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LLM (Master of Laws) in Media Law

An LLM in Media Law is a specialised, vocational, internationally recognised postgraduate law degree. Recently, more universities have been offering Media Law as a pre-packaged taught course option. It is often taught via a framework of specialised media modules that are scheduled to run alongside more generalised law courses that form part of a standard LLM program. It often includes aspects of entertainmeent law and is sometimes even referred to by universities and recruiters as an LLM in Entertainment Law.

A Master of Laws in Media Law qualifies the bearer to practice in areas that require acute experience in legal issues surrounding broadcast, print, and online media, both factual and fictionally focused. Copyright law, broadcast regulations, privacy law, intellectual property rights, freedom of expression, information laws, legal issues surrounding social media, and newsgathering regulations form major areas of study for LLM Media Law students. Additionally, there is usually a heavy focus on criminal law when it comes to corruption, personal harassment, and subterfuge due to legal issues around newsgathering typically forming the bulk of the specialised content of the LLM.

Case studies and essays in LLM Media Law will typically concern legal responses to current events, hypothetical cases, and potential near future issues. There is often a strong degree of academic and political debate involved as to what is legally acceptable practice in the fields studied.

Contract law, litigation, and intellectual property will make up most of the cases LLM Media Law students handle upon graduation. 

Find LLM programs in Media Law

Number crunching the LLM in Media Law

Media Law7 internationally recognised law schools offer an LLM in Media Law in the United Kingdom alone

14 top tier (Band 1-4) law firms hire and use LLM Media Law graduates in the United Kingdom, according to Chambers Guide (UK edition)

£1.2 million is the amount awarded in December 2015 to 8 claimants represented in Gulati vs MGN Ltd., a UK phone hacking privacy damages trial that drew extensively on varied expertise in media law

LLM in Media Law – who's it for?

An LLM in Media Law is a recommended pathway for law or humanities graduates looking to move into employment at firms specialising in corporate media consultancy or representative personal litigation on the basis of media issues such as privacy law and potential intellectual property infringement.

An LLM in Media Law can also be a route to working as a permanently attached legal or copyright and intellectual property advisor at a major media company or news outlet. It may also be possible to adapt to the degree to more general work as a solicitor.

Where can you study an LLM in Media Law?

Several universities in the UK offer an LLM in Media Law, these include Queen Mary (University of London) and LSE. UCLA in the USA also offers this specialism of Master of Laws.

Many smaller universities also offer the chance to study media law, and standard LLM courses can often be adapted to an LLM in Media Law via module selection, at student request.

What qualifications do you need to study an LLM in Media Law?

The entry requirements are comparable to a standard LLM which is an undergraduate degree in law or a cognitive humanities degree (such as sociology or history) with a proven focus on analysis, written communication, and argument to a grade 2.1.  Mitigating circumstances and prior employment may also be considered as factors. The majority of universities offering this degree will also ask non-native English language speakers for some proof of standard English proficiency. This may be supporting evidence such as a prior essay or additional written test. In the case of international students you will need to achieve a minimum IELTS or TOEFL score as set by the individual law schools.

An LLM in Media Law advances careers in...

Business Legal Consultancy

Personal Legal Representation

Corporate and Small Business Legal Representation

Intellectual Property Law

Broadcast Regulation Law and Standards and Practices Monitoring

Interesting alumnus

Hugh Tomlinson QC is a leading British barrister who has specialised in media and human rights law throughout his varied career, starting with his undergraduate PPE degree at Oxford.

Hugh is considered a superior legal authority on the right to privacy and media, advising countless celebrities and politicians in the wake of the 2011 News of the World phone hacking scandal. He has also worked extensively on issues involving police conduct and media law.

Recommended reading

Digital Media Law: Second Edition by Ashley Packard

The UK Media Law Pocketbook by Tim Crook

Media Law for Journalists by Ursula Smartt


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