International Economic Law (Intensive) (LLM)

This innovative LLM enables you to tailor your studies to your professional and research interests. You choose one of two critical pathways, which draw on cutting-edge critical research to examine contemporary issues and problems:

  • LLM International Finance and Economic Law (Intensive)
  • 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. It 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.

Highlights

  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Find out more about why you should study law at Birkbeck.

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 two core modules and choose three or four option modules.

If you are studying part-time, you take two core modules and choose one or two option modules in Year 1, before choosing three 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.

Module groups

LLM International Finance and Economic Law (Intensive) pathway

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

Option modules

Please note that the modules listed here are indicative; not all modules will be available every year.

Sample timetable

PDF document icon Intensives 17-18 Timetable FINAL 17_18.pdf — PDF document, 25 KB (25841 bytes)
  • Entry Requirements

    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 two-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 6.5 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.

    Visa requirements

    If you are not from the European Economic Area (EEA) and/or Switzerland and you are coming to study in the UK, you may need to apply for a visa.

    The visa you apply for varies according to the length of your course:

    • Courses of more than six months’ duration.
    • Courses of less than six months’ duration.
    • Pre-sessional English language courses.

    International students who require a Tier 4 visa should apply for our three-year evening study BA/BSc/LLB degrees, as these are classified as full-time study and qualify for student visa status. If you are living in the UK on a Tier 4 visa, you will not be eligible to enrol as a student on Birkbeck’s part-time evening study degrees.

    For full information, read our visa information for international students page.

    Credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL)

    If you have studied at university previously, you may have accumulated credits through the modules you studied. It may be possible to transfer these credits from your previous study to Birkbeck or another institution. You should discuss this with the Programme Director when you are making your application.

    Find out more about credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL).

  • Fees

    Fees

    Part-time home/EU students: £5375 pa
    Full-time home/EU students: £10725 pa
    Part-time international students: £8200 pa
    Full-time international students: £16400 pa

    Students are charged a tuition fee in each year of their programme. Tuition fees for students continuing on their programme in following years may be subject to annual inflationary increases. For more information, please see the College Fees Policy.

  • Teaching and assessment

    Teaching

    At Birkbeck, almost all of our courses are taught in the evening and our teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments. We actively encourage innovative and engaging ways of teaching, to ensure our students have the best learning experience. In the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), the government’s system for rating university teaching, Birkbeck was allocated a Silver award.

    Teaching may include formal lectures, seminars, and practical classes and tutorials. Formal lectures are used in most degree programmes to give an overview of a particular field of study. They aim to provide the stimulus and the starting point for deeper exploration of the subject during your own personal reading. Seminars give you the chance to explore a specific aspect of your subject in depth and to discuss and exchange ideas with fellow students. They typically require preparatory study.

    Our distance-learning and blended-learning courses and modules are self-directed and we will provide you with interactive learning opportunities and encourage you to collaborate and engage via various learning technologies. These courses involve limited or no face-to-face contact between students and module tutors.

    In addition, you will have access to pastoral support via a named Personal Tutor.

    Methods of teaching on this course

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

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

    Contact hours

    On our taught courses, you will have scheduled teaching and study sessions each year. Alongside this, you will also undertake assessment activities and independent learning outside of class. Depending on the modules you take, you may also have additional scheduled academic activities, such as tutorials, dissertation supervision, practical classes, visits and fieldtrips.

    On our taught courses, the actual amount of time you spend in the classroom and in contact with your lecturers will depend on your course, the option modules you select and when you undertake your final-year project.

    On our distance-learning and blended-learning courses, discussion, collaboration and interaction with your lecturers and fellow students are encouraged and enabled through various learning technologies, but you may have limited or no face-to-face contact with your module tutors.

    Timetables

    Timetables are usually available from September onwards and you can access your personalised timetable via your My Birkbeck Profile online (if you have been invited to enrol).

    Indicative class size

    Class sizes vary, depending on your course, the module you are undertaking, and the method of teaching. For example, lectures are presented to larger groups, whereas seminars usually consist of small, interactive groups led by a tutor.

    Independent learning

    On our taught courses, much of your time outside of class will be spent on self-directed, independent learning, including preparing for classes and following up afterwards. This will usually include, but is not limited to, reading books and journal articles, undertaking research, working on coursework and assignments, and preparing for presentations and assessments.

    Independent learning is absolutely vital to your success as a student. Everyone is different, and the study time required varies topic by topic, but, as a guide, expect to schedule up to five hours of self-study for each hour of teaching.

    On our distance-learning and blended-learning courses, the emphasis is very much on independent, self-directed learning and you will be expected to manage your own learning, with the support of your module tutors and various learning technologies.

    Study skills and additional support

    Birkbeck offers study and learning support to undergraduate and postgraduate students to help them succeed. Our Learning Development Service can help you in the following areas:

    • academic skills (including planning your workload, research, writing, exam preparation and writing a dissertation)
    • written English (including structure, punctuation and grammar)
    • numerical skills (basic mathematics and statistics).

    Our Disability and Dyslexia Service can support you if you have additional learning needs resulting from a disability or from dyslexia.

    Our Counselling Service can support you if you are struggling with emotional or psychological difficulties during your studies.

    Our Mental Health Advisory Service can support you if you are experiencing short- or long-term mental health difficulties during your studies.

    Assessment

    Assessment is an integral part of your university studies and usually consists of a combination of coursework and examinations, although this will vary from course to course - on some of our courses, assessment is entirely by coursework. The methods of assessment on this course are specified below under 'Methods of assessment on this course'. You will need to allow time to complete coursework and prepare for exams.

    Where a course has unseen written examinations, these may be held termly, but, on the majority of our courses, exams are usually taken in the Summer term, during May to June. Exams may be held at other times of the year as well. In most cases, exams are held during the day on a weekday - if you have daytime commitments, you will need to make arrangements for daytime attendance - but some exams are held in the evening. Exam timetables are published online.

    Find out more about assessment at Birkbeck, including guidance on assessment, feedback and our assessment offences policy.

    Methods of assessment on this course

    Final assessment for each compulsory and optional module is based on a 4000-word essay. If you choose to take the research project option you will be required to submit an 8000-10,000-word dissertation in September.

  • Careers and employability

    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.

    Read more advice and information about law careers.

    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.

  • How to apply

    How to apply

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

    Birkbeck can give you all of the information and help you need to complete your application form.

    Application deadlines and interviews

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