• Status: Fully Approved
  • Start date: January 2017
  • Duration:

    1 year full-time or 2 years part-time.

  • Attendance:

    Each module consists of 20 hours of classroom teaching. This takes place over four weeks: two weeks in March/April and two weeks in June/July. Preliminary reading is sent to new students in January, with the first block of intensive, face-to-face teaching in March/April.

  • Location:

    Central London

Programme overview

This innovative LLM enables you to tailor your studies to your professional and research interests. You choose one out of two critical pathways, electing to combine the study of international economic law with either finance and global markets or with justice and development. Both pathways draw on cutting-edge critical research to examine contemporary issues and problems.

If you are interested in finance, global markets and international economic institutions, you may select the LLM International Finance and Economic Law (Intensive).

If you wish to study global development issues and economic institutions you should consider the LLM International Economic Law, Justice and Development (Intensive).

LLM International Finance and Economic Law (Intensive)

What is it about finance that makes it appear powerful? How does finance relate to different senses of law, norms and regulation?

The first time the concept of 'freedom' was written down, in Mesopotamia c.2400 BC as ama-gi, its use did not relate to liberty from tyrannical rule, but to freedom from debt-slavery. Why is it that from the first civilisations to the present, debt-finance has exercised such power over peoples that it has led thinkers as diverse as Hindu theologians and classical economists to link finance to power?

Adopting an avowedly critical perspective, this programme refuses simply to accept current financial law and economics as given. The programme develops an understanding of the conditions in which financial crises develop. The programme is designed to examine the nature of finance and the power it exercises within society. Focusing on the law, economics and practice of international finance leading up to the Global Financial Crisis of 2008, you will be presented with critical theoretical tools with which to interrogate the role of finance in society, and in particular its effects on value systems. This programme’s critical depth and breadth affords you a unique opportunity to concretise and engage with the questions you have asked about the failures of finance.

To achieve this, you will be given a solid grounding in the legal and economic principles of finance. We examine the practice of finance in today’s financial capitals with their money markets and complicated corporate structures. You will develop practical knowledge and the theoretical tools necessary to critique finance as such: from questioning the concepts of money and value, to the power of finance with respect to time and space, the nexus of finance and consciousness, to the deep relations between finance, consumption, desire and life itself.

The study of finance will be combined with that of international economic institutions, and a range of specialised modules that you can choose based on your individual interests.

LLM International Economic Law, Justice and Development (Intensive)

Should those who are relatively poor regard international economic law as a means, end, obstacle or irrelevance to improving their lives? What role do international economic institutions play in shaping and responding to global events and crises?

The impact of international economic law and institutions upon justice and development justifiably commands increasing attention from all quarters: local politicians and international celebrities, savvy pharmaceutical companies and bewildered farmers, moral philosophers and foreign investors.

This is the only postgraduate programme in the UK to address the law, institutions and practices that constitute global and local economies from an avowedly critical perspective. It is particularly well suited to (current and aspiring) lawyers and non-lawyers within non-governmental organisations, government departments and in-house corporate social responsibility departments who wish to critically reflect on their role as practitioners. It also offers an opportunity for research and study for those considering a career change in the direction of working in, and with, international economic institutions or international development.

Preliminary reading is sent to new students in January, with the first block of intensive, face-to-face teaching in March/April.

Find out more about studying law at Birkbeck.

How to apply

You apply directly to Birkbeck for this course, using the online application.

Preliminary reading is sent to new students in January, with the first block of intensive, face-to-face teaching in March/April.

Need help with your application? Watch videos featuring our academic experts giving advice on applying to Birkbeck and answering some of the most frequently asked questions.

Birkbeck can give you all of the information and help you need to complete your application form, including our online personal statement tool, which will guide you through every step of writing your personal statement.

