About the course
Many exciting opportunities await the graduate with an LLM in IT Law and Policy. Graduates with specialist knowledge of IT law and policy are in high demand in this fast-moving and swiftly growing sector.
You will study two compulsory modules – International Electronic Communications Law and Emerging Technologies and Law – in combination with two further modules of your choice from a wide range of options. This will give you a solid grounding on which to build with further specialisations, and you can tailor your course specifically according to your desired career path.
The International Electronic Communications Law module explores the existing legal framework around the electronic communications sector in the UK and Europe. It also examines emerging areas such as cloud computing, net neutrality and surveillance, along with questions relating to spectrum management. Changes to European law are also investigated.
In the Emerging Technologies and Law module you will study a range of internet and emerging technologies law and policy principles. You will also consider consumer protection online and the rules relating to digital marketing, distance selling and e-payment, as well as the legal requirements for online company presence and advertising. The module also offers the exciting opportunity to examine in depth any emerging legal issue in the area of the internet and emerging technology.
We also offer a range of other Master of Law pathways.
Why choose this course?
This highly relevant, contemporary course will provide you with the knowledge and understanding you need to work within the exciting, dynamic technology sector. Taught by specialists in their fields and continually updated and underpinned by the latest research and practice, you can be sure that you will graduate with up-to-date knowledge and skills to thrive in your chosen career.
Innovative, practical teaching methods are designed to develop your intellectual, transferable, interpersonal and practical skills. These skills, in combination with the knowledge and critical understanding you will receive of the history and current and emerging developments within the sector, will ensure that you are very attractive to potential employers!
In addition to your study modules, the University’s co-curricular programme offers a wide range of options that will further enhance your skills.
Successful completion of the LLM will qualify you to work in a wide variety of technological organisations and departments and/or start-ups, in the private or public sector. Alternatively, you may wish to consider a regulatory path, or a future within civil society or advocacy groups, international organisations, or even academia or research.
A combination of theoretical teaching and hands-on practice will provide you with the knowledge, skills and experience you need. Class seminars are supported by group work, collaborative projects, role plays and debates, to develop those all-important skills of negotiation, persuasion, presentation, teamwork and leadership.
Independent study is, of course, essential, and you will have the opportunity to demonstrate and apply what you have learnt in the written assignments, which are the assessment vehicles for the two compulsory modules. There will also be a practical assessment in the Emerging Technologies and Law module, which will help you learn, for instance, how to design and present a poster, or how to work effectively in a group.
A peer support and mentoring scheme is also available, to help students settle into university life, and to offer further opportunities to develop your mentoring, teamwork and leadership skills.
Dissertation - 60 Credits
The dissertation requires you to select a topic relevant to the LLM degree pathway being pursued. Guidance on selection is provided through Research Methods and Skills module within the programme. You are encouraged to undertake projects which have a practical or business focus to them to assist with your professional development. Students are allocated a supervisor for their dissertation and these meetings are documented through diary sheets completed by both parties.
Legal Risk Management, Governance and Compliance - 30 Credits
Legal risk management has become a huge growth area since the financial crisis of 2008. There is both a strong practical demand and an academic viewpoint for you to consider within your studies. In this module, you will explore how effective legal risk management and compliance is a central component of effective governance in public, private, and not for profit organisations and can serve as a key competitive differentiator for a commercial organisation and enhance its long term financial viability and profitability.
The recent expansion and focus of technology firms and their regulatory issues will provide a new area and the importance of effective legal risk management will be examined both proactively and reactively. Practical issues on the role of adviser to a business client in the context of legal risk, management and governance will be explored and regulation will be considered from the perspective of statutory regulation, with consideration of specific overarching frameworks.
Corporate Governance - 30 Credits
In this course, you will focus on the fundamental and contemporary aspects of corporate governance. You will learn and develop knowledge about the internal governance of a company, ranging from topics on corporate governance theories, law and practice. You will be assessed via written coursework to meet the learning outcomes that focus on the development of independent learning, subject knowledge, research and application.
Research Methods and Skills - 0 Credits
This module prepares you for undertaking independent research in your chosen modules, as well as an individual research dissertation in your chosen field. The aim is to provide the opportunity for students to develop and apply postgraduate level skills of independent research, analysis, evaluation, writing and presentation. You will examine different legal and other research methods and assess their relevance to your own independent research and practice.
Alternative Dispute Resolution - 30 Credits
As interest grows in alternative dispute resolution, this module will provide students with a thorough introduction into the theory and practice of international commercial arbitration and investment-treaty arbitration, as a means of settling disputes between individuals and between foreign investors and host states.
