Crime and Litigation LLM
With over 30 years of expertise, LSBU Law has shaped the professional futures of thousands of law students.
Through critical and comparative studies of justice and the criminal litigation process this course will give you demonstrable understanding of the key principles that ground the UK criminal justice system, its issues, approaches and topical debates.
If you are a recent graduate, or already working within the criminal justice field, you'll further your academic and practical knowledge of the litigation process. The programme is also highly relevant to human rights workers and policy agents working in the UK or abroad. Upon completion you'll have acquired an in-depth and systematic understanding of criminal litigation and criminal justice and will be able to work at the cutting edge of practice and research in these areas.
This course is distinctive for the following reasons:
- Emphasis on human rights and justice issues;
- Practical legal problem-solving drawing upon a variety of legal and non-legal knowledge, understanding and skills;
- Leading practitioner insights into current legal and criminal justice practice issues;
- Strong national links with the legal profession;
- The learning environment is greatly enhanced by guest lectures, delivered by distinguished scholars and practitioners.
7 reasons to study Law here
- Expert academics: taught by expert academics and practitioners. A number of Visiting Professors and Lecturers will teach on the course. All are leading practitioners with a national reputation in the fields of crime, criminal justice and litigation.
- Professional links: The Law Department enjoys strong links with the South London Law Society, and cooperates with them to provide a programme of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for local practitioners and members of the South London Law Society.
- Dynamic Research Culture: benefit from engaging with highly qualified academic staff.
- Free iPad: Advanced technology and e-learning, a free iPad will support your studies.
- Comprehensive reading resources: via our virtual learning environment, a personal e-law library worth £6,000.
- Employability: Upon completion of the course you'll have developed advanced legal practice skills and an informed and reflective understanding of the criminal justice system. As well as legal practice, graduates of this LLM may seek employment in a variety of related fields such as research and policy making the police, prison and probation services.
- Great teaching: The LSBU Law Department has a strong set of experts, consultants and international advisors in the field of crime and litigation
- Research methods
This module is essential to understanding the development, implementation, and analysis of graduate level research in legal studies. It is designed to assure that you have a comprehensive knowledge of research design development, and the ability to review and understand journal articles in various subjects of common law. The ultimate purpose of the Module is to encourage you to become engaged in independent legal research in order to be able to submit successfully the dissertation of 15,000 words by the end of the course. You'll build on the research skills already acquired in undergraduate studies by covering topics such as literature review, research presentation and research evaluation, with an emphasis on practical exercises.
- Criminal litigation
You'll be introduced to the structure and process of the Criminal Justice System in England and Wales and explores some of the socio-political issues, which arise from the function of the law in practice. You'll be provided with a critical overview of the system of justice and the key procedural decisions that are made within the system. You'll consider the process of justice via practical, classroom (and E-learning) based, engagement with the litigation process and use case studies and group role play to enhance their practical and theoretical understanding of the criminal process.
- Criminal justice
You'll critically consider the criminal justice system by exploring the role of key players in the criminal justice system such as a) the police b) the Crown Prosecution Service c) defence lawyers' d) magistrates, juries and judges. All those players both individually and collectively will be examined and evaluated.
Although we will focus mainly on the English criminal justice system, learners will be encouraged to take a wider comparative perspective to the various issues involved, special reference will be made to contemporary elements of victimology and the way the criminal justice system deals with different kind of victims in order to introduce learners to the various ways in which different agents of the criminal justice system deal with victims i.e. police and courts.
- Dissertation The Dissertation Unit requires completion of a, normally, 10000 to 15000 words Master’s level dissertation in an area consistent with, and appropriate to (and, if relevant, the specialist pathway within) the degree being sought. It requires that, and provides an opportunity for, the Master’s student to virtually independently conceive, plan and execute an appropriate piece of research based on firm academic foundations. In doing so, the dissertation is required to address an issue or matter of some importance within the areas and/or disciplines encompassed across the Master’s degree being sought. Each student will be provided with a research supervisor who will guide the student throughout their dissertation from the formulation of the research topic to the completion of the finalised work. Students will be allocated a research supervisor at the commencement of their studies.
After completing core modules you'll choose from options that reflect the practical/ theoretical and social justice context of the course. Choices are made following discussion with your personal tutor and also guided by your own professional interests and career aspirations.
- International criminal law
You'll examine the substantive crimes that have evolved in the field of international law with an emphasis on the interpretation and application of international standards in the context of criminal prosecutions. The module will focus both on substantive crimes and on enforcement mechanisms. Specific topics will include sources of international criminal law; individual substantive crimes such as drug smuggling, computer crime, and money laundering; international offenses such as piracy, torture, terrorism and genocide; extradition, evidence gathering and defences under international law; and the international criminal tribunals.
- Psychological aspects of investigation
This Module will consider the contribution of psychology to the investigation of crime. It will cover three core areas: offender profiling, detecting deception, and interviewing suspects. Different methods used in offender profiling will be included and teaching and learning will draw heavily upon case studies. For interviewing suspects and detecting deception reference will be made to current theories, research, and practice.
