Laws, postgraduate - Human Rights Law (LLM, PGDip and PGCert)
Gain an LLM with a specialisation in Human Rights by distance learning
The LLM (Master of Laws) is an internationally recognised postgraduate law degree comparable to an MBA in business and management.
Human Rights Law specialism
You can choose to specialise in Human Rights Law, which is one of the most in-demand specialisations within the Postgraduate Laws programme.
The University of London has a worldwide reputation for research and teaching in human rights law. This specialisation enables you to get to grips with the human rights issues confronting governments, international bodies, individuals and corporations. It addresses the promotion and protection of human rights internationally with options on the human rights of women, children and refugees. The important legal frameworks - the United Nations Protection of Human Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights are also covered.
This specialisation in Human Rights Law is ideal for those working in, or wishing to work in, legal practices which focus on areas such as human rights, public law, family law, immigration, housing, employment and business law; in central and local government; in campaigning groups; or for global organisations such as the UN.
Learn from the experts
Your study materials are written by some of the top people in their field who have practical experience, as well as outstanding academic credentials. Information on a few of them is given below:
Professor Geraldine van Buren QC, Professor of International Human Rights Law at Queen Mary, University of London, is the author of the course on International Rights of the Child and is widely acknowledged as the world’s leading authority in the field. Her writings have been cited in courts around the world. In 2003 she was awarded the Child Rights Lawyer Award in recognition of her outstanding work in the field of children's rights. She is one of the original drafters of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. She is a Bencher in the Middle Temple. She has served as a Commissioner on the Equality and Human Rights Commission and is also a member of the Attorney-General’s International Pro Bono Committee.
Professor Emily Jackson, author of the study guide on Medical Law and Ethics, Head of the Law Department of LSE, is an authority on medical ethics and leading thinker on contentious issues such as embryo research; mental health law; resource allocation; abortion; assisted dying; assisted conception; treatment of children. She is the Deputy Chair of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, and a member of the British Medical Association Medical Ethics Committee.
Professor Jill Marshall is the author of Human Rights of Women. Her research investigates the role human rights law plays in understanding personal identity. She has researched case law on women who conceal pregnancies and births from their families; women who leave their babies in 'baby boxes'; women who wear the Islamic headscarf and full face veil. She has given expert opinion to the Equal Opportunities Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on Islamophobia.
Professor Rebecca M.M. Wallace is Research Professor in International Human Rights and Justice. She is a member of Lincoln's Inn and a part-time judge of the First tier Tribunal (asylum and immigration). She has been Visiting Scholar to the School of Advanced International Studies, John Hopkins University, Washington, DC and the Ariel Sallows Professor in Human Rights at the University of Saskatchewan, Member of the Research Advisory Group Scottish Human Rights Commission, Member of the Advisory Council for Scotland’s National Action Plan for Human Rights, and Member of Advisory Board British Institute of Human Rights.
|You study||Study period||Cost (2016)||Cost (2017)|
|Postgraduate Certificate||5 modules (from up to 4 courses)||6 months-5 years||£3,316||£3,400|
|Postgraduate Diploma||10 modules (from up to 4 courses)||1-5 years||£5,746||£5,900|
|LLM||16 modules (from 4 courses)||1-5 years||£8,662||£8,900|
|Individual modules||You can take up to four credit bearing individual modules from the Postgraduate Laws programme on a stand-alone basis. These modules can later be credited to study on the Master of Laws (LLM) degree, Postgraduate Diploma in Laws and Postgraduate Certificate in Laws.||6 months-2 years||£530||£545|
Our students value the many benefits of online distance learning
- A study method designed for highly motivated busy professionals so you can study when and where is convenient to you, without any requirement to attend classes, submit course work or undertake dissertations.
- Becoming part of a global online community of other professionals in your field.
- Options to study over 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 years.
- Gaining a world-class qualification from the internationally-renowned University of London while maintaining your professional and personal commitments.
Summary of key dates
|To sit exams in:||Best to apply before:||Must enrol by:|
*February 2017 deadline extended to 12 March.
