Postgraduate Course

LLM International Law

LLM International Law

Overview

The details
International Law
October 2024
Full-time
1 year
Colchester Campus
Essex Law School

How does international law peacefully resolve disputes? What role do various international organisations play in the shaping and operation of international law? How does international law play a role in current events?

In an increasingly globalised world, international law is a vibrant and fast-moving area of law. Our LLM International Law offers the opportunity to study across a wide range of modules in the areas of Public International Law, Human Rights, Commercial, Trade and Maritime law. You will learn about the foundations of the international legal system, and you will examine theoretical perspectives and the practice of its institutions and processes, while specialising in particular areas.

Throughout the course you'll have the opportunity to study key areas, including but not limited to:

  • Public International Law
  • International Human Rights Law
  • International Law of the Sea
  • Carriage of Goods by Sea
  • Financing International Trade
  • Commercial Conflict of Laws

You will be able to tailor your postgraduate degree to your interests with our range of optional modules, and at the end of your degree you will be awarded one of the following qualifying titles depending on your module choices: LLM International Law, LLM International Law with Human Rights, LLM International Law with Business Law.

Our law course will develop your intellectual and critical faculties, encourage you to think independently and teach you to present rational, coherent and accurate arguments orally and in writing. It will provide you with an excellent foundation for any career.

We are ranked 49th for Law in THE World University Rankings by subject 2024, which is 9th in the UK, and we are 3rd in the UK for research power in law (THE research power measure, REF2021).

This course is also available on a part-time basis.

Why we're great.
  • Indulge in research-led teaching and explore the latest breakthroughs in the field
  • Choose from optional modules to develop extensive knowledge in the areas that interest you the most
  • Graduate with a genuine worldview and a network of international contacts

Our expert staff

Our internationally diverse community of staff and students gives us a breadth of cross-cultural perspectives and insights into law and justice around the world.

Dr. Meagan Wong holds a PhD in Public International Law and has been called to the Bar of England and Wales. She has advised States on a broad set of issues of generalist public international law including the law of treaties, jurisdiction, international institutional law, and the relationship between international law and national law.

Dr. Antonio Coco holds a PhD in Law from the University of Geneva. He researches and publishes in the fields of Public International Law, International Criminal Law, International Humanitarian Law and International Law applicable to Information and Communication Technologies. His academic works have been widely cited, most notably by the International Criminal Court and by the United Nations International Law Commission's Special Rapporteur on Crimes Against Humanity.

Prof. Noam Lubell is the Director of the Essex Armed Conflict and Crisis Hub. In addition to his academic work, during the last twenty-five years Prof. Lubell has worked for various organisations including human rights NGOs dealing with the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, as Outreach Coordinator, International Law Advisor, and Director of a Prisoners & Detainees Project. He has also provided consultancies and training in human rights law and the laws of armed conflict on military courses, as well as for bodies such as Amnesty International, government bodies, and the BBC.

Prof Geoff Gilbert is Sérgio Vieira de Mello Professor of International Human Rights & Humanitarian Law. His areas of interest are international criminal law, the protection of refugees and other displaced persons in international law, the protection of minorities in international law, international humanitarian law and international human rights law. He has carried out human rights training on behalf of the Council of Europe and UNHCR in the Russian Federation (Siberia, the Urals and Kalmykskaya), Georgia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia and Kosovo. He has advised governments on their laws in Central and Eastern Europe, the Balkans and the FSU, and was the Director of the OSCE training programme on combating torture for judges in Serbia and Montenegro.

Dr. Anastasia Karatzia has been teaching Banking Law and Competition Law at the University of Essex since 2017. Her research focuses on banking supervision and regulation in the EU and the UK, as well as issues surrounding the Eurogroup and the accountability of international actors when granting financial assistance in times of crisis.

