School of Law

LLM European Law Governance

The European Union offers a unique model of regional integration, which is perceived as a model for balancing social and environmental resilience with economic integration. Although the global economic crisis has had a particulary harsh fall-out in the Euro currency area, European integration remains a key process shaping developments in its Member States, its neighbouring countries and international regulatory reforms and governance processes.

The LLM in European Law and Governance aims to generate a comprehensive understanding of EU and transnational law and governance in a global context and to enable graduates to critically approach a range of problems in the field. The programme is unique in offering a law in context approach to European Union and transnational law by teaching substantive law alongside legal theory and political and sociological approaches to federalism and multilevel governance. Queen’s University Belfast has specific strengths in the study of environmental law and policy, and offers a correspondent specific route within this programme.

Successful completion will open a wide range of career opportunities to its graduates. Legal practice is increasingly informed by European matters, in particular in specialisations such as commercial law, competition law, employment law and welfare law. Graduates would also be very well placed to excel in careers with the EU institutions or organisations providing advice to national and regional governments in matters of EU law and policy or in environmental governance. Global careers in both fields are also an option. This intellectually challenging programme is also the ideal starting point for an academic career.  

We do not see the European Union from a merely European perspective but also in its global role and in comparison with other regional integration regimes. Accordingly this program is also for those who come from other regions of the world and are interested in bringing back knowledge of how Europe operates or how to collaborate with Europe

Career options are maximised by a specific element of this programme: students can choose to replace the 60 credit (20 ECTS) dissertation available for all master programmes by a module combining a placement with a law firm, non-governmental or state or EU institution with a dissertation. Placement applications are competitively addressing a wide range of organisations with which the school has established contacts. Students who take the module Environmental Governance from the Global to the Local may exit the programme with the award of LLM in Environmental Law and Governance.


The programme is delivered through a series of taught modules and culminates in the submission of a dissertation on an original topic.

Compulsory modules
• Challenges for a World in Transition
• Multilevel Governance and European Law
• Dissertation (15,000-20,000 words), or Dissertation with Internship
• Making Knowledge Work

Optional modules
• Environmental Governance from the Global to the Local*
• European Law and Economic Integration
• Transition Europe: the role of the EU in a Changing World
*Note: students who take this module mayexit the programme with the award of LLM in Environmental Law and Governance.

Compulsory methodology modules
• Approaches to Legal Research
• Legal Methods in the Governance of the Firm
• Methods of Legislation
Assessment – Assessed coursework and dissertation.

"We gain deep fundamental knowledge and advanced ideas for the next stage of the EU legal system. Lecturers also emphasise critical thinking and analysis through seminar and writing assignments. These methods enhance our academic research abilities which are required for real life working."
Nattawut Lertloy
LLM European Law & Governance
"I chose the LLM European Law & Governance because I am interested in multiple aspects of European Union law. The Belfast programme is ideal, because the way it is organised allows students to lead their own research in a discussion based environment. "
Margot Belfroid
LLM European Law & Governance

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