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LLM Public International Law

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  • Delivery:
    Full time according to Funding Council definitions

Public International Law has traditionally been concerned with the structure and behaviour of sovereign states and intergovernmental organisations.

In recent decades, however, international law has also progressively affected multinational corporations and individuals. Public international law has increased in use and relevance vastly over the twentieth century, due to a globalised world with an upsurge in global trade, environmental concerns, human rights violations, armed conflicts and a boom in global communications. You will therefore benefit from the study of law in these areas and under the direction of experts in this field.

The course offers a unique blend of delivery including guest lectures, electronic learning, lectures and seminars. 

Interested in studying this course part-time? Enquire now.

Key information

Next start date:

September 2018, January 2019


Bournemouth University, Lansdowne Campus


12 months for September start, or 16 months for January start including a summer vacation

Entry requirements:

A Bachelors Honours degree, 2:2 or above, or equivalent or relevant comprehensive professional experience/training. For more information check out our full entry requirements.

International entry requirements:

If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS 6.0 (Academic) or above. For more information check out our full entry requirements.

Course content

On this course you will usually be taught by a range of staff with relevant expertise and knowledge appropriate to the content of the unit. This will include senior academic staff, qualified professional practitioners, demonstrators, technicians and research students. You will also benefit from regular guest lectures from industry.

Semester 1

Core units

  • Principles of International Law, International Organisations & the World Trade Organisation: This unit has two aims: to give you a sound grounding in the principles underpinning international law and, building on this knowledge, to examine the World Trade Organisation as a prime example of an international organisation.

  • International Dispute Resolution: Cross-border and inter-state relations raise complex issues involving the law of more than one country. Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) offers an alternative way of resolving disputes other than litigation. You'll be introduced to key concepts, forms and procedures of ADR and discuss its development and merits compared to litigation. This relates to international commercial and public international law disputes.

  • International Cyber Law & Governance: Understanding the principles of internet law (including human rights, criminal, international and copyright laws) has become indispensable for professionals aiming for a career in the digital economy. Here' you'll gain a thorough grounding and critical appreciation of online policy, regulatory scope for online activities and strategic impact on business decisions.

Semester 2

Core units

  • International Law of the Environment: Examine sectors of environmental policy that are the subject of international legal regulation and obligations. This involves an appraisal of how international legal regulation has developed in these areas, considering legal and political challenges that have been influential in shaping their respective evolutions.

  • International Criminal Law & International Criminal Justice: Develop a critical understanding of international criminal law and justice, a subject that has evolved rapidly throughout the past 20 years. You'll be encouraged to review the law in light of these developments at international criminal justice institutions, most notably the International Criminal Court, but also within the wider framework of international human rights and humanitarian laws.

  • International Human Rights Law: International human rights law has evolved rapidly since 1945. You'll gain an understanding of the content of international human rights law, and appreciate the relationship between international and regional human rights law with particular reference to the protection of human rights by the Council of Europe’s mechanisms.

Semester 3

Core units

  • Dissertation: An opportunity to conduct research on an area of law associated with the knowledge and skills you've gained. You'll develop critical thinking skills, evaluate new and existing research and strengthen your conceptual understanding of law. This unit promotes self-managed learning by asking you to complete a significant piece of work.

Programme specification

Programme specifications provide definitive records of the University's taught degrees in line with Quality Assurance Agency requirements. Every taught course leading to a BU Award has a programme specification which describes its aims, structure, content and learning outcomes, plus the teaching, learning and assessment methods used.

Download the programme specification for LLM Public International Law.

Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the programme specification, the information is liable to change to take advantage of exciting new approaches to teaching and learning as well as developments in industry. If you have been unable to locate the programme specification for the course you are interested in, it will be available as soon as the latest version is ready. Alternatively please contact us for assistance.

Selection criteria

Background and experience

For Public International Law we are looking for applicants who:

  • Have a legal background or demonstrate true passion for law
  • Are enthusiastic about issues surrounding international commerce and international legal provisions
  • Can evaluate legal situations, develop arguments and contribute to group discussions and debates
  • Are prepared to work hard to meet strict deadlines and rise to the challenge of postgraduate study.

We encourage applications from individuals with excellent research, analytical skills and enthusiasm for debates. We are looking for self-managed learners who are happy to work hard to meet the demands of this rewarding course. Furthermore, we seek individuals with a keen interest in developing new skills and who will draw upon their existing experiences to enhance their legal expertise and careers prospects.

