The first aim of the programme is to provide postgraduate specialization in European Union Law and related comparative law to holders of a good first degree in law. The programme of studies ranges over a large list of subject areas which are sub-disciplines of European Law and often overlap with their counterpart domestic law, and from which the student chooses a number of study-units. In principle, the comparative (national law) dimension is worked into most subjects, while also being the principal methodology employed in a number of study units. The level of the degree compares with the level of leading LL.M. programmes in other European universities, this being certified on an annual basis by an external examiner from a European university, with this appointment alternating every three years. The second aim is to prepare the successful students for a specialist career, whether in the European Union Institutions, in other international organizations, as advisors to government and other entities, or in private practice in Malta, rest of Europe and elsewhere.
European Union law is an all-embracing, rapidly developing, and ever more significant and fascinating area of the law. A solid and in-depth knowledge thereof is essential in all areas of legal practice today. The programme provides an in-depth education in European Union law. It establishes a balance between the economic and the constitutional aspects of European law, and emphasizes both the increasing complexity of EU law and the context in which it is evolving.
List of study-units
For a detailed list of study-units on offer please visit here
The students are able to select study-units of their choice and to write a dissertation on a subject of their choice. They are also able to stream their choice so as to focus on particular areas of European Union Law, such as European Public Law, European Commercial Law or European Administrative Law, with guidance in their choice from members of the Department.
Students can therefore choose whether to acquire a depth of knowledge and range of skills across the broad area of European Law, or alternatively to group a number of study-units together with a view to developing a particular depth of knowledge across a set of related study-units.
The knowledge will range over the understanding of the relevant Treaty provisions and the laws and other acts adopted under them through study and critical analysis of the academic literature as well as the case law of the Court of Justice of the Union. Also, reference will often be made to relevant Member State legislation and court judgements. Practice is not forgotten and practitioners’ journals are frequently referred to on many of the courses.
This approach develops interpretational and applicational skills against the backdrop of sound theoretical knowledge and understanding. The knowledge and skills acquired are applicable in law practice, in adjudication, and in further studies to Ph.D. level should the student wish to pursue an academic career in Malta or abroad.
The overall learning outcomes for Master in Laws (LL.M.) in European and Comparative Law students include:
1. A deeper knowledge and understanding of chosen areas of European law and policy, and their interaction with Member State law and policy
2. Schooling in the academic literature, and trends in the case-law of the Court of Justice of the EU
3. Acquisition of advanced legal research skills
4. Advanced ability to communicate the results of research through presentations, debating and writing of term papers and dissertations
5. Advanced ability to identify and analyse problems from a legal perspective
6. The IT skills necessary to facilitate these tasks including the use of bibliographic software and the use of data bases and search engines
7. Advanced ability to read beyond legal doctrine and to evaluate the relevance and importance of other disciplines for legal analysis
Career opportunities & Access to further studies
This postgraduate academic programme provides students with an in depth education in European law. The degree is generally known in Europe as the Master of Laws (LL.M.) It establishes a balance between providing knowledge of the core economic/social and the constitutional/institutional aspects of European law and allows for specialisation in a number of areas of law such as competition law, aspects of the law of the internal market, company law, consumer law, trade law, justice and home affairs law and several others.
LL.M. European and Comparative Law graduates have privileged access to high level practice, national and international, and to a large number of positions requiring expertise in European Law. Many graduates have gone straight into high level employment with the European Institutions, often directly in the field of specialization on which they focused while on the degree. Many have done the same with law firms, while others have gone into employment with the civil service, often in their chosen field. Others have found that their already existing career has benefited. A number have found employment with law firms in other Member States. A significant number of the students on the degree take the programme over two academic years on a part-time basis. For those aiming for an academic career, the degree provides an excellent basis for the pursuit of the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in law.