Kent Law School

Critical perspectives research led teaching

Law (Erasmus-Europe) - LLM



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.

The LLM in Law (Erasmus-Europe) provides an exciting opportunity for students to obtain an LLM by studying both at Kent and at one of our partner universities in continental Europe (currently including the Université de Cergy-Pontoise in France) with all of the teaching conducted in English.

The programme gives you the opportunity to study at two high-quality law schools and also lets you experience two countries, their cultures and their legal systems.

About Kent Law School

Kent Law School (KLS) is the UK's leading critical law school. A cosmopolitan centre of world-class critical legal research, it offers a supportive and intellectually stimulating place to study postgraduate taught and research degrees.

In addition to learning the detail of the law, students at Kent are taught to think about the law with regard to its history, development and relationship with wider society. This approach allows students to fully understand the law. Our critical approach not only makes the study of law more interesting, it helps to develop crucial skills and abilities required for a career in legal practice.

The Law School offers its flagship Kent LLM at the University’s Canterbury campus (and three defined LLM programmes at the University’s Brussels centre). Our programmes are open to non-law graduates with an appropriate academic or professional background who wish to develop an advanced understanding of law in their field.

You study within a close-knit, supportive and intellectually stimulating environment, working closely with academic staff. KLS uses critical research-led teaching throughout our programmes to ensure that you benefit from the Law School’s world-class research.

National ratings

In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, research by Kent Law School was ranked 8th in the UK for research intensity. We were also ranked 7th for research power and in the top 20 for research output, research quality and research impact.

An impressive 99% of our research was judged to be of international quality and the School’s environment was judged to be conducive to supporting the development of world-leading research.


Course structure

This programme enables you to obtain an LLM by spending your first term at Kent, and your second at one of our partner universities in Europe, before returning to Kent to complete a dissertation. During your second term, you complete a comparative research paper, supervised by Kent staff, on an area of law that you have studied at Kent and your partner university.

You are required to take three compulsory modules from the range of taught LLM modules at Kent, follow an approved programme of study at our European partner university and produce a comparative research paper of 7-8,000 words and a dissertation of 15-20,000 words.


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.

LW915 - 'Reading' Murder Cases, 1860 - 1960 (20 credits)

This module seeks to examine significant murder trials during the period 1860-1960 from various perspectives. It will consider the murder trial not only as a legal episode but also as a theatrical, social, cultural and ideological phenomenon. It will thus explore the social construction of murder and murder sensationalism, and will consider celebrated cases that may include the cases (as accused or victim) of Madeleine Smith, Charles Bravo, Florence Maybrick, Dr Crippen, Edith Thompson and Ruth Ellis.

Credits: 20 credits (10 ECTS credits).

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LW801 - Intellectual Property (20 credits)

Over the past few decades, the scope of the law of copyright and the action for breach of confidence have grown significantly. The goal of the module is to provide an overview of these areas from different angles in order to be able to assess this expansion. In so doing, it will examine these areas 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 action for breach of confidence; the different historical approaches to trace the ways in which we can understand them 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 secrecy, the problems and the challenges posed by photographs, confidential memoranda and personal diaries, 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.

Credits: 20 credits (10 ECTS credits).

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LW802 - International Business Transactions (20 credits)

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.

Indicative topics covered

Sources of Transnational Commercial Law and the interactions of Lex Mercatoria with public international law, International Conventions, Model Uniform Law, UNCITRAL, Reception and Approximation in National Law, Conflicts of Law, International Commercial Customs and Practice, The Role of International Chamber of Commerce; International Sales of Goods, The Vienna Convention 1980, UNIDROIT Principles; Standard Trade Terms especially INCOTERMS; Commercial Paper and Finance of International Sales, Documents of Title, Bills of Lading, Mates' Receipts, Consignment Notes, Paperless Documents and EDI, UNCITRAL Model Law on Electronic Commerce, comparative analysis of electronic commerce and electronic signature regimes, Negotiable Instruments, Payment Collection Arrangements, Mergers and Acquisition, Oil and Gas Transactions, Letters of Credit, Performance Bonds and Guarantees, Export Credit Guarantees; Licensing and Franchising; Dispute Resolution with special emphasis on the resolution of disputes involving parties across the developed and developing states divide.

