee (allowing two weeks for review and feedback).
  • Monday, August 17, 2015: supervisory committee's last revisions to student (allowing two weeks to incorporate and obtain final sign off)
  • Monday, August 31, 2015 (noon Pacific Standard Time): deadline for submission of all final documents to Graduate Admissions and Records and Graduate Assistant as outlined in the LLM Major Research Paper Submission Procedures.