With over 30 years of expertise, LSBU Law has shaped the professional futures of thousands of law students. This course offers a mixture of international human rights law, development studies and refugee studies modules. You'll explore contemporary debates in the context of specific countries and themes.
You'll gain knowledge of the protection of international human rights within the context of international development and refugee practice and the role of a rights-based approach to international development practice.
Why Law at LSBU?
Ranked 12th overall in the UK for Teaching Quality in Law (Sunday Times 2022)
Expert academics – our teachers are qualified solicitors and barristers, passing on their insights, real-world case expertise and passion for law.
Outstanding facilities – with complete online support and access to a personal law e-library worth £6000.
The School of Law 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 Society.
An LLB (Hons) Law degree at 2:2/Bachelor degree equivalent to UK Second Class Honours Lower Division.
UK graduates with a non Law degree (2:2) and relevant knowledge and experience.
Individual applications for accreditation of prior learning and experience will be considered in accordance with the FAHS Policy on APL and APEL.
We welcome equivalent qualifications from around the world. English language qualifications for international students: IELTS score of 6.5, Cambridge Proficiency or Advanced Grade C.
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Missing English and Maths qualifications?
If you do not have the required English and Maths qualifications needed to satisfy the entry requirements for this programme, we have courses available at our partner College that you can take to upskill in these areas. Find out more at South Bank College.
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.
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 the How to apply tab for this course.
Before you start your course we’ll send you information on what you’ll need to do before you arrive and during your first few days on campus. You can read about the process on our Enrolment pages.
Preparatory Reading List
Steiner, H.J. et al (2008): International human rights in context: law, politics, morals. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Contemporary issues in development (COMPULSORY) The module aims to provide a comprehensive and detailed introduction to the contemporary challenges facing developing countries in the coming years. Topics vary from one year to the next, but currently the focus is on issues of poverty and poverty reduction; aid and its effectiveness; debt and debt servicing; governance and transparency; the environmental impact of development; patterns of inequality; the impact of urbanisation; and more generally, on changing economic relations within the world economy following the 2008-9 global crisis and subsequent events. The course also assesses the main developing strategies followed by selected middle and low-income countries, with detailed case studies drawn from Asia, Africa and Latin America. It also examines these topics from a gender perspective. Aims: The module aims to introduce students to the analysis of general issues of development by focusing on selected subjects amenable to an interdisciplinary approach. Topics are selected for their contemporary relevance and for their importance to the future development of developing countries. They are also areas around which there exist thorough, detailed and accessible bodies of literature.
International law and human rights (COMPULSORY) You'll study core subjects such as the nature and development of international law, sources of international law, the subjects of international law, international institutions and the international protection of human rights. The aim of this module is to develop your intellectual, practical and transferable skills in the context of International Public Law and the protection of human rights.
Research methods (COMPULSORY) 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.
Semester 2 Core (End of January - Middle of May)
International Human Rights & Development (COMPULSORY) Students will study Human Rights and Development in the context of specific countries and themes. Lectures will introduce students to key topics such as the UN procedures and Human Rights Activism. Students will then research these topics in the context of a specific country (such as Myanmar, Nigeria or Pakistan) and theme (such as Forced Labour, Fair Trial, Torture or Violence against Women). Seminar discussion will be based on students’ research on their selected country and theme. There will be an emphasis on developing effective strategies for combating human rights abuses. Assessment is by a single piece of Coursework.
Semester 2 Options (End of January - Middle of May) -Students must undertake two optional modules
Comparative Law –Legal Traditions of the World (OPTIONAL) Students study and compare key concepts of two or more major legal systems of the world – Arabic, Chinese, Civil Law and Common Law. They study the basic underlying philosophies and methods of each legal system and key topics such as Law making & judicial decision making, Human Rights, the rule of law, contract and commercial law and dispute resolution. Students can also take part in an intensive study visit abroad. This allows them to analyse and evaluate the similarities and differences of approach between the different legal systems. Students then choose one of these topics as the subject for a written coursework researching, analysing and evaluating the different approaches between the different legal systems.
International Business, Human Rights & CSR (OPTIONAL) The module examines issues in the field of business and human rights and the international context of corporate social responsibility, which is of central importance in an era of increasing globalization. The module will assess the intersection of transnational business operations and efforts to promote international human rights. The module begins with a review of the international debate on corporate responsibility to respect human rights, and traces the emergence, within the UN, of the "Protect, Respect and Remedy" Framework. Cases and mechanisms are examined through which corporations might be held accountable for their impact on human rights. The module also examines the ways in which both domestic and international legal systems seek to regulate the problem of corruption and bribery, looking at the Bribery Act 2010 and the United Nations Convention against Corruption.
International Criminal Law (OPTIONAL) This module focuses on the legal principles that have emerged within traditional notions of international law and criminal law and will analyze the developing international standards, cooperation, and enforcement mechanisms aimed at preventing and prosecuting certain types of criminal activity. This module will examine the substantive crimes that have evolved in the field of international law and will emphasize the interpretation and application of international standards in the context of criminal prosecutions.
Refugee Law, Policies and Practices (OPTIONAL) The objective of the module is to enable students to place the law in its national and international context, and develop a critical appreciation of the law’s content, application and possible reform. Students will learn the role of law and policy in protection of refugees, as well as defining and defending border controls. Understanding that all forced migrants are the holders of rights, and part of an international regime of protection, is the essential basis on which to take forward work in this field.
Semester 3 Core ( Middle of May - September)
LLM Dissertation June-September (COMPULSORY) The Dissertation module requires completion of a 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. You'll be required 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.
Please note that although most optional modules run, we do not guarantee to run every optional module each year. Not all option combinations are available due to timetabling restrictions.
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.
You'll graduate with the necessary knowledge and skills to work in the fields of law, human rights and development (either in the UK or abroad) as advisors, experts, researchers and policy makers.
With a background in law, you might practise in human rights, immigration and asylum, and public law.
With a development studies background you might go on to practice in the NGO sector employing a rights-based approach to development.
Through our growing pool of visiting fellows and professors, the Law Department has developed a strong network of contacts with leading law practitioners in the UK. Many members of the Law Department are practitioners, or retain strong links with the legal profession. We enjoy strong links with a number of leading European Law Faculties, including Universitie Cergy Pontoise in France, INHOLLAND University in the Netherlands and Zagreb University in Croatia.
Recent guest lecturers:
Ko Aung, Burma Human Rights Campaigner;
Vera Baird, QC, MP;
Joel Bennathan, QC, Barrister;
Sir Geoffrey Bindman, Solicitor;
Imran Khan, Solicitor;
Roger Smith, Director of Justice.
Teaching and Assessment
LSBU Law has a strong set of experts, consultants and international advisors in the field of Human Rights and hosts a number of annual events and conferences.
Head of the Law Department, Andy Unger, has worked as a consultant in former communist countries such as Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus and Georgia. In the South Caucuses, his most recent working has been with the British East-West Centre, designing and supervising the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office funded projects offering human rights training to lawyers and justice officials in the region.
Senior Lecturer in Law, Caron Thatcher, has observed elections in many parts of the former Soviet Union including Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and also in Russia itself and monitoring the final election of Mr. Putin in 2004.