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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.
Students can choose to spend one term (either Autumn or Spring) at our Canterbury campus and one (either Autumn or Spring) at our Brussels centre (returning to Canterbury to complete the dissertation) under our split-site option for this programme. The split site option is charged at a different rate. Please see under Fees below for more information. Programmes at our Brussels centre are offered primarily in International Law and Human Rights Law. Students are responsible for organising their own accommodation in Brussels. Please contact the University's Accommodation Office for information about the availability of short term accommodation in Canterbury
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 Law School offers its flagship Kent LLM at the University’s Canterbury campus (and two 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 the Canterbury-only delivery of this programme are the same as those for the standard LLM programme. However, fees for our split-site option (which is taught in Canterbury and Brussels) are charged at a different rate. Please refer here for the current fees for the split-site 90 ECTS option.
A first or 2.1 honours degree or equivalent, in law or a related subject. Students who achieve a high 2.2 standard may also be considered at the discretion of Kent Law School (KLS). The School may also take account of relevant work experience when considering applications.
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 Environmental Law modules and then undertakes a dissertation which engages with Criminal Justice would graduate with an LLM in Criminal Justice and 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:
The following modules are indicative of this pathway. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation and student demand. Most pathways will require you to study a combination of subject specialisation modules and modules from other pathways 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 are normally assessed by a 4-5,000-word essay. Students undertaking an LLM degree must write a dissertation of 15,000 words.
This programme aims to provide:
You gain knowledge and understanding of:
You develop intellectual skills in:
You gain subject-specific skills in the following:
You gain transferable skills in the following:
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 Complete University Guide 2021, the University of Kent was ranked in the top 10 for research intensity. This is a measure of the proportion of staff involved in high-quality research in the university.
Please see the University League Tables 2021 for more information.
In the most recent Research Excellence Framework, Kent Law School was ranked 8th for research intensity in the Times Higher Education.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Kent has an excellent record for postgraduate employment: of Kent graduate students who graduated in 2016, 98% of those who responded to a national survey were in work or further study within six months (DLHE).
Information about the internship programme for LLM students can be found on the Kent Law School Employability blog.
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.
We have now closed applications for this programme for entry in January 2021. Any applications submitted after this date will be considered for entry in September 2021 or January 2022.
All applicants considering a pathway in Law should apply for. You will then select your pathway when you arrive at Kent.