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LL.M. Master of Laws

Postgraduate Programmes, The Open University UK

This taught masters degree is a flexible modular qualification designed to consider the role and place of law in an increasingly globalised world. A critical legal approach is taken and the modules use different perspectives and case studies to explore, contextualise and illustrate a number of contemporary issues challenging the international community. Study on the degree is also designed to develop key postgraduate transferable skills, including advanced legal research, which are attractive to employers and which assist with professional advancement. It is designed for law graduates, non-law graduates and lawyers wanting to develop their interests in law at postgraduate level.

There is an increasing demand for professionals who have an in-depth understanding of the role and purpose of law in the increasing global society and the associated advanced legal research and reasoning skills.

This qualification enables you to pursue advanced legal study and gain those sought after postgraduate legal skills in a challenging but supportive environment. The approach taken throughout the qualification is the critical study of law and you will be encouraged to take both comparative and contextual perspectives.

As part of your studies you will explore the interaction of law, law making bodies, institutions and regulators in an international context, the role and function of law in an increasingly global society, the role of states, international institutions and multi-national companies. You will consider a range of contemporary legal issues such as corporate social responsibility, trans-national crime, humanitarian aid and security issues providing you with an opportunity to engage with topical legal issues. You will also explore current and possible future developments; receive grounding in law and its place in society; study methods of reasoning and analysis in law and evaluate the complexities inherent in law, regulation and legal study At the end of your studies you will have the opportunity to undertake an in-depth piece of independent legal research.

As part of your studies you will develop key legal transferable skills which are widely sought after in a wide range of legal and non-legal careers, both with a national and international dimension. You will become skilled in legal reasoning and engage in sustained, independent research.

The qualification will predominantly focus on common law systems although a comparative approach will be taken throughout. It is suitable for study whether you are a law graduate, non-law graduate or lawyer and on successful completion of the qualification you will be able to demonstrate an impressive array of transferable skills to employers.

If you are interested in becoming a lawyer (solicitor or barrister) you need to study our undergraduate Bachelor of Laws (LLB) (Hons) (Q05), or if you already hold a degree we offer a Bachelor of Laws with Honours (graduate entry) (Q75).

Career impact

This degree will contribute to your career development by providing academic knowledge and a number of highly sought after transferable skills valued by employers.

Typically holder of the LLM will:

  • deal with complex legal issues both systematically and creatively
  • communicate their subject knowledge clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences
  • demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems
  • exercise initiative and personal responsibility
  • be able to develop a persuasive legal argument based on evidence
  • demonstrate independent learning ability required for continuing professional development.

There is a choice of routes through the qualification. You can start your studies with either of the compulsory modules Exploring legal meaning (W820) or Exploring the boundaries of international law (W821). These modules provide core postgraduate skills in legal methodology and research and knowledge of international law and legal thinking. They include a comparative approach.

Or you can start your studies with Business, human rights law and corporate social responsibilities (W822), or an optional module from another faculty.

Please note that if you are claiming credit transfer from another postgraduate provider you may not need to study an optional module.

The law dissertation (W800) is the final module of the qualification and provides an opportunity to undertake a significant piece of independent legal research in a topic within a chosen specialist legal subject from the qualification.

You should note that the Universitys unique study rule applies to this qualification. This means that you must include at least 60 credits from OU modules that have not been counted in any other OU qualification that has previously been awarded to you.

You require 180 credits to complete this masters degree. Please register on one of the following modules:

  • Exploring legal meaning (W820), Compulsory 30 Credits
  • Exploring the boundaries of international law (W821) NEW, Compulsory 30 Credits

30 credits are required from the following modules in the course:

  • Business, human rights law and corporate social responsibility (W822), Optional 30 Credits
  • Continuing professional development in practice (UYA810), Optional 30 Credits

30 credits are also required from the following modules in the course:

  • Capacities for managing development (TU870), Optional 30 Credits
  • Continuing professional development in practice (U810), Optional 30 Credits
  • Critical criminological perspectives (D867), Optional 30 Credits
  • Development: context and practice (TU871), Optional 30 Credits
  • Environmental decision making: a systems approach (T863), Optional 30 Credits
  • Environmental monitoring and protection (T868) NEW, Optional 30 Credits
  • Environmental responsibility: ethics, policy and action (TD866), Optional 30 Credits
  • Forensic psychology: crime, offenders and policing (D872), Optional 30 Credits
  • Forensic psychology: witnesses, experts and evidence on trial (D873), Optional 30 Credits
  • The Law Dissertation (W800), Compulsory 60 Credits

You should hold a UK honours degree or equivalent, or recognised overseas qualification, or relevant professional legal experience. You will be expected to follow the suggested study pathway, although there is some flexibility.

You will also need to be proficient in English, to an IELTS standard of 6.0. If you are unsure you will be able to take a free English test as part of the registration process.

English Language Requirements

IELTS band: 6
Milton Keynes, sometimes abbreviated MK, is a large town in Buckinghamshire, about 45 mi north-west of London. It is the administrative centre of the Borough of Milton Keynes.

Overview of Milton Keynes

Area: 34.36 sq miles (89 kmĀ²)
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom, Great Britain, or simply Britain, is a sovereign state located off the north-western coast of continental Europe.

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Capital: London
Currencies: GBP
Population: 63,181,775
Dialing Code: 44
Degree Level: Masters
Duration:3 Years
Start Date:November  2019
Delivery Mode:Online
Study Nature:Part-time
Disciplines: Criminal Law and Criminology, Public Law, International Law
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