Developed by academics
The LLM from the University of London International Programmes has been developed by academics within Queen Mary and UCL Law departments, both of which have outstanding reputations.
We have over 150 years’ experience in providing distance learning programmes
“I chose the programme for its flexibility. At the same time as indulging my interest in criminal law, I could pursue my interest in human rights, for example. The quality of the programme is exceptional. I knew from the offset that it was going to be good; I didn't realise how good it was going to be.”
- It is not essential to sign up to do a specialisation when you start your studies. You can switch and change your planned specialisation throughout your studies and even get three different specialisations on the postgraduate certificate, postgraduate diploma and LLM respectively. See the main Postgraduate Laws structure page for a full list of specialisations.
- You need to achieve 16 modules from four courses to get the LLM, and 12 modules from three complete courses to get a specialisation.
- In England and Wales, the Law Society and General Council of the Bar do not recognise the Postgraduate Laws Programme as having QLD (Qualifying Law Degree) status. We advise you to contact the legal professional body in the jurisdiction where you intend to practise, to find out what their requirements are with regards to satisfying their entry requirements to the legal profession.
- The Postgraduate Laws programme is designed to be studied independently at a distance and academics are unable to engage in active advice or tuition. The study guides have been designed and produced by experts to lead you through your studies and be your principle point of reference. Recent developments in the various subject areas will be published in the VLE where you can also find many Examiner commentaries providing academic feedback on past exam papers and performance. You can additionally discuss any points with other students in the course forums or the Student Café, informal spaces within the eCampus.
Structure and syllabus - specialisation in Human Rights Law
The great benefit of this programme is its flexible structure. It's up to you whether you study the subjects of most interest to you and/or those that will be most useful to your career. There's a wide range of courses to choose from and three awards to aim for: you decide the level you want to achieve and the areas you want to cover. And because you can study when you choose, you can plan your studying to fit in with your work and home commitments. You can find out more about specific courses on our LLM YouTube channel.
Each course is divided into four modules and there is a separate exam for each module. For some modules, there are set sequences to guide you through the modules (given under the syllabuses). For others, you decide the order in which you study your chosen modules.
You take the following number of courses and modules:
- Postgraduate Certificate – five modules from up to four courses.
- Postgraduate Diploma – ten modules from up to four courses.
- Master of Laws (LLM) – sixteen modules from four courses.
You can choose whether you would like to cover several areas of the law or specialise in a particular area. It is not essential to indicate your desired specialisation when you register with us and you may wish to change your planned specialisation later in your studies. If you choose to specialise, the name of your specialisation will appear in the final certificate of your award, for example ‘Master of Laws in the specialisation: Computer and Communications Law' or 'Postgraduate Diploma in Laws in the specialisation: Maritime Law'. See the main Postgraduate Laws structure page for a full list of specialisations.
If you would like to specialise in a particular field of law, you need to study a certain number of courses or modules within that specialisation, as follows:
- Master of Laws (LLM) - three complete courses (12 modules) chosen from one specialisation.
- Postgraduate Diploma - eight modules chosen from one specialisation.
- Postgraduate Certificate - four modules chosen from one specialisation.
You can build your awards progressively. If you have successfully studied five modules and received the Postgraduate Certificate, you can continue studying five more modules and receive the Postgraduate Diploma. After that, six more modules get you the Master of Laws (LLM). To do this, you will continue to study the courses you have begun until they are completed, but courses usually fit into more than one specialisation so you may well be able to obtain the Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma and Master of Laws (LLM) in different specialisations if you wish.
Human rights law
- European Convention on Human Rights
Module A [LWM12A]
Context and foundations of the European Convention on Human Rights
Background to the adoption of the European Convention on Human Rights
Development and nature of the Convention system
The relationship between the Convention and other international and European norms and mechanisms
Interpreting and limiting Convention rights and freedoms
Module B [LWM12B]
The European Convention on Human Rights mechanism
Procedure before the European Court of Human Rights
The nature and effect of Court judgments
Implementing Court judgments
The role of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe
Module C [LWM12C]
European Convention on Human Rights substantive rights (1)
The prohibition on discrimination
The right to life
The prohibition on torture, inhuman and degrading treatment
The prohibition on slavery, the right to liberty and security and freedom of movement
Module D [LWM12D]
European Convention on Human Rights substantive rights (2)
The right to respect for private and family life and the right to marry
Freedom of conscience and religion
Freedom of expression, association and assembly
The right to a fair hearing and to an effective remedy
Module A must be attempted before module B; modules A and B must be attempted before module C; module A and B must be attempted before module D.
