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LLM Legal and Political Theory

Question the fundamental aspects of political life and gain a firm grounding in key legal issues

Year of entry: 2020

Length

1 year full-time,
2 years part-time

Department

York Law School

Start date

September 2020 (term dates)

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Governments and international institutions regulate our lives, from what we wear in public to what we say about others. This raises profound questions about how we relate to each other and to our government.

By what right do some people rule over others? Do citizens have an obligation to obey the law? Ultimately, how can we live together peacefully in circumstances in which we disagree about how best to live?

This course, taught in conjunction with the Department of Philosophy and the Department of Politics, explores the core issues of political and legal theories and the relationship between them. By studying the works of theorists both past and present, you'll delve into the fundamental questions of legal and political philosophy.

Studying at York was deeply rewarding. The faculty, with their diverse perspectives, all contributed to an atmosphere of academic rigor and support.
Benjamin, LLM Legal and Political Theory

Research excellence

The Department was equal fifth in the Times Higher Education's rankings of the 2014 Research Excellence Framework assessment results and had the highest overall proportion of research designated as internationally excellent or world-leading.

Problem-based learning

A key feature of our course is problem-based learning - a modern, dynamic learning method that ensures you experience and understand law in its practical, social and theoretical contexts.

Course content

Your six core modules will introduce you to the fundamental questions of legal and political theory. By choosing from a range of options for the rest of your modules, you can focus your studies on what interests you most

You'll learn about the fundamental issues and theories of jurisprudence, alongside looking into the most important approaches to political theory. In your option modules, you'll have the chance to learn about topics such as pluralism, terrorism and ethics.

You'll also develop your research skills in preparation for a 12,000 word dissertation, which you will write during the Summer Term.

Modules

Core modules

Option modules

You'll choose two 20-credit option modules in the Spring Term. Recent module options include:

Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.

Dissertation

You'll write a 12,000 word dissertation (60 credits) on a topic of your choice, incorporating a legal dimension, under the supervision of a faculty member. You'll be supported in the preparation of the dissertation proposal by specialist research training.

There is a wide flexibility in choosing your topic and you are encouraged to make the most of the broad range of expertise made available by the collaborative nature of the programme.

The York approach

Every course at York is built on a distinctive set of learning outcomes. These will give you a clear understanding of what you will be able to accomplish at the end of the course and help you explain what you can offer employers. Our academics identify the knowledge, skills, and experiences you'll need upon graduation and then design the course to get you there.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Critically evaluate the central questions of legal and political theory and the works of the great legal and political theorists both past and present who have examined these questions
  • Discuss and critically evaluate the fundamental principles and theories of common, civil and international law systems and apply a comprehensive understanding of the operation of such principles to the analysis of legal and commercial problems
  • Apply and adapt problem-solving skills working efficiently and effectively to develop effective solutions to diverse, complex and integrated legal, practical or societal problems
  • Influence debate in chosen areas of specialisation by developing well-reasoned, critical and creative arguments, theories and solutions to broader legal issues within society, supported by researched evidence, with the capacity to draw on these to produce original responses
  • Evaluate propositions and solve complex problems by reflexively drawing upon and applying a broad awareness of perspectives and interests in their work, capable of taking into account key considerations (such as: ethical, social, political, professional, commercial, financial, business, international, policy, human rights, ethnic, gender and client interest considerations)
  • Record, reflect on, and evaluate the strengths, weaknesses and progress in their own personal learning and professional development
  • Develop legal research skills including: the use of computer databases and search strategies; critical evaluation of normative research questions, determine research methodologies which can be used to successfully address such questions, apply the skills and knowledge developed on the programme to a selected problem, and plan, project manage and implement a substantial project with minimal guidance

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees for 2020/21

Study modeUK/EUInternational
Full-time (1 year) £8,040£18,240
Part-time (2 years)
This is the year 1 fee. Fees for future years are subject to confirmation.
£4,020£9,120

Students on a Tier 4 Visa are not currently permitted to study part-time at York.

Fees information

UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK/EU or international student.

Funding information

Discover your funding options to help with tuition fees and living costs.

If you've successfully completed an undergraduate degree at York you could be eligible for a 10% Masters fee discount.

Home/EU students

International students

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.

The course challenged me to consider the political and philosophical dimension to legal study and the weekly Morrell Seminars also widened my academic interests. There is an expansive and great depth of knowledge in the department and all staff were extremely supportive and accessible.
Byron, LLM Legal and Political Theory

Teaching and assessment

You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace.

Teaching format

You’ll be taught in a variety of ways depending on the modules you choose. For most modules, you’ll be in small groups either in a seminar format – discussing issues in depth with peers and staff – or in problem-based learning groups. For some modules, you will attend lectures and plenary sessions where you will be introduced to key debates.

Teaching location

York Law School is located on Campus East. Nearly all of your teaching will take place within the Law and Management building or nearby on Campus East.

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

The forms of assessment differ depending on module choice, but most modules are assessed by an essay written over the vacation following the term’s teaching. You will receive feedback throughout your course, including written feedback on your work during each module and informal feedback in seminars.

Careers and skills

Throughout your time at York, you will receive active support in careers and development planning from the York Law School employability tutor.

We encourage you to get involved with our Careers and Development Programme. The programme includes several employers, providing an insight into the legal profession and the relevant recruitment processes.

There is also help available for those of you who are thinking about non-legal employers or academic routes following your LLM.

Career opportunities

Many graduates pursue careers such as:

  • Lawyer 
  • Litigation Paralegal Solicitor
  • Commercial in-house lawyer
  • Attorney-at-law

Some of our students also go onto work in sectors not directly related to law such as:

  • Finance
  • Health and Social Work
  • Public Administration
  • Retail

Transferable skills

  • Research skills
  • Communication and presentation skills
  • Analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Project management
  • Reasoning and judgement
  • Document and case analysis
  • Negotiation and mediation
  • Advocacy

Entry requirements

Qualification Typical offer
Undergraduate degree 2:1 or equivalent in Law, Management or a related social science
Other qualifications and experience Applicants with equivalent legal professional, management or commercial experience will be considered on a case-by-case basis

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:

Qualification Minimum requirement
IELTS 7.0, minimum 7.0 in Writing and 6.5 in all other components
PTE Academic 67, minimum 67 in Writing and 61 in all other components
C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency 185, minimum 185 in Writing and 176 in all other components
TOEFL 96, minimum 24 in Writing and 23 in all other components
Trinity ISE III Distinction in all components

For more information see our postgraduate English language requirements.

If you've not met our English language requirements

You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.

The length of course you need to take depends on your current IELTS scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.

After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.

Applying

You can apply and send all your documentation electronically through our online system. You don’t need to complete your application all at once: you can start it, save it and finish it later.

Apply for this course

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