School of Society and Culture


Develop a critical and in-depth knowledge and broaden your understanding of contemporary legal issues and real world problems on our new LLM programme. This LLM Law is ideal if you are looking for a general programme of postgraduate study – you will undertake research training, but also be able to specialise in certain research-led subjects, and to complete a dissertation researching your chosen field in depth, supported by one of our expert law staff.

LLM Law can be studied full-time over 1 year or part-time over 2 years.

Careers with this subject

Law graduates find employment in a diverse range of roles, both inside and outside the legal profession. Studying law will develop your communication, interpersonal, and problem-solving skills, which will make you stand out to employers across a number of fields. Graduates from our programme work as:

  • Barristers and in-house lawyers for companies
  • Solicitors, paralegals and legal executives
  • Journalists and media professionals
  • Politicians and senior civil servants
  • Business directors and managers
  • Public and voluntary sector managers
  • Teachers and legal academics
Where could your law degree take you?

Key features

  • Engage with contemporary legal issues and real-world problems.
  • Enjoy flexible learning with both direct support from our academic staff and online support.
  • Learn from research-active staff who are specialists in their fields.
  • Further develop your transferable skills for both employment and post-graduate research.

Course details
  • Year 1

  • Our teaching will be by academic staff and offer a blended and flexible approach, including on-campus delivery, with on-line support through our Digital Learning Environment. You will have opportunities to get involved in extra-curricular activities, such as research seminars, external speakers, publish in our Plymouth Law Review, as well as joining our excellent Student Law Society to participate in activities such as mooting and networking events. Join our LLM and gain both a relevant and advanced understanding of the law and the skills to strengthen your competency as a practitioner or researcher.

    During the year, you will study two core modules in semester 1: Legal Theory: Themes and Debates and Research Methods in Law. These modules will ensure you have the skills necessary to put your ideas and thoughts together on what you wish to pursue in depth in your dissertation. In semester 2, you will study two modules of your choice.

    Core modules:

    • Legal Theory: Themes and Debates
    • Research Methods in Law
    • Law Dissertation


    • Challenges in the Digital Economy
    • Children, Rights and the State
    • Contemporary Themes in Environmental Law and Policy
    • Independent Research Portfolio in Law
    • International Humanitarian and Human Rights Law
    • Global Inequality, Vulnerability and Justice

    You will complete your studies with a dissertation, an in-depth and individual exploration of a legal issue that interests you, assisted by a member of our law staff acting as your supervisor.

    Core modules

    • Law Dissertation (LAW720)

      The dissertation module provides the opportunity to undertake a substantial self-directed, research project on a legal topic of choice. It will require engagement with and utilisation of research and scholarly skills developed through the Research Methods in Law and Legal Theory LLM modules.

    • Legal Theory: Themes and Debates (LAW721)

      This module allows students to develop advanced understanding of law’s theoretical underpinnings. It deploys key ideas and theories to analyse and raise foundational questions about the development and performance of modern legal systems, institutions and doctrines. It gives learners the opportunity to enhance their critical evaluation and argumentation skills by engaging with advanced theoretical scholarship and complex ideas.

    • Research Methods in Law (LAW722)

      This module introduces students to the concepts and methodologies commonly used in legal research. It aims at enabling students to understand how a range of different methods are applied in the context of law and how they relate to legal theory. It also enables students to design their own research projects and contextualise the work carried by others.

    Optional modules

    • Global Inequality, Vulnerability and Justice (CRIM747)

      This module engages the student with global issues that relate to crime, deviance and harm. By utilizing an advanced perspective which examines a range of case studies, students will develop critical responses in relation to global power structures and the causation of inequality and vulnerability.

    • Children, Rights and the State (LAW724)

      This module examines the role of law in the complex relationship between children, their families, and others including medical professionals, social workers, and other agents of the State.

    • Contemporary Themes in Environmental Law and Policy (LAW725)

      The module provides a critical insight into contemporary environmental challenges and the legal and policy responses, developed or developing, applied to them. Research-led, and with learning structured around a critical and applied context, the module focuses on the framing of solutions to various global and local environmental issues.

    • Independent Research Portfolio in Law (LAW726)

      This module provides the opportunity to undertake self-directed study set within the subject matter of one of the LL.M Law elective modules. (NB it is available only where the timetable or insufficient numbers means the elective module is not available, and cannot be studied in this format if available or already undertaken as a delivered module.)

