Birkbeck, University of London

Course Introduction

As the utopian idea of 'the end of history' falters, it has been replaced by a growing desire for law and constitution reforms to tackle the distinctive problems of the early twenty'first century, including concerns about security and risk, instability and crisis in the relationship between financial markets and sovereign states, perpetual war, and corruption in politics. These expectations, however, are often at odds with the way contemporary social and political theories, and a growing number of constitutional law specialists, conceptualise politics.

This distinctive Master's degree in law considers the traditional neglect of constitutionalist approaches to politics in Britain ' something that is now changing fast. This course focuses on two related, but distinct, processes: the crisis of law and the shift towards exceptional modes of state power; and the demand that law mitigates manifold crises. Questions are raised about law as solution, about its role in the violent imposition of liberal social and market relations, and whether or not we may be able to imagine a different sort of crisis, a different relation between law and the future.

This intensive programme adopts a critical, interdisciplinary approach and gives equal weight to theory and comparative case studies from across the world.


Studying the interrelation of law and politics requires, by definition, an interdisciplinary and critical approach ' the Birkbeck School of Law specialises in this kind of approach.

Our School 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, and our academic staff have valuable experience of constitutionalist politics in regions across the globe. 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.

Applicants with a strong academic background may be eligible to apply for AHRC/ESRC awards (UK and EU'based applicants only).

Candidates with an outstanding academic record who demonstrate high potential for strong performance on one of our Master's degrees can apply for School of Law Postgraduate Fee Awards.

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

Course Modules

Course structure:

You take two core modules and choose four option modules, one of which may be a research project.

Core modules:

Constitutional Law in Practice: Regional Perspectives;

Introduction to the History, Theory and Politics of Constitutional Law.

Indicative option modules:

Advanced International Economic Law, Justice and Development (Intensive);

Cultures of Human rights (Intensive);

Equality and the Law;

Futures: the Globalisation of Human Rights (Intensive);

Globalisation of Land Markets (Intensive);

Human Rights in Britain (Intensive);

International Asylum and Refugee Law (Intensive);

International Criminal Justice;

International Financial Institutions: Law and Practice (Intensive);

International Rights of Minorities (Intensive);

Introduction to International Economic Law, Justice and Development (Intensive);

Post'Conflict Statebuilding, Law and Justice (Intensive);

Social Justice;

The International Economic Constitution (Intensive);

The World Trade Organization and the Environment (Intensive).

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

Start Date:


Duration & Attendance Qualification Tuition fees Fee type
1 year
Full Time
LLM £10,725 Home Fees
1 year
Full Time
LLM £16,400 Overseas Fees
2 years
Part Time
LLM £5,375 Home Fees
2 years
Part Time
LLM £8,200 Overseas Fees

Qualifications required:

  • Good second-class honours degree in law or a related discipline.
  • Degrees from overseas institutions must be equivalent to a UK second-class degree.
  • Other relevant qualifications and appropriate professional training and experience welcome.
  • International entry requirements:
  • If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement 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.