Academic Criteria

MCL enrolment is typically restricted to no more than 25 students per year, meaning competition for places is intense. The normal minimum academic entry requirement for law graduates seeking admission to the Cambridge MCL is a top 5-10% ranking in their class. In jurisdictions, such as the UK, that class students on the basis of a first class, second class and third class degree, applicants would normally be expected to have a First class degree. Extra weight may be given to the performance in courses related to corporate law. An applicant will normally have a law degree, but those qualified to practise law who have a degree in another subject and have qualified to practice law or are currently in the process of qualifying are welcome to apply.

Students who are currently undertaking legal studies who will graduate soon can apply before completing their degree, provided they will have completed their studies well before the start of the MCL course. Successful applicants in this category are likely to have academic conditions attached to their offer. If your offer is subject to academic conditions, to join the MCL in October 2025 satisfactory evidence of fulfilment of the relevant conditions will have to be supplied by the summer of 2025 to the Postgraduate Admissions Office (PAO), the central University office handling graduate applications for all Cambridge Faculties and Departments. The PAO specifies the precise date. If an offer is subject to an academic condition and potentially relevant academic results only become available after that date, unfortunately you cannot be admitted to the MCL course.

Language Criteria

The MCL course is taught entirely in English and it is imperative that all students have a thorough command of the language.

If you are not a national of a country on the Postgraduate Admissions Office's List A, you will need to take an Academic IELTS or a TOEFL language proficiency test to show you have the necessary command of the English language. You will need to check the PAO website to find out the format of the tests that the PAO accepts.

If you are not a national from a List A country, you will still be exempt from taking a language proficiency test if you 1) have successfully completed a three- or four-year full-time bachelors degree within the last two years entirely in a country on List A, or 2) are in the final year of study for a three- or four-year full-time bachelors degree undertaken entirely in a country on List A.

Please note that it is not possible to obtain a waiver of the language requirement. Also, the MCL's policy is not to accept an assessment by the University’s Language Centre in lieu of an IELTS Academic test or a TOEFL test.

All MCL applicants who need to take an English language proficiency test are strongly recommended to submit their test results by the MCL application deadline of 7 January 2025. Otherwise, the test results must be provided by 1 April 2025. Applicants who are obliged to take a language test and do not provide a satisfactory test score by the MCL application deadline of 7 January will be at a considerable disadvantage compared to those who have submitted test results demonstrating English language proficiency in accordance with MCL admission criteria.

You must obtain the required minimum scores for all of the individual test components and overall in the same test sitting. Multiple test results normally cannot be combined to meet the language requirement. Please consult the PAO website for possible exceptions Please note as well we do not accept MyBest™ scores

An MCL applicant’s test scores must be less than two years old by the start of the MCL course in October 2025 in order to be valid.

The required test scores for the MCL course are:

  • Academic IELTS test: Minimum overall score of 7.5, with a minimum of 7.0 in each of the individual components of reading, writing, listening and speaking.
  • TOEFL test: Minimum overall score of 110, with a minimum of 25 in each of individual components of reading, writing, listening and speaking.