    • International Humanitarian and Human Rights Law (LAW727)

      This module focuses on developing an advanced critical understanding of international humanitarian and human rights law. The former involves an examination of the law of armed conflict, whilst exploring the core principles and distinctions of IHL. The latter offers a multidisciplinary examination of the tensions between universal human rights and the rights of national citizens.

    • Marine Environmental Law (LAW728)

      This module considers the regulatory framework applied to activities and development in the marine environment. Contextualised by the International law and its implementing measures, the module examines contemporary issues relating to the sustainable use of the marine environment, by way of a theoretical and practical analysis of the law, to provide insight into this dynamic and contemporary area of regulation.

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest programme structure and may be subject to change:

LLM Law Prog Spec Sep22 FINAL 7116

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.
Entry requirements

You should have a second-class honours undergraduate degree or equivalent in law, or containing some study of law. Other undergraduate degrees, such as criminology or other social sciences, may be considered as appropriate, on a case by case basis.

Non-standard applications, such as those with substantial experience in an appropriate field, will also be considered on a case-by-case basis.


We welcome applicants with international qualifications. Please view the country specific pages for further information regarding the equivalency of your degree. International applicants will be required to provide evidence of their English language ability, for example by achieving an IELTS score of 6.5 overall (with a minimum of 5.5 in each element) or equivalent. English language requirements. Pre-sessional English language courses are available if you do not meet these requirements.

To view other accepted qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

We welcome deferred entry applications. If you wish to apply for deferred entry then please indicate this within your personal statement.

Fees, costs and funding
Student 2022-2023 2023-2024
Home £8,300 £9,500
International £15,700 £16,500
Part time (Home) £450 £530
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances. More information about fees and funding.

Postgraduate scholarships for international students

We offer several scholarships for international students who wish to study postgraduate taught (PGT) degree programmes.

Tuition fee discount for University of Plymouth graduates

If you studied your undergraduate degree at Plymouth, you may be eligible for a fee discount if you complete your postgraduate studies here as well.
  • 20% discount on tuition fees for home students
  • £2,000 discount on tuition fees for international students

How to apply

When to apply

Most of our taught programmes begin in September. Applications can usually be made throughout the year, and are considered until programmes are full.

Before you apply

Familiarise yourself with the information required to complete your application form. You will usually be required to supply:
  • evidence of qualifications (degree certificates or transcripts), with translations if not in English, to show that you meet, or expect to meet the entry requirements
  • evidence of English language proficiency, if English is not your first language
  • your curriculum vitae or résumé, including details of relevant professional/voluntary experience, professional registration/s and visa status for overseas workers
  • proof of sponsorship, if applicable.
If you require further information take a look at our application guidance.

Disability services

If you have a disability and would like further information about the support provided by University of Plymouth, please visit our Disability Services website.

International students

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email

Submitting an application

Once you are happy that you have all of the information required you can apply using our online postgraduate application form (the blue 'Apply now' icon on this page).

What happens after I apply?

You will normally receive a decision on your application within four weeks of us receiving your application. You may be asked to provide additional information; two academic/professional references, confirming your suitability for the course; or to take part in an interview (which in the case of overseas students may be by telephone or video conference) and you will be sent a decision by letter or email.

We aim to make the application procedure as simple and efficient as possible. Our Admissions and Course Enquiries team is on hand to offer help and can put you in touch with the appropriate faculty if you wish to discuss any programme in detail.

If you would like any further information please contact the Admissions and Course Enquiries team:

Telephone: +44 (0)1752 585858

Admissions policy

More information and advice for applicants can be referenced by downloading our Student Admissions Policy Prospective students are advised to read the policy before making an application to the University.

Family law

 Our family law-related research specialism include public child law such as care proceedings and adoption. Our staff also has an interest in the impact of the law on women who experience domestic abuse or have been detained under the Mental Health Act, especially in the context of human rights.
L. Deblasio (2022), ‘The Re-traumatisation of Domestic Abuse Survivors: the Problem of Mother Blaming in Public Child Law Proceedings’, Child and Family Law Quarterly, Vol 34 Issue 1
Lisamarie Deblasio, Adoption and Law: The Unique Personal Experiences of Birth Mothers in Adoption Proceedings (Routledge, 2020) 
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Environmental law

 Our research is thematically arranged exploring the solutions to contemporary environmental problems and situated with the frame of the Sustainable Development Goals. Pressures upon climate, biodiversity and the world’s oceans are key themes that characterise global and local legal and policy responses which are central to our scholarship. Determining rights, obligations and understanding impacts on human and non-human entities are the primary drivers to inform this work. In tandem with the natural environment dimension, research also includes the cultural environment, with the ability for study of the laws relating to marine cultural heritage and the realities of enforcement efforts. 

