Course Overview

The LLM in Public Law suite of programmes examines emerging and topical issues in public law from a critical and policy-driven 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.

Our teaching methods - based on small-group seminars - encourage a critical approach to legal thinking and aim to enhance research and communication skills. The LLM can be taken on a full-time basis over one year or part-time over two years.

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

  • LLM in Public Law & Criminal Justice,
  • LLM in Public Law & Social Justice or
  • LLM in Public Law & Administration

Special Features:

  • Teaching takes the form of small-group seminars and are discussion-driven. Some classes are delivered by expert guest speakers.
  • Assessment is primarily through research papers and presentations rather than exams.
  • Students complete a research dissertation in a topic of their choice under close supervision by leading national experts
  • We organise internships in judicial research as well as NGO roles.

Our elective modules cover contemporary issues in public law such as Immigration Law, Local Government Law and Minors, Minorities and Criminal Justice. For further information see our LLM in Public Law brochure.

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.

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 LLM in Public Law favourably situates students to pursue a career as solicitors or barristers or to pursue a variety of other job opportunities. Graduates go on to work in private practice in large commercial law firms or working in the public sector. The programme provides excellent opportunities for students not wishing to practice law to pursue alternative careers in law. 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 LLM in Public Law is of interest to students interested in a career in academia. Graduates of the programme have secured funding to pursue PhD research in Ireland, the UK, Europe and the US and are now working in universities around the world. Students on the LLM in Public Law use the programme to identify topics for doctoral research. Students of the LLMhave been successfully in securing funding for PhD research from the Irish Research Council, the NUI Travelling Scholarship and from international funders in Europe and the United States.

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
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


Conor Newman |   Solicitor, Matheson

I found the course extremely interesting, offering diverse modules for study. The informal setting and personal contact with the lecturers added immensely to my enjoyment of the course. The lecturers and those involved in the administration of the LLM were extremely approachable and helpful. Links formed during the course helped greatly in securing employment afterward. The LLM in Public Law offered great opportunities and to get involved in different projects in the School of Law, which also helped build relevant experience.

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.