Credits: 20 credits (10 ECTS credits).

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LW810 - International Law on Foreign Investment (20 credits)

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?

Credits: 20 credits (10 ECTS credits).

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LW814 - Public International Law (20 credits)

This module provides a detailed study of the history, rules, doctrines and institutions of public international law. It offers a critical analysis of the international legal order and a firm basis upon which to found arguments concerning the political importance of international law. The module pays special attention to the way in which the evolution and operation of the international legal order influence not only international relations, but also daily domestic life.

At the end of the course students will be able to assess, both internally and in context, the main the rules, doctrines and institutions of public international law. Students will also develop the necessary tools to reflect critically on some of the most important problems and tensions that define the contemporary global order: from calamities resulting from war, international interventions and surveillance strategies in countries like Afghanistan, Libya and Pakistan, to the everyday effects of increasing socio-economic disparities and environmental decay in both the Global South and the Global North.

The teaching, discussions and readings in the module will equip students both with a doctrinal understanding of public international law, and with an approach to the field that is grounded in a Critical, Socio-Legal and Law and Humanities perspective.

Credits: 20 credits (10 ECTS credits).

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LW815 - EU Constitutional and Institutional Law (20 credits)

This module focuses on the foundational rules, principles and doctrines underpinning the constitutional and institutional legal framework of the European Union. Against the backdrop of Brexit, financial turbulence within the Eurozone and the recent structural reforms to the Union introduced by the 2007 Lisbon Treaty, this core area of EU law has gained heightened political and legal significance in the context of on-going debates on the nature and extent of European legal integration.

The following specific topics will be considered in this module: the respective roles, competencies and powers of the EU's main political and judicial institutions; foundational legal principles underpinning the EU's legal framework including direct effect and supremacy of Union law; the relationship between the EUs Court of Justice and national courts of the Member States; enforcement mechanisms of EU law; human rights in EU law and the impact of EU Citizenship. In addition, at the end of the module students will have an opportunity to take stock and appraise the 'constitutional nature and impact of the Union.

Credits: 20 credits (10 ECTS credits).

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LW827 - Banking Law I (20 credits)

Banks and other financial institutions operate in an historically and socio-economically determined context. The legal rules which regulate them in domestic English law are drawn from statutory, regulatory and common law sources. International agreements and European Community directives also influence their capacities, powers and obligations.

This module aims to study the operations of banks and other financial institutions from a perspective which takes their context into account. Critical legal analysis will have as its focus the basis of English domestic banking and finance law. Topics will include the role of trusts, the banker/customer relationship, netting and set-off, third party secured transactions over the family home, electronic transactions, civil remedies and banking regulation, with particular stress on the recent overhaul of the role of the Bank of England and the establishment of the Financial Services Authority as an overall supervisory body which reduces the traditional English reliance on self regulation of financial institutions.

A risk management perspective will be adopted throughout the module.

Credits: 20 credits (10 ECTS credits).

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LW839 - Environmental Quality Law (20 credits)

This module provides an introduction to the law on environmental quality and a preface to regulatory themes that are pursued in other environmental 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.

Topics covered

Session 1: Objectives of environmental quality law

Session 2: Environmental quality and private rights

Session 3: Environmental liability and environmental human rights

Session 4: Water quality regulation

Session 5: Air quality law

Session 6: Waste management law

Session 7: The Integration of pollution control

Session 8: Enforcement and the Environment Agency

Credits: 20 credits (10 ECTS credits).

