Course details

Study options

Full-time: 1 year, Part-time: 3 years

UK fee

£755 per 20 credits* (2020/21)

International fee

£14,700 for the full programme (2020/21)

Course level


Start dates

January, September


One Friar Gate Square, Derby Campus

Course description

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 LLM 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.

Specialist pathways

You can choose to study a broad-based general LLM or follow a specific pathway towards a specialist LLM award:

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, and also offer a range of extra-curricular activities, networking opportunities and a vibrant Student Law Society.

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.

First-rate facilities

We offer fantastic 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.

100%overall satisfaction - LLM**Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey 2018

What you will study

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:

Legal Scholarship

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.

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.

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 (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.
LLM (Intellectual Property and Information Technology Law)
  • International Protection of Intellectual Property Rights - focuses on the continuing impacts of international intellectual property law and policy, on substantive national intellectual property laws, as well as the continuing challenges of territoriality and trans-border protection for national intellectual property rights
  • Information and Communication Technology Law - focuses on the principles and concepts of law associated with computer and the internet in the United Kingdom, the European Union, and selected international jurisdictions.

You'll select your options from the following list, unless you have studied them previously:

  • Commercial Theories
  • Company Law
  • Public International Law
  • International Banking and Finance Law
  • National and International Sale of Goods
  • The Law and Investigation of Human Rights Violations.      

Please note: modules are subject to availability, and may change to suit the needs of industry.

Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

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Postgraduate Live Online Events

While we’re not able to welcome you in person to our campuses at the moment, we’re not going to let that stop us showing you all the great things about studying at Derby.

We’re currently planning our autumn Open Events to bring you the best possible online and on-campus experience.

Book your Live Online EventBook your Live Online Event

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 LLM 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:

Law student Nta Nta

Improving my prospects

Lawyer Nta Nta from Nigeria knew a postgraduate degree would increase his knowledge in his chosen specialism and improve his career prospects. He is now studying for our Master of Laws (LLM) at Derby.

Read Nta's storyRead Nta's story

Who will teach you

Dr Taiwo Oriola
Programme leader

Dr Oriola is a Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Derby Law School; Programme Leader for LLM Degree Pathways; and Programme Leader for LLM Intellectual Property and Information Technology Law.

View full staff profileView full staff profile

Entry requirements

You'll need:

Fees and funding

2020/21 Fees (August 2020 - July 2021)


£755 per 20 credits*

£755 per 20 credits*


£14,700 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 Certificate60 Credits
Postgraduate Diploma120 Credits
MA or MSc180 Credits

This means you will gain 180 credits in total to complete the full MA or MSc. 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.

Additional costs and optional extras

Students chatting to each other

International student scholarship

We're offering a £2,000 scholarship for all eligible international students studying a full-time postgraduate taught programme (PGT). Terms and conditions apply.

Find out if you're eligible for an international scholarship Find out if you're eligible for an international scholarship

How to apply


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.

Contact us

Taiwo Oriola (Programme Leader)  

If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.

Contact us Contact us

Additional information about your studies

Download programme specification

Teaching hours

Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.

Additional costs and optional extras

We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, excellent facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.

The information below is correct for entry in the academic year September 2020 - August 2021 only. Entry for future academic years may be subject to change.

Optional costs not included in your fees

Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.