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The University of Southampton
Southampton Law SchoolPostgraduate study

LLM International Law (1 year)

Study the complexities of international law and prepare for a global legal career. Taught by inspiring, world-leading academics, you’ll gain the skills and knowledge to advance in areas such as international development, international commerce, or international security.

Introducing your course

With trade, politics and culture becoming increasingly globalised, a critical understanding of international law has never been more relevant. This highly flexible LLM programme gives you the opportunity to focus on aspects of international law that interest you, enabling you to provide legal advice with a transnational perspective in areas such as corporate structures, law of the sea, international regulation of the internet, or commercial conflicts of law. Studying within a diverse, supportive law school community, you’ll learn from renowned academics who, through their involvement in high-profile law reform and advisory work, ensure the course reflects the latest legal developments. The challenging curriculum is designed to sharpen your intellect and encourage independent thinking, with small-group teaching and plenty of support to ensure you achieve your potential. We will also help you to maximise your employability through our strong links with the legal profession and extensive career development opportunities. You’ll graduate with specialist knowledge that will set you apart from the competition, whether you choose to go into private practice, or enter the public, commercial or diplomatic sector.

Our LLM in International Law is an exceptional opportunity for professional development for those working in, or seeking to move into, specialist areas of international law. We welcome applications from recent law graduates and those with some professional experience who are looking to develop their career.

We offer an exciting and supportive learning environment. You’ll be welcomed into a diverse, international postgraduate community, developing a global network of friends and contacts that will benefit you for years to come.

View the programme specification for this course for 2018/19 entrants

View the programme specification for this course for 2019/20 entrants

Programme Structure

This course is available either full time (one year) or part time (two years). You’ll be required to complete a dissertation and take four taught modules (or the equivalent in modules and half modules), which you can choose from an extensive range.  

Introduction to common law

The programme starts with an intensive, one-week introductory course on common law. This ensures that students from different jurisdictions and countries understand the workings of this important legal system.

Personalised learning 

You’ll be able to design a course that meets your needs by choosing from a range of optional modules. The options cross a broad spectrum of relevant topics, including:

· Foundations of Public International Law
· Dispute Settlement in International Law
· International Law of the Sea
· International Trade Law

Dissertation research 

The dissertation is another opportunity to tailor the course to suit your interests and work towards your career aims. You’ll be able to choose an international law topic that inspires you for a piece of in-depth, independent research. In the process you’ll develop a specialism that will impress potential employers. You’ll receive guidance and support throughout the dissertation process from an academic supervisor.

Outstanding academics 

You’ll be taught by academics who are involved in shaping the laws of the future through consultancy and law reform work at national and international level. They bring the latest legal thinking to your course. 

The team includes:

  • Dr Eleonora Rosati, a specialist in copyright, trademark, intellectual property (IP) and internet law issues. She is an editor of the Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice, and a Door Tenant at a specialist IP set in London. Before joining academia she worked in the London and Milan IP departments of international law firm Bird & Bird LLP.
  • Dr Johanna Hjalmarsson, whose areas of expertise include insurance law, maritime and commercial law, and dispute resolution. Before coming to Southampton, Johanna specialised in law reform, spending several years with the United Nations and the Office of the High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina. She contributes to and edits numerous law publications, including co-editing Lloyd’s Law Reporter.
  • Professor Andrew Serdy, a renowned expert in international maritime law. He has contributed to and advised on Australian and Canadian government submissions to the United Nations (UN) Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf and co-authored a report on the UN fish stocks agreement for the Fisheries Committee of the European Parliament.
  • Professor Paul Todd has taught and published widely in the areas of international trade law and carriage of goods by sea, with expertise in international commercial sales and international arbitration law. His most recent publications include papers on Hague Rules and burden of proof, and the revision of the New York Produce Exchange.

Research-led learning 

Southampton Law School is an internationally renowned centre for law research. Our research activities, which directly inform our academics’ teaching, are conducted within a number of prestigious research centres and institutes:

You’ll benefit from talks and seminars organised by these centres, where you can find about the latest research being conducted within the Law School and at other institutions, and hear about industry perspectives on current legal issues.

Industry links

Our strong links with international and local law firms, the judiciary, businesses and government agencies mean we can provide numerous opportunities to gain professional insights and improve your career prospects

  • Guest lecturers are a feature across our modules. Recent speakers have included representatives from top law firms, global corporations, major banks and insurance companies, P&I (protection and indemnity) clubs, ship brokers, classification societies, and the UK government Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
  • We are highly regarded by the legal profession, enabling us to attract eminent figures to speak at special events – one recent example is Lord Neuberger, President of the UK Supreme Court.
  • We are regularly approached by companies and law firms seeking to recruit our students for internships or graduate roles.
  • We offer prizes, sponsored by businesses and law firms, for high-performing LLM students on some modules. These can help winning students stand out from their peers in the job market. Some prizes take the form of work placements, offering invaluable professional experience.

Key Facts

Gain an in-depth understanding of international law and prepare for a global career in commercial or public law.