Specialist facilities

  • Gain commercial awareness at our Business and Legal Advice Clinic
  • Work on key human rights projects at our Human Rights Clinic
  • Participate in mooting competitions to develop your skills, particularly important if you hope to become a barrister
  • Test your mediation and negotiation skills in our Client Interviewing Competition (sponsored by Birkett Long Solicitors)
  • Join our Model United Nations society, which can improve your skills of argumentation, oral presentation and research
  • Network at our student-run Law Society, Human Rights Society, and Bar Society, which provides legal advice to the Commonwealth Students' Association (CSA)
  • Take advantage of networking opportunities throughout the year with visiting law firms

Your future

Essex Law School graduates have gone on to a wide variety of careers in international and intergovernmental organisations or employment with governments across the world, in commerce and banking, in non-governmental organisations and, as might be expected, in the legal profession and the judiciary.

We also work with the university's Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

A 2:2 Degree in Law or a joint honours Degree in another subject with Law.

Applicants who do not hold a Law Degree but who have at least six months of relevant professional experience, traineeships, or professional qualifications/certifications issued by professional bodies such as Bar Associations can apply and will be considered. Please provide your CV.

International & EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.

Sorry, the entry requirements for the country that you have selected are not available here. Please select your country page where you'll find this information.

English language requirements


If English is not your first language, we require IELTS 6.5 overall with a minimum component score of 6.0 in writing and 5.5 in all other components.

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

Additional Notes

The University uses academic selection criteria to determine an applicant’s ability to successfully complete a course at the University of Essex. Where appropriate, we may ask for specific information relating to previous modules studied or work experience.

Structure

Course structure

Most of our courses combine compulsory and optional modules, giving you freedom to pursue your own interests. All of the modules listed below provide an example of what is on offer from the current academic year.

Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field. The course content is therefore reviewed on an annual basis to ensure our courses remain up-to-date so modules listed are subject to change.

We understand that deciding where and what to study is a very important decision for you. We’ll make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities as described on our website. However, if we need to make material changes, for example due to significant disruption, or in response to COVID-19, we’ll let our applicants and students know as soon as possible.

Components and modules explained

Components

Components are the blocks of study that make up your course. A component may have a set module which you must study, or a number of modules from which you can choose.

Each component has a status and carries a certain number of credits towards your qualification.

Status What this means
Core
You must take the set module for this component and you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component but you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
Compulsory
You must take the set module for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
Compulsory with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
Optional
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.

The modules that are available for you to choose for each component will depend on several factors, including which modules you have chosen for other components, which modules you have completed in previous years of your course, and which term the module is taught in.

Modules

Modules are the individual units of study for your course. Each module has its own set of learning outcomes and assessment criteria and also carries a certain number of credits.

In most cases you will study one module per component, but in some cases you may need to study more than one module. For example, a 30-credit component may comprise of either one 30-credit module, or two 15-credit modules, depending on the options available.

Modules may be taught at different times of the year and by a different department or school to the one your course is primarily based in. You can find this information from the module code. For example, the module code HR100-4-FY means:

HR 100  4  FY

The department or school the module will be taught by.

In this example, the module would be taught by the Department of History.

The module number. 

The UK academic level of the module.

A standard undergraduate course will comprise of level 4, 5 and 6 modules - increasing as you progress through the course.

A standard postgraduate taught course will comprise of level 7 modules.

A postgraduate research degree is a level 8 qualification.

The term the module will be taught in.

  • AU: Autumn term
  • SP: Spring term
  • SU: Summer term
  • FY: Full year 
  • AP: Autumn and Spring terms
  • PS: Spring and Summer terms
  • AS: Autumn and Summer terms

COMPONENT 01: CORE

Dissertation
(60 CREDITS)

The dissertation is an independent and research-led piece of work under the guidance of an academic supervisor. Students are to undertake an individual research programme and apply appropriate methodologies on a topic within the scope of the LLM International Law degree course. The topic will be approved by the academic supervisor and the postgraduate taught director and provides an opportunity to develop and display an extensive knowledge of the law and, drawing on applicable legislations, case law and scholarly works, to engage in critical evaluation and analysis of relevant legal issues.

