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LLM in Public International Law

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.

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Apply online for the LLM in Public International Law:

Read the LLM application checklist.

On the application form you will be applying for entry to your chosen LLM programme. All individual module choices will be finalised after enrolment and induction. You will have a two-week induction and a full week of teaching before making your selection to enable you to make an informed final choice.

Taught Modules

To specialise in this area, you must select 90 credits of modules from this list and do your compulsory dissertation in the same field of 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 available modules.

All modules are 45 credits unless otherwise stated below.

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 by teaching academics.

Teachers contributing to this programme include:

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


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


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


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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