LL.M. 1 year vs. 2 years course validity

Many law learners are confused when they see some Universities are offering 1 year LL.M. course while others are still offering traditional 2 years course. The less time period in finishing(note here I am not saying completing) any course looks very attractive at-least when you are already a Bachelor degree holder!

The post is intended to cover following questions:-

  1. Whether 1 year LL.M. course is valid or not?
  2. Whether 1 year LL.M. course is valid for Teaching in law(e.g. Assistant Professors jobs) or not?


Educationist plans the course syllabus according to the standards drawn at national as well as global level. The duration of course is something regulated by corresponding regulatory authority of the nation with the association of UGC. For example, medical course time is based on the guidelines of MCI (Medical Council Of India), Engineering courses are on the guidelines of AICTE(All India Council For Technical Education), and so on.

The UGC is responsible for maintaining the unified structure throughout the nation i.e. if BA course is of 3 years then it must be of 3 years in every university of the nation; No university is allowed to offer this course for less than this specified period of time.


Coming straight to our LL.M. course, on above mentioned question-

Whether 1 year LL.M. course is valid or not?

Earlier UGC introduces 1 year LL.M. programme and issued a circular dated 18Jan 2013, can be refer here- http://www.ugc.ac.in/pdfnews/4968873_LLM_one-year.pdf

Later, on 5th August 2014 they issued another circular on 1 year LL.M. course, can be refer here - http://www.ugc.ac.in/pdfnews/8141992_ugcnotificatonLLM.pdf

The latest circular states that only those Universities which have established the Center for Post Graduate Legal Studies in accordance with UGC's Guidelines, issued on 18th January 2013, can offer one year LL.M. Degree program.

In it's next point, it's elaborate further that "Provided that a master's degree, where entry qualification is two bachelor's degree in succession, including one in the relevant discipline or integrated degree of five years in the relevant discipline after plus two, the duration may be one year"


One should also refer the Gazette of India relating to higher education on the matter of course duration. It can be referred here - http://www.ugc.ac.in/pdfnews/1061840_specification-of-degrees-july-2014.pdf


Whether 1 year LL.M. course is valid for Teaching in law(e.g. Assistant Professors jobs) or not?

For the teaching job in law on the consideration of LL.M. course of 1 year duration, there is clear cut guidelines from the Bar Council Of India through their circular dated 2-January-2017 can be referred as-

BCI-rules-of-1year-LLM-degree-and-legal-education 1year-LLM-course-validity-for-teaching-staff

Hope, it help you to understand the difference between 1 year LL.M. and 2 year LL.M. course.


Thus, if you are planning for teaching profession in law colleges/institutions/universities, then you should avoid 1 year LL.M. course and go for 2 year. Though M.Phil. is an option after 1 year LL.M. course but will take more time than the 2 years of LL.M.

For other than teaching profession, you may opt 1 year LL.M. course. In this case you must make sure the college/ institute/ university is fulfilling the required UGC's compliance as stated in the circular for offering one year duration of LL.M. course.