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Contemporary Legal Studies

Course Description

This LLM offers you a unique opportunity to study contemporary issues in our society from a legal context. It will also provide a relevant, engaging and appropriate learning experience for graduates, newly qualified practitioners and other legal professionals. This programme is designed for students with a legal background who wish to pursue further study and research into legal topics of contemporary interest. Those completing this LLM will be competent and independent minded, and be equipped to use these skills in the legal sector or elsewhere.

The main aim of the programme is to offer you an opportunity to obtain detailed knowledge and a critical awareness of current legal issues in a variety of legal areas.

This LLM should appeal to those wanting to enhance their prospects of a legal career, as well as those already qualified and working who want to enhance their professional skills and status. It is intended that continued professional development (CPD) points will be available in these circumstances.

Structure of the course
Initially in the first semester you will study three compulsory modules:
• Developing and Managing Research
• The Conflict of Laws
• Legal Theory in the Common Law

You will then have a choice of three optional modules in the second semester:
• Advanced Advocacy Skills
• Law in Literature and Film
• Employment Law and Discrimination Law
• Contemporary Issues in Criminal Law, Justice and Evidence
• Personal Injury and Medical Law

Finally, in the third semester you will need to complete a supervised dissertation in a subject of your choice.

Module content
Some examples of our module content:

Legal Theory in the Common Law
You will study legal theory in the common law in terms of its historical context, and will also look at the modern challenges which have influenced and affected this area of law. This will include issues such as the Judicature Acts of the 1870s, the emergence of the European Union, and the Human Rights Act 1998, all of which have altered the development of the common law.

The Conflict of Laws
You will study UK legal traditions and development from an international perspective and in terms of other relevant jurisdictions. This will include practical examples; for instance if a marriage takes place in another jurisdiction, can and should our courts recognise this marriage? Similarly, when contracts entered into by UK and American companies are in dispute, which system of law should prevail? This module will cover a number of areas, including aspects of property, family and tort law.

Law in Literature and Film
You will study a number of themes with corresponding illustrated examples in both text and film. The module will concentrate predominantly on the expression of the law in literature and film.

Examples of the themes will include the portrayal of the lawyer figure, issues concerning the jury system, the impact of the documentary media on the justice system, and the death penalty, among others.

The aim is to develop critical awareness in these areas and to provide a forum to develop ideas and discussion, both in writing and debate. Basic text and films will be provided wherever possible in support.

Delivery of the programme
We will deliver the programme on a half day each week over two semesters of 12 weeks, with induction taking place in mid-September. The programme will be taught by a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops and audiovisual presentations; all supplemented by independent and supported private study.

The method of assessment will be varied and include written coursework (including the final dissertation of 15,000 words), group or individual interviews or presentations, and exams.


Visit the Contemporary Legal Studies page on the University of Chester website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Minimum of a second class honours degree (2:2) in Law or combined Law, or equivalent. GDL or Level 6 CILEX will be considered as alternatives.

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