Introduction

International Relations and Legal Studies at Aberdeen is an ideal combination, giving you solid grounding in the role of power, states, and governments in an ever-changing global context. The programme takes a closer look at the law, including European law and how it affects our lives today. You will study issues both topical and controversial. You will graduate with excellent skills to open up career options including European and international affairs and business.

This programme is studied on campus.

In International Relations, you will look closely at how states and organisations interact, global wealth and poverty and the ever-present concerns of conflict and peace.

You will study regional and international tensions, nationalism, concepts of democracy and be taught by internationally renowned academics with strong track records in publishing international papers and articles and who appear regularly in the media, analysing and explaining national, European and world developments from the viewpoint of their own area of expertise and research.

Our Law school has an outstanding reputation, ranked 12th in the UK out of more than 90 law schools, positioned in the top five for graduate prospects and scores an impressive 95% for student satisfaction.

You will add value to your studies in the interactions between states through exploring what law teaches us about a society, including looking at European and international law, and topical issues including human rights within the EU.

Studying law develops important academic qualities including clear, careful and independent thinking, extending your already-bright career opportunities in European business and organisations, NGOs, charities and international development, government service, marketing, and much more.

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Key Programme Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
MA
Duration
48 months
Study Mode
Full Time
Start Month
September
UCAS Code
MLC2

What You'll Study

Year 1

Year 1

Compulsory Courses

Academic Writing for Social Sciences (AW1006)

This compulsory evaluation is designed to find out if your academic writing is of a sufficient standard to enable you to succeed at university and, if you need it, to provide support to improve. It is completed on-line via MyAberdeen with clear instructions to guide you through it. If you pass the evaluation at the first assessment it will not take much of your time. If you do not, you will be provided with resources to help you improve. This evaluation does not carry credits but if you do not complete it this will be recorded on your degree transcript.

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Legal System (LS1025) - 15 Credit Points

This course introduces the fundamental components and characteristics of the Scottish legal system. It includes a study skills programme which covers different facets of the study of law along with a series of practical workshops which introduce key legal information sources (both electronic and paper) and appropriate search strategies. Lectures and tutorials will cover topics such as the Scottish legal tradition, formal sources of Scots law, the legislative process, organisation of the courts, judicial precedent, civil procedure, alternative dispute resolution, the European legal order, legal services and access to justice.

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Politics & International Relations 1: Democracy and Governance (PI1018) - 15 Credit Points

Politics and International Relations impacts on all parts of our lives, with more specifically it being the study of ideas, events, institutions and choice. Studying these provides us with both knowledge of the world and also how it operates and functions. It also changes our perception of our surroundings and makes us aware of an ever changing global context. This course will introduce students to concepts and ideas that form the basis for the study of these disciplines while simultaneously also helping us understand our own place within a global context.

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Legal Method (LS1522) - 15 Credit Points

This course develops key legal research skills by taking students through a research project from initial conception to final written product, including: research design; research ethics; identifying and locating primary sources; interpreting and evaluating primary sources; identifying and locating secondary sources; critically analysing secondary sources; use and interpretation of data, statistics and other (non-legal) evidence; and effective writing. It will teach students the comparative and doctrinal-historical legal methods critical to legal research. Students will develop their own research project throughout the semester in light of this learning, building their project step by step under the guidance of the teaching team.

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Politics & International Relations 2: Power and Conflict (PI1518) - 15 Credit Points

Politics and International Relations impacts on all parts of our lives, with more specifically it being the study of ideas, events, institutions and choice. Studying these provides us with both knowledge of the world and also how it operates and functions. It also changes our perception of our surroundings and makes us aware of an ever changing global context. This course will introduce students to concepts and ideas that form the basis for the study of these disciplines while simultaneously also helping us understand our own place within a global context.

