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.
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, when it will be determined by the modules you choose.
Kent student Carolina talks about studying the Law LLM at Kent.
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 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.
In the most recent Research Excellence Framework, Kent Law School was ranked 8th for research intensity in the Times Higher Education.
You can tailor your studies to your particular needs and interests to obtain an LLM or Diploma 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.
As a student on the LLM at Canterbury, 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 with your dissertation also focusing on that area of law. The other three modules can be chosen from any offered in the Law School. All students are also required to take the Legal Research and Writing Skills module. To be awarded a major/minor specialisation you will need to choose three modules associated with one specialisation, and three from another specialisation, with the dissertation determining which is 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.
|Modules may include||Credits|
LW9191 - Legal Research and Writing Skills 1
Compulsory for students on the LLM in (Specialisation); LLM in Law; PG Diploma in (Specialisation) and PG Certificate in Law.
This first extracurricular module provides an introduction to the legal research and writing skills required to carry out research at Masters level, bearing in mind the international character of our LLM student body. This may include an introduction to the English Legal System (particularly important for international students); a session on the various traditions of Critical Legal Thinking; a session on researching and writing for an LLM essay (particularly important for international students); plagiarism; oral skills; and workshops on using REFWORKS, OSCOLA and other library resources.Read more
LW9192 - Legal Research and Writing Skills 2
Compulsory for students on the LLM in (Specialisation); LLM in Law and PG Diploma in (Specialisation). Also available optionally to students on the PG Certificate in Law.
This second extracurricular module will enable students to acquire and develop the skills necessary to carry out a longer term research project such as their LLM dissertations, learn about other forms of post-graduate studies and career development. Although the focus will be on research methods and theoretical frameworks, other sessions might include: a workshop on editing scholarly work; an introduction to doctoral research; a workshop on working with long documents; and writing a CV.Read more
LW8001 - Public International Law (Intensive)
This module critically engages with the main components of Public International Law. The module begins with a critical review of the history of the international legal order and a review of key current perspectives in the study of international law. From this, the module reviews, amongst other topics, the sources of international law, issues around the relation between domestic law and international law, the recognition of states, the status of international organisations in international law, questions of jurisdiction and immunities, the settlement of disputes between states and state responsibility. As the module moves through these different topics particular emphasis will be given to how they can help students better understand global current issues, as well as the operation of particular areas of the international legal order, such as, international economic law, the law of the sea, the law of air space and outer space, international human rights law, the use of force and global security.Read more
LW801 - Intellectual Property 1: Copyright and Breach of Confidence
Over the past few decades, the scope of intellectual property has grown significantly. The goal of the module is to provide an overview of copyright and the law of confidential information from different angles in order to be able to assess this expansion. In so doing, it will examine this area of law from historical, theoretical and practical perspectives. The emphasis throughout the module is on reflexive critique. That is, we will study the different modes of justifying copyright and the protection of confidential information; the different historical approaches to trace the ways in which we can understand the political economy of copyright and confidential information and we will look at the past to try to find ways of thinking about the present situation of international legal regimes. On a more contemporary level, we will study the interaction between copyright and freedom of expression, the problems posed by technological works, as well as the more practical question on the way of producing evidence in copyright and breach of confidence trials. No prior knowledge or study of intellectual property is required.Read more
LW802 - International Business Transactions
This module will examine the problems that arise in commercial transactions between businesses established in different States. The module will concentrate specifically on the 'transnational' nature of such transactions, and some of the solutions characteristically adopted by different legal systems, with emphasis on International, English or the US systems, or where appropriate legal rules and materials of other jurisdictions by way of illustration. The module will also cover the unique features of current transnational business transactions such as Mergers and Acquisitions, and the importance of information and communication technologies.Read more
LW810 - International Law on Foreign Investment
This module explores the legal implications (practical and theoretical) of foreign direct investment. Attention is paid to the perspectives of states, investors, civil society actors and theorists; and to placing legal implications in their economic, social, political and historical context. Questions considered include:
• What political, economic and legal actors and factors have shaped the international law on foreign investment?
• What are the legal implications of the fact that most foreign investments are made by corporations?
