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Durham University, Full Time Masters Degrees in Law

We have 5 Durham University, Full Time Masters Degrees in Law

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Under the programme, students must complete four compulsory modules, and choose from a range of optional modules. Modules will be delivered primarily through small group seminars. Read more

Under the programme, students must complete four compulsory modules, and choose from a range of optional modules. Modules will be delivered primarily through small group seminars. Attendance is mandatory for these seminars, which have been chosen as the primary means of delivering material to students due to the advanced nature of the course. Small group seminars encourage participation and the development of communications skills. They also allow students to benefit from close contact with the academics teaching on the programme, many of which are also experienced practitioners and consultants in their respective fields of expertise.

The compulsory modules ensure that students develop an in-depth understanding of the fundamentals of international law and governance and become familiar with current debates in the field.

Optional modules then allow students to explore particular aspects of international law and governance, such as aspects of international and regional law, international dispute settlement, international human rights, international humanitarian law and international economic law, in greater depth.

The completion of optional modules, together with the dissertation, allow for development of students’ subject specific knowledge as the programme progresses. The development of the students’ skills is achieved mainly through the combination of the compulsory module in Applied Research Methods in Law, taught in Michaelmas term, and the students’ pursuit of the dissertation, supervision for which begins at the start of Epiphany term. Through these modules, students can practise their skills intensely, whilst continuing to acquire a deeper level of specialised knowledge on their chosen topic. 

An important objective of the LLM in International Law and Governance programme is to provide students with skills that will enable them to thoroughly analyse and interpret legal sources, literature, and cases, and to research and formulate an independent opinion on international legal questions. Students will also learn to clearly present their findings both orally and in writing to international legal specialists, to participate actively in academic debate, and to apply this advanced academic knowledge in public international law in a professional context.

As such, an LLM in International Law and Governance will provide students with an excellent foundation to pursue an international law career, whether it is in legal practice, employment in international institutions, or employment in non-governmental organisations. The LLM qualification will also be an excellent vehicle for the further development of research skills and, as such, also offers entry into further postgraduate study and, in particular, doctoral research.

Core modules

  • Fundamentals in International Law (unless a similar module has already been studied)
  • Fundamental Issues of International Legal Governance
  • Applied Research Methods in Law
  • Dissertation (of 10,000, 15,000 or 20,000 words).

Optional modules

Please note: not all modules necessarily run every year, and we regularly introduce new modules. The list below provides an example of the type of modules which may be offered.

  • Advanced Issues in International Economic Law
  • Comparative and Transnational Law
  • Global Environmental Law
  • Global Financial Law
  • Global Institutions
  • International Co-operation in Criminal Matters in Europe
  • International Counter Terrorism: Theory and Practice
  • International Investment Law
  • International Humanitarian Law
  • International Protection of Human Rights
  • International Trade Law & Policy
  • International Perspectives on Law and Gender
  • Introduction to International Criminal Justice
  • Introduction to European Union Law
  • Law of Oil and Gas Contracts
  • Law of the Sea

Course Learning and Teaching

This programme involves both taught modules and a substantial dissertation component. Taught modules are delivered by a mixture of lectures and seminars. Although most lectures do encourage student participation, they are used primarily to introduce chosen topics, identify relevant concepts, and introduce the student to the main debates and ideas relevant to the chosen topic. They give students a framework of knowledge that students can then develop, and reflect on, through their own reading and study.

Seminars are smaller-sized, student-led classes. Students are expected to carry out reading prior to classes, and are usually set questions or problems to which they will apply the knowledge they have developed. Through class discussion, or the presentation of student papers, students are given the opportunity to test and refine their knowledge and understanding, in a relaxed and supportive environment.

The number of contact hours in each module will reflect that module’s credit weighting. 15-credit modules will have, in total, 15 contact hours (of either lectures or seminars); 30-credit modules will have 30 contact hours. Students must accumulate, in total, between 90 and 120 credits of taught modules for the programme (depending upon the length of their dissertation).

In addition to their taught modules, all students must produce a dissertation of between 10,000 and 20,000 words. The dissertation is intended to be the product of the student’s own independent research. Each student is allocated a dissertation supervisor, and will have a series of (usually four) one-to-one meetings with their supervisor over the course of the academic year.

Finally, all taught postgraduate students on this programme, are encouraged to attend the various events, including guest lectures and seminars, organised through the School’s research centres, including Law and Global Justice at Durham, the Human Rights Centre, the Centre for Criminal Law and Criminal Justice, and the Durham European Law Institute.



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This programme gives you the widest choice of modules. Modules can be selected from those available for students studying in International Trade and Commercial Law, and European Trade and Commercial Law, Corporate Law and International Law and Governance. Read more

This programme gives you the widest choice of modules. Modules can be selected from those available for students studying in International Trade and Commercial Law, and European Trade and Commercial Law, Corporate Law and International Law and Governance.

