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Which pathway is right for you?

LLB Law

The LLB Law course has three pathways, which are specialised courses of study that provide a way to organise your optional modules to focus on a particular area of legal expertise. However, you don’t have to follow a pathway. You could simply study those optional courses in which you are interested.

By selecting a pathway, you will graduate with a specialist LLB (Hons) in Law and Human Rights, LLB (Hons) in Law and Commercial Law, or LLB (Hons) in Law and Legal Practice.

The benefits of selecting a specialist pathway are that they:

  • Serve as a strategic road map, guiding your module option choice towards specialisation in a particular area and eliminating some of the guess-work of choosing options.
  • Enable you to achieve a depth of knowledge in an area of law or legal expertise.
  • Signal to potential employers or postgraduate programmes that you have a strong interest in and substantial knowledge of a certain area of law.

Following a pathway does not prevent you from taking other optional modules and trying out new things during your studies. You will be able to change pathways or leave a pathway prior to graduation, if you prefer to graduate with a conventional LLB Law.

LLB (Hons) in Law and Human Rights

  • If you select the human rights pathway as a specialisation to your LLB, you will gain knowledge, insight and experience from our expert academics and practitioners in the human rights field. 
  • The world of human rights is vast and this course of study will give you both a broad knowledge of human rights as well as the ability to complete specialised modules in the field. 
  • You may also choose to complete your final research project on a topic of human rights.
  • Human Rights Modules: students who choose the human rights pathway must take the 30-credit Human Rights module. They will have an additional 30 credits of options from the following:
    • Borders, Migration and Criminal Justice
    • Child Law
    • Contemporary Issues in Medical Law and Ethics
    • Drugs, Crime and Criminal Justice
    • Housing, Justice and the Law
    • Immigration Law I: Fundamentals of UK Law
    • Immigration Law II: Advanced Concepts in International Asylum Law
    • Imprisonment and Justice
    • International Law of Armed Conflict
    • Labour Law
    • Law, History and Political Violence
    • Mental Health Law and Criminal Justice
    • Political Violence and Terrorism
    • Principles of Medical Law and Ethics
    • Public International Law and the Use of Force
    • Social Welfare Law in Practice
    • The Criminalisation of Welfare

LLB (Hons) in Law and Commercial Law

  • If you select the commercial law pathway as a specialisation to your LLB, you will gain necessary skills to tackle the complex world of business and financial law, including commercial awareness, knowledge of banking law, and knowledge of broader economic and private law issues. 
  • This course is an important part of legal education for those interested in participating in the interconnected global economy.
  • Commercial law modules: students who choose the commercial law pathway need to complete 60 credits in optional modules from the following:
    • Banking and Monetary Law
    • Company Law
    • Consumer Law
    • Intellectual Property Law
    • International Economic Law and Development
    • Introduction to Commercial Law
    • Labour Law
    • Private International Law
    • White Collar Corporate Crime 

LLB Law (Hons) in Law and Legal Practice

  • The LLB (Hons) in Law and Legal Practice offers students an opportunity to graduate with a set of legal skills and competencies relevant to the later pursuit of legal practical qualification. 
  • Students on this pathway will be examined in oral and written forms of advocacy and reflectively engage with what it means to advocate on behalf of a client.
  • Legal Practice modules: students who choose the legal practice pathway need to complete 60 credits in optional modules from the following:
    • Evidence
    • Legal Argument and Language in Law
    • Mooting and Trial Skills
    • Social Welfare Law in Practice (by application)

LLM Law

The Department of Law's portfolio of postgraduate programmes provides opportunities to specialise in aspects or fields of law, such as human rights or international intellectual property law. Alternatively, you can choose from our variety of modules to create a bespoke LLM General. View our Law with Pathways course. 

View our Law with Pathways course. 

Law General

  • The LLM General is designed to give you maximum flexibility. You can choose any module on offer on our postgraduate law courses, ranging from human rights to critical legal studies, law and new technologies, international economic law, environmental law and criminology. This enables you to tailor the course to your own professional or research interests. 
  • A personal supervisor will help you choose your best path through a wide range of options and provide you with support if you undertake a research dissertation option.
  • Specific modules
    • Research Methods Leading to Dissertation (compulsory) 30 credits
  • And any five of the below indicative options bearing 30 credits each
    • Advanced Intellectual Property Law
    • Commons, Public Space and the Law
    • Constitutional Law in Practice: Regional Perspectives
    • Economic Approach to Law
    • Environmental Problems and the Law
    • Equality and the Law
    • Futures: The Globalization of Human Rights
    • Healthcare and Human Rights
    • International Business and the Environment
    • International Rights of Minorities

