The Kent LLM (and associated Diploma programme) allows you to broaden and deepen your knowledge and understanding of law by specialising in one or more different areas.
This specialisation is designed for people who already work, or intend to work, within the criminal justice system, whether for the police, probation service, prison service or other organisations, or those with an interest in such matters. It covers criminal law and procedure in the UK, internationally and comparatively. It examines criminal justice systems from a range of perspectives, including the management of organisations, human rights, the psychological and sociological causes of criminal behaviour and social and economic perspectives.
There is close co-operation with the MA in Criminology run by the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research. Students on the LLM and MA can take modules from both programmes. Criminology has specialists in many areas including criminological theory, research methods, youth crime, gender, cultural criminology and terrorism.
Studying for a Master's in Law (LLM) at Kent means having the certainty of gaining an LLM in a specialist area of Law. The Kent LLM gives you the freedom to leave your choice of specialism open until after you arrive, your specialism being determined by the modules you choose.
About Kent Law School
Kent Law School (KLS) is the UK's leading critical law school. A cosmopolitan centre of world-class critical legal research, it offers a supportive and intellectually stimulating place to study postgraduate taught and research degrees.
In addition to learning the detail of the law, students at Kent are taught to think about the law with regard to its history, development and relationship with wider society. This approach allows students to fully understand the law. Our critical approach not only makes the study of law more interesting, it helps to develop crucial skills and abilities required for a career in legal practice.
The Law School offers its flagship Kent LLM at the University’s Canterbury campus (and three defined LLM programmes at the University’s Brussels centre). Our programmes are open to non-law graduates with an appropriate academic or professional background who wish to develop an advanced understanding of law in their field. You study within a close-knit, supportive and intellectually stimulating environment, working closely with academic staff. KLS uses critical research-led teaching throughout our programmes to ensure that you benefit from the Law School’s world-class research.
The fees for this programme are the same as those for the standard LLM programme.
Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014: ranked 8th nationally for research intensity. Almost all (99%) of the School’s research was judged to be of international quality with 79% judged as 'world-leading' or 'internationally excellent'.
Law at Kent had a 93% overall student satisfaction rate in the National Student Survey 2014.
You can tailor your studies to your particular needs and interests to obtain an LLM or Diploma in Law in a single specialisation, in two specialisations jointly, or by choosing a broad range of modules in different areas of law to obtain a general LLM or Diploma in Law.
Your choice of specialisation will be shaped by the modules you take and your dissertation topic. To be awarded an LLM in a single specialisation, at least three of your six modules must be chosen from those associated with that specialisation and your dissertation focusing on that area of law. The other three modules can be chosen from any offered in the Law School. All students are required to take the Legal Research and Writing Skills module. To be awarded a major/minor specialisation you choose three modules associated with one specialisation, and three from another specialisation, with the dissertation determining your 'major' specialisation.
For example, a student who completes at least three modules in International Commercial Law and completes a dissertation in this area would graduate with an LLM in International Commercial Law; a student who completes three Criminal Justice modules and three Environmental Law modules and then undertakes a dissertation which engages with Criminal Justice would graduate with an LLM in Criminal Justice and Environmental Law.
The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation. Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take modules from other programmes so that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas that interest you.
The postgraduate programmes offered within the Law School are usually taught in seminar format. Students on the Diploma and LLM programmes study three modules in each of the autumn and spring terms. The modules normally are assessed by a 4-5,000-word essay. Students undertaking an LLM degree must write a dissertation of 15-20,000 words.
This programme aims to provide:
- LLM: The opportunity to develop (a) expert knowledge and a sophisticated understanding of particular areas of law; (b) advanced research, writing and oral communication skills of general value to postgraduate employment.
PGDip: The opportunity to develop (a) expert knowledge and a sophisticated understanding of particular areas of law; (b) written and oral communication skills of general value to postgraduate employment.
- LLM: A sound knowledge and systematic understanding of the institutional structures, key principles of law and policy and influential ideas, theories, assumptions and paradigms of particular areas of law.