Clare Ovey and Robin White, Jacobs and White: The European Convention on Human Rights 4th ed (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), ISBN: 9780199288106
Dorothy J. Harris and A. R. Mowbray, Cases and Materials on the European Convention on Human Rights 2nd ed (London: Butterworths Law, 2005), ISBN: 9780406977274
Donna Gomien, Short Guide to the European Convention on Human Rights 3rd ed (Strasbourg: Council of Europe, 2005), ISBN: 9789287156709
- Human rights of women
Module A [LWM19A]
Is the theory underlying human rights law male?
Introduction to Human Rights, what is Human Rights law?
Analysis of the history and philosophy of Human Rights discourse.
Who is included in the “human” of Human Rights?
Module B [LWM19B]
Feminist critiques of human rights
Feminist theories and critiques of Human Rights law.
The problems and/or virtues of Human Rights law for women on a global scale.
Feminist reconstructions of Human Rights, aiming to ensure the inclusion of women.
Module C [LWM19C]
Institutional framework, institutions and documents relating to the human rights of women
Examination of Human Rights documents and their institutional framework, including: the UN Charter, the “three Generations of Rights”, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women; the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
International Courts, human rights and humanitarian law.
Module D [LWM19D]
Sovereign governments, non-state actors and individual responsibility for human rights violations: linking theory to practice
Consideration of the work of non-governmental organisations set up for/by women.
Interrelationship between sovereign governments, non-state actors and a developing international jurisprudence on Human Rights law investigating how these impact on the lives of women.
Case studies on sexual violence and rape including the International War Crimes Tribunals at The Hague.
Reconnecting feminist legal theory to the Human Rights of women.
Students are advised to attempt the modules in order but may, if they wish, attempt modules in the following order:
Module C, module A, module B and module D or
Module C, module D, module A and module B.
Hilary Charlesworth and Christine Chinkin, The Boundaries of International Law: A Feminist Analysis (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2000), ISBN: 9780719037399
Rebecca J. Cook (ed), Human Rights of Women: National and International Perspectives (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1994), ISBN: 9780812215380
- International criminal law
Students are advised that the subject demands some previous knowledge of public international law.
Module A: [LWM30A]
General context and international crimes before national courts
International law principles of State jurisdiction
Customary international law and treaty law
Direct criminal responsibility under international law
Treaty provisions requiring States to criminalise conduct (including terrorism and torture)
Module B: [LWM30B]
International criminal courts and tribunals
Jurisdiction and structure of international criminal courts and tribunals
Co-operation with international criminal courts and tribunals
Investigations, prosecutions, evidence and procedure before international criminal courts and tribunals
Fair trial rights appeals, revision and enforcement of sentences before international criminal courts and tribunals
Module C: [LWM30C]
The core international crimes (crimes within the jurisdiction of international tribunals
The elements of international crimes
Crimes against humanity
Aggression and crimes against peace
Module D: [LWM30D]
General principles of international criminal law
Aut dedere aut judicare (“extradite or prosecute”) and unlawful abductions
Modes of participation in crimes, and concurrence of crimes
Starting with A, modules must be attempted in order.
Antonio Cassese, International Criminal Law 2nd ed (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), ISBN: 9780199259397
Claire De Than and Edwin Shorts, International Criminal Law and Human Rights (London: Sweet & Maxwell, 2003), ISBN: 9780421722507
Philippe Sands (ed), From Nuremberg to The Hague: The Future of International Criminal Justice (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), ISBN: 9780521536769
- International refugee law
Students should have some previous knowledge of public international law.
