The LLM in International Law, Security and Strategic Studies will allow you to study international law at an advanced level, preparing you well for a career in international law, governance, and security. Our focus is on developing your ability to think critically about the current problems faced by the world, and how international security affects and is affected by 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
- Strategic Theory
- 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, international energy security, 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 a Postgraduate Certificate.
Why Study International Law, Security and Strategic Studies?
Law was a founding discipline of the University of Aberdeen in 1495. Today, our School of Law 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 by the Times & Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023.
- Law is ranked 5th in the UK for Overall Student Satisfaction (National Student Survey 2022).
- There are over 40 nationalities within the School of Law community, so you will benefit from the experiences of international students from all over the world.
Students choose to study Law at Aberdeen because of our reputation for academic excellence and promising career prospects. At Aberdeen, you will:
- Develop essential analytical skills that will enable you to explore the legal and political implications of many contemporary conflicts.
- Develop key critical thinking abilities and will gain a higher appreciation of current world security issues.
- Advance your knowledge through the University’s powerful combination of academic credibility and progressive, challenging thinking, which creates a unique learning environment.
- Benefit from the expertise of our world-renowned teaching staff of the School of Law and the School of Social Science, which will give you the knowledge and skills to prepare you for an interdisciplinary career in international security.
- Benefit from small class sizes, meaning you will get focused interaction with teaching staff during seminars.
- Have the opportunity to hear from high-ranking guest speakers from the world of international law and international politics, which will provide you with unique insights into the subjects.
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.
The English Language Requirement for all College of Arts and Social Sciences Masters programmes is an IELTS of 6.5 with 6.0 in the writing and reading (or equivalent TOEFL iBT or PTE).
References are not required in order for applicants to submit an application. They are not usually required in order for a decision to be made but in certain cases applicants may be asked to provide a single academic reference at the request of the academic selector.
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 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 Strategic Studies at Aberdeen, you will have a competitive advantage in the job market. This programme is particularly attractive to students seeking a career in government departments related to foreign and security policies, international organisations, international non-governmental organisations, commercial risk assessment companies and the armed forces. The programme will also provide a solid grounding for an academic career and help you prepare for a PhD.
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