Postgraduate Courses - Democracy, Human Security and International Law
LLM Democracy, Human Security and International Law
The Aberystwyth LLM course in Democracy, Human Security and International Law will challenge you to critically examine these three key areas. In addition, you will be required to work through the complex practical difficulties of applying the law within the economic and political contexts from which it has evolved. This balanced approach including both theory and practice will equip you to deal with the real-life negotiation that goes on in the authentic lawmaking and practice in your future career or further study.
This course will expose you to some of the most pressing legal issues of the day. You will examine some of the ideologies and subjects which have shaped the early twenty-first century – the impact of democracy and the issue of security in their international contexts. As you approach these challenging topics, you will benefit from the excellent instruction of our departmental staff, all of whom are experts in their chosen fields of study. They will provide the necessary guidance and support needed for you to identify and pursue your own specialist topic which may form the basis for your future career.
Upon graduation, you will possess a level of expertise that is highly sought-after in law firms, government departments, think-tanks, international institutions and non-governmental organisations alike. In addition, you will be well-equipped with a wide range of general skills – such as research, analysis, argument-construction and many more – which will make you a highly desirable candidate for almost any postgraduate employment position.
One year full-time. The academic year (September to September) is
divided into three semesters: September to January; January to June;
June to September.
Assessment takes the form of; research proposals including a
related bibliographic element, case studies, oral assessments and
essays. Each student will complete a Master’s dissertation of 15,000 to
20,000 words which deals with an area of chosen study in the third
An Honours Degree 2:2 (minimum). Degrees in law, the social
sciences, or other similar subjects are preferred. Those from other
disciplines or with suitable professional experience will be considered
on an individual basis.
Equivalent international qualifications are acceptable especially if
ECTS evidence is available. Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) and/or
Accreditation of Experiential Prior Learning (APEL) are considered on
an individual basis according to current University Regulations.
English Language Requirements:
If you have a Bachelor’s degree from a UK University, you do not need to take an English proficiency test.
Non-native English speakers who do not meet this requirement must
take a University-recognised test of academic English language
proficiency. For further information please see our English Language requirements page.
Please see the tuition fee pages for current tuition fees. Please note that all fees are subject to an annual increase.
The LLM in Democracy, Human Security and International Law is your opportunity to engage with a broad range of subjects, such as the contribution made by governments and courts on international law; current initiatives relating to human security worldwide; and the impact of non-governmental organisations on international policy-making.
The course balances the theory with the urgently practical – for example, combining in-depth analysis of legal principles on an international level with the study of how such law affects a range of contrasting local situations. You will also come to appreciate the necessary differences and points of difficulty between national and international legislation where factors like nationalism, protectionism and self-interest conflict with international declarations and law.
Beyond the required core modules, you will enjoy a degree of freedom in directing your own study path through the choice of option modules. You will also be able to further explore your chosen specialism through researching and writing your Master's dissertation. Our previous LLM students have reported that this can help direct future study and career pathways and provides an invaluable opportunity to establish a successful career.
As a student at Aberystwyth, you will be taught by staff who participate in national and international debates and policy-making in legal, criminological and other related fields. Under their personal tutelage, you will develop your rigorous analytical skills, your abilities in presenting clear and focused arguments and your capacity for independent thought – all traits which are prized by postgraduate employers everywhere.
The Department of Law and Criminology recently participated in the Research Excellence Framework (2014) assessment. It found that 96.5% of publications submitted were of of an internationally recognised standard and that 98% of research activity in the department was rated as internationally recognised.
Department of Law and Criminology lecturers are mostly either qualified to PHD level or have professional experience and qualifications as practicing lawyers. Many staff also have a PGCE (Higher Education).
Welsh medium modules available
Please note: The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery during the next academic year and may be subject to change. They are included here to give an indication of how the course is structured.
Year 1 Core (80 Credits) Students must take the following modules:
If you wish to study an area of law with urgent contemporary significance and practical relevance
If you want to develop a profound understanding of international law on critical subjects
If you wish to nurture a legal career within government, non-governmental or corporate structures
If you desire skills highly sought-after in any postgraduate workplace
Every course at Aberystwyth University is designed to enhance your vocational and general employability. Your LLM will place you in the jobs market as a rigorous legal professional appraised of the latest legal developments in three incredibly broad and marketable fields: democracy, security and international law. In addition, this course will help you to master general skills which are required in almost every postgraduate work situation. Through your studies, you will have honed your skills in planning, analysis and presentation and you will be able to tackle complex projects thoroughly and with professional independence. This balance of expertise and a rare breadth of competencies will make you a highly desirable candidate for careers in government, non-governmental and corporate contexts alike.
Key Skills and Competencies
You will learn to quickly assimilate, interpret and apply a wealth of legal knowledge. In doing so, you will refine your own work methodologies, improving your personal skills in research, analysis, discourse and argument-construction. You will also be confronted with the task of improving your interpersonal skills in team work and group activities including debates and presentations.
Self-Motivation and discipline
Studying at LLM level requires discipline and self-motivation from every candidate. Though you will have access to the expertise and guidance of departmental staff, you are ultimately responsible for devising and completing a sustained programme of scholarly research in pursuit of your Master’s degree. This process will strengthen your skills as an independent and self-sufficient worker, a trait prized by most employers.
The LLM programme is designed to give you a range of transferable skills that you can apply in a variety of employment contexts. Upon graduation, you will have proven your abilities in structuring and communicating ideas efficiently, writing for and speaking to a range of audiences, evaluating and organizing information, working effectively with others and working within time frames and to specific deadlines.
How to Apply
Postgraduate applicants can submit their application either on-line or off-line. Please see our How to Apply page for further information.