School of Law

Masters study

Male and female student talking to a male academic

A legal education for the real world

Our taught postgraduate courses offer specifically tailored LLM and MA degrees, drawing on our extensive experience of research and practice in human rights, commercial, business and trade law.

Studying a Masters degree in the School of Law gives you the opportunity to focus on a particular area of law and acquire the in-depth knowledge and skills needed to specialise in that field.

Postgraduate modules are intensive and taught in small groups by our expert academic staff. You also complete a supervised dissertation project for submission at the end of the course, allowing you to pursue your own research interests.

For those who already hold an undergraduate degree in a different subject and would like to study law we offer a conversion LLB Law (Senior Status) degree. This gives you a comprehensive training and allows you to proceed to the Bar Professional Training Course or the Legal Practice Course.


Explore our Masters courses
Why choose us?
  • Our LLM International Human Rights Law is the oldest established human rights law course in Europe
  • Opportunities to specialise in growing niche industries such as international trade and maritime law
  • Essex is ranked 47th for Law in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2018

So, what do we have to offer?

A practical legal education

We offer practical, real-world opportunities to develop the skills and knowledge learnt on your course. This includes working with practising lawyers to advise clients in our Essex Law Clinic and engaging with pressing human rights issues in our Human Rights Clinic; both of which work with a range of partners including the Essex Business and Human Rights project

We support our students to take part in international competitions such as the Jean-Pictet Competition in Humanitarian Law and simulation exercises such as Simulex, where students work with military officers stationed at Colchester.

You'll also have access to training and networking opportunities organised by our Law Society and Bar Society and we run an ongoing programme of events to expand your knowledge of wider debates in legal research and practice. These include School of Law seminars, Human Rights Centre seminars and Essex Transitional Justice Network events. You can also attend our Essex Summer School in Human Rights Research Methods.

A world-leading education

We were first university in the UK to sign a memorandum of understanding with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). This creates internship and research opportunities for our postgraduate students and is based on our long-established expertise in international humanitarian law.

Part-time options

Our courses are offered on a full and part-time basis. Part-time students should note that teaching takes place on weekdays, during working hours.

“The robust and unique multidisciplinary understanding of human rights I gained at Essex has been instrumental in advancing my career. A year after graduation I was offered a job with UNICEF in Georgia as a child protection officer. More recently I have been working with UNICEF Myanmar in Yangon as a child protection specialist, heading UNICEF’s justice for children work in the country.”
Teona Aslanishvili MA Theory and Practice of Human Rights