LLM (including specialist pathways)
Why choose this course?
The Derby LLM offers maximum flexibility. Available to lawyers and non-lawyers alike, it provides unrivalled choice and opportunity – enabling you to choose from specialist pathways and modules to build a degree that matches your career aspirations, research pursuits and personal interests.
- Choose a broad-based LLM programme or specialise in Commercial Law; Corporate and Financial Law; Intellectual Property and Information Technology Law; International Protection of Human Rights and Personal Freedom
- Improve your career prospects in one of the UK's top law schools for student satisfaction and success at postgraduate level
- Select the focus of your LLM and study at a time and pace to suit you and your circumstances
- Benefit from our modern approach to teaching law in a global context: you can tailor your coursework and assignments to different jurisdictions, so gaining a truly international flavour of law
- Combine your academic and theoretical knowledge with hands-on skills honed in our superb courtroom facilities
- Learn from our team of expert practitioners whose teaching is delivered with passion and professionalism.
Course code: MM1AE
Start date: September and January
Course length: Full-time: one year. Part-time: three years
Campus: One Friar Gate Square, Derby Campus
College: College of Law, Humanities and Social Sciences
This course is available to international students
About this course
We have worked with the legal professions, judiciary, prosecution service and police to design the Derby LLM to be fit for the 21st century.
A degree that’s right for you
Our LLM provides unique opportunities to investigate areas that other courses simply do not offer. While it focuses on core aspects of knowledge in law, you can choose from numerous options – for broad-based or highly specialised study – to design a degree that reflects your interests and career ambitions.
The course combines academic and theoretical knowledge. You will develop your understanding of the interaction between law and policy at an international level, enabling you to contribute to organisations and commercial enterprises operating across the global policy arena.
You can choose to study a broad-based general LLM or follow a specific pathway towards a specialist LLM award:
- LLM (Commercial Law) – a chance to study commercial law in a practical, international and contemporary context. Ideal both for lawyers and for professionals engaged in broader commercial practice, this pathway features negotiation and practice-driven modules, equipping you for senior roles in global enterprises.
- LLM (Corporate and Financial Law) – giving you a thorough understanding of how law assists in mediating corporate and financial risk. Covering one of the most challenging and critical areas of law, this pathway focuses on the structures and constitution of corporate entities in light of the external factors which govern their liquidity and capitalisation.
- LLM (Intellectual Property and Information Technology Law) – a pathway designed to meet the challenges of the global digital economy. You will explore data protection, information handling, e-commerce, international agreements on intellectual property, and the use and control of information in the context of the internet and other media.
- LLM (International Protection of Human Rights and Personal Freedom) – building your awareness of the human rights regime at international, regional and national levels. Taking a practical approach to the investigation of human rights violations, this pathway prepares you for a rewarding career with organisations working in the human rights field, from law firms to governments and NGOS.
For those who have taken or are working towards the LPC, we also offer a route to ‘top up’ the qualification to an LLM in Legal Practice. If you are already employed and looking at professional career development, you can follow this route to enhance your CPD points.
Dedicated to your success
We are committed to providing a rich, rewarding learning experience. You'll be taught by our professional, experienced and knowledgeable teaching team, with real passion for their subjects.
We deliver dedicated academic and pastoral support to every student, which has resulted in our consistently high rankings in the National Student Survey. We also offer a range of extra-curricular activities, networking opportunities and a vibrant Student Law Society.
LLM students have, for instance, visited The Hague to gain insights into the work of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). They have also attended a national conference on Migration and Human Rights, where high-level policy-makers and respected researchers shared their views. Read more about their experiences
Research for the real world
High quality research is at the heart of the LLM. We undertake influential research activities which lead to greater understanding of justice systems and inform legal and professional practice, both nationally and internationally. We have an active Law in Society research group and our staff contribute to growing numbers of publications, conference presentations and journals.
We offer some of the country’s most advanced facilities for the study of law. Described as “exceptional” by Skills for Justice, they replicate environments you will encounter in real-life legal situations. The latest addition is a full reconstruction of a crown court featuring contemporary technology. We were also the first law school in the country to have a family courtroom, which is ideal for specialist training.
What you will cover
Your core and option modules are based on whether you are studying the general LLM pathway or a specialist named pathway. Whichever route you choose, you will take the following core modules:
You’ll enhance your research, communication and independent study techniques, which will help you throughout your Masters degree and will also assist with your personal and professional development. This module provides a stepping stone if you wish to present your work at conferences or have your work published. The skills you develop will also be of direct relevance if you are seeking to undertake a PhD and will help you progress through the early stages of a research career.