Commercial Law

  • The Commercial Law programme is a research-led course focusing on the law governing private economic relations and businesses, which combines theoretical analysis with practice-oriented approaches to commercial law. 
  • Throughout the programme, particular emphasis is placed on interdisciplinarity and on the international dimension of commercial law. Instead of offering a purely black-letter analysis, the programme is designed to give students the necessary tools to critically understand the social relevance of the law of market relations as well as to equip them with more practical knowledge of this highly important area of the law.
  • Modules
    • Commerical Law and Market Regulation (compulsory) 30 credits
    • Issues in Commerical Law (compulsory) 30 credits
    • Research Methods Leading to Dissertation (compulsory) 30 credits
  • And any three of the below optional modules bearing 30 credits each
    • Advanced Intellectual Property Law
    • Economic Approach to Law
    • International Business and the Environment
    • International Trade Law
    • Law of the Digital Economy
    • Property and Technology
    • The World Trade Organization and the Environment

Constitutional Politics, Law and Theory 

  • The Constitutional Politics, Law and Theory LLM pathway is research lead, focusing on the history, theory and politics of constitutional law and comparative regional perspectives. 
  • Throughout the programme, particular emphasis is based on interdisciplinarity and the comparative aspects of constitutional law. The programme is designed to give students the necessary tools to critically understand the social relevance of constitutional law as well as to equip them with more practical knowledge of this highly important area of the law.
  • Modules
    • Constitutional Law in Practice: Regional Perspectives (compulsory) 30 credits
    • Introduction to the History, Theory and Politics of Constitutional Law (compulsory) 30 credits
    • Research Methods Leading to Disertation (compulsory) 30 credits
  • And any three of the below optional modules bearing 30 credits each
    • Advanced Intellectual Property Law
    • Commons, Public Space and the Lawh
    • Cultures of Human Rights
    • Economic Approach to Law
    • Environmental Problems and the Law
    • Equality and the Law
    • Futures: The Globalization of Human Rights
    • Healthcare and Human Rights
    • International Business and the Environment
    • International Rights of Minorities
    • International Trade Law

Environmental Law, Governance and Policy

  • In a time of accelerating environmental crises, individuals and societies have increasingly turned to the law for solutions to environmental problems. 
  • While legal responses have been innovative and creative, challenges persist in the use of law to respond to complex environmental problems. Birkbeck’s LLM pathway in Environmental Law, Policy and Governance is an innovative, research-led pathway offering postgraduate students the theoretical and practical knowledge crucial for a nuanced understanding of the ways in which policy, the law and governance structures respond to environmental problems. 
  • We focus on a critical understanding of environmental problems and responses to them as well as their intersection with other challenges such as racial and economic inequalities
  • Specific modules
    • Environmental Law and Justice (compulsory) 30 credits
    • Environmental Problems and the Law (compulsory) 30 credits
    • Research Methods Leading to Dissertation
  • And any three of the below indicative modules bearing 30 credits each
    • Tackling Climate Change: Legal Responses
    • The World Trade Organization and the Environment
    • Regulating Technology
    • Commons, Public Space and the Law
    • Geopolitics, Population and Environment
    • International Business and the Environment
    • Natural Resources Law: Critical Perspectives

Human Rights

  • The Human Rights LLM pathway is unique in its passionate engagement with the highly contested and at best scandalous nature of human rights law and discourse. 
  • Human rights are at the interface of law, politics, sociology, philosophy, anthropology - as well as art, film and literature. 
  • Our students include current and future legal practitioners, but also students from other fields; and they come from all over the world. 
  • A compelling aspect of a number of our modules is that they are taught with leading NGOs and grassroots activists, opening up a wealth of possibilities working in civil society, as well as in legal practice, government, international and community organisations
  • Modules
    • Issues in International Law and Human Rights (compulsory) 30 credits
    • The History and Philosophy of Human Rights (compulsory) 30 credits
    • Research Methods Leading to Dissertation (compulsory) 30 credits
  • And any three of the below optional modules bearing 30 credits each
    • Advanced Intellectual Property Law
    • Commons, Public Space and the Law
    • Constitutional Law in Practice: Regional Perspectives
    • Economic Approach to Law
    • Environmental Law and Justice
    • Environmental Problems and the Law
    • Equality and the Law
    • Futures: The Globalization of Human Rights
    • Healthcare and Human Rights
    • International Business and the Environment
    • International Rights of Minorities
    • International Trade Law
    • Introduction to the History, Theory and Politics of Constitutional Law
    • Law, Post-Colonialism and Political Economy
    • Law, Post-Development and the Critique of Political Economy
    • Law, Solidarity and Alternative Economies
    • Law, Trade and Geopolitics
    • Natural Resources Law: Critical Perspectives

