Open University in Ireland


Master of Laws (LLM)
This qualification is designed to consider the role and place of law in an increasingly globalised world, and is suitable for law and non-law graduates as well as lawyers wanting to develop their interests. Our LLM takes a critical legal approach to study, using different perspectives and case studies to illustrate, explore, compare and contextualise topical legal issues. You will explore the interaction of law, law making bodies, institutions and regulators in an international context, the role and function of law in an increasingly global society, and the role of states, international institutions and multi-national companies. You will also consider contemporary legal issues such as corporate social responsibility, trans-national crime, humanitarian aid and security.

You must complete your study by 31 December 2027. If you would like to discuss your options with one of our advisers, please contact us.

Key features of the course
• Explores methods of reasoning and analysis in law, and evaluates the complexities inherent in law, regulation and legal study
• Develops a range of transferable skills, including advanced legal research, that are attractive to employers
• Concludes with an in-depth piece of independent research on a topic within your chosen specialist subject area.

Subjects taught

You must start your studies with one of the compulsory law modules. Your final module will be The law dissertation (W800).

To gain this qualification you need 180 credits as follows:
90 credits from the following:
Compulsory modules
• Exploring legal meaning (W820) 30
Next start: 05 Nov 2022

• Exploring the boundaries of international law (W821)30
Next start: 07 May 2022

• *Business, human rights law and corporate social responsibility (W822)
Next start: 05 Nov 2022

*Or the discontinued module Continuing professional development in practice (UYA810) if previously studied as part of the Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced Professional Practice (Employment Law Advice) which is only available to those working for ACAS.

Plus either 30 credits from the following:
Optional undergraduate-level modules
• European Union law (W330) 30
• Exploring legal boundaries (W350) 30
• Law, society and culture (W340) 30

Or 30 credits from the following:
Optional postgraduate-level modules
• Contemporary issues in organisations (BB853) 15
Next start: 05 Nov 2022

• Entrepreneurship in context (BB851) 15
Next start: 05 Nov 2022

• Leadership and management of public services (BB852) 15
Next start: 07 May 2022

• Advance your independent learning (YXM830) 30
Next start: 01 Oct 2022

• Continuing professional development in practice (U810) 30
Next start: 01 May 2022

• Employment relations and employee engagement (B866) 30
Next start: 05 Nov 2022 FINAL

• Environmental monitoring and protection (T868) 30
Next start: 01 Nov 2022

• Making environmental decisions (T891) 30
Next start: 01 Nov 2022

• Managing for sustainability (T867) 30
Next start: 01 May 2022 FINAL

• Strategic capabilities for technological innovation (T849) 30
Next start: 01 May 2022

Or, subject to the rules about excluded combinations, the discontinued modules D864, D867, D872, D873, T863, T877, T878, T879, TD866, TU870, TU871, TU872 and TU875

plus 60 credits from the following:
Compulsory module
• The law dissertation (W800) 60
Next start: 05 Nov 2022

You should note that the University's unique study rule applies to this qualification. This means that you must include at least 60 credits from OU modules that have not been counted in any other OU qualification that has previously been awarded to you.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements
You should hold a UK honours degree (or equivalent or recognised overseas qualification) or relevant professional legal experience. Various higher education and professional qualifications are considered equivalent to an honours degree. If you hold a qualification that you believe is an equivalent level to a UK honours degree or if you lack formal academic qualifications but have relevant work experience, please speak to an adviser.

The modules are taught in English, and your spoken and written English must be of an adequate standard for postgraduate study. If English is not your first language, we recommend that you seek assessment under the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Please see their website for details.


3 - 5 years.

How long it takes
Each module will involve around 12 hours of study per week. Most students study this qualification in three years which is the minimum time for completion. The maximum time to complete is five years.

Post Course Info

Career relevance
There is a growing demand for professionals who have an in-depth understanding of the role and purpose of law in our increasingly global society, and the associated advanced legal research and reasoning skills.

This degree will contribute to your career development by providing transferable skills that are highly valued by employers.

Typically, holders of the LLM will:
• deal with complex legal issues both systematically and creatively
• communicate their subject knowledge clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences
• demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems
• act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks
• reflect on the responsibilities linked to the application of knowledge
• demonstrate the ability to conceive, design, implement and adapt a substantial piece of independent research with scholarly integrity
• exercise initiative and personal responsibility
• be able to develop a persuasive legal argument based on evidence
• demonstrate independent learning ability required for continuing professional development.

If you are interested in becoming a lawyer (solicitor or barrister) you need to study our undergraduate Bachelor of Laws (LLB) (Hons).

Careers and Employability Services have more information on how OU study can improve your employability.

More details
  • Qualification letters

    LLM (Open)

  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters at UK Level 7

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