Selection methods

We’ll be selecting the candidates for this course by looking at their applications - there are no interviews or additional selection activities. For that reason, make sure your application really stands out, and leave us in no doubt as to why you should be joining BU. For more information, take a look at our post graduate how to apply pages. 

Full entry requirements

The normal requirements for embarking upon a postgraduate taught degree are:

  • A Bachelors Honours degree with 2:2 in any subject, or equivalent

  • For post-experience and professional qualifications, there may be additional entry requirements set by the association or institute that ultimately administers the qualification in question. The qualification description on the course information pages should tell you what these are but please get in touch with the Future Students Enquiry team if you are in doubt.

If you lack the formal academic qualifications needed to enter a postgraduate or post-experience degree, there are several alternative routes to follow. Some of these are based on experience. Contact the Future Students Enquiry team for more information.

International entry requirements

If English is not your first language, you will need to provide evidence that you can understand English to a satisfactory level. English language requirements for this course are normally:

  • IELTS (Academic) 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component of writing, speaking, listening and reading, or equivalent.

View further information about our English language requirements.

A number of pre-sessional English and preparatory programmes are offered through our partner institution, Bournemouth University International College, and will get you ready for study at BU at the appropriate level.

You can also find further details of the international qualifications we accept, and what level of study they apply to, on our postgraduate entry requirements page.


Your career prospects will be enhanced and future career paths include working in the legal profession, for government agencies, in banking and finance, in accounting and professional services, or in academia.

Some of our Law graduates are now undertaking roles such as*:

  • Associate director
  • Judges assistant
  • Patent associate
  • Senior lawyer.

Some of the companies that our Law graduates are now working for are*:

  • Axis Associates International Co. Ltd
  • Court of Justice
  • Spoor & Fisher
  • UPTX.

Industries worked in

  • Law
  • Management
  • Local government.

Further study

If you want to continue your studies after achieving your Master's, you can look into our range of doctoral programmes.

*All information shown has been taken from Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) or BU institutional data unless otherwise stated.

No hidden extras

As a student at BU we will provide many things to support you and there will also be additional costs you may encounter whilst studying at BU. The information below will help you understand our provision and what you need to budget for.

What you can expect from us

All of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees, including lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions and specialist teaching facilities. You will also have access to a wide range of support and services, many of these are included on the Next Steps insert enclosed with your offer letter.

  • One set of study-related consumables such as a memory stick/ DVD
  • Materials for laboratory and field-based teaching activity
  • Support for placements (UK or abroad) and fieldwork, and non-financial support whilst on placement
  • A range of student services – advisors, help desks, counsellors, placement support and careers service
  • The Library – access to a wide range of electronic resources (databases, e-journals and e-books), print and multimedia collections, subject librarians and study spaces
  • IT labs (some open 24/7), wireless network, AV equipment to borrow
  • Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) scheme
  • Disability and additional learning support
  • The BU Language Centre to help you develop/improve foreign or English language skills
  • 24 hours a day, 365 days a year security team.

Costs of living and other expenses you need to consider

  • Accommodation and living costs: view our price guide
  • Text books: remember that our award-winning library is stocked with a large range of text books for all courses, as well as online resources such as industry journals, free of charge
  • General stationery and other supplies such as print and presentation materials: the Students’ Union shops stock a wide range of stationery supplies on both campuses
  • Travel to, from and between BU campuses: our bus service operates in the local areas offering a subsidised travel rate; we also have a large number of secure bike storage compounds
  • SportBU membership: check out our student membership packages, sports events, varsity teams, information about our new facilities and more on the SportBU pages.
  • Optional fieldwork travel, outdoor wear and footwear (where applicable)
  • Telephone and travel costs incurred when undertaking interviews for coursework/securing placements.
  • A fee will be payable towards the cost of an Educational Psychology Assessment if this is required in connection with additional learning support. BU pays for approximately two-thirds of the cost of this assessment for UK students. For more details and current pricing please visit the Students section of the website.

Repeat units

If you need to repeat one or more units during the course of your studies, (with or without attendance) you may be required to pay additional fees equivalent to one ninth of the tuition fee per 20 credit unit.

Financial help available from BU

We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to students who are beginning their studies at BU. Our website also provides details on living costs, budgeting and paying your tuition fees.

Additional information

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Career development

Read about career and development opportunities and discover how gaining industry experience could help you.

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International students

We have a strong international student community. Find all the practical advice and information you need here.