Law and Society - LLM
Deeply embedded within society, the law affects almost every aspect of our lives as individuals, homeowners, parents, workers, voters, global citizens and more – from marriage, property rights or what constitutes crime, to local and national governance, immigration or international human rights. This exciting LLM explores the fascinating and complex relationship between law and society from an interdisciplinary perspective, drawing on disciplines including cultural studies, history, jurisprudence, philosophy, sociology and political science. The innovative research skills you’ll gain prepare you for a PhD, socio-legal studies, a career at The Bar, non-governmental organisations or public, private or charity sectors.
Month of entry
Mode of study
- Full time, Part time
Fees for 2023/24 academic year
- UK - Full time £8,900 per year. Part time £4,900 per year.
International - £17,700 per year.
Duration of study
- Full time - 1 year, Part time - 2 years, Modular - Up to 5 years
Please note: this course is no longer accepting applications from international students for September 2023 entry
Why study Law and Society at Keele University?
How is the law socially, culturally and historically constructed? Why do different perspectives affect attitudes to things like race, gender and sentencing? How are inequalities reinforced or reversed? Is the law impartial or shaped by self-interest?
Designed to improve your understanding of how the law works in the real world, our LLM in Law and Society offers the chance to discuss and debate fascinating questions like these and more with a diverse cohort of recent graduates and professionals.
Developing critical thinking and problem-solving skills alongside specialist knowledge, you'll explore the ways in which the legal system – its institutions, processes and protagonists – affects and interacts with us as individuals, communities, societies, nations and the world at large.
We offer two study pathways, giving you greater flexibility to tailor the course to suit your personal interests or career aspirations. Both include core content which introduces you to the philosophy, theories, concepts, approaches and themes within Law and Society research, dialogue and debate.
The general pathway (Pathway 1) allows you to pick and choose from a wide selection of elective modules offered within the School (subject to availability) in areas such as socio-legal advocacy, safeguarding adults, medical ethics, human rights, or international economic law. This route will be particularly appealing if you are interested in social justice issues and how the law can protect vulnerable individuals and groups. Depending on your passions you could explore gender, sexuality and the law, for example, or equality, discrimination and minorities.
The research-intensive pathway (Pathway 2) places a greater emphasis on research skills and methodology to better prepare you for PhD study and fast-track your research career. The University is a member of the ESRC North West Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership (NWSSDTP) and the curriculum complies with the ESRC's research training requirements for PhD scholarships (commonly termed +3). It is also suitable as the master's year as part of an ESRC scholarship award that covers both the master's and PhD (commonly termed a 1+3 award).
Regardless of which pathway you choose, supporting your personal and professional development is a central to the programme. Among the many skills you’ll develop are critical thinking and reasoning, communication, mental flexibility, teamwork ability and self-leadership, some of the most in-demand essential transferable ‘soft’ skills according to global consultants McKinsey.
Keele School of Law is an internationally recognised centre for cutting-edge, socially relevant legal research, which tackles some of the most pressing challenges facing society today. Key research themes include: Social Justice and Human Rights; International and European Law; Ethics, Health and Social Care; Legal Education, Innovation, and Practice; Gender, Sexuality, and Law.
Other courses you might be interested in:
"The Law and Society LLM explored a diverse range of theoretical and methodological perspectives and I gained invaluable insight into qualitative and quantitative research design. I critically engaged with legal phenomena in its broader socio-legal context in an environment fostering creativity and independent curiosity. An enriching, illuminating and relevant postgraduate course beneficial to all seeking to interrogate law beyond its doctrinal roots."
The LLM Law and Society adopts a pathway structure which gives you the opportunity to tailor your degree to your individual interests and professional needs.
All students study three compulsory core 15-credit modules on research in law and society (45 credits), which introduces you to the research skills and critical analysis necessary for the successful completion of a master’s programme, with a particular focus on interdisciplinary socio-legal research methods.
To obtain the master’s qualification, all students must successfully complete 180 credits, which includes researching and writing up a dissertation (60 credits) on a topic of your choice, which you'll prepare for throughout the course. You then have flexibility to make up the remaining 75 credits by choosing either a general pathway (Pathway 1) or the research-intensive pathway (Pathway 2).
