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The University of Southampton
Southampton Law SchoolPostgraduate study

LLM International Law and Human Rights (1 year)

The LLM International Law and Human Rights gives you the essential legal toolkit within which the intensification of globalisation and associated global challenges can be understood and critically analyzed. Academic staff working at the forefront of a number of international and human rights law disciplines will lead you through the challenges that the global community faces, and how law hinders or helps in their resolution.

Through the LLM International Law and Human Rights programme you can access the specialized knowledge and practical know-how that you will need to pursue a career in international or human rights law practice whether in the governmental, non-governmental or private commercial sector.

There are many careers for which a thorough understanding of international conventions, state responsibility or international dispute settlement, legal obligations in armed conflicts or human rights responsibilities of state or private commercial actors is fundamental or taken an essential background assumption.

The LLM International Law and Human Rights programme develops your theoretical understanding of global legal frameworks and the practical legal skills required to analyse contemporary problems through international or human right law lenses. 

The programme draws on the diverse research strengths of the School’s academic staff, which has been recognised as being of international excellence. The Law School is also strongly committed to providing the very best learning experience for all our students in a friendly, stimulating and research-led environment.

This challenging degree attracts talented students from around the world. Some already have legal training, while others come from industry backgrounds. All are looking to gain specialist expertise that will help them stand out from the competition.

View the programme specification for this course for 2020/21 entrants

To Apply

Start date: end of September

Closing date: 31 July (but early applications are encouraged especially for international students needing to obtain visas)

Visit the How to Apply Postgraduate applications page

Programme Structure

The programme consists of a taught part and a Dissertation.

You will begin by taking an intensive, week-long introductory legal course on the common law, which ensures that students from different countries understand the workings of this important legal system.

For the taught part you have to complete modules worth 120 CATS:

 1. You have to choose at least 90 CATS from a list of modules, such as:

  • Fundamentals of Public International Law
  • Dispute Settlement in International Law
  • Human Rights in Context
  • International Criminal Justice
  • Armed Conflict in International Law
  • Free Speech and Privacy on the Internet
  • International Environmental Law
  • Business and Human Rights

 2.You may choose no more than 30 CATS from all other PG modules offered by the Law School.

The Dissertation module is worth 60 CATS and core to the degree.

The programme can be studied either full-time over 12 months or part-time over 24 months. For full-time study you will complete the taught modules between October and June and then you will complete a supervised dissertation on a international or human rights law topic of your choice between June and September. For part-time study you will generally take 60 CATS in each year and also complete a supervised dissertation on a topic of your choice in your second year.

Key Facts

As an LLM International Law and Human Law student, you are invited to attend special lectures and seminars organised  by our research centres, in particular: 

  • Centre for Law, Policy and Society
  • Stefan Cross Centre for Equality Women and the Law
  • Health Ethics and Law (HEAL)
  • iCLIC Centre on IT law


All of these regularly invite academics and practitioners to reflect on current legal issues. This provides an opportunity for you to speak to, learn from and network with practitioners in the field.

Southampton Law School also organises an annual debating competition, the LLM Challenge, where teams of postgraduates compete against each other on a diverse range of current legal topics.

Typical entry requirements

Selection process

Academic Prerequisites

An Upper Second Class Bachelor’s Degree in Law (or a degree with some legal components) is normally required, BUT account may also be taken of practical work experience or professional qualifications within a relevant field of study.

We welcome applications from international students.

English Language Prerequisites

Band F, IELTS7.0 overall, with a minimum of 6.0 in each component.

For more information visit the Admissions policies language page.

Progression to this LLM programme

If you have professional experience, or credit through prior learning at another institution, you may be eligible to use this experience against some of the programme requirements for period of study. You will need to present evidence that you have met the learning outcomes of the programme. Full details can be found in the University’s Policy on the Recognition of Prior Learning.

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.