• What roles can host state legal systems play in attracting and regulating foreign investments?
• What international legal mechanisms are used to enable foreign investment?
• What challenges do current concerns with corruption and tax evasion pose to existing international law on foreign investment?Read more
LW811 - International Commercial Arbitration
The aim of the module is to focus on the theoretical, institutional and practical aspects of modern international commercial arbitration. This would involve a close examination of the ad hoc systems and the main institutional structures (e.g., ICC, ICSID, WIPO, Iran-US Claims Tribunal, and PCA). The module covers current issues and developments relating to international commercial arbitration including: arbitral jurisdiction; applicable procedural and substantive laws; the status and role of arbitration agreements; the conduct of arbitral proceedings; the arbitral award; challenge, recognition and enforcement of award; and online arbitration/online dispute resolution (ODR). The English Arbitration Act 1996 and the UNCITRAL Rules as well as the UNCITRAL Model Law will be examined closely. The course will also critically examine the relationship between international commercial arbitration and international development law as well as aspects of the international commercial arbitration concerning sovereign states in oil and gas disputes. Comparative study will be made of the emerging commercial arbitration legislation and international arbitral practice of certain developing states such as Nigeria, India and China. The course also aims to provide an appreciation of the similarities and contrasts between the work of international arbitral institutions and the work of international courts such as the International Court of Justice in commercial and economic matters.Read more
LW813 - Contemporary Topics in Intellectual Property Law
This module explores a range of key issues in contemporary intellectual property, which are subject to contentious and often crudely conducted debates. It identifies and questions intellectual property law's underlying justifications, conceptual assumptions and material practices through the lens of novel modes of biological, cultural and scientific production that challenge the legal regime. Questions in this regard include:
• Can nature be patented? Do patents turn human persons into 'things'?
• Who produces knowledge? Who owns access to knowledge?
• Is enforcing patents on pharmaceuticals in developing countries just?
• Does quoting or paraphrasing in literature or art amount to copying? Is creativity original?
• Is plagiarism theft? Kidnapping? Plain bad manners?
• What is the cultural and political significance of free software?
• Do trade marks commodify language?
The module will introduce students in detail to the most acute and pressing current debates in intellectual property, such as justification for patents and their effects, copyright and piracy, logos & brands. It aims to provide students with a solid understanding of legal internal ways of thinking and arguing about intellectual property, as well as an introduction to wider theoretical resources which will encourage a differentiated and critical assessment of intellectual property law’s effects and limitations. Intellectual property will furthermore be understood to comprise not only intellectual property law, but also proprietary practices and strategies that concern knowledge. Readings will be drawn from the multi-disciplinary scholarship on intellectual properties, including anthropology, history, science studies, economics and social theory.Read more
LW826 - Competition Law in a Transnational Context
This module focuses on considering Competition Law in a transnational context, particularly, by considering the development of international and regional legal and political developments concerning regulation of competition. Accordingly, it will predominantly focus on European Union Competition Law as the principal source of transboundary legal co-operation in this field. The module will also consider the state of, and implications of, broader international and/or regional legal co-operation in competition policy and, the impact of selected national competition law regimes' extraterritorial reach.Read more
LW839 - Environmental Quality Law
This module provides an introduction to the law on environmental quality and a preface to regulatory themes that are pursued in other modules. In common language, the module is about the law relating to 'pollution', but, as will be seen, this is a concept that is quite difficult to define with the precision that is needed as a basis for legal rights and duties. ‘Environmental quality’ is a broader term, encompassing issues as to the degree of contamination that is considered acceptable in relation to the three environmental media of water, air and land. Broadly, the module is organised around the progression of approaches that law has taken towards the regulation of those activities that have been identified as most damaging to the environmental media. Although, this involves careful examination and evaluation of national laws relating to pollution control, attention is increasingly focused upon regulatory requirements drawn from European Union and international law. The module seeks to assess different models and strategies for environmental quality regulation against broader objectives for the environment in reflecting upon what it is that is to be regulated, and why, and whether actual approaches to regulation are the best way of achieving this.Read more
LW841 - International Trade Law and the Environment
The law relating to international trade and the environment represents a key element in the national and international legal response to the need to protect the environment and to secure broader environmental policy objectives, notably sustainable development. This module is structured to provide a broad coverage of and opportunity for critical appraisal of various key international rules and institutions which address the relationship between freedom of trade between states and environmental protection. Within this structure, illustrations are provided of many of the key areas in case studies on topical and contentious issues. The module considers the following indicative topics: evolution of international trade law affecting the environment; key legal and institutional aspects of the World Trade Organisation's impact on the nexus between trade and the environment; international legal controls on the trade in hazardous substances; international trade law and the protection of biodiversity; the impact of international trade law in relation to climate change; and selected regional organizational arrangements on the relationship between trade and the environment (eg. EU and/or NAFTA).Read more
LW843 - International Human Rights Law
This module is designed to enable postgraduate students to obtain both essential knowledge of and critical insight into, issues relating to international human rights law. Human rights occupy an extremely important place in contemporary discussions about law, justice and politics at both the domestic and the international level. Across all spheres of government, bodies of law and, pretty much, in every single social mobilization, human rights are invoked and debated.