PGDip: A sound knowledge and systematic understanding of the institutional structures, key principles of law and policy and influential ideas, theories, assumptions and paradigms of the subjects studied.
- LLM & PGDip: A degree of specialisation in areas of law and policy chosen from the LLM option streams available and an opportunity for students to engage with academic work at the frontiers of scholarship.
- LLM & PGDip: A critical awareness of the operation of law and policy, particularly in contexts that are perceived to be controversial or in a state of evolution.
- LLM: The skills to undertake supervised research on an agreed topic in their specialisation and to encourage the production of original, evaluative analysis that meets high standards of scholarship.
- LLM & PGDip: Critical, analytical and problem-solving skills that can be applied to a wide range of contexts.
- LLM & PGDip: The skills of academic legal research and writing.
- LLM: A sophisticated grounding in research methods.
Knowledge and understanding
You gain knowledge and understanding of:
- the institutions, principles and structures of law in areas studied, and the policy background and interrelationships between them
- the key concepts, policy issues, principles; and relevant sources of law and policy in the areas studied
- the substantive law relevant to a range of key areas of law and policy
- the theoretical, social and academic debates which underlie the substantive areas of law studied
- the practical contexts in which law operates
- the importance of evaluating law alongside its theoretical and practical contexts: and
- the relationship and inter-relationship between areas of law studied.
You develop intellectual skills in:
- effectively applying the knowledge of criminal justice law and policy to a wide range of situations where relevant practical or theoretical issues are under consideration
- evaluating issues according to their context, relevance and importance
- gathering relevant information and accessing key sources by electronic or other means
- formulating arguments on central issues and areas of controversy, and the ability to present a reasoned opinion based upon relevant materials
- recognising potential alternative arguments, and contrary evidence, to your own opinion and presenting a reasoned justification for preference
- demonstrating an independence of mind and the ability to offer critical challenge to received understanding on particular issues
- an ability to reflect constructively on your learning progression.
You gain subject-specific skills in the following:
- the ability to identify and characterise issues relating to areas of law studied, which arise in practical situations
- the ability to research and access the main sources of law and policy that are relevant to the area of law studied
- the ability to appreciate and evaluate the main theoretical and political perspectives that underlie the legal provisions
- the ability to provide a reasoned and justified opinion as to the possible legal consequences in particular circumstances
- awareness of the limitations of present knowledge and matters needing to be resolved by further research
- the ability to utilise research skills, at least, to commence further research into unresolved issues
You gain transferable skills in the following:
- the ability to identify relevant issues from potentially complex factual situations
- the ability to undertake research from a diverse range of sources;
- the ability to summarise detailed, complex information accurately and concisely
- the ability to formulate arguments in verbal presentations and defend them against opposing views
- presenting information and arguments in written form, in accordance with academic conventions, and appropriately to the intended readership
- evaluating personal performance.
Postgraduate students at Kent Law School have access to a postgraduate computing room, study area and common room with wireless internet access. The Law School has an active and inclusive extra-curricular academic and social scene, with weekly graduate seminars, a postgraduate student group for all students, and a regular guest lecture programme organised by our research centres (which include the Centre for Critical International Law, the Kent Centre for Law, Gender and Sexuality, and the Kent Centre for European and Comparative Law).
Award-winning Law Library
Our Law Library has long been a leader in the development of electronic resources for legal teaching and research. The extensive and up-todate law collection in the University’s Templeman Library is particularly strong on electronic material, and the Electronic Law Library includes numerous legal databases, which are increasingly invaluable tools for research. In addition, you can access the text of thousands of law journals online. Our law librarian is available to train you to use these resources and runs regular legal research classes with postgraduate students.
We have a dedicated postgraduate office, offering support from application to graduation. Research students benefit from a research training programme in the first year. An academic staff member acts as postgraduate research co-ordinator and runs a weekly postgraduate study group, at which students present and discuss research. The Law School provides research students with an allowance for conferences and other research expenses, and an annual printing allowance.