You'll examine the interaction between decision makers in the criminal litigation process and advocates who appear before them. you'll explore the principles of advocacy throughout the litigation process, including trial preparation, constructing and presenting speeches and arguments, working with lay and professional witnesses, using IT and graphics in the courtroom, effective communication and the psychology of persuasion.
The module aims to cover different aspects of policing by addressing key themes in the history, theory and practice of policing and to encourage students to critically consider the nature of policing and the issues affecting it.
Although the focus of the module is on policing in Britain, learners will be encouraged to develop a comparative perspective by reference to other jurisdictions and to global crime problems such as transnational organised crime and forms of policing.
- Investigative psychology The purpose of this module is to introduce students to aspects of both investigative forensic psychology. The subject-matter will relate to several disciplines studied earlier in the degree, e.g. cognitive and social psychology and personality and individual differences, resulting in the application and synthesis of multiple perspectives. Students will be expected to understand the importance of research in this area, showing critical understanding and awareness of the limitations of existing knowledge. The aim of this module is: To introduce final year students to an area of applied psychology, to introduce students to the historical and conceptual background of investigative forensic psychology in the context of miscarriages of justice, to offer students the opportunity to learn about how psychology is applied to the detection, interviewing and identification of suspects, and to provide students with an appreciation of how research in this area has real world applications and has influenced policy.
- Case management This module enhances learner’s knowledge of the structure and process of the Criminal Justice System in England and Wales via an in-depth analysis of complex case management. The Module explores relevant statutory provisions regulating the management of cases, and explores some of the socio-political issues that arise from the function of the law in practice. The module provides learners with a critical overview of the system of justice and the key procedural decisions that are made within the system. Learners consider the process of justice via practical, classroom based, engagement with the litigation process, using a dedicated case study and group-based work to enhance their practical and theoretical understanding of the criminal process.
- Evidence / Science and Technology This module begins with an examination of the key concepts and rules of the law of evidence as they relate to the presentation and admissibility of expert evidence. The module then goes on to examine the different types of scientific and technological evidence. It focuses on the many controversial issues surrounding these types of evidence that turn on scientific questions of fact. These questions relate to the reliability and therefore weight and usefulness of the evidence in proving or disproving a case. The module here aims to equip learners with an awareness of the scientific and technological discussions that underpin some of the widely used techniques such as DNA matching, fingerprinting, facial mapping and recognition, CCTV footage and computer generated evidence. Finally the module seeks to assist learners in questioning experts within these technological and scientific fields with a view to extracting, analysing and testing the evidence that is presented before a court. Learners will therefore grapple with how best to present and examine statistical probabilities and they will study the evidential rules governing the examination of witnesses. The module aims to take the scientific information learners have covered, coupled with experienced practitioners' strategies for questioning experts and develop the learner’s knowledge and understanding of the relationship between the science and technology and the law. This course assumes that learners have a basic knowledge of the rules and principles of Criminal Procedure and Evidence. However, an introductory session on the Law of Evidence will familiarise all learners with the general issues involved.
- Decision making in the forensic context This module begins with an introduction to the main areas of social and cognitive psychology which are key for understanding how decisions are made within the forensic context. Such decision making is likely to include police and magistrate bail decisions, jury decision making, and judicial decision making. Additionally factors that affect jury decision making such as pre-trial publicity, perceptions of eyewitness evidence and expert witness evidence will be reviewed.
The aim of this module is to explore the role of law in enabling and controlling counter-terrorist action by individual states and the international Community. Therefore, we will adopt a comparative (national) and international (UN) perspective to explore the key issues involved.
More specifically the course deals with the tools that have been authorized to be used by governmental action against terrorism. We trace the development of the law related to terrorism and we examine the various legislative acts, which now govern the investigation of terrorism, efforts to control the financing of terrorism, detention and deportation of persons who are viewed as threat. The purpose of the module is to enable learners interested in the topic of terrorism to familiarize themselves with the role of law in enabling and controlling counter-terrorist action by individual states and the international Community as a whole.
If you're interested in criminal litigation you may prefer options such as: Case Management, Advocacy, International Criminal Law.
Or if you want to focus on the criminal justice system you may prefer options such as: Policing, Terrorism, Decision Making in the Forensic Context, Psychological Aspects of Investigations
All modules (core and optional) achieve a balance between practice, theory and the development of professional skills.
Upon completion of the course you'll have developed advanced legal practice skills and an informed and reflective understanding of the criminal justice system. As well as legal practice, graduates of this LLM may seek employment in a variety of related fields such as research and policy making the police, prison and probation services.
The LSBU course appealed to me because of its fresh and exciting content, with the opportunity to mix academic and practical skills. LSBU met all my expectations and the teaching is a great balance of instruction and seminars. There is a real collegiate atmosphere here and good pastoral support. It's also great value for money. I currently work as a Senior Crown Prosecutor.
Tim Burton, LLM Crime and Litigation graduate
We are University of the Year for Graduate Employment - The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018.
