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International Legal Studies

Duration: 1 year
Attendance mode: Full-time
Award: LLM
Suitable for international students
Start date: September, January
Faculty of Management & Law
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Our Master of Laws (LLM) programme gives you an in-depth knowledge of law in its international context.  You’ll evaluate research and advanced scholarship in areas of legal study such as jurisprudence legal theory, human rights and international law.

With a range of optional modules available alongside the core curriculum, you’ll be able to tailor the programme to your areas of academic interest and your career aspirations.

You’ll learn from School of Law academics with significant research expertise and international legal experience in areas including:

  • social justice
  • criminal law
  • human rights
  • energy and environment
  • competition law
  • intellectual property

You do not need to have studied law at undergraduate level to take the LLM in International Legal Studies. If you have not previously studied law, you will take a two-week Introduction to Law course before the start of the programme to ensure you are familiar with the basic legal institutions and sources.

In addition to providing specialist legal knowledge, the LLM will equip you with abilities valued in any profession, such as research, analytical and communication skills. The programme also gives you an insight into how international law shapes global society, and how we operate within it. This means you’ll be equipped to explore a broad range of career opportunities once you graduate.


"I have been offered a job working as a trainee in Banking and International Trade Law in a Commercial Firm in Pakistan - evidence that the International Legal Studies programme at the University of Bradford is worth it! 

My hard work has paid off and I am ready to step into the Legal World."

LLM International Legal Studies, 2016

Why Bradford?

University of Bradford School of Law is highly experienced in the teaching of law in an international and global context.

We bring our own international experience and research expertise into the classroom to share the latest thoughts on topics as varied as International Criminal Law, Global Trade or Human Rights.

You will be taught in small groups in an environment focused on you and your development.

Our students have the opportunity to get involved in a range of extracurricular activities, developing transferable skills and legal understanding that complement your studies.

As an LLM student you can get involved in the editorial work of the Bradford Student Law Journal - a student-run, peer reviewed journal based at the School of Law. The primary function of the journal is to promote student research, reflection and writing forming the core of the learning process in any field of law.

Run by students for students, the Law Society is a great way to socialise with your peers and to expand your learning outside the classroom. The Law Society hosts and participates in a range of internal and external mooting competitions, giving students a chance to practice their skills in conditions which simulate a courtroom setting. Students learn how to analyse problems, research the law, prepare written submissions and present their arguments. The Law Society holds regular social events, and hosts a popular annual Law Ball.

Entry requirements

  • 2:2 or above in a relevant subject (a relevant subject would include all social science, humanities and business and management programmes).
  • Non-law graduates will be required to successfully complete a two-week Introduction to Law course before the start of Semester 1.

English language requirements:

IELTS at 6.5 or equivalent.

If you do not meet the IELTS requirement, you can take a University of Bradford pre-sessional English course. See the Language Centre for more details.


The modules for this course can be found in the latest programme specification.

The LLM International Legal Studies is designed to provide a challenging and stimulating programme of study which considers law in its international social, economic and political contexts.

The four core modules studied provide you with a detailed understanding of key global issues in law and focus on developing your skills to research; analyse and discuss important issues in international law, in human rights and in legal theory. They also prepare you for the final part of the Master’s programme which is your dissertation through which you have the opportunity to study a particular topic of your choice in detail. The optional modules offered allow you to follow a particular interest with a focus on global legal issues.

Postgraduate Certificate

You will be eligible to exit with the award of Postgraduate Certificate if you have successfully completed 60 credits (core modules) and achieved the award learning outcomes:

  • Global Questions in Legal Theory (20 credits) core
  • Human Rights Law in a Global Context (20 credits) core
  • Advanced International Law (20 credits) core

Postgraduate Diploma

You will be eligible to exit with the award of Postgraduate Diploma if you have successfully completed at least 120 credits and achieved the award learning outcomes:

  • Advanced Legal Research (20 credits) core
  • Global Health Law (20 credits) option
  • European Union Social Law and Policy (20 credits) option
  • International Trade Law (20 credits) option
  • Global Finance Law (20 credits) option
  • International Humanitarian Law (20 credits) option
  • International Law of Sustainable Development (20 credits) option
  • International Environmental Law (20 credits) option
  • Advanced International Criminal Law (20 credits) option
  • International Refugee Law (20 credits) option

Degree of Master

You will be eligible for the award of Degree of Master if you have successfully completed at least 180 credits and achieved the award learning outcomes.

