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  • Sanchit Varma

General vs. Specialized LLM at National University of Singapore

The National University of Singapore, like most other universities, provides its students with an option to pick between a general LLM or an LLM with a specialization in a particular subject. On the whole, the university offers six specializations in the following fields:

Specialisations offered at NUS
  • Asian Legal Studies

  • Corporate & Financial Services Law

  • Intellectual Property & TechnologyLaw

  • International Arbitration & Dispute Resolution

  • International & Comparative Law

  • Maritime Law

In addition to these six specializations, the university also offers "a specialized LLM in International Business Law which is taught at NUS in Singapore and the East China University of Political Science and Law in Shanghai."

How can you apply for a general LLM?

According to Harsh Mahaseth, an LLM graduate of NUS with a specialisation in Asian Legal Studies, there are two ways to opt for a general LLM. The first way would be to opt for a general LLM at the time of your admission.

In the second method, NUS provides a certain degree of academic freedom to its students by allowing them to initially pick a specialization and to then drop the specialisation and become a general LLM candidate.

Advantage of a specialization

Every specialization at NUS has certain course listings. For instance, NUS offers around ten courses under the specialization for Asian Legal Studies each semester, including courses such as China and International Arbitration, International Law and Asia and ASEAN Law and Policy. Similarly, each of the other five specializations also have different courses on offer.

At the beginning of each semester of the LLM program, all students in the LLM cohort are required to bid for these courses. However, since the total number of students who can opt for any given course is capped, students with a specialization in a particular subject will be given preference while bidding for the courses for that specialization, over general LLM candidates and students with a specialization in other subjects.