Having completed your taught modules, you will undertake an extended dissertation of 10,000, 15,000 or 20,000 words in length, under the supervision of a member of staff who is an expert in your chosen field of research. Teaching is by a mixture of lectures and smaller, student-led, seminars or tutorial groups. The dissertation is pursued by independent research.

Students attending the programme are drawn from a broad range of countries, and their previous academic or professional experiences enrich the programme. The Law School hosts a number of research centres, including the Institute for Commercial and Corporate Law, the Durham European Law Institute, the Centre for Criminal Law and Criminal Justice, Law and Global Justice at Durham and the Human Rights Centre. Students are encouraged to participate in all their activities.

Course Structure

Students must study one compulsory module in Applied Research Methods in Law. You must also choose a number of additional taught modules, from a large body of optional modules. Finally, a dissertation must be completed, on a topic chosen by you in consultation with your allotted supervisor.

Core Modules

  • Applied Research Methods in Law
  • Dissertation (of 10,000, 15,000 or 20,000 words).

Optional Modules

Please note: not all modules necessarily run every year, and we regularly introduce new modules. The list below provides an example of the type of modules which may be offered.

  • Advanced Issues in International Economic Law
  • Advanced Issues of International Intellectual Property Law
  • Advanced Law of Obligations
  • Commercial Fraud
  • Corporations in an EU Context
  • Current Issues in Company Law
  • Competition Law
  • Fundamentals of International Law
  • Fundamental Issues in International Legal Governance
  • Global Environmental Law
  • Global Institutions
  • International and Comparative Corporate Insolvency Law
  • International Co-operation in Criminal Matters in Europe
  • International Counter Terrorism: Theory and Practice
  • International Humanitarian Law
  • International Protection of Human Rights
  • International Trade Law & Policy
  • International Sales Law
  • Introduction to Corporate Governance
  • Introduction to EU Law
  • Introduction to Intellectual Property Law
  • Law of Oil and Gas Contracts
  • Law of the Sea
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Takeover Regulation in the EU.

Course Learning and Teaching

This programme involves both taught modules and a substantial dissertation component. Taught modules are delivered by a mixture of lectures and seminars. Although most lectures do encourage student participation, they are used primarily to introduce chosen topics, identify relevant concepts, and introduce the student to the main debates and ideas relevant to the chosen topic. They give students a framework of knowledge that students can then develop, and reflect on, through their own reading and study.

Seminars are smaller-sized, student-led classes. Students are expected to carry out reading prior to classes, and are usually set questions or problems to which to apply the knowledge they have developed. Through class discussion, or the presentation of student papers, students are given the opportunity to test and refine their knowledge and understanding, in a relaxed and supportive environment.

The number of contact hours in each module will reflect that module’s credit weighting. 15-credit modules will have, in total, 15 contact hours (of either lectures or seminars); 30-credit modules will have 30 contact hours. Students must accumulate, in total, between 90 and 120 credits of taught modules for the programme (depending upon the length of their dissertation).

In addition to their taught modules, all students must produce a dissertation of between 10,000 and 20,000 words. This is intended to be the product of the student’s own independent research. Each student is allocated a dissertation supervisor, and will have a series of (usually four) one-to-one meetings with their supervisor over the course of the academic year.

Finally, all taught postgraduate students on this programme, are encouraged to attend the various events, including guest lectures and seminars, organised through the School’s research centres, including the Institute for Commercial and Corporate Law, the Human Rights Centre, Law and Global Justice at Durham, the Centre for Gender and Law at Durham, the Centre for Criminal Law and Criminal Justice, and the Durham European Law Institute.



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This programme provides an opportunity to develop an advanced knowledge of the law of the European Union, with particular emphasis upon its commercial aspects. Read more

This programme provides an opportunity to develop an advanced knowledge of the law of the European Union, with particular emphasis upon its commercial aspects. If you are new to European law, there is a (compulsory) foundation course providing a solid grounding in the subject. Having completed your choice of taught modules, you will then undertake an extended dissertation on a European law topic of your choice, supervised by a member of staff with expertise in their chosen subject area.

Teaching is by a mixture of lectures and smaller, student-led, seminar or tutorial groups. The dissertation is pursued by independent research with individual supervision. Students attending the programme are drawn from a broad range of countries, and their previous academic or professional experiences enrich the programme

The School is host to the Durham European Law Institute, and you are encouraged to participate in its many activities. The Library, which includes a European Documentation Centre, has extensive holdings of European materials.

Course Structure

Students must study modules in Introduction to EU law, and Applied Research Methods in Law. You must also choose a number of additional taught modules, from a large body of optional modules. Finally, a dissertation must be completed, on a topic chosen by you in consultation with your allotted supervisor.

