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Durham University

International Law and Governance

Under the course, 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 course, 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 course 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 course 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.

Entry requirements

LLM: The programme will demand a very good degree in law or in a related discipline.

A good degree in the United Kingdom is a 2.1 at 65% or equivalent; this will be the minimum requirement.

Students with foreign qualifications will conform to the minimum requirements for admission.

Course modules

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:
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.

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

Assessment methods

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.


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Fee locale Course duration
LLM Full-time October 2019 18,300 (Year 1) International 1 Years
LLM Full-time October 2019 10,000 (Year 1) Channel Islands 1 Years
LLM Full-time October 2019 10,000 (Year 1) Scotland 1 Years
LLM Full-time October 2019 10,000 (Year 1) Wales 1 Years
LLM Full-time October 2019 10,000 (Year 1) EU 1 Years
LLM Full-time October 2019 10,000 (Year 1) Northern Ireland 1 Years
LLM Full-time October 2019 10,000 (Year 1) England 1 Years

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