We teach the Law that matters. We are ‘freer, more daring and more experimental’ than a traditional law school, so your legal education is relevant and responsive to the needs of a changing society. Our approach is global in outlook, based on justice, and engaged with real-world problems.
On the four-year MLaw version of this course (five years if taking a year abroad or placement year), you develop the same key skills for Law as on the LLB, as well as investigating more advanced topics by achieving a masters-level qualification. You cover all key areas of law, as well as a wide range of optional topics including:
- Copyright and trademark law
- International environmental law
- Law and literature
- Human rights
- The use of evidence
As well as the following advanced masters level topics;
- Maritime Law
- International Criminal Law
- Protection of Refugees
- Business and human rights
- Artificial intelligence and human rights
You will develop a critical awareness of the nature of law within its social, political and economic contexts. Not only will you learn legal rules, but you will also consider the function of law in society, the philosophy of law, policy issues and law reform. You will also have the option to specialise into one of three pathways; human rights law, international law or commercial law.
At Essex we specialise in commercial law, public law and human rights law. We are ranked 51st in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2021, which is 13th in the UK, and we are top 20 in the UK for research excellence (REF 2014, mainstream universities, THE 2014)
Your education extends beyond the university campus. We support you in expanding your education through offering the opportunity to spend a year or a term studying abroad at one of our partner universities. The four-year version of our degree allows you to spend the third year abroad or employed on a placement abroad, while otherwise remaining identical to the three-year course.
Studying abroad allows you to experience other cultures and languages, to broaden your degree socially and academically, and to demonstrate to employers that you are mature, adaptable, and organised.
If you spend a full year abroad you’ll only pay 15% of your usual tuition fee to Essex for that year. You won’t pay any tuition fees to your host university.
When you arrive at Essex, you can decide whether you would like to combine your course with a placement year. You will be responsible for finding your placement, but with support and guidance provided by both your department and our Employability and Careers Centre.
If you complete a placement year you’ll only pay 20% of your usual tuition fee to Essex for that year.
Our expert staff
Our internationally diverse community of staff and students gives us a breadth of cross-cultural perspective and insights into law and justice around the world.
This community, combined with opportunities to study abroad during your time with us, ensures you graduate with a genuine worldview and a network of international contacts.
- Volunteer at the Essex Law Clinic where you can use your knowledge and skills to serve the community and help those most in need of legal services
- Work on key human rights projects at our Human Rights Clinic
- Participate in mooting competitions to develop your skills
- Test your mediation and negotiation skills in our Client Interviewing Competition
- Join our Model United Nations society, which can improve your skills of argumentation, oral presentation and research
- Network at our student-run Law Society, Human Rights Society, and Bar Society
- Peer mentors guide you through your first year
- Take advantage of networking opportunities throughout the year with visiting
At Essex we don’t just prepare you for the legal profession. We stimulate your desire to pursue justice and equip you with the skills and knowledge to become an agent for change, whatever career path you choose.
From the start of your course, we challenge you to think deeply, broadly and strategically about career paths. Our School of Law graduates have gone on to a wide variety of careers in international and intergovernmental organisations or employment with governments across the world, in commerce and banking, in non-governmental organisations and, as might be expected, in the legal profession and the judiciary.
We also hold an annual law fair, attended by law firms and vocational qualification providers. Our graduates pursue careers in the law and in a wide range of other sectors including business and commerce, accountancy, insurance, banking, central and local government, academia, teaching, social work and the police force.
Our mantra is: be realistically ambitious. This involves understanding yourself and the rapidly changing and increasingly competitive graduate jobs market. Throughout your time at Essex, advisors in our Student Development Team, working closely with colleagues in our School, are available to help you formulate your career plan.
Why we’re great
- Achieve a masters level qualification with this four-year course variant
- Our lecturers work with the UN, the UK government, and with EU and foreign governments
- You gain work experience advising real clients through opportunities such as the Essex Law and Human Rights Clinic
We offer a flexible course structure with a mixture of core/compulsory modules, and optional modules chosen from lists.
Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field. The course content is therefore reviewed on an annual basis to ensure our courses remain up-to-date so modules listed are subject to change.
Teaching and learning disclaimer
Following the impact of the pandemic, we made changes to our teaching and assessment to ensure our current students could continue with their studies uninterrupted and safely. These changes included courses being taught through blended delivery, normally including some face-to-face teaching, online provision, or a combination of both across the year.
The teaching and assessment methods listed show what is currently approved for 2022 entry; changes may be necessary if, by the beginning of this course, we need to adapt the way we’re delivering them due to the external environment, and to allow you to continue to receive the best education possible safely and seamlessly.