Birkbeck, University of London

Birkbeck, University of London

Law, Democracy and Human Welfare (Global Perspectives)

A range of national and transnational crises are addressed through welfare-centred models of responding to human need, suffering and 'deviance'. These crises include people seeking asylum, populations in need arising out of conflicts or natural disasters, populations subject to pandemics, and communities in social and economic crisis. This programme offers you the opportunity to study the legal and wider social and economic structures that determine the responses to these crises. There is an increasing privatisation of formerly state-based responses to social and economic crises. There is also a globalisation of strategies and mechanisms of governance: a transnational flow of technologies for addressing social welfare demands and needs. This is the only programme in the UK that responds to these developments by combining the focus on governmental responses to human suffering and need with the study of private sector organisations delivering services to populations in crisis. Human need and suffering is increasingly the catalyst for local and transnational protest movements. This programme brings Birkbeck's avowedly critical approach to questions concerning the 'commons', as well as to the political and juridical questions concerning natural resources, water and food.

Course modules

You take 2 compulsory modules and 4 option modules, one of which can be a dissertation. Compulsory modules: The Legal Regulation of Welfare Services: Global Perspectives; UK Public and Private Law: Accountability for Delivery of Welfare Services . Option modules: Advanced International Economic Law, Justice and Development (Intensive); Conflict, Intervention and Human Rights: Contemporary Challenges; Cultures of Human rights (Intensive); Introduction to International Economic Law, Justice and Development (Intensive); Introduction to the Law of International Finance; Issues in International Law and Human Rights (Intensive); Risk, rights and responsibility: governing epidemics and regulating health; Southern Perspectives on Constitutional and Political Transformation; The History and Philosophy of Human Rights (Intensive) . Dissertation LLM/MA Law, Democracy and Human Welfare (Intensive). You may also take option modules from other intensively taught LLM programmes such as Human Rights or International Economic Law, Justice, and Development.

Assessment methods

For most modules, final assessment is based on a combination of classroom presentations and/or a 4000-word essay. There is also a compulsory dissertation of 8000-10,000 words, which amounts to 1 module.

Sponsorship information

The government's new postgraduate loan scheme allows you to borrow up to £10,000 to cover the cost of your tuition fees, living costs or other study expenses - and you don't have to start repaying until 2019. Applicants with a strong academic background may be eligible to apply for AHRC/ESRC awards (UK and EU-based applicants only). 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. Part-time students who are experiencing financial need may apply for assistance from the Birkbeck Alumni Fund Postgraduate Opportunity Bursary.


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
LLM Full-time January 2019 GBP 14,450 per Whole course (International) 1 Years
LLM Full-time January 2019 GBP 7,950 per Whole course (Home/EU) 1 Years
LLM Part-time January 2019 GBP 14,450 per Whole course (International) 2 Years
LLM Part-time January 2019 GBP 7,950 per Whole course (Home/EU) 2 Years

Campus details

Campus name Town Postcode Region Main campus Campus Partner
Bloomsbury Campus WC1E 7HX London

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Key information

School of Law
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