This module approaches the key place occupied by human rights in the contemporary world from an international perspective. In placing a focus at the international level, the module aims to link the international origins of human rights and the main human rights systems, with the actual practice of human rights. Particular attention is paid in the module to the value, as well as the limits of human rights when they approach, or try to address the problems and the aspirations of five important 'subjects': the Citizen, the Army, the Migrant, the Worker, and the Woman.Read more
LW844 - Legal Aspects of Contemporary International Problems
There are a number of ways to study the field of international law. It can be treated doctrinally as a system of rules from various sources – such as treaties, state practices that are seen to have the binding force of law, and general principles shared across domestic jurisdictions – built up over time to regulate interactions between states and other entities. It can be studied as a historical phenomenon, emerging out of a colonial history with contemporary implications. It can also be studied as an (imperfect) approach to addressing international 'problems', placing international law in broader social, political, and historical contexts as one possible source of ‘solutions’. This course starts from international law as an approach, highlighting the field’s limits and possibilities in relation to a set of contemporary inter- and trans-national concerns, which may include the use of armed force, responses to emerging security threats, and unresolved territorial disputes. The course focuses on a changing set of key themes in international law, such as sovereignty, statehood, self-determination, and the regulation of armed conflict. It explores these overlapping themes as they emerge across several issues and case studies, bringing international law into a relationship with contemporary geopolitics and the field’s historical inheritance.Read more
LW846 - International Criminal Law
This module provides a critical examination of the principles and institutions and theory and practice of international criminal law. The module introduces the aims and objectives of international criminal law and examines the establishment and operation of international criminal justice institutions, and the substantive law of international crimes. It explores key theoretical and doctrinal debates in international criminal law. In particular, it seeks to locate the work of international criminal courts and tribunals in their broader political and contextual contexts. Case studies and special topics in international criminal law, form an important part of the module.Read more
LW847 - World Trade Organisation (WTO) Law and Practice I
The establishment of the WTO on 1 January 1995 has signalled the beginning of a new era in international economic relations. Unlike the GATT, whose main purpose was the reduction of barriers on trade in goods, the WTO legal regime reach deeper into more areas of policy-making, ranging from the regulation of services and investments to the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights. Furthermore, through its Dispute Settlement Understanding (DSU) the WTO has the capacity to generate case-law on the resolution of disputes under the WTO agreements that it covers. This marks a significant shift from the earlier GATT dispute settlement mechanism as it creates, for the first time on the multilateral level, a binding decision-making apparatus. Thus any serious attempt to understand the nature and development of international economic law requires a careful and detailed study of the WTO and its emergent law and practice. It is the cornerstone of the new global economic order. This module offers a comprehensive overview of this evolving legal and regulatory order.Read more
LW862 - Death and Dying
This module investigates the dying process and how this impacts on definitions of death. The relationship of medical law and ethics to the criminal law in relation to physician-assisted death will be explored and evaluated as it is manifested in various jurisdictions. The appropriate role for autonomy, rights and ethical considerations where making decisions over death is concerned will be related to existing mechanisms such as advanced directives.Read more
LW863 - Consent to Treatment
The curriculum includes topics which embody the existing tensions within the ethical arena of consent to treatment, such as protection of the vulnerable versus empowering those whose capacity is in question. The role of legal doctrines and principles governing this area, such as those of informed consent, will be explored in relation to enforced medical treatment, advance directives, religious beliefs and notions of autonomy and rights.Read more
LW866 - Medical Practice and Malpractice
This module seeks to provide the student with an understanding of the legal, ethical and practical issues involved in medical practice and malpractice. Those issues will be explored from the ground up and will provide all students a full opportunity, regardless of their knowledge of law, to get to grips with the fundamental principles of practical legal analysis from a fault-based perspective. In so doing, the legal and institutional contexts within which the many duties of medicine operate will be subjected to a detailed critical analysis.
