LLM (Public Law)—full-time and part-time

College of Business, Public Policy, & Law

Course overview

The LLM in Public Law suite of programmes examines emerging and topical issues in public law from a comparative and international perspective. The programmes will be of interest to students who have completed their primary law degree as well as legal practitioners, public servants and others seeking to develop or update their knowledge of public law and legal research skills.

Students may be awarded the degree of LL.M in Public Law or can opt for a specialised denomination by taking specific optional modules. The specialisations are:

  • LL.M in Public Law & Criminal Justice,
  • LL.M in Public Law & Social Justice or
  • LL.M in Public Law & Administration.

Special Features:

  • Seminars: Teaching takes the form of small group seminars, which are complemented by presentations from guest speakers who are experts in the field.
  • Conferences: Students are also encouraged to attend and, where possible, present papers at relevant conferences.
  • Journals: Students are also encouraged to publish some of their work in student and mainstream law journals.

Key facts

Entry requirements

Applicants must have a degree in law (Honours 2.1 or higher) or an interdisciplinary degree, which includes a substantial law component (Honours 2:1 or equivalent). In exceptional circumstances, applicants who hold a degree other than a law degree and who have relevant education and/or professional experience in law may be considered.

Duration: 1 year, full-time
2 years, part-time

Next start date: September 2016

Average intake: 25

Closing date: Please refer to the offer rounds/closing date webpage.

Mode of study: Taught

Course outline

The programme aims to provide a solid grounding in the theory, substance and application of Public Law for future practitioners, academics and policy makers, and gives students a keen understanding of the most pressing issues for public interest litigation in both the state and private sectors. Led by a dynamic team of experts at NUI Galway, with national, European and international teaching and research profiles, students will acquire expertise in their chosen subjects across a range of different areas, with a focus particularly on law reform, social justice, policy and administration. Students can now obtain an LLM in Public Law or choose to specialise for an award of LLM in Public Law & Criminal Justice, LLM in Public Law & Social Justice or LLM in Public Law & Administration. The programme also puts a strong emphasis on research and presentation skills.

Foundational Courses (Mandatory):

  • Advanced Legal Research and Methods   
  • Law, Regulation and Policy
  • Minor Thesis

Optional Courses:

  • Activism, Advocacy and Public Interest Law
  • Comparative Criminal Process
  • Contemporary Issues in Law and Society
  • Disability Law: Contemporary Law Reform Challenges in the National and International Sphere
  • Equality Law: Principles and Thematic Application
  • Immigration Law: Between Sovereignty and Equality
  • Local Government Law
  • Minors, Minority Groups and the Criminal Justice System
  • Processes of Law Reform  
  • Sentencing and Penal Policy
  • The Criminal Jury
  • Theories of Judicial Activism

Applications and selections

Applications are made online via The Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC). Relevant PAC application code(s) above.

Who teaches this course?

  • Dr. Charles O'Mahony
  • Dr. Eoin Daly
  • Dr. Ciara Smyth
  • Dr. Conor Hanly
  • Prof. Donncha O'Connell
  • Prof. Gerard Quinn
  • Mr. Larry Donnelly
  • Dr. Ioanna Tourkochoriti
  • Dr. Mary Keys
  • Dr. Padraic Kenna
  • Ms. Shivaun Quinlivan
  • Mr. Tom O'Malley

Requirements and assessment

Assessment in the individual modules comprises a combination of presentations, written assignments and essays. Students are also required to submit a minor thesis.

Find out more

Download the newly updated LLM in Public Law brochure. For more information on the programme and an overview of some of the distinctive and diverse courses on offer on the LL.M in Public Law please visit our YouTube account.

Contact the Programme Directors:

Dr Charles O’Mahony
T: +353 91 494 391 
E: charles.omahony@nuigalway.ie

PAC code

GYL04, full-time
GYL05, part-time

Fees for this course

EU (Total): €6,015 p.a. 2015/16
 - Tuition: €5,791 p.a. 2015/16
 - Student levy: €224 p.a. 2015/16
Non-EU (Total): €13,250 p.a. 2015/16

EU Full time programme:  €6,015 p.a.; EU Part time programme:  €3,065 p.a.

Postgraduate students in receipt of a SUSI grant – please note an F4 grant is where SUSI will pay €2,000 towards your tuition.  You will be liable for the remainder of the total fee.  An F5 grant is where SUSI will pay TUITION up to a maximum of €6,270.  SUSI will not cover the student levy of €224.


Get the LLM in Public Law Prospectus

LLM in Public Law 2015–16 Cover

Get the Postgraduate Prospectus

Postgraduate Prospectus 2015–16 Cover

Current students

Sandra Murphy

LLM (Public Law) part-time student

"I always had an interest in furthering my academic career but thought it would be impossible due to my position as a partner in a busy solicitor's office. The two year(part time) LL.M program offered by NUI Galway was the answer to my prayers. The way the program is designed allows me to attend college and study while continuing my role as a solicitor and the fact that the course is spread over the two years made this possible.  I have found the course itself interesting, stimulating and challenging. As a student returning to NUI Galway after twenty two years I was nervous and unsure but the friendly and helpful faculty staff soon put me at my ease. I am enjoying the course hugely and have found that my experience of life and my life as a solicitor has given me a greater understanding and appreciation for the course."

Past students

Thomas Mahon

"The decision to do the LL.M in Public Law was one of the best I have ever made.  The programme was extraordinarily fulfilling, enjoyable and challenging. The course is tremendous and brilliantly put together.  I was particularly impressed with the dynamic team of experts teaching on the programme.  They provided me with uncomplicated guidance, support, encouragement and no-nonsense expertise.  The LL.M presented me with a unique opportunity to grapple with topical issues of practical importance in public law.  It has also given me an ability to critically appraise the problems, which arise for law and policymakers in this extremely important area.  In my view, this course provides an ideal foundation for students and practitioners interested in the theory, substance and application of public law.”