Taught course

International Economic Law, Justice and Development

Birkbeck, University of London · School of Law

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Entry requirements

A second-class honours degree (2:2) or above in law or a related discipline. We welcome other relevant qualifications and appropriate professional training and experience.

If you have a first degree in a subject other than law, or if you want to refresh pre-existing legal knowledge and skills, you might consider completing a pre-sessional course in law and legal method, such as the one offered by SOAS. This intensive two-week course runs during the daytime in September. It is designed primarily for those who do not already possess a law degree and provides an introduction to law, legal method and associated skills and techniques.

Applications are reviewed on their individual merits and your professional qualifications and/or relevant work experience will be taken into consideration positively. We actively support and encourage applications from mature learners.

Months of entry

January, October

Course content

Our LLM International Economic Law, Justice and Development provides you with the skills and knowledge to answer some of the following questions:
  • How do the institutions of international economic law (the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization) shape the international development project?
  • Are these institutions more important than the United Nations in shaping relations between states at the international level?
  • What legal mechanisms exist to constrain the exercise of economic power?
  • What role does international economic law have in preventing or mitigating economic, environmental and health crises?
  • How can we build critical, alternative understandings of economic organisation?

The LLM International Economic Law, Justice and Development allows you to focus on understanding the mutual relationship between the global distribution of economic power and the legal framework of international economic law, and the legal, political and social consequences of this relationship. In analysing the major international economic institutions, you will critically consider key issues around national sovereignty, the protection of human rights and the advancement of the international development project. 

On this course you will also have the unique opportunity to study the impact of international economic law system on major geo-political concerns. You will explore topics including:

  • global inequality and poverty
  • financial crises
  • the climate crisis
  • trade and the environment
  • pharmaceutical corporations and pandemics
  • foreign direct investment
  • the privatisation of culture and knowledge.


  • The School of Law is an internationally recognised centre for critical and interdisciplinary legal research. It provides an exciting and innovative environment for a wide range of research with a strong theoretical and policy focus. The school is the home of Birkbeck Law Press and publishes Law and Critique: The International Journal of Critical Legal Thought.
  • We use technology, such as electronic learning environments, to enhance teaching and learning. Birkbeck Library has an extensive collection of books, journals and electronic resources in law and related disciplines such as economics, politics and sociology. You can also take advantage of the rich research collections nearby, including those of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Senate House Library, the British Library of Political and Economic Science (LSE Library) and the British Library.
  • In the most recent Research Excellence Framework we were ranked in the top 10 for research intensity in the UK and top three in London, while our research environment was judged conducive to producing research of the highest quality.
  • Candidates with an outstanding academic record who demonstrate high potential for strong performance on one of our master's degrees can apply for School of Law Postgraduate Fee Awards.
  • Find out more about why you should study law at Birkbeck.

Information for international students

If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, the requirement for this course is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 7.0, with not less than 6.5 in each of the sub-tests.

If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses and foundation programmes to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • LLM
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Student Advice Service
+44 (0)20 3907 0700