International Law & Security LLM

Chain, padlock & map

This is an innovative programme that focuses on the role and relevance of international law in a rapidly changing global security environment. It reflects the breadth of contemporary international security issues, addressing issues as diverse as terrorism, armed conflicts and transnational organised crime.

Key facts

Why this programme

  • If you want to increase your horizons to an international platform, look beyond domestic legal orders and learn about global security issues, this LLM is ideal for you.
  • You will be taught by an excellent team that truly understands international issues, with staff drawn from Canada, Germany, Scotland, Greece and Uzbekistan.
  • You will be equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to work as security consultant or practitioner with governments, international organizations and NGOs. 
  • We offer excellent facilities including our dedicated School of Law library; our main University library also contains our extensive collection of legal materials and official publications and is a European Documentation Centre.
  • The programme is based on small-group, seminar-style teaching by experts in the field. The programme is complemented by guest speaker events and research workshops, allowing students to get involved with leading academics from outside Glasgow.

Programme structure

The courses are delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars and project work. You are required to study one core course and three optional courses, as well as to submit a dissertation approved as falling within the area.

Core course

  • International law and international security.

Optional courses

  • The laws of armed conflict
  • International criminal law
  • United Nations law
  • International and European human rights law
  • International law and international economic governance
  • International security and international relations
  • The settlement of international disputes.

Note: Some courses might not be available every year.

Background and Aims

The LLM in International Law and Security is designed for students interested in international law and a rapidly changing global security environment. It is an innovative, interdisciplinary and practice-oriented programme that combines legal courses with courses from politics and international relations. The programme aims to foster a critical understanding of contemporary global and regional security issues and the role of international law in addressing these issues.

The Masters reflects the breadth of contemporary international security issues, addressing topics as divers as terrorism, armed conflicts, transnational organized crime, drones and autonomous weapons systems, espionage and surveillance in cyberspace, weapons of mass destruction, failed states, resource and energy security, poverty, climate change, pandemics and natural catastrophes. 

The LLM in International Law and Security is designed to respond to the increasing demand for lawyers with a background in international law and security, whether in international organizations, ministries and other governmental agencies, civil society, academia or in legal practice. The leading teaching team is made up of experts from Germany, Scotland, Greece, Canada and Uzbekistan.

As part of the taught masters programme, there is a compulsory one-week induction programme, tailored specifically for the LLM. This offers students information and guidance on learning methods, research skills, and on non-academic aspects of life and study in Glasgow.

What our students say

Charlotte Divin, France (2011-12)

Charlotte DivinWhy did you decide to study at the University of Glasgow?

I came to study at the University of Glasgow because it had a partnership with my French University. I had several choices in the UK but I chose the University of Glasgow specifically because its School of Law is one of the best in the country. Also coming from a French university system I was always curious as to how the UK system differed - I was not disappointed!

Why did you choose your programme of study?
I chose to study an LLM in International Law and Security because I was very interested in both legal and political issues, the LLM allowed me to further and broaden my knowledge in those areas. I particularly wanted to focus on International Public Law courses, such as International and European Human Rights Law or International Criminal Law.

What can you tell us about your experience studying at the School of Law?
I believe that I gained a lot of autonomy and confidence by studying at the School of Law. Something that I thought lacked from the French University system. I really enjoyed having access to the library until 2am, which allows for certain flexibility in studying and is great for late workers like me!


What did you like the most?
What I like the most in studying at Glasgow University was the constant feedback on any work that is handed in, it really helped me identify my weaknesses and improve my grades. I also really appreciated the availability of the lecturers and staff that were always very happy to answer all my questions.

How was your academic experience?
Academically, I think that my experience was very useful; working in little groups allows each and everyone to express themselves and to receive the full attention of the Professor. I particularly felt that I was listened to and in smaller groups it’s easier to create bonds within a class.

What support/facilities did you find most useful?
I definitely found the library really useful and its coffee machine even more! The gym is also a great place to relax after a hard day of studying or a night of partying!

What do you think of Glasgow, the city? How is it like to live here as a (international) student?
I had a wonderful time partying in Glasgow, in the West End particularly. As an international student I really enjoyed Glasgow's friendliness, it's very easy to meet new faces on a daily basis.

How do you feel your programme helped you with your career plans?
I think that graduating from an LLM in Glasgow has already been an asset for me; it increases the chances of employment as it demonstrates both good knowledge of English and the capability to adapt to a different environment.

