The LLM in Advanced Legislative Studies offers a unique opportunity to drafters, legal officers, policy makers and those interested in the process of lawmaking and in drafting to study the legislative environment and legislation as a tool for regulation. The programme aims to promote an understanding of the principles of legislative studies, and an in-depth awareness of what constitutes legislative quality and how this can be achieved. The programme is not prescriptive and allows participants to naturalize their knowledge and apply it in their own national environments. Capped class numbers allow individualized tuition. Alumni are usually employed by governments and international organizations.
Legislative drafting is often perceived as a technical skill, which one learns on the job. The view of the Sir William Dale Centre, as eloquently put by its founder and its staff in numerous publications, has always been that legislative drafting is a phronetic discipline requiring awareness of the theoretical principles of drafting along with experience on the job. Legislative drafting has evolved to become the bedrock of political, economic and social transformation. It is still, however, relatively unexplored as an academic discipline. The LLM examines issues related to the policy process, the legislative process and the drafting process. Legislation is viewed as a tool for regulation. Effectiveness of regulatory aims is the scope and aim of the drafting process.
The normal minimum entrance requirement would be a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree from a recognised university in the UK, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard (for example a grade-point-average of 3.0 or higher).
Applications from candidates who do not meet the formal academic requirements but who offer alternative qualifications and/or relevant experience, could be considered
Structure and Assessment
Credit value: 180
The LLM is divided into two directions: Common Law and EU. Part-time students take four modules in the first year of study, and two modules and the dissertation in the second year of study.
The Common Law direction core modules
- LLM Research Methods Training
- Comparative Legislative Studies 1 and 2
- Legislative Drafting 1 and 2
- Themes of Legislative Studies
The EU direction core modules
- LLM Research Methods Training
- EU Legislative Studies 1 and 2
- The Jean Monnet Module ‘Legislating for EU Membership and Accession’
- The Jean Monnet module ‘Theories of European Integration’
Teaching, learning and assessment
Teaching methods for the remainder of the course include extensive online materials per session, such as PowerPoint presentations, hand-outs and a number of academic sources for essential and further reading; online discussions with tutors and fellow students on the traditional LLM and the LLM via DL; private reading and independent research; individual tuition and support via email for coursework and dissertation for which a dissertation supervisor is assigned.
The content for the distance learning programme is fundamentally the same as the content of the LLM in ALS. The LLM in ALS via distance learning is divided into two pathways, the Common Law Direction and the EU Direction, and both pathways include the same core modules as the standard LLM in ALS programme. The LLM in ALS via DL is offered on a part-time basis only over two calendar years.
Mode of Study
The LLM course mode of study is 12 months full-time or 24 months part-time. Part-time students take four modules in the first year of study, and two modules and the dissertation in the second year of study.
The distance learning course is 24 months part-time only. Part-time students take four modules in the first year of study, and two modules and the dissertation in the second year of study.
All students whose first language is not English must be able to provide recent evidence (gained in the last two years) that their written and spoken English language is adequate for postgraduate study. This requirement is specified in order to ensure that the academic progress of students is not hindered by language difficulties and that students are able to integrate socially while studying and living in the UK.
Further information can be found on the English language competency section of our Entry Requirements page.
The LLM is aimed at those seeking a career in legislative drafting, those already working as legislative drafters or those who want a career in, or are already working for, organizations which produce different types of draft normative acts. Many of our students are mid-career drafters employed by government, e.g. AG Chambers or Ministry of Justice or other ministries. We also have students who work or aim to work for NGOs which will propose normative acts to governments.
What our students say
The legislative studies programme is an innovative course which caters for the lacuna in academic institutions around the world in much-needed training in legislative studies. I am glad to have taken part in this programme and the experience I have gained will transform me into a better drafter. The course is professionally organised, from the material offered through to teaching methods applied, and I would recommend this LLM to all drafters, regardless of their experience and background.
- MA student, Mookamedi Morwaagole (Botswana), describes his experience of the LLM course.