Taught course


Open University · Open University Law School

Entry requirements

You should hold a UK honours degree (or equivalent or recognised overseas qualification) or relevant professional legal experience. You will be expected to follow the suggested study pathway, although there is some flexibility. There is a choice of routes through the qualification. You can start your studies with either of the compulsory modules Exploring legal meaning (W820) or Exploring the boundaries of international law (W821). These modules provide core postgraduate skills in legal methodology and research and knowledge of international law and legal thinking. They include a comparative approach. Or you can start your studies with Business, human rights law and corporate social responsibilities (W822), or an optional module from another faculty. Please note that if you are claiming credit transfer from another postgraduate provider you may not need to study an optional module. The law dissertation (W800) is the final module of the qualification and provides an opportunity to undertake a significant piece of independent legal research in a topic within a chosen specialist legal subject from the qualification. Each module will involve around 12 hours of study per week. You will typically take three years to gain this qualification and it must be completed within seven years.

Months of entry

October, April, February

Course content

This qualification will be available only until 31 December 2023. You must complete all your modules by this date, so you should plan your studies carefully. Contact us if you'd like to discuss your options with one of our advisers.

This qualification is designed to consider the role and place of law in an increasingly globalised world, and is suitable for law and non-law graduates as well as lawyers wanting to develop their interests. Our LLM takes a critical legal approach to study, using different perspectives and case studies to illustrate, explore, compare and contextualise topical legal issues. You will explore the interaction of law, law making bodies, institutions and regulators in an international context, the role and function of law in an increasingly global society, and the role of states, international institutions and multi-national companies. You will also consider contemporary legal issues such as corporate social responsibility, trans-national crime, humanitarian aid and security.

You will need a computer with internet access to study for this qualification. For most OU qualifications a Microsoft Windows (new since 2007), Apple Mac (OS X 10.6 or later) or Linux computer should be adequate. However, some qualifications require more specific IT equipment, in which case you will need additional software to use an Apple Mac or Linux computer. A detailed technical specification for your modules will be made available when you register. Please note, technical specifications do change over time to match computer developments and the way we teach.

The Open University is the world's leading provider of flexible, high quality distance learning. Unlike other universities we are not campus based. You will study in a flexible way that works for you whether you're at home, at work or on the move. As an OU student you'll be supported throughout your studies - your tutor or study adviser will guide and advise you, offer detailed feedback on your assignments, and help with any study issues. Tuition might be in face-to-face groups, via online tutorials, or by phone.

Fees and funding

Costs are paid per unit not per qualification.

Qualification and course duration


distance learning
48 months
part time
48 months

Course contact details

0300 303 5303