International Law LLM

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UKPASS code: 015146 | Institution code: W50 | Attendance mode: Full-time
Start: 15 September 2016
Duration: 1 year
Location: Central London
Campus: Regent

All prices quoted are for the academic year 2016/17 only. Alumni discount.

Home/EU: £8,500.00
Overseas: £12,750.00

With globalisation international law is becoming increasingly important and this course prepares you for your future career in the international arena. Our LLM is one of the oldest and most popular courses in international law in London. It attracts students from every nationality and background, not only those who have previously studied law, but also those with a degree in political science, international relations, economics or other relevant discipline. This creates a uniquely vibrant and stimulating learning environment in which to study international Law.

The LLM International Law is linked to our Research Group, International Law at Westminster, which regularly organises public events on topical issues: we recently organised panels and conferences on nuclear proliferation, torture, and citizenship deprivation. We encourage all our students to get involved in the activities of the center so that they can build contacts with leading professionals. Our location, just off Regent Street also puts you within easy reach of all the main legal and political insitutions and organisations giving you fantastic networking opportunities. 

Every year, the Oxford University Press Prize is awarded to the best LLM International Law student.

Course content

The course will enhance your understanding of the key principles of public international law, the main developments within the public international law framework and the process of globalisation and its significance for international law.

Modules

The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course. For more details on course structure and modules, and how you will be taught and assessed, see the full course document.

Core modules

DISSERTATION

The Dissertation module enables you to gain a deep knowledge of the concepts and principles of international law. You will need to agree the topic with the module leader, and it must not replicate materials covered in other areas of your coursework, or comprise work submitted for any other award. The Dissertation will help you to develop your powers of analysis, synthesis, application and evaluation, and your advanced research skills. It will also introduce you to legal practical research skills and the range of specialist resources available for studying your chosen area.

PUBLIC INTERNATIONAL LAW

You will analyse the sources and subjects of international law, state responsibility, and the implementation of international law into municipal law, and gain an overview of the defining legal principles of international relations. You will also focus on the settlement of international disputes and the enforcement of international law. The module will help to develop your general transferable skills, including oral and written communication, independent study, time management, research, and problem solving.

Option modules

INTERNATIONAL AND EUROPEAN REFUGEE LAW

This module focuses on the root causes of forced migration, the changing meaning of the term 'refugee', and its legal definition. You will examine the protection afforded to refugees in international law, the role of the UNHCR, and regional refugee protection regimes.

INTERNATIONAL ENERGY AND CLIMATE CHANGE LAW

This module will introduce you to the principles of international law relevant to the development and use of energy resources. You will examine the principles relating to permanent sovereignty over natural resources, 'shared' resources and resources outside areas of national jurisdiction. You will also consider the impact of other principles of international law on the energy sector, such as international environmental law, foreign investment and trade law, and human rights. The module has a strong focus on the evolving international legal framework on the mitigation of climate change, and its impact on international energy law and policy.

INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL LAW

You will study the principles and levels of environmental law, pollution and transboundary pollution, and state responsibility in international law. Other areas covered by the module include conservation and biodiversity; environmental impact assessments; environmental media; environmental risk; human rights; and waste management.

INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS LAW

The module introduces you to the protection of human rights in international law. You will gain an overview of the historical and philosophical background of human rights, and a greater understanding of the protection of human rights at the international level though the UN and regional systems (with particular emphasis on Europe). You will also study contemporary issues in international human rights law, such as humanitarian intervention, responsibility to protect, terrorism and torture.

INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW

This module covers the regulation of the rules and customs of war, including the status and protection of prisoners of war, the protection of civilian populations, the use of certain weapons, the status of combatants and belligerents, and the criminal consequences of the violations of the laws of armed conflict. You will gain a deep knowledge of international humanitarian law, and a thorough understanding of practice and law relating to key concepts, such as prisoners of war, combatants, protected persons, neutrality and war crimes. New forms of warfare, such a cyber warfare and drones, are also addressed.

INTERNATIONAL LAW AND DEVELOPMENT

You will study law and policy relating to international development, including the right to development in international law, international development assistance and poverty alleviation, and law and policy relating to overseas development assistance in the UK and the EU. The module will give you a greater understanding of the global challenges for development, and will give you the skills to undertake informed policy and advocacy work internationally.