Students on Pathway 1 must study either qualitative or quantitative research and data methods (15 credits), then have freedom to choose from a broad and diverse selection of modules. Whereas on Pathway 2, you must study both qualitative and quantitative research and data methods, as well as a module on ethics in research (45 credits) before choosing any optional modules, which is ideal if you intend to pursue a PhD and wish to apply for PhD funding. You will be given the opportunity to choose your elective modules and discuss your choices with the Course Director during the first week of the programme.
The LLM can be studied as either a one-year full-time or two-year part-time course, with a September start date. It is also possible to study more flexibly part-time on a modular basis, accumulating degree credits by taking individual modules over a period of maximum of five years. The information below outlines a one-year full-time study schedule.
Compulsory core modules
LAW-40053 Foundations in Law and Society Research: Theories and Concepts (15 credits, Semester 1)
Research in law and society seeks to understand, explain and challenge the boundaries between law and the social and cultural context in which it operates. This module will introduce you to the key theoretical approaches and themes that frame and interrogate law and legal institutions. This includes the meaning and complexity of legal issues, the relation between law and social relations, the impact of legal change, and the ways in which law can be deployed for change. You'll develop the research skills and knowledge to explore the potential and possibilities of different approaches to the role of law in society.
LAW-40052 Socio-legal Studies: Approaches and Themes (15 credits, Semester 1)
You’ll be introduced to a range of interdisciplinary approaches in law and society research such as in Law and Ethics, Regulation Studies and Legal History, as well as methodological approaches, such as Fieldwork in Law, Archives and Documents, and Researching Elites. You’ll also consider a number of themes central to law and society research, such as law in action, resistance (e.g., political imprisonment) legal research and activism (e.g., penal abolitionism).
SOC-40014 Philosophy of the Social Sciences (15 credits, Semester 1)
You will study the philosophy of the social sciences, together with philosophical debates around different methodological approaches to social science research. This module features the work of a range of key thinkers, including Durkheim, Popper, Kuhn, Weber, Adorno, and Foucault, who have informed the ways in which researchers consider knowledge in the social sciences. We start with the enlightenment idea of the search for science and the nineteenth century beginnings of social science. Topics covered include: naturalism, the relationship between the individual and society, falsificationism, paradigm shifts, the interpretive tradition, critical theory, structuralism and post-structuralism. The overall intention is for students to be able to apply different philosophical positions to their own research interests.
LAW-40039 Dissertation (60 credits, prepared for throughout the course)
The production of a 15,000 to 20,000-word dissertation provides an exciting opportunity to work under the supervision of an expert in your chosen field of interest, demonstrating a level of knowledge and understanding far beyond what you have learned in class. You’ll be supported to develop the research skills needed to conduct an extended piece of work on a topic of your choice, analysing existing relevant research. Some students start the course with a clear idea about what they want to write about, but others find and develop particular interests as the course progresses. Examples of recent dissertation topics by students which reflect the breadth of the subject include: the regulation of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, recognition of statehood, the use of force and Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL).
Compulsory core/optional modules
On Pathway 1, you must choose either Qualitative research and data module or the Quantitative research and data module, whereas these are both compulsory on Pathway 2. For Pathway 2 students, the Ethics in Research module is also compulsory.
GRT-40021 Qualitative research and data (15 credits, Semester 2)
Through discussion of the principles and practices of qualitative social research, this module provides a solid overview of the wide range of qualitative methods used in social science research. You will examine how qualitative methodologies inform research design and learn to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of different forms of investigation, such as in-depth interviews, focus groups, participant observation, or visual (artistic) research. You’ll be introduced to associated methods of data capture, including field notes, audio and/or video recordings, and transcripts, gaining practical experience of the same NVivo software used by qualitative researchers in the management and analysis of qualitative data.
