International Law, Security and Strategic Studies, LLM

International Law, Security and Strategic Studies, LLM

Introduction

International Law and Strategic Studies at Aberdeen explores how the legal disciplines impact the prevention, control and conduct of conflicts in the modern word.

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
January or September
Location of Study
Aberdeen

With the combined strength of the School of Law and the School of Social Science, this programme explores the use of force by international and transnational actors to achieve political and security objectives. It allows a focused appreciation of the legal considerations that frame many contemporary conflicts. Students will have the opportunity to develop critical thinking and analytic skills through studying courses such as International Law: A Time of Challenges and Global Security Issues. This programme was designed by experts in the fields of International Law and Strategic Studies. With their combined input, you will gain unique insights into both subjects and will advance your understanding of their relationship. The programme aligns with the interdisciplinary competencies required for today’s job market in international security. The University of Aberdeen has a reputation for attracting world-class teaching staff with unrivalled experience and knowledge in their specialist subjects. You will have access to first rate teaching from globally respected staff, such as Programme Director Dr Irène Couzigou, who before lecturing at Aberdeen, worked at the Universities of Heidelberg and Mannheim in Germany and at the University of Paris II in France.

Available Programmes of Study

Please note: Students staring 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, Security and Strategic Studies

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

Semester 1

Compulsory Courses

Getting Started at the University of Aberdeen (PD5506)

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’.

Critical Legal Thinking and Scholarship (LS551T)

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. It begins with a series of lectures and progresses to working in a workshop environment and finally to the submission of an individual assignment. It also incorporates a library workshop to provide students with hands-on experience with the resources available for course and dissertation work.

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.

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 2

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.

Semester 3

Compulsory Courses

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.

Strategic Theory (PI5001)

30 Credit Points

This core module considers the contribution of strategy, as the mechanism for the application of power and force, to national, regional, and international security. It explores what strategy is (the pursuit of continuing advantage) and how to think clearly about it. Topics addressed include the nature of strategy, deterrence, arms control, strategic stability, nuclear policy, and emerging technology and future warfare.

Programme Fees

Fee information
Fee category Cost
EU / International students £22,400
Tuition Fees for 2022/23 Academic Year
Home / RUK £11,500
Tuition Fees for 2022/23 Academic Year

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

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 InfoHub 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

Eligible self-funded international Masters students will receive the Aberdeen Global Scholarship. Visit our Funding Database to find out more and see our full range of scholarships.

How You'll Study

Teaching takes place through a combination of lectures and seminars and you will benefit from being taught by world-renowned researchers and teaching staff. The University adopts a flexible approach to learning and staff use a range of teaching methods to ensure that you achieve the highest grade you can.

Learning Methods

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials

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 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 100 in the World by the Times Higher Education World University Subject Ranking 2022.
  • 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.

What Our Students Say

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The courses and teaching in class did not segregate between those with legal background and those without. The explanations, lectures, notes and discussion were inclusive and supportive throughout.

Entry Requirements

Qualifications

The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.

Normally an upper second class Honours degree or equivalent in International Relations, Politics, Economics, Law, Geography, History or cognate disciplines, or relevant professional experience (e.g. work for NGOs, the civil service, the military, the international media). Prospective applicants who are unsure about their eligibility are encouraged to address an informal inquiry to the programme director.

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:

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 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

Careers

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.

Law Attracts Known Industry Speakers at Aberdeen

Enjoy and learn from guest speakers from the world of international law and international politics.

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 100 for Law

We are ranked Top 100 in the World for Law by the Times Higher World University Subject Ranking 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 2023.

Our Experts

"Dr Irène Couzigou joined the University of Aberdeen in September 2009 as a lecturer specialised in International Law. She previously worked as a lecturer at the Universities of Heidelberg and Mannheim in Germany and at the University of Paris II in France."

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

Get in Touch