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Public International Law

Master of Laws ( 1 year Full-time / 2 years Part-time )

Overview

The LLM in Public International Law will offer you a unique opportunity to study a wide range of courses on the role and place of law in international affairs. Questions of international Law are increasingly an important part of domestic litigation in almost all jurisdictions. The modules are designed to equip you for a career in private legal practice, diplomatic service, or work with non-governmental organisations. All courses are taught by top class academics with extensive experience in the study and application of international law.


Why study your LLM in Public International Law at Queen Mary?


The School of Law has consistently been ranked in the top 10 law schools in the UK for the quality of our research and teaching, and many of our internationally recognised staff act as advisers to governments, industry and NGOs, both nationally and internationally.

The Postgraduate Law Centre is based in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, Holborn, the legal district of London, close to law firms, chambers and the Royal Courts of Justice.

  • There is a very high rate of employment of our students within six months of graduation.
  • We have dedicated law careers advisers who organise events and internship opportunities with top UK and international law firms.
  • Many of our internationally recognised staff act as advisers to governments, industry, regulatory authorities and NGOs, both nationally and internationally.
  • We offer a Critical Thinking and Writing in Law programme designed to improve your writing and research in law skills. 
  • You will be able to take part in networking and social events run by the Queen Mary Postgraduate Law Society and upon graduating join our extensive alumni network.


Facilities


You will have access to facilities and equipment at the Postgraduate School of Law Centre in Lincoln's Inn Fields, which comprises workstations, wireless internet access, projectors and a common room. You will also have access to the Lock-keeper's Cottage Graduate Centre at the Mile End campus.

As well as housing the Law Library and a European Documentation Centre, the Queen Mary Library at Mile End provides access to all the main British, European and international textbooks, law reports and periodicals and also offers one of the best commercial law collections in the country. Through the University of London College network, students have access to an unrivalled range of electronic law journals and databases.

In addition, Queen Mary provides free access to extensive online databases and collections including:

  • Lexis
  • Nexis
  • Westlaw
  • Justis
  • Eur-lex
  • Hein-Online
  • Business Source Complete
  • Index to Legal Periodicals
  • International Court of Justice Reports
  • Kluwer Arbitration
  • Oxford Scholarship Online (Law)
  • Reports of Patent, Design and Trademark Cases
  • UK Statute law database
  • United Nations Treaty Collection
In addition to the Queen Mary Library and the British Library, postgraduate students are able to access the well-stocked law library at the University of London’s Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS). The Institute, located at Russell Square, a few minutes’ walk from Lincoln’s Inn Fields, is one of the major law libraries worldwide. You will also have access to the University of London Library at Senate House.

Structure

The LLM is available to study full-time for one year or part-time for two years.

Each of the LLM programmes follows a common format: you will take 135 credits worth of taught modules (examined in May-June) and thereafter you work on a 15,000-word dissertation worth 45 credits (submitted mid August).

What differs from programme to programme is the range of modules that you are required to choose from. If you wish to take an unrestricted range of modules and any approved dissertation topic you should apply for the Master of Laws.


Induction and choosing your modules


We run a two-week induction period that includes an overview of the programme and module selection, dissertation and research skills. In the second week you will have the chance to try out the different modules within your programme before you make your final choice. Full details of the induction programme will be made available online by September each year.

LLM Year Planner


The LLM Year Planner gives you an idea of the structure of the programme and key periods for assessment and exams.

Full-time


Undertaking a masters programme is a serious commitment, with weekly contact hours being in addition to numerous hours of independent learning and research needed to progress at the required level. When coursework or examination deadlines are approaching independent learning hours may need to increase significantly. Please contact the course convenor for precise information on the number of contact hours per week for this programme.


Part-time


The part-time LLM is essentially aimed at legal practitioners working full-time in the UK. You will attend the same modules and follow the same teaching timetable as full-time students.

The part-time programme is, however, spread over two academic years.

In year one, you will normally complete 90 credits of taught modules. In year two, you will normally take a further 45 credits of taught modules and submit the compulsory 15,000-word dissertation (45 credits). This can of course be changed if necessary, as the dissertation can actually be done in either year. However we would always advise part-time students to take 90 credits of taught modules in their first year if they are timetabled in a convenient slot.

Although not recommended, it is possible for part-time students, who are having difficulties in finding taught modules that fit in with their work timetable, to submit two dissertations – one per year. This would then enable you to take one taught module per year.