What would you recommend to a potential student thinking of coming to the School of Law?
The University of Glasgow is a very good university that gives its students all the support it needs, the facilities are great and very accessible. I would recommend coming to the School of Law to anyone.

Nazym Balpanova, Kazakhstan (2014-15)

'I am very proud to study the LLM in International Law and Security at one of the best universities in the UK. The University of Glasgow provides me the opportunity not only to gain knowledge in my professional field, but also in the practical aspect through a number of seminars, talks and events which have direct relevance to my area of study. Also, I would like to express my gratitude to the academic staff and postgraduate taught staff of the School of Law for their high professionalism and quick response to every inquiry.

It is worth noting that apart from studies there are a large number of university organised activities where I have gained a lot of friends around the world. Studying and living at the university is an invaluable chance to get experience for the development of my future career. Thus, I recommend the University of Glasgow!'

John Kedzierski, Poland (2014-15)

'I have found Glasgow to be a great city to live and study in. It is affordable, comfortable, and there is always things going on, no matter what you are looking for, with a music scene hard to beat. The people are great, and usually helpful to newcomers. Although there is tons to explore in the city, studying has been a great experience. The university staff are very knowledgeable and amazingly helpful if there are any issues. Professors are approachable, and always doing their best to make the materials more approachable, and a great experience to learn about.'

Azzam Siddique Bhatti, Pakistan (2014-15)

'My year at Glasgow has been incredible. The university sets and expects a high standard of academic excellence. This, mixed with one of the best cities in the world to live in, gave me the perfect year. Going to the University of Glasgow was the best decision I made.'

older testimonials

Hannah Becker, Germany (2013-14)

'The fact that the law courses are held in small seminar groups was very new and challenging for me in the beginning. But at the same time it makes it very interesting because it is different from the lectures I attended in Germany. Therefore, this new experience is helpful for my career and my personal skills in general. I live in the West End, close to the university which is a very nice part of Glasgow in my opinion because there are a lot of bars, cafes and small shops. Furthermore, you can find students from all over the world at the University of Glasgow which makes studying even more interesting.'

Pia Hesse, Germany (2013-14)

'Even though I tried to find a flat before arriving in Glasgow, house-hunting at a distance proved to be more difficult than I expected it to be. This is also owed to the fact that rent advertisements are published on a relatively short-term basis and that there are generally many people searching at the beginning of the academic year. Therefore, I recommend arriving in Glasgow a few days or even a week before the course starts. If you are in the city you can arrange viewings which increases your chances of finding a room significantly. It only took me three days to find my flat once I was in Glasgow. The option which saves you any such trouble is of course to apply for a room in student accommodation. For me, this was not an option, since I preferred a private flat-share which usually is more comfortable and less expensive. As regard studying in Glasgow, I really appreciate the interactive approach in class. The small number of students in each class and the active participation of the students make learning much more interesting. Also I like the fact that there are many talks by interesting guest speakers in the course of the programme which students are free to join.'

Donald Morrison, United Kingdom (2013-14)

'I have lived in Glasgow for the past 12 years; it is Scotland in microcosm – a dynamic, cosmopolitan, ethnically diverse and above all welcoming city. With the main campus in the heart of Glasgow’s vibrant and bustling West End, it is a great place to live, work and study. I chose the LLM in International Law and Security because it touches on issues of current international concern including human rights, terrorism, use of force, new weapons technology and international humanitarian law; the issues which are shaping the 21st century. For me, it is a privilege to study at Scotland’s best School of Law, in Scotland’s biggest and best city.'

Jacob Van Den Broek, Netherlands (2013-14)

'As a student in the International Law and Security LLM, you are constantly aware of the interaction between law and politics in this field. The programme adapts to this by providing a firm legal basis, complemented by current issues in the field of global politics. The professors are very inspiring and enjoy an excellent reputation within their respective fields. You will instantly fall in love with the campus and the lovely West End area in which it is situated. The university provides good facilities and has a wide range of very active clubs and societies which are all easily accessible. Glasgow itself is a city of hidden gems. There is a big cultural scene, ranging from up and coming bands to the fine architecture of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Glaswegians are extremely friendly and helpful, although you may have a hard time understanding your cab driver at first.'

Aleksei Hansen-Love, France (2012-13)

'Choosing to study at the University of Glasgow has undoubtedly been the best decision I could have made. The LLM in International Law and Security provides critical understanding of both traditional and contemporary security issues such as weapons proliferation, terrorism and cyber-security. Located in the city's vibrant West End, the university offers superb facilities, including a library with a lovely cafe and a breathtaking view, a state of the art gym, a surprisingly realistic moot court and much more! The staff, always available, encourage open communication and discussion on both academic and professional queries. The diversity and wealth of cultures that make up the School of Law offer a unique and enriching legal experience. Even on a cold, wet Glasgow night the fairy lights over Ashton Lane`s cobbles always guarantees a warm and friendly Scottish atmosphere.'

