The LLM in International Law and International Relations allows you to study international law at an advanced level, preparing you well for a career in international law and/or politics. Our focus is on developing your ability to think critically about the current problems faced by the world, and how international law and politics affects these issues. To allow you to develop these skills, you will undertake five compulsory courses:
- Getting Started at the University of Aberdeen
- International Law: A Time of Challenges
- Theories and Concepts in International Relations
- Critical Legal Thinking and Scholarship
- LLM Dissertation
The remaining credits are gained from the diverse range of optional courses available to you, including international human rights law, terrorism and counter terrorism, and the use of force in international law.
Please note: Students starting their LLM programme in January write their Dissertation project during the Summer semester.
Duration: 12 months full-time. 24 months part time.
How You'll Study
This interdisciplinary programme allows you to learn from academics based in both the Law School and the School of Social Sciences, who teach through traditional lectures and seminars in small groups. You will also have the opportunity to attend lectures by high-ranking guest speakers from the world of international law and politics, and to attend seminars delivered by leading academics and practitioners in the field. The programme of study includes a research skills course, which runs at the beginning of your LLM, and gives you the opportunity to deploy those skills through the completion of a dissertation on a research area of interest to you.
Assessment: By course work, by written examination, or by a combination of these, as prescribed for each course. The degree of LLM shall not be awarded to a candidate who fails to achieve a CGS grade of D3 or above in the specified dissertation course, irrespective of their performance in other courses: such candidates may, at the discretion of the Examiners, be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate.
Why Study International Law and International Relations?
Law was a founding discipline of the University of Aberdeen in 1495. Today, our Law School is considered one of the UK’s elite training grounds for lawyers - and there’s no substitute for experience.
- The School of Law is ranked Top 10 in the UK (Times & Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023).
- Our Law School is ranked 5th in the UK for Overall Student Satisfaction (National Student Survey 2022).
- There are over 40 nationalities within the School of Law postgraduate community, so you will benefit from the experiences of international students from all over the world.
Students choose to study International Law and International Relations at Aberdeen because of our reputation for academic excellence and unrivalled student experience. At Aberdeen, you will:
- Develop key critical thinking and analysis skills that will help you gain a deeper understanding of contemporary legal and political issues.
- Benefit from the twin strengths of our School of Law and School of Social Science, which will help you to quickly develop your knowledge and understanding of global issues.
- Have the opportunity to attend the research seminars organised by the Law School and the School of Social Science.
- Be able to participate in events organised by Lawyers without Border and the Model United Nations Society, which will provide you with valuable insights into both subjects.
- Have the opportunity to study at a University with a reputation for academic rigour and excellent small-class teaching, while adopting a modern attitude towards critical analysis.
- Study in a unique environment that encourages you to challenge thinking in order to gain and retain greater knowledge.
- Be part of a wide community of international staff and students, located in a cosmopolitan and friendly Scottish city.
You will be part of a vibrant, close-knit community of students that provides a personal and friendly atmosphere where staff have the opportunity to know students by name and can closely monitor progress.
The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.
Normally, a 2.1 honours degree (or equivalent) in Law will be required to be accepted onto this programme. Relevant practical experience in a related field will also be beneficial.
Due to the nature and structure of this programme, spaces are limited and only a September start is offered. Prospective students interested in this programme should submit their completed application by the end of May each year. All applications will be reviewed by the programme admissions panel. Decisions will be notified by the end of July. Unsuccessful applicants may, at the discretion of the admissions panel, be offered a place on the LLM International Commercial Law with Dissertation instead.
A reference letter from your university discussing your academic ability. If you have been out of education for a long time you may wish to use your current or most recent employer, or another professional person.
Please enter your country to view country-specific entry requirements.
English Language Requirements
To study for a Postgraduate Taught degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:
OVERALL - 6.5 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 6.0; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0
OVERALL - 90 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 21; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21
OVERALL - 62 with: Listening - 59; Reading - 59; Speaking - 59; Writing - 59
Cambridge English B2 First, C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency:
OVERALL - 176 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 169; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169
Read more about specific English Language requirements here.
You will be required to supply the following documentation with your application as proof you meet the entry requirements of this degree programme. If you have not yet completed your current programme of study, then you can still apply and you can provide your Degree Certificate at a later date.
a degree certificate showing your qualifications
a full transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) (original & official English translation)
a detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme
a reference letter from your university discussing your academic ability. If you have been out of education for a long time you may wish to use your current or most recent employer, or another professional person
By studying International Law and International Relations at Aberdeen, you will have the opportunity to pursue a range of careers in the legal profession. The skills that you gain will give you a competitive advantage in careers in government departments, international organisations, international non-governmental organisations or as international consultant.
We have a very active and supportive Careers and Employability Service, offering support such as mentoring and preparing for interviews, among others. Find out more about the Careers and Employability Service here