For more information:

Visit the School of Law website.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

If you can't find the information you are looking for on these pages, take a look at our LLM Frequently Asked Questions.

Modules:


To specialise in this area, you must select 90 credits of modules from this list and do your compulsory dissertation in the field of Public International Law (45 credits). The additional 45 credits of taught modules can be in this area or can be unrelated and therefore selected from the full list of LLM modules.

All modules are 45 credits unless otherwise stated.

Note: Not all of the modules listed will be available in any one year. Any modules not available in the forthcoming academic session will be marked as soon as this information is confirmed.

 

Entry requirements

Law graduates

The usual qualification for entry to the LLM programme is a degree in law, or a degree with a substantial law content, of at least 2.1 honours (or equivalent). Law graduates with 2.2 honours who also have other legal qualifications and/or substantial professional legal experience may also qualify.


Non-law graduates

Non-law graduates with a minimum second class honours degree, that have also obtained a Merit (or 60 per cent) in the Common Professional Examination (CPE) or Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) recognised by the UK professional bodies, may also qualify. Non-law graduates may also be considered on the basis of exceptional professional experience (of at least five years) in a legal area or an area directly related to their programme of study.
 
In all cases, a full online application is required in order for a fair assessment and decision to be made. Each application is considered on its merits and on sight of full application documents.
 
A full and detailed CV is required for all applications and is particularly relevant where professional experience needs to be considered.

International applicants

Students from outside of the UK help form a global community here at Queen Mary. For detailed country specific entry requirements please visit the International section of our website. If your first language is not English, you must provide evidence of your English language proficiency. Find details on our English language entry requirements webpage.

If you do not meet language or scholarly requirements it might be possible for you to undertake foundation or pre-sessional programmes that will prepare you for the masters programme.

For more information, please contact the Admissions Office.

If you are unable to find the information you require, please contact the Admissions Office for assistance.

How to apply - one LLM programme only

You may only apply for one of the School of Law’s LLM London programmes at a time. This restriction does not include the LLM Law and Economics programme or the LLM in Paris programme,  which you may still apply for. You are permitted to apply for a maximum of two Queen Mary taught postgraduate programmes, so you may still apply for a further non-LLM London programme should you wish.

If you apply for one of the LLM London programmes, then later decide you would prefer to attend a different LLM specialism, please contact the Admissions Office Law Team at admissionsteamc@qmul.ac.uk - prior to enrolment - to request a manual change of LLM programme. Do not submit a new application.

Learning and teaching

As a student at Queen Mary, you will play an active part in your acquisition of skills and knowledge. Teaching is by a mixture of formal lectures and small group seminars. The seminars are designed to generate informed discussion around set topics, and may involve student presentations and group exercises as well as open discussion. We take pride in the close and friendly working relationship we have with our students. You will have a team of advisers to support you, including the LLM and Research Directors, your dissertation supervisor and tutors and your module convenors.


Where will my lectures and seminars be held?


Teaching is based at the School of Law's postgraduate centre in Lincoln's Inn Fields (nearest Underground station: Holborn). Depending on the courses you take, you may also have classes at the Mile End Campus (nearest Underground stations: Mile End and Stepney Green) or the University of London's Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (nearest Underground stations: Russell Square, Euston and Euston Square) or Charterhouse Square (nearest underground station: Barbican).

The sample LLM teaching timetable will give you some idea of the different locations used for teaching. This is a sample only and venues and times/days can change from year to year. The LLM teaching timetable is given to students during the induction period (after enrolment).

Independent Study:


For every hour spent in classes you will be expected to complete further hours of independent study. Your individual study time could be spent preparing for, or following up on formal study sessions; reading; producing written work; completing projects; and revising for examinations.

The direction of your individual study will be guided by the formal study sessions you attend, along with your reading lists and assignments. However, we expect you to demonstrate an active role in your own learning by reading widely and expanding your own knowledge, understanding and critical ability.

Independent study will foster in you the ability to identify your own learning needs and determine which areas you need to focus on to become proficient in your subject area. This is an important transferable skill and will help to prepare you for the transition to working life.

Assessment


You will be assessed by a mixture of formal examinations and coursework in the three taught modules, followed by more self-directed work on your 15,000-word dissertation.on.