The module will also consider the contemporary issues with both forms of arbitration, in particular the legitimacy crisis of international investment law and the reform proposals proposed by academics, practitioners and organisations.
Students will also have the opportunity to study mediation as a means of dispute resolution and the skills and attributes required of a mediator. Thus, this module will provide students with ample scope to research these areas further at dissertation level or beyond.
Banking Law 2 - 30 Credits
his module will allow students to develop an understanding of the role of Banks in our economy and certain regulatory and supervisory regimes that apply to them. You will analyse the nature of the Banker-Customer relationship and examine the impact of new electronic payments systems on the Banking industry. You will also consider developments within Money Laundering Regulations and the issue of Bank resolution with reference to the global financial crisis.
Public International Law 2 - 30 Credits
The module aims to place public international law within its political context. You will begin the course by exploring the sources of international law as well as its key actors, Institutions and dispute settlement techniques. Throughout the course, you will focus on a number of substantive areas with particular currency, such as for instance, the use of force or international criminal law and you will reflect on the critical interplay between law and politics.
Intellectual Property 2 - 30 Credits
In this module, you will study the development of intellectual property law as a distinct area of legal practice. You will explore the current intellectual property framework at an international, European, and domestic level. You will consider reforms in the face of continuous technological development, and examine key areas such as copyright, trademarks, patent law and design rights
International Commercial Law 2 - 30 Credits
The course will examine the choice of law/jurisdiction clauses, the different types of international commercial contracts and the respective implications for the parties involved. In the course, you will also examine the various international conventions applicable to international commerce as well as the role of documentation through a consideration of bill of lading. Finally, marine insurance and the typical method of financing used in international commerce will be discussed in detail.
Company Law 2 - 30 Credits
In this module, you will focus on the fundamental and contemporary aspects of company law. You will learn and develop your knowledge about the internal operations of a company, ranging from topics on incorporation of a company, the rights and duties of shareholders and directors, the governance of the firm and remedies available to the company. You will be assessed via coursework in order to meet the learning outcomes that focus on the development of independent learning, subject knowledge, research and application.
International Environmental Law - 30 Credits
The module will introduce students to contemporary global environmental challenges and explore how the law responds to these issues. You will examine the specific features of international environmental law in terms of its historical development, its sources and core principles, and the options available for compliance control and enforcement, including the role of environmental actors (States, international organisations and sub national actors). The module aims to help you develop a critical understanding of the complex political, economic and social context in which environmental issues are set. This will be explored through a number of case studies including e.g. atmosphere protection and climate change; the protection of biodiversity. Throughout, the relationship between environmental protection and economic development and the relevance of principles of sustainability will be emphasised and analysed.
International Energy Law - 30 Credits
This course will examine the main types of international (global and regional) and national regulatory frameworks and instruments between and within individual states, as well as between companies and governments, and contractual arrangements between companies in the international oil and gas industry. You will study key policy issues relating to law, regulation and contracts as well as the jurisprudence of courts, and operation of tribunals in the international oil and gas industry. You will also examine emerging legal issues in the oil and gas industry and particularly corporate governance, liability and compensation regimes for environmental pollution.
Medical Law and Ethics - 30 Credits
On this course, you will examine a wide range of both medical law and medical ethics, with an international perspective. Included in the module will be medical negligence and legal and ethical dilemmas regarding patients’ consent to medical treatment including Advance Decisions and treatment of the incompetent patient. You will then consider medical law and ethics from ‘birth to death’. Beginning with new and emerging assisted reproductive technologies that have global application such as, but not limited to gene editing, embryo testing and surrogacy, the start of life then turns to subjects such as abortion. Highly topical issues and relevant issues to the global society such as organ donation will be explored before moving onto the end of life which will include, examination of the law and ethics of assisted suicide in the UK and other countries and other end of life issues. You will also examine any new emerging technologies/areas of law in this fast-developing area of law and ethics globally.
International Human Rights Law - 30 Credits
The module intends to provide a rigorous and stimulating, theoretical and practical understanding of human rights law from a comparative and cross-cultural perspective. You will examine theoretical and philosophical discussions on human rights, international law on human rights, as well as regional systems of protection and the effectiveness of the United Nations system. On this module, you will focus on civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights and will use certain case studies from around the world to demonstrate the relevance and applicability of international human rights law.