Essentially, this module will link the multifarious medical legal theories to the realities of medical negligence and litigation; thereby affording the student a practitioner based insight into how modern medicine interacts within current legal practice.Read more
LW867 - Reproduction and the Beginnings of Life
The curriculum includes the overall ethical and regulatory framework within which a continuing societal debate over appropriate limits on reproductive autonomy takes place. Contextual ethical and legal concepts will be explored in relation to controversial topics such as 'designer babies', cloning and ‘unnatural’ motherhood. The role of regulatory oversight of reproduction and the fundamental assumptions upon which this is based, such as compulsory altruism, will be subjected to legal and ethical critique.Read more
LW886 - Transnational Criminal Law
In this module we study the main principles, key institutions, policies and politics of transnational criminal law. We explore selected examples of transnational offending and international legal responses thereto in the light of current theoretical, political and doctrinal debates. We consider transnational crimes and the mechanisms by which states cooperate with each other and with international institutions in order to enforce their domestic criminal law. Some of the key debates considered include: the nature of transnational criminal law as an emerging regime; the relationship between human rights and transnational criminal law; the role of the United Nations Security Council in transnational criminal law and critically the role of the individual in the transnational criminal legal system.Read more
LW888 - Climate Change and Renewable Energy Law
This module examines a range of topics which illustrate the role of law in relation to the social, political, economic and environmental challenges arising from anthropogenic climate change and the need to move to a low carbon economy, including through the promotion of renewable and other alternative forms of energy generation and conservation. This includes the operation of regulatory and governance frameworks at an international, regional and national level and the role of litigation.
The module requires introductory coverage of the international context, and explores some of the specific ethical and policy questions to be addressed in tackling climate change., The module does not cover those aspects of the international legal regulation of climate change that are covered in LW906 International Environmental Law: Legal Foundations or any coverage that there may be in LW884 International Environmental Law: Substantive Legal Aspects. The focus is on the EU and national level, and comparative analysis.Read more
LW899 - Corporate Governance
In recent years corporate governance - meaning the governance of the large corporations which dominate modern economic life - has emerged as a major area of political and academic interest. Increasing attention has come to be focused, in particular, on the comparative aspects of corporate governance and on the different legal regimes found in different parts of the world, with policy makers striving to determine which regimes are most likely to deliver (so-called) `efficiency' and competitive success. In this context much has been made of the differences between shareholder-oriented, Anglo-American governance regimes and the more inclusive (more stakeholder-oriented) regimes to be found in certain parts of continental Europe and Japan. One result is that the increasing interest in corporate governance has re-opened old questions about the nature of corporations, about the role and duties of corporate managers and about the goal of corporate activities and the interests in which corporations should be run.
This module will explore these debates. More generally, the question of corporate governance has become entangled with other important debates, most notably that surrounding the merits (or otherwise) of different models of capitalism: Anglo-American regimes are associated with stock market-based versions of capitalism, while European regimes are associated with so-called welfare-based versions of capitalism.
