LLM in Legal and Political Theory

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Why study Legal and Political Theory?

It is sometimes said that political theory concerns the questions of “who gets what and who says?”. In modern pluralistic societies an additional question arises: how can we live together peacefully in circumstances in which we disagree about how best to live? These issues are both political and legal. States, and increasingly the international domain, regulate citizens’ lives through law. The LLM in Legal and Political Theory – a unique collaboration between the Departments of Politics and Philosophy and the York Law School offers students the opportunity to study the core issues and approaches of political and legal theory and to consider the relations between them.

The LLM in Legal and Political Theory aims to provide:

  • Opportunities to study some of the enduring questions of political life including: By what right do some people rule over others?; What is the relationship of law and morality?; Do citizens have an obligation to obey the law?; and, What is the just distribution of rights and socio-economic goods and opportunities within states and globally?

  • Opportunities to choose from a wide range of Option Modules in Law, Politics, and Philosophy.

  • The opportunity to write an independent dissertation on a topic of your choosing supervised by a member of the academic staff.

At the end of the course students will:

  • Have a critical understanding of the central questions of legal and political theory and of the works of the great legal and political theorists both past and present who have examined these questions.

  • Have knowledge of the fundamental questions of jurisprudence and of how these connect to issues of political theory.

  • Understand the distinctive methodologies of the study of legal and political theory.

The taught programme, which can also be taken Part Time over two years, is organised around three Core modules that run through the first two Terms and provide the foundations of the study of legal and political theory. In addition, students take Option modules in subjects of their choosing. In the third Term and over the summer, students write a Dissertation.

Each student is allocated a Personal Advisor who will help you to tailor the programme ?to suit your individual interests. Teaching is done through small groups led by members of the academic staff.

Admission requirements

Applicants will normally be expected to have obtained an undergraduate Law, Philosophy, Politics, or a related discipline degree with honours (2.1 or higher, or its equivalent).

Applicants with equivalent professional experience will also be considered on a case by case basis.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language and you have not completed an undergraduate degree in English we will need evidence of your English language ability to the required level, in addition to any academic entry requirements.

For up to date information about accepted tests and our English language requirements, please see

Applying to the programme

You can apply for this course using our online application system. If you've not already done so, please read the application guidance first so that you understand the various steps in the application process.

Careers options and employability

It is widely known in the legal sector that those graduating from York Law School with a postgraduate degree possess legal minds of the highest calibre and, as such, our graduates are always in demand.

On average, an outstanding 94.2% of those graduating with a postgraduate degree in Law between 2009 and the present day had secured employment or further study after leaving York.

While most of our postgraduate students choose to enter legal fields, others go on to gain employment in the following sectors: finance, health and social work, public administration and retail.

Notable employers include: DWF LLP, the Home Office, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Parabis Group, Amnesty International.

The most common job titles are: Lawyer, Litigation Paralegal, Solicitor, Commercial in-house lawyer and Attorney-at-Law.

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