International Intellectual Property

  • This pathway offers a unique interdisciplinary perspective on the international regulation of intellectual property.  
  • It offers postgraduate students from law and non-law backgrounds a solid grounding in the knowledge necessary to understand the role of intellectual property in the creation and operation of international markets, and its consequent political, social and cultural effects.
  • Modules
    • International Intellectual Property (compulsory) 30 credits
    • Research Methods Leading to Dissertation (compulsory) 30 credits
  • And any four of the below indicative options bearing 30 credits each
    • Advanced Intellectual Property Law
    • Copyright, Privacy and Publicity
    • Intellectual Property and Global Health
    • International Masterclass in Intellectual Property Law
    • Patents and Trade Marks
    • Regulating the Creative Economy

International Law and Development

  • This pathway is focussed on the operation and relationship of the systems of public international law and international economic law in the post-colonial context. 
  • It provides a solid conceptual understanding of these systems enabling students from law and non-law backgrounds to engage with the questions of international justice that they raise.
  • Modules
    • Law, Post-Colonialism and Political Economy (compulsory) 30 credits
    • Law, Post-Development and the Critique of Political Economy (compulsory) 30 credits
    • Research Methods leading to Dissertation (compulsory) 30 credits
  • And any three of the below indicative options bearing 30 credits each
    • Advanced Contemporary Issues in Islamic Law: Theory and Practice
    • Advanced Intellectual Property Law
    • Commons, Public Space and the Law
    • Constitutional Law in Practice: Regional Perspectives
    • Cultures of Human Rights
    • Economic Approach to Law
    • Environmental Law and Justice
    • Environmental Problems and the Law
    • Equality and the Law
    • Futures: The Globalization of Human Rights
    • Healthcare and Human Rights
    • International Business and the Environment
    • International Rights of Minorities
    • International Trade Law

Law and New Technologies

  • This pathway in Law and New Technologies is an innovative research-led programme designed for graduates. It offers graduate students the conceptual tools and practical knowledge needed for a critical understanding of the two-way relationship between law and technology. 
  • We are particularly focused on a critical understanding of law and of technology. 
  • Students on this course will study technology as a historical and social phenomenon in order to put urgent contemporary problems, from climate change to AI, into a wider context.
  • Modules
    • Critical Approaches to Technology (compulsory) 30 credits
    • Regulating Technology (compulsory) 30 credits
    • Research Methods Leading to Dissertation (compulsory) 30 credits
  • And any three of the below indicative options bearing 30 credits each
    • Commons, Public Space and the Law
    • Data, Surveillance, and Insecurity
    • Environmental Problems and the Law
    • International Business and the Environment
    • Labour, law and technology
    • Law of the Digital Economy
    • Law, Solidarity and Alternative Economies
    • Law, Trade and Geopolitics
    • Natural Resources Law: Critical Perspectives
    • Property and Technology

Law and Political Economy

  • This is an interdisciplinary LLM and hosted by the Department of Politics.
  • Modules
    • Perspectives on Political Economy (compulsory) 30 credits
    • Critical Methods in Law & Society Research (compulsory) 30 credits
  • And any four of the below indicative options bearing 30 credits each
    • Indicative Modules from Law and Criminology
      • Commons, Public Space and the Law
      • Constitutional Law in Practice: Regional Perspectives
      • Economic Approach to Law
      • Environmental Problems and the Law
      • Global Perspectives on Crime and Crime Control
      • International Business and the Environment
      • International Trade Law
      • Law, Post-Colonialism and Political Economy
      • Law, Post-Development and the Critique of Political Economy
      • Law, Solidarity and Alternative Economies
      • Law, Trade and Geopolitics
      • Natural Resources Law: Critical Perspectives
      • Social Justice
      • The International Economic Constitution
      • The World Trade Organization and the Environment
      • White-Collar and Corporate Crime
    • Indicative Business option modules
      • Corporate Governance
      • Development Policy
      • Economics: Theory, Policy and Institutions
      • Environmental Economics
      • Globalization: forces, players and management
      • Innovation and the Knowledge Economy
      • Innovation Systems: Networks and Social Capital
      • Institutions, Governance and Development
      • International Business and Economic Development
      • International Business Ethics
      • International Business Strategy
      • International Business: Theories and Issues
      • Issues in Development Economics
      • Research Methods in Management (Postgraduate)
      • The Dynamics of Global Capitalism: Theory and Practice
      • Varieties of Capitalism and Employment Relations
    • Indicative Politics option modules
      • Emerging Powers in World Politics
      • Geopolitics, Population and Environment
      • Global Politics, Governance and Security
      • International Political Economy
      • The European Union: Integration, Politics and Policy
      • The Political Sociology of the Modern State
      • The Politics of Population Change: Immigration, Aging and Conflict