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LLM International Criminal Justice & Human Rights

LLM International Criminal Justice & Human Rights

Course Overview



Do some crimes cry out to be prosecuted trans-nationally? Can human rights make the world a better place? Or is there no hope of criminal justice ever operating effectively at the international level, or of human rights rhetoric leading to real improvements in the way governments treat their people? Whatever your views, if these questions resonate with you, this programme is for you.

Whether you are passionate about international criminal justice and human rights or sceptical about them, you will become fully informed on the underlying issues and be able debate them at a sophisticated level with others.

The international criminal justice side of the programme aims to provide you with a detailed understanding of the key contemporary issues in the field. Organised crime, terrorist activity and regional civil wars transcend national boundaries, impacting far beyond the interests of individual nation states.

The effective detection, investigation and prosecution of crime is increasingly dependent on closer harmonisation and co-operation among global institutions. The human rights dimension of the programme seeks to develop your understanding of the main global systems for the protection of human rights, and your appreciation of the main arguments for and against the universality of human rights, in concept and in practice.

This is a programme both for those interested in the practicalities of criminal justice and human rights at international level and for those seeking to develop an academic expertise in these areas as part of a career in teaching and/or research.

You will have close contact with staff members experienced in and dedicated to their subject. You will have the opportunity in small seminar groups for real engagement with their ideas and the ideas of your fellow students as you develop and articulate your own thinking on international criminal justice and human rights.

Why study this course?
  • Research-led teaching – 96% of our research is judged to have global impact
  • Module choice – one of the widest ranges of LLM modules available in the USA
  • Employability – this programme provides a rare set of specialised modules leaving graduates uniquely qualified for growing international employment markets
  • Professional links   annual law fair, visits to and from leading firms
  • Pathway Route – allowing flexibility in the LLM specialism you graduate with  

Our graduates move onto a diverse range of careers, with many going on to work in top law schools and law firms. Some examples of where our recent graduates have gone on to work include: Linklaters LLP, 5 Pump Court Chambers, Bar Pro Bono Unit and Squire Patton Boggs. A number of our postgraduate students go directly from Northampton to complete the Legal Practice Course or the Bar Professional Training Course.


Links to the Legal Profession

The Law School maintains strong links with the professional world, through our network of alumni and contacts in the barristers’ and solicitors’ professions. These links allow us to put on a series of law careers events throughout the academic year.

Each autumn, the University hosts the Law Fair, in which we welcome over 50 law firms, including some of the largest law firms in the world, to the University’s Great Hall. The attendees represent law firms of all sizes and most areas of practice.

Each year, the Law School hosts an “Employability Fortnight”. The events which run in this fortnight have included an Applications Process Panel Session, a Midlands Circuit Court Visit followed by an Inner Temple Drinks Reception in the evening, an Alternative Dispute Resolution Workshop by Herbert Smith, and dedicated Careers Advice Drop-in Sessions.


The Careers Network

The Careers Network organises regular events including presentations by top law firms and the annual Law Fair. It also runs workshops to help students prepare effective applications and to prepare for their next move. Its events on non-law careers, including journalism, marketing and working with charities, can be of interest to law students.



The Law School organises a range of mooting opportunities and students have the opportunity to participate (a moot is a mock trial of a legal issue). The Moot Room is a state-of-the-art court room, complete with audio-visual equipment for recording moots. The Law School operates four mooting competitions, and students regularly represent the University at regional and national competitions, with notable success.


You follow a modular programme (180 credits in total), which comprises six taught modules (20 credits each) and a dissertation of 15,000 words (60 credits); the latter to be submitted at the end of the year of study. Students following the International Law: Crime, Justice and Human Rights pathway will study a minimum of three of their six modules from the list below:


  • European Human Rights Law
  • Human Rights and Criminal Justice
  • Human Rights and Health Care Law
  • International and European Legal Responses to Terrorism
  • International Criminal Law and Justice
  • International Human Rights Law
  • International Humanitarian Law
  • Law of International Organisations
  • Political Participation, Human Rights and Marginalised Groups
  • Public International Law
  • Transnational Criminal Law

Entry requirements


Applicants should have a good Honours degree in law, or a degree in another discipline augmented with a pass in the Common Professional Examination.

English language requirements : for this course we ask for IELTS 7.0 with no less than 6.5 in any band, or PTE with 67 in all four skills. If you are made an offer of a place to study and you do not meet the language requirement, you have the option to enrol on our English for Academic Purposes Presessional course – if you successfully complete the course, you will be able to fulfil the language requirement without retaking a language qualification.

How to apply


The LLM international Criminal Justice & Human Rights by online learning has start dates in September and January of each academic year. 

We recommend that you apply as early as possible; this is particularly important for applicants who may need to allow sufficient time to take an English language test

Documentation required

Applications are made online via the University Application Service, EUCLID.

Please follow the instructions carefully and make sure that you have included the following documentation with your application:

  • Degree certificates showing award of degree.
  • Previous academic transcripts for all past degree programmes.
  • A reference in support or your application. The reference should be academic and dated no earlier than one year from the start of study on the LLM programme.
  • Evidence of English language proficiency, if required.

If you are currently studying for your degree or you are not in a possession of an English test result you may still apply to the programme. Please note that it is your responsibility to submit the necessary documents.

After you apply

After your application has been submitted you will be able to track its progress through the University’s applicant hub.

Application processing times will vary however the admissions team will endeavour to process your application within four to six weeks of submission. Please note that missing documentation will delay the application process.

You will be informed as soon as possible of the decision taken. Three outcomes are possible:

  • You may be offered a place unconditionally
  • You may be offered a conditional place, which means that you must fulfil certain conditions that will be specified in the offer letter. Where a conditional offer is made, it is your responsibility to inform the College Postgraduate Office when you have fulfilled the requirements set out.
  • Your application may be unsuccessful. If your application has not been successful, you can request feedback from us or refer to our guidance for unsuccessful applicants, which explains some of the common reasons we why we reach this decision.
    View the University’s guidance for unsuccessful applicants
Terms and conditions of admissions
  • The University’s terms and conditions form part of your contract with the University, and you should read them, and our data protection policy, carefully before applying.

    Northampton University admissions terms and conditions