  • LLM – Dissertation (60 credits) core

Reading lists

All reading lists can be found here.

Learning activities and assessment

The learning, teaching and assessment strategy for this programme has been developed to help you build your knowledge incrementally over the year of study and to develop your research, critical thinking and writing skills.

You will learn how to evaluate existing theories and methodologies and, where appropriate, propose new hypotheses. Additionally, you will develop your ability to work with your knowledge of legal principles and apply them to new situations in order to arrive at imaginative and innovative solutions and interpretations. We also teach you how to develop excellent communication skills, including writing skills commensurate with LLM level study and advanced scholarship.

You will be taught in small groups in an environment focused on you and your development. Your learning will be guided and supported through weekly teaching and learning sessions in which you will take part in a variety of activities. All taught modules therefore have a two hour teaching slot every week throughout the Semester in which they are taught. In the early part of the programme, most of these slots will be used as class time with lecturer input, individual and group work activities. The scheduled class time will be used to help you develop your understanding of the law relating to the topic at hand.

You will be required to work independently, prepare for all teaching sessions and take all opportunities offered to develop your skills and knowledge, contribute to small group discussions and engage with other activities supported through the Virtual Learning Environment.

The assessments are all structured to help you demonstrate that you meet the learning outcomes of each module and the programme overall. There are no timed, closed book examinations for this programme. Instead, all modules are assessed by coursework addressing issues you have researched and discussed in class.

We use a variety of assignments to develop and test your research, critical thinking, problem solving and writing skills. You might therefore be asked to write a traditional academic essay, to create a portfolio of activities, to write a blog post or a book review or develop a research plan. To complete your assignment, you will be asked to read widely and conduct your independent research in a number of different fields using a variety of material including:

  • primary and secondary legislation
  • opinion papers
  • academic journal articles
  • United Nations documents
  • the decisions of various international, regional and national courts.

You will also complete a dissertation, giving you a significant degree of independence as you set your own agendas and objectives, with support from academic staff if required.

Career support and prospects

During your time studying at the Faculty of Management and Law you will have the opportunity to take part in our distinctive career booster programme throughout the duration of your course. The programme is designed to equip you with the necessary skills and graduate attributes to be job-ready when seeking employment with leading innovative organisations. The Career Booster Programme offers you the opportunity to gain certificates in:

  • The European Computer Driving License (EDCL) - the benchmark for digital literacy
  • Sage 50 Accounting and Sage 50 Payroll - training that will allow you to develop leading accounting and payroll software skills
  • Project Manager Professional certificates - giving you the edge when seeking to become a Certified Project Manager
  • Big Data analysis and reporting skills - using Software and Services (SAS) that will lead to certification.

In addition, the programme will also include activities to promote teamwork, confidence, communication and many other skills sought by employers.

Developing a portfolio of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Certificates will demonstrate to employers that you are not only ambitious but also take responsibility for your own professional development.

Career support

The University is committed to helping students develop and enhance employability and this is an integral part of many programmes. Specialist support is available throughout the course from Career and Employability Services including help to find part-time work while studying, placements, vacation work and graduate vacancies. Students are encouraged to access this support at an early stage and to use the extensive resources on the Careers website.

Discussing options with specialist advisers helps to clarify plans through exploring options and refining skills of job-hunting. In most of our programmes there is direct input by Career Development Advisers into the curriculum or through specially arranged workshops.

Career prospects

Graduates go on to pursue a variety of paths, including careers in business, legal practice, teaching and academia. 

