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LLM International Law, Globalisation and Development

LLM (Master of Laws)

School of Law

The LLM in International Law, Globalisation and Development provides the opportunity to study the history, theories and application of the concepts of development and globalisation under international law. The course covers contemporary topics such as foreign investment, food security, the right to development and self-determination, post-conflict and transitional countries, and conflicts over energy and resources. Its contemporary and global perspective is ideally suited to students from a law, history, politic, business, economics or other social sciences background.

As well as the LLM in International Law, Globalisation and Development, we offer four other specialised LLM courses: International Trade and Commercial LawInternational Economic LawInternational Human Rights Law, and International Law.

Available start dates

September 2019 / September 2020

Teaching location

Headington Campus

Course length

  • Full time: LLM: 12 months, PGDip: 9 months, PGCert: 9 months
  • Part time: LLM: 24 months, PGDip: 18 months, PGCert: 18 months

For full application details, please see the 'How to apply / Entry requirements' section.

  • You will gain specialist skills and in-depth knowledge that will be attractive to employers in the areas of international legal practice and international development.
  • It would also appeal if you intend to pursue careers in international governmental and non-governmental organisations, as well as in government and academic posts.
  • In the 2014 REF 96% of the School of Law’s research was internationally recognised. You will have the opportunity to become involved in research via specialist modules in which the teaching staff have expertise and by the supervising of dissertations in their specialist subjects.
  • Oxford has much to offer graduate students. As one of the world's greatest academic cities, it is a key centre of debate, with conferences, seminars and forums taking place across a range of international law topics within the university, the city of Oxford and in nearby London. In addition to our own excellent libraries and resource centres, LLM students also have access to the unparalleled legal holdings at the Bodleian Law Library.
  • Your course tutors, fellow students and alumni are drawn from countries around the world giving you the opportunity to build a truly global network of contacts.
  • Special support is provided for international students, particularly those whose first language is not English, to ensure that they find their feet quickly and are able to participate fully. 
In the first semester, students taking the International Law, Globalisation and Development pathway will take a compulsory module in Advanced Legal Research Methods, and two optional modules from International Law, International Human Rights Law or International Economic Law. In the second semester students take a compulsory module in Law, Globalisation and Development, and two options from the list below.
 
Advanced Legal Research Methods
This module, which is compulsory for all LLM students, provides an opportunity for students to develop core skills in legal research. Expert guidance is provided in locating and using international law sources especially electronic sources. Particular attention is also paid to analysis of legal texts, reasoning skills, presenting research both orally and in writing, and appropriate referencing. The Oxford Brookes Library has an expanding collection of international law materials and provides access to a wide range of online databases.
 
Law, Globalisation and Development
This module examines the history, theories and application of the concepts of development and globalisation under international law. In particular it focuses on the key aspects of economic activity and environmental protection currently regulated under the auspices of the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the World Bank and other international and regional institutions. These systems are subjected to critical assessment and the positive and negative effects of the global project of development are questioned. The module also devotes time to contemporary topics relating to the right to development, food security, post-conflict and transitional countries, natural resource law, foreign direct investment and protests against development projects and programmes.
 
The student can choose any two of the following options (20 credits each, totalling 60 master's level credits)*:
 
International Law
The principal aim of the compulsory module in international law is to introduce students to the international legal system and the general rules that govern the international community, set in the context of a rapid globalisation. The module introduces the philosophical underpinnings of international law, including the nature of the international legal system and the context within which it operates, and examines the sources of international law and the key doctrines and principles. Areas of particular importance in state practice are also examined, including human rights, the use of force and international humanitarian law, environmental protection and international economic law.
 
Law of International Business Transactions
The purpose of this module is to provide an introduction to the relevant components of business transactions within a global economy. The module focuses on the “micro” perspective of the private business actor, rather than the “macro” or public policy perspective of the regulator. It begins by introducing the basic transactions for the purchase and sale of goods, an analysis of various types of contracts, and remedies available for the breach thereof. Discussion subsequently focuses on special problems arising between buyer and seller where goods are carried in a container, followed by an examination of the various types of contracts for the carriage of goods by sea. The focus of the module then turns to banker's commercial credits, examining both the types of credits and then the contractual effects between the buyer and seller; buyer and banker; and the seller and banker. After sale of goods, the module proceeds to more complicated distribution and licensing agreements, and ultimately to joint venture and foreign direct investment agreements. Finally, the module considers dispute resolutions in international business transactions. This course prepares for ‘Advanced Issues of International Business Transactions’.
 
