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 can pursue an LLM in Public Law or choose to specialise for an award of:

  • LLM in Public Law and Criminal Justice, or (NOT ON OFFER FOR ENTRY 2020)
  • LLM in Public Law and Social Justice, or (NOT ON OFFER FOR ENTRY 2020)
  • LLM in Public Law and Administration. (NOT ON OFFER FOR ENTRY 2020)

 Course Highlights:

  • 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 Support is 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.


Additional Requirements

Duration

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

Next start date

September 2020 (note: Specialisations only not on offer for entry 2020)

A Level Grades ()

Average intake

10

Closing Date

Please view the offer rounds website.

NFQ level

Mode of study

Taught

ECTS weighting

Award

CAO

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. 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

Curriculum Information

Curriculum information relates to the current academic year (in most cases).
Course and module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Glossary of Terms

Credits
You must earn a defined number of credits (aka ECTS) to complete each year of your course. You do this by taking all of its required modules as well as the correct number of optional modules to obtain that year's total number of credits.
Module
An examinable portion of a subject or course, for which you attend lectures and/or tutorials and carry out assignments. E.g. Algebra and Calculus could be modules within the subject Mathematics. Each module has a unique module code eg. MA140.
Optional
A module you may choose to study.
Required
A module that you must study if you choose this course (or subject).
Semester
Most courses have 2 semesters (aka terms) per year.

Year 1 (90 Credits)

Required LW484: Law, Regulation & Policy


12 months long | Credits: 10

Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
The above information outlines module LW484: "Law, Regulation & Policy" and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required LW450: Dissertation


12 months long | Credits: 30


(Language of instruction: English)

Assessments
  • Research (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
The above information outlines module LW450: "Dissertation" and is valid from 2019 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required LW483: Advanced Legal Research & Method


12 months long | Credits: 10

This module will build on the research skills already acquired by students in their primary law degree programmes and/or work experience. It will be closely linked to and designed to facilitate the writing components and the minor thesis requirement of all students on the programme. The module will also equip students with the skills necessary to present conference papers and to publish law journal articles. This module, in tandem with the ongoing availability of the lecturer for individualised assistance, will provide students with the “tools” necessary to successfully undertake the high volume of legal research and writing required by the taught LL.M. programmes. For two weeks of the module, through sessions held in the law library’s training room, students will be exposed to advanced methodologies of computerised legal research utilising Lexis, Westlaw, Justis, Hein-on-Line and the ever-increasing number of freely available legal research databases on the worldwide web. Students will be shown the wide range of databases and special collections available to them as postgraduate students at NUI Galway. The module will also devote significant amounts of time in seminars to legal citation style (OSCOLA Ireland), advanced legal writing technique, advanced critical and analytical thinking methodologies, preparation of abstracts for conference papers and law journal articles, best practices in making conference and other oral presentations and the process of and reasons for drafting literature reviews.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Research and cite primary and secondary legal materials correctly
  2. Engage in advanced critical thinking and textual analysis
  3. Write at an advanced level
  4. Prepare a literature review
  5. Draft abstracts and present conference papers
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
Reading List
  1. "Schweppe et al, How to Think, Write and Cite: Key Skills for Irish Law Students (Round Hall, 2nd ed, 2016)" by n/a
  2. "Murray, How to Write a Thesis (Open University Press, 2nd ed, 2006)" by n/a
  3. "O’Malley, Sources of Law (Round Hall, 2nd ed, 2001)" by n/a
  4. "Ridley, The Literature Review (Sage, 2008)" by n/a
  5. "Wallace and Wray, Critical Reading and Writing for Postgraduates (Sage, 2006)" by n/a
The above information outlines module LW483: "Advanced Legal Research & Method" and is valid from 2019 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Optional LW491: Equality Law: Principles & Thematic Application


12 months long | Credits: 10


(Language of instruction: English)

Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
The above information outlines module LW491: "Equality Law: Principles & Thematic Application" and is valid from 2019 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Optional LW493: The Criminal Jury


12 months long | Credits: 10


(Language of instruction: English)

Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
The above information outlines module LW493: "The Criminal Jury" and is valid from 2019 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Optional LW561: Mental Health Law and Policy


12 months long | Credits: 10

Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
The above information outlines module LW561: "Mental Health Law and Policy" and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Optional LW553: Inclusive Education Law and Policy


12 months long | Credits: 10

Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
The above information outlines module LW553: "Inclusive Education Law and Policy" and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Optional LW551: Contemporary Challenges in Disability Law and Policy


12 months long | Credits: 10

Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
The above information outlines module LW551: "Contemporary Challenges in Disability Law and Policy" and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Optional LW509: Universal Environments


12 months long | Credits: 10

Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
The above information outlines module LW509: "Universal Environments" and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Optional LW562: Regional Disability Law and Policy


12 months long | Credits: 10

Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
The above information outlines module LW562: "Regional Disability Law and Policy" and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Optional LW558: Legal Capacity Law and Policy


12 months long | Credits: 10

Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
The above information outlines module LW558: "Legal Capacity Law and Policy" and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Optional LW556: Law and Policy on Independent Living