Build a course that suits your interests by choosing from a range of modules on topics such as international trade law, international law of the sea, international commercial arbitration and global copyright and trademark law.

Taught by renowned academics, including the authors of key law text books.

Includes a unique module on the law and practice of carriage by air, which is not available on any other UK masters course.

An intensive introductory course on common law provides the essential foundations for your studies.

Join a community of like minds and develop a global network of contacts that will be invaluable as your career progresses.

The Research Excellence Framework 2014 rated 100 per cent of our research as world leading or internationally excellent for the research environment we provide to staff and students.

Did you know?

The Southampton pre-Masters can be taken if you have qualifications or grades that do not meet University of Southampton direct entry criteria but meet the minimum entry criteria for the pre-Masters. You will be guaranteed a place on your chosen masters degree programme subject to successfully completing the pre-Masters. Visit our pre-Masters Programme to find out more about these degree programmes.

At Southampton Law School we are proud of our worldwide reputation for research excellence in many fields. Research is of key importance within the School and is embedded in everything that we do, including our teaching. Please click here for more information about our Centres of Research

Typical entry requirements

Selection process

An Upper Second Class Bachelors Degree in Law (or a degree with a substantial legal component) is normally required, but account may also be taken of practical work experience or professional qualifications within the relevant field of study. We welcome applications from international students. Mature applicants without formal qualifications but relevant work experience are also encouraged to apply. Access to the internet, Word Processor (MS Word compatible) and an email address are also required; webcams desirable.

English language requirements

In accordance with University regulations, applicants whose first language is not English must provide evidence of competency in English by offering one of the recognised tests in English. Alternatively, you should supply evidence that you have undertaken formal study in English at an institution that teaches award-bearing programmes in English.

The following test scores are accepted for direct entry:

IELTS 7.0 with 6.0 in each component 

For a full list of English language tests accepted please see here

A score of IELTS 6.5 with 6.0 in each component together with satisfactory completion of the six week LLM Pre-sessional programme on English legal language and skills will be accepted. 

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.

Pre-sessional courses

Our pre-sessional English language courses are the best way to prepare for study at the University of Southampton. The courses will improve your capability and confidence in using English language in your studies.

Pre-Masters (LLM) course

If you do not meet our entry requirements for direct entry to one of our MSc programmes, you could progress to one of them via the University's Pre-masters course

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

Typical course content

The Law School will offer a selection of the optional modules listed below.

Students are required to complete 180 CATS. 60 CATS is awarded for the LLM dissertation. Students are therefore free to choose modules in total completing 120 CATS. For instance, a student who selects 4 modules of 30 CATS will complete the required taught modules.

Year 1

Semester One
Core [?]
A core module is a module which must be taken and passed.
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Semester Two
Core [?]
A core module is a module which must be taken and passed.
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).

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

List of tuition fees for this course and it's variations
Course TitleAwardYear of entryMode of studyUK/EUInternational
International LawLLM 2019Full-time£9,250£18,104
International LawLLM 2019Part-time£4,625£9,052
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.

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

StationeryYou will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc. Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
BooksWhere a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
Printing and copyingIn most cases, written coursework such as essays, projects and dissertations is submitted online and by hard copy. The costs of printing a hard copy for submission of such coursework will be the responsibility of the student. The cost of photocopying will also be the responsibility of the student.

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

Much of the course is delivered through small-group teaching, giving you an unrivalled opportunity to analyse your chosen topics in depth and put your learning into practice.

  • Seminars and tutorials are usually structured around facts or issues relating to a particular case, or a relevant piece of research.
  • You may be asked to explore these by preparing a presentation or arguing a case in a moot, as well as through in-class discussion.
  • Practical work is incorporated into the modules. For example you might be involved in 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 are designed to develop your legal understanding but also transferable skills such as team working, communication, critical appraisal and logical reasoning. Working with a diverse student group also means you’ll gain insights into other cultures and professional practices – invaluable for an international career.

You’ll receive feedback on your work in class throughout the course, helping you to identify strengths and areas for improvement. Formal assessment will vary depending on the modules you choose, but will include exams and coursework as well as your dissertation.

LLM Challenge

The LLM Challenge is an additional opportunity to practise your advocacy, communication teamwork and research skills. Students across all LLM pathways are assigned to teams and given a current topic to debate, competing for a small monetary prize.

Specialist facilities and resources

You’ll have access to superb learning resources including: 

  • an extensive range of specialist law journals and online databases, with support from expert library staff
  • for dissertation research in the field of maritime law, access to the Philippa Kaye Library in Maritime Law
  • library seminar rooms for group work and discussions
  • a purpose-built moot room 

Student support

Southampton Law School has a friendly, diverse postgraduate community with a supportive culture. The fact that we are a relatively small school means we can get to know our students well and provide tailored support to help them realise their potential.

Every student is allocated a personal academic tutor who can advise on course-related or personal matters. Your module tutors will also be available to offer guidance on subject-specific queries. In addition, the University offers a range of language, academic, visa or welfare 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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