Dynamic publishing culture
Staff publish regularly and widely in journals, conference proceedings and books. Recent contributions include: Modern Law Review; Social & Legal Studies; The Canadian Journal of Law & Society; Legal Studies; Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society.
Employability is a key focus throughout the University and at Kent Law School you have the support of a dedicated Employability and Career Development Officer together with a broad choice of work placement opportunities, employability events and careers talks. Details of graduate internship schemes with NGOs, charities and other professional organisations are made available to postgraduate students via the School’s Employability Blog.
Many students at our Brussels centre who undertake internships are offered contracts in Brussels immediately after graduation. Others have joined their home country’s diplomatic service, entered international organisations, or have chosen to undertake a ‘stage’ at the European Commission, or another EU institution.
Law graduates have gone on to careers in finance, international commerce, government and law or have joined, or started, an NGO or charity.
Kent has an excellent record for postgraduate employment: over 94% of our postgraduate students who graduated in 2013 found a job or further study opportunity within six months.
Information about the internship programme for LLM students can be found on the Kent Law School Employability blog.
A first or good second class honours degree in law or a related subject. Kent Law School (KLS) may also take account of relevant work experience when considering applications.
General entry requirements
Please also see our general entry requirements.
English language entry requirements
For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages.
Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.
Much of the School's research activity in criminal justice takes place in co-operation with the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Research and under the auspices of the Kent Criminal Justice Centre. Established in 1996, the Centre co-ordinates and encourages research in the field of criminal justice, and develops teaching and education initiatives, especially in co-operation with local criminal justice agencies.
Critical Commercial Law and Business Law and Regulation
Kent Law School has established a rich tradition of critical scholarship on the legal regulation of the business practices and commercial relations of market economies. Our experts inform research-led teaching in such fields as consumer debt and bankruptcy, secured credit, intellectual property, International Financial Institutions, economic development, international trade and business transactions, commercial arbitration, international labour regulation, corporate governance, regulation of personal financial services, e-commerce, and the law relating to banking and information technology
Our expertise in the area of obligations shares a commitment to challenging the apparently coherent and common-sense rules of contract and tort. We do this by identifying the conflicts in the world outside of the textbook that shape and destabilise the operation of these rules, and by revealing the ideological, political, and distributive biases that the rules of contract and tort help to perpetuate.
The Law School has long been established as a recognised centre of excellence in research and graduate teaching in environmental law, spanning international, EC and national law and policy. Current research interests include climate change, the aquatic environment, biodiversity conservation, regulation and enforcement, and trade.
European and Comparative Law
European and Comparative Law is being conducted both at an individual level as well as at the Kent Centre for European and Comparative Law, which was established in 2004 with a view to providing a framework for the further development of the Law School’s research and teaching activities in this area. Research and teaching reaches from general areas of comparative and European public and private law to more specialised areas and specific projects.
Gender and Sexuality
Home to the Kent Centre for Law, Gender and Sexuality, Kent Law School makes a significant contribution to the development of feminist perspectives on law, nationally and internationally. The Centre produces wide-ranging interdisciplinary work, drawing on a broad range of intellectual trajectories in addition to legal studies, including political theory, philosophy, sociology, political economy, cultural studies, geography, history, and drama. The Centre explores how sexuality is produced through political categories of difference and how it is governed. The research carried out by the Centre demonstrates a shared preoccupation with inequality and social change.
Governance and Regulation
Legal research involves studying processes of regulation and governance. This research cluster focuses on the character of regulation and governance to critically understand the different modes through which governing takes place such as the conditions, relations of power and effects of governance and regulation. Work within this area is methodologically diverse. Intellectually, it draws on a range of areas including socio-legal studies; Foucauldian perspectives on power and governmentality; Actor Network Theory; feminist political theory and political economy; postcolonial studies; continental political philosophy; and cultural and utopian studies.