The question of corporate governance has, therefore, become embroiled with debates about the morality and efficiency of different models of capitalism. These too will be explored in this module.Read more
LW900 - Critical International Migration Law
The module examines the complex sets of laws and policies that inform the varied field of migration law with regard to the variety of its subjects. In particular, the module examines the context and history of controlling migration internationally; the role of the concept and practices of state sovereignty in conjunction with the development of international protections and regulations; the critical evaluation of international labour migration law, international asylum and refugee law, forced labour and human trafficking. In addition, the module offers, each year, a series of case studies on particularly prevalent contemporary issues such as environmental displacement, internal displacement, extraterritoriality and indefinite detention.Read more
LW905 - International Financial Services Regulation
This module focuses on the international regime of financial services regulation. It is concerned with critical perspectives on the international financial regulatory framework, assessing its strengths and weaknesses. With the recent Global Financial Crisis there is a lot to explore in this module, including questions as to the relationship between states and markets in regulation, the rationales for regulation, theories of regulation, understanding the international finance system and its challenges and the adequacy of the international financial regulatory regime.Read more
LW906 - International Enviromental Law - Legal Foundations
This module is designed to examine and assess the core foundational legal principles and regulatory structures underpinning international environmental law and policy. Specifically, it considers the various core sources of international law relating to the environment, the principal international institutions involved in its development as well as legal issues involved relating to its implementation and enforcement.Read more
LW907 - Commercial Credit
Credit is the lifeblood of capitalism. The law that regulates household and commercial credit is of significant, economic, and social importance in developed and developing economies. The 2008 world financial crisis was triggered by failures in debt-markets associated with household financing. This module explores central ideas about the role of credit in the economy and its contribution to economic, social, political and cultural development.
This module focuses on how law facilitates, shapes and determines the flow of credit to households and businesses domestically as well as internationally. It primarily explores the rationales that underpin the creation, production and supply of credit. It traces these to mainstream, economic thought and understandings of credit. The module critically examines and evaluates how these rationales take into consideration (or, indeed, fails to consider) principles of social justice and equality. Importantly, the module introduces historical, gendered, cultural, and sociological approaches to credit as viable alternatives to the dominant, mainstream understanding of consumer and commercial credit.Read more
LW921 - Privacy and Data Protection Law
The module will explore emerging privacy and data protection issues, including Big Data, CCTV surveillance, Internet and cyber surveillance, and cross-border information flows, legal structures and privacy protection measures. Students will be challenged to critically examine how personal, financial, health and transactional data are managed and who has access to this information. It will require students to assess emerging legal, regulatory, data protection and personal privacy issues raised by widespread access to personal information, including genetic data. The module will focus on the legal data protection, human rights, consent, confidentiality, and IT data security questions that arise when personal information is accessed by the state, law enforcement agencies, corporations and business, employers, health clinicians and researchers.
The essential aims and objectives of the proposed LLM module are to equip students to undertake a sustained analysis of privacy and data protection law. Students will be asked to critically examine whether privacy protection, consent and confidentiality measures are proportionate to the legal requirements to protect personal information while balancing the requirements of economic commerce, the state and public administrations to collect, use and share personal information.Read more
LW924 - EU Criminal Law and Procedure
This module offers a critical study of the origins, principles, concepts and practices of European Union criminal law and procedure from historical, constitutional, legal, political and social perspectives. It also addresses how national criminal law and procedure (especially that in the United Kingdom) are being shaped by developments at EU level, and explores the emergence of a distinct EU criminal process.Read more
LW927 - Law and the Humanities 1: Ethos and Scholarship (Intensive Delivery)
This module provides students with a solid grounding in law and the humanities, a distinct approach to law that draws upon disciplines like political theory, literature, film studies, history and social theory. The module familiarises students with key questions in the field, provides training in humanities methods in relation to law, and equips students with a clear and rigorous approach to all their present and future academic work. No special knowledge or experience of any particular discipline is required to undertake the module.Read more
LW930 - Banking Law
The module will focus on the law of banking in the UK. This will involve an examination of the banker-customer relationship which will include the following: the rights and obligations of the parties in a banking relationship; the operation of the customer's account; the use of different methods of payment by customers such as cheques and plastic cards; and the challenges that electronic banking poses to the banking relationship. The module will also consider the regulatory roles of the Bank of England, the Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority as well as the effect of various EU Directives and international measures on UK law. In the latter half of the module, focus will be given to the provision of credit. This will involve looking at the various types of credit provided by banks, the taking of security by banks and the enforcement of such security. Other ancillary issues such as the impact of insolvency on the banker-customer relationship and anti-money laundering measures will also be examined.Read more
LW931 - Land Development and Conservation Law
The module spans environmental and ecological legal issues arising from contexts where land development and conservation are at issue.
