Criminal Justice and Human Rights, LLM

Criminal Justice and Human Rights, LLM

Introduction

Combine the key specialist topic of criminal justice with some of today’s most powerful human rights issues, studying cases from around the world in a variety of contexts. With our carefully designed LLM, you’ll have the opportunity to further your understanding of how the two areas impact each other whilst expanding your employability prospects.

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

One of the biggest changes in recent times has been the increasing global demand for criminal justice systems to comply with human rights. Whether you’re studying international conventions to confront human trafficking or legal frameworks to investigate war crimes, this programme will help you explore both Criminal Justice and Human Rights in depth and breadth and will identify how the two topics impact each other. You will have the opportunity to study subjects such as Criminological Theories, Criminal Evidence and Proof and The Use of Force in International Law.

This programme was designed by our academic staff in collaboration with criminal justice and human rights experts as. With this combined input, you will gain unique insights into both subjects from an international perspective, which will advance your understanding of the factors that influence them. The programme has been carefully coordinated to align with the competencies required for today’s international job market.

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

Criminal Justice and Human Rights

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

The information listed below is for September start students.

Compulsory Courses

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.

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’.

Optional Courses

Students are required to take at least one criminal justice course. The criminal justice courses are currently LS502N International Criminal Law, LS5096 Issues in Criminal Justice and LS551G Criminal Law and Evidence

Issues in Criminal Justice (LS5096)

30 Credit Points

This course is comparative in nature and examines in depth certain aspects of the criminal justice process, focussing upon differences between the adversarial and inquisitorial models. Examples are mainly drawn from Scotland, England and continental Europe. Topics addressed include: prosecution systems; the position of the accused; the status granted to the victim; plea-bargaining; the trial process; and appeals. The emphasis is not so much on ‘black-letter law’ but on the principles and policies, often clashing, which underlie the detailed legal rules and regulations governing the relevant institutions and processes.

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.

International Criminal Law (LS502N)

30 Credit Points

The course explores the history, ambit and nature of ICL and the notion of individual criminal responsibility, issues of immunities, superior orders and subordinate responsibility. War crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and the crime of aggression are also critically examined. National and international prosecution of international crimes with emphasis on the Rome Statute and the International Criminal Court (ICC) and questions of international cooperation to suppress international crimes are carefully studied in light of relevant cases such as decisions of the Nuremburg and Tokyo tribunals, the ICC, ICTY and the ICTR (tribunals for Yugoslavia and Rwanda respectively).

The Politics of Human Rights (LS5068)

30 Credit Points

The course addresses the political processes by which human rights law is created and sustained (e.g. by exploring the main drivers of the change in human rights norms – like global civil society activism). Discussions review ways in which international human rights law shapes controversial issues of international politics (e.g. problems of international development or humanitarian intervention). Two seminars are dedicated to ‘case studies’ on human rights politics: (1) the practice of human rights activism, and (2) the relevance of human rights for dealing with the social and political tensions generated by oil industry in Nigeria.

Semester 2

Optional Courses

Students are required to take LS5590 International Human Rights Law in 2HS

Criminal Evidence and Proof (LS551R)

30 Credit Points

This course is comparative in nature and examines in-depth various key evidentiary doctrines, focussing upon the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights and differences in the approaches adopted by national jurisdictions. The emphasis is not so much on ‘black-letter law’ but on the principles and policies, often clashing, which underlie the detailed legal rules and regulations governing the relevant types of evidence.

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 Cybersecurity Law (LS554A)

30 Credit Points

The course analyses international legal issues raised by the increasing need to secure cyberoperations. It therefore addresses the emerging international cybersecurity law.

Semester 3

The compulsory dissertation provides the opportunity to research and explore in more detail a specific legal area of your choice.

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.

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 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

In addition to being taught through traditional lectures and seminars, the University Law School employs a range of teaching methods to suit your learning style. Even when studying independently, you will benefit from having regular contact with your course coordinator and other members of the teaching staff.

Learning Methods

  • Lectures
  • Seminars

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 Criminal Justice and Human Rights?

A foundation discipline in 1495, the Law School is now considered one of the UK’s elite training grounds for lawyers - and there’s no substitute for experience.

  • Study Law at a School ranked Top 100 in the World (Times Higher Education World University Subject Ranking 2022)
  • We are 5th in the UK of over 100 Law Schools for Overall Student Satisfaction (NSS 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 unrivalled student experience. At Aberdeen, you will:

  • Gain an advanced understanding of how both criminal justice and human rights are two of the key drivers for change in today’s world.
  • Develop your critical thinking and deepen your knowledge of the relationship between criminal justice and human rights, which will help establish your career as a legal professional.
  • Benefit from studying at one of the oldest universities in the UK where teaching is always modern and forward-thinking.
  • Benefit from the inclusive teaching approach that our staff adopt, ensuring that you will learn in a way that suits your learning style.
  • Have access to our faculty experts whenever you need, which will maximise the interaction of ideas and create a relaxed, informal forum for learning.
  • Study alongside a diverse mix of international students and gain a deeper understanding of how criminal justice and human rights interact in different countries and cultures.
  • Benefit from the opportunity to attend our Research Seminar Series, which will provide you with unique insights into current legal issues.

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.

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 in Law (or another related discipline) or equivalent.

Document requirements application, we require at least:

  • A full transcript showing all the subjects you studied and marks you achieved in your degree(s).
  • A detailed personal statement explaining your reasons for choosing this programme.
  • CV/Resume optional.
  • Reference letter from your university discussing your academic ability.

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

Aberdeen Global Scholarship

Eligible self-funded post graduate 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 Criminal Justice and Human Rights at Aberdeen, you will gain a unique insight into the two disciplines from an international perspective. You will benefit from having a competitive advantage in the job market, particularly in careers related to foreign and security policies and international organisations. The programme will also provide a solid grounding for an academic career and help you prepare for a PhD.

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 and Centre for Scots Law

Programme Coordinator
Clare Frances Moran

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