View Dissertation on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 02: COMPULSORY

Public International Law
(15 CREDITS)

What does it mean to be an international lawyer? Understand the founding principles of international law. Apply the tools and techniques of legal reasoning to the international legal system. Understand how the system of international law works and form your own views through discussions of contemporary issues.

View Public International Law on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 03: COMPULSORY WITH OPTIONS

LW966-7-SP or options from list
(15 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 04: COMPULSORY

Academic Skills in International Law
(15 CREDITS)

This module is a compulsory module for all LLM in International Law students on all pathways, which aims to develop students’ academic skills as required for the postgraduate study of international law. This module has been designed to be taken alongside the module LW902 Public International Law (also compulsory for all LLM in International Law students). The LW949 Academic Skills in International Law module equips students with the technical skills required to engage in research and study of public international law, including academic referencing of scholarship, treaties, cases of international courts and tribunals. Students also develop the necessary skills to analyse international legal materials, complete both essay and problem-based questions within the field, produce high-quality independent writing at postgraduate level, and reflect upon feedback. This module will also prepare students for the foundation essay (formative essay) for the LLM in International Law. This is a formative essay, which provides an opportunity for students to engage with postgraduate level reading and writing on a topic of international law, and to submit an essay for the first time at LLM level. As a valuable learning tool, students receive feedback on their foundation essay, allowing them to reflect accordingly for future coursework with a view on how to further develop their skills throughout their postgraduate degree.

View Academic Skills in International Law on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 05: OPTIONAL

Option(s) from list
(45 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 06: OPTIONAL

Option(s) from list
(30 CREDITS)

Teaching

Postgraduate students in Essex Law School usually attend two-hour workshops, or a one-hour lecture and one-hour seminar for each module each week.

  • Taught through small-group interactive seminars that foster critical debate and analysis
  • Teaching is supplemented by lectures, where appropriate
  • Postgraduates are welcome to join the numerous guest lectures held at the School yearly

Assessment

Modules are assessed via a coursework, an examination, or a combination of the two.

Dissertation

  • Your dissertation is normally 12,000 words in length
  • You will have the freedom to select your own dissertation topic
  • A special dissertation module that offers guidance on topic selection and the writing process, as well as one-to-one supervision given from a member of academic staff

Fees and funding

Home/UK fee

£10,000

International fee

£21,700

What's next

Open Days

We hold Open Days for all our applicants throughout the year. Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex, and give you the chance to:

  • tour our campus and accommodation
  • find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
  • meet our students and staff

If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing tours@essex.ac.uk and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.

2024 Open Days (Colchester Campus)

  • Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Applying

You can apply for this postgraduate course online. Before you apply, please check our information about necessary documents that we'll ask you to provide as part of your application.

We aim to respond to applications within two weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.

For information on our deadline to apply for this course, please see our ‘how to apply' information.

You will need to provide a copy of your CV with your application.

A sunny day with banners flying on Colchester Campus Square 4.

Visit Colchester Campus

Set within 200 acres of award-winning parkland - Wivenhoe Park and located two miles from the historic city centre of Colchester – England's oldest recorded development. Our Colchester Campus is also easily reached from London and Stansted Airport in under one hour.


View from Square 2 outside the Rab Butler Building looking towards Square 3

Virtual tours

If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.

At Essex we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive student community. We offer a wide range of support to individuals and groups of student members who may have specific requirements, interests or responsibilities.

Find out more

The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include, but are not limited to: strikes, other industrial action, staff illness, severe weather, fire, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack (whether declared or not), natural disaster, restrictions imposed by government or public authorities, epidemic or pandemic disease, failure of public utilities or transport systems or the withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications. The University would inform and engage with you if your course was to be discontinued, and would provide you with options, where appropriate, in line with our Compensation and Refund Policy.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

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