GRT-40020 Quantitative research and data (15 credits, Semester 2)
The module provides a comprehensive introduction to the principles and practices of quantitative social science research. You’ll become familiar with the different ways in which statistical, mathematical, or numerical data is collected and evaluated, through polls, questionnaires, and surveys, or by manipulating pre-existing statistical data using computational techniques. You’ll also learn to evaluate and appraise these methods to assess their suitability in relation to the question of causality, for example, in addressing problems of operationalisation and theories of sampling. Practical work will include questionnaire design, data analysis and the writing of a quantitative research design. You’ll also gain hands-on experience of SPSS software, which is widely used in the analysis of quantitative data sets.
ETH-40051 Ethics in Research (15 credits, Semester 2)
You'll develop a critical understanding of key ethical issues in research, across academic and professional disciplines in social science, humanities and health. The focus of the module is on ethical analysis of such issues from a multidisciplinary perspective, rather than on specific regulatory and governance processes.
On both pathways, you have the option to choose from a wide range of modules offered not only within the Law School, but across some of the University's other Faculties. For Pathway 1, you will study modules to the value of 60 credits, while Pathway 2 will select modules worth 30 credits in total. The availability of modules will depend on timetabling, but in 2021/22 students chose between the following modules, by way of example.
GRT-40019 Ethnographic Research
Ethnography is an approach to researching social life and culture that is traditionally found in the fields of anthropology and symbolic interactionism. Today, ethnographic methods are used in a broader spectrum of social science fields in order to unpack the nuance of everyday interactions. A combination of participation and observation in particular cultural settings makes ethnographic research distinct from other qualitative methods of inquiry, when seeking to understand cultural processes and individuals' roles as participants. This module has been designed to offer greater understanding of the theoretical and philosophical underpinnings of ethnographic research, as well as providing the opportunity to gain practical experience in conducting observational work.
LAW-40047 Equality, Discrimination and Minorities
This module focuses on the main issues of equality and discrimination in international human rights policy and practice. Using the thematic of religion, race, ethnicity and caste/descent, you will examine and critique particular inequalities in international human rights policy and practice, such as geographical and governance inequalities. Exploring equality issues through particular case studies, you will analyse UK and comparative perspectives of global and regional norms on race discrimination, for example, rights of caste groups, minorities and indigenous peoples, and standards on prevention and punishment of genocide. You will reflect on the ways in which aspects of a person’s social and political identities combine to create different modes of discrimination and privilege, for example, the intersectional ties of gender and indigenous peoples/minorities, and gender and sexuality.
ETH-40042 Healthcare, Justice and Society (30 credits)
The ethical and legal implications for healthcare practice extend much further than the practitioners and patients themselves, with ramifications for wider society given the breadth and scope of healthcare services. The aim of this module is to deepen your knowledge and understanding of some of the broader legal obligations in healthcare, including international law and the criminal regulation of medicine. You will consider the moral issues that can arise, for example, in allocating healthcare resources without discrimination for children, young people and adults, not just in hospital settings, but also across secure and detained settings, such as prisons and immigration removal centres. Course content is responsive to contemporary issues, but additional topics may include biomedical research, bio-banking, stem cell policy, conscientious objection in healthcare, psychopathy, criminal transmission of HIV, vaccination policy, pandemic management, and infanticide.
LAW-40048 Foundations of Human Rights (15 credits)
Focusing on gender, sexuality, race, class, ethnicity, religion and power in relation to human rights, you will develop a practical and theoretical understanding of human rights law, politics and philosophy at domestic, regional and international levels. You will explore historical, philosophical and structural aspects of human rights, including Enlightenment perspectives, theories of rights/history of rights theory, universalism/relativism debates, sovereignty and non-intervention concerns and other ‘structural’ issues pertinent to international law and relations. This broad foundation module provides a background in which to study and critique human rights theory and practice.
LAW-40040 Foundations of International Law (15 credits)
This introduction to public international law provides you with an opportunity to look beyond the domestic sphere and examine how law helps to govern relations between sovereign governments. The module provides a general overview of the nature of international law as a legal system, its subjects, sources and general principles, as well as an introduction to more specific themes such as the law governing the use of force, sovereign immunities or the settlement of international disputes.
