University College Cork
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University College Cork: A customisable journey to your dream law career

For law students to thrive in their future careers, they need a strong foundation paired with advanced knowledge, skills and experience. Enter the School of Law at University College Cork (UCC), where student experiences in the LLM programmes are centred around cultivating real-world lawyering skills.

Each programme is designed with flexibility in mind, and the Law LLM is no different. With a wide choice of options ranging from criminal, medical, and human rights law to internet, environmental and intellectual property law, the LLM is a chance for students to create their bespoke curriculum. 

Think about uncovering the legal issues surrounding youth justice and detention from an international children’s rights perspective, exploring how the international legal framework strikes a delicate balance between protecting ecosystems and private property rights, or diving into the legal and regulatory issues as well as challenges arising from increased use of technological innovations in financial services.

University College Cork

Students can choose to specialise in one or two chosen areas of interest or they can sample modules from across the broad range of possibilities. Source: University College Cork

It’s a dynamic approach with big impact. “The availability of a wide mixture of modules enabled me to tailor my learning experience to those specific to my interests,” says current student Natalie.

The best part? Students can pursue a dissertation in their area of interest under the supervision of dedicated and experienced lecturers. “The passion and commitment by professors and lecturers in UCC Law was second to none,” she shares. 

Take Professor Owen McIntyre, for example. He is the programme director for the LLM in Environmental and Natural Resources Law. McIntyre’s principal area of interest is environmental law, with a particular focus on international water law. The editor is widely published in his specialist areas, including a book titled, “Environmental Protection of International Watercourses under International Law.”

Likewise, Dr. Jonathan McCarthy – who is the programme director for the LLM in Business Law at UCC – is a BCL, LLM and PhD graduate from the same institution he teaches. His research interests are in financial, corporate, and commercial law. Some of the topics he covers include the regulation of technological innovations in finance, Irish and European financial law and regulation, and legal issues arising from non-performing loans.

The experience and insights of these experts enliven all LLM classes here. Thanks to their small sizes, students like Natalie can fully engage in meaningful discussions with her peers and lecturers. “It also made sure that we all got to know each other and each other’s interests,” she says. 

Law clinics further help students in the Law LLM programme to apply their legal knowledge in real-world scenarios. Through close collaboration with industry partners, UCC established a handful of these clinics. 

University College Cork

UCC’s Law Clinics provide a bridge between academic teaching and research work. Source:  University College Cork

The IT Law Clinic, for example, was formed thanks to the university’s membership in iLINC, the European Network of Law Incubators. Here, postgraduate law students offer guidance to startups on a range of legal issues, including copyright law, web domain names, electronic commerce law, and data protection law.

The Centre for Children’s Rights and Family Law at UCC School of Law serves as a focal point for the wide range of research, teaching and outreach activity taking place in the areas of children’s rights and family law at the school. Host to the only specialist LLM degree in this area of law in Ireland or the UK, the school also hosts the Child Law Clinic and the Family Law Clinic, through which staff and postgraduate students support litigation and engage in advocacy work. 

The Child Law Clinic provides pro bono research assistance to practising lawyers or civil society groups to assist in their litigation and advocacy work. It authors its own submissions and amicus briefs to various courts and committees on matters of interest as well, like when the clinic secured rulings by the European Court of Human Rights in the Louise O’Keeffe case

It’s little wonder why UCC’s School of Law climbed 16 places in the QS World University Rankings by Subject to 59th in the world, remaining first in Ireland once again for 2023. It’s the latest in its string of accolades, which includes being the top Irish university for research impact as measured by Times Higher Education citation score

So, what are you waiting for? Apply now to start designing your bespoke LLM journey today. 

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