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LLM European Law

An LLM European law programme delves into the economic policies and social model of the European Union. This type of Master of Laws involves in-depth research into how the EU works, its treaties, the impact of its legislation and conflicting aspects of that of its member states, and an opportunity to study what the future may hold. Currently with 28 member states, EU expansion is constantly posing new questions and challenges in European law.

There is a plethora of areas of law to study within this field. It can be a particularly useful area in which to possess expertise in roles within the legal, business and finance sectors.

Core modules

LLM European law students will have to cover at least one economy-focused module, the European market, for example competition law or the single European market, and EU social law. Module choice will vary according to each institution; however, choices tend to cover:

  • European human rights
  • Immigration
  • EU criminal law
  • EU financial law
  • Employment law
  • Competition law
  • The single European market
  • EU administrative law
  • Environmental law.

Course structure

There is the option to study European law as a specialist subject on its own, as part of an internationally-focused course, or in combination with another specialist subject. A lot of business or human rights LLM courses can be studied with European law.

LLM European Law students will have to select and complete a set number of modules/credits (assessed by a piece of writing for each) and produce at least one extended essay/piece of research (usually a dissertation) on their specialist subject. As a subject LLM, most LLM European Law courses tend to be ‘taught’ programmes; law schools who run LLM by Research programmes may be interested in proposals related to this area of law.

A few UK law schools currently run LLM European Law programmes, including Leeds University, King’s College London, LSE, University of Essex and Queen Mary. General LLM Law courses will usually include optional European modules.

Entry requirements for LLM European Law

You will need to have a 2:1 in an undergraduate law degree (or equivalent) in order to apply for this type of LLM. Non-law degree graduates can also be eligible, particularly if the discipline has close links with European Law, such as politics, languages or some business degrees. Some institutions offer extra tuition to help those in this situation; for example, the University of Leeds runs a summer school for students who did not cover EU law in their undergraduate degree.

By Jos Weale, Editor,