LLM Thesis Milestones


The focus of your master's program, your LLM thesis, should be 80-120 pages long (excluding abstract, notes, bibliography, and appendices). It is prepared with the advice and direction of your supervisory committee. Your thesis is sent to an academic outside of the university for final examination and should reflect the highest level of scholarly ability.

Use the following milestones to help develop your thesis:

  1. 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 and in conjunction with your coursework.

  1. Apply to the Human Research Ethics Board for approval (if applicable)
All research involving human participants must receive advance approval 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. This should be done in consultation with your supervisory committee. This is usually done in December or January of your first year.

  1. Research and write

You should begin to work on your thesis in earnest during the second term (for completion by September) or third term (for completion by December of your second year). In calculating your completion dates, include at least 2-3 weeks for each review by your 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 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

  1. Initiate the examination process 

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

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

Your thesis will be examined, in writing only, by a single external examiner. There is no oral examination. You must discuss possible external examiners with your supervisory committee and agree on a list of three nominees. The list of nominees and contact details must be submitted to the  for forwarding to the graduate program director. 

Nomination guidelines for LLM thesis external examiners

Nomination form for LLM thesis external examiners

The external examiner may approve your thesis subject to corrections. If these are minor, and if you meet the deadline for final submission, you will not be required to pay fees for an additional term. If they are significant, you will have to register and pay fees for another term. 

  1. Final revisions and submission 

The last stage of your program is the final submission of the examined, completed, and corrected thesis. 

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

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

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

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