Application deadlines and interviews

We recommend you apply as early as possible. Later applications may also be considered, subject to availability of places.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

  • Our new intensive programme is ideal if you are unable to follow a weekly course of study (for example, due to your work or personal circumstances).
  • A unique programme, training you in the critical examination of the law, institutions and practice that constitute global and local economies.
  • Taught by established experts on theory and practice in the field.
  • Introduces you to a broad geographical and institutional spectrum, from Latin America to Africa, from the European Union to the World Bank, and onwards to the World Social Forum.
  • The School of Law is an internationally recognised centre for critical and interdisciplinary legal research. It provides an exciting and innovative environment for a wide range of research with a strong theoretical and policy focus. The School is the home of Birkbeck Law Press and publishes Law and Critique: The International Journal of Critical Legal Thought.
  • We are among the top 10 law schools in the UK and in the top three in London in the Times Higher Education 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) rankings, while our research environment was judged conducive to producing research of the highest quality.
  • We use technology, such as electronic learning environments, to enhance teaching and learning. Birkbeck Library has an extensive collection of books, journals and electronic resources in law and related disciplines such as economics, politics and sociology. You can also take advantage of the rich research collections nearby, including those of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Senate House Library, the British Library of Political and Economic Science (LSE Library) and the British Library.
  • The Patrick McAuslan Scholarship is awarded to a student from East Africa with proven interest and experience in social justice in one of the following areas: sustainable development; the alleviation of poverty; land reform; or planning law.

Course structure

You choose one pathway within the programme: International Finance and Economic Law (Intensive); or International Economic Law, Justice and Development (Intensive).

Within your chosen pathway, you take three core modules, one of which is a dissertation, and choose three option modules.

If you are studying part-time, you take two core modules and choose one option module in Year 1, before undertaking your dissertation and choosing two further option modules in Year 2.

Option modules may be chosen from any of the approved Level 7 intensive options offered in that year by the School of Law.

LLM International Finance and Economic Law (Intensive) pathway

LLM International Economic Law, Justice and Development (Intensive) pathway

Option modules

Please note: not all option modules will be available every year.

Sample timetable

PDF document icon Intensives 16-17 Timetable.pdf — PDF document, 80 kB (82038 bytes)

Entry requirements

Good second-class honours degree in law or a related discipline (see below). We welcome other relevant qualifications and appropriate professional training and experience.

If you have a first degree in a subject other than law, or if you want to refresh pre-existing legal knowledge and skills, you might consider completing a Pre-Sessional Course in Law and Legal Method, such as the one offered by SOAS. This intensive 2-week course runs during the daytime in September. It is designed primarily for those who do not already possess a law degree and provides an introduction to law, legal method and associated skills and techniques.

International entry requirements

If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, the requirement for this programme is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 7.0, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

Visit the International section of our website to find out more about our English language entry requirements and relevant requirements by country.

Fees

Part-time home/EU students: £ 3975 pa
Full-time home/EU students: £ 7950 pa
Part-time overseas students: £ 7225 pa
Full-time overseas students: £ 14450 pa

Payment and Fees Discounts

Flexible finance: pay your fees in monthly instalments at no extra cost. Enrol early to spread your costs and reduce your monthly payments.

Fees discounts: If you are a member of a union that is recognised by the Trades Union Congress (TUC), you may apply for a 10% discount off your tuition fees.

Funding and Financial Support

The government's new postgraduate loan scheme allows you to borrow up to £10,000 to cover the cost of your tuition fees, living costs or other study expenses – and you don't have to start repaying until 2019.

Use our interactive tool to help you explore your payment options in more detail.

Part-time students who are experiencing financial need may apply for assistance from the Birkbeck Alumni Fund Postgraduate Opportunity Bursary.

Find out more about funding and financial support at postgraduate level.

Careers and employability

Graduates go on to careers in the charity sector, local and national government, and law. Possible professions include barrister, solicitor, or civil service administrator. This degree is also useful in a variety of roles within charities, focusing on international development, as an advisor to a private company, or as part of a specialist law firm.

Find out more about these professions.

Read more advice and information about law careers.

Find out more about the destinations of graduates in this subject.

We offer a comprehensive Careers and Employability Service to help you advance your career, while our in-house, professional recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, works with London’s top employers to help you gain work experience that fits in with your evening studies.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching

Combination of materials and readings developed especially for this intensive programme, as well as face-to-face teaching twice a year.

Assessment

Final assessment for each compulsory and optional module is based on a 4000-word essay. You have to take a compulsory dissertation module and are required to submit an 8000-10,000-word dissertation, due in September.

Our research

Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.

Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent.

Read about Birkbeck research that tackles the big issues and ‘real world’ questions facing law makers.

Further study opportunities

If you are interested in further research, we offer an MPhil/PhD in Law.