Comments about LLM-Postgraduate Diploma-Postgraduate Certificate International Law - At the institution - Bristol City - Bristol
The postgraduate programmes in Law have been designed to require and encourage critical analysis of relevant legal issues. The breadth and depth of study undertaken and the demands of critical analysis and independent research make the undertaking of a specialised LLM qualitatively and quantitatively distinct from the undergraduate study of law. Of particular importance to the law postgraduate scheme is independent research and analysis. One of the six taught modules, Research Methods, provides students with the key skills of postgraduate study, and facilitates development of their own research strategies. The dissertation requires that the student produce a piece of written work which represents a contribution to the corpus of legal knowledge, in terms of originality or of approach, and this also highlights the postgraduate nature of the programme. Students develop the ability to analyse critically relevant legal provisions and evaluate the impact of such rules and principles both upon the study of academic law and on the practical application of such principles. Consequently, the law postgraduate scheme facilitates the development of the student's academic skills of analysis, reflective study and critical reasoning.
Applicants with an upper second class honours degree are preferred but some applicants with a lower second class degree may be admitted into the programme if they can provide substantial evidence of work that has warranted an upper second or first class mark. Applicants normally have a degree in: -law; or -any discipline, and the successful completion of the common professional examination (CPE) with at least a merit. Those applicants with a pass may be admitted if they can provide evidence of work that was of merit or distinction standard; -a joint, or combined honours degree programme with law as a significant element.
LLM/Postgraduate Diploma/Postgraduate Certificate International Law
-International Law and Institutions
Options (four of the following)
-Human Rights and International Law
-International Criminal Law
-International Environmental Law
-International Human Rights and Islamic Law
-International Law and Children's Rights
Teaching and learning
The programme involves both extensive independent research and discussion in the context of seminars. These seminars provide students with analytical and reflective skills and postgraduate level expertise. Seminars are not a forum where tutors lecture students – this may come as a culture shock to some students who are used to their education being delivered solely in lecture format. Students will be expected to have thoroughly prepared for each seminar and to participate actively in discussion with their tutors and peers in seminars.
Students generally attend six seminars of three hours' duration, covering six separate topics for a single (20 credit) module. Full-time students are likely to have six to nine contact hours a week in class; as a part-time student that figure could average out to below three hours, depending on the route you are following. This should not disguise the fact that there is considerable preparation that has to be undertaken for those classes. In total, including private study, full-time students should reckon on 36 hours study a week, and part-time between 12 and 18 hours a week.
There are no formal 'closed-book' means of assessment. The taught modules are assessed through a combination of written assignment, and under 'controlled conditions'. The latter may entail either the oral presentation of a paper to the seminar group, or a form of 'open-book' examination whereby students may bring a portfolio of legal materials that they have gathered into the exam and answer an unseen question.
The culmination of the LLM programme is a dissertation of up to 15,000 words that constitutes an original contribution to the corpus of legal knowledge within a given area of law.