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LW844 - Legal Aspects of Contemporary International Problems (20 credits)

There are a number of ways to approach 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 from 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 highlights international laws limits and possibilities in relation to a set of contemporary inter- and trans-national concerns, including the use of armed force, responses to emerging security threats, and unresolved territorial disputes. It focuses on key themes of international law, such as sovereignty, statehood, self-determination, and the regulation of armed conflict, drawing upon perspectives from the humanities and the interpretive social sciences. It explores these overlapping themes as they emerge across several issues and case studies, bringing international law into a relationship with contemporary geopolitics, political theory, and the fields historical inheritance. Along the way, we will address philosophical and theoretical questions such as the binding character of international law, problems of representation and interpretation, and the rhetorical dimensions of customary international law.

Topics covered

The topics covered vary year to year to align with changing circumstances and also according to student interest, but are anticipated to be as follows:

- The use of force and the law of armed conflict

- Reframing sovereignty: the responsibility to protect

- Regulating the global arms trade

- Targeted killing

- Enforcing the prohibition against torture

- Border conflicts and colonial legacies in international law

Credits: 20 credits (10 ECTS credits).

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LW847 - World Trade Organisation (WTO) Law and Practice I (20 credits)

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 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.

Topics covered

1. Theoretical and Political Approaches to International Economic Regulation of Trade; the main actors: states, multinational enterprises, civil society and NGOs

2. Free Trade Theory and Practice

3. The Institutional Context: the Bretton Woods System, the GATT and the WTO

4. The WTO and developing countries: GATT preferences and WTO Special and Differential Treatment

5. The Dispute Settlement Understanding

6. Trade in Agriculture

7. Trade in Services

8. Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights

9. The rise of 'mega-market' trade agreements

10. Alternative trade arrangements

Credits: 20 credits (10 ECTS credits).

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LW852 - European Environmental Law and Policy (20 credits)

This module provides an overview of the policy and legislation of the European Union in relation to the environment and ecological protection, with particular sectors considered in more detail in other environmental modules. The overall purpose of the module is to appreciate the significance of European Union law as a system of regional international law seeking to harmonize the national laws of the Member States according to common principles of environmental regulation. An initial focus is upon foundational issues including the nature of the European Union, basic principles of European Union environmental policy and law, and problematic issues such as the tension between free trade and environmental protection. Attention is also given to particular examples of environmental measures, with some discussion of how these are implemented in national law. Finally, discussion is provided as to recent and forthcoming developments at European Union level, including critical issues of participation, implementation and enforcement, at European Union and national levels.

Topics covered

introductory session: a scan of the module

the evolution of European Union environmental competence

fundamental environmental objectives of the European Union

the basis for substantive environmental legislation

reconciling environmental protection and trade

substantive European Union legislation on waste regulation

environmental information and participation

alternative strategies in environmental regulation

the implementation and enforcement of environmental legislation

Credits: 20 credits (10 ECTS credits).

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LW862 - Death and Dying (20 credits)

This module aims to explore how the law is involved in matters to do with death and dying. The curriculum includes an investigation of 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 advance directives.

Topics covered

legal definitions of death

ethical, spiritual and medical frameworks underpinning understandings of death and the dying process

the practical and ethical difficulties associated with death and the dying process

the care and needs of the dying

euthanasia and clinically assisted death and their implications

overview of how different jurisdictions provide ethical and legal regulation of end of life decision making, and the impact this has on those concerned

the role of living wills, advance directives and clinical judgement

the role of patient autonomy in relation to death and dying

Credits: 20 credits (10 ECTS credits).

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LW864 - The Foundations of the English Legal System (20 credits)

This module is intended to provide a deep grounding in the prerequisites for understanding a body of law in its theoretical, legal, ethical and practical contexts in order to provide them with the skills required for postgraduate legal study. The socio-legal, ethical, and professional aspects of medical law and ethics in context will be drawn upon as a focus to demonstrate how to acquire and apply the requisite skills. Students will be provided with research training tailored to the requirements of postgraduate legal scholarship. They will gain practice in evaluating theoretical frameworks presented to them in scholarly commentary in order to use them as analytic tools in their own written work. Students will be challenged to critically examine legal texts such as sources of English common law, together with scholarly commentary, in order to hone their abilities to construct reasoned arguments and to choose appropriate theoretical frameworks in their written assessments at postgraduate level.

Credits: 20 credits (10 ECTS credits).