Land development places considerable stress upon wildlife conservation, natural resources and environmental quality. As an initial matter, development might contravene common law restrictions upon land use arising in the law of nuisance. However, in most legal systems the decision to grant planning permission is critical in determining whether a development goes ahead. The land use planning system and policy guidance give an opportunity for planning authorities to scrutinise the likely environmental and ecological impacts of a development proposal, before a development is authorised. The anticipatory approach is taken a step further when a proposed development is likely to have a significant effect upon the environment and where Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is required before granting permission for development. The methodology of environmental assessment is also applied where Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is required of plans and policies, rather than individual developments. The need to implement requirements from European Union environmental law, with regard to EIA and SEA, is of critical importance.
The conservation and sustainable use of living natural resources is a key element in securing the overarching environmental policy objective of sustainable development. In part, the land development system, referred to above may be used to prevent developments which are excessively damaging to flora, fauna and their habitats or ecosystems. However, conservation or ecological law goes beyond this in attaching a special legal status to non-human living resources and their environment. In part, the laws which provide this special status are of national origin and prevent the destruction of wildlife or require the designation of land for wildlife conservation purposes (such as Sites of Special Scientific Interest). Beyond the national measures for direct protection of wildlife and the protection of ecologically important habitats, important ecological laws from arise from European Union and global international sources. Specifically, the EU Wild Birds and Habitats Directives, and the Biodiversity Convention are used to illustrate some of the key legal features in regional biodiversity conservation law. A concluding session examines the international trade dimension of wildlife conservation law.Read more
LW932 - EU Citizenship and Residence Rights-Clinical Option
This module focuses on citizens of the EU and their family members who have chosen to exercise free movement and residence rights and thereby seek to rely on their 'rights' as EU citizens in the territory of another Member State. Students will investigate the idea of free movement and citizenship of the EU, including the foundational rules, principles, doctrines and their scope, through the prism of Clinical Legal Practice. The Clinical Option provides an opportunity for students to develop their knowledge of this contested and rapidly developing area of law by conducting, under the supervision of a Kent Law Clinic solicitor, a ‘real’ case where the law or rules said to derive from EU law are the subject of ‘live’ as opposed to ‘academic’ dispute/contestation. Each student will be allocated a case where a Clinic client is seeking to rely on free movement or citizenship rights in an appeal against a decision by the Department for Work and Pensions, the UK Border Agency or a local authority that s/he does not have a right to reside in the UK under EU law.Read more
LW933 - Intellectual Property and Industrial Practices
This module will cover the legal framework in which the entertainment and knowledge industries operate. The objective is to introduce the key features of the music, film, pharmaceutical, finance and toy industries to embrace a different way of studying copyright, design, trade mark and patent rights. It is an attempt to study law "in action", and to provide students with a capacity to understand how intellectual property rights are transacted, evaluated and litigated differently depending on the trade/industry. The module will study the complex interplay between law, commerce, culture and communications and identify how these connections make intellectual property licensing possible.Read more
LW934 - Intellectual Property 2: Patents and Trade Marks
The goal of the module is to provide an in-depth introduction to the laws of patents and trademarks (including passing off). Particular emphasis is placed on the political, socio-historical, cultural and economic contexts in which these laws operate, as well as on the implications of legal concepts on proprietary strategies.
The module will take a distinctive approach towards the study of intellectual properties by focusing on concepts and their practical effects: the module will focus on key concepts in patents, trademarks and passing off and critically examine their implications for political economy, culture and science. Such key concepts may include: patents, novelty and invention; in trademarks and passing off: brands, sign and goodwill.
