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 pathway 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 pathway open until after you arrive, when it will be determined by the modules you choose.
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 fees for this programme are the same as those for the standard LLM programme.
We require a first class or upper second class honours degree in law or a relevant subject, or an equivalent international degree and we also welcome applications based on a lower second class honours degree which we will consider on a case-by-case basis alongside your relevant professional experience and other qualifications.
All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, professional qualifications and relevant experience may also be taken into account when considering applications.
Please see our International Student website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information. Due to visa restrictions, students who require a student visa to study cannot study part-time unless undertaking a distance or blended-learning programme with no on-campus provision.
The University requires all non-native speakers of English to reach a minimum standard of proficiency in written and spoken English before beginning a postgraduate degree. Certain subjects require a higher level.
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.
Duration: 12 months full-time, 24 months part-time (September start); 15 months full-time, 28 months part-time (January start)
You can tailor your studies to your particular needs and interests to obtain an LLM or Diploma in Law in a single pathway, in two pathways 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 pathway will be shaped by the modules you take and your dissertation topic. To be awarded an LLM in a single pathway, at least three of your six modules must be chosen from those associated with that pathway 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 pathway you choose three modules associated with one pathway, and three from another pathway, with the dissertation determining your 'major' pathway.
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 International Environmental Law modules and then undertakes a dissertation which engages with Criminal Justice would graduate with an LLM in Criminal Justice and International Environmental Law.
Students who begin the Kent LLM on a full-time basis in January study over a period of 15 months. You study three taught modules in the first spring term and three taught modules in the autumn term. In your second spring term, you write your dissertation. Dissertation submission will be on the final day of the second spring term (usually in early April).
During the summer vacation, you are:
Students who enter the Kent LLM have an open choice of modules from all LLM pathways. There are modules associated with each LLM Pathway which enable you to specialise in that area of law, and to meet the requirements to graduate with an LLM in a specific pathway.
Further information about the wide range of modules across all LLM pathways can be found on the main Kent LLM course page, and a list of modules associated with each LLM Pathway can be found under the Postgraduate Subject Requirements for Law.
Please note, the module listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.
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 are normally assessed by a 4-5,000-word essay. Students undertaking an LLM degree must write a dissertation of 15,000 words.
For programme aims and learning outcomes please see the programme specification.
The fees for this programme are the same as those for the standard LLM programme.
The annual tuition fees for students starting this course in January 2023 can be found on the Student Finance page.
Find out more about general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.
Search our scholarships finder for possible funding opportunities. You may find it helpful to look at both:
In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021, 100% of our Law research was classified as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ for impact and environment.
Following the REF 2021, Law at Kent was ranked 2nd in the UK in the Times Higher Education.
Kent Law School is widely recognised as a world leader in critical and interdisciplinary scholarship including socio-legal studies, law and humanities, critical legal studies and feminist theory.
We place law in its wider social, political and historical contexts, and attend to a wide range of thematic and geographical areas, and are renowned in particular for our attention to the role of law in creating, challenging and perpetuating social and global inequalities.
Full details of staff research interests can be found on the School's website.
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.
Follow this link for further information about postgraduate study at KLS.
Kent Law School has a lively and active postgraduate community, bought about in part by our strong research culture and by the close interaction between our staff and students. Staff publish regularly and widely in journals, conference proceedings and books and embed their research in their teaching. Taught students have regular contact with their programme and module conveners with staff on hand to answer any questions and to provide helpful and constructive feedback on submitted work. The Law School has an active and inclusive extra-curricular academic and social scene with regular guest lectures, talks and workshops organised by our research centres (which include the Centre for Critical International Law and the Centre for Sexuality, Race and Gender Justice.
Our Law Library has long been a leader in the development of electronic resources for legal teaching and research. The extensive and up-to-date 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. Postgraduate students at Kent Law School have access to a postgraduate computing room, study area and common room with wireless internet access.
All students registered for a taught Master's programme are eligible to apply for a place on our Global Skills Award Programme. The programme is designed to broaden your understanding of global issues and current affairs as well as to develop personal skills which will enhance your employability.