Islamic Finance Law - 30 Credits
This module is well suited for students who have an interest in international law from an Islamic perspective. When Islamic Finance first hit the banking sector in the 1970’s, critics argued it would not survive its infancy, not only did it survive, it weathered the financial crisis better than the global conventional finance market. You now have an opportunity to study an exciting LLM module that takes an international intellectual property law perspective on Islamic finance
You will not only learn about the Western standards in intellectual property protection but also the justifications for intellectual property rights from an Islamic perspective. What makes the module cutting edge is that it analyses how Islamic finance has achieved great success and applies that to intellectual property and international trade. You will acquire skills that can be applied in an international context, having both knowledge of Western legislation and laws that pertain to Asia, the MENA region and Africa.
International Development Law - 30 Credits
The module will introduce you to contemporary global challenges of poverty eradication, human rights fulfilment (specifically second generation rights) and sustainable economic growth and the underlying global legal architecture that helps or impedes the achievement of these objectives. You will learn the theoretical and philosophic foundations of international development law, describes how it works, its shortcomings, its practical foundations and emerging issues in the global, regional and national stage. The module aims to help you develop a critical understanding of the complex political, economic and social context in which development issues are set. This will be explored through a number of case studies including e.g. international borrowing practices, emerging economies, privitisation, right to development and environmental considerations in development.
Private International Law - 30 Credits
This course will focus on the rules of Private International Law as they operate in England and Wales. The course will begin by examining basic concepts and you will then be able to consider the law on connecting factors before proceeding to examine the rules on jurisdiction both at common law and as they operate under European secondary legislation. You will then study the relevant choice of law rules in contract and tort before examining the various legal regimes that provide for the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments.
Emerging technologies and law - 30 Credits
This course will examine a variety of Internet and emerging technologies law and policy principles. This will include the development of the Internet in terms of technology and governance. A part of the module will focus on consumer protection online and will explore rules relating to digital marketing, distance selling and e-payment. Within a business context, the module will explore how companies exist online and how they can ensure that terms and conditions are adequate and in accordance with the law. Aspects relating to jurisdiction, online advertising and consumer protection will also be explored. The module will also allow you to examine any emerging legal issue in the area of the Internet and new technologies (e.g. robotics, AI).
Data Protection Law - 30 Credits
This module will enable you to examine the development of data protection law as a distinct area of legal practice. You will explore the current data protection legislation in the European Union, and its reform in the face of continuous technological development. In particular, you will examine the key concepts at the heart of the European data protection framework, such as the notion of informed consent and the notion of "personal data". You will also consider in detail the obligations placed on data controllers, as well as the rights enjoyed by individual data subjects. In addition to this, the module also involves the analysis of various policy challenges posed by technological developments, such as the emergence of Big Data and the Internet of Things.
International Electronic Communications Law - 30 Credits
This dynamic module explores the legal framework that exists for the electronic communications sector within the European Union and the UK. Insight into the drivers for regulation including the desire for greater integration will be given and an exploration of the regulatory systems in place will be undertaken. The module will look at any emerging areas such as cloud computing, net neutrality, and surveillance. Also, the questions considering spectrum management will be considered. Finally, the course will explore changes to the European legislative landscape in this area.
Employment law - 30 Credits
In this course, you will look at the concept of employment status, particularly in the light of new ways of working and possible reform. You will be considering both express and implied terms of a contract of employment, along with possible ways to vary them and the implications thereof. You will analyse current Equality Law. The law relating to dismissal in its various forms will also be considered. You will also study remedies available for various claims.
International Financial Law 2 - 30 Credits
This module will allow students to compare the approach of different jurisdictions to key aspects of financial law. You will examine aspects of the regulation and supervision of financial institutions (particularly in response to the global financial crisis), explore aspects of the International Financial Architecture and evaluate the role of Credit Rating Agencies. You will also examine the nature of certain key debt and financial instruments including International Bonds and Syndicated Loan Agreements. You will be encouraged to research and discuss emerging legal issues relating to International Financial Law.
A first degree in Law (or a subject in a related discipline, such as Business, Political Science or International Relations) at a minimum of 2:2. Or, an overseas qualification which is equivalent to a UK Honours degree, minimum 2:2 classification.
You must also satisfy the University’s English language requirement for the course, which is a GCSE grade 4 or above (Grade C or above under the old grading structure), or IELTS at 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each band. For country specific qualifications, please visit our Your Country page.
Please contact Admissions Tutor at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss entry requirements further.
How to apply
Full Time, 1 Years
Part Time, 2 Years
University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield