Master in International Law


Read more about this program on the institution's website

Program Description

The LLM International Law programme is designed for those who wish to develop specialist expertise in international law.

This programme gives you the opportunity to develop an in-depth understanding of the law in relation to key international subjects. You are encouraged to consider the role of the law in international affairs and to develop a critical understanding of how the law affects all aspects of the international activity, from trade and prosecuting crimes, to the use of force in international relations, human rights and protecting the environment.

You will have the opportunity to examine the role and relationships of international organizations and institutions such as the UN, the International Court of Justice and the EU. Programme content is informed by the latest debates and developments in international law and aims to engage students in real-world cases and dilemmas.

A substantial dissertation is required as part of your study, which is designed to enable you to enhance your research skills as you undertake a detailed investigation in an area of your choice.

How You Study

The programme is delivered by two-hour seminars, once per week, in each module. Extensive preparation is required for each seminar, and wide reading is expected.

The postgraduate level study involves a significant proportion of independent study, exploring the material covered in lectures and seminars. As a general guide, for every hour in class students are expected to spend two-three hours in an independent study.

For more detailed information please contact the programme leader.

How You Are Assessed

All modules are assessed by written assignments. There is also a requirement to write a substantial dissertation. There are no examinations, written or oral.

Assessment Feedback

The University of Lincoln's policy on assessment feedback aims to ensure that academics will return in-course assessments to you promptly – usually within 15 working days after the submission date.

Entry Requirements

  • A minimum 2.2 honors degree with significant law content.
  • International Students will require the English Language at IELTS 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in each element, or equivalent.


Dissertation (International Law) (Core)

The Dissertation module comprises two elements:

1. Research methods (20%)

The research methods element of the dissertation module comprises a total of four research training workshops (4 x 3hrs), two taking place in the Autumn term and two taking place in the Spring term. Students are assessed through a dissertation proposal.

2. The Dissertation (80%)

The production of the dissertation itself provides the student with an opportunity to undertake a substantial piece of investigative academic work on a chosen area of international law (public or private international law or international legal aspects of EU law and governance). In the dissertation, the students may develop ideas encountered in the taught modules or with other issues relevant to international law.

The completed dissertation should be an original and independent piece of work. It should, in the context of existing knowledge, demonstrate in-depth understanding, critical analysis, and original thinking, as well as general academic and communication skills. Undertaking the necessary research and writing the dissertation can provide academic opportunities to apply the research skills and presentational techniques developed during the programme.

EU Internal Market Law (Option)

This module is designed to introduce the basic principles of law and policy on the free movement of goods, persons, services, and capital within the internal market of the European Union. Current developments in legislation and case law on freedom of movement of goods, persons, and services in the European Union will, in turn, be evaluated; as will the limits of integration. The module will also seek to examine recent legislative developments in and the evolving concept of Union citizenship involving a critical examination of the jurisprudence of the Court of Justice of the European Union.

Fundamental Legal Principles of International Law (Core)

The aim of this module is to introduce students to a dynamic area of law that has contemporary relevance in a rapidly changing world order. By examining theoretical and practical applications of International Law in both peaceful and non-peaceful contexts, the module serves as an introduction to key principles of International Law and provides a foundation for other modules for students taking the Master of Laws (LLM) International Law. The module also looks to enable students to gain a critical understanding of the impact and operation of this area of law by providing an opportunity to apply what they have learned to topical subjects.

International Business Law (Option)

This module focuses on two transactions of central importance to the international sale of goods – contracts for the sale of goods, and contracts for carriage. In relation to the sale of goods, it considers contracts governed either by the English law of sale of goods, Sale of Goods Act 1979 (“SGA”) or by the UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods 1980 (“CISG”). In relation to carriage, it considers the different types of carriage contract, the problems of carriage of goods by sea, and methods of payment.

International Corporate Governance (Option)

This module aims to give students the opportunity to develop a thorough insight into the theoretical, legal, practical and ethical issues surrounding corporate governance and its influence on the management structure of modern companies. It will explore the relationships which exist between directors, shareholders, management, the company itself and other internal and external stakeholders. Students will have the chance to develop a firm understanding of the concept of corporate governance and the basic principles underlying the implementation of the UK and international corporate governance codes.

International Criminal Justice (Option)

The aim of this module is to provide the opportunity for students to develop a critical understanding of the idea of international criminal justice. The module aims to address the key issues and concepts in and policies underlying the enforcement of international criminal law considering the legal and political environment in which international criminal courts and tribunals operate. The principal focus of the course will be the international crimes which come within the jurisdiction of the current international courts and tribunals – that is war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, and torture – and analyzing whether these institutions are effective for the pursuit of justice and peace within the international system.

International Dispute Resolution (Option)

The module aims to provide students with the opportunity to develop an understanding of the theoretical and practical issues of contemporary dispute resolution and the tactical decisions taken by parties or prospective parties, particularly commercial parties, involved in disputes or contemplating disputes arising out of transactional work. Whilst dealing with court-based dispute resolution (Litigation) the module will principally focus on ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) in particular the effectiveness of negotiation, mediation, and arbitration.

International Economic and Investment Law (Core)

The aim of this module is to provide students with the opportunity to develop a critical understanding of the principal legal frameworks that underpin the functioning of the international economy and international investment. As such students have the chance to analyze the legal architecture relating to the World Trade Organization (WTO), the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as well as international foreign investment and multinational corporations. The module, therefore, aims to provide a broad foundation for students’ critical understanding of the international economy and the ways that international economic and investment law can affect developing countries, human rights, and the environment.

International Environmental Law (Option)

This module examines the development and operation of international environmental law, considering, in particular, the historical evolution of the law, the elaboration of multilateral environmental regimes and the increasing judicial attention given to environmental issues. The module will also consider the issue of responsibility and liability for harm from environmental degradation as it is tackled at the international level.

International Human Rights (Core)

The aim of this module is to provide an opportunity for students to develop a critical understanding of international human rights and the way in which the concept of such rights is used to promote respect for certain standards and to protect the rights of individuals. The module will involve considering the role of international organizations (such as the United Nations); regional mechanisms (such as the European Convention on Human Rights); and the enforcement of international standards at the global, regional and domestic levels.

International Security and Defence Law (Option)

This module aims to examine the theoretical and practical applications of international law in the security and defence context. It is also designed to allow students to specialize in the jus ad bellum/use of force arena and to focus on International Law’s response to new international developments such as novel threats to security and the importance of post-conflict reconstruction. The module provides the opportunity to gain a critical understanding of the impact and operation of this area of law and to apply what they have learned to contemporary case studies and topical subjects.

Private International Law (Option)

This module examines the application of private law rules in cases involving an international dimension. It aims to enable students to analyze the theoretical and practical applications of Private International Law and provides the opportunity to gain a critical understanding of a subject whose scope extends beyond English law and the EU to national legal systems throughout the world. In particular, the module will focus on the operation of Private International Law in cases involving contractual obligations and commercial disputes.

The EU as a Global Actor: EU External Relations Law (Option)

This module aims to provide students with the opportunity to develop an insight into the international role of the European Union (EU) and its global presence in an increasing number of areas beyond the regulation of external trade. The module offers a critical and contextual analysis of the role of the EU as a global actor, which is subdivided into two main parts: the constitutional aspects of EU External Relations Law and substantive aspects of EU External Relations Law.

The module covers the following policy areas: the EU Common Commercial Policy (CCP), the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (EUROMED), the role of the EU in global humanitarian and development activities and EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP).

The Law and Policy of the World Trade Organisation (Option)

This module aims to introduce the scope, legal principles, policies and practice of the World Trade Organization (WTO); to examine the position of the WTO and the regulation of international trade in its economic, historical, political and social context; and to consider the constitutional arrangements of the GATT and the WTO and how its dispute resolution system has developed over time. The role of regional trading blocks, such as the EU, within the international trade and WTO context, will be discussed.


Career and Personal Development

The LLM courses at Lincoln Law School are designed to provide students with the opportunity to develop a solid bedrock in terms of knowledge and skills to pursue, or further develop their careers, whether they be in legal practice, working in business or industry, working for governmental or international organisations, for non-governmental organisations or in academia.

