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.
This specialisation is designed for people who already work, or intend to work, within the criminal justice system, whether for the police, probation service, prison service or other organisations, or those with an interest in such matters. It covers criminal law and procedure in the UK, internationally and comparatively. It examines criminal justice systems from a range of perspectives, including the management of organisations, human rights, the psychological and sociological causes of criminal behaviour and social and economic perspectives.
There is close co-operation with the MA in Criminology run by the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research. Students on the LLM and MA can take modules from both programmes. Criminology has specialists in many areas including criminological theory, research methods, youth crime, gender, cultural criminology and terrorism.
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.
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.
You can tailor your studies to your particular needs and interests to obtain an LLM or Diploma in Law 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.
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 and your dissertation focusing on that area of law. The other three modules can be chosen from any offered in the Law School. All students are required to take the Legal Research and Writing Skills module. To be awarded a major/minor specialisation you choose three modules associated with one specialisation, and three from another specialisation, with the dissertation determining 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 this specialisation stream. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation and student demand. Most specialisation streams will require you to study a combination of subject specialisation modules and modules from other specialisation streams so that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas that interest you.
LW846 International Criminal Law
LW886 Transnational Criminal Law
LW924 European Union Criminal Law and Procedure
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:
1. LLM: The opportunity to develop (a) expert knowledge and a sophisticated understanding of particular areas of law; (b) advanced research, writing and oral communication skills of general value to postgraduate employment. PGDip: The opportunity to develop (a) expert knowledge and a sophisticated understanding of particular areas of law; (b) written and oral communication skills of general value to postgraduate employment.
2. LLM: A sound knowledge and systematic understanding of the institutional structures, key principles of law and policy and influential ideas, theories, assumptions and paradigms of particular areas of law. PGDip: A sound knowledge and systematic understanding of the institutional structures, key principles of law and policy and influential ideas, theories, assumptions and paradigms of the subjects studied.
3. LLM & PGDip: A degree of specialisation in areas of law and policy chosen from the LLM option streams available and an opportunity for students to engage with academic work at the frontiers of scholarship.
4. LLM & PGDip: A critical awareness of the operation of law and policy, particularly in contexts that are perceived to be controversial or in a state of evolution.
5. LLM: The skills to undertake supervised research on an agreed topic in their specialisation and to encourage the production of original, evaluative analysis that meets high standards of scholarship.
6. LLM & PGDip: Critical, analytical and problem-solving skills that can be applied to a wide range of contexts.
7. LLM & PGDip: The skills of academic legal research and writing.
8. LLM: A sophisticated grounding in research methods.
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.