</p><div><div>Offshore wind farm at sunset. Image courtesy of Getty Images.</div></div><p></p>
J. Sellick (2022), ‘Inter-State Proceedings, Interim Measures and Protection of the Environment: Case C-121/21 R Czech Republic v Republic of Poland’, Journal of Environmental Law and Management, 32(2) pp.55-60
J. Lowther (2021), ‘Illegal waste exports; misdescription at point of export: R v Biffa Waste Services Ltd’, Environmental Law and Management, 31(6) pp. 248-252  
J Lowther and J Sellick, ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle…Repair? Strengthening the Circular Economy through Enhanced End-User Opportunity’, 8th European Environmental Law Forum, Annual Conference, Social and Scientific Uncertainties in Environmental Law, Bournemouth 8-10 September 2021
J. Lowther (2020), ‘Marine Licensing in Marine Conservation Zones: Thomson v Marine Management Organisation’, Journal of Water Law 26(4), pp.184-189
J. Lowther, S Gall, M Williams & Bean E (2019) Enhancing Protection of Underwater Heritage Assets (Historic England UK)

IP law

Our research specialism in intellectual property law includes the effects of copyright law in practice. This ranges from working towards innovative solutions on how copyright can work more effectively in the digital commercial context to supporting cultural heritage institutions in making their collections available online to the general public. It engages with topical concerns about Internet structures, conflicts between online media platforms and the creative industries over the management of works available online, and the eventual role of end-users as both consumers and creators of online content.
S. Schroff (2021), ‘The Purpose of Copyright- moving beyond Theory’, Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice, Vol 16, Issue 11, pp. 1262–1272
S. Schroff (2020), ‘Where to draw the line: the Difference between a Pirate and a Fan’ International Journal of Cultural Policy, Vol 26(4), pp. 433- 445
M. Pfeffer, Z. Kacsuk, S. Schroff and M. Roth, ‘Harmonizing Open Licenses among Online Databases of Enthusiast Communities: Challenges Encountered in the Legal Integration of Databases in the Japanese Visual Media Graph Project’, Putting Open Social Scholarship into Practice Conference, Nov 2021
A. Kreutzmann- Gallasch and S. Schroff (2022), ‘A case for openness: book publishing and the role of Amazon’, IIC- International Review of Intellectual Property and Competition Law (forthcoming, 2022)
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<p>Syrian refugee child stood in front of a bombed building</p>

Human rights and international humanitarian law 

Our research expertise in human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL) is in children’s rights and the legal protections available for those in conflict zones. Our work on children’s rights looks at how European and international human rights instruments, such as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, apply to questions of procedural fairness in police investigations. Our work through the University’s award winning Law Clinic has developed an IHL project over several years, focussing on developing methods of information distribution on the laws of war and assessing the Law Clinic’s impact at varying scales: individual, institutional and societal. 
Gooch, K and von Berg, P. (2019). 'What Happens in the Beginning Matters in the End: Achieving Best Evidence with Child Suspects in the Police Station', Youth Justice, 19(2), pp. 85-101     

Preserving Endurance

The discovery of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s lost ship Endurance after more than 100 years has had extra resonance for two environmental law experts in the School of Society and Culture. Jason Lowther and Visiting Professor, Michael Williams, were the lead authors of a ground-breaking policy that protects underwater heritage in Antarctica, ensuring merchant vessels like Endurance can never be salvaged by third parties. 

Photograph showing glimpse, between hummocks of snow, of the ship "Endurance", the Shackleton Expedition. Provided by the State Library of New South Wales, Australia.<br></p>

Photograph showing glimpse, between hummocks of snow, of the ship "Endurance", the Shackleton Expedition. Provided by the State Library of New South Wales, Australia.

Courtesy of Shutterstock. papers paperwork paper

Plymouth Law Review

This online annual journal is produced and edited by our academic staff. It aims to encourage and promote legal scholarship and writing on a wide range of legal issues, and includes articles and reports from both staff and students. 

Meet the LLM Law team

Finance and funding for postgraduate taught 

Thinking of starting a postgraduate course this year? You could get help to pay for your course and living costs with a Postgraduate Master’s Loan.

We also have a variety of scholarships and discounts available for our postgraduate students. If you have previously studied at the University of Plymouth or at one of our partner colleges, you may be entitled to our alumnus discount to help towards the tuition fees of your postgraduate taught course.

Find out more about funding

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