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Professional Skills Part 1 (PD1001)

This course, which is prescribed for level 1 students and optional for level 2 students, is studied entirely online and covers topics relating to careers and employability, equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing. During the course you will learn about the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes, how they are relevant to you and the opportunities available to develop your skills and attributes alongside your University studies. You will also gain an understanding of equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing issues. Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’ (non-completion will be recorded as ‘Not Achieved’). The course takes approximately 3 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks and it will be available to you throughout the academic year.This course, which is prescribed for level 1 students and optional for level 2 students and above, is studied entirely online and covers topics relating to careers and employability, equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing. During the course you will learn about the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes, how they are relevant to you and the opportunities available to develop your skills and attributes alongside your University studies. You will also gain an understanding of equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing issues. Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’ (non-completion will be recorded as ‘Not Achieved’). The course takes approximately 3 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks and it will be available to you throughout the academic year

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Optional Courses

  • Select 30 credit points from the courses listed below.
  • Select a further 30 credit points from courses of choice.
Criminal Law (LS1020) - 15 Credit Points

This course is a compulsory course on the LLB degree introducing students to Scottish Criminal Law including its sources and current law. It examines various aspects of substantive law including crimes against the person, crimes of dishonesty, crimes against property and criminal defences enabling students to understand and apply the law in these areas. The course also develops student’s written, verbal and analytical skills utilising written course work and problem solving exercises in tutorial groups.

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Foundations of Private Law (LS1022) - 15 Credit Points

The course provides firstly a map of private law as drawn from the institutional scheme. It then progresses to an equivalent of the medical student’s study of anatomy in the sense that, concentrating on the law of property and obligations, it examines the main concepts of private law and how they operate together as a system to solve everyday legal problems.

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Case Studies on Law in Society (LS1026) - 15 Credit Points

This module examines, through the use of current, high-profile case-studies, the varying role played by law in wider society. The course departs from the traditional ‘black letter’ approach to studying law and will focus primarily upon current legal problems facing society and the related ethical, economic and social arguments. It will be seen that law is not merely a static body of rules but a mechanism for facilitating and inspiring change in all aspects of our society.

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Contract (LS1520) - 15 Credit Points

Contract is one of the central subjects of private law and is one of the main branches of the law of obligations. Contract Law covers obligations which are voluntary in nature. Every day we make contracts from buying a newspaper to buying a house. Contract Law is an area where Scots law and English law are very similar and this course will cover Scots contract law but also highlight where English law differs with the aim of giving students a working knowledge of contract in both countries.

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Public Law and Human Rights (LS1521) - 15 Credit Points

This course is an introduction to the law about government. The course covers three main areas of law: constitutional law; human rights law; and, to a lesser extent, administrative law. Major topics include parliamentary sovereignty, Britain's membership in the European Union, the rule of law, the separation of powers, devolution (especially in Scotland), the Human Rights Act, freedom of expression, and the right to protest. This area of law is fast-moving, and an effort is made to address current issues such as prisoner voting, the deployment of armed forces, and the impact of the referendum on Scottish independence.

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Alternative Methods of Dispute Resolution (LS1523) - 15 Credit Points

Alternative Methods of Dispute Resolution is a very practical course designed to give students a first-hand interaction with a number of the different structured ways to resolve disputes that exist. The course is taught by way of a weekly lecture which focuses on an explanation of theory and rationale followed by role play tutorials, where students engage in negotiations and mediations in particular.

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English Criminal Law (LS1527) - 7.5 Credit Points

This course is a compulsory course on the LLB with English Law degree introducing students to English Criminal Law including its sources and current law. It examines various aspects of substantive law including offences against the person, offences of dishonesty, offences against property and criminal defences enabling students to understand and apply the law in these areas. The course also develops student’s written, verbal and analytical skills utilising written course work and problem solving in tutorial groups.

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Introduction to English Legal System (LS1528) - 7.5 Credit Points

This 7.5 credit course introduces key elements of the English legal system, building on points considered in the Legal System course. It considers sources of law (with a focus on the common law and doctrine of precedent), key institutions and personalities (eg police, jury, Lord Chancellor), criminal and civil processes, key controversies (eg the future of legal aid, the place of social media and the diversity of judges) and the present and developing nature of the different branches of the legal profession, particularly in the face of evolving technologies. Assessment is by research exercises OR an exam at the student’s choice.