Dissertation


You will also complete a dissertation of 15,000-words.


Teachers contributing to this programme include:


 

Fees

Tuition fees for Home and EU students

2014 entry
Full time £12,600

Tuition fees for International students

2014 entry
Full time £18,000

Funding

There are a number of sources of funding available for Masters students.

These include a significant package of competitive Queen Mary bursaries and scholarships in a range of subject areas, as well as external sources of funding.

School of Law scholarships

The School of Law offers a range of scholarships for Law Masters programmes each year. Full details are made available on the law funding page from October – November each year.

Queen Mary bursaries and scholarships

We offer a range of bursaries and scholarships for Masters students including competitive scholarships, bursaries and awards, some of which are for applicants studying specific subjects.

Read more about funding a masters

Alternative sources of funding

Home/EU students can apply for a range of other funding, such as Professional and Career Development Loans, and Employer Sponsorship, depending on their circumstances and the specific programme of study.

Overseas students may be eligible to apply for a range of external scholarships and we also provide information about relevant funding providers in your home country.

Detailed information about postgraduate funding options is available in our Postgraduate Funding Guide (pdf).

Read more about funding a masters.

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 5079
email bursaries@qmul.ac.uk

Other financial help on offer at Queen Mary

We offer one to one specialist support on all financial and welfare issues through our Advice and Counselling Service, which you can access as soon as you have applied for a place at Queen Mary.

Our Advice and Counselling Service also has lots of Student Advice Guides on all aspects of finance including:

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 8717

Graduate Employment

Profiles

Nicolás Rodríguez Serna, Colombia

Nicolás Rodríguez Serna

LLM in Public International Law, School of Law Scholarship Winner 2012-13

Before coming to London, I finished my LLB at Universidad de Los Andes, Colombia, qualified as a lawyer and practiced International and Human Rights Law with UNHCR through its Partner Agency in Colombia, SNPS (Caritas). After working with them and researching for my second book, I knew that I had to start thinking about my next step - and this is when the idea of coming to London for an LLM started taking shape in my mind. I ended up choosing Queen Mary because it best reflects what both International Law and London are all about - excellence, competitiveness, multiculturalism and a perfect balance between upholding respected traditions and seeking ground-breaking solutions for the world we live in.

I arrived two months ago, and couldn't be happier. My classes in international law are filled with students from every jurisdiction, and the professors have great experience not only in academia but also in litigation, policy making and advocacy. I'm challenged every day to work harder, learn more and understand it all - and this is exactly the kind of challenge that makes moving halfway across the world a fantastic decision. One week ago, I started a fellowship at the Refugee Law Initiative at the University of London and am extremely excited to be able to work with leading academics in the field. Next year, I'm hoping to collaborate with human rights litigation in international organizations, and then - who knows? London is about as competitive as a city can get, but if there is something that I'm absolutely sure about, it's that all I'm doing now, and all that I hope to accomplish in the future, I owe to a smart decision to choose the right place. More than anything else, the intellectual strength you develop here, and Queen Mary's imprint on your personal, professional and academic history are things that will accompany you for the rest of your life.


Elisabeth Lees, UK

LLM in Public International Law 2009-10

School of Law Scholarship Winner; University of London Georg Schwarzenberger Prize in International Law 2010-11, Joint Winner

"After qualifying as a barrister, I spent six months in Africa, four of which were spent as an Intern in Chambers at the International Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha, Tanzania. Following my return to the UK I practiced as a criminal barrister at 23 Essex Street Chambers, undertaking both prosecution and defence work until, in March 2006, I began to work as Crown Counsel at the Legal Department for the Government of the Cayman Islands. I maintained my interest in International Criminal Law and was fortunate enough to be awarded a Pegasus Scholarship from the Honourable Society of Inner Temple. This meant that I could complete a further Internship at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in 2007, this time with the Office of the Prosecution. Whilst there, I assisted with training Rwandan prosecutors in Kigali as well as assisting the Prosecution in the Butare Case.

I decided to do an LLM so I would have the theoretical knowledge of International Criminal Law to compliment my practical experience as a prosecutor in order to move my career into the field of International Criminal Law. I met lots of very interesting people – both students and lecturers. Doing the LLM after working for several years was far harder than I expected and it was great to have the support of colleagues and teachers. I hope that my career will develop further in the field of International Criminal Law. I am currently gaining further experience as Crown Counsel, in the Cayman Islands where cases range from rape and child abuse to fraud and murder."