Advanced Issues of International Business Transactions
This course aims at giving students who already are acquainted with the law on International Business Transactions the possibility to go into depth into selected problems. The course is designed to allow intense discussions of these problems in order to raise the sensitivity for the issues at stake and to lead to a research oriented approach. The course will treat a selection of topical contemporary issues of international business transactions, such as international e-commerce, UN Sales Convention (CISG), UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts, charter parties, multimodal transport, marine insurance, agency agreements, international franchising, FDI and corruption. The course seeks to be as topical as possible, so the content may change in the light of developments.
 
International Economic Law
This module examines the key aspects of the public international law of trade and finance. International trade, in its public sense, comprises the multilateral regulation of trade through the World Trade Organisation as well as the many free trade agreements that have been concluded outside the WTO framework. These agreements between governments limit and determine their powers to restrict the flow of goods and services between countries. As such they form a significant backdrop to the conduct of international business transactions between private parties as well as the conditioning of trade activity by all States. The majority of the module focuses on the fundamental principles of international trade contained in GATT 1994 under the WTO Agreement. In addition, the module examines international financial institutions such as the IMF and World Bank that have a role in the regulation and dispensation of financial goods, including currency movements and major project funding. This module is intended to outline the key international regimes at work in the contemporary trade and financial worlds, and allow students to explore and understand the reach of these institutions in international law.
 
International Investment Law
This module provides students with the opportunity to examine the laws, policies and legal issues affecting foreign investment and foreign enterprises, with special emphasis on the developing world and emerging markets. The rules, principles and institutions of public international law that affect direct foreign investment are explored, followed by an examination of host country laws that both encourage and regulate foreign investment. The political risks for foreign investment and the legal protection mechanisms necessary to eliminate or reduce such risks are considered, including investment insurance mechanisms and bilateral investment treaty (BIT) programmes as well as the dispute settlement regime for international investment law.
 
International Commercial Arbitration
This module introduces students to international commercial law and arbitration, including arbitral agreements, applicable law, the enforcement of arbitral awards and arbitrations involving state parties. The course also addresses the international regulation of the conduct of foreign investment and critically examines the role international commercial law and arbitration plays in the process of economic globalisation.
 
International Environmental Law
This module provides an in-depth understanding of issues relating to international environmental law and global policies. The module begins by examining the role of international law in dealing with environmental issues and the sources of international environmental law. Key environmental issues are examined, not just to understand the specific area of regulation but also to place it in the context of international law and policy and the wider challenges to globalised environmental protection. There is also an opportunity to examine the tensions between environmental law and policy and other value systems such as human rights and international trade.
 
International Labour Law
This module focuses on the work of the International Labour Organisation (the ILO). It starts by considering the history and workings of the ILO and the various theoretical issues raised by the search for universal and international standards for labour rights.
The main part of the course is devoted to an examination of fundamental labour standards, as identified by the ILO itself, those being rights to freedom of association, the abolition of forced labour, non-discrimination and the reduction of child labour. The difficulties of enforcement of these standards are examined. Reference is also made to other international standards such as those of the UN and the EU.
 
International Intellectual Property Law
This module aims to explore how, with the rise of information and technology as key global assets, intellectual property laws have been fashioned and constantly transformed to identify, regulate, manage and protect those assets. It examines the process of harmonisation of intellectual property across the world in the context of the international trade regime, the proliferation of overlapping, and often contradictory claims among the diversity of stakeholders as well as policy issues located in ethics, culture and human rights.
 
Corporate Governance and Corporate Social Responsibility
This module aims to introduce students to the principles of corporate governance that influence the management of modern companies worldwide. In particular, it focuses on corporate regulation in the wake of the recent scandals in the USA and in Europe. The existing corporate governance models will be examined and the future of corporate governance will be also considered. Other areas covered include investors’ protection, shareholders’ rights and board architecture. Theories of regulatory competition and harmonisation of law will be also explored along with related issues of corporate social responsibility.
 
International Human Rights Law: Law and Institutions
This module examines the protection of human rights under international law. It considers the protection afforded under the United Nations system; the European system, focusing on the European Convention on Human Rights; the Inter-American system; and the African system. The major international instruments are critically assessed and the effectiveness of the protection provided is questioned. Special attention is given to a range of topics which are of current interest, including issues relating to globalisation, corporate liability for human rights violations and the protection of social and economic rights.
 
International Human Rights Law: Law and Practice
This module examines international human rights law through key, wide-ranging case studies including the right to development, group rights, self-determination and human rights in wartime, considering how contemporary legal and political contexts affect IHRL today. Using primary documents, case law and academic commentary, each topic is appraised from a practical perspective, underpinned by theory and principles.
 