This module gives you the opportunity to develop deep and specialist knowledge through robust legal scholarship. You will use the intellectual skills you’ve gained during your course to carry out an extensive investigation of a significant topic. You will be supported throughout by a member of our law team with expertise in the area you choose to research.
If you plan to complete the general LLM, you will also study five modules from our extensive list of options. If you are taking a specialist LLM pathway, you will study two prescribed modules which align with your pathway specialism, alongside three option modules which you can select to match your individual interests.
The core modules for each pathway are as follows:
LLM Commercial Law
- Commercial Theories – covering the historical development of commercialism; economic, political and social theories of commercialism; American realism; critical legal studies; socio-legal studies; law and economics; and globalisation
- National and International Sale of Goods – exploring themes such as distribution contracts, licences, franchises, negotiable instruments and credit financing.
LLM (Corporate and Financial Law)
- Company Law – an overview of how the law has developed to regulate and accommodate the needs of corporate identities, including the roles of individuals – and their liabilities for these roles – in the management and operation of a company
- International Banking and Finance Law – exploring the systems for regulating financial markets, viewed within the context of the recent ‘banking crisis’ and changing political and economic conditions on a global scale.
LLM Intellectual Property and Information Technology Law
- Information and Communication Technology Law – examining the wide-ranging laws applying to the control and operation of the internet, communication systems and interactive technologies
- International Protection of Intellectual Property Rights – covering the level of protection afforded by international agreements and their impact on commercial activity, together with the criteria for protection of patents, trademarks, copyright and related rights.
LLM International Protection of Human Rights and Personal Freedom
- The Law and Investigation of Human Rights Violations – focusing on practical approaches to the investigation of human rights violations and the issues and concerns which should inform your investigations in this field
- Public International Law – charting the application of legal rules which regulate relations between states, including the relevance of customary law, the establishment of treaties to promote state responsibility and the liability of state where these rules are breached.
You'll select your options from the following list, unless you have studied them previously:
- Intellectual Property in the Digital Age
- International Protection of Intellectual Property Rights
- Commercial Theories
- Company Law
- Public International Law
- International Banking and Finance Law
- National and International Sale of Goods
- Information and Communication Technology Law
- The Law and Investigation of Human Rights Violations.
LLM Legal Practice (Top-up)
The LLM Legal Practice is designed to build on the qualifications you already hold. Approved Prior Learning exemption may apply – please contact us for further information.
Depending on your qualifications and experience, you will study one of the following taught modules:
- Legal Scholarship – enhancing your research, communication and independent study techniques to assist with your personal and professional development
- Applied Research in Criminal Justice Systems – providing a grounding in various approaches to research, including research design, data collection and analysis
- Comparative Jurisprudence – investigating the nature of the leading schools of jurisprudence and their effect on world laws
You will also study this module:
- Independent Studies - this module gives you the opportunity to develop deep and specialist knowledge through robust legal scholarship. You will use the intellectual skills you’ve gained during your course to carry out an extensive investigation of a significant topic. You will be supported throughout by a member of our law team with expertise in the area you choose to research.
Please note - modules/LLM pathways will run subject to minimum numbers
- An honours degree in any subject at least 2.2 classification
- We will also consider applicants with relevant work experience who may be accepted following interview.
- How to apply
Fees and finance
2016/17 Fees (August 2016 - July 2017)
Full-time Part-time UK/EU
£580 per 20 credits*
£580 per 20 credits*
£12,000 for the full programme
*Note – at postgraduate level, you’ll need to gain the following number of credits in total to obtain the awards below.
Postgraduate Certificate 60 Credits Postgraduate Diploma 120 Credits MA or MSc 180 Credits
This means you will gain 180 credits in total to complete the full MA or MSc. If you’re studying full-time you will normally complete 180 credits over one year. If you are studying part time you will normally complete your studies over two or three years, depending on the course structure.
Please note that all fees may be subject to annual increase.
Funding your studies
Alumni discount for Derby graduates
Scholarships and bursaries
How you will learn
You'll learn with your peers, giving you the chance to collaborate with other talented people who share your passion for the same kinds of legal issues.
Your lectures will provide a solid foundation in the areas of study. Seminar discussion groups will guide you in your study as well as stimulating your interest to explore specific topics further.
The course will enhance your independent research and writing skills, enabling you to develop strong legal arguments that you can draw on for your assessments and assignment submissions.
How you'll be assessed
Types of assessment include assignments, portfolio preparation, reports, presentations and online preparation of material. In several modules you can relate your assessment to different jurisdictions, so that your national law can be the focus of your award.
Assessment is integrated into the learning and teaching of modules. The scheduling of work is consistent, balanced and inclusive in line with your progressive development.