Study Support

You will be allocated a personal tutor - someone with whom you will be able to talk about any academic or personal concerns. Staff responsible for the administration of the LLM are available to help you with day-to-day queries about the programme.

We are a small, dedicated and friendly Law School, allowing our academic and support staff to get to know students personally, and offer individual support and teaching. We make sure that your time with us is as rewarding as possible, and do everything we can to help you reach your potential.

The Law Library has dedicated support from our Law Librarian, who will be able to provide you with guidance on the use of legal databases, OSCOLA referencing or finding a book in the library.

As well as offering access to key textbooks and other materials in hard copy, the law library also subscribes to three of the key legal databases:

  • Westlaw
  • Lexis Library
  • Hein Online

You'll therefore have 24 hour electronic access, on and off campus, to the majority of material you require to successfully complete your programme. Where tutors require you to read material which is not as readily available, it will be made available to you though Blackboard. You are encouraged to also consult other collections as there is interesting and useful material on all of the topics studied available from a variety of disciplines, and you will therefore be introduced to the library as a whole rather than just specific collections as part of this programme.

The Library includes self-issue and self-return facilities, photocopiers and printers, areas for silent study and social learning, and wireless access throughout the building. There is an information desk, a special computer laptop bar, and areas for social learning in the upper Atrium on Level 1. The building incorporates full disability access.
LLM students also have access to social spaces including Postgraduate Common Room and the Weir room.

The Effective Learning Service (ELS) at the Faculty of Management and Law can support you academically (e.g with assignments and examinations) and helps overseas students adapt quickly to UK academic requirements. The ELS provides a huge range of services, including various workshops run during term time, 1-1 consultations and vast printed and online resources to cater for every possible development area.


All modules are taught by experienced academics with considerable research and practical expertise in the issues you will study from various jurisdictions.

At the end of your LLM you will be taking a dissertation module, using a range of research methods and research design in order to complete a substantial research project. The dissertation enables you to develop a firm understanding of advanced scholarship and research principles, and of how the boundaries of knowledge are extended through academic research.

Through your dissertation you will also learn how to critically assess and examine primary and/or secondary data, and develop an in-depth understanding of your chosen topic.


We recently invested £12 million into our facilities, to ensure our students have the best possible experience.

Our Emm Lane campus includes a Harvard-style lecture theatre, an integrated Law and Management library, IT facilities, a prayer room and ablution facilities, an on-site café and social spaces.

Fees, Finance and Scholarships

Tuition fees


  • Home/EU: £6,680
  • International: £15,650

Tuition fees are subject to review for students starting their course in subsequent years. See our Fees and Financial Support website for more details.

Financial support

You may be eligible to apply for the government's new Postgraduate Loan of up to £10,000 to put towards your fees and living costs. Find out more on our Fees and Financial Support website.

How do I find out more?

Steps to Postgraduate Study

Find out more about studying at a postgraduate level on the official, independent website Steps to Postgraduate Study (link opens in new window).

How to apply

The easiest way to apply is online.

This will help us process your application more quickly and allow you to submit your supporting documents electronically.

If you are unable to apply online, please email to request a paper application form.

We will also need the following supporting documents, along with any other information specified on the course page:

  • Degree certificates/transcripts
  • Research proposal (if required)
  • Two references (including one academic reference)
  • Evidence of English language level (if required)
  • A copy of your passport

Once you have applied you will have access to the University's Applicant Portal, where you can track the status of your application.

You should also start thinking about how you plan to fund your postgraduate study — you may need to apply for loans or grants at this stage.

International students

If you applying from outside the UK and require additional support you may apply through your country representative.

They can help you at every stage and communicate with the University on your behalf. They often provide additional services to ensure your smooth arrival to the UK such as visa application support and assistance with your travel arrangements.

Further information is available on our International Office website.

This is the current course information. Modules and course details may change, subject to the University's programme approval, monitoring and review procedures. The University reserves the right to alter or withdraw courses, services and facilities as described on our website without notice and to amend Ordinances, Regulations, fees and charges at any time. Students should enquire as to the up-to-date position when applying for their course of study.