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Year 2

Year 2

Compulsory Courses

Ideas and Ideologies in Politics and International Relations (PI2009) - 30 Credit Points

Ideas and ideologies are core to teaching, learning and research in Politics and International Relations. Theoretical developments are at the forefront of academic debates within the discipline, demonstrated by the appearance of a number of new approaches as more traditional theories have struggled to account for an ever changing world. This course will introduce students to these with profound questions and struggles over identity, belonging, justice and rights underpinning these theoretical debates.

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Global Politics: Equality and Inequality (PI2508) - 30 Credit Points

Equality and inequality are at the forefront of many debates within contemporary Politics and International Relations. This course will examine the historical context, theoretical underpinnings, and also key concepts which continue to uphold equality and inequality on a global scale.

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Optional Courses

Select 60 credit points from the courses listed here and below.

  • Criminal Law (LS1020)
  • Foundations of Private Law (LS1022)
  • Case Studies on Law in Society (LS1026)
  • Delict & Unjustified Enrichment(LS2025)
  • EU Institutions and Law (LS2026)
  • Scottish Legal History (LS2028)
  • Public International Law (LS2032)
  • The Law of Property (LS2031)
  • Evidence (LS3025)
  • Land Law (LS3027)
  • Law of Equity and Trusts of England and Wales (LS3030)
  • Contract (LS1520)
  • Public Law and Human Rights (LS1521)
Alternative Methods of Dispute Resolution (LS1523) - 15 Credit Points

Alternative Methods of Dispute Resolution is a very practical course designed to give students a first-hand interaction with a number of the different structured ways to resolve disputes that exist. The course is taught by way of a weekly lecture which focuses on an explanation of theory and rationale followed by role play tutorials, where students engage in negotiations and mediations in particular.

View detailed information about this course

English Criminal Law (LS1527) - 7.5 Credit Points

This course is a compulsory course on the LLB with English Law degree introducing students to English Criminal Law including its sources and current law. It examines various aspects of substantive law including offences against the person, offences of dishonesty, offences against property and criminal defences enabling students to understand and apply the law in these areas. The course also develops student’s written, verbal and analytical skills utilising written course work and problem solving in tutorial groups.

View detailed information about this course

Introduction to English Legal System (LS1528) - 7.5 Credit Points

This 7.5 credit course introduces key elements of the English legal system, building on points considered in the Legal System course. It considers sources of law (with a focus on the common law and doctrine of precedent), key institutions and personalities (eg police, jury, Lord Chancellor), criminal and civil processes, key controversies (eg the future of legal aid, the place of social media and the diversity of judges) and the present and developing nature of the different branches of the legal profession, particularly in the face of evolving technologies. Assessment is by research exercises OR an exam at the student’s choice.

View detailed information about this course

Introduction to Legal Theory (LS2527) - 7.5 Credit Points

This course aims to provide student with an accessible introduction to some of the central themes of legal theory. The material will be organised around broad themes that will enable students to understand the basic concepts of legal theory. The themes include: the authority of law (including the obligation to obey the law, civil disobedience, the limits of law); the structure and function of rights; the fundamental values of law (justice, rule of law); the theoretical foundations of legal reasoning (including deductive reasoning, the limits of rule-based decision-making, the institutional aspects of legal reasoning and the explanation of judicial decisions).

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Introduction to German Law (LS2530) - 15 Credit Points

This course aims to give students an overview of the law of Germany. Both private law and public law aspects will be covered and knowledge of German whilst useful is not essential.

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Introduction to Spanish Law (LS2531)
Business Law (LS2533) - 15 Credit Points

This course is designed to provide non-LLB students with an understanding of the main issues in business law. Topics will cover elements of the Scottish law and legal system concerning Contract Law (including the unfair contract terms), Agency, Delict, Intellectual Property, Trusts, Partnership and Company Law.

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The Governance of Scotland (LS2535) - 15 Credit Points

The focus of this level 2 course is the background to, and the significance of, recent developments in the governance of Scotland, together with the implications of proposals for further change. The topics studied include the historical background to the present position; the political factors which led to devolution; the Scotland Act 1998; developments since the implementation of the 1998 Act; the outcome and consequences of the referendum; and the ongoing debate regarding the governance of Scotland. Because of the topicality of the course, the precise syllabus may be subject to change in the light of developing circumstances.

