International Law and Global Governance LLM

Year of entry

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Start date
September 2024
Delivery type
On campus
12 months full time
Entry requirements
A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in law or a relevant social science subject.
Full entry requirements
English language requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in all components
UK fees
£12,500 (Total)
International fees
£26,500 (Total)

Course overview

Students outside the Liberty Building

This course will enhance your understanding and challenge preconceptions of the complex legal and political nature of international law-making and governance.

We'll ask critical questions and raise strategies for a global order based on equity, sustainability, social justice, security and human rights at a time of global conflict, climate emergency and mass migration.

Taking a dynamic and responsive approach to contemporary global challenges, it aims to explore the often-competing concepts that infuse the theories and practice of international law. You’ll develop specialised knowledge of the most pressing and challenging aspects of this area of law and consider how States and intergovernmental bodies may respond.

You’ll examine topics such as the law of the sea, use of force, climate change, global health governance and international justice, which raise urgent questions about the effectiveness of current governance and regulatory regimes worldwide.

You’ll have the opportunity to:

  • critically examine and apply the policies, theories, principles, and provisions of international law to novel problems, real-world, and hypothetical scenarios

  • consider the impact of legal and political institutions such as the UN Security Council and the International Court of Justice

  • investigate the dynamics of power relations among states and between states and non-state actors

International law is increasingly a concern for a wide range of stakeholders, whether public or private bodies, international or national organisations and institutions.

Given contemporary and future global challenges such as protecting human rights and security and conserving natural resources, the significance of global governance, as well as its contestation, is growing in a multipolar world.

Research and professional insight

You’ll benefit from the expertise of leading academics in a stimulating research environment. Our research groups include:

Course details

On this course, you'll critically engage with a rich collection of contemporary themes set against the background of the international community's concerns and activities of state and non-state actors.

You’ll also examine crucial areas of international law including how international laws are created and implemented, the structure of relevant institutions such as the United Nations and other Non-State Actors, the role of States and their responsibility for upholding international legal provisions.

The course will give you the opportunity to:

  • explore the legal nature of international law on global, regional and local levels

  • examine the impact of international law on contemporary problems

  • critically assess whether and how international law has failed to address certain issues and may be harnessed to tackle future problems

  • investigate principles relating to equity, peace, security, human rights and sustainability as well as sovereignty, universality, jurisdiction, territory and self-determination

  • examine problems through Global South perspectives, Feminist and Ecology-based approaches

  • hone your legal research and writing skills, which you'll demonstrate in your dissertation

The wide-ranging list of optional modules means you can explore a mixture of related subjects.

Our School-based Skills Team will help you to develop the key academic skills necessary to thrive on your course. Through one-to-one appointments, we offer individual skills development advice for your module assessments, dissertation and wider studies. Moreover, our workshop series offers training in key skills areas including critical thinking, researching, planning, time management and editing. These skills will help you both during your studies and in the workplace.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read International Law and Global Governance LLM in the course catalogue

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Postgraduate Legal Research Skills 15
Dissertation 60
The Foundations of Global Governance through Law 15
Advanced Global Governance through Law 15
* From September 2024, the Global Governance through Law module (30 credits) will be taught across two shorter modules: The Foundations of Global Governance through Law (15 credits) and Advanced Global Governance through Law (15 credits)

Year 1 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

You will choose 75 credits from the below:

Module Name Credits
International Criminal Law 15
Security, Conflict and Justice 30
Alternative Dispute Resolution 15
Environmental Law 15
Comparative Human Rights Law 15
Globalisation and Crime 15
Inequalities, Law and Justice 30
Theories of Social Justice 15
International Banking Law: The Regulatory Framework 15
International Tax Law and Policy 30
The International Law of Foreign Investment 15
World Trade Organisation Law 15
International Economic Law 15
International Human Rights 30
Human Rights and Disabled People 1 15
Counterterrorism 15

Learning and teaching

At Leeds we use a variety of teaching and learning methods to help you make the most of your studies and develop the specialist skills that will become indispensable in your career.

These will include a range of seminars and lectures in which a high level of student engagement and discussion is expected plus online learning.

Independent study is integral to this course – not just to prepare for classes but to develop research and other critical skills. You’ll be expected to carry out advanced levels of legal research and participate fully in seminars.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.


Assessment is undertaken by a variety of methods but typically involves the writing of an essay at the end of each module. We assess the dissertation through your submission of a written piece of work of up to 10,000 words. 


Entry requirements

A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) or equivalent in law or a relevant social science subject.

We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications.

Please note that meeting the entry requirements of this course doesn't guarantee an offer of a place.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in all components. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

This pre-sessional course is designed with a progression route to your degree programme and you’ll learn academic English in the context of your subject area. To find out more, read  Language for Law (6 weeks) and Language for Social Sciences and Arts: Law (10 weeks).

We also offer online pre-sessionals alongside our on-campus pre-sessionals. Find out more about our six week online pre-sessional.

You can also study pre-sessionals for longer periods – read about our postgraduate pre-sessional English courses.

How to apply

Application deadlines

International – Friday 28 June 2024

UK – Friday 16 August 2024

If you intend to apply for funding, you should submit an application for a place on your chosen course at least one month before any specific scholarship deadline.

The ‘Apply’ link at the top of this page takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.

If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Documents and information you will need include:

  • Original or certified copies of your transcripts
  • Original or certified copies of your degree certificate
  • Original or certified copy of your IELTS/TOEFL results (if English is not your first language).

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Admissions Policy 2025

This course is taught by

School of Law

Contact us

School of Law Postgraduate Admissions Office



UK: £12,500 (Total)

International: £26,500 (Total)

Read more about paying fees and charges.

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.

Additional cost information

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more on our living costs and budgeting page.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.  Find out more at Masters funding overview.

The School of Law usually offers a number of scholarships each year. Find out more on the School’s scholarships page.

Career opportunities

From day one, we encourage you to think beyond your time at Leeds and reflect on a meaningful career. 

Graduates have chosen careers that centre on or involve understanding and applying international law and developing policies at an organisational level. Further training is required but many also go on to practise as lawyers or legal advisors.

Recent graduates have gone on to work in a range of sectors and professions including law firms, the government, higher education institutions and beyond. Many also pursue further study by commencing PhD research.

Our other alumni are working at the European Commission, United Nations, non-governmental organisations and in the government sector.

Careers support

The School of Law offers career and personal development support through the School’s dedicated Employability Officers. You can book one-to-one appointments with our Employability Officers throughout the year to discuss your career aspirations and get advice on how to make the most of your time with us.

The School also arranges a number of community engagement (pro bono) and work experience opportunities, career development workshops, guest speaker events and careers fairs throughout the year. These opportunities will allow you to develop new skills, enhance your career prospects and network with prospective employers.

Find out more about how we support your career development.

In addition to the School-specific careers support, you will also have access to the University’s award-winning Careers Centre. The Careers Centre offers one-to-one appointments, advice on starting your own business, careers events, mentoring schemes and support with your CV, applications and interviews.

Find out more about the Careers Centre