INTERNATIONAL LAW OF THE SEA

This module will introduce you to the comprehensive legal framework of the international law of the sea. You will examine the various maritime jurisdictional zones recognised in international law, including principles relating to the territorial sea, archipelagic waters, international straits, contiguous zone, continental shelf, exclusive economic zone, high seas, and deep seabed. The module also considers the resolution of competing claims to maritime areas and resources, and focuses on concerns arising from human use of the oceans, such as maritime security and piracy, exploitation of offshore resources, fisheries management, the conservation of marine biodiversity, and marine pollution.

PEACEFUL SETTLEMENT OF INTERNATIONAL DISPUTES

You will be introduced to the various techniques and institutions available in international law for resolving disputes between states. This module examines diplomatic means of dispute settlement, including negotiation and mediation, and legal means of dispute settlement – arbitration and adjudication. You will also consider the availability of alternative mechanisms for the resolution of inter-state disputes, and the range of international courts and tribunals that now exist. The module refers to specific past and pending cases and disputes, and there will be a special emphasis on the law, practice and procedure of the International Court of Justice.

RESEARCH THEORY AND PRACTICE

This module introduces you to the general concepts of legal and social scientific (empirical) methods of research, and develops your understanding of the principles of advanced research. You will consider the relevance of these methods for the study of law, as well as giving you an understanding of the legal, social scientific and philosophical debates on methodology. It will also enable you to evaluate your own work and that of other researchers.

UNITED NATIONS LAW

This module covers the institutional and legal aspects of the United Nations. In particular, you will focus on: the composition and functioning of its main organs (Security Council, General Assembly, Secretariat, International Court of Justice, Economic and Social Council, Human Rights Council); membership of the UN; the provisions of the Charter dealing with the use of armed force; the collective security system; peacekeeping operations.

Please note that option modules are subject to student demand and staffing availability, therefore not all modules will be offered in the same academic year.

Course team

You will be taught by a team of world leading scholars who specialise in disciplines such as international human rights law, the law of armed conflict, international environmental law, the United Nations, refugee law, international courts and tribunal, cyber security law, disarmament, and development. As a result we offer a great selection of specialised international law modules that you are unlikely to find elsewhere.

Professor Marco Roscini, Professor of International Law and Course Leader

Associated careers

On completion of the course, you will be able to specialise in a wide range of careers or academia. Graduates have worked for organisations such as Amnesty International, the United Nations, or in legal departments within international organisations and governments. There are also opportunities for further research or teaching.

Additional costs information

To check what your tuition fees cover and what you may need to pay for separately, see our What tuition fees cover page.

Related course

Length of course

One year full-time or two years part-time, September and January starts

Location

Central London (Regent)

Career Development Activities

Westminster law students benefit from the following:

  • Dedicated 1-2-1 appointments with careers advisors.
  • Feedback and advice on CVs, applications and interview preparation.
  • Employer panel events and talks.
  • Law vacancy jobs bulletin.
  • Annual Law Fair Consortium.
  • Mock Assessment Centres and Interviews.

Employability

Our dedicated Career Development Centre is actively working with an ever-expanding network of over 3,000 employers to provide you with exceptional employability support and guidance. As a result we were nominated as finalists for a significant industry award – the NUE Awards Most Improved Commitment to Employability 2016.

We provide our students with work placements and international opportunities to support them in becoming highly employable, globally engaged graduates, and with one million businesses operating within 20 miles of the University of Westminster, over 84% of our students are in work or further study six months after graduation. Our graduates work in a variety of sectors and organisations, from small/medium-sized companies and start-ups to large not-for-profit organisations and corporates.

During your time at Westminster you will be able to use our comprehensive online vacancy service and meet with our experienced careers consultants, providing you with thorough training and support on CV writing, application forms, interview preparation and assessment centres.

In addition to this, you will receive careers support from academic staff and faculty work placement teams, offering targeted course-specific careers advice and assistance in securing a work placement during your time at Westminster. You can find out more about course-specific career opportunities by visiting the Prospects website.

