School of Law and Government

LLM General Pathway

Course Code:
Course Type:
NFQ Level
Delivery Modes
(FT - 1 Year), (PT - 2 years)
call programme contact
+353 (0) 1
700 6403

The LLM (Master of Laws) is a one year full-time and two year part-time programme offered by DCU’s School of Law and Government. We welcome applicants from Ireland, the EU and the wider world who are interested in deepening their understanding of law in its broader social, political and global contexts.

The programme is designed to prepare students for a career in the 21st century workplace, where employers seek adaptable and outward-looking critical thinkers. To this end, the LLM offers a range of modules that goes beyond black-letter, formulaic legal study: the programme embraces a socio-legal methodology and has a European and international orientation.

The General LLM allows students to select a wide range of modules across several different fields (see section below for programme structure and module choice).

Programme Structure and Content

The LLM (Master of Laws) at DCU is delivered as a one-year, full-time programme and also as a two year part-time programme. You’ll be on-site for timetabled classes for two or three days a week in each semester (depending on the individual student’s module choice): 12 weeks before and 12 weeks after Christmas.

Most students are on campus throughout the week: working on assignments, contributing in School research seminars, etc. To complete the program, you’re required to write a research dissertation, to be drafted in the summer period. In preparation for the dissertation, you’ll have regular supervision meetings as well as occasional collective dissertation initiatives (some students work off site for much of the summer period and are free to do so).

There are two obligatory modules: Legal and Socio-Legal Research Skills and the independent research Dissertation (15,000-20,000 words). Along with these modules, you’ll take five optional modules from among those on offer; two in the first semester, and three in the second semester (late January-April).

Mandatory Modules

  • Legal and Socio-Legal Research Skills
  • Dissertation

Semester 1

  • Contemporary Legal Issues in Commercial Practice
  • Law, Ethics and the Person
  • EU Institutional Law
  • EU Competition Law and Policy 
  • Judges and Judging
  • Principles of Public International Law
  • International Law and Conflict

Semester 2

  • European Employment Law
  • Climate Change Law
  • EU Banking and Finance Law
  • Race, Minorities and Indigenous in International Law
  • EU Trade Law and Policy
  • European and International Human Rights Law

All optional modules will be offered, subject to staff availability and student demand in any year.

Programme Aims and Objectives 

  • To facilitate students analysing key issues in modern European business law
  • To create an authentically postgraduate and scholarly orientation with genuine intellectual depth through a small-group seminar model that promotes more intensive lecturer-student interaction
  • To make graduates better problem-solvers, critical thinkers, and more confident advocates, thus preparing them for careers in law, policy and business.

Why Choose DCU?

  • a young and innovative university with a reputation for excellence in teaching and research (consistently rated in the ‘Top 50 under 50’ by the QS World University Rankings)
  • an English-speaking, European university engaged with Europe and the broader world, in an English-speaking country similarly engaged and committed

Why Do This Programme?

  • a School with an inter-disciplinary research and teaching approach, engaging law and legal doctrine with political science, international relations, sociology, economics and European affairs more generally
  • a programme designed to develop the student’s critical, analytical and interdisciplinary thinking skills so that they are better positioned for access to, and advancement within, higher-end careers in law and related fields
  • a School with active links with major law firms; international and European institutions; NGOs; advocacy bodies and other potential employers
  • an environment that facilitates the student in preparing for a career in academia or research, with opportunities to edit and contribute to academic journals, blogs, and to present academic papers
  • runs in conjunction with postgraduate programmes in international relations, public policy, privacy, climate change, international development.


“Working as a manager in the disability sector, what first attracted me to DCU’s LLM (Master of Laws) was its practical law-in-action emphasis. But more than that, I found a course which is extraordinarily intellectually stimulating, rigorous in its standard and taught with enthusiasm and energy by academics who are deservedly in the forefront of their legal specialisms. I discovered a lot of new things on this course, not least because the seminar type structure of most of the classes loans itself well to the kind of in-depth analysis and discussion that really entrenches information and learning at this advanced level of study.”

James Forbes Head of Care, ChildVision (National Education Centre for Blind Children), PhD candidate, Dublin City University, Graduate of the DCU LLM (Master of Laws) programme

 “I would highly recommend the LLM (Master of Laws) degree course at DCU. It is a particularly interesting course for those with a preference for a more general LLM. What attracted me was the broad range of modules offered from Medical Law and Bioethics to European Employment Law to specific aspects of International Law. As such, there was ample opportunity to gain an in-depth insight into numerous areas of law simultaneously, with an opportunity to explore a particular area of interest within each of those subject matters. The unique socio-legal research module affords students an opportunity to establish and advance their own research style, an important feature of any legal Masters programme. Student participation is both encouraged and expected by experienced lecturers which maintains the expected high standard of this LLM degree.”

Clare Barry, Barrister, PhD candidate, DCU (School of Law and Government), Graduate of the DCU LLM (Master of Laws) programme

Our graduates have established careers in the legal professions (including the bar), academia and research (including a high proportion in funded PhD programmes and research positions), as well as NGOs, advocacy, civil service and public administration.

With its internationalist orientation, the LLM programme caters well for those interested in access to or promotion within careers in international and European institutions.

The programme is designed to make graduates better problem-solvers and more confident advocates: thus it prepares graduates for work as in-house lawyers in companies and organisations, as well as in higher level civil service positions.

Potential Careers

  • The legal professions
  • Academia or research careers
  • NGOs and advocacy
  • Civil service and public administration
  • European and international organisations


For admission to the LLM programme, successful applicants will have:

• Normally have achieved a Second Class Honours Grade One (H2.1) in a primary degree (level 8) in law or an interdisciplinary degree which includes law as a significant component.

• Applicants who have not achieved a H2.1 may apply but applications will be assessed on a competitive basis.

• If an applicant has not yet completed their degree, then a conditional offer may be made on the basis of most recent grades and pending the achievement of no less than a H2.2 degree.

• Applicants with appropriate combinations of professional qualifications and experience may also be considered. This includes discipline-specific knowledge and know-how; transferable skills; basic research competency; personal effectiveness.

• International candidates who are non-native speakers of English must satisfy the University of their competency in the English language.


Full time

EU Status Fee
Non EU Fee.

Part time

EU Status Fee Part-time
4,200 per annum
Non EU Fee Part time
8,100 per annum

Next Steps

All Applicants must apply through DCU's Student Application Portal which is available here. Here's a quick step by step guide if you need help with your application:

• Provide Academic Transcripts for each and every year of study with English translation if applicable.

• If applicable, provide evidence of competence in the English language as per DCU entry requirements. Please see link

Please note if you are a non EU student and require a study visa, you are not eligible to apply for part-time programmes as study visas are only granted for full-time programmes.

Application deadlines

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the programme is full or until the following dates:

  • Closing date for non EU applicants is 1st July 2024
  • Closing date for EU applicants is 31st July 2024

Note applicants who require a study visa for the purposes of studying at DCU, are advised to apply as early as possible.
All entry requirements should be met before the commencement of the programme.

Application Queries

For EU applicant queries, please visit or email

For non EU applicant queries, please visit or email

Commencement of Programme

The programme commences in September 2024