Core Modules

  • Introduction to EU Law (unless you have previously studied such a module)
  • Applied Research Methods in Law
  • Dissertation (of 10,000, 15,000 or 20,000 words).

Optional Modules

Please note: not all modules necessarily run every year, and we regularly introduce new modules. The list below provides an example of the type of modules which may be offered.

  • Advanced Issues in International Economic Law
  • Advanced Issues of International Intellectual Property Law
  • Corporations in an EU Context
  • Competition Law
  • Current Issues in Commercial Law
  • Global Financial Law
  • International Co-operation in Criminal Matters in Europe
  • International Sales Law
  • Introduction to Corporate Insolvency Law
  • Introduction to Intellectual Property Law
  • International Trade Law & Policy
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Advanced Issues in the Constitutional Law of the EU
  • Advanced Law of Obligations
  • Commercial Fraud
  • Current Issues in Company Law
  • International and Comparative Corporate Insolvency Law
  • Introduction to Corporate Governance
  • Law of Oil and Gas Contracts
  • Takeover Regulation in the EU.

Course Learning and Teaching

This programme involves both taught modules and a substantial dissertation component. Taught modules are delivered by a mixture of lectures and seminars. Although most lectures do encourage student participation, they are used primarily to introduce chosen topics, identify relevant concepts, and introduce the student to the main debates and ideas relevant to the chosen topic. They give students a framework of knowledge that students can then develop, and reflect on, through their own reading and study.

Seminars are smaller-sized, student-led classes. Students are expected to carry out reading prior to classes, and are usually set questions or problems to which to apply the knowledge they have developed. Through class discussion, or the presentation of student papers, students are given the opportunity to test and refine their knowledge and understanding, in a relaxed and supportive environment.

The number of contact hours in each module will reflect that module’s credit weighting. 15-credit modules will have, in total, 15 contact hours (of either lectures or seminars); 30-credit modules will have 30 contact hours. Students must accumulate, in total, between 90 and 120 credits of taught modules for the programme (depending upon the length of their dissertation).

In addition to their taught modules, all students must produce a dissertation of between 10,000 and 20,000 words. This is intended to be the product of the student’s own independent research. Each student is allocated a dissertation supervisor, and will have a series of (usually four) one-to-one meetings with their supervisor over the course of the academic year.

Finally, all taught postgraduate students on this programme, are encouraged to attend the various events, including guest lectures and seminars, organised through the School’s research centres, including the Institute for Commercial and Corporate Law, and Durham European Law Institute.



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This programme provides an opportunity to develop an advanced knowledge of corporate law. There is a (compulsory) foundation course providing a solid grounding in the subject. Read more

This programme provides an opportunity to develop an advanced knowledge of corporate law. There is a (compulsory) foundation course providing a solid grounding in the subject. Having completed your choice of taught modules, you will then undertake an extended dissertation on a corporate law topic of your choice, supervised by a member of staff with expertise in their chosen subject area.

Teaching is by a mixture of lectures and smaller, student-led, seminar or tutorial groups. The dissertation is pursued by independent research with individual supervision. Students attending the programme are drawn from a broad range of countries, and their previous academic or professional experiences enrich the programme

The School is host to the Durham Institute of Commercial and Corporate Law, and you are encouraged to participate in its many activities. The Library has extensive holdings of corporate law materials.

Course Structure

Students must study modules in Current Issues in Company Law and Applied Research Methods in Law. You must also choose a number of additional taught modules, from a large body of optional modules. Finally, a dissertation must be completed, on a topic chosen by you in consultation with your allotted supervisor.

Core Modules

  • Current Issues in Company Law
  • Applied Research Methods in Law
  • Dissertation (of 10,000, 15,000 or 20,000 words).

Optional Modules

Candidates shall also study and be assessed in modules such as those from the following list to the value of (when added to the core modules chosen above) at least 120 credits. Please note: not all modules necessarily run every year, and we regularly introduce new modules.

  • Comparative Corporate Governance
  • Corporate Compliance
  • Corporations in an EU Context       
  • Introduction to Corporate Governance
  • Introduction to Corporate Insolvency Law
  • Introduction to Intellectual Property Law
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • International and Comparative Corporate Insolvency Law
  • Takeover Regulation in the EU
  • International Sales Law
  • Advanced Issues in International Economic Law
  • Advanced Issues of Intellectual Property Law
  • EU Competition Law
  • Commercial Fraud
  • Introduction to EU Law
  • Advanced Law of Obligations
  • Law of Oil and Gas Contracts
  • International Trade Law & Policy

Course Learning and Teaching

This programme involves both taught modules and a substantial dissertation component. Taught modules are delivered by a mixture of lectures and seminars. Although most lectures do encourage student participation, they are used primarily to introduce chosen topics, identify relevant concepts, and introduce the student to the main debates and ideas relevant to the chosen topic. They give students a framework of knowledge that students can then develop, and reflect on, through their own reading and study.

