Kent Law School, at the University of Kent, is a leading UK law school with recognised excellence in teaching and legal research. Our distinctive critical approach views the law within the broader social, political and economic contexts in which it operates. You study full-time or part-time and can begin your studies in September or January.
You learn within a supportive, cosmopolitan, and intellectually stimulating environment, working closely with academic staff. We use critical research-led teaching throughout our programmes to ensure that you benefit from the Law School’s world-class research.
Reasons to study the Law at Kent
What you'll learn
Our innovative Master’s in Law degree has an international and contemporary focus. It offers an open choice of modules and pathway enabling you to tailor your LLM study to suit your needs and interests. Your specialism is left open until you arrive and is determined by the modules you choose. You can develop in-depth expertise by studying one or two specialised subject pathways or study for a general Kent LLM with no specialist pathway.
Specialist pathways include:
It is possible to start the Kent LLM at Canterbury in September or in January. January entry allows students the flexibility to begin their studies without the need to wait for entry in September. Students who begin the Kent LLM on a full-time basis in January study over a period of 15 months. You study three taught modules in the first spring term and three taught modules in the autumn term. In your second spring term, you write your dissertation. Dissertation submission will be on the final day of the second spring term (usually in early April).
During the summer vacation, you are:
- required to participate in an online module (Legal Research and Writing Skills)
- encouraged to begin researching your dissertation
- required to attend the LLM Student Conference (in June)
- encouraged to explore work experience and internships (where visa conditions permit).
1 year full-time, 2 years part-time (September start); 15 months full-time, 28 months part-time (January start)
Knowledge and understanding
You gain knowledge and understanding of:
- the institutions and structures of public international law and the inter-relationships between them
- the key concepts, policy issues, principles and relevant sources of law and policy
- the substantive law relevant to a range of key areas of law and policy
- the theoretical, social and academic debates which underlie the substantive areas of law
- the practical contexts in which the law operates
- the importance of evaluating public international law alongside its theoretical and practical contexts
You develop intellectual skills in:
- effectively applying the knowledge of law and policy to a wide range of situations where relevant practical or theoretical issues are under consideration
- evaluating issues according to their context, relevance and importance
- gathering relevant information and accessing key sources by electronic or other means
- formulating arguments on central issues and areas of controversy, and the ability to present a reasoned opinion based upon relevant materials
- recognising potential alternative arguments, and contrary evidence, to your own opinion and presenting a reasoned justification for preference
- demonstrating an independence of mind and the ability to offer critical challenge to received understanding on particular issues
- an ability to reflect constructively on your learning progression.
You gain subject-specific skills in:
- an awareness of the limitations of present knowledge and matters needing to be resolved by further research
- the ability to identify and characterise issues of law which arise in practical situations
- the ability to research and access the main sources of law and policy which are relevant
- the ability to appreciate and evaluate the main theoretical and political perspectives that underlie the legal provisions
- the ability to provide a reasoned and justified opinion as to the possible legal consequences in particular circumstances
- the ability to utilise research skills, at least, to commence further research into unresolved issues.
You gain the following transferable skills:
- the ability to identify relevant issues from potentially complex factual situations
- the ability to undertake research from a diverse range of sources
- the ability to summarise detailed and complex bodies of information concisely and accurately
- the ability to formulate arguments in verbal presentations and defend these against opposing views
- the ability to present information and arguments in written form, in accordance with academic conventions, and appropriately to the intended readership
- the ability to evaluate personal performance.
This programme aims to:
- provide a postgraduate qualification of value to those intending to play a leading role in any field of law
- provide a detailed knowledge and high level of understanding of a range of specialised subject areas
- provide more broadly-based communication skills of general value to those seeking postgraduate employment
- provide a sound knowledge and systematic understanding of the institutional structures, key principles of law and policy and particular contexts in which law operates
- provide a degree of specialisation in areas of public international law of individual interest from among the wide range of LLM/PDip options that are available and which require you to engage with academic work which is at the frontiers of scholarship
- encourage you to develop a critical awareness of the operation of public international law, particularly in contexts which are perceived to be controversial or in a state of evolution
- provide you with the skills to undertake supervised research on an agreed topic in law and to encourage the production of original and evaluative commentary that meets high standards of scholarship (applies to LLM only)
- encourage you to develop critical, analytical and problem-solving skills which can be applied to a wide range of contexts
- develop your skills of academic legal research, particularly by the written presentation of arguments in a manner which meets relevant academic conventions
- assist those students who are minded to pursue academic research at a higher level in acquiring a sophisticated grounding in the essential techniques involved by following a specialised module in research methods (applies to LLM only)
- contribute to widening participation in higher education by taking account of the past experience of applicants in determining admissions whilst ensuring that all students that are admitted possess the potential to complete the programme successfully.