Typical course content

Overall, you are required to complete 180 CATS:

  •  For the taught part you have to complete modules worth 120 CATS, consisting of compulsory and optional modules.
  •  The Dissertation on an international or human rights law topic of your choice is worth 60 CATS.

Year 1

In each Semester you will be studying four subjects, and for each of these you’ll have a two-hour class per week.

Choose at least 90 CATS (and up to 120 CATS) of the following modules:

  • Fundamentals of Public International Law (15 CATS)
  • Dispute Settlement in International Law (15 CATS)
  • Human Rights in Context (15 CATS)
  • International Criminal Justice (15 CATS)
  • Armed Conflict in International Law (15 CATS)
  • Free Speech and Privacy on the Internet (15 CATS)
  • International Environmental Law (15 CATS)
  • Business and Human Rights (15 CATS)

Dissertation module (60 CATS)

You may choose no more than 30 CATS from all other PGT modules offered by the Law School. Some of these modules are year-long, others are semester long modules.


  • International Law of the Sea (30 CATS)
  • International Sale of Goods and Finance (30 CATS)
  • Marine Insurance (30 CATS)
  • Admiralty Law (30 CATS)
  • Carriage of Goods by Sea (30 CATS)
  • Commercial Conflict of Laws an International Litigation (30 CATS)
  • Advanced Commercial Arbitration (15 CATS)
  • Ship Finance (15 CATS)
  • Law of the World Trade Organisation (15 CATS)
  • International Competition Law and Policy (15 CATS)
  • Intellectual Property Law in a Global World (15 CATS)
  • Corporate Governance (15 CATS)
  • Cross Border Corporate Insolvency and Restructuring (15 CATS)
  • Insurance Law (15 CATS)
  • Principles of Commercial Arbitration (15 CATS)
  • Business Finance (15 CATS)

 The running of any option module within the programme depends on availability of staff and occasionally some modules may not be offered.

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Tuition fees

Fees for postgraduate taught courses vary across the University. All fees are listed for UK, EU and international full-time and part-time students alphabetically by course name.

View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries, sponsorships or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

In-depth, practice-focused teaching

Our small-group approach to teaching through seminars and tutorials offers an unrivalled level of analysis, enabling you to explore your chosen topics in depth. Seminars and tutorials are usually structured around facts or issues relating to a particular case, or a relevant piece of research. You’ll be encouraged to explore and debate these topics, prepare presentations and sometimes argue a case in a moot. Some modules may incorporate preparing a response to a public consultation, or examining the legal implications raised by a new Convention and drafting a clause to tackle potential problems.

These activities will enhance your legal skills and understanding, but will also help you to develop transferable skills such as team working, communication, critical appraisal and logical reasoning. Working with a diverse group of students also means you will gain an insight into other cultures and professional practices that will be crucial in the workplace.

You will receive immediate feedback on your work during class, enabling you to identify strengths and areas for improvement. Formal assessment varies by module, but will include exams and coursework as well as your dissertation.

LLM Challenge

The LLM Challenge offers an additional learning experience. Students across all our LLM pathways are assigned to a team and given a current topic to debate, competing for a small monetary prize. As well as exercising your intellectual capabilities, the LLM Challenge will help you to develop your collaborative working and leadership skills.

Specialist facilities and resources

You will have unlimited access to an extensive range of specialist journals and online databases held by our excellent library service. Library seminar rooms are available for group work and peer discussion, and the Law School’s facilities include a purpose-built moot room.

Student support

The Law School is a friendly, informal learning community; we get to know students well and can provide support to help them realise their potential. Every student is allocated a personal academic tutor who can advise on course-related matters, and you’ll be able to talk to your module tutors about any subject-specific queries. In addition, the University offers a wide range of language, academic and welfare support services should you need them.


Study locations

Southampton Law School

Southampton Law School, Highfield Campus

Situated on the Highfield Campus; occupying building 4, Southampton La...Find out more

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