This pathway draws upon Birmingham Law School’s long-standing research strengths in the areas of criminal law and criminal justice. Criminal Law is concerned with the most potentially invasive assertion of authority by the state: if you fail to comply with the law you will be punished. This pathway provides a holistic analysis of the criminal process through an analysis of the law, its philosophical underpinnings and its operation in practice.
Students can study to attain a broad overview of criminal justice processes or specialise in particular aspects as diverse as underpinning theories, policing, health aspects of criminal justice or indeed international aspects of law enforcement co-operation. Many modules have been created and are taught by leading scholars in the particular field and students benefit from close contact with researchers.
Why study this course?
- Module choice - One of the widest ranges of LLM modules available in the UK
- Employability - our graduates move onto a diverse range of careers, with many going on to work in top law schools and law firms
- Professional links - annual law fair, visits to and from leading firms
You follow a modular programme (180 credits in total), which comprises six taught modules (20 credits each) and a dissertation of 15,000 words (60 credits); the latter to be submitted at the end of the year of study. Students following the Criminal Law and Criminal Justice pathway study a minimum of three of their six modules from the list below:
- Criminal Evidence and Proof
- Criminal Justice: Law Enforcement
- Global Crime Problems
- Human Rights and Criminal Justice
- International and European Legal Responses to Terrorism
- International Criminal Law and Justice
- Restorative Justice
- Socio-Legal Method
- Socio-Legal Theory
- Transnational Criminal Law
Students can choose their remaining three modules from the full Birmingham LLM Module list.
Learning and teaching
Birmingham's LLM pathways have been designed to provide in-depth analysis of important legal topics. Modules are all 20 credits in value, comprising 10 two-hour seminars to enable students to develop significant expertise in each area of law.
The LLM course last 12 months, running from September to September. All LLM pathways follow the same basic structure:
- In part I of the course, you take six 20 credit modules: the range available depends on the pathway you decide to follow. Assessment in those modules, by essay or formal examination, is in May and June.
- In part II of the course, your research and write a 15,000-word dissertation on a selected topic of law under the supervision of a member of staff.
Law School induction
At the start of the course, there is a comprehensive welcome and induction programme designed to help you settle in and gain an understanding of the Birmingham LLM. You will familiarise yourself with the various ways in which we can support you throughout the year to ensure that your LLM course is an exciting and rewarding experience.
Students can register for modules before arrival as well as at the start of the academic year. As part of the induction process, you will get the opportunity to learn more about the various modules available and make choices that correspond to your interests.
All the LLM pathways may be taken part-time and completed over a period of two years. This mode of study is particularly suitable for barristers and solicitors who wish to combine professional practice with the university-level study, gaining CPD points in the process.
Classes for part-time students on the LLM will be scheduled between 9am-6pm and students will typically have between 2-4 hours of teaching each week. Fees are the same as for full-time study but are split over two years.
For students from outside the UK, there will be an opportunity for induction to familiarise themselves with the English legal system, as it forms the basis for the modules on offer. The English for International Students Unit provides a range of support in reading and writing academic English.
Applicants should have a good Honours degree in law, or a degree in another discipline augmented with a pass in the Common Professional Examination.
Academic requirements: we accept a range of qualifications from different countries use our handy guide below to see what qualifications we accept from your country.
English language requirements : for this course we ask for IELTS 7.0 with no less than 6.5 in any band, or PTE with 67 in all four skills. If you are made an offer of a place to study and you do not meet the language requirement, you have the option to enrol on our English for Academic Purposes Presessional course – if you successfully complete the course, you will be able to fulfil the language requirement without retaking a language qualification.
IELTS 7.0 with no less than 6.5 in any band is equivalent to:
- TOEFL: 95 overall with no less than 22 in any band
- Pearson Test of English (PTE): Academic 67 in all four skills
- Cambridge English (exams taken from 2015): Advanced or Proficiency - minimum overall score of 185, with no less than 176 in any component