LAW-40046 Human Rights and Global Politics (15 credits)
The overall focus of this module is on exploring evolving political and legal strategies to advance human rights in a global political framework. You will be introduced to the main debates on the ways that political structures shape human rights: the relationship between democratisation, development, human rights and violence; the possible emergence of a global civil society to understanding human rights practices; the expansion and role of transnational human rights monitoring and activism; and the need for an understanding of political violence and terror to assess and address causes of human rights violations. To deepen your understanding of the connections between global and local causes and responses to contemporary human rights issues, you will examine a number of key issues, such as the responsibility to protect (r2p), humanitarian interventions, aid and development, security in the post 9/11 era and more.
LAW-40045 International Humanitarian Law (15 credits)
International Humanitarian Law (IHL) is one of the oldest fields of international law. It seeks to regulate the conduct of hostilities, primarily through control of the means and methods of warfare, and to protect certain categories of individuals who are not, or are no longer, actively engaged in hostilities (civilians, persons hors de combat, prisoners of war and so on). This module introduces you to the key concepts, rules and institutions of IHL, addressing contemporary issues such as the 'war on terror', asymmetrical conflict, the relationship of IHL with international human rights law, or so-called 'lawfare'. Additionally, you will examine the means by which IHL is monitored, implemented and enforced, with particular emphasis on the development of international criminal law, war crimes tribunals, and the International Criminal Court.
LAW-40038 International Law and Human Rights (15 credits)
This module offers a perspective of both the normative standards defining international human rights and the means by which they are monitored and implemented. You will acquire a strong theoretical and practical understanding of the design and development of modern international human rights law. Special attention will be given to the work of UN human rights bodies and of regional organisations. We will also examine the so-called ‘dark sides of virtue’, i.e., the unforeseen consequences, biases and ambiguities of the human rights project, and the ways in which well-intentioned human rights interventions can at times create as many problems as they solve.
LAW-40058 International Refugee Law (15 credits)
You’ll develop an advanced understanding of international refugee law in its historical, political and social context. The module considers the legal protections available to refugees and other displaced persons, the complementary protection, as well as the shortcomings of the protection mechanism. Taught at the intersection between law, politics, sociology and psychology, it offers an insight into the plight of asylum seekers as they seek international protection.
LAW-40042 Introduction to International Economic Law (15 credits)
Providing a general introduction to international economic law, this module considers the role played by international economic institutions like the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank or, at a regional level, the European Union (EU), North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). It covers substantive areas of international economic law, with particular emphasis on the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), WTO law, international investment law and state-investor arbitration. You will be encouraged to think critically about the structures of international economic law, and their relationship with the environment, human rights, development and social justice.
LAW-40043 International Environmental Law (15 credits)
This module offers a critical perspective on the development of international environmental law. It provides a grounding in the legal norms, institutions and processes of the field, and explores current environmental global issues such as biodiversity loss, transboundary pollution, toxic waste dumping, trade and environment, food security, animal rights or climate change through specific treaty regimes. Drawing on a range of legal, policy and other literature, you’ll be introduced to key challenges facing the regulation of the environment on the international stage today.
ETH-40040 Life, Death and the Human Body (30 credits, Semester 2)
Ranging from abortion and regulation of reproduction to selective reproduction, euthanasia and living organ donation, this module focuses on the often controversial issues surrounding the moral and legal status of humans and human bodies. You will consider the legal and ethical implications for a broad range of issues in healthcare and medicine: interventions at birth and end-of-life, as well as modifications to the human body. Additional indicative topics include advance decisions, terminal sedation, suicide and mental health, court-ordered caesarean section, gender dysphoria, disability and transgender persons.
LAW-40029 Mental Capacity (30 credits)
Mental capacity is a complex and contested concept – clinically, ethically and legally. The extent to which an adult has capacity to make decisions is often a key consideration in adult safeguarding cases. This module introduces you to the legal framework, ethical and practice dilemmas concerning adults whose mental capacity may be impaired and for whom there are safeguarding concerns. You will analyse the Mental Capacity Act 2005, associated case law and guidance in depth, including key concepts such as best interests and autonomy. You will also consider avenues for substitute decision-making, the role of the Court of Protection and the Independent Mental Capacity Advocate and specific aspects of capacity, such as decisions regarding adult relationships and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards.
