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MA International Law, Ethics and Politics

MA International Law, Ethics and Politics

Course Overview



Are you interested in learning about the issues at the intersections of International Law, European Law, ethics and international politics and how they are all interrelated?

The MA in International Law, Ethics and Politics will cover the application of International Law, European Law, ethics and international politics to problems such as poverty reduction; international trade; war and terrorism; climate change; and democracy.

This programme is ideal for candidates from the NGO world who wish to improve their academic credentials, and students from the humanities and social sciences who want to take Law courses. The course should also be of interest to graduates in public or European law who want to deepen their understanding of issues that they have previously encountered only within a legal framework. This programme can also be used as a route into PhD research.

Why study this course?
  • Multidisciplinary – you have the opportunity to work both within and across three different disciplines.


  • Flexibility – the wide range of modules on offer allows you to both identify and explore your specific interests within each discipline.


  • Small classes – teaching on the Masters-level modules involve mainly small-group seminars allowing you to really get to grips with the learning material.


  • Be a part of an active postgraduate community – although you will work across departments, the programme is based within the Department of Philosophy, a lively and stimulating department where you can contribute to and engage in research seminars, workshops, a weekly speaker series, reading groups and conferences.

Your degree will provide excellent preparation for employment and this will be further enhanced by a range of employability support services offered by the University.

The University’s Careers Network provides advice and information specifically for postgraduates that will help you to develop an effective career and skills development strategy, and to make the most of your time with us at the University. The College of Arts and Law also has a dedicated careers and employability team to deliver tailored programmes of careers events and local support.

You will have opportunities to: meet employers face-to-face at on-campus recruitment fairs; attend employer presentations and skills workshops; receive individual guidance on your job applications, writing your CV and improving your interview technique; and access to comprehensive listings of hundreds of graduate jobs and work experience opportunities.

You will also be able to access our full range of careers support for up to two years after graduation.


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 and Globalisation pathway will study a minimum of three of their six modules from the list below;


Core modules

You will study a core module in theory and methods, choosing from:


Research Skills and Methods

This module provides an introduction to the methods of contemporary philosophy. Topics addressed typically include: critical thinking in philosophy, reading in philosophy, research skills, dissertation planning, and presenting philosophical arguments in written work. You will also participate in online sessions focused on generic research skills.

Assessment: Written assignment

Or – 


Socio-Legal Theory


This module introduces key law and society concepts and theories. The module will introduce students to the jurisprudential underpinnings of socio-legal research, including the classical sociological thinkers that influenced the development of socio-legal research, sociological jurisprudence, American realism, structuralism and systems theory, critical perspectives, feminist legal theory and queer theory, the interpretive tradition, postmodernism and legal pluralism. Students will also be introduced to a range of key law and society texts, projects and writers, and encouraged to critically analyse socio-legal work.

Assessment: Written assignment


Optional modules


You will also choose a total of five optional modules. This includes at least one module from each of the Law, Politics and Philosophy departments, and a further two modules from any of the three departments. The range of modules available typically includes:

  • EU Constitutional Law
  • European Human Rights Law
  • Global Crime Problems
  • International Human Rights Law
  • International Trade Law and Policy – Foundations
  • International Trade Law and Policy – Advanced Issues
  • Law of International Organisations
  • Public International Law
  • Bioethics
  • Ethics and Global Ethics
  • God, Freedom and the Meaning of Life
  • Philosophy of Health and Happiness
  • Ethical Dimensions of Terrorism, Political Violence and War
  • Gender and Global Governance
  • Globalisation and Governance
  • Post-Conflict Peacebuilding and International Order
  • Radical Social Theory: Modernism to Postmodernism
  • Security Studies
  • Sex, Death, Gender and (In) Security
  • Terrorism and Political Violence
  • Totalitarianism And The State
  • US Foreign and Defence Policy

Entry requirements


You need an upper second-class Honours degree, or equivalent, in Law, Philosophy, Politics or another relevant subject. Appropriate work experience will also be taken into consideration.

How to apply


The Ma International Law Ethics and Politics 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