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LW865 - Issues in Medical Law (20 credits)

This module aims to investigate a range of areas of law which are of topical interest but which are not otherwise specifically addressed in the Medical Law programme. In addition, it will include material on Mental Health Law, which will be taught by Mr Michael Ball, who chairs Mental Health Review Tribunals. The Mental Health Law section of the module aims to enable students to identify and analyse legal issues encountered by people with mental health difficulties and to evaluate critically aspects of the operation of mental health law in its historical, socio-economic and political contexts, including the legal (rights based) and medical (therapeutic) approaches.

Topics Covered

aspects of genetics in medical law

the body, body alteration and concepts of choice, consent and harm

addiction, neuroscience and policy

the interaction between mental health law and the criminal justice system

care in the community

risk and the reform of mental health law

Credits: 20 credits (10 ECTS credits).

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LW870 - Introduction to the Criminal Justice System (20 credits)

This module seeks to provide the student with a critical appreciation of the key debates and controversies in contemporary criminal justice. While England and Wales is the focus of study, throughout the module comparisons will be made with other jurisdictions to provide deeper insights. The module will provide a grounding in the relevant theories, which will then be applied in analysing the institutions of criminal justice.

Topics Covered

key concepts and principles of the criminal justice system

the main theoretical perspectives on contemporary criminal justice.

critical perspectives on the complex relationship between law and criminal justice.

the different agencies involved in the criminal justice system.

the procedures and decision stages of the criminal justice process.

the main sources of data about the criminal justice system, from a range of disciplines.

a current controversial topic in criminal justice.

Credits: 20 credits (10 ECTS credits).

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LW871 - Policing (20 credits)

This module offers a critical study of policing from historical, legal, political and social perspectives. It focuses primarily on policing in the United Kingdom, with other appropriate jurisdictions (including the European Union) being used for comparative purposes.

Topics covered

History of the structure, organisation and concept of the police

Ethical and legal principles underlying policing as well as the implications for policing of the European Convention on Human Rights

The different functions of policing

Police culture

Police powers and procedures

Public order policing

Police governance and accountability

Cross-border police co-operation

Private policing

Credits: 20 credits (10 ECTS credits).

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LW906 - International Enviromental Law - Legal Foundations (20 credits)

This module is designed to examine and assess the core foundational legal principles and regulatory structures underpinning international environmental law (IEL) and policy. Specifically, it considers the various core sources of IEL, the principal international institutions involved in its development as well as legal issues involved relating to its implementation and enforcement.

Whilst specific topic areas may vary according to the pedagogical preferences of the Module Convenor, indicatively the module may be expected to cover all or most of the following topic areas which address key aspects of the legal foundations of IEL:

Historical context and development of international environmental law

Legal sources: (1) sources and structures of public international law; legal instrumentation; (2) general principles of international environmental law; (3) international human rights and the environment

Institutional issues: the role of international organisations, states and non-governmental actors in international environmental law's development, the legal relations between the EU and the international community in the environmental sector

Implementation and enforcement (1): the role of public institutions at international level (responsibilities of states and the role of international institutions); (2) the role of private persons and access to environmental justice under international environmental law

Selected case study on application of foundational principles of IEL (eg climate change)

Credits: 20 credits (10 ECTS credits).

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LW908 - International and Comparative Consumer Law and Policy (20 credits)

Consumer law is a significant area of business regulation in many parts of the world. The EU has developed an ambitious programme of harmonization, provides intriguing approaches to transnational governance of markets, and competes as an international model of consumer law with models such as the US. Standards for consumer products and services are increasingly established at the international level through "private" bodies such as the International Standards Organization (ISO). The module is structured as follows:

An introduction to the rationales for and explanations for the growth of consumer law and policy at the national and international level. An introduction to transnational, comparative and international dimensions of consumer regulation and relevant institutional structures.

Contemporary EU consumer law and policy. This section provides an analysis of the nature and structure of consumer policy and consumer law in the EU through an analysis of selected areas which may include unfair commercial practices; product safety; internet regulation; unfair contract terms: and consumer credit. We consider central ideas institutional structures, and implementation mechanisms set against the background of contemporary approaches to regulation in the EU.