No prior knowledge or study of intellectual property is required.Read more
LW935 - Global Security Law
The 9/11 terrorist attacks of 2001 and ensuing 'war on terror' has enabled the global spread of counterterrorism laws, norms and practices aimed at pre-empting future threats. The trans-boundary nature of global terrorism has also prompted novel alignments of national, regional and international actors and fostered greater enmeshment between these legal orders. As authority is delinked from national and regional oversight mechanisms and becoming more reliant on expertise, serious accountability problems are arising. From targeted killing by drones to the global criminalisation of terrorist financing, and from ISIL and the problem of 'foreign terrorist fighters' to novel surveillance networks and practices, the global war on terror stretches existing legal categories, challenges fundamental rights and provokes urgent questions about the legitimate scope of transnational security governance.
This module immerses students in these contemporary problems and debates by introducing the emergent domain of global security law and governance. Particular emphasis is placed on the post-9/11 transformation of the UN Security Council into a global legislator and norm-setter in the counterterrorism field and the accountability challenges that new pre-emptive security governance practices pose. Students are exposed to a broad repertoire of theoretical approaches (including global constitutionalism, legal pluralism, international fragmentation, and transnational law) and legal mechanisms (including soft law techniques, targeted sanctions and forms algorithmic governance) and pushed to analyse an array of cross-cutting legal problems.Read more
LW8000 - Dissertation in Law (Canterbury)
This module requires students to submit a dissertation of no more than 15,000 words on a topic relevant to one of the subject specialisations of the degree programme and approved by the academic staff. It is conceived as that part of the degree programme where students have considerable leeway to follow their own particular interests, with guidance from staff. Students are assigned a supervisor upon submission of the dissertation proposal according to topic and staff expertise. Supervision of work on the dissertation is concentrated in the second half of the academic year and appropriate help will be given to the student. Original research is likely to be rewarded with high grades, but it is not a requirement at this level.Read more
Teaching and Assessment
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 a postgraduate qualification of value to those intending to play a leading role in any field of law
- provide a detailed knowledge and high level of understanding of a range of specialised subject areas
- provide more broadly-based communication skills of general value to those seeking postgraduate employment
- provide a sound knowledge and systematic understanding of the institutional structures, key principles of law and policy and particular contexts in which law operates
- provide a degree of specialisation in areas of public international law of individual interest from among the wide range of LLM/PDip options that are available and which require you to engage with academic work which is at the frontiers of scholarship
- encourage you to develop a critical awareness of the operation of public international law, particularly in contexts which are perceived to be controversial or in a state of evolution
- provide you with the skills to undertake supervised research on an agreed topic in law and to encourage the production of original and evaluative commentary that meets high standards of scholarship (applies to LLM only)
- encourage you to develop critical, analytical and problem-solving skills which can be applied to a wide range of contexts
- develop your skills of academic legal research, particularly by the written presentation of arguments in a manner which meets relevant academic conventions
- assist those students who are minded to pursue academic research at a higher level in acquiring a sophisticated grounding in the essential techniques involved by following a specialised module in research methods (applies to LLM only)
- contribute to widening participation in higher education by taking account of the past experience of applicants in determining admissions whilst ensuring that all students that are admitted possess the potential to complete the programme successfully.
Knowledge and understanding
You gain knowledge and understanding of:
- the institutions and structures of public international law and the inter-relationships between them
- the key concepts, policy issues, principles and relevant sources of law and policy
- 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
- the practical contexts in which the law operates
- the importance of evaluating public international law alongside its theoretical and practical contexts
You develop intellectual skills in:
- effectively applying the knowledge of 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:
- an awareness of the limitations of present knowledge and matters needing to be resolved by further research
- the ability to identify and characterise issues of law which arise in practical situations
- the ability to research and access the main sources of law and policy which are relevant
- 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
- the ability to utilise research skills, at least, to commence further research into unresolved issues.
You gain the following transferable skills:
- 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 and complex bodies of information concisely and accurately
- the ability to formulate arguments in verbal presentations and defend these against opposing views
- the ability to present information and arguments in written form, in accordance with academic conventions, and appropriately to the intended readership
- the ability to evaluate personal performance.
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.
Friendly and supportive environment
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 Kent Centre for Law, Gender and Sexuality).
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-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.
Global Skills Award
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.