Healthcare Law and Ethics
A number of Kent Law School (KLS) staff have interests in the area of Health Care Law and Ethics, focusing in particular on issues relating to human reproduction. Much of the research carried out by scholars in this area is critical and theoretical and has a strong interdisciplinary flavour. In addition to conducting their own research projects, staff have developed strong and fruitful collaborations with ethicists and medical professionals.
The starting point for research in international law at Kent Law School is that international law is not apolitical and that its political ideology reflects the interests of powerful states and transnational economic actors. In both research and teaching, staff situate international law in the context of histories of colonialism to analyse critically its development, doctrines and ramifications. Critical International Law at KLS engages with theories of political economy, international relations and gender and sexuality to contribute to scholarly and policy debates across the spectrum of international law, which includes public, economic, human rights, criminal and commercial law. Scholars at the Centre for Critical International Law engage in the practical application of international law through litigation, training, research and consultancies for international organisations, NGOs and states.
Law and Political Economy & Law and Development
Law and its relation to political economy are addressed from a variety of angles, including the exploration of the micro and macrolevel of economic regulations as well as theoretical aspects of law and political economy.
Legal Theories and Philosophy
Identifying the fact that several academics do work in cultural theory and political theory (including on normative concepts, religion and the state). While feminist and critical legal theories are focal points at Kent Law School, the departmental expertise also covers more essential aspects such as classical jurisprudence and the application of philosophy to law.
Kent Law School's property lawyers have a range of overlapping interests in both global and local property issues. Their work covers indigenous people’s rights, the environment, housing, community land, social enterprise, cultural heritage law and urban design, as well as the question of intellectual property. They have links with anthropologists working at the University and have run a very successful series of workshops exploring common interests. Their research draws on a multiplicity of theoretical perspectives including postcolonialism, feminism, and Foucault.
Other research areas within KLS include:
- human rights
- labour law
- law and culture
- law, science and technology
- legal methods and epistemology
- public law
- race, religion and the law.
Staff research interests
Full details of staff research interests can be found on the School's website.
Professor Anneli Albi: Professor
Comparative constitutional law; EU constitutional law; EU enlargements; European Neighbourhood Policy.Profile
Dr Donatella Alessandrini: Reader
International trade theory and practice; neoliberalism; international political economy; development studies.Profile
Professor Yutaka Arai: Reader
International humanitarian law (including part of international criminal law); the relationship between international humanitarian law and international human rights law.Profile
Dr Nicola Barker: Senior Lecturer
Marriage and civil partnerships; welfare; human rights.Profile
Dr Kate Bedford: Reader
Gender, sexuality and international political economy; critical development studies; the World Bank; Latin America, heteronormativity and social policy; gambling regulation and economic regeneration, especially bingo; UK equalities law and policy.Profile
Dr Anne Bottomley: Reader
Property practices in relation to urban planning and architecture – drawing from Deleuze and theoretical perspectives emerging in anthropology and social theory. Debates surrounding theoretical perspectives within feminism.Profile
Dr Ruth Cain: Lecturer
Regulation and representation of reproduction and parenting, especially maternity, tracking relationships between law, literature, popular culture and the media, and how these shape perceptions of gender, sexuality and embodiment, health care law, including mental health law; the gendering of capitalism, neo-imperialism and post 9/11 trauma.Profile
Dr Helen Carr: Reader
Housing law and social welfare, with particular interests in regulation of the poor and with the gendered and racialised dimensions of that regulation.Profile
Donal Casey: Lecturer
Food governance and regulation; the issues of legitimacy and accountability.Profile
Dr Emilie Cloatre: Senior Lecturer
The intersection between law and contemporary ‘science and society’ issues, for example patent law and access to health care, and the regulatory networks of climate change. This is particularly (although not exclusively) in the context of developing countries.Profile