Critical analysis of international, regional and national regulation of consumer credit and debt.

Credits: 20 credits (10 ECTS credits).

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LW919 - Legal Research and Writing Skills (5 credits)

This is a compulsory module for all Masters students and must be completed within one academic year. Both Diploma and Certificate students can opt to take this module in addition to their required modules. It is a non-contributory module which does not count towards your degree, but it will appear on your final transcript with a Pass/Fail result. The module is timetabled from 1600-1800 on Mondays in Eliot Lecture Theatre 2 (ELT2).

The Autumn Term of this module will provide an introduction to the legal research and writing skills required to carry out research at Masters level. The Spring Term will enable students to acquire and develop the skills necessary to carry out a longer term research project, such as their dissertation. Students will be introduced to a range of theoretical frameworks that will enable them to develop their own critical approach to their chosen dissertation topic.

Please see separate programme for further details on each session.

Credits: 5 credits (2.5 ECTS credits).

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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 15-20,000 words.

Programme aims

This programme aims to:

  • offer you a rigorous programme of study that includes the experience of studying and living in another European country as well as the UK. This experience will allow you to develop your personal/professional skills of flexibility, adaptability, problem-solving and resourcefulness, to strengthen language skills and cross-cultural literacy, to broaden horizons and develop your networking skills in an internationalised setting
  • increase the opportunities for you to engage in comparative study of two distinct legal systems at postgraduate Master’s level
  • provide a sound knowledge and systematic understanding of the institutional structures and policy environments for the operation of English law and the law of an Erasmus-Europe LLM partner institution
  • foster the development of critical and analytical skills that can be applied in a wide range of settings, particularly settings where comparative methods and approaches offer useful analytical perspectives on contested legal questions
  • provide a postgraduate qualification of value to those intending to play a leading role in any field of law
  • provide opportunities to develop expertise in subject areas offered by the University of Kent and an Erasmus-Europe LLM partner institution
  • provide training in research, analytical, written and oral communication skills of general value to those seeking postgraduate employment
  • encourage you to develop a critical awareness of the operation of law and policy, particularly in contexts which are perceived to be controversial or in a state of evolution
  • provide you with the skills to undertake supervised research in law and to encourage the production of original and evaluative commentary that meets high standards of scholarship
  • 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 specialised modules in research methods
  • 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.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • the institutions sources, concepts, principles and structures of selected areas of English law and those of the Erasmus-Europe partner’s jurisdiction
  • methods of comparative analysis of policy, sources, concepts, principles and structures of law
  • substantive law and policy relevant to a your chosen specialised modules and dissertation and the contextual setting of the law and policy in these fields
  • leading theoretical, social and academic debates that shape developments in the substantive areas of law that you study
  • critical, theoretical and evaluative frameworks for explaining, assessing, and critiquing English law and policy and the law and policy of the selected Erasmus-Europe partner’s jurisdiction.

Intellectual skills

You develop intellectual skills in:

  • the ability to apply specialist knowledge of English law and policy and the law and policy of the Erasmus-Europe partner to solve problems
  • the capacity to evaluate selected issues in English law and the law of the Erasmus-Europe partner according to critical theoretical frameworks for explaining and critiquing law and policy
  • understanding how to construct critical comparative arguments on central issues and areas of controversy and to present a reasoned opinion based upon relevant materials
  • knowledge of how to locate and collect relevant information and literatures and how to access key paper and digital sources
  • the ability to construct critical arguments on central issues and areas of controversy
  • the ability to present reasoned opinions supported by reference to reliable and relevant materials
  • the ability to recognise potential alternative arguments and evidence contrary to your own position and to present a reasoned justification for that position
  • a capacity to offer critical challenge to received understanding on particular issues and to demonstrate independence of mind
  • the ability to reflect constructively on your learning progression
  • the ability to present information and arguments in written form, in accordance with academic conventions and appropriately to the intended readership.