For those pursuing legal careers, there has been an increasing demand for lawyers with the necessary knowledge of international law and international business law to provide services to clients both in terms of transactional and litigation work. This is particularly true in the case of commercial law firms undertaking work for multinational corporations and those businesses involved in multi-jurisdictional transactions and/or disputes.

Similarly, our LLM programmes aim to equip students with the necessary knowledge and skills that are required to conduct trans-national work within business and industry. The understanding of the legal issues at stake in terms of the international economic law, international trade law and international investment law especially aims to provide a grounding for those pursuing careers in firms that either invest and operate in a number of different jurisdictions or which have strong commercial relationships with investors or customers in other countries.

Many governmental and international organizations such as the United Nations require the expertise of those with backgrounds in international law and international business law. The Law School at Lincoln has a strong corps of lawyers with a range of expertise in different aspects of international law and aims to provide the perfect training ground from which lawyers seeking these types of careers can develop.

The Law School can also provide a particularly strong basis for any student that is developing or wishes to develop a career within one of the many NGOs that works on international issues. This is due to the specific expertise that members of the school have within the fields of international human rights law, international environmental law, and international legal issues generally.

Finally, for those students seeking careers in academia, the LLM programmes that we offer, provide the opportunity to develop a natural grounding for anyone seeking to go on to study for an MPhil or PhD.

Whatever career path you are pursuing, Lincoln Law School in conjunction with the bespoke careers advice service within the University of Lincoln are on hand to work with you to maximize your potential and aim to ensure that you are best placed to be able to achieve your objectives.


Other Costs

For each course, you may find that there are additional costs. These may be with regard to the specific clothing, materials or equipment required. Some courses provide opportunities for you to undertake fieldwork or field trips. Where these are compulsory, the cost of travel and accommodation will be covered by the University and so is included in your fee. Where these are optional, you will normally be required to pay your own transport, accommodation, and general living costs.

With regards to textbooks, the University provides students who enrol with a comprehensive reading list and you will find that our extensive library holds either material or virtual versions of the core texts that you are required to read. However, you may prefer to purchase some of these for yourself and you will be responsible for this cost.

Tuition Fees

* Academic year September- July

** Subject to eligibility


A new system of postgraduate loans for Master's courses will be introduced in the UK, beginning from the 2016-17 academic year. Under the new scheme, Individuals will be able to borrow up to £10,000 for the purpose of completing an eligible postgraduate Master's qualification.

Postgraduate Loans

Individuals will be able to apply to borrow up to £10,000 for the purpose of completing an eligible postgraduate master's qualification.

Postgraduate Taster Days

  • Wednesday 18 October 2017
  • Wednesday 21 February 2018
  • Saturday 7 April 2018
  • Wednesday 6 June 2018
  • Wednesday 4 July 2018


As a postgraduate student, you may be eligible for scholarships in addition to those shown above.

Guidance for Part-time Postgraduate Fees

To complete a standard Master's Taught programme, you must complete 180 credit points.

Full-time students will be invoiced for the programme in full upon initial enrolment.

For part-time students, tuition fees are payable each credit point enrolled. To calculate your part-time fees, multiply the part-time fee per credit point by the number of credits you intend to complete within that academic year. This is usually between 60 and 90 credit points per year.

For example, if the fee per credit point for your programme is £38, and you enrol in 60 credits, the tuition fee payable for that academic year will be £2280.

The information contained on this page is correct as of October 24, 2017. For the most up to date course information, please visit

Last updated Jan 2020

About the School

The University of Lincoln’s global graduate community includes more than 90,000 former students across 135 countries. Lincoln graduates have gone on to secure jobs at major companies and organisations ... Read More

The University of Lincoln’s global graduate community includes more than 90,000 former students across 135 countries. Lincoln graduates have gone on to secure jobs at major companies and organisations around the world, including the BBC, Rolls-Royce, Siemens, Boots, GlaxoSmithKline, Lloyds Bank, and Rockstar Games. Read less