Wuhong Shi, China

Wuhong Shi

LLM in Public International Law, Chevening Winner, 2010-2011

Before studying at Queen Mary, University of London, I worked in the Legal Department of the Chinese Foreign Ministry. With the aspiration to become a legal expert with world-class expertise, I won the Chevening Scholarship to pursue an LLM degree in the UK through harsh competition.

I chose Queen Mary mainly because of its prestige in law. It boasts internationally renowned scholars and a wide variety of legal courses including those closely related to my work, law of treaties, international criminal law, climate change law and policy, just to name a few…

Teachers here are highly committed, competent and ready to offer learned and expertise guidance, seminars are greatly interactive with thorough discussions and extensive case studies. Through one year’s intensive study, I am far better armed to put what I have learned into real practice.

After graduation, I will resume the foreign legal service. The sound and solid legal training that I have received at Queen Mary will no doubt prove a great asset in my future career development.


Nneka Okechukwu, Nigeria

Okechukwu

LLM Public International Law 2007-2008

"I found out about Queen Mary during my undergraduate years in the University of Lagos, Nigeria. The Dean of the Faculty of Law at that time was an alumni of Queen Mary and recommended it. I then discovered through my online research that Queen Mary not only has a world-renown LLM programme, but also that the school's law programme had a 5 star rating.

Another feature of the Queen Mary LLM which I found very appealing was the fact that a student has the freedom to structure his or her programme to suit his or her preferences and career goals.

The fact that Queen Mary is one of the largest multi-faculty colleges of the University of London helped to seal the deal for me.

I am presently pursuing an LLM in Queen Mary with a specialisation in Public International Law. Not being used to this system of lecturing, I was initially unsure of myself. However, I soon discovered that the seminars encouraged and challenged students to consider different aspects of the issues and showed me capabilities I didn't know I had.

I now participate enthusiastically in every class. I particularly like the fact that for some classes, visiting lecturers are invited to enlighten us on the practical application of all we learn. Upon the completion of my programme, I hope to obtain employment in an international organization such as the African Union or the United Nations. I am confident that with a degree from Queen Mary I will be a force to be reckoned with in the field of international public law."


Ksenia Bakina, UK

Bakina

LLM Public International Law 2008-9

“I decided to study an LLM at Queen Mary as I had already completed an LLB with the University and admired the teaching styles of many of the professors, their supportive attitude and the welcoming atmosphere the university has.

During the LLB I studied English and European Law and therefore wanted to explore a new area -Public International Law. I thoroughly enjoyed the LLM not just because of the excellent level of teaching and interesting discussions carried out in class but also because of the vast variety of specialist courses.

Also, I had an opportunity to attend the Frankfurt International Investment Moot Court whilst studying the International Trade and Investment Dispute Settlement course, which was an unforgettable and exciting experience. This course and involvement in the Moot Court has influenced my decision to pursue a career in International Investment Arbitration.”


Cem Arsiray, Germany

Arsiray

LLM in Public International Law, 2008-2009

“Before finishing my undergrad in Germany, I applied for a couple of universities in the UK and got accepted at all of these colleges.

I chose Queen Mary, University of London, to pursue my graduate studies for various reasons. First of all, I was impressed by the very helpful, quick and friendly administrative staff during the application procedure, who supported me in all sorts of matters and made me feel welcome from the very beginning.

Secondly and for the first time ever, I had the chance to tailor my courses according to my personal interests - after five years of very stiff curricula in my German law school.

Queen Mary, University of London provided a varied and interesting list of courses and I eventually opted for the LLM in Public International Law and was positively surprised by the contents of the courses. First and foremost, I was thrilled by Norah Gallagher and Professor Loukas Mistelis' class on International Trade and Investment Dispute Settlement.

Without really knowing what this class would be like and without having ever heard of investment arbitration before, I can now say that this is the area where I will hopefully work in the future. In that sense, the QMUL LLM was a real eye-opener.

More generally, I was able to profit from the quality of the academic staff and the easy access to the teaching materials. The very international and highly motivated student community and the direct contact to the teaching staff made it possible to experience an extremely valuable academic discourse. Being in London also had a share in this. As a student of the University of London, we had also access to the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, which is the best law library I have ever seen.


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