For more details, visit the employability section on our site.

Career Development Centre

Our Career Development Centre can help and support you throughout your study and after graduation.

We can help you to:

  • find part-time/vacation, placement and graduate jobs, including voluntary experience
  • explore how to develop the skills that employers are looking for
  • plan your career development
  • identify your career options
  • market yourself effectively in CVs, application forms and at interviews
  • develop your enterprise skills

We also organise a range of presentations and networking events with employers, professional bodies, alumni and other organisations throughout the year to help you with career planning.

Find out more about the Career Development Centre.

Work Placements

Our Work Placement Teams are based in your Faculty Registry Office and can help you find a suitable placement, as well as support you in making applications, writing CVs and improving your interview technique.

More details on work placements can be found on our Work placements page.

Career options in your subject area

Our team of careers consultants work closely with Faculty departments to deliver tailored employability support, including subject-specific workshops, employer events and careers information, advice and guidance.

You can also browse the career options available to you after you graduate on the Career Development Centre's Finding work in your subject area pages and on the Prospects website.

All our staff on the course are extremely friendly and approachable. Please contact the course leaders to make an enquiry or to arrange a visit, full staff details:

Professor Marco Roscini (Course Leader)

Professor Helene Lambert (Deputy Course Leader)

Dr Aurora Voiculescu

Ms Ruth Mackenzie

Dr Stefaan Smis

Dr Radha D'Souza

Professor Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos

Dr Emma McClean

What makes this course stand out?

  • Specialist modules taught by internationally known experts that have widely published in their respective fields of expertise
  • Friendly teaching team
  • Teaching in small groups through interactive seminars

On completion of the course, you will be able to specialise in a wide range of careers or academia. Graduates have worked for organisations such as Amnesty International, the United Nations, or in legal departments within international organisations and governments. There are also opportunities for further research or teaching.

Study in the city

If you study at the University of Westminster, everything that London has to offer is on your doorstep.

Our central London campuses are ideally located for the city's fantastic learning institutions including libraries, archives and museums, as well as opportunities for shopping, eating out, enjoying London's nightlife or just simply relaxing.

Accommodation

After choosing your course, one of your biggest decisions will be where to live, and we aim to make that choice as easy as possible. Whether you want to apply for our Halls of Residence or live in private housing, we can help you to find the right accommodation.

Fees, funding, bursaries and scholarships

In recent years the University of Westminster's scholarship scheme has been the largest university scholarships scheme in the UK, and our Scholarships Department won the Times Higher Education inaugural Award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students.

Personal tutoring

All students on courses of a year or more and who are registered for more than three modules will be allocated a personal tutor.

Your personal tutor will be there to support you from induction onwards, helping you to integrate into the University, academically and socially, at an early stage. They will be able to give you advice and support on academic and personal matters affecting your study, as well as developmental advice through regular individual and group tutorials.

Language support

Polylang is a University-wide programme through which you can study a language as a free choice module.

Personal advice and counselling

While most students overcome any problems with help from friends, family or a personal tutor, the University's free counselling and advice services are there if you need them.

International Westminster

With one of the UK's largest international student populations, the University of Westminster has plenty of experience in giving you the help and support you need to make the most of your time with us.

Study Abroad and Summer School programmes

Westminster's Study Abroad programme has been running for more than 15 years, and is one of the largest in the UK – each year we welcome hundreds of visiting students from universities all over the world.

If you are already studying outside the UK, the programme offers you the opportunity to study with us for one or two semesters, or for a period in the summer.

Sport and recreation

The University has extensive sport and recreation facilities, with a sports hall and gym at Harrow, a state-of-the-art gym at Regent Campus, and the University sports ground by the River Thames at Chiswick.

Students' Union

University of Westminster Students' Union (UWSU) aims to make sure you have the best university experience possible by providing a range of activities and support, from sports clubs to society groups, educational advice and social events.

Read what our students say about studying at the University of Westminster.

Ademilola Yerokun

International Law LLM, graduated in 2010

I chose to study at Westminster because the fees were very reasonable and the location was very central and easily accessible for me.