Module A: [LWM60A]
The development of, and responsibility for, international protection of refugees
The legal framework: The 1951 Refugee Convention and other instruments
Definition of refugee: Beyond the classical definition
Assessment in refugee status determination procedures
International approaches to refugee protection
Legal protection of international displaced persons and stateless persons
Module B: [LWM60B]
The European dimension of refugee law
European immigration practices and policies
The evolving European Union Acquis on asylum: The European framework for refugee protection
European Union refugee status determination procedures
Responsibility and internal protection: European Union Directive on qualification for international protection
European Union jurisprudence: Interaction of the European Convention on Human Rights and refugee law
Module C: [LWM60C]
The rights of refugees
Standards of treatment
Durable solutions to refugee problems
Selected substantive rights of refugees under the 1951 Refugee Convention:
-Principle of non-discrimination
-Right to a fair trial
-Freedom of movement
Module D: [LWM60D]
Contemporary issues in refugee law
Refugee issues and armed conflicts: Dynamic of mobility and displacement
Women and children refugees
Non-Refoulement: A peremptory norm of international law
Loss and denial of refugee status: Article 1F of the 1951 Refugee Convention
Module A first.
- International rights of the child
Please note that the modules of this course are no longer available for new registrations.
Module A: [LWM35A]
The development of the international law on the rights of the child
Introduction and analysis of international law and international human rights law
International and regional instruments – specific to the child
International and regional instruments – general human rights
The definition of a child in international law
The two principles of interpretation
Module B: [LWM35B]
Children and family life
Introduction and analysis of the public and the private
Definitions of family, family life and family environment
The ‘right’ to a family
The democratic family
Module C: [LWM35C]
Children and the justice system
Introduction and merger of family law principles and child criminal justice
Definition of juvenile
The umbrella principles
The rights of children accused of an offence
The rights of children deprived of their liberty
Module D: [LWM35D]
Combatting child poverty
Introduction and a critique of the generation of rights theory
Theories surrounding the separation of powers and how they have impeded using the law to alleviate poverty
Using the international law on poverty alleviation in the national courts
Using the international law on poverty alleviation in the international sphere
The modules can be attempted in any order.
Geraldine Van Bueren, Child Rights in Europe (Strasbourg: Council of Europe Publishing, 2008), ISBN: 9789287162694
- Jurisprudence and legal theory
Students are not required to have taken an undergraduate course in Jurisprudence, but it will be assumed that they will have some familiarity with standard works in the field up to LLB standard.
The double modules can be attempted in either order.
Double section A/B: [LWM7AB]
Modern legal theory
Selected topics in the development of Anglo-American legal philosophy from the origins of utilitarianism to the present day, including contemporary debates on philosophical method and the nature of law.
Double section C/D: [LWM7CD]
Liberty, equality and law
Selected topics in the development of liberalism, including the ideas of liberty and equality and their relevance in the present day to our understanding of community, economics, cultural diversity and feminism.
Ronald Dworkin, Law’s Empire new edition (Oxford: Hart Publishing, 1998), ISBN: 9781841130415
- Law of treaties
Securities Law by Professor Alastair Hudson - Introduction
Module A: [LWM54A]
Introduction to the law of treaties
Introduction to the law of treaties
Sources of international law with a particular focus on treaties
Concept of a treaty in international law
Depositaries, registration and publication of treaties
Consent to be bound by a treaty
Module B: [LWM54B]
Entry into force and the scope of treaty obligations
Entry into force and obligations prior to entry into force
Reservations to treaties
Application of treaties (pacta sunt servanda; observance of treaties and internal law; effect on third states)
Module C: [LWM54]
Legal aspects of the working of treaties
Interpretation of treaties
Conflict of treaties
Revision, amendment and modification of treaties
Succession to treaty obligations
Module D: [LWM54D]
Legal aspects of invalidity, termination and suspension of treaty obligations
Termination and suspension of treaties
Invalidity of treaties
Procedural aspects of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, 1969
Miscellaneous provisions of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, 1969
Module A first.
