LLM Legal Research

USW’s LLM Legal Research is part of our comprehensive range of postgraduate LLM programmes.

It will begin with three taught modules to allow you to become part of a community of learning before completing the main element of the course which is a thesis based on a legal topic of your choice, completed under the supervision of specialists.

The course is aimed at those in practice who would like to consider their area of law in more detail and from a different perspective.

This course is a steppingstone for students who wish to embark on a PhD but who are not quite ready while building a solid foundation in the area.

Students from both the UK and further afield will be able to draw on prior academic and professional experience from different jurisdictions.

There are two intakes to the LLM programmes, one in September and one in June, and you can study with us full or part time.

Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Part-time 2 Years September Treforest A
Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Part-time 2 Years June Treforest A

The course will have two specified modules which focus on research skills:

  • Advanced Legal Skills and Methods Research
  • Methodologies for Law

The third module will be an optional module. The optional modules are subject to change, but examples of the optional modules currently available include:

  • Employment Law and Practice
  • Artificial Intelligence Law    
  • Child Protection and Youth Justice in Practice
  • Information Technology Law  
  • Climate Change and the Law  
  • Private client in Practice
  • Law & Order 
  • Cybercrime  
  • Transnational Criminal Law 
  • Criminal Evidence and Forensics 
  • International Business and Competition Law 
  • Corporate Law and Governance 

The final element of the course will be independent study to complete a legal research thesis with support from a specialist supervisor.


Students will typically be expected to attend university one day per week when studying the specified modules - the remainder of the week is independent study.

The taught element of the course requires students to attend lectures and workshops. Students will be expected to engage in discussions during workshops, which are based on pre-reading suggested by lecturers.

Outside these formal sessions, all LLM students are expected to carry out preparatory work and research.

Law lecturers engage in a variety of research activities which result in the presentation of papers at conferences, the publication of journal articles and textbooks. All our areas of research feed directly into your studies, meaning you will benefit from a cutting-edge curriculum that is taught by staff who are at the forefront of their subject area.


The specified modules which focus on research are assessed by coursework alone.

The assessments on the optional module range from coursework to exams depending on your option choice. 

The thesis is 36,000 words with the guidance of an academic supervisor. 


The University of South Wales has impressive study facilities for law. The award-winning Legal Advice Clinic sits in the main Law building. We also have a courtroom with digital video facilities, a legal practice library, and dedicated teaching and practice rooms. You can take part in a range of activities, including moots and mock trials in our moot courtroom. We run simulations in our Hydra suite to provide real world experiences in a supportive environment.




You will receive a full induction to the LLM in your first week enabling you to adjust to university life, get to know the teaching team, meet your lecturers and peers, plan your studies, and understand how the University works.

Staff support

The course leader is available in regular office hours.  Each member of the teaching team will have at least one scheduled office hour per teaching week. These office hours will be drop-in sessions, which students do not need to book ahead.

Peer support

Students are encouraged to take an active part in peer support programmes.

We regularly revalidate courses for quality assurance and enhancement

At USW, we regularly review our courses in response to changing patterns of employment and skills demand to ensure we offer learning designed to reflect today’s student needs and tomorrow’s employer demands.

If during a review process course content is significantly changed, we’ll write to inform you and talk you through the changes for the coming year. But whatever the outcome, we aim to equip our students with the skillset and the mindset to succeed whatever tomorrow may bring. Your future, future-proofed.

A minimum 2:2 Honours degree in any discipline, or a relevant professional qualification such as from the Institute of Legal Executives and others that include some element of law.

For applicants who do not possess formal qualifications, relevant professional experience may be considered via the Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)/Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) mechanism (University regulations will apply).

The course welcomes international applicants and requires an English level of IELTS 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component or equivalent.

Please note that while this course does not require a DBS Check for entry, some professions will not consider candidates who have certain types of criminal convictions. Therefore, if you have a criminal conviction and you are considering a particular career path, we recommend that you check with the relevant professional body or refer to their recruitment policy to make sure your conviction will not disadvantage you.


Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.

August 2024 - July 2025 Fees

  • Part-time UK:  £1140

Student Perks

At the University of South Wales, you’re investing in so much more than a degree. We strive to provide our students with the best possible experience, no matter what you chose to study. Whether it’s access to top of the range mac books and PCs, state-of-the-art facilities packed with industry-leading equipment and software, masterclasses and events led by industry experts, or a wide range of clubs and societies to meet likeminded people, better tomorrows start with extra perks.

Each course also has their own unique student benefits to prepare you for the real word, and details of these can be found on our course pages. From global field trips, integrated work experience and free course-related resources, to funded initiatives, projects working with real employers, and opportunities for extra qualifications and accreditations - at USW your future, is future-proofed.

Click here to learn more about student perks at USW.

Additional Costs

As a student of USW, you’ll have access to lots of free resources to support your study and learning, such as textbooks, publications, online journals, laptops, and plenty of remote-access resources. Whilst in most cases these resources are more than sufficient in supporting you with completing your course, additional costs, both obligatory and optional, may be required or requested for the likes of travel, memberships, experience days, stationery, printing, or equipment.


Funding to help pay for (or cover) course tuition fees and living costs

Whilst you’re studying, you’ll have two main financial obligations – tuition fees and living costs. There’s lots of financial help available from the University of South Wales and external funding sources, that may provide loans (which have to be paid back) and grants, scholarships and bursaries (that don't).

To learn about course fees, funding options, and to see if you are eligible for financial support, visit our Fees and Funding pages.

Apply directly to the University for this master’s course.

This course could be a steppingstone to a PhD or a key to a promotion in your current role.

How does this course prepare me for employment?


Our guest lecture programme and Global Choices masterclass programme gives our students opportunities which are genuinely rare. It gives students the chance to personally meet and put questions to world leaders and internationally recognised industry leaders.    


You can volunteer at the USW Legal Advice Clinic. Under supervision, you can provide free legal advice to members of the public and small businesses. This will give you an opportunity to put your theoretical studies into practice and provide vital work experience.

What kind of student would this suit?

The LLM Legal Research is a good choice if you have an enthusiasm and passion for research.  This is a master’s programme which is flexible enough for a student to research while retaining full time employment. 

This course is a specialist legal course designed to provide an entry point for prospective students to begin a research journey which may culminate eventually to a Ph.D. at USW. 

This course is attractive to those with an academic law background as well as those who, in practice, are seeking to obtain a qualification that will help with their employment prospects.  

Our Careers and Employability Service

As a USW student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.

This includes: one-to-one appointments from faculty based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via the "Ask a Question" service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.

Our Careers service has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.