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in:

  • the ability to identify relevant issues in English law and the law of the selected Erasmus-Europe partner’s jurisdiction from potentially complex factual situations and evaluate critically and comparatively how the two legal systems respond to such situations
  • the ability to research and access the main sources of law and policy which are relevant to solving complex factual problems within the specialist areas of law studied at the University of Kent and the Erasmus-Europe partner
  • the ability to appreciate and evaluate the main theoretical and political perspectives that underlie legal provisions in the specialist areas of law studied at the University of Kent and the Erasmus-Europe partner
  • the ability to provide a reasoned and justified opinion as to the possible legal consequences of particular factual scenarios within the specialist areas of law studied at the University of Kent and at the Erasmus-Europe partner
  • the ability to identify the limitations of present knowledge and matters needing to be resolved by further research into English law and policy and the law and policy of the Erasmus-Europe partner
  • the ability to utilise your research skills to commence further research into unresolved issues.

Transferable skills

You gain the following transferable skills:

  • the use of information technology in research and writing
  • problem-solving
  • written and oral communication skills
  • critical thinking
  • independent learning
  • strengthening cross-cultural literacy and confidence
  • improved language skills.

Study support

Postgraduate resources

Postgraduate students at Kent Law School have access to a postgraduate computing room, study area and common room with wireless internet access. The Law School has an active and inclusive extra-curricular academic and social scene, with weekly graduate seminars, a postgraduate student group for all students, and a regular guest lecture programme organised by our research centres (which include the Centre for Critical International Law, the Kent Centre for Law, Gender and Sexuality, and the Kent Centre for European and Comparative Law).

Award-winning Law Library

Our Law Library has long been a leader in the development of electronic resources for legal teaching and research. The extensive and up-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. Research students benefit from a research training programme in the first year. An academic staff member acts as postgraduate research co-ordinator and runs a weekly postgraduate study group, at which students present and discuss research. The Law School provides research students with an allowance for conferences and other research expenses, and an annual printing allowance.

Dynamic publishing culture

Staff publish regularly and widely in journals, conference proceedings and books. Recent contributions include: Modern Law Review; Social & Legal Studies; The Canadian Journal of Law & Society; Legal Studies; Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society.

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.  


Employability is a key focus throughout the University and at Kent Law School you have the support of a dedicated Employability and Career Development Officer together with a broad choice of work placement opportunities, employability events and careers talks. Details of graduate internship schemes with NGOs, charities and other professional organisations are made available to postgraduate students via the School’s Employability Blog.

Many students at our Brussels centre who undertake internships are offered contracts in Brussels immediately after graduation. Others have joined their home country’s diplomatic service, entered international organisations, or have chosen to undertake a ‘stage’ at the European Commission, or another EU institution.

Law graduates have gone on to careers in finance, international commerce, government and law or have joined, or started, an NGO or charity.

Kent has an excellent record for postgraduate employment: over 96% of our postgraduate students who graduated in 2015 found a job or further study opportunity within six months.

Information about the internship programme for LLM students can be found on the Kent Law School Employability blog.

Entry requirements

A first or good second class honours degree in law or a related subject. Kent Law School (KLS) may also take account of relevant work experience when considering applications.

General entry requirements

Please also see our general entry requirements.

English language entry requirements

For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages. 

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.

Research areas

Criminal Justice

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.

Critical Obligations

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.

Environmental Law

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.

International Law

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.

Property 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.


Dr Donatella Alessandrini: Reader

International trade theory and practice; neoliberalism; international political economy; development studies.


Professor Yutaka Arai: Reader

International humanitarian law (including part of international criminal law); the relationship between international humanitarian law and international human rights law.


Dr Nicola Barker: Senior Lecturer

Marriage and civil partnerships; welfare; human rights.


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.


Dr Anne Bottomley: Reader

Property practices in relation to urban planning and architecture – drawing from Deleuze and theoretical perspectives emerging in anthropology and social theory. Debates surrounding theoretical perspectives within feminism.