Anthony Aust, Modern Treaty Law and Practice (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), ISBN: 9780521678063
David Harris, Cases and Materials on International Law 7th revised ed (London: Sweet and Maxwell, 2010), ISBN: 9781847032782
Malgosia Fitzmaurice and Olufemi Elias, Contemporary Issues in the Law of Treaties (Utrecht: Eleven International Publishing, 2005), ISBN: 9789077596067
- Medical law and ethics
Please note that the modules of this course are no longer available for new registrations. Students currently registered on these modules are able to enter for examinations up to the end of 2017.
Module A: [LWM56A]
Basic concepts in medical law
Module B: [LWM56B]
Access to treatment and malpractice litigation
Product liability and the regulation of medicines
Liability for occurrences before birth
Module C: [LWM56C]
Legal and ethical issues in medical practice
Mental health law
End of life decisions
Module D: [LWM56D]
Legal and ethical issues in reproduction
Embryo and stem cell research
Module A first, Module D last.
Emily Jackson, Medical Law: Text, Cases and Materials (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), ISBN: 9781859414385
- United Nations protection of human rights
Students are advised that this course demands some previous knowledge of public international law.
Module A [LWM61A]
Mechanisms for human rights protection by United Nations bodies
Historical development of international human rights law
Mechanisms established by UN human rights treaties: general comments by treaty bodies; reporting system and concluding observations; individual complaints; inter-state complaints; visits
Special Procedures established by the UN Commission on Human Rights: country mandates and thematic mandates
Mechanisms under UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) resolution 1235 and ECOSOC resolution 1503
Module B [LWM61B]
Substantive rights under United Nations human rights treaties 1
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)
Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty
Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT)
Module C [LWM61C]
Substantive rights under United Nations human rights treaties 2
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR)
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD)
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)
Module D [LWM61D]
Selected United Nations human rights bodies and specialised agencies
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
International Labour Organization (ILO)
World Health Organization (WHO)
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
Module A first.
Henry J. Steiner, Philip Alston and Ryan Goodman, International Human Rights in Context: Law, Politics, Morals 3rd ed (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), ISBN: 9780199279425
Javaid Rehman, International Human Rights Law: A Practical Approach 2nd ed (London: Longman 2009), ISBN: 9781405811811
How you study
The programme is self-taught and you can study when you choose. To improve and aid your study experience, extensive materials are provided, including:
- A comprehensive Skills Guide.
- Textbook(s) provided for each Course and Readers for most modules to direct your reading.
- Study guides especially written and edited for distance learning purposes, usually by the author of the textbook which will be provided. These offer clear learning outcomes, key skills and self-assessment questions throughout. Sample chapters from study guides are available.
- Annual Recent Developments keep you up to date with the law in your area.
- Postgraduate Laws Student Handbook containing information about libraries and bookshops and websites.
- Regulations containing important information, such as details of the courses and specialisations available, syllabuses and assessment.
You also have access to an online student portal containing:
- An online forum with revision classes from the course tutor.
- Videos or presentations from the leading academic of each course.
- An online forum with revision classes from the course tutor.
- Extensive online library resources.
- More than 10 legal databases including Lexis/Nexis® and Westlaw® and other databases of business, management, economics and scholarly materials.
- Director’s forum to get in touch with the Director for academic queries.
- Dedicated student discussion forums for each module - you'll encounter all kinds of people with perspectives from many different areas of the globe, including the legal professions, discover new ways of studying and no doubt make new friends.
- We also provide all students with a student registration card.
LLM student Toby Boyd offers advice on how to study the LLM programme - watch the video.
How much time will I need?
It is up to you how you schedule your studies, depending on your work and personal commitments. It is recommended that you will need to dedicate a total of around 115 hours for each module you study – which means it will take about 1,840 hours in total to complete the full Master of Laws (LLM). Regular, probably daily, study and a place which helps you to concentrate are the keys.
You will be required to access the internet to find some assigned reading online. You will also need to check the portal to ensure you have any new or updated study materials. Plus you may want to get in touch with other students, to share experiences and support.