This module examines the protection of human rights under international law. It considers the protection afforded under the United Nations system, the European system, focusing on the European Convention on Human Rights, the Inter-American system, and the African system. The major international instruments are critically assessed and the effectiveness of the protection provided is questioned. Special attention is given to a range of topics which are of current interest, including issues relating to globalisation, corporate liability for human rights violations and the protection of social and economic rights.
 
International Humanitarian Law
International Humanitarian Law is a single module which develops themes introduced on the compulsory module in International Law. This module is optional for students registered for the LLM in International Law (SS63). It also complements International Criminal Law and International Human Rights. The main aim of this module is to introduce candidates to the international norms and institutions that support and/or influence the implementation of humanitarian norms across a range of conflict situations and other situations of violence. The module is intended also to develop legal and analytical skills, promote humanitarian law and encourage high quality discussion and research in this field.  This course focuses on the branch of public international law that deals with armed conflict, in particular the principles relating to the protection of civilians and victims of armed conflict, the conduct of hostilities, the legal controls on weapons, internal armed conflict and the law of belligerent occupation which derive principally from the Hague Conventions of 1907, the 1949 Geneva Conventions and the 1977 Additional Protocols, which have become known as humanitarian law. It examines the rationale behind this body of law, the function in this field of both governmental and non-governmental agencies and the application and enforcement of the norms in the light of contemporary international and non-international armed conflicts.
 
European Union Law
This module provides an introduction to the constitutional and administrative law of the European Union. It begins with an examination of the political development and legal nature of the European Union and the operation of its institutions. Discussion then focuses on the nature of community law, its relationship with national law and the role of the European Court of Justice. Finally, the administrative law of the European Union is critically examined.
 
International Criminal Law
This module focuses on the development of international criminal law following the establishment of the International Criminal Court. The remit of the court is examined as well as the specific crimes over which the ICC has jurisdiction, namely genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Individual and command responsibility is considered including the question of immunity, particularly for heads of state and former heads of state as well as the issue of universal jurisdiction.
 
International Refugees and Migrants
This module looks at the ways that nationality is conceived and realised in a post-colonial age of nation states, in the light of the commitment in international law to nationality as a human right. It also considers how law deals with the movement of individuals and peoples in terms of national identity and conferment of formal national membership, and how these issues affect current regional groupings and are affected by them. The issues will be examined with reference to the provisions of international law, the rules and practice of regions (eg Europe) and case studies of individual countries.
 
International Investment Law
This module provides students with the opportunity to examine the laws, policies and legal issues affecting foreign investment and foreign enterprises, with special emphasis on the developing world and emerging markets. The rules, principles and institutions of public international law that affect direct foreign investment are explored, followed by an examination of host country laws that both encourage and regulate foreign investment. The political risks for foreign investment and the legal protection mechanisms necessary to eliminate or reduce such risks are considered, including investment insurance mechanisms and bilateral investment treaty (BIT) programmes as well as the dispute settlement regime for international investment law.
 
Students who complete at least 60 credits over the taught elements of the course are eligible for the award of the Postgraduate Certificate in International Law.
 
Dissertation
Your LLM dissertation is an extended and supervised piece of work on a particular aspect of international law chosen in consultation with your course tutors. It is an opportunity to gain knowledge through systematic academic enquiry and for you to demonstrate your ability to explore and present legal arguments. The style of research may range from empirical investigation to textual analysis. You will develop transferable skills in research and information and project management. 
You will be encouraged to choose an international law topic of personal interest or one related to your occupation. Full-time students will normally begin preliminary work on the dissertation in Semester 1 and formalise the topic and structure of the dissertation in Semester 2. The main work on the dissertation will normally take place from June to mid-August.
 
Please note, as courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the module lists you choose from may vary from the ones shown here. Availability of options may also vary from year to year subject to staff availability and student demand.
 

Teaching and learning

A wide diversity of teaching methods are employed throughout the LLM courses in order to provide a high-quality learning experience. These include lectures, seminar discussions, individual and small group tutorials, case studies, and group and individual presentations. 

Particular emphasis is placed on skills training, with opportunities provided to acquire and practise legal reasoning as well as research and IT skills. Assessment methods include coursework, and individual and group presentations.

All the members of the LLM course team are active researchers and encourage students to become involved in their respective areas of research by teaching specialist modules in which they have expertise and by supervising dissertations in their specialist subjects.

Programme changes

On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website. For more information, please visit our Changes to programmes page.

Tuition fees

Home/EU - full time fee: 2018/19: £6,580 2019/20: £6,710

Home/EU - part time fee: 2018/19: £3,360 2019/20: £3,420

International - full time: 2018/19: £13,770 2019/20: £14,050

Where part time fees are quoted this is for the first year only. Fees will increase by up to 4% each year.

