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Course content

Why study International Law & Security at Dundee?

Security and the maintenance and promotion of security are key issues in international law and international relations. There are many career opportunities in these areas ranging from employment with an intergovernmental organisation such as the United Nations, to employment in an international court or tribunal, to advising government and securing a role in the military. If you intend to pursue such a career, then you will need a good understanding of why and how the international community and individual states are to respond to threats to international security. For this, you will need to understand the context in which decisions are made. international law and international relations provide that context.

Our MLitt in International Law & Security provides an overview of concepts and themes relating to the study of international security in the contemporary world, from a legal as well as an international relations point of view. It introduces both traditional and 'new' approaches to defining and conceptualising security and considers the impact of International Relations theories upon the subject. It also examines key issues such as war, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, the privatisation of warfare, energy security and environmental degradation.

Our course will equip you with the necessary analytical tools to understand and evaluate all aspects of security in the contemporary world. The issues outlined above lie at the heart of our course, which provides an opportunity to gain a deep understanding of the interactions of law and international relations and the way they combine to shape the responses of states to threats to security. The course also provides an opportunity to understand how those responses in turn shape international law and international relations.

What's so good about International Law & Security at Dundee?

The University of Dundee runs two parallel masters degree in International Law & Security: MLitt International Law & Security for graduates in International Relations or similar subjects, and LLM International Law & Security for Law graduates.

Each degree has one core module, and you will also be able to choose specialist option modules from the same list. You will also research and write a dissertation in your chosen area of interest, or work on a research project with integrated internship.

Internship opportunity:
The opportunity to undertake an approved internship as a part the programme of studies is an exciting innovation in this area of study which will enable students to gain a unique insight into the application of the materials addressed in taught modules and to gain valuable experience to add to their CV.

How you will be taught

The course starts in September or January, each year and lasts for 12 months on a full time basis or 24 months on a part time basis. A variety of teaching methods will be used, including: small group teaching, supervised study, independent research, seminars and presentations.

What you will study

The course is made up of two International Relations modules and two Law modules which are delivered during our two teaching semesters (Sep-Dec and Jan-Apr), and detailed below.

During the summer vacation students normally write a dissertation.

All students take the Law week-long induction in January, plus the first half of the module Legal Research Skills(including the first assessment), usually in your first semester, but can be deferred to your second semester if you don't select any first semester Law modules. You also take the non-credit bearing generic skills training seminars offered by the Humanities.

First Semester (Jan-Apr)

International Security (core module), plus one other taught 30-credit modules (from the list below).

Summer period (May-Aug)

Politics Dissertation (60 credits)

Second Semester (Sep-Dec)

Two taught 30-credit modules (from the list below).

Part time study

For part-time students the taught modules will be spread out over two years instead of one in a similar format as above, and the Dissertation or Research Project (with integrated internship) will be undertaken during the summer period of the second year of study.

Typical optional modules available

Individual Criminal Liability in International Criminal Law
Transnational Crime and Counter Terrorism
International Dispute Resolution
UN Human Rights Law
Regional Human Rights Systems
Global Human Rights: Traditions & Inspirations
Critical Studies on Terrorism
The Middle East and Terrorism
State Terror
Strategic Intelligence Studies
International Security of Drugs & Organised Crime
Human Rights in International Relations
Russian Politics & Security
Politics and Security in South Asia
Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism in Europe
Geopolitics of Natural Resources
Governing and Securing Cyber Space
European Union Security
Explaining and Understanding International Politics

How you will be assessed

By assessed coursework, examination and dissertation (or research project report).


Graduates from this degree are likely to pursue careers with international organisations such as the United Nations, the European Union, or institutions such as the International Court of Justice. You will also be well placed to pursue a career as a government adviser. Graduates from our Politics & International Relations degrees have successfully pursued careers in politics and diplomacy.

Visit the MLitt/LLM International Law & Security page on the University of Dundee website for more details!





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