At LSBU, we want to set you up for a successful career. During your studies – and for two years after you graduate – you’ll have access to our Employability Service, which includes:
- An online board where you can see a wide range of placements: part-time, full-time or voluntary. You can also drop in to see our Job Shop advisers, who are always available to help you take the next step in your search.
- Our Careers Gym offering group workshops on CVs, interview techniques and finding work experience, as well as regular presentations from employers across a range of sectors.
Our Student Enterprise team can also help you start your own business and develop valuable entrepreneurial skills.
Lionel Blackman is a solicitor-advocate, the first to win a case in the House of Lords. He is Director of the Solicitors International Human Rights Group. He lectures frequently at LSBU and overseas.
Daniel Frings is an Associate Professor of Psychology.
Dr Mylonaki specialises in International Criminalisation of Terrorism and criminological approaches to International Criminal Law. She holds a PhD (University of Bristol), an MPhil in Criminology (University of Cambridge) and an LLM in International Law.
Caron has lectured and tutored at LSBU for over 20 years and has used her experience of legal practice to enhance the practical legal content of the subjects that she teaches.
Teaching and learning
Content, knowledge and understanding is assessed through coursework, or, a combination of coursework, presentations and online assessments. Coursework can take many forms (based on the practical or theoretical content of the module) including essays and reports.
- 2:2 Honours degree in Law or related subject (such as Sociology, Criminology and Forensic Science). Or a Bachelor degree equivalent to UK Second Class Honours Lower Division.
- The programme also recruits graduates from different academic disciplines and practitioners from professions within the criminal justice field.
- Criminal Law Practitioners with relevant professional qualifications and experience are not subject to the admissions requirement of having obtained a 2:2 Honours degree.
- Individual applications for accreditation of prior learning and experience will be considered in accordance with the FAHS Policy on APL and APEL.
- We welcome qualifications from around the world. English language qualifications for international students: IELTS score of 6.5, Cambridge Proficiency or Advanced Grade C.
How to apply
International (non Home/EU) applicants should follow our international how to apply guide.
|Mode||Duration||Start date||Application code||Application method|
Full-time/part-time postgraduate students and research students apply through the UK Postgraduate and Statistical Service (UKPASS). Full details of how to do this are supplied on our How to apply section for postgraduate students and our How to apply section for research students.
Postgraduate applicants are required to provide up to two references as part of their application.
Students should apply for accommodation at London South Bank University (LSBU) as soon as possible, once we have made an offer of a place on one of our academic courses. Read more about applying for accommodation at LSBU.
It's a good idea to think about how you'll pay university tuition and maintenance costs while you're still applying for a place to study. Remember – you don't need to wait for a confirmed place on a course to start applying for student finance. Read how to pay your fees as a postgraduate student.
Postgraduate Application Service
Book a session with one of our specialist Postgraduate Advisors. Over a one on one Advice Session they'll advise you on postgraduate degrees at LSBU that match your interests and experience. Book an Advice Session.
Fees and funding
Fees are shown for new entrants to courses, for each individual year of a course, together with the total fee for all the years of a course. Continuing LSBU students should refer to the Finance section of our student portal, MyLSBU. Queries regarding fees should be directed to the Fees and Bursaries Team on: +44 (0)20 7815 6181.
|UK/EU fee: £7500||International fee: £13125|
|AOS/LSBU code: 3312||Session code: 1FS00|
|UK/EU fee: £3333.33||International fee: £5833.33|
|AOS/LSBU code: 3313||Session code: 1PS00|
|Total course fee:|
For more information, including how and when to pay, see our fees and funding section for postgraduate students.
Possible fee changes
The University reserves the right to increase its fees in line with changes to legislation, regulation and any governmental guidance or decisions.
The fees for international students are reviewed annually, and additionally the University reserves the right to increase tuition fees in line with inflation up to 4 per cent.
Postgraduate loan (PGL) for Masters study
If you are starting a Masters course, studying either full- or part-time, you may be entitled to apply for a postgraduate study loan. Find out more at our postgraduate fees and funding section.
We offer several types of fee reduction through our scholarships and bursaries. Find the full list and other useful information on funding your studies on the scholarships and fee discounts page.
Please check your fee status and whether you are considered a home, EU or international student for fee-paying purposes by reading the UKCISA regulations.
Select a case study and read about practical project work, students' placement experiences, research projects, alumni career achievements and what it’s really like to study here from the student perspective.
Prepare to start
We help our students prepare for university even before the semester starts. To find out when you should apply for your LSBU accommodation or student finance read How to apply tab for this course.
Enrolment and Induction
Enrolment takes place before you start your course. On completing the process, new students formally join the University. Enrolment consists of two stages: online, and your face-to-face enrolment meeting. The online process is an online data gathering exercise that you will complete yourself, then you will be invited to your face-to-face enrolment meeting.
In September, applicants who have accepted an unconditional offer to study at LSBU will be sent details of induction, which is when they are welcomed to the University and their School. Induction helps you get the best out of your university experience, and makes sure you have all the tools to succeed in your studies.
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