Dr Vicky Conway: Senior Lecturer
Policing and police accountability; miscarriages of justice and the systems put in place by states to provide remedies in such cases.Profile
Professor Davina Cooper: Professor
Social and political theory; cultural geography; feminism and sexuality; governance and radical politics; Utopian studies.Profile
Eleanor Curran: Senior Lecturer
Hobbes; rights theory and the history of rights theory; political theory; moral theory; jurisprudence.Profile
Dr Karen Devine: Lecturer
The law of obligations; tortious legal issues, particularly those relating to the collection, storage and use of human tissue; decision-making in health care and the role of informed consent; medical law and ethics generally.Profile
Lisa Dickson: Senior Lecturer
Forensic science and the law; evidence and the trial process; general areas of criminal justice.Profile
Maria Drakopoulou: Reader
Feminist theory; feminist jurisprudence; legal theory and philosophy; legal history; Roman law; equity and trusts.Profile
Mairead Enright: Lecturer
Legal regulation of culture and religion, and particularly the effects of legal engagement with traditionally ‘private’ aspects of religious practice for ‘public’ conceptions of membership.Profile
Professor John Fitzpatrick: Professor; Director of Kent Law Clinic
Human rights law; constitutional law; public legal services; legal process.Profile
Iain Frame: Lecturer
Legal and economic history, monetary theory, and social and legal theory.Profile
Dr Simone Glanert: Senior Lecturer
Comparative legal studies; legal translation; statutory interpretation; European law; French law and German law. Recent publications include: De la traductibilité du droit (2011); Comparative Law: Engaging Translation (ed, 2012).Profile
Dr Emily Grabham: Senior Lecturer
Citizenship; belonging and corporeality; feminist and queer theories of embodiment; labour law; welfare reform and its connection to work/family policy.Profile
Professor Nick Grief: Professor
Public international law, human rights and EU law, with particular reference to the legal status of nuclear weapons.Profile
Dr Emily Haslam: Lecturer
Public international law; international criminal law; civil society.Profile
Martin Hedemann-Robinson: Senior Lecturer
European Union and international environmental law, notably in relation to law enforcement.Profile
Professor Didi Herman: Professor; Head of School
Gender and sexuality; race, religion and ethnicity; popular culture; social movement; law reform.Profile
Dr Kirsty Horsey: Senior Lecturer
Human reproduction and genetics, particularly where these overlap with issues in family law; legal education.Profile
Professor William Howarth: Professor
Environmental and ecological law, with particular emphasis on the legal protection of the aquatic environment and the ecosystems that it supports.Profile
Dr Suhraiya Jivraj: Lecturer
Law and religion; equalities, anti-discrimination and human rights law; critical race/postcolonial studies; gender and sexuality; Muslim feminisms and Islamic law.Profile
Per Laleng: Lecturer; Director of Mooting
Law of tort – focused on the concept of causation particularly in the context of industrial and other diseases. Other research interests include law and football, and law and photography.Profile
Sian Lewis-Anthony: Lecturer
International human rights law, in particular, the right to a fair trial and the issue of the independence and impartiality of the judiciary.Profile
Professor Robin Mackenzie: Professor
Bioscience and law; body modification; constructions of addiction; death and the dying process; enhancement; feminist perspectives; genetics and other new technologies; neuroethics and law; neuroscience; propertisation and biovalue; psychoactive substances; public health governance; reprogenetics; strategic rhetoric in regulation; surrogacy; critical and cultural theory applied to all of the above.Profile
Dr Alex Magaisa: Senior Lecturer
Financial services regulation, with special focus on international finance centres (offshore finance jurisdictions); the law relating to corporate groups, with special interest in responsibility for corporate torts; intellectual property and developing countries; general interest in the interaction between law and politics in Africa.Profile
Dr Francesco Messineo: Lecturer
Public international law with an emphasis on international human rights law (international refugee law, the use of force and the law of armed conflict, international criminal law, the history and philosophy of public international law) EU refugee and immigration law and Italian immigration, asylum and refugee law.Profile
Dr Gbenga Oduntan: Senior Lecturer