Certain organisations have been appointed as Advisers [pdf: 6pgs, 66KB] to the University of London International Programmes with respect to its Postgraduate Laws students.
Please note: The University does not comment on or guarantee the services or financial stability of any Adviser. There is no collaboration, franchising, twinning, validation, accreditation, recommendation, endorsement or any similar relationship between any Adviser and the University.
Students on the Postgraduate Laws programme receive all their essential textbooks and readings, along with the Study Guide for each course. To give you an idea of what Study Guides are like, here is a sample of chapters from real Guides. The full Study Guides are much longer, of course.
The fees below refer to the 2016 and 2017 sessions. The 2016 fees are valid from 1 January 2016. The 2017 fees are valid from 1 January 2017. Fees are subject to annual review.
You have the option to pay as you go or pay for the full fees up front
Pay as you go:
If you wish to pay as you go, you will need to pay an initial registration fee, followed by the fee for each module as and when you choose to study the module.
Pay up front:
If you wish to pay the total amount up front, the initial registration fee and the fee for all modules are included in the Total fee. Some students prefer to pay upfront to avoid annual fluctuation in module fees.
Individual modules on a stand-alone basis:
You can take up to 4 individual modules on a stand-alone basis. The initial registration fee is included in the total fee for the individual modules taken on a stand-alone basis.
|Pay as you go:||2016||2017|
|Fees per module||£486||£500|
|Pay up front:||2016||2017|
|Total LLM (16 modules)||£8,662||£8,900|
|Total PG Diploma (10 modules)||£5,746||£5,900|
|Total PG Certificate (5 modules)||£3,316||£3,400|
|Individual Module taken on a stand-alone basis||2016||2017|
|Total Individual module stand alone basis||£530||£545|
|Additional fees payable to the University (where applicable)||2016||2017|
|Accreditation of prior learning application fee (per module)||£85||£89|
|Examination resit fee (per module)||£62||£64|
|Fee for changing module||£158||£166|
Please note: there is no continuing registration fee to pay on this programme.
ConvertGBP x 1
Disclaimer: the currency conversion tool is provided to you for convenience only and does not constitute an endorsement or approval by the University of London; the exchange rates are provided dynamically via a third-party source, consequently, the University of London International Programmes is not responsible for their accuracy.
When to pay
Fees may be paid in one of two ways:
Either, pay the total fee on registration by making a single payment. This covers the registration fee and all module fees;
Or, if you prefer to spread out your payments, pay the registration fee plus the fee for each module you want to take in the first year, and then in subsequent years pay the fee for each new module you take.
You may register and pay fees for modules throughout the year, but must register for modules by 15 April to take the exams in October, or by 10 November to take exams the following May.
How to pay
All University fees must be paid in pounds sterling (GBP). The University accepts:
- Western Union - Quick Pay.
- Credit/debit card (Visa, MasterCard, Maestro, Electron, JCB).
- Sterling banker's draft/cheque.
- International money/postal order.
Further details are given in payment methods.
In addition to the fees payable to the University, you should also budget for:
- the fee charged by your local examination centre to cover its costs each time that you take an examination this fee will vary
- the cost of any local educational support
- a fee for the production of official transcripts.
If you are a UK or EU national and you have lived in England for three years, you could be eligible to apply for a Postgraduate Loan.
- Fees are subject to annual revision and typically may be increased by up to 5% per annum. For a full list fees that may be applicable, please see the fee schedule.
- While the University provides substantial study materials and support in the VLE, please note that it does not offer face-to-face teaching for this programme.
Each course is divided into four modules (A, B, C and D), with the exception of one course which is divided into two double modules (double modules count as two modules).
Each module will be assessed by a 45-minute unseen written examination, each double module by a 90-minute unseen written paper. There are no oral exams and no dissertations.
Examination sessions are held twice a year, in May and October.
You can manage and spread your study and assessment load. You do not have to sit exams at every session. You can skip exam sessions, but remember you must finish within your five year period of registration.
You do not have to come to London to take your examinations. Examinations are held in local overseas centres around the world as well as in London.
