Studying for an LLM (Master of Laws) program in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom and is situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland. From historic locations to stunning landscapes, Northern Ireland offers several exciting activities to pursue including its popular attraction the Giant's Causeway which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Northern Ireland is steeped in history, culture and myth. Its natural landmarks include among others, the Mountains of Mourne and Fermanagh Lakelands. The Old Bushmills Distillery is a popular tourist attraction and is the oldest licensed distillery in the world. The Walled City of Derry and the Titanic Belfast attract cultural and historic enthusiasts from all over the world. As the birthplace of the Titanic, Northern Ireland’s capital city Belfast is one of the world’s top tourist destinations. As a student interested in travelling, you will not run out of exciting places to explore! And you will find the rail journey between Londonderry-Derry and Coleraine as one of the most unique journeys you’ve ever had!

You can access Northern Ireland via its airports that cheaply and easily connect to the rest of the UK, Europe and beyond. With ferry links to England and Scotland, in addition to great roads, bus and train connections, you can easily access other European tourist attractions during your student year.

Find LLM programs in Northern Ireland


Top reasons to study in Northern Ireland

Leading Law Schools

Law schools in Northern Ireland provide high quality learning environment with innovative teaching practice. The two leading universities in Northern Ireland for law are top-notch in their disciplines and offer excellent student facilities. Queen's University of Belfast – School of Law is a member of the Russell Group of the UK’s leading research-intensive universities and has over 160 years of experience in teaching Law.

Inspiring People

Northern Ireland has produced Nobel laureates, well-known scientists, famous musicians and actors. Its musical exports include among others, Van Morrison, big screen personalities such as Liam Neeson, Kenneth Branagh and Sam Neill and playwrights such as Martin Lynch and Marie Jones.

Plenty of fun-things to do

You will find several travel websites giving plenty of info on the fun things that you can do during your stay in Northern Ireland. From canoeing to Segway trails, pub-crawling to theatre ventures, Northern Ireland has many more events to offer. You will not miss the vibrant art and cultural events in Northern Ireland since it is famous for its artistic talents. You could also find yourself getting involved in its local theatre to not to miss its wonderful music offerings! Don’t forget to check out its traditional bands in the local pubs or catch a rock gig at bigger venues. For clubbers, Northern Ireland plays host to some of the world's best DJs, so watch out for those events and book them in advance! Let’s not forget that the city of Londonderry was named the “City of Culture” in 2013. From historic monuments to its scenic landscapes, you can make the best of your weekends with your fellow students. You can either join organised tours or plan an independent one with your friends.

Affordable Living

There are many costs associated with going to university including accommodation costs, food, clothing, books and travel expenses, among others. Northern Ireland has been recognised by the British Council as having the lowest cost of living in the UK, so that’s a huge plus point in saving up on living expenses and spending on other interesting activities!

Overview of law schools in Northern Ireland that offer LLM programs

LLMs in Northern IrelandTwo leading universities in law are based in Northern Ireland – Queen's University of Belfast School of Law and the University of Ulster – School of Law. Given its long-standing international reputation for research and for education in legal teaching, the School of Law at Queen's University Belfast’s offers a wide range of taught postgraduate programs available on a full-time or part-time basis including its LLM (Master of Laws) program.

Apart from a general LLM program, the School of Law offers varied course specialisations which include:

LLM in Law & International Commerce
LLM in Environmental Law & Sustainable Development
LLM in Criminology
LLM in Criminal Justice
LLM in Law & Governance
LLM in Law & Corporate Governance
LLM in Human Rights Law
LLM in Human Rights & Criminal Justice
LLM in Business & Human Rights

University of Ulster’s School of Law’s approach aims to link classroom study to real-life legal situations through problem-based learning and offers internship prizes to spend time training with law firms.

The law school offers four LLM courses:  

LLM in Human Rights Law and Transitional Justice
LLM in Commercial Law
LLM in Gender, Conflict and Human Rights
LLM in Clinical Legal Education

Expected tuition fees and living costs in Northern Ireland

Depending on the course that you choose, the average university tuition fee for LLM programs ranges between £4,995 to £6,000 per year for UK, Ireland and EU students. For international students, it is approximately £12,000 per year. These fees may undergo change every academic year, therefore please check the university website or contact the university for updated fee details before applying. Universities in Northern Ireland provide several funding options, the details of which can be found on their websites.

Accommodation may be provided by the university that you are applying to. If not, then the university may be able to provide details of nearby resident arrangements. Queen’s University provides resident accommodation for its students. Costs however vary depending on the type of accommodation. 

As mentioned, Northern Ireland is recognised by the British Council as having the lowest cost of living in the UK.  As a guide Queen’s University estimates that you should allow approximately £7,500 to cover your personal expenses for one academic year (in addition to tuition fees).

Entry requirements

LLM students in Northern IrelandEntry criteria to LLM courses may differ from each university. Typically, applicants must have a minimum of a second class honours degree in law from a university of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, from the Council for National Academic Awards, the National Council for Educational Awards, the Higher Education and Training Awards Council, or from an institution of another country which has been recognised as being of an equivalent standard by the University.

In addition, applicants will be required to submit academic and/or professional references in addition to a personal statement detailing their interest and motivation in undertaking the LLM program. They may be required to attend an interview to evaluate applicants’ suitability for the program. With respect to English language requirements for international students, you will be required to have a minimum prescribed IELTS score and this may vary from each university.

Under certain circumstances, universities may provide English language teaching and support for registered students who have English as an additional language.

Things to enjoy in Northern Ireland when you aren't studying

Join student societies and local clubs

Keep your eye out at the beginning of the year for membership announcements to law societies, moot associations and local clubs. This could give you a chance to meet new people, pursue co-curricular activities and develop networking skills.

Attend public lectures/seminars

Don’t forget to watch out for campus announcements about public lectures on topics that interest you or seminars/conferences that you feel you might gain from. These can be really helpful if you are able to get some ideas on your thesis work.

Sign-up for student facilities/workshops

Campus-based events may also cover exciting student facilities and workshops to enhance your skills. These could include developing on your oratory skills or writing abilities. There may also be recreational classes at your local gym such as dance/zumba to pass your time in the evenings and meet new people!

Explore your local area

Don’t forget to explore your local area with your fellow-students so you are updated on the local happenings and immerse yourself in the local events.

Plan weekend day-outs

With great transport facilities and so many exciting places to visit, you can make good use of your weekends by planning them well in advance. For instance, if you are at Queen’s University, there are several historic landmarks in Belfast that you can list and visit one-by-one. You could even spend Friday evenings attending a local gig!


Related Editorial Links

LLMs in Scotland

LLMs in the UK


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