The final Masters stage is assessed through the submission of your Independent Study or Masters thesis on a specialist topic of your own choosing. Our tutors will support you in preparing this.
Who you will meet
The LLM is taught by a team of experienced lecturers who actively engage in research and have published in their subject areas. The programme also draws on the expertise of guest speakers who are invited to present on topics of general interest as well as specialist themes.
The team includes:
- Larry Mead – LLM Programme Leaderand Principal Lecturer in Law. Larry, who leads our LLM Corporate and Finance Law pathway, has combined his academic career with practice as a barrister and has published in the areas of company and business law. His current research interests cover diverse themes such as the independence of auditors, minority shareholder protection, women in the boardroom and the value of surveillance evidence
- Joel Klaff – Senior Lecturer in Law who leads our LLM Commercial Law pathway. Joel’s teaching responsibilities span commercial theories, national and international sale of goods, and international banking and finance. He acts as a pro bono consultant on matters of international law and his research interests centre on the creation of a ‘sustainable jurisprudence’ to ensure fair and just application of law
- Rachael Ita – Lecturer in Law who leads our LLM International Protection of Human Rights and Personal Freedoms pathway. Rachael practised as a barrister and solicitor in Nigeria before joining the University. Her research interests centre on international law, human rights law and administrative law.
Careers and employability
An edge in your career
As a Derby LLM graduate, you will be highly sought after by employers because you can demonstrate a unique specialisation in the areas of law and criminal justice, evidenced by your final dissertation. It gives you a genuine advantage when applying for positions within and beyond the legal sector.
For non-lawyers, a postgraduate qualification in law can also sharpen your commercial awareness so that you can contribute more effectively to operational and strategic management.
The specialist LLM pathways we offer will open doors to exciting careers. You could progress to legal roles in the corporate and financial business sectors; enter legal practice or a research role with a focus on intellectual property or IT law; work in the field of human rights; or take up a post with a criminal justice agency, government body or NGO overseas.
If you are already in employment, the particular benefit of our LLM is that you can combine modules to create a programme of study which reflects your specific vocation and future employment and career aspirations. In a turbulent world where professional roles and career pathways are constantly evolving, the Derby LLM offers you the flexibility and skill set to adapt to meet employers’ requirements and your own professional development needs.
Opportunities for further study
An LLM is considered to be essential for the pursuit of an academic career. With the focus on research skills at its heart – and a high level of flexibility providing many diverse opportunities to specialise – the Derby LLM programme is an ideal springboard to MPhil or PhD studies.
From the start, you are encouraged to develop your research, communication and independent learning techniques and we offer guidance if you wish to present your work at conferences or to have it published.
Ongoing careers support
Our Careers and Employment Service will provide you with help, guidance and support from day one of your course – and for up to three years after you’ve completed your studies.
What our students say
“With the world today being a global village, it does not suffice to just study human rights in a particular region or country. The LLM at Derby covers it from an international perspective and this is why I chose this University. Also, human rights students have the opportunity to witness a case in the International Criminal Court, all funded by the University. It couldn’t be any better!” Esther Fekeme Macheteh, LLM student
“The job market is competitive and you have to keep learning or fall behind. I was frequently involved in paralegal work and wanted to formalise the skills I was acquiring. On the Derby LLM you can build a scheme of study that meets your particular needs.” Chris Brooks, LLM graduate and Quality Manager for Air Astana, Kazakhstan
“The biggest strengths of the course were the smaller class sizes and the sheer dedication and passion for learning and development demonstrated by a team of expert lecturers. The different LLM streams on offer were all well tailored to the subject matter and the ability to select modules allowed me to build my own experience.” Christopher Wilson, LLM graduate and Technical Officer for the Institution of Gas Engineers and Managers
“I would certainly recommend the Derby LLM - it’s a rewarding experience. From the outset, I found that the lecturers were committed to what they did and were really helpful and friendly. There is also real flexibility in the modules you can take and in the methods of assessment.” Rachael Ita, LLM graduate, now working towards a PhD
"Corporate governance is the 'butter' to company law 'bread'. It is a stimulating and thought-provoking subject area which is also very topical in terms of modern day relevance to company law procedures. Whilst undertaking my assignments, new events were being reported daily in the newspapers with reference to UK and foreign companies being placed under investigation due to lack of corporate governance procedures in the light of the current economic climate." Penny Home
"One of the great things about Information Law at Derby is the way it leads us out of the text books and into the real world. The academic team brings bundles of energy and determination to the subject and challenges us to find the relationship between theory and practice in both our home and work lives." John Bishop