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Introduction to Comparative Law (LS2536) - 7.5 Credit Points

This is a foundational course that introduces students to the two dominant legal traditions of the world - the civil law tradition and the common law tradition. The first half of the course provides an introduction to Comparative Law with a focus on the civil law tradition. The second part of the course is concerned with the common law tradition, whilst exploring also the differences between the Scots and English legal systems. In addition, the course examines the interaction between the civil law tradition and the common law tradition within the European Union.

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Introduction to French Law (LS2539) - 15 Credit Points

The course provides an introduction to French Law, both private and public law aspects. It outlines the study of the law in France, the French legal professions, the French court system, the structure of the French legal system, the territorial organisation of France, as well as key aspects of French constitutional law, administrative law, contract law and tort liability. Knowledge of French is not necessary. Teaching will be delivered through two hour lectures and seminars. Attendance to both lectures and seminars is compulsory. Assessment is based on the drafting of an essay and an exam.

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Commercial Organisations and Insolvency (LS2525) - 15 Credit Points

This is a second level course, which is compulsory for LLB students planning to become professional lawyers. The course consists of four elements: the law of agency, the law of partnership, company law and insolvency law. The lectures will focus on the creation of agency, partnership and companies of different types; the rules that enable these commercial organisations to function; and the law concerning the termination of these commercial organisations. One reason for these organisations coming to an end is that they become insolvent. The rules on insolvency and bankruptcy will be a significant element of the course.

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Family Law (LS2526) - 15 Credit Points

This course is divided into two principal parts. In the first part, students will be introduced to the key facets of the law governing the formation of adult relationships, including the constitution of marriage and civil partnership, legal rights and duties of spouses and civil partners, same sex marriage, the grounds for divorce and the financial aspects of breakdown of marriage and relationships of cohabitation. The second part focuses on the relationship between children and adults and the legal rights of children, including parental rights and responsibilities, court orders relating to children and the welfare principle.

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Succession and Trusts (LS2528) - 7.5 Credit Points

Students studying for the Aberdeen LLB are required to take this course if they wish to use their degree to enter the Scottish legal profession. The course will examine both testate and intestate succession, in the context of the general principles of the law of succession, including legal rights. Furthermore, it will introduce the functions of trusts, the rights of beneficiaries and the powers and duties of trustees. The course is available only to LLB students in Programme year 2 or above and graduates on the 2 year degree.

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English Property Law (LS3529) - 15 Credit Points

This course will explore and critically evaluate the concepts of land and property in the law of England and Wales; estates and interests in land (freehold, leasehold, licence, mortgage and easement); freehold covenants; registered and unregistered land and conveyancing of registered land; trusts in land (including co-ownership); adverse possession; landlord and tenant relationships, leasehold covenants, leasehold enfranchisement, and commonhold.

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Energy Law (LS3531) - 15 Credit Points

The energy industry is a particularly important sector of the economy. Fossil fuel sources provide a state with a source of financial revenue and potential to secure energy supplies. This comes at a cost: health and safety risk or environmental degradation. A regulatory and commercial framework has to be provided to facilitate and control these developments. Alternatives to fossil fuels exist, such as hydropower, wind, solar and nuclear. These are preferable from a climate change perspective but these, too, present legal and regulatory challenges, as does the process of providing a secure and affordable energy supply to end-point consumers.

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Year 3

Year 3

Compulsory Courses

Researching Into the 21st Century (PI3069) - 30 Credit Points

Research methods and techniques are fundamental to the study of Politics and International Relations. In addition, they are highly desired by employers. This course will introduce students to a number of different research techniques which they will use throughout their studies at Honours and in particular their Honours dissertation. Moreover, they will also constitute a significant part of their graduate attributes.

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Optional Courses

  • Select 30 credit points from level 3 Politics & International Relations courses.
  • Select 60 credit points from Legal Studies LX Honours course options.
Year 4

Year 4

Optional Courses

  • Dissertation (International Relations) (IR4031) or Dissertation in Legal Studies (LX4025).
  • Select further credit points from courses in International Relations to gain a total of 60 credit points in the discipline.
  • Select further credit points from courses in Legal Studies to gain a total of 60 credit points in the discipline.
Dissertation (International Relations) (IR4031) - 30 Credit Points

This course affords students the opportunity to apply their knowledge/research skills in the field of Politics & International Relations to an individual piece of research, focusing on a topic selected by the student and approved by the Dissertation supervisor. Over the course of the project, with guidance from a supervising member of staff, the student will conduct a literature review of relevant material, select appropriate research methods, gather data where necessary, analyse data, and write a final analysis in the form of the Dissertation. Particular emphasis will be given to helping students develop their own skills.

