International Law and International Relations, LLM

International Law and International Relations, LLM

Introduction

Our LLM in International Law and International Relations provides an advanced understanding of both disciplines and how their interaction impacts upon international politics.

Study Information

Study Options

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
LLM
Duration
12 months or 24 months
Study Mode
Full Time or Part Time
Start Month
September or January
Location of Study
Aberdeen

This innovative programme combines courses in the theory and practice of International Law and International Relations. You will gain a unique interdisciplinary perspective on a range of contemporary issues related to the transformed nature of global governance. This programme offers the opportunity to study a diverse range of courses in law and politics.

This programme was designed by experts who work specifically in the fields of International Law and International Relations. With their combined input, you will gain unique insights into both subjects and will advance your understanding of their relationship. The programme offers a range of courses that are aligned with the interdisciplinary competencies required for today’s international job market. In Aberdeen, you will benefit from the wide community of international staff and students, which provides a stimulating learning environment. You will have the opportunity to develop a professional network, particularly as some of our students are already engaged in an international career.

Available Programmes of Study

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.

LLM

International Law and International Relations

Qualification Duration Learning Mode Study Mode Start Month Location  
LLM 12 months or 24 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time September More

Programme Fees

Fee information
Fee category Cost
EU / International students £23,800
Tuition Fees for 2024/25 Academic Year
UK £11,900
Tuition Fees for 2024/25 Academic Year

Semester 1

Compulsory Courses

All candidates must take the following courses:

Getting Started at the University of Aberdeen (PD5006)

This course, which is prescribed for all taught postgraduate students, is studied entirely online, takes approximately 5-6 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks.

Topics include orientation overview, equality and diversity, health, safety and cyber security and how to make the most of your time at university in relation to careers and employability.

Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’.

International Law: A Time of Challenges (LS501U)

30 Credit Points

The course analyses recent developments in public international law. It first considers the sources of public international law. The question is then asked whether traditional public international law can regulate pressing issues on the international plane. Examples of these problems are: international terrorism, nuclear weapons proliferation, protection of human rights, ethnic conflicts, climate change. The course encourages the participant-student to think creatively as an international lawyer to resolve contemporary international dilemmas.

Theories and Concepts in International Relations (IR5001)

30 Credit Points

This course lays the foundations for, explores, and critically analyses the main theoretical paradigms and debates in International Relations, and engages with the complexity of debates on concepts in IR. The theoretical topics to be covered include debates on the international system, cooperation, world order, conflict, development, representation and identity. Students will also be introduced to some of the main debates in epistemology and methodology that apply to the discipline.

Critical Legal Thinking and Scholarship (LS501T)

This course provides students from diverse legal and educational backgrounds with a common understanding of the core research, analytical, and writing skills which will be required for LLM-Taught courses. The course is delivered as a series of five interactive lectures with two individual assessments designed to encourage critical thinking and provide opportunities for early feedback. It also incorporates a library workshop to provide students with hands-on experience with the resources available for course and dissertation work.

Semester 2

Optional Courses

In addition to the above, candidates must take courses to the value of 60 credit points. At least one LS course and at least one PI course should be taken.

International Humanitarian Law (LS551G)
The use of Force in International Law (LS5549)

30 Credit Points

The course analyses how international law regulates the use of armed forces between States. It is of interest to students who want to understand the legal considerations which frame contemporary conflicts. The course will study the fundamental principle of the prohibition on the use of inter-State force. It will examine the current exceptions to this principle, and how States try to justify the use of force. Consequently, the course will study the most recent recourses to force on the international plane, in particular in Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Ukraine. Teaching will be delivered mainly through discussion based seminars.

International Human Rights Law (LS5590)

30 Credit Points

The course was designed to help students build competence in dealing with the doctrinal issues about international human rights. It involves understanding the place of human rights in public international law, finding one’s way around the foundational human rights documents and the jurisprudence of human rights bodies. The course delivery puts heavy emphasis on classroom discussion on the controversial issues on contemporary human rights law that shape doctrinal development in this field: the justifiability of torture, the limits of freedom of religion, the justiciability of social rights, etc.

International Energy Security (PI5518)

30 Credit Points

Topics:

Oil and Security – how oil crises have occurred since 1973, with a focus on the energy demand and supply pressures and the political factors triggering the 1973 and 1979 oil crises. OPEC and IEA. The factors underpinning the oil crisis of 2008 and its relationships to world economic crisis. The role of China in oil politics.