12 months long | Credits: 10

Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
The above information outlines module LW556: "Law and Policy on Independent Living" and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Optional LW550: Advocacy and Access to Justice


12 months long | Credits: 10

Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
The above information outlines module LW550: "Advocacy and Access to Justice" and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Optional LW575: Crime and Disorder


12 months long | Credits: 10

The aim of this module is to examine trends in crime and disorder and to analyse these in the context of broader societal values. The experience of other jurisdictions will be used as a means by which developments in Ireland can be placed under scrutiny. This module provides an example of how small- scale penal systems, such as Ireland, can be resistant to broader trends and highlights the value of directing the criminological gaze upon countries where it seldom falls.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. On completion of this module, students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of issues of crime and disorder in modern societies. In particular, students will have attained a detailed awareness of the trends of punitivism, risk and governance and be in a position to analyse the manifestation of these in Ireland, while accounting for local factors and contingencies influencing criminal justice. Students will be able to analyse material from a broad range of disciplines, including law, psychology, sociology and criminology, in order to assess trends and trajectories in crime.
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
Reading List
  1. "The Culture of Control: Crime and Social Order in Contemporary Society" by D Garland
  2. "Crime, Punishment and the Search for Order in Ireland" by Kilcommins, S., O’Donnell, I., O’Sullivan, E. and Vaughan, B
  3. "Governing Through Crime: How the War on Crime Transformed American Democracy and Created a Culture of Fear. New York" by J Simon
The above information outlines module LW575: "Crime and Disorder" and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Optional LW5115: Medical Device Law and Regulation


12 months long | Credits: 10

The objective of this module is to consider in detail the regulatory framework as it applies to the medical device industry. It will (i) Examine the rationales for regulation in the sector; (ii) Analyse the relevant regulatory framework as it affects manufacturers and lawyers from both a critical and practical perspective; (iii) Discuss the legal issues arising in the course of medical device product development from research and development through to eventual sale and distribution. The module will provide students with an in-depth understanding of the law and codes of practice relevant to the sector together with an appreciation for the practical issues that are a source of challenge for lawyers and regulators. The course will also consider potential future developments in this area including the proposed updates to EU medical device regulations.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Summarise the key rationales that are put forward to justify regulation of the medical device industry and discuss these in a broader social context
  2. Explain the main features of the legal framework governing the medical device industry including legislation on the development and production of medical devices
  3. Critically discuss how the industry has responded to this regulation and outline how such regulation may develop in the future
  4. Apply the relevant rules and regulations to proposed devices, including justifying the classification of a device as medical or not
  5. Explain, apply, and critically discuss the key legal instruments utilised to bring research and development to the market-place through licensing, product development and commercialisation
  6. Summarise the key legal concepts and issues which arise in the legal agreements used for licensing, commercialisation, sale and distribution of medical devices.; and
  7. Explain the key ethical considerations, business compliance and anti-corruption provisions as they pertain to the sale of medical devices
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
Reading List
  1. "Tobin and Walsh, Medical Products Regulatory Affairs, Wiley, Blackwell 2008" by n/a
  2. "Baldwin, Cave and Lodge, Understanding Regulation, Theory Strategy and Practice Oxford 2012" by n/a
  3. "Brownswood and Goodwin, Law and Technologies of the Twenty-First Century, Cambridge 2012" by n/a
  4. "Yock, Zenios , Makower and Others, Biodesign: The Process of Innovation Medical Technologies, Cambridge Cambridge 2015 (second edition);" by n/a
  5. "Medical Devices Law and Regulation Answerbook 2015, Onel and Others" by n/a
  6. "Medical Device Regulatory Practices – An International Perspective, Val Theisz" by n/a
The above information outlines module LW5115: "Medical Device Law and Regulation" and is valid from 2019 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Optional LW496: Local Government Law


12 months long | Credits: 10


(Language of instruction: English)

Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
The above information outlines module LW496: "Local Government Law" and is valid from 2019 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Optional LW488: Processes of Law Reform


Trimester 3 | Credits: 10

Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
The above information outlines module LW488: "Processes of Law Reform" and is valid from 2014 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Optional LW486: Theories of Judical Activism


Trimester 3 | Credits: 10

Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
The above information outlines module LW486: "Theories of Judical Activism" and is valid from 2014 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Optional LW485: Sentencing & Penal Policy


12 months long | Credits: 10


(Language of instruction: English)

Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
The above information outlines module LW485: "Sentencing & Penal Policy" and is valid from 2019 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Optional LW439: Advocacy, Activism and Public Interest Law


12 months long | Credits: 10


(Language of instruction: English)

Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
The above information outlines module LW439: "Advocacy, Activism and Public Interest Law" and is valid from 2019 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

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

€7,300 p.a. 2020/21

Fees: Tuition

€7,076 p.a. 2020/21

Fees: Student levy

€224 p.a. 2020/21

Fees: Non EU

€16,500 p.a. 2020/21

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:

Mr Larry Donnelly
T: +353 91 495 372
E: larry.donnelly@nuigalway.ie


What Our Students Say

Patrick

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

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.

Downloads

  • Postgraduate Taught Prospectus 2020

    Postgraduate Taught Prospectus 2020 PDF (21 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)