Dr Ruth Cain: Lecturer

Regulation and representation of reproduction and parenting, especially maternity, tracking relationships between law, literature, popular culture and the media, and how these shape perceptions of gender, sexuality and embodiment, health care law, including mental health law; the gendering of capitalism, neo-imperialism and post 9/11 trauma.


Dr Helen Carr: Reader

Housing law and social welfare, with particular interests in regulation of the poor and with the gendered and racialised dimensions of that regulation.


Donal Casey: Lecturer

Food governance and regulation; the issues of legitimacy and accountability.


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.


Professor Davina Cooper: Professor

Social and political theory; cultural geography; feminism and sexuality; governance and radical politics; Utopian studies. 


Eleanor Curran: Senior Lecturer

Hobbes; rights theory and the history of rights theory; political theory; moral theory; jurisprudence.


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.


Lisa Dickson: Senior Lecturer

Forensic science and the law; evidence and the trial process; general areas of criminal justice.


Maria Drakopoulou: Reader

Feminist theory; feminist jurisprudence; legal theory and philosophy; legal history; Roman law; equity and trusts.


Mairead Enright: Lecturer

Legal regulation of culture and religion, and particularly the effects of legal engagement with traditionally ‘private’ aspects of religious practice for ‘public’ conceptions of membership.


Professor John Fitzpatrick: Professor; Director of Kent Law Clinic

Human rights law; constitutional law; public legal services; legal process.


Iain Frame: Lecturer

Legal and economic history, monetary theory, and social and legal theory.


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).


Dr Emily Grabham: Senior Lecturer

Citizenship; belonging and corporeality; feminist and queer theories of embodiment; labour law; welfare reform and its connection to work/family policy.


Professor Nick Grief: Professor

Public international law, human rights and EU law, with particular reference to the legal status of nuclear weapons.


Dr Emily Haslam: Lecturer

Public international law; international criminal law; civil society.


Martin Hedemann-Robinson: Senior Lecturer

European Union and international environmental law, notably in relation to law enforcement.


Professor Didi Herman: Professor; Head of School

Gender and sexuality; race, religion and ethnicity; popular culture; social movement; law reform. 


Dr Kirsty Horsey: Senior Lecturer

Human reproduction and genetics, particularly where these overlap with issues in family law; legal education.


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.


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. 


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. 


Sian Lewis-Anthony: Lecturer

International human rights law, in particular, the right to a fair trial and the issue of the independence and impartiality of the judiciary.


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.


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.


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.


Connal Parsley: Lecturer

Jurisprudence; critical legal theory; political theory; public law; law and aesthetics; law and film; Australian Aboriginal legal issues; legal ethics.


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.


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.


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.


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.


David Radlett: Lecturer

The shift in power from the elected and notionally representative and accountable to the unelected and obviously unrepresentatitive and unaccountable.


Professor Iain Ramsay: Professor

Regulation of consumer markets at the national, regional and international level, with a particular interest in issues of credit and insolvency, commercial credit and commercial law, focusing on the role of credit law in development.


Sinead Ring: Lecturer

The legitimacy of the criminal trial, particularly the substantive implications of the criminal process’ professed commitment to the rule of law.


Professor Geoffrey Samuel: Professor

Law of obligations (English, Roman and French); comparative law; legal remedies; legal theory; legal epistemology.


Professor Harm Schepel: Professor

Legal sociology; international and European economic law.


Professor Sally Sheldon: Professor

Medical ethics and law, particularly with reference to reproductive issues; legal regulation of gender and sexuality; fatherhood.


Dr Sophie Vigneron: Senior Lecturer

French public and private law; English tort law; art law; the Europeanisation of private law; cultural heritage law.


Professor Dermot Walsh: Professor

Policing and criminal justice; criminal procedure; human rights; European criminal law and procedure.


John Wightman: Senior Lecturer; Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences

Theory, history, and empirical work relating to private law, especially tort and contract.


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.


Dr Simone Wong: Senior Lecturer

Equity; banking and finance; cohabitation and other domestic relationships.


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Last Updated: 20/07/2015