LLM/Postgraduate Diploma/Postgraduate Certificate International Law
This course is open for applications.
Page last updated 11 March 2021
The modules available on the LLMs cover a wide range of legal disciplines, to cater for the diverse learning needs of students from the UK, Europe and around the world.
Part of our comprehensive range of LLM programmes, the LLM in International Law offers you an opportunity to study the fundamentals of international law at an advanced level, linking theory to practice.
You will examine the key legal principles and rules underpinning the international legal system, and develop a contextual and critical understanding of key issues in contemporary international law. The depth and breadth of study will equip you well for working either in international law or international organisations.
Diverse choice of modules
Pursuing an LLM allows you to focus in on a particular area of law by delving deep into the subject and undertaking independent research and learning. The modules available cover a diverse range of legal topics, making it possible to tailor the course towards the specific areas of law you wish to explore further.
Teaching backed by the latest research
The School has a thriving research culture and most tutors on our LLMs are active researchers, publishing in leading journals. At the same time, the quality of teaching at Bristol Law School has been recognised by the Quality Assurance Agency as 'excellent'. You can therefore expect to participate in carefully-planned, lively and highly informative sessions designed to give you a deep and thorough grounding in your chosen area of law.
Flexible study options
There are two intakes to the LLMs, one in September and one in January, and you can study with us full or part time.
Watch: The learning and teaching experience
The LLM in International Law consists of nine modules in total, including a dissertation of up to 15,000 words.
The optional modules listed are those that are most liekly to be available, but they may be subject to change.
To gain the Postgraduate Certificate, you will study three compulsory modules (Research Methods, International Law and Institutions) and two optional modules.
To gain the Postgraduate Diploma, you will complete the necessary modules to gain the Certificate (as above) and another four optional modules.
To achieve the LLM, you will complete the necessary modules to gain the Diploma (as above) and also write a dissertation.
- Foundations for Research - During this module you will explore core research methodologies and develop your own legal research and analytical skills. You will consider how research links to your future study and employment by exploring good academic practice, key research skills, and research methodologies in the context of professional development and your own academic research activities.
- Research Methods - This module builds on the Foundations for Research module, exploring the themes of skills enhancement, employability and research methodologies in more depth. In particular you will analyse and critique the use of research methodologies in the context of specific disciplines relevant to LLM study. Throughout the module you will develop your critical faculties and analytical skills, using methodological tools to analyse the strength of your own and others' academic work.
- International Law and Institutions - This covers the principles and scope of international law and its main institutions. You will explore the dynamics of the international community and the increasing role played by non-governmental actors.
Option modules for the Postgraduate Certificate are as follows (due to restrictions with module offerings this year, only the following are available):
- Globalisation and the Law - This introduces you to what globalisation means in economic, political, cultural and social terms, and the legal consequences that derive there from. You will assess whether international law is equipped with instruments and institutions to regulate the consequences of globalisation.
- International Environmental Law -This module covers international legal principles and concepts relating to environmental protection in the context of wider political, ecological and economic issues.
If you are continuing onto the Diploma or LLM, you will choose another four modules from the following options:*
- Corporate Governance and Corporate Social Responsibility - This module focuses on the difference between the concepts of corporate governance and corporate social responsibility, enabling you to assess the effectiveness of corporate governance and self-regulatory schemes.
- Natural Resources Law - This examines the legal regulation related to natural resources, looking at the sources and legal concepts applicable to natural resource activities, with a particular focus on the oil, gas, water and forestry sectors.
- International Employment Law - This centres on employment law in an international context. The module relates to many of the themes explored in the materials of the International Labour Office (ILO), in particular globalisation, flexicurity (flexibility v security), human rights and sustainability.
- World Trade Organisation Law - We examine the laws, law-making and adjudicative institutions of the World Trade Organisation. Particular attention is given to the procedures for dispute resolution and other 'covered agreements' relating to international economic law.
*Or you can choose three from this list, plus one optional module from any of the other LLM courses.
Finally, if you are undertaking the full LLM, you will need to write a 15,000 word dissertation. This needs to be an original piece of work. You can satisfy this requirement by:
- carrying out empirical work that has not been done before
- synthesising issues not put together before
- looking at topics that have not been looked at before by people in the discipline
- examining existing knowledge in an original way, or
- bringing new evidence to bear on an old issue.
You don't need to meet all of these criteria. Your dissertation topic must broadly relate to your LLM award.
This structure is for full-time students only. Part-time students study the same modules but the delivery pattern will be different.
The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved, we will inform you.
Learning and Teaching
The flexible nature of the course allows you to study with us full or part time. The course involves both extensive independent research and discussion in the context of workshops, designed to encourage the development of your critical, analytical and reflective skills. You will be expected to prepare for each workshop and to participate actively in discussion with your tutors and peers.
You will also have access to course and module information through our online Blackboard system.
For more details see our glossary of teaching and learning terms.