The structure of the course was fantastic, seminars were incorporated into the lectures, and I referred to them as ‘leminars’. Participation was actively encouraged and this created a very positive learning environment. My lecturers and tutors were professional and friendly. I’ve since returned to Westminster for further studies and I’ve seen some of my tutors from the LLM so we’ve been able to catch up and have a chat.

Completing the course with a Distinction affirmed my decision to have a career in Law. Since graduation I’ve been working but I’m now back at Westminster studying the Legal Practice Course on a part-time basis.

The advice I would give to anyone thinking of studying the LLM at Westminster is go for it – you will get value for money.

Blazej Blasikiewicz

International Law LLM, graduated in 2010

Originally I applied to Westminster to study for my Masters in International Economics, because I am an economist and I had already completed my Masters in Economics in Poland; I thought that perhaps I would go on to work as an economist in the City, or in a field related to economics. Then I attended the introductory week before starting the course, and I realised that I had already covered a lot of the subject while studying in Poland, and I didn’t want to do the same thing again. I’m interested in politics so I did consider taking the Diplomatic Studies course, but then I also found the International Law LLM, and when I contacted the course leader he said he would be happy for me to join the course.

That’s one piece of advice I would give to anyone thinking of studying for the LLM at Westminster; go along to the introductory week, and take advantage of the opportunity to find out more about the subjects, talk to the professors and the course leaders. Doing that enables you to make the right decisions about your course and the subjects you will study.

I didn’t really know what to expect when I started the course, as I didn’t know much about international law, but I think Dr Marco Roscini (the International Law LLM Course Leader) is one of the best professors I have had, someone I really respect. The contact generally with lecturers and professors was good, so I was very happy with Westminster, and with the knowledge I gained while I was there.

In general the course has prepared me well for my career; with my two degrees, I started an internship in the Hague to set up a dispute resolution facility for international financial markets, called PRIME Finance, and my background in finance and in international law helped me a lot. Now I work part-time at PRIME Finance, and part-time in the international arbitration team at NautaDutilh, one of the biggest Benelux law firms. So my Masters at Westminster helped me immensely, it prepared me and gave me a good background in the subject. I hope in the future to also work more in politics and lobbying, and be able to influence the decision makers, and again I think my degrees will give me a good advantage.

Claudia Scheufler

International Law LLM, graduated in 2010, and now works for the UN

I was living in Sydney, Australia, when I decided to apply for a Masters course and I hardly knew anything about the universities in London or the academic system here. From the various universities I contacted, I found Westminster to be the most helpful and well organised. I then looked up the profiles of the professors that would teach my course and made my decision based on this.

I was not sure what to expect when I applied but before I accepted the offer, I was a little apprehensive about the cost of the course as it was quite significantly cheaper than some of the other universities in London. But looking back, I’m so pleased I completed my course at Westminster; the teaching quality was excellent, the teaching staff were leading professionals in their field and dedicated to bringing out the best in the students, and the course content was well designed and encouraged students to ‘think outside the box’.

I found all the lecturers and tutors very helpful, accessible and genuinely interested in helping students to learn to the best of their abilities. My dissertation supervisor in particular was really helpful and assisted me with advice and encouragement through a variety of minor and major moments of panic.

I thoroughly enjoyed all the classes and the readings, which were super interesting and encouraged creative legal thinking. The other students in my class were also great, everyone was dedicated to learning but still fun and sociable, and whenever I had a problem there was always someone around to help out. On the induction day the Dean of the Law School said in his speech that we should look around the room as some of these people would be our friends for life, and I remember thinking ‘yeah, whatever’, but he was actually right.

It’s cool to be a Masters student in London, having a reasonably flexible schedule with time off in the afternoons. There are excellent libraries, so sometimes I enjoyed spending a few hours at the British Library or the LSE library. For international law in particular there are also events happening at places like Chatham House or the British Institute of International and Comparative Law, and it’s great to be able to attend those and keep up with international law developments. There are also a lot of interesting places around to do internships or volunteering. Most of the galleries and museums in London are free and there are often interesting exhibitions - and of course the University is close to Oxford Street, so there are ample opportunities for shopping.