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course, if any, are detailed in the 'This course in detail' window above.

Questions about fees?
Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088
finance-fees@brookes.ac.uk

Funding and scholarships

Entry requirements

Students will normally be required to have (or to be expecting) a good honours degree, or an equivalent degree awarded by a university outside the United Kingdom. The degree may be in Law or in a related discipline. We welcome applications from both non-Law graduates and work experience-based candidates.

Students new to the academic study of law will be advised to read a number of recommended texts by way of induction before they begin the course. Students are also encouraged to attend the induction sessions provided in the week prior to the beginning of the course.

Please also see the university's general entry requirements.

English language requirements

An IELTS minimum score of 6.5 (with 6.0 in reading and writing) is required.

Please also see the university's standard English language requirements

English requirements for visas

If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the university's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.

International applications

Preparation courses for International and EU students

We offer a range of courses to help you to meet the entry requirements for this course and also familiarise you with university life. You may also be able to apply for one student visa to cover both courses.

  • Take our Pre-Master's course to help you to meet both the English language and academic entry requirements for your master's course.
  • If you need to improve your English language, we have pre-sessional English language courses available to help you to meet the English language requirements of your chosen master’s.

If you are studying outside the UK, for more details about your specific country entry requirements, translated information, local contacts and programmes within your country, please have a look at our country pages.

How to apply

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

How this course helps you develop

Graduates from the LLM succeed across an impressive range of careers from policy makers and human rights activists through to high flying diplomats and commercial lawyers. LLM staff can advise you and direct you to possible careers and employers depending on your particular needs and ambitions. 
 
"I have joined a corporate law team at a leading multinational law firm in Beijing, thanks to my LLM."
 
LLM Alumna, Lin Zheng
 
Pursuing an academic career in law
 
Research is fundamental to the School of Law. Students are taught exclusively by research active staff with diverse interests and projects. Many students feel moved to continue their academic studies and become specialists themselves and the teaching staff will be able to guide you in this decision. Several former LLM students have chosen to become researchers - publishing and lecturing on their work and graduating to do a PhD. 
 
"The grounding that I now have in international law has allowed me to take on work that I would not previously have been qualified for. For example, I am currently developing a programme of litigation on the issue of counter-terrorism and human rights for an international organisation. I have lectured at Harvard Law School and been invited to contribute to an edited volume produced by Harvard."
 
LLM Alumnus Richard Carver, Associate Lecturer and Human Rights Consultant. 
 

What our students say » 

 

Free language courses for students - the Open Module

Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

Please note that the free language courses are not available if you are:

  • studying at a Brookes partner college
  • studying on any of our teacher education courses or postgraduate education courses.

How Brookes supports postgraduate students

The LLM has a dedicated student support co-ordinator who can give advice on the course, finance, accommodation or personal issues which may be affecting your study and will also regularly update you with information on visiting speakers, careers advice and course announcements. 

They can also help you to access other support services in the University such as ‘Upgrade’, which offers confidential advice on study skills, and English language support through the international centre.

You will be assigned an academic adviser, and a Legal Skills Tutor will be available to help with study and writing skills.

Supporting your learning

From academic advisers and support co-ordinators to specialist subject librarians and other learning support staff, we want to ensure that you get the best out of your studies.

Personal support services

We want your time at Brookes to be as enjoyable and successful as possible. That's why we provide all the facilities you need to be relaxed, happy and healthy throughout your studies.

Research highlights

Professor Ilona Cheyne has been invited to participate in the EU COST group on 'Fragmentation, Politicisation and Constitutionalisation of International Law', working on standards of review in international courts and tribunals.

Dr Andreas Kotsakis researches on the history and theory of international law, particularly as it relates to issues of environment and development. He has published journal articles on global environmental governance, the regulation of shale gas extraction and the relation between law and geography. His research monograph 'The use of Biodiversity in International Law: A genealogy of Genetic Gold' was published by Routledge in 2016.

Dr Michael John-Hopkins researches human rights law, humanitarian law and refugee law. The main threads running through these fields of enquiry are the issue of land and access to land, the right to return, decontamination, mediating and supervising competing private and public interests in land. His publications in this area cover targeting and weaponry law in contemporary conflicts, the housing crisis and resolving land issues in post-conflict environments.

Research areas and clusters

Oxford Brookes academics are at the forefront of a wide range of internationally recognised and world-leading research and projects. In the 2014 REF 96% of the School of Law’s research was internationally recognised. The LLM course team consists of researchers working within the International Law, Critical Approaches to Law and Fundamental Rights and Equality research groups. LLM students can attend the programmes of research seminars and other events that underpin the research culture of the School of Law.

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