The LLM in Public International Law will allow you to study international law at an advanced level, preparing you well for an international legal career. Our focus is on developing your ability to think critically about the current problems faced by the world, and how international law affects these issues. To allow you to develop these skills, you will undertake four compulsory courses:
- Getting Started at the University of Aberdeen
- International Law: A Time of Challenges
- Critical Legal Thinking and Scholarship
- LLM Dissertation
The remaining credits are gained from the diverse range of optional courses available to you, including international intellectual property law, international criminal law, the politics of human rights, and the law of the WTO.
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
Our Public International Law programme is taught through traditional lectures and seminars in small groups, benefiting from close tutor contact. You will also have the opportunity to attend lectures by high-ranking guest speakers from the world of international law, 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 CAS mark of 9 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 Public International Law?
Law was a foundation discipline of the University of Aberdeen in 1495. Today the School of Law is considered one of the best training grounds for lawyers in the UK.
- The School of Law is ranked 5th in the UK for Overall Student Satisfaction (National Student Survey 2022).
- We are ranked Top 10 in the UK for Law by the Times & Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023.
- 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 the University of Aberdeen because of our reputation for academic excellence and promising career prospects. At Aberdeen, you will:
- Benefit from its wide community of international staff and students which provides a stimulating learning environment, ideal for the study of Public International Law.
- Benefit from the opportunity to attend our Research Seminar Series, which will provide you with unique insights into current legal issues.
- Have the chance to participate in student academic events organised by Lawyers without Borders.
- Have the opportunity to develop a professional network among many other international students, some of them being already engaged in an international career.
- Benefit from an unrivalled knowledge in Public International Law, being taught by world-class lecturers with world-leading research credentials.
- Work in small seminar groups, meaning you will have access to teaching staff whenever you need.
The University also has a leading Careers and Employability Service that organises events focused on providing you with the additional skills needed to make the most of your career potential.
With the University’s diverse student cohort, you will be part of a close-knit community and learn from the prior academic experiences of other students.
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.
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
Public International Law is a subject of global importance. Studying the discipline at Aberdeen will provide you with the skills and experience you will need to work in an international legal profession. You will develop an advanced understanding of Public International Law that will give you a competitive advantage in the jobs market. Some high profile career opportunities available to you could include working with the UN, NATO, The World Bank, a NGO or a global law firm.
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