Examinations overseas are arranged mainly through Ministries of Education or the British Council. You will be charged a fee by your local examination centre (this fee will vary).
Please see the Assessment and examinations module of our website for important information on exams. All exams are set and marked in London by the Board of Examiners.
Notes: Under certain circumstances you will have the opportunity to make a second attempt at an exam for a module.
The Master of Laws (LLM), Postgraduate Diploma in Laws and Postgraduate Certificate in Laws are awarded without classification. At the discretion of the Board of Examiners a mark of Merit or Distinction may be awarded. A student who obtains an average mark for all assessment in the range 60-69% will normally be awarded the relevant award with Merit. A student who obtains an average mark for all assessment of 70% or more will be awarded the relevant award with Distinction. A mark of Merit or Distinction shall not normally be awarded to a student who has failed any module.
Postgraduate Certificate in Laws
To be considered for the award a student must have:
- attempted the examinations for a total of five modules (or the equivalent where double modules are attempted) and
- obtained an overall average mark of at least 50% over those five modules and
- obtained an overall average mark of at least 50% in each course which is completed in full (i.e. all four modules are attempted) and achieved, within each course, a minimum mark of 40% in one single module and at least 50% in all other single modules attempted. In all cases, where a student attempts a double module a minimum of 50% must be achieved in that double module.
Postgraduate Diploma in Laws
To be considered for the award a student must have:
- obtained an overall average mark of at least 50% over those ten modules and
- obtained an overall average mark of at least 50% in each course which is completed in full (i.e. all four modules are attempted) and
- achieved, within each course, a minimum mark of 40% in one single module and at least 50% in all other single modules attempted. In all cases, where a student attempts a double module a minimum of 50% must be achieved in that double module.
Master of Laws (LLM) degree
To be considered for the award a student must have:
- attempted the examinations for four complete courses, composing of a total of sixteen modules (or the equivalent where double modules are attempted) and
- obtained an overall average mark of at least 50% in each of those four courses and
- achieved, within each course, a minimum mark of 50% in three modules and no less than 40% in any one module. In all cases, where a student attempts a double module a minimum of 50% must be achieved in that double module.
Access is a key principle for all distance study programmes offered through the University of London International Programmes.
The Postgraduate Laws programme offers the opportunity to gain the same prestigious qualification awarded to students enrolled with one of the University's Colleges but without coming to London.
It is open to a wide range of students and assessed to the same high standard as a programme within one of the University's Colleges.
There are no requirements for you to come to London, so no relocation or travel costs and you can continue working full time.
Any number of students can join this programme, so if you meet our entrance requirements you will be offered a place.
In order to be eligible to register for the LLM degree, Postgraduate Diploma in Laws or Postgraduate Certificate in Laws, you must satisfy our entrance requirements. We accept qualifications from around the world, please see Postgraduate Laws Qualifications for Entrance [PDF: 10pgs, 211KB].
For general guidance please see below:
Master of Laws (LLM)
Applicants are required to have at least one of the following:
- A bachelor degree (or an acceptable equivalent) which is considered at least comparable to a UK second class honours degree, from an institution acceptable to the University. In addition at least 50% of all units studied must be in Law related subjects* that are acceptable to the University.
- Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from the University of London with at least second class honours (applicants who obtained the LLB Pass degree before 1969 may make a special application).
- A Bachelor of Laws (or an acceptable equivalent) which is considered at least comparable to a UK second class honours degree, from an institution acceptable to the University.
- Masters of Laws (or an acceptable equivalent) from an institution acceptable to the University.
- Master’s degree (or an acceptable equivalent) from an institution acceptable to the University. In addition at least 50% of all units studied must be in Law related subjects* that are acceptable to the University.
- Passed the Bar Vocational Course (BVC) of England and Wales or the Qualifying Examination of the Solicitors Regulation Authority of England or the corresponding examinations in Scotland or Northern Ireland, where in either case the student has also obtained a bachelor degree which is considered at least comparable to a UK second class honours degree from an institution acceptable to the University.