Private and public international law; international courts and tribunals; arbitration; international commercial law; land and maritime boundary and territorial disputes; air and space law; international economic law; immigration and asylum law; constitutional law; criminal justice; scientific and technological issues in policing.Profile
Connal Parsley: Lecturer
Jurisprudence; critical legal theory; political theory; public law; law and aesthetics; law and film; Australian Aboriginal legal issues; legal ethics.Profile
Sebastian Payne: Lecturer
The Crown; constitutional reform; the royal prerogative; oversight issues relating to the intelligence and security services; decision making and its relation to law.Profile
Professor Amanda Perry-Kessaris: Professor
Law and development, including econo-socio-legal development; the role of legal indicators and legal systems in development; economic approaches to law and development.Profile
Dr Stephen Pethick: Senior Lecturer
Jurisprudence, with emphasis on epistemology and metaphysics and the law; philosophy of language and the law; reasoning and the law; the concept of coherence and its use in legal theory and legal reasoning; the legal writings of Francis Bacon; the history of legal ideas from the early modern period onwards; analytic legal theory; legal history; the law of evidence.Profile
Nick Piska: Lecturer
A critical engagement with private law, particularly in the area of equity and trusts, and a broader interest in the figure of the equitable subject and the ways in which equitable subjects are produced in modernity.Profile
David Radlett: Lecturer
The shift in power from the elected and notionally representative and accountable to the unelected and obviously unrepresentatitive and unaccountable.Profile
Dr Nikolas M. Rajkovic: Lecturer
Theories of public international law; critical approaches to global law and governance; global constitutionalism; post-national adjudication and judicialisation; transnational law and arbitration; legalisation and juridification; international relations theory; lawfare and international criminal law, European human rights law.Profile
Professor Iain Ramsay: Professor
Regulation of consumer markets at the national, regional and international level, with a particular interest in issues of credit and insolvency, commercial credit and commercial law, focusing on the role of credit law in development.Profile
Sinead Ring: Lecturer
The legitimacy of the criminal trial, particularly the substantive implications of the criminal process’ professed commitment to the rule of law.Profile
Professor Geoffrey Samuel: Professor
Law of obligations (English, Roman and French); comparative law; legal remedies; legal theory; legal epistemology.Profile
Professor Harm Schepel: Professor
Legal sociology; international and European economic law.Profile
Professor Sally Sheldon: Professor
Medical ethics and law, particularly with reference to reproductive issues; legal regulation of gender and sexuality; fatherhood.Profile
Dr Sophie Vigneron: Senior Lecturer
French public and private law; English tort law; art law; the Europeanisation of private law; cultural heritage law.Profile
Professor Dermot Walsh: Professor
Policing and criminal justice; criminal procedure; human rights; European criminal law and procedure.Profile
John Wightman: Senior Lecturer; Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences
Theory, history, and empirical work relating to private law, especially tort and contract.Profile
Professor Toni Williams: Professor
Regulation and governance of economic development and market relations; regulation of consumer financial services; the implications of information technology for the regulation of consumer markets.Profile
Dr Simone Wong: Senior Lecturer
Equity; banking and finance; cohabitation and other domestic relationships.Profile
Enquire or order a prospectus
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We hold regular Open Events at our Canterbury and Medway campuses. You will be able to talk to specialist academics and admissions staff, find out about our competitive fees, discuss funding opportunities and tour the campuses.
You can also discuss the programmes we run at our specialist centres in Brussels, Athens, Rome and Paris at the Canterbury Open Events. If you can't attend but would like to find out more you can come for an informal visit, contact our information team or find out more on our website.
Please check which of our locations offers the courses you are interested in before choosing which event to attend.
Modules indicative of this specialisation are listed below. Students should take note that not all modules may be running in any given year, please refer to the module catalogue for the latest information:
- International Criminal Law
- Introduction to the Criminal Justice System
- Reading Murder Cases 1860 – 1960
- Gender and Crime in a Globalised World
- Transnational Criminal Law
- European Union Criminal Law and Procedure
- Students are also able to choose from modules offered on the MA in Criminology