Course Overview

The LL.M in Public Law suite of programmes examines emerging and topical issues in public law from a comparative and international perspective.  The programme provides 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.

The programmes will be of interest to students who have completed a primary law degree as well as legal practitioners, public servants and others seeking to develop or enhance their knowledge of public law and legal research skills.

 Course Highlights:

  • Specialisation allows maximum flexibility with regard to students LLM qualification.   Students can obtain an LL.M in Public Law or choose to specialise for an award of LL.M in Public Law & Criminal Justice, LL.M in Public Law & Social Justice or LL.M in Public Law & Administration.
  • International Internships in the field of judicial research as well as NGO roles are available for students during the summer months.   
  • International Field Trips enable students to see the law in action in a global context.
  • Academic publications, support is given to students to develop their work to a standard which will permit them to publish in national and international peer reviewed journals. 
  • Expert Lecturers deliver this programme through small group seminars with guest talks from leading practitioners.  Students also have the opportunity to attend and present at key conferences, nationally and internationally.
  • Skills development are a key focus of this programme with modules encouraging a critical approach to legal thinking and enhancement of communication and research skills.
  • A Minor Thesis is completed by students on a topic of their choice under close supervision by leading national experts.
  • Career Supportis provided through professional workshops coaching students on CV preparation and interview skills.  Careers in Law Week also provides an opportunity to meet partners from leading law firms.
  • Assessment is primarily through research papers, presentations and minor thesis rather than exams.

LLM Welcome

Applications and Selections

Applications are made online via the NUI Galway Postgraduate Applications System

Who Teaches this Course

Requirements and Assessment

Modules are assessed primarily through research papers, essays and presentations. Students also complete a supervised research dissertation in a topic of their choosing.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

Applicants must have a Level 8 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.International students should refer to the country specific information section of the International Office website.

Additional Requirements


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

Next start date

September 2019

A Level Grades ()

Average intake


Closing Date

Please refer to the offer rounds/closing date webpage.

NFQ level

Mode of study


ECTS weighting



Course code

1ML8, full-time; 1ML9, part-time

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

Module details for the full time course

Module details for the part time course

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

The LL.M in Public Law favourably situates students to pursue careers as solicitors or barristers or to pursue a variety of alternative careers in law.  Graduates go on to work in private practice in large commercial law firms or working in the public sector.

 Graduates of the LL.M in Pubic Law have secured positions as legal researchers with the Law Reform Commission, Attorney General’s Office, Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Court Service.  Graduates also secure positions with leading national and international law firms and a range of other employers.

The LL.M in Public Law is also a good option for students interested in a career in academia. Graduates of the programme have secured funding to pursue Ph.D. research in Ireland, the UK, Europe and the US and are now working in universities around the world.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes


Work Placement

One of the unique aspects of the LLM in Public Law is that students on the programme have the opportunity to take up funded international internships during the summer. The scholarships are open to all students enrolled on the LLM in Public Law and are awarded on the basis of an application and interview. Students have completed internships with the Mental Disability Advocacy Centre in Budapest, JUSTICE in London and the Court of Appeal in the Seychelles.

In addition, students of the LLM in Public Law have been successful in securing national internships with the Courts Service, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, PILA, FLAC and solicitors’ firms.

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€7,000 p.a. 2019/20

Fees: Tuition

€6,776 p.a. 2019/20

Fees: Student levy

€224 p.a. 2019/20

Fees: Non EU

€15,500 p.a. 2019/20

EU full time 1ML8: €7,000;  EU part time 1ML9: €3,555 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.

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 Director:

Dr Connie Healy
T: +353 91 493 341

What Our Students Say


Patrick Conboy |    

In my current role as Executive Legal Officer to the Chief Justice, I apply on a daily basis the skills developed and knowledge attained during the LLM in Public Law, whether it be in relation to policy analysis and development, advanced legal research methods and regulation formation. My role involves, inter alia, liaising with judicial networks and courts in Europe and I credit my ability to carry out my role successfully down to the skills developed and knowledge gained during the course of my year in the LLM in Public Law.

Sandra Murphy |   Solicitor

I was keen to further 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 programme offered by NUI Galway was the answer to my prayers. The programme 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 found the course itself interesting, stimulating and challenging. As a student returning to NUI Galway after 22 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.


  • Postgraduate Taught Prospectus 2019

    Postgraduate Taught Prospectus 2019 PDF (12.6 MB)

  • School of Law Postgraduate Prospectus 2019

    School of Law Postgraduate Prospectus 2019 PDF (4mb)

  • LL.M in Public Law Prospectus

    LL.M in Public Law Prospectus PDF (12.3 MB)