Seminars are smaller-sized, student-led classes. Students are expected to carry out reading prior to classes, and are usually set questions or problems to which to apply the knowledge they have developed. Through class discussion, or the presentation of student papers, students are given the opportunity to test and refine their knowledge and understanding, in a relaxed and supportive environment.

The number of contact hours in each module will reflect that module’s credit weighting. 15-credit modules will have, in total, 15 contact hours (of either lectures or seminars); 30-credit modules will have 30 contact hours. Students must accumulate, in total, between 90 and 120 credits of taught modules for the programme (depending upon the length of their dissertation).

In addition to their taught modules, all students must produce a dissertation of between 10,000 and 20,000 words. This is intended to be the product of the student’s own independent research. Each student is allocated a dissertation supervisor, and will have a series of (usually four) one-to-one meetings with their supervisor over the course of the academic year.

Finally, all taught postgraduate students on this programme, are encouraged to attend the various events, including guest lectures and seminars, organised through the School’s research centres, including the Institute for Commercial and Corporate Law, and Durham European Law Institute.



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This programme offers students from a wide variety of backgrounds the opportunity to develop their legal knowledge and skills in some of the most intellectually challenging and practically relevant areas of trade and commercial law. Read more

This programme offers students from a wide variety of backgrounds the opportunity to develop their legal knowledge and skills in some of the most intellectually challenging and practically relevant areas of trade and commercial law. The course has a particular emphasis upon the international aspects of these areas of legal knowledge and practice.

During the first two terms of the programme, students study taught modules drawn from a wide variety of topics on international trade and commercial law. Students then complete their studies by writing a dissertation on a topic chosen by them, and supervised by a member of staff with expertise in their selected subject area. Teaching is by a mixture of lectures and smaller, student-led, seminar or tutorial groups. The dissertation is pursued by independent research with individual supervision.

Students attending the programme are drawn from a broad range of countries, and their previous academic or professional experiences enrich the programme. The School is host to the Institute of Commercial and Corporate Law, and students on the LLM are encouraged to participate in its activities.

Course Structure

Students must study one compulsory module in Applied Research Methods in Law. You must also choose a number of additional taught modules, from a large body of optional modules. Finally, a dissertation must be completed, on a topic chosen by you in consultation with your allotted supervisor.

Core Modules

  • Applied Research Methods in Law
  • Dissertation (of 10,000, 15,000 or 20,000 words).

Optional Modules

Please note: not all modules necessarily run every year, and we regularly introduce new modules. The list below provides an example of the type of modules which may be offered.

  • Advanced Issues in International Economic Law
  • Advanced Issues of International Intellectual Property Law
  • Advanced Law of Obligations
  • Commercial Fraud
  • Corporations in an EU Context
  • Current Issues in Company Law
  • Competition Law
  • Global Financial Law
  • International Commercial Dispute Resolution
  • International Investment Law
  • International and Comparative Corporate Insolvency Law
  • International Sales Law
  • Introduction to Corporate Governance
  • Introduction to Corporate Insolvency
  • Introduction to Intellectual Property Law
  • Law of Oil and Gas Contracts
  • International Trade Law & Policy
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Takeover Regulation in the EU

Course Learning and Teaching

This programme involves both taught modules and a substantial dissertation component. Taught modules are delivered by a mixture of lectures and seminars. Although most lectures do encourage student participation, they are used primarily to introduce chosen topics, identify relevant concepts, and introduce the student to the main debates and ideas relevant to the chosen topic. They give students a framework of knowledge that students can then develop, and reflect on, through their own reading and study.

Seminars are smaller-sized, student-led classes. Students are expected to carry out reading prior to classes, and are usually set questions or problems to which to apply the knowledge they have developed. Through class discussion, or the presentation of student papers, students are given the opportunity to test and refine their knowledge and understanding, in a relaxed and supportive environment.

The number of contact hours in each module will reflect that module’s credit weighting. 15-credit modules will have, in total, 15 contact hours (of either lectures or seminars); 30-credit modules will have 30 contact hours. Students must accumulate, in total, between 90 and 120 credits of taught modules for the programme (depending upon the length of their dissertation).

In addition to their taught modules, all students must produce a dissertation of between 10,000 and 20,000 words. This is intended to be the product of the student’s own independent research. Each student is allocated a dissertation supervisor, and will have a series of (usually four) one-to-one meetings with their supervisor over the course of the academic year.

Finally, all taught postgraduate students on this programme, are encouraged to attend the various events, including guest lectures and seminars, organised through the School’s research centres, including the Institute for Commercial and Corporate Law, and Durham European Law Institute.



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