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 experience will also be taken into account when considering applications.
Please see our International Student website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information for your country. Please note that international fee-paying students cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.
English language entry requirements
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.
Need help with English?
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.View Profile
Professor Donatella Alessandrini: Co Director of Postgraduate Research
International trade theory and practice; neoliberalism; international political economy; development studies.View Profile
Professor Yutaka Arai: Professor in Law
International humanitarian law (including part of international criminal law); the relationship between international humanitarian law and international human rights law.View Profile
Dr Nicola Barker: Reader in Law
Marriage and civil partnerships; welfare; human rights.View 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.View Profile
Dr Ruth Cain: Senior 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.View Profile
Professor Helen Carr: Director of Learning & Teaching
Housing law and social welfare, with particular interests in regulation of the poor and with the gendered and racialised dimensions of that regulation.View Profile
Donal Casey: Lecturer
Food governance and regulation; the issues of legitimacy and accountability.View 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.View Profile
Professor Davina Cooper: Professor
Social and political theory; cultural geography; feminism and sexuality; governance and radical politics; Utopian studies.View Profile
Eleanor Curran: Senior Lecturer
Hobbes; rights theory and the history of rights theory; political theory; moral theory; jurisprudence.View 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.View Profile
Lisa Dickson: Senior Lecturer
Forensic science and the law; evidence and the trial process; general areas of criminal justice.View Profile
Maria Drakopoulou: Reader
Feminist theory; feminist jurisprudence; legal theory and philosophy; legal history; Roman law; equity and trusts.View Profile
Professor John Fitzpatrick: Professor; Director of Kent Law Clinic
Human rights law; constitutional law; public legal services; legal process.View Profile
Iain Frame: Lecturer
Legal and economic history, monetary theory, and social and legal theory.View 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).View Profile
Professor Emily Grabham: Co Director of Research and Postgraduate Research
Citizenship; belonging and corporeality; feminist and queer theories of embodiment; labour law; welfare reform and its connection to work/family policy.View Profile
Professor Nick Grief: Professor
Public international law, human rights and EU law, with particular reference to the legal status of nuclear weapons.View Profile
Dr Emily Haslam: Lecturer
Public international law; international criminal law; civil society.View Profile
Martin Hedemann-Robinson: Senior Lecturer
European Union and international environmental law, notably in relation to law enforcement.View Profile
Professor Didi Herman: Professor of Law
Gender and sexuality; race, religion and ethnicity; popular culture; social movement; law reform.View Profile
Dr Kirsty Horsey: Senior Lecturer
Human reproduction and genetics, particularly where these overlap with issues in family law; legal education.View 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.View 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.View 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.View Profile
Sian Lewis-Anthony: Senior Lecturer in Law and UCU Branch President
International human rights law, in particular, the right to a fair trial and the issue of the independence and impartiality of the judiciary.View 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.View 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.View 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.View Profile
Connal Parsley: Lecturer
Jurisprudence; critical legal theory; political theory; public law; law and aesthetics; law and film; Australian Aboriginal legal issues; legal ethics.View 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.View 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.View 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.View 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.View Profile
Professor Iain Ramsay: Co Director of Graduate Studies
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.View 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.View Profile
Professor Harm Schepel: Professor
Legal sociology; international and European economic law.View Profile
Professor Sally Sheldon: Professor
Medical ethics and law, particularly with reference to reproductive issues; legal regulation of gender and sexuality; fatherhood.View Profile
Dr Sophie Vigneron: Senior Lecturer
French public and private law; English tort law; art law; the Europeanisation of private law; cultural heritage law.View Profile
Professor Dermot Walsh: Professor
Policing and criminal justice; criminal procedure; human rights; European criminal law and procedure.View 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.View 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.View Profile
Dr Simone Wong: Senior Lecturer
Equity; banking and finance; cohabitation and other domestic relationships.View Profile
The 2019/20 annual tuition fees for this programme are:
|Law - Taught LLM at Canterbury:|
|Law - PCrt at Canterbury:|
|Law - Taught PDip at Canterbury:|
For students continuing on this programme fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* If you are uncertain about your fee status please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
General additional costs
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