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Criminal Litigation - LLM

Course Description

Our specialist LLM in Criminal Litigation is the first postgraduate degree course in the UK to be devoted exclusively to criminal litigation. It concentrates on the principles that lie behind the criminal justice system and the need to place those principles in a critical and comparative context.

Who is it for?

This specialist masters degree appeals to practitioners in the field of criminal justice, particularly: solicitors, barristers, CPS employees and police officers. Lawyers at the start of their career have found this course helps them to build their knowledge and expertise in a specialist area.


The Specialist LLM in Criminal Litigation is the first postgraduate degree course in the UK to be devoted exclusively to the critical study of criminal litigation. It focuses on the principles upon which the criminal justice system is based by placing them in a comparative context. This masters course has been designed to allow you to examine important areas of criminal litigation in greater depth than is usually possible either at undergraduate level or on a professional training course.

Academic facilities

As a City Law School student you will benefit from everything City has to offer including the Learning Success department and Lawbore, an online resource designed to help you find the information you need for the course modules. All course modules have online depositories through Moodle.

As part of the University of London you can also become a member of Senate House Library for free with your student ID card.

You will benefit from City, University of London’s extensive library of hard copy and electronic resources, including its comprehensive database of domestic and international caselaw, legislation, treaties and legal periodicals. There are two law-specific libraries – one at the Gray’s Inn campus and one at our Northampton square campus - with individual study spaces and dedicated rooms for group work.

Additionally, we are a short walk away from the British Library and the Law Library of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies.

Teaching and learning

This course is taught by leading academics as well as visiting practitioners including barristers and solicitors who work in private practice and in legal departments of major companies. All modules are structured as 10 weekly two-hour seminars which comprise both lectures as well as interactive tutorials. All modules are supported by our online learning platform - Moodle.


Assessment is by way of coursework which comprises 100% of the final mark in each module. Each module carries the same weight in terms of the overall qualification. You will be allocated a dedicated supervisor for your dissertation who will help you develop a specific topic and provide support in terms of resources, content and structure.


As with all LLM specialisms at City, University of London, you may take either 5 modules and a shorter dissertation (10,000 words) or 4 modules and a longer dissertation (20,000 words). All modules are of the same duration and are taught per term (September – December or January – April) rather than the whole academic year. If you take 4 modules you will take 2 per term in each term and if you take 5 modules will have 3 in one term and 2 in the other. Dissertations are written during the summer term when there are no classes.

In order to obtain this specialism, you must choose at least three modules from within this specialism and write your dissertation on a subject within the specialism.

Dissertation (incorporating research methods training)
-10,000 word Supervised Dissertation (30 credits) or
-20,000 word Supervised Dissertation (60 credits)

Specialism modules - choose from the following 30-credit modules:
-Sentencing: Theory and Practice
-Advocacy in the criminal trial
-International Criminal Law: the Practitioner Perspective
-International Criminal Law: Crimes and Institutions
-Advocacy: Trial Stories
-Criminal Justice: The Process of the Courts
-Criminal Trials: Evidence and Proof
-Professional Ethics for Commercial Legal Practice
-Forensic Psychology for the Criminal Practitioner

For your remaining modules you can choose from more than 50 modules covering a diverse range of subjects.

Career prospects

Our past students have included lawyers on a career break and those seeking judicial appointment wishing to broaden their knowledge and raise their practical awareness. Many students have taken this LLM as an in-depth transition from their LLB or BA courses prior to studying for the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) or Legal Practice Course (LPC).

The City Law School has a vibrant Pro Bono programme including our award-winning commercial law clinic for tech start-ups Start-Ed.

Students who complete the LLM may wish to continue their academic studies by enrolling in a PhD offered by The City Law School.

Visit the Criminal Litigation - LLM page on the City, University of London website for more details!

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Student Profiles

The City Law School Postgraduate Scholarships - 10 Awards

The City Law School is firmly committed to a generous programme of scholarships awarded on the basis of academic excellence. Our scholarships range in value and include both partial and full fee waiver awards. They are open to students across all of our programmes and both home and international students are strongly encouraged to apply.While the primary consideration for the award of a scholarship is academic excellence, the School fully recognises that judging past academic performance must include consideration of the wider circumstances of the applicant's life experience. The City Law School's Scholarships Committee looks carefully at the full range of qualities possessed by each individual and it closely considers the broader context in which the academic excellence has been achieved.We also believe that it is important to value the potential of applicants to make a positive contribution to the School, the legal professions, and the community when we evaluate applications.The City Law School will offer up to 10 full fee Scholarships, for 2016/17. These will not be linked to any particular course and both UK/EU and International students are eligible to apply.The City Law School will offer up to 100 partial fee scholarships, again not linked to a particular course and both UK/EU and International students are eligible to apply. The partial fee scholarships will be worth £3,000 for all Postgraduate programmes listed above, with the exception of the BPTC where the partial fee scholarship will be worth £5,000.

Value of Scholarship(s)



- Academic merit (2:1 or 1st)
- You must hold an offer of a place on one of the courses specified above at The City Law School. The offer can be conditional or unconditional, and you do not need to have accepted your place in order to apply for scholarship.

Application Procedure

Complete our online application form (https://webapps.city.ac.uk/forms/39036)There are 2 application rounds; one in February/March and one in June. Deadlines as follows:- GDL, GE LLB, LLM (excluding International Business Law) and LPC first round: 29th February 2016
- BPTC first round: 21st March 2016
- BPTC, GDL, GE LLB, LLM and LPC second round: 13th June 2016We expect to make award announcements on 10th March 2016 (first round, excluding BPTC) and 23rd June 2016 (second round). The first round of BPTC scholarships will be announced within 10 days of the deadline, date to be confirmed. All full fee scholarships will be allocated following the second round deadline of 13th June 2016.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

You should normally hold a good first degree in law, or an equivalent qualification in a related discipline, and be fluent in written and spoken English. Applicants with a first degree in a subject other than law will be considered.

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