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Dissertation (LX4025) - 30 Credit Points

This course, that is only available to final year honours students, allows you to write a 10,000 word piece on an aspect of law that you choose with the help of a supervisor. Once your topic and plan are approved by the law school you work independently and hand in the dissertation shortly before the Easter Break.

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Course Availability

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.

How You'll Study

Learning Methods

  • Individual Projects
  • Lectures
  • Research
  • Tutorials

Assessment Methods

Students are assessed by any combination of three assessment methods:

  • Coursework such as essays and reports completed throughout the course.
  • Practical assessments of the skills and competencies they learn on the course.
  • Written examinations at the end of each course.

The exact mix of these methods differs between subject areas, years of study and individual courses.

Honours projects are typically assessed on the basis of a written dissertation.

Why Study International Relations and Legal Studies?

Why Politics and International Relations

  • A core curriculum with topical themes of conflict and security, representation and democracy, comparative politics and policy.
  • Special focus on the Middle-East, Latin America, North and South Asia, the Nordic Countries, Central and Eastern Europe – as well as Scotland, the UK and the EU.
  • Staff with specialist expertise in political parties and elections, democracy, energy politics, European integration and regionalism, human rights and development issues, interest groups, nationalism, conflict resolution and more.
  • A vibrant Politics & International Relations Society – voted Aberdeen ‘Society of the Year’ for the last three years, and Best Event 2013-14 for The Legacy of Nelson Mandela.
  • Opportunities to take advantage of spending your second year studying abroad, in Europe, Japan, Hong Kong or North America.
  • The spectacular, award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library, combining a top-class study environment with state-of-the-art technology, and extensive reference collections for your studies.
  • A packed campus programme of events, seminars, invited speakers and the annual May festival, engaging prominent influencers, interest groups and public in debating major political issues such as Scottish independence and EU membership.
  • All the history and legacy of being part of a university developed over 500 years of national and international political turbulence, social change, and emerging democracy.

Entry Requirements

You will find all the information you require about entry requirements on our dedicated 'Entry Requirements' page. You can also find out about the different types of degrees, offers, advanced entry, and changing your subject.

Qualifications

SQA Highers - AABB
A Levels - BBB
IB - 32 points, including 5,5,5 at HL
ILC - 5H with 3 at H2 AND 2 at H3 OR AAABB, obtained in a single sitting. (B must be at B2 or above)

Further detailed entry requirements for Arts and Social Sciences degrees.

English Language Requirements

To study for a degree at the University of Aberdeen, it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Fees and Funding

You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.

Fee Waiver

For international students (all non-EU students) entering in 2017/18, the 2017/18 tuition fee rate will apply to all years of study; however, most international students will be eligible for a fee waiver in their final year via the International Undergraduate Scholarship.

Most RUK students (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) on a four year honours degree will be eligible for a full-fees waiver in their final year. Scholarships and other sources of funding are also available.

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU £1,820
All Students
RUK £9,250
Students Admitted in 2018/19 Academic Year
International Students £14,600
Students Admitted in 2018/19 Academic Year

Additional Fees

  • 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.

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.

Careers

There are many opportunities at the University of Aberdeen to develop your knowledge, gain experience and build a competitive set of skills to enhance your employability. This is essential for your future career success. The Careers Service can help you to plan your career and support your choices throughout your time with us, from first to final year – and beyond.

Our Experts

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.

Key Information Set (KIS)

Unistats draws together comparable information in areas students have identified as important in making decisions about what and where to study. The core information it contains is called the Key Information Set.

You can compare these and other data for different degree programmes in which you are interested.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Address
Student Recruitment & Admissions Service
University of Aberdeen
University Office
Regent Walk
Aberdeen
AB24 3FX