- Obtained either the Common Professional Examination or an acceptable Graduate Diploma in Law where in either case the student has also obtained an undergraduate degree which is considered at least comparable to a UK second class honours degree from an institution acceptable to the University.
- Qualified as a solicitor or barrister in England or Wales, or the equivalent outside England or Wales.
- Postgraduate Diploma in Law from the University of London.
*Law related subjects means a subject which is considered by the University to have substantial law content. If you require further information then please contact-us.
*It is important to note that if you do not have the relevant requirements for the LLM you can enter at PGCert or PGDip level and progress through the two awards to gain the LLM.
Applicants are required to have at least one of the following:
- A bachelor degree from the University of London with at least second class honours.
- A bachelor degree (or an acceptable equivalent) which is considered at least comparable to a UK second class honours degree, from an institution acceptable to the University.
- Masters degree from an institution acceptable to the University.
- Postgraduate Certificate in Law from the University of London.
Applicants are required to have at least one of the following:
- A bachelor degree from the University of London.
- A bachelor degree (or an acceptable equivalent) from an institution acceptable to the University.
- At least five years relevant work experience, such as accounting, banking, finance or insurance.
In certain circumstances, an applicant who does not satisfy the above requirements may be permitted to register for the Postgraduate Certificate in Laws if the University is satisfied that their background, experience and professional qualifications (if any) are sufficient.
You will meet the English language requirement if you have passed any of the following within the past three years:
- (IELTS) International English Language Testing System when an overall score of at least 6.5 is achieved with a minimum of 6.0 in the Written sub-test
- Pearson Test of English (Academic) score of 59 or above, with at least 59 in both Reading and Writing elements and at least 54 in Speaking and Listening elements
- Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English
- Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English, provided grade C or above is achieved
- (TOEFL) iBT Test of English as a Foreign Language overall score of 92 or above with at least 22 in both Reading and Writing Skills sub-tests and at least 20 in both Speaking and Listening sub-tests.
Alternatively an applicant may be considered for admission to the LLM, Postgraduate Diploma in Laws or Postgraduate Certificate in Laws if they submit evidence of:
- Substantial education (minimum of eighteen months) conducted and assessed in English; or
- Substantial work experience (minimum of eighteen months) conducted in English. Where an applicant does not meet the required English language level but believes they can demonstrate the required level for admission the University may, at its discretion, consider the application.
All students are required to have regular internet access, allowing them to access the following resources:
- The Student Portal.
- University of London email address.
- Details of their student records.
- Programme resources on the eCampus (VLE) (as applicable).
- Programme resources on the University of London International Programmes website.
- The Programme Specification and Regulations for their programme of study.
- The University Regulations and the University of London International Programmes Student Charter.
If a student can justifiably demonstrate that they do not have regular access to the internet to access the required resources, then in these circumstances, a student may formally contact the Programme Director to request for alternative special arrangements to be made.
Academic Direction - Postgraduate Law
Renowned for excellence in legal education, the University of London is both one of the largest and most respected institutions in the world. When you join the Postgraduate Laws programme as a student of the University of London International Programmes, you'll be joining an international community of high academic achievers whose affiliation with the University truly sets them apart.
Although this programme is offered through the University of London International Programmes, the academic management of the Master of Laws (LLM) is provided jointly by the Departments of Law of Queen Mary (QMUL) and UCL [external links]. Teachers from the University of London Law Schools plan the structure and content of the programme, develop and write study materials, set the examination papers and mark scripts.
Both QMUL and UCL have 5-star rated Departments of Law.
Study with a College in London
The University of London Master of Laws (LLM) can either be studied in your home country through the University of London International Programmes, following the self-study programme described in these web pages, or in London at one of six Colleges of the University. The six Colleges are Birkbeck, King’s College London, LSE, Queen Mary, the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and UCL.
If you would prefer to come to London and study as a conventional student of the University, you should contact the individual Colleges themselves for full details of their programmes, as information will differ to that given within these web pages. In brief, though, you would register as a student of the respective College, rather than as a student of the University of London International Programmes.
Whichever mode of study or programme you choose, you can be assured that if you are successful you will receive a University of London degree of the same standard.