Catriona Laird, United Kingdom (2012-13)

'I particularly enjoy the small numbers in classes and the diversity of the students; we all come from different backgrounds which make class debates interesting through hearing an array of diverse perspectives and we all get on well together outside class. The lecturers are very friendly and eager to help, the Master classes are an excellent privilege for students and the social events are great fun. The West-End is such a vibrant, exciting part of Glasgow, and the university is world class - a great place to study.'

Maria van Duijnen, Netherlands (2012-13)

'I decided to come to Glasgow because of the specific focus of the LLM in International Law and Security and because the university enjoys an excellent reputation. As the academic year is coming to an end, I can conclude that my study here has been a very rewarding experience and it has given me the opportunity to grow both academically and personally. During the application process and the course of my studies, the university’s staff have been exceptionally supportive. The lecturers, too, have been very approachable and created a friendly learning atmosphere.

On top of that, there are numerous student clubs and societies which help to ensure that everybody can enjoy their stay in Glasgow to the fullest extent. Glasgow is a great cosmopolitan city and even if the city life should eventually become too much, wonderful spots like Loch Lomond or the Scottish coast are just a short train ride away. All in all, the University of Glasgow is a great choice for doing an LLM as it provides for both high-quality education and various opportunities for a vibrant social life.'

Academic staff

The LLM in International Law and Security is taught by a team who combine academic excellence with first-hand knowledge of the practical workings of international law.

Practical experience

  • worked at the International Committee of the Red Cross, the United Nations, the Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and the UN International Law Commission.
  • advised litigants in proceedings before the International Court of Justice, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, the European Court of Human Rights, ICSID tribunals and domestic courts.
  • been involved in the work of the UN peacekeeping missions, have drafted government reports on compliance with human rights obligations, have worked for NGOs on human rights and refugee issues, and have contributed to OSCE studies in the field of minority rights.

Academic excellence

  • hold degrees from Harvard, Oxford, NYU, the LSE and Cambridge, as well as from the Universities of Uzbekistan, Greece, Germany, Canada and the United States
  • published widely in leading publications, on questions of international security, international humanitarian law, human rights, the use of force, international criminal law, international legal theory, UN law, dispute settlement and  statehood force
  • contributed to leading research projects such as the Encyclopedia of Public International Law, the Oxford Commentaries on International Law and International Law in Domestic Courts

Staff outreach

  • participate in the work of important legal associations such as the International Law Association and the European Society of International Law
  • are regularly invited to present papers in the UK and abroad and frequently organise guest lectures or workshops in Glasgow
  • judge on international mooting competitions

Entry requirements

for entry in 2016

A good first degree in law (2.1 upwards or equivalent) or a first degree (2.1 upwards or equivalent) with at least 50% of the credits in law. We also consider applications from politics, international relations, European studies or war studies graduates.

International students with academic qualifications below those required should contact our partner institution, Glasgow International College, who offer a range of pre-Masters courses.

English language requirements

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training):

  • overall score 6.5
  • no sub-test less than 6.5
  • or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification (see below)

Common equivalent English language qualifications

All stated English tests are acceptable for admission for both home/EU and international students for this programme:

  • ibTOEFL: 92; no sub-test less than 22, Speaking not less than 23
  • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 176
  • CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 176
  • PTE Academic (Person Test of English, Academic test): 64; minimum 62 in writing
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English: ISEII at Distinction with Distinction in all sub-tests

For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use these tests to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level programmes. The University is also able to accept an IELTS test (Academic module) from any of the 1000 IELTS test centres from around the world and we do not require a specific UKVI IELTS test for degree level programmes. We therefore still accept any of the English tests listed for admission to this programme.

Pre-sessional courses

The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the English for Academic Study Unit Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:


What do I do if...

my language qualifications are below the requirements?

The University's English for Academic Study Unit offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.

my language qualifications are not listed here?

Please contact the Recruitment and International Office:


For further information about English language requirements, please contact the Recruitment and International Office:

Fees and funding

Tuition fees for 2016-17


Home and EU
Full time fee£6950
Part time 20 credits£772
Full time fee£16500

Fees are subject to change and for guidance only

Funding opportunities

Career prospects

There is a high demand for law professionals with expertise in international law and security. You will be well placed for roles in international institutions, government departments (ministries of foreign affairs, defence, justice, home affairs, and development), non-governmental organisations and law firms.