ETH-40044 Moral Theory and Medical Ethics (30 credits)
This module provides an overview of the key ethical theories, frameworks and principles that underpin decisions and action by doctors, health providers, patients and families in relation to treatment plans and to achieve a shared goal. You’ll learn to use these tools to analyse practical moral problems in medical and healthcare ethics. Topics covered typically include: consequentialism; deontology; virtue ethics; the ethics of care; principlism; autonomy and paternalism; the ethical foundations of consent; confidentiality and truth-telling.
ETH-40045 Principles of Medical Law (30 credits)
Developing your knowledge of the key principles, cases and statutes in medical law, you’ll learn to critique aspects of medical law and apply your knowledge of the law to practices in medicine and healthcare. Topics covered typically include: introduction to law; use of cases and statutes; healthcare law and the concept of health regulation and self-regulation in the healthcare system; law and consent; capacity; professional negligence; mental health law; confidentiality and the law; the relationship between law and morality.
Law-40004 Children and Medicine (30 credits)
This module investigates the legal implications of ethical problems relating to medical aspects of reproduction, birth and childhood (up to 18 years). It examines a diverse range of issues from pregnancy, childbirth and negligence, to medical experimentation and children, and children and mental health law. Topics may include: reproductive freedom and reproductive technology; abortion and protection of the foetus (men's and women's rights); medical treatment of the foetus; liability for in utero injuries; wrongful birth and wrongful life; treatment of seriously disabled new-borns; consent or refusal of medical treatment; and confidentiality.
LAW-40003 Looked After Children (30 credits)
Children looked after by the local authority, who are unable to be cared for by their own parents may experience a range of different placements. Through the lens of social policy, social work practice and theory, this module focuses on the legal framework, the public private crossover and special guardianship, fostering, and removal at birth. It is informed by policy including the Quality Protects initiative and new law in the form of the Adoption and Children Act 2002 and associated regulations and guidance. Specific issues addressed include: openness in placements; who can adopt; fostering; residential care; and leaving care. The experience of looked after children in education and the criminal justice system are surveyed in conjunction with life chances and social outcomes.
Law-40002 Contemporary Issues in Childcare Law and Practice (30 credits, Semester 1)
This module aims to integrate a detailed examination of the legal framework and current child protection practice with an examination of some of the understandings and explanatory models which underpin existing and developing knowledge about child maltreatment. It seeks to locate such knowledge within a social, cultural and political context and will focus in particular on current, emerging and often controversial child protection themes and dilemmas. You will cover a range of topical issues such as youth justice, international perspectives on exploited children, forced marriage, asylum and ‘modern slavery’ or child trafficking.
LAW-40001 Foundations and Principles of Childcare Law and Practice (30 credits)
This module introduces you to the foundations to childcare law and practice, covering childhood, children’s rights, law, social policy, and families. Topics may include by way of example: welfare; international legal perspectives on children’s rights; social policy and society; children and family crisis; the Human Rights Act; Private Child Law; support versus risk; and child protection (social work perspectives).
LAW-40031 Safeguarding and Carers (30 credits)
This module will enable students to develop their understanding of the role of carers in relation to adult safeguarding, their legal status and the policy developments which have resulted in a substantial number of carers in the community. Specific topics include policy from institutions to personalisation; ethical perspectives on caring; legal definitions and roles of carers; and regulation of caring.
LAW-40033 The Emergence of Adult Safeguarding (30 credits)
This module provides the background and context to the advanced critique of adult safeguarding. It includes an examination of the emergence of adult safeguarding and recognition of abuse; consideration of demographic changes, ageing and diversity; discussion of key concepts such as autonomy, protection and vulnerability from legal and ethical perspectives; consideration of international perspectives and key research studies.
