LLM in International Law and Global Governance


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

International Law and Global Governance provides the opportunity to engage with a dynamic and responsive approach to contemporary global problems through law and legal institutions. It examines areas such as the use of force, climate change, global migration, the role of judicial settlement and the right to development, which each raise urgent questions as to the effectiveness of current governance and regulatory regimes.

International law is increasingly a matter of concern for a wide range of stakeholders, whether public or private bodies and at international, national and local levels. Given contemporary and future global challenges – for example, protecting human rights and security and the conservation of resources – the significance of global governance is growing in a multipolar world.

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Together with international scholars and students, we will critically examine and apply the policies, theories, principles, and rules of international law, to novel problems, real-world and hypothetical scenarios, and consider the impact of legal and political institutions such as the UN Security Council and the International Court of Justice.

This programme will enhance your understanding and challenge preconceptions of the complex legal and political nature of international law-making and governance and explore the often competing concepts that infuse the subject of international law.

Research and professional insight

You’ll benefit from the expertise of leading academics in a stimulating research environment. Our research groups include:

  • Centre for Business Law and Practice (CBLP)
  • Centre for Criminal Justice Studies (CCJS)
  • Centre for Law and Social Justice (CLSJ)
  • Centre for Innovation and Research in Legal Education (CIRLE)

Course content

This programme includes Global Governance Through Law as a compulsory module and offers many optional modules in specialised subjects in international law. You’ll critically engage with a rich collection of contemporary themes set against the background of the concerns and activities of states and non-state actors in the international community.

You’ll also examine controversial areas of international law including how human rights laws are developed, how international laws are made and to what extent they are applied, the structure of relevant institutions such as the UN, the development of legal norms and the monitoring of states.

The programme will give you the opportunity to:

  • Explore the legal nature of international law on a global, regional and local level.
  • Examine the impact of international law on contemporary problems.
  • Consider how international law has failed to address certain issues and may be harnessed to tackle future problems.
  • Investigate principles relating to sovereignty, universality, jurisdiction, territory, self-determination and human rights.
  • Hone your legal research and writing skills, which you’ll demonstrate in your dissertation.

You’ll also benefit from our Support in Academic and Personal Development programme. This runs alongside your taught academic programme in semester one and is specifically designed to complement the School’s induction activities and ongoing academic skills support for students, both home and International.

The wide-ranging list of optional modules means that you can explore a mixture of related subjects of interest to you.

If you're a part-time student, you’ll take three compulsory modules in your first year and two optional modules. In your second year, you’ll carry out your dissertation and study one or two optional modules.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time.


Year 1

Compulsory modules

  • Postgraduate Legal Research Skills
  • Dissertation
  • Global Governance through Law

Optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

You will choose 75 credits from the below:

  • Financial Crime
  • Security, Conflict and Justice
  • European Human Rights
  • Cyberlaw: Regulation of Cyberspace
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Globalisation and Crime
  • Inequalities, Law and Justice
  • Social Care Law: National and International Contexts
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • International Banking Law: The Regulatory Framework
  • International Banking Law: Capital Markets and Loans
  • International Tax Law and Policy
  • The International Law of Foreign Investment
  • World Trade Organisation Law
  • Digital Environment: Law, Technologies & Human Rights
  • Contemporary Issues in Intellectual Property: Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Cultural Expressions
  • Contemporary Issues in Intellectual Property: Health, Food and Biotechnology
  • International Economic Law
  • International Human Rights
  • Human Rights and Disabled People 1
  • Human Rights and Disabled People 2
  • Global Human Rights Advocacy
  • Counterterrorism

Learning and teaching

Teaching is through seminars and lectures in which a high level of student engagement and discussion is expected. You are encouraged to carry out significantly advanced levels of independent legal research.


Most modules are assessed by essays. This is usually the most effective method for you to showcase advanced legal research.

Entry requirements

A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (Hons) in law or a relevant social science.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in all components.

Improve your English

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

This pre-sessional course is designed with a progression route to your degree programme and you’ll learn academic English in the context of your subject area.

How to apply

Application deadlines:

  • UK/EU students: 31 July
  • International students: 31 July

If you intend to apply for funding, you should submit an application for a place on your chosen course at least one month before any specific scholarship deadline.


See our website for the latest fee information.

Additional cost information

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.

Career opportunities

Students who have graduated from this degree often choose careers that centre on or involve understanding and applying international law and developing policies at the organisational level. Further training is required but many also go on to practise as lawyers or legal advisors.

Recent graduates have gone on to work in a range of sectors and professions including law firms, the government, higher education institutions and beyond. Many also pursue further study by commencing PhD research.

Our other alumni are working at the European Commission, United Nations, non-governmental organisations and in the government sector.

Careers support

The School of Law offers career and personal development support through the School’s dedicated Employability Officers. You can book one-to-one appointments with our Employability Officers throughout the year to discuss your career aspirations and get advice on how to make the most of your time with us.

The School also arranges a number of community engagement (pro bono) and work experience opportunities, career development workshops, guest speaker events and careers fairs throughout the year. These opportunities will allow you to develop new skills, enhance your career prospects and network with prospective employers.

In addition to the School-specific careers support, you will also have access to the University’s award-winning Careers Centre. The Careers Centre offers one-to-one appointments, advice on starting your own business, careers events, mentoring schemes and support with your CV, applications and interviews.

Last updated Aug 2020

About the School

Our wide range of research-informed courses encompass undergraduate, taught postgraduate and research degree programmes, as well as online and professional development courses.

Our wide range of research-informed courses encompass undergraduate, taught postgraduate and research degree programmes, as well as online and professional development courses. Read less