Natural Gas, the EU and Russia. How conceptions of (natural gas) energy security are constructed and implemented in the EU and Russia –Nuclear Power and energy security;– eg Iran .

Climate Security

Terrorism and Counter - Terrorism (PI5520)

30 Credit Points

International terrorism and counterterrorism dominate both contemporary scholarly debates in International Relations (IR) and policy discussions. This course examines these debates by focusing, on the one hand, on the (individual and/or structural) causes and different manifestations of terrorism and, on the other hand, on debates on how to respond to terrorism not only effectively but also without violating humanitarian principles and international law. Overall, the course aims to provide students with an overview of current research on international terrorism and counterterrorism in IR and its neighbouring disciplines and to enable them to develop an in-depth knowledge and understanding of core aspects of the issue.

Chinese Security Issues (PI5521)

30 Credit Points

The focus of this module is the key approaches, institutions, and contemporary issues in global security relating to the rise of China. Set in the context of broader global security issues, this module offers students an introduction to Chinese security policy and approaches to international relations. It lifts the vale on a very misunderstood, controversial, and increasingly critical feature of global security and world affairs. It will explore debates on China's rise, China's growing involvement in international politics, and global security.

Semester 3

Compulsory Courses

Master of Laws Dissertation (LS5904)

60 Credit Points

Between May and mid-August students prepare a 10,000 word dissertation on a topic of their choice related to their specialist LLM programme. Students are instructed through the delivery of a preparatory lecture, two supervisory meetings and a two hour dissertation planning workshop in a small group setting. Students are expected to spend considerable time on independent research throughout the course of the dissertation module, including; preparation of dissertation plan, amendment of plan in accordance with supervisory comments, preparation for the dissertation workshop, and, of course, in the final 10,000 word dissertation itself.

LLM 12 months or 24 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time January Aberdeen More

Programme Fees

Fee information
Fee category Cost
EU / International students £23,800
Tuition Fees for 2024/25 Academic Year
UK £11,900
Tuition Fees for 2024/25 Academic Year

We will endeavour to make all course options available. However, these may be subject to change - see our Student Terms and Conditions page.

Fee Information

Additional Fee Information

  • Fees for individual programmes can be viewed in the Programmes section above.
  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our Tuition Fees page.

Funding Opportunities

The SFC Postgraduate tuition fee scholarship may be available for those classified as Home/EU fee status students for this programme. Visit the scholarship page for more information.

The James Carnegie maintenance scholarship for postgraduate students is available with this degree.

Scholarships

Self-funded international students enrolling on postgraduate taught (PGT) programmes will receive one of our Aberdeen Global Scholarships, ranging from £3,000 to £8,000, depending on your domicile country. Learn more about the Aberdeen Global Scholarships here.

To see our full range of scholarships, visit our Funding Database.

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.

Learning Methods

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops

Assessment Methods

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.

What Our Students Say

Nicolas Braidi

Nicolas Braidi

Nicolas Braidi

The range of the topics covered in the LLM International Law and International Relations enabled me to develop complementary cross-disciplinary skills and become an expert in understanding international issues and challenges.

Entry Requirements

Qualifications

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.

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:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 6.5 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 6.0; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0

TOEFL iBT:

OVERALL - 90 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 21; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

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.

Document Requirements

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.

Degree Certificate
a degree certificate showing your qualifications
Degree Transcript
a full transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) (original & official English translation)
Personal Statement
a detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme
Reference
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

Aberdeen Global Scholarship

Eligible self-funded postgraduate taught (PGT) students will receive the Aberdeen Global Scholarship. Explore our Global Scholarships, including eligibility details, on our dedicated page.

Aberdeen Global Scholarships

Careers

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

Study Two Inseparable Subjects

Jointly coordinated through the School of Law and the School of Social Sciences.

5th in the UK for Law

Our Law School is ranked 5th in the UK of 105 providers for Overall Student Satisfaction (National Student Survey 2022).

Top 10 UK Law School

We are ranked Top 10 in the UK for Law by the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024.

Our Experts

You will be taught by and have access to a number of experts, many of whom are internationally renowned within their respective fields. These will include members of the Centre for Constitutional and Public International Law alongside experts from the School of Social Sciences.

Programme Coordinator
Prof Irène Couzigou

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. However, these may be subject to change - see our Student Terms and Conditions page.

Get in Touch