LAW-40032 Safeguarding Adults: Interventions (30 credits)
When adults are abused, what remedies are available in law and practice: are they used, are they effective or could you devise alternative or improved methods to protect real people from real harm? This module focuses on a range of legal and other interventions and responses to the abuse of adults. It considers the existing framework for investigation, such as the Human Rights Act 1998, and its likely reform. Particular types of responses are analysed in relation to specific categories of abuse, including the role of the criminal law and regulatory activities.
"The Law and Society LLM was ideal preparation for PhD research, providing a firm platform from which to confidently explore a range of theoretical and research skills. The course encouraged a deeper understanding of how the law facilitates or undermines social justice at personal, local, national and international levels. I feel my PhD studies are benefitting greatly from the opportunity to critically analyse the law and pursue socio-legal research in the various modules offered in the programme."
Academic entry requirements
The Law and Society programme is open to graduates with a first or second class honours degree (or overseas equivalent) in Law or a related discipline (such as sociology, criminology or politics), or any other person with appropriate professional qualifications and/or experience. Applications are welcome from current legal practitioners.
English language entry requirement for international students
Applicants for whom English is not a first language must provide evidence of a qualification in English language, unless they hold a previous degree that was taught and examined in English. The minimum score for entry to the LL.M. is academic IELTS 6.5 (with no subtest below 5.5) or equivalent.
The University also accepts a range of internationally recognised English tests.
If you do not meet the English language requirements, the University offers a range of English language preparation programmes.
During your degree programme you can study additional English language courses. This means you can continue to improve your English language skills and gain a higher level of English.
"I am so grateful to have undertaken the LLM in Law and Society as a foundation year to my PhD research. The year equipped me with knowledge and skills in socio-legal theory, introduced me to philosophy in social science research and equipped me to explore quantitative and qualitative research methods. This has enabled me to plan and design my research in a way that is not constrained by knowledge within my comfort zone, but which has pushed me into new areas, whilst focusing upon the aims and purpose of my study. Keele University and the Law School staff also supported me to elect modules that advanced my knowledge of mental capacity law and practice, creating a unique, challenging and enjoyable experience."
Some travel costs may be incurred if an external project or placement is undertaken; any such costs will be discussed with the student before the project is confirmed. It will be possible for the student to select an internal project and that would not incur any additional travel costs. There may be additional costs for textbooks and inter-library loans.
Keele University is located on a beautiful campus and has all the facilities of a small town. Student accommodation, shops, restaurants and cafes are all within walking distance of the teaching buildings. This is a very cost effective way to live and to reduce your living costs.
Please note, if your course offers a January start date, the January 2023 start date falls in the 2022/23 academic year. Please see the 2022/23 academic year fees for the relevant fees for starting this course in January 2023.
Planning your funding
It's important to plan carefully for your funding before you start your course. Please be aware that not all postgraduate courses and not all students are eligible for the UK government postgraduate loans and, in some cases, you would be expected to source alternative funding yourself. If you need support researching your funding options, please contact our Financial Support Team.
We are committed to rewarding excellence and potential. Please visit our bursaries and scholarships for more information.
A postgraduate law degree is an internationally-recognised qualification that can open up opportunities for a wide range of roles across the public, private and third sectors.
Intellectually challenging and personally fulfilling, the LLM in Law and Society will give you unique insight into the connected areas of the law, rights, justice, human behaviour and society that can be of enormous benefit when working in legal practice in areas such as family law, criminal law or social welfare law. You could also pursue careers with national and international charities and NGOs, or in law reform, for example, with the Law Commission for England and Wales, the European Court of Human Rights or European Commission on Human Rights, or the International Court of Justice or International Criminal Court.
By developing your ability to undertake critical analysis, solve complex problems and present rational, coherent and accurate arguments orally and in writing, you’ll graduate with essential skills valued by legal and non-legal employers alike, in areas such as banking, insurance and Civil Service.
The specialist research skills you learn, particularly on Pathway 2, provide a strong foundation for pursuing further study at doctoral level for those interested in doing so. Pathway 2 is recognised as fulfilling the requirements of the ESRC postgraduate social science research training and development and as the first master's year of '1+3' awards, which means you can apply for postgraduate funding.
