The Kent LLM (and associated Diploma programme) allows you to broaden and deepen your knowledge and understanding of law by specialising in one or more different areas.
Studying for a Master's in Law (LLM) at Kent means having the certainty of gaining an LLM in a specialist area of Law. The Kent LLM gives you the freedom to leave your choice of specialism open until after you arrive, your specialism being determined by the modules you choose.
About Kent Law School
Kent Law School (KLS) is the UK's leading critical law school. A cosmopolitan centre of world-class critical legal research, it offers a supportive and intellectually stimulating place to study postgraduate taught and research degrees.
In addition to learning the detail of the law, students at Kent are taught to think about the law with regard to its history, development and relationship with wider society. This approach allows students to fully understand the law. Our critical approach not only makes the study of law more interesting, it helps to develop crucial skills and abilities required for a career in legal practice.
The Law School offers its flagship Kent LLM at the University’s Canterbury campus (and two defined LLM programmes at the University’s Brussels centre). Our programmes are open to non-law graduates with an appropriate academic or professional background who wish to develop an advanced understanding of law in their field.
You study within a close-knit, supportive and intellectually stimulating environment, working closely with academic staff. KLS uses critical research-led teaching throughout our programmes to ensure that you benefit from the Law School’s world-class research.
In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, research by Kent Law School was ranked 8th in the UK for research intensity. We were also ranked 7th for research power and in the top 20 for research output, research quality and research impact.
An impressive 99% of our research was judged to be of international quality and the School’s environment was judged to be conducive to supporting the development of world-leading research.
You can tailor your studies to your particular needs and interests to obtain an LLM or Diploma in a single specialisation, in two specialisations jointly, or by choosing a broad range of modules in different areas of law to obtain a general LLM or Diploma in Law.
As a student on the LLM at Canterbury, your choice of specialisation will be shaped by the modules you take and your dissertation topic. To be awarded an LLM in a single specialisation, at least three of your six modules must be chosen from those associated with that specialisation with your dissertation also focusing on that area of law. The other three modules can be chosen from any offered in the Law School. All students are also required to take the Legal Research and Writing Skills module. To be awarded a major/minor specialisation you will need to choose three modules associated with one specialisation, and three from another specialisation, with the dissertation determining which is your 'major' specialisation.
For example, a student who completes at least three modules in International Commercial Law and completes a dissertation in this area would graduate with an LLM in International Commercial Law; a student who completes three Criminal Justice modules and three Environmental Law modules and then undertakes a dissertation which engages with Criminal Justice would graduate with an LLM in Criminal Justice and Environmental Law.
The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation. Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take modules from other programmes so that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas that interest you.
The postgraduate programmes offered within the Law School are usually taught in seminar format. Students on the Diploma and LLM programmes study three modules in each of the autumn and spring terms. The modules normally are assessed by a 4-5,000-word essay. Students undertaking an LLM degree must write a dissertation of 15-20,000 words.
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.
Employability is a key focus throughout the University and at Kent Law School you have the support of a dedicated Employability and Career Development Officer together with a broad choice of work placement opportunities, employability events and careers talks. Details of graduate internship schemes with NGOs, charities and other professional organisations are made available to postgraduate students via the School’s Employability Blog.
Many students at our Brussels centre who undertake internships are offered contracts in Brussels immediately after graduation. Others have joined their home country’s diplomatic service, entered international organisations, or have chosen to undertake a ‘stage’ at the European Commission, or another EU institution.
Law graduates have gone on to careers in finance, international commerce, government and law or have joined, or started, an NGO or charity.
Kent has an excellent record for postgraduate employment: over 94% of our postgraduate students who graduated in 2013 found a job or further study opportunity within six months.