During the second half of my Masters I started working in an admin role at Amnesty International. A few months after graduation I moved into an assistant position in their Middle East research department, where I’m still working and which I thoroughly enjoy. Having a solid understanding of public international law really is essential for all aspects of my work, as, in my opinion, it is impossible to successfully campaign against and research human rights violations without understanding the basics of international law. In addition to that, the other units I’ve taken, including research methodology, international humanitarian law and international criminal law, have also proven very helpful in my current role, where I am dealing with conflict and non-conflict related international law violations on a daily basis.

The course has been a good foundation for the additional academic study that I’ve undertaken after graduating. Last year, I completed a specialist Postgraduate Diploma in International Humanitarian Law, which was easy for me to follow while working full-time as I’d already gained a good understanding of the issues during my Masters. I’ve also completed a number of short courses, and I’m currently studying Arabic and French. In short, virtually everything I learned during the course has come in handy at some point.

If I was to give advice to anyone thinking of studying their LLM at the University of Westminster, I would quite simply say: “Do it!” Of course I would tell them to also consider general career aspirations, research interests and potential dissertation supervisors, and what they hope to gain from their course overall. If they want to take a year off and party in London, I would not recommend Westminster, as the course did require a lot of work (at least for me). But if they want to learn, then it’s a great place.

Emina Zahirovic completed her LLM in International Law at the University of Westminster, and recently joined international legal firm BDK Advokati/Attorneys at Law at its Banja Luka office in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Emina got a scholarship to Westminster, graduating in November 2013.

When I was looking for a masters course I was looking for specific modules that I wanted to study – international human rights law, and humanitarian law – and when I was comparing universities in London, Westminster was the only one which offered both of these modules on the one course, so it was the best option for me.

I looked at the ratings, the teaching profiles, the facilities and all the other things that Westminster offered, and it all looked good, but it was the course content which was the most important for me; I didn't want to settle for something else, I really wanted to study those modules.

It was my first time studying in the UK, and both the location and the University really lived up to my expectations. Because the University is based in central London it's easy to get to know the city. And everyone is really helpful at Westminster – starting from the School registry to the professors and the staff, everyone is there to help you out. We were all international students, and we were struggling a little bit with our English at the beginning, but everyone helped us out.

The way we were taught, and the way we were able to study, was one of the highlights of the course for me. Here in Bosnia the focus is much more on memorising facts and the classical exam styles; at Westminster it was much more about research and original coursework. It definitely taught me how to think, rather than what to think. The people on the course also helped to make it an amazing experience.

I learned so much, and I loved being at Westminster; I had really wanted to study in London for years, so this was a dream come true for me.

The position I've taken up now with BDK has more of a focus on corporate and commercial law. I thought it might be a problem for me to find a job in a branch of law outside of human rights or humanitarian law, but in the end, studying at the University of Westminster really went in my favour when it came to applying for the post.

I would definitely advise anyone thinking of studying law at Westminster to go for it – the facilities, the libraries and the access to things are great. Perhaps the best advice for international students would be to do the short course before you start your LLM, just to get used to the way you need to write, the form, and the legal English you need to know. I think that's the one thing that could have made a big difference – if I had done the introductory course, I think I would have got even more out of my LLM.

And if you want to make the most of the social life, then live in halls of residence – that was also one of the best experiences of my life. I lived in Wigram House; I made so many friends, it was so easy to get adjusted to London, to overcome that culture shock, and you never feel lonely... it makes me want to go back to London right now!

Social Sciences and Humanities

We offer an exciting breadth of activity across the Social Sciences, Law and the Arts and Humanities. We are one of the country's biggest providers of Modern and Applied Language tuition.

Find out more in our welcome from the Dean of the faculty

Postgraduate student funding

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Find out about new student loans of up to £10,000 for postgraduate master’s study.

Meet the course leaders

Professor Marco Roscini is Professor of International Law at Westminster Law School.

Meet the course leaders

Dr Hélène Lambert is Professor of International Law at Westminster Law School.

International Law at Westminster

Westminster Law School is located in the heart of London and is a centre of excellence for the study and research of international law.

Youtube

Professor Marco Roscini introduces the International Law LLM