How to apply

We ask that you apply online for a postgraduate taught degree. Our system allows you to fill out the standard application form online and submit this to the University within 42 days of starting your application.

You need to read the guide to applying online before starting your application. It will ensure you are ready to proceed, as well as answer many common questions about the process.

Guide to applying online

Do I have to apply online for a postgraduate taught degree?

Yes. To apply for a postgraduate taught degree you must apply online. We are unable to accept your application by any other means than online.

Do I need to complete and submit the application in a single session?

No. You have 42 days to submit your application once you begin the process. You may save and return to your application as many times as you wish to update information, complete sections or upload additional documents such as your final transcript or your language test.

What documents do I need to provide to make an application?

As well as completing your online application fully, it is essential that you submit the following documents:

  • A copy (or copies) of your official degree certificate(s) (if you have already completed your degree)
  • A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained
  • Official English translations of the certificate(s) and transcript(s)
  • Two supporting reference letters on headed paper
  • Evidence of your English Language ability (if your first language is not English)
  • Any additional documents required for this programme (see Entry requirements for this programme)
  • A copy of the photo page of your passport (Non-EU students only)

If you do not have all of these documents at the time of submitting your application then it is still possible to make an application and provide any further documents at a later date, as long as you include a full current transcript (and an English translation if required) with your application. See the ‘Your References, Transcripts and English Qualification’ sections of our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

Do my supporting documents need to be submitted online?

Yes, where possible, please upload the supporting documents with your application.

How do I provide my references?

You must either upload the required references to your online application or ask your referees to send the references to the University as we do not contact referees directly. There is two main ways that you can provide references: you can either upload references on headed paper when you are making an application using the Online Application (or through Applicant Self-Service after you have submitted your application) or you can ask your referee to email the reference directly to See the 'Your References, Transcripts and English Qualifications' section of the Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

What if I am unable to submit all of my supporting documents online?

If you cannot upload an electronic copy of a document and need to send it in by post, please attach a cover sheet to it that includes your name, the programme you are applying for, and your application reference number.

You may send them to:

Recruitment & International Office
71 Southpark Avenue
G12 8QQ
Fax: +44 141 330 4045

Can I email my supporting documents?

No. We cannot accept email submissions of your supporting documents.

What entry requirements should I have met before applying? Where can I find them?

You should check that you have met (or are likely to have met prior to the start of the programme) the individual entry requirements for the degree programme you are applying for. This information can be found on the ‘entry requirements’ tab on each individual programme page, such as the one you are viewing now.

What English Language requirements should I have met before applying? Where can I find them?

If you are an international student, you should also check that you have met the English Language requirements specific to the programme you are applying for. These can also be found on the ‘entry requirements’ tab for each specific programme.

Further Information

Please see the Frequently Asked Questions for more information on applying to a postgraduate taught programme.

Guidance notes for using the online application

These notes are intended to help you complete the online application form accurately, they are also available within the help section of the online application form. If you experience any difficulties accessing the online application then you should visit the Application Troubleshooting/FAQs page.

  • Name and Date of birth: must appear exactly as they do on your passport. Please take time to check the spelling and lay-out.
  • Contact Details: Correspondence address. All contact relevant to your application will be sent to this address including the offer letter(s). If your address changes, please contact us as soon as possible.
  • Choice of course: Please select carefully the course you want to study. As your application will be sent to the admissions committee for each course you select it is important to consider at this stage why you are interested in the course and that it is reflected in your application.
  • Proposed date of entry: Please state your preferred start date including the month and the year. Taught masters degrees tend to begin in September. Research degrees may start in any month.
  • Education and Qualifications: Please complete this section as fully as possible indicating any relevant Higher Education qualifications starting with the most recent. Complete the name of the Institution (s) as it appears on the degree certificate or transcript.
  • English Language Proficiency: Please state the date of any English language test taken (or to be taken) and the award date (or expected award date if known).
  • Employment and Experience: Please complete this section as fully as possible with all employments relevant to your course. Additional details may be attached in your personal statement/proposal where appropriate.
  • References: Please provide the names and contact details of two academic references. Where applicable one of these references may be from your current employer. References should be completed on letter headed paper and uploaded on to your application.

Standard application deadlines

  • International applications (non-EU): 22 July 2016 
  • UK and EU applications: 26 August 2016

Classes start September 2016 and you may be expected to attend induction sessions the week before.

Apply now