Positions may include:
- Newspaper journalist
- Policy officer
- Social worker
Teaching, learning and assessment
How you'll be taught
The LLM is taught through a combination of seminars, or lectures and seminars, and through guided independent study. You may also have the opportunity to take part in a range of workshops and public lectures to enhance your study and research skills.
It may be possible to undertake a work placement or internship as part of your degree with any one of our partner institutions, including the UN agencies, international tribunals, NGOs and law firms, though places are limited.
Keele benefits from a vibrant student-run law society, which organises a calendar of professional and social events. We also host a range of mooting competitions, open to master’s students, which enables you to explore emerging problems in international law, write briefs, litigate a case before a judge, and field. This develops a range of personal and professional skills, not least in presentation and communication.
Where possible, the School organises regular guest lectures, providing opportunities to hear from experts in various fields within the law. The annual Patrick Thornberry Lecture Series was established to honour one of our most distinguished graduates, widely regarded as one of the world’s most prominent experts on minority and indigenous rights. Past topics have ranged from the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to Transnational Terrorism and State Accountability.
How you’ll be assessed
The course is assessed through a range of different methods including formal examinations, research essays, case reports, reflective logs and simulations.
Keele Postgraduate Association
Keele University is one of a handful of universities in the UK to have a dedicated students' union for postgraduate students. A fully registered charity, Keele Postgraduate Association serves as a focal point for the social life and welfare needs of all postgraduate students during their time at Keele.
Hugely popular, the KPA Clubhouse (near Horwood Hall) provides a dedicated postgraduate social space and bar on campus, where you can grab a bite to eat and drink, sit quietly and read a book, or switch off from academic life at one of the many regular events organised throughout the year. The KPA also helps to host a variety of conferences, as well as other academic and career sessions, to give you and your fellow postgraduates the opportunities to come together to discuss your research, and develop your skills and networks.
The programme is delivered by an international faculty, which has a diverse body of expertise and qualifications in both legal practice and research. Most members of the Law School teach on our postgraduate programmes, including the core and elective modules for the Law and Society programme.
Research is at the heart of everything we do, including our teaching. We have a vibrant research community that explores contemporary issues across all fields of law but also, uniquely in the country, philosophical and applied ethics. Our researchers contribute to policy debates both in the UK and internationally on issues as diverse as penal governance, data protection and digital surveillance, religion and intolerance, end-of-life and reproductive ethics, international responses to pandemics, queer jurisprudence, disability rights, mortgage and business lease regulation, or climate security.
The Law School hosts seven research clusters, all representing particular areas of strengths: social justice and human rights; international and European law; healthcare law and bioethics; professions, practice and legal education; private law theory and practice; gender, sexuality and the law; ageing and social care.
Teaching team includes:
Dr Ezgi Taşcıoğlu Lecturer (Course Director) – Ezgi Taşcıoğlu joined Keele Law School in 2019. After completing her PhD in Law and Society from the University of Milan (Italy), she was a Research Fellow at Birmingham Law School, University of Birmingham. Ezgi’s research ranges across the fields of socio-legal studies, law in everyday life, and social and cognitive justice, and takes an interdisciplinary approach to socio-legal research at the intersections of law, social sciences and the humanities. She is the author of a number of peer-reviewed articles and chapters in edited collections, and the co-editor of Supporting Legal Capacity in Socio-Legal Context (2022, Hart).
Dr Fabienne Emmerich Senior Lecturer – Fabienne graduated from Keele with an LLB Dual Honours in Criminology and Law in 2000. She also holds both an LLM in International Law and an MA in Socio-Legal and Criminological Research Methods from the University of Nottingham. She was awarded a PhD in July 2013. Fabienne returned to the School as a member of staff in January 2011. Before joining she taught at the Universities of Nottingham and Bristol, and in 2019 was a Visiting Researcher at the Institute of Social Pedagogy and Adult Education at the Goethe-Universität Frankfurt in Germany.
Dr Abi Pearson Lecturer – Abi joined the Law School in October 2019. A graduate of the LLM in Law and Society 2013, Abi completed her funded PhD at Keele, focusing on the inclusion of disability into the liberal legal curriculum at the undergraduate stage of legal study in England, in March 2019. Abi's research focuses on the broad intersections on disability and law and covers a wide range of topics from a human rights perspective. In addition to her legal qualifications, Abi holds a degree in English Literature from the University of St Andrews.