The full-time course takes one year, with approximately six to nine contact hours a week. However, as independent study is fundamental to the course, the total study time should be around 36 hours a week.
The part-time route takes two years. You will usually have around four hours of contact with your tutors a week and you should spend between 12 and 18 hours a week studying independently.
You will receive a high level of support both during your studies and after you have graduated. You will be allocated an LLM academic tutor to support you throughout the course. We also organise events to help you plan your career after the LLM.
Taught modules on the LLM International Law course are assessed through a combination of written coursework assignments and oral presentations. The culmination of the course is a dissertation of up to 15,000 words, which constitutes an original contribution to the corpus of legal knowledge within an area of international law.
For more details see our full glossary of assessment terms.
Pro Bono Unit
The UWE Bristol Law Court Clinic has developed a comprehensive programme to provide opportunities for you to undertake legal pro bono work in and around the Bristol area. The unit (which includes its free Community Legal Advice and Representation Service (CLARS)) has received national recognition through the various awards it has achieved.
Bristol Law School has excellent, state-of-the-art facilities, including a dedicated LLM study room and mock law courtrooms, where you can put your learning into practice.
The Frenchay library offers students 24-hour access with computer room facilities, as well as a wide range of legal resources, including Hein Online, LexisNexis, Westlaw and iLaw. The library is well stocked with electronic and print books, newspapers, journals, government publications, statistics, encyclopaedias, dictionaries, company information, market reports and DVDs.
A £50m project is also underway to build the new Faculty of Business and Law building, which will provide innovative teaching and learning spaces, including two showcase law courts.
Find out more about the facilities and resources UWE has to offer.
International Law and Human Rights Unit (ILHRU)
The ILHRU is a dynamic research unit within the Centre for Legal Research in Bristol Law School. The unit provides an energetic forum for research activity, embracing an invigorating combination of research emphases, with a special focus on the relationship between the environment and human rights.
We have a student representation system, supported by UWE Bristol Students' Union. LLM student representatives are elected by LLM students to represent them, which means you will have the opportunity to raise any issues and help to shape the course by sharing your views.
Careers / Further study
Studying for an LLM provides an ideal opportunity to develop specialist skills that will be favoured by employers, both in the legal world and beyond. It opens up a range of career opportunities and gives our students the edge over other graduates.
The in-depth knowledge you will acquire in a particular area of law will give you a thorough grounding in the subject area and raise your employability prospects, enabling you to become a specialist within your organisation. It is for this reason that many of our LLM graduates choose to go on to complete a PhD or go into teaching and research.
Given the increasingly transnational nature of law, this course is designed to provide you with knowledge and skills which will be attractive to employers both in the UK and beyond. Recent graduates from Bristol Law School have gained positions in local government, solicitors firms, the Ministry of Defence and other organisations including Marks and Spencer plc, Direct Line and Lloyds TSB.
Our award-winning careers service helps you develop your employment potential through career coaching, a vacancy service for internships, placements, jobs, global opportunities, volunteering and community activity plus support for entrepreneurial activity, and access to employer events.
You should have:
- An honours degree of 2:2 or above in Law; or
- An honours degree of 2:2 or above plus a Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) or the Common Professional Examination (CPE); or
- An honours degree of 2:2 or above in a related subject (such as business, politics or international relations) and/or relevant experience: please give full details in your application.
If English is not your first language, you will also need to demonstrate your English Language proficiency. You should have:
- IELTS 6.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in all components
See further details of our English Language requirements.
UWE-Münster Referral Scheme
German students should have completed the First State Exam (FSE) and the FFA (Common Law).
Most students choose to study in Bristol in semester one, taking four modules and returning to Münster for semester two. Alternatively, students may wish to study in Bristol for the whole academic year, taking five modules spread over two semesters. The Research Methods module in semester two is compulsory and must be studied. This can be done at Bristol or if the student chooses to return to Münster, they can continue to study this module there with online support provided by UWE Bristol.
Students can complete their dissertation over the summer (they are not required to be in Bristol to do this). Supervision can take place online via video and email.
Students admitted under this scheme are exempted three modules by virtue of their prior studies and are offered a flexible pathway studying for a part or the whole of an academic year in Bristol.
UWE Bristol's International College
International students who do not meet the academic or English language requirements to study this course can qualify by completing preparatory study at our International College.
English language support
If you meet the academic requirements but require additional support to take your language skills to the required level, you may be able to attend one of our pre-sessional English courses. Students who successfully complete the pre-sessional course can progress onto their chosen degree course without retaking an IELTS or equivalent.
Read more about our Pre-Sessional English Programme.
How to apply
Please apply online. Applications for the LLM course may be submitted at any time of year and the deadline for applications is 1 September for study commencing in September that same academic year, or by 1 January for study commencing in January that same academic year.
For further information
- Email: Admissions@uwe.ac.uk
- Telephone: +44 (0)117 32 83333