International law is a dynamic subject which has to respond to real world problems. It directly affects states but is increasingly a matter of concern for public and private international and national organisations and individuals. Given contemporary and future global problems - for example, protecting human rights and security and the conservation of resources - the significance of international law is growing in a multipolar world.
This programme will enhance your understanding and challenge preconceptions of the complex legal and political nature of international law-making and governance and explore the often competing concepts that infuse the subject of international law.
You'll investigate and apply the theories, principles and rules of international law to novel problems, real-world and hypothetical scenarios, and examine the rules, legal and political bodies such as the Security Council and the International Court of Justice and underlying policies governing international law.
You'll benefit from the expertise of leading academics in a stimulating research environment. Our research groups include:
This programme includes Global Governance Through Law as a compulsory module, and offers many optional modules in specialised subjects in international law. You'll critically engage with a rich collection of contemporary themes set against the background of the concerns and activities of states and non-state actors in the international community.
You'll also examine controversial areas of international law including how human rights laws are developed, how international laws are made and to what extent they are applied, the structure of relevant institutions such as the UN, the development of legal norms and the monitoring of states.
The programme will give you the opportunity to:
- explore the legal nature of international law on a global, regional and local level
- examine the impact of international law on contemporary problems
- consider how international law has failed to address certain issues and may be harnessed to tackle future problems
- investigate principles relating to sovereignty, universality, jurisdiction, territory, self-determination and human rights
- hone your legal research and writing skills, which you'll demonstrate in your dissertation.
You'll also benefit from our academic skills programme. This 10-week programme runs alongside your taught academic programme, and is specifically designed to meet the needs of home and international students in the School of Law. It allows you to refine and develop the academic and transferable skills to excel during your taught postgraduate programme, as well as prepare for professional roles after graduation.
The wide-ranging list of optional modules means that you can explore a mixture of related subjects of interest to you.
If you're a part-time student, you'll take three compulsory modules in your first year and two optional modules. In your second year, you'll carry out your dissertation and study one or two optional modules.
These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
- Global Governance through Law 30 credits
- Postgraduate Legal Research Skills 15 credits
- Dissertation 60 credits
- European Human Rights 15 credits
- Alternative Dispute Resolution 15 credits
- Corporate Social Responsibility 15 credits
- International Banking Law: Capital Markets and Loans 15 credits
- World Trade Organisation Law 15 credits
- International Economic Law 15 credits
- International Human Rights 30 credits
- Human Rights and Disabled People 1 15 credits
For more information on typical modules, read International Law LLM Full Time in the course catalogue
For more information on typical modules, read International Law LLM Part Time in the course catalogue
Learning and teaching
Teaching is through seminars and lectures in which a high level of student engagement and discussion is expected. You are encouraged to carry out significant advanced levels of independent legal research.
Most modules are assessed by essays. This is usually the most effective method for you to showcase advanced legal research.
Applying, fees and funding
A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in law or a relevant social science.
We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For more information contact the School of Law Taught Postgraduate Admissions Team.
English language requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in all components.. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.
Improve your English
If English is not your first language, you may be able to take a pre-sessional course before you begin your studies. This can help if you:
- don't meet the English language requirements for your course or
- want to improve your understanding of academic language and practices in your area of study.
Our pre-sessional courses are designed with a progression route to the degree programme and are tailored to the subject area. For information and entry requirements, read Language for Law and Society (6 weeks) and Language for Social Science and Arts: Law and Society (10 weeks).
How to apply
UK/EU students: 31 July
International students: 30 June Documents and information you'll need:
- A copy of your degree certificate or equivalent, as well as a copy of the transcript of your grades (or partial transcript if you're still studying) certified by the awarding institution
- Two academic references
- Evidence of your English language qualifications, if English isn't your first language.
The School of Law doesn't typically interview applicants. However, in certain circumstances programme leaders may require some form of written assignment from you to show that you have the necessary skills for Masters study. Additionally, you may also be invited for an interview as part of the selection procedure. If invited to interview, you'll receive an email invitation from the School to attend an interview or be interviewed by Skype on a specific date.
This link takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.
If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.
Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.
UK/EU: £8,000 (total)
International: £18,000 (total)
Read more about paying fees and charges.
For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.
Part-time fees are normally calculated based on the number of credits you study in a year compared to the equivalent full-time course. For example, if you study half the course credits in a year, you will pay half the full-time course fees for that year.
Additional cost information
There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs
Scholarships and financial support
If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more at Masters funding overview.
The School of Law is offering a number of Liberty Scholarships to UK/EU and international students of high academic quality starting a postgraduate taught programme in 2018. These scholarships will be awarded on the basis of academic performance in your undergraduate degree. A Liberty Scholarship will not be awarded in addition to any other scholarship except a University of Leeds Alumni Bursary.
Find out more on the School's scholarships page.
Students who have graduated from this degree often choose careers that centre on or involve understanding and applying international law and developing policies at organisational level. Further training is required but many also go on to practise as lawyers or legal advisors. Our alumni include people working at the EU Commission, at the United Nations, non-governmental organisations and in the government sector.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That's one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.
Related courses Criminal Justice and Criminal Law LLM
International and European Human Rights Law LLM
Criminal Justice and Criminology MSc
Security and Justice MSc