Dr Martha Gayoye Lecturer – A socio-legal scholar, Martha has a strong commitment to empirically grounded research that advances social justice and her professional legal experience, lies in constitutional and public law, public finance, devolution, and human rights. She is an advocate of the High Court of Kenya, having trained at Moi University and subsequently the Kenya School of Law/Council of Legal Education before enjoying more than seven years of legal professional experience and working briefly with the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights. Before commencing her PhD studies, Martha also worked for the Government/public service in Kenya for six years at the Commission on Revenue Allocation, lectured at Mount Kenya University School of Law, and consulted for the Disability Caucus for the Implementation of the Constitution (concerned with the rights of persons with disabilities in the Constitution).
Dr Awol Allo Senior Lecturer – Prior to joining Keele in 2016, Awol taught at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). His research interests are in the areas of human rights and social justice, drawing on a wide range of fields including the sociology of law, socio-legal studies, critical social and legal theory, and post-colonial perspectives. He is also interested in understanding and explaining how law constitutes and regulates the social world by observing how its discourses, practices, and institutions operate in the real world and generate social and political effects.
Dr Mario Prost, Senior Lecturer – Mario is a former Board member of the European Society of International Law, and a founding member of its interest group on international environmental law. As well as his ongoing work on various aspects of international legal theory, Mario's current research focuses on the colonial history of (international) environmental law and critical approaches to transnational arbitration (with special emphasis on investor-state arbitration).
Dr Jane Krishnadas, Senior Lecturer – Jane’s research is on feminist socio-legal rights theory and practice in reconstruction in the global north and south. She considers intersecting gender, caste, class and religious identities regarding political representation, housing, religious laws, land, employment and domestic violence. She is a Research Advisor for ‘Brighter Futures, Creative Support, Housing and Employment’
Dr Forough Ramezankhah, Lecturer – A former solicitor who specialised in Immigration and Nationality Law for a private law firm, Forough was awarded her PhD in Law at Keele in 2013 and has taught here ever since. Forough is particularly dedicated to work with asylum seekers and refugees on voluntary basis. Commitment to support this vulnerable group has been at the heart of her approach to academic study and voluntary work.
Dr Emma Allen, Lecturer – Emma is a generalist public international law scholar. Her current research focuses specifically on questions pertaining to statehood, self-determination, state responsibility, international environmental law and the international law of the sea. She researches the unique challenges presented to the community of Pacific small low-lying islands by climate change and, since 2018, has been a member of the International Law Association Committee on International Law and Sea Level Rise.
Dr Elizabeth Faulkner, Lecturer – Elizabeth’s interests are in international child law, human rights, crime, and the law, specialising in human trafficking, modern slavery, exploitation, sexual violence, and contemporary legal responses to children’s rights, specifically focusing upon the movement, agency, and the exploitation of children during the 20th and 21st century. She currently acts as Coordinator for the Emerging Scholars and Practitioners on Migration Issues (ESPMI) Network, which brings together emerging scholars, practitioners, policymakers, journalists, artists, and all those involved in forced migration and refugee studies.
With a critical and inter-disciplinary approach to law and social justice, the School of Law is an internationally recognised centre for legal research with a longstanding tradition of excellence in moral philosophy, applied ethics, doctrinal, and socio-legal scholarship.
Supported by a specialist Law Librarian, the Law library in the main University library has an extensive range of electronic resources and online legal databases, and stocks a range of law journals, professional resources, case reports, statutes, text books and research monographs. You’ll have access to copies of core texts within the School.
Based in the main Chancellor’s Building, right at the heart of campus, we offer a range of additional student learning resources and facilities. This includes our Moot Room, a model courtroom used for extra-curricular mooting activities, and a refurbished room dedicated for postgraduate taught students on the second floor. Equipped with networked pcs, an adjustable workstation and a meeting table, it’s great place to continue your discussions or chat between classes.