LLM in European Law
An LLM in European Law will give students an established core of European law subjects at an advanced level within a global perspective. It will look at a wide variety of aspects of European Law within social, political and economic contexts. LLMs in European Law will indepthly study a broad range of fields including constitutional law, competition law, environmental law, employment law, the law on migration, and human rights law.
As the European Community becomes larger and more complex, so have the different laws and legislative processes within it. Some of the newer states built their own fresh legal framework after the collapse of Communism: often, this was based on more established systems, such as the law of England and Wales. However, there are still a number of different codes and ideologies within the EU that occasionally conflict with one another. So the study of European law is a very broad subject, which can be split into several areas: the separate legal structures of the different European Union countries, which are often studied comparatively, ie by measuring substantive individual legislation (employment law, contract law, criminal justice and so forth) from one member state against that of others; cross-European laws that apply to all member states and can range from fairly minor regulations to major treaties; philosophical, historical and political considerations; interaction with countries beyond Europe; and specific legal issues, such as immigration, human rights and conduct of business.
Increasingly, issues like civil liberties, movement of people, environment and development are being debated by law and policy makers, and these issues, too, are finding their way into master’s in EU law, as is the debate about whether all member states should embrace the same legislation.
An LLM in European Law will develop the student’s expertise for employment in many areas for which those trained in EU law are in great demand.
European Law Courses
LLMs in European Law are generally ‘taught’ courses, ie they involve attending classes and tutorials as well as writing essays and assignments. LLMs in European Law are usually full-time one-year courses, however a lot of universities offer part-time programmes which usually last for two years. In common with other LLMs, to obtain a master’s, you will need to write a long dissertation. In European law master’s, it can range from about 10,000 words (Essex University) to 18,000–20,000 words (Nottingham Trent and Kent Universities). Contact with teaching staff is generally low – about four to eight hours per week on straightforward LLMs in European law (ie those specialising in other areas such as business). There is a great deal of emphasis on individual research and reading.
There are many LLM programmes in European Law available at law schools throughout Europe including The University of Gronigen’s LLM in European Law in the Netherlands or the University of Exeter’s European Law LLM in the UK. There are also many LLM programmes that combine European Law with aspects of commercial and/or business law for those wanting to specialise more in the commercial or business aspects of European Law, for example Brunel University’s LLM in European and International Commercial Law or the University of Central Lancashire’s LLM in European Commercial Law, both based in the UK.
The majority of universities in the UK that run law courses offer LLMs in some branch of European law. This might be as part of a general master’s in law, but it is more likely to come under a course title like ‘LLM in European Law’ or ‘LLM in European Legal Studies’. At present, there are about 20–25 programmes of this type across the country. Apart from these, there are also several that cover both EU and international law, and even more which consider a particular aspect of European legislation, particularly business/commercial law, trade law, human rights law, criminal law and public law. Most of these are ‘taught’ through classes and tutorials, though research LLMs are offered at a handful of universities.
Entry to LLM European Law
It is usual to have a first degree in law, although many colleges will accept applications from those with bachelor’s qualifications that have a large law element (eg business or political subjects).
Read more about LLMs in European Law in the UK.
English Language Requirements
Apart from the high level of self-directed study, students will be analysing, discussing and comparing intricate legislation: therefore graduates whose first language isn’t English are required to have high IELTS (or equivalent) scores of 7 or above or TOEFL: 107 or above. Because of ongoing changes in the law we advise international students to regularly check the UKBA website to make sure they can fulfil the necessary requirements. Most individual institutions also have useful information on the Tier 4 requirements for international students, and can offer assistance in terms of student queries about their specific English language requirements.
Click here to find out more about English Language requirements for International Students.
A Textbook on EC Law, J J Steiner and L Woods
An Introduction to Comparative Law, K Zweigert and H Kötz
Constitutional Law of the European Union, S Douglas-Scott
European Constitutionalism Beyond the State, J Weiler and M Wind (eds)
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