School of Law, University of Nottingham
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School of Law, University of Nottingham: Over 30 years of experience producing stellar LLM graduates

While picking up new skills is important, implementing that skill in a scenario cements it in our minds. Applying it to various problems to find solutions over time — that’s experience. The difference, while seemingly subtle, is what separates an expert from a novice. 

The School of Law, University of Nottingham would know this well. Ranked in the 2023 QS World University Rankings by Subject top 90 worldwide for law, it is a recognised centre of teaching and research excellence — as well as home to some of the world’s foremost legal scholars. And it’s been this for a long time, as seen in its extensive track record of welcoming students and staff from across the globe. 

School of Law, University of Nottingham

At the School of Law, University of Nottingham, seminars are diverse and productive. Source: University of Nottingham

Many arrive here to pursue one of the longest-established master’s in law in the UK

“I chose the School of Law because it is one of the best in the UK,” says Benjamin Rue, LLM International Criminal Justice and Armed Conflict graduate. “It also offers a broad range of international law modules and is a place of world-class research with many respected experts in my field of choice. The school is very diverse with a friendly atmosphere.” There are many master’s pathways to choose from, each with an extensive list of modules which allow students to specialise. 

The Master of Laws programme, for example, features over 30 modules for students to select from, allowing you to pick the area that best suits your interests. “Our modules are cutting-edge,” says Olympia Bekou, Professor of Public International Law and Head of School. “We focus on legal analysis and policy issues and also the future member’s specialist subjects, incorporating their ongoing research and consultancies.” 

When the School began over three decades ago its focus was on international law, but as the programme grew, other master’s such as Public International Law LLM, European Law LLM and Human Rights Law LLM joined the roster. Perhaps one of the most stand-out master’s is the Criminal Justice LLM. 

“International criminal justice teaching was first introduced onto the LLM over 20 years ago, initially as part of the LLM Human Rights Law,” explains Bekou. “It has subsequently gone from strength to strength. It has now been over 20 years that we have been educating the new generation of international criminal lawyers, many of whom have gone on to have brilliant careers with international criminal justice institutions, both at headquarters and in field missions.”

What makes the School’s LLM programmes remarkable compared to other universities is that over its 30 years, it has evolved with the times, spurred by the extensive research of its faculty and students. “At Nottingham, we pride ourselves in matching the highest standards of intellectual rigour in research-led teaching with friendly approachability and appropriate academic support,” says Bekou. “The integration of LLM teaching with scholarly research explains why the programme is constantly evolving. So as to take advantage of colleagues’ developing research interests and expertise, and ensure that it remains fresh and relevant to an ever-changing world.”

With its years of experience in the field, the School has found the ideal teaching elements to give students the best degree. “Teaching takes place in group seminars which are attended exclusively by postgraduate students,” says Bekou. “We expect a high level of participation. Seminars are not to be passively absorbed; rather, they are opportunities for active learning.” She adds that the exceptional diversity of the LLM student body is an asset, as it creates a safe environment for a range of perspectives to be shared, and no matter what their experience, it makes for vivacious and productive classroom discussions. 

School of Law, University of Nottingham

Ask and receive a wealth of insight from world-class faculty members. Source: University of Nottingham

These seminars are taught in small groups, which also encourages an open, interactive learning experience. Students have access to dedicated resources, including legal skills advice in the form of workshops and one-to-one sessions. An additional benefit of the School’s LLM programme is that students can gain real experience that will enhance their resume, with internships and placements through the faculty placement programme. “An LLM here is an invitation to join a community of scholarship and an opportunity to establish professional networks that are important for your future career,” adds Bekou. Students and graduates can benefit from the school’s close relationships with leading firms, private industry, governmental institutions and NGOs.

To top all that off, the educators at the school have years of research and expertise that put them at the forefront of their fields, making them the ideal people to learn from and get advice. Dr. Ozlem Ulgen, for instance, is an associate professor in law specialising in the law, ethics, and regulation of AI and robotics; moral and legal philosophy covering weapons law and international humanitarian law; and public international law. 

Her words of wisdom are priceless. “Whether or not you intend to enter the profession, look upon your studies as a means to stimulate intellectual curiosity and broaden your horizons about real-world problems,” she says. “Logical reasoning, analytical skills, and problem-solving are core legal skills that are transferable to many different professions. Be open to exploring complex ideas – there will be moments of frustration but many more of inspiration and enjoyment!”

Fulfill your LLM aspirations at the School of Law, University of Nottingham, click here to apply now

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