This cutting-edge LLM places you in the unique position to develop advanced knowledge and expertise in two specialist fields, criminal justice and international human rights. It will empower you to pursue legal practice in the UK and internationally, opening diverse career paths in the criminal justice and human rights sector, or advancing you to the position where you will choose to undertake a PhD in criminal justice or human rights or their interactions.
Why study LLM Criminal Justice and Human Rights at Goldsmiths:
- This pioneering LLM introduces you to the history, theory and practice of international human rights law, while highlighting abuses of human rights in the criminal process and suggesting reforms.
- You’ll get a 360-degree view of the criminal process, and a multidimensional perspective which explores organic synergies between domestic, transnational and international criminal justice systems.
- You’ll be able to choose interdisciplinary modules from the Department of Psychology and Department of Politics and International Relations. These will broaden your view of advanced criminal justice and human rights topics, and include Artificial Intelligence and the criminal justice system, political philosophy, psychological theories of the origins of offending, and many more (see What You’ll Study for more information about our modules).
- You’ll learn by doing, for example in the Criminal Evidence module, where you examine in chief and cross-examine witnesses in fictional criminal trials, before experienced barristers and Judges e.g. at the Old Bailey (the central criminal court) in London.
- You’ll learn from important legal thinkers, internationally leading barristers, judges and politicians. Our Law faculty and Visiting Professors include pioneering human rights and criminal justice experts such as Professor Dimitrios Giannoulopoulos, a leading authority on criminal process and human rights perspectives in Anglo-American and Continental European law; the director of leading human rights NGO Liberty, Martha Spurrier; the Chair of the Criminal Bar Association of England and Wales, Kirsty Brimelow KC; the founder of Reprieve, Clive Stafford-Smith, and Gresham Professor of Law, Leslie Thomas KC.
- We’re focussed on employability, and you’ll have the opportunity to gain practical experience through taking criminal justice placements and clinics modules (for credit). Our Careers Service is here to support you every step of the way.
- You’ll collaborate with renowned legal scholars, eminent legal practitioners and NGOs working in the field of Criminal Justice and International Human Rights, including foremost NGOs such as Fair Trials, Big Brother Watch, Reprieve as well as Liberty that leads on our pioneering 'Criminal Justice and Human Rights: NGO Advocacy, Litigation and Practice' module.
Study 21st century Law, and Law in context
As well as compulsory modules that provide you with a foundational knowledge of criminal justice and human rights theory and practice, you’ll have the opportunity to choose from a wide range of specialist criminal justice and human rights modules delivered by the Department of Law (module details below).
To diversify your studies, you’ll also be able to choose relevant optional modules from the Department of Politics and International Relations and the Department of Psychology.
Our curriculum has been built for the 21st-century landscape of Law, including subjects that range from AI and disruptive technologies to Art law and feminist approaches to human rights, NGO Advocacy in a polarised world and climate justice. You can find our full module list below.
Our students learn the law in action while helping local communities and developing crucial professional skills. Through our placement modules focussing on criminal justice and human rights, or by participating in Law Clinics.
Students currently have the opportunity to learn invaluable practical skills by taking part in the University of London Refugee Law Clinic or our Law and Policy clinics covering a wide range of topics.
Our leading researchers
You'll have unique access to influential legal thinkers who have undertaken high-level legal and policy work in government departments, international courts, prestigious research centres, boutique law firms and some of the top NGOs and human rights organisations in the UK. Find out more about our leading researchers.
Harvard Law School course
We are the first department outside the United States to offer free access to Harvard Law School’s pioneering Zero-L course.
Taught by 18 leading Harvard Law faculty members, it has hours of video lectures, vocabulary, and periodic comprehension checks that you can take at your own pace. The course modules cover a range of topics, including introduction to the legal profession, History of the American Constitution, separation of powers and federalism, stages of litigation and citizenship rights.
Materials developed by Goldsmiths Law academics to support the delivery of Zero-L direct you to key areas of interest in the programme and give you support to understand how Zero-L strengthens your understanding of English law and helps you to develop legal skills.
Clinics, Placements and Summer Internships
The LLM at Goldsmiths is unique in giving students access to Law and Policy Clinics for credit. In Goldsmiths’ Law and Policy Clinics, you'll confront challenging societal issues through supervised legal research and public engagement activity. Areas of research and public engagement activity covered by the Clinics include immigration, the law of financial wrongdoing, police interrogation, and counter-terrorism law.
We also offer our students access to the University of London’s Refugee Law Clinic (awarded Best Contribution by a Law School in the LawWorks and Attorney General Student Pro Bono Awards 2023).
Students can choose a Placement module as an option and are given access to summer internships with internationally leading faculty as well as social welfare placements in law centres and legal advice clinics across London.
Study abroad, international court visit and our Athens Summer School
We take our students on an annual international court visit. Read our blog to learn more about our visit to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg on February 2023, where students attended a Grand Chamber hearing and participated in a workshop with the UK Judge at the Court, Tim Eicke KC.
We organise an annual summer school in Athens, in collaboration with leading Universities there. The week-long intensive programme provides a range of courses (in e.g. refugee law and migration studies, EU law, criminal law, law and technology), connects our students with high-profile institutions and authorities there, such as the British Ambassador and British Council in Greece, as well as giving them unprecedented access to cultural visits and experiences. Read more about our summer schools in Athens in June 2022 and June 2023.
In recent years, our students have also attended summer schools at the University of Geneva and Amsterdam Law school.
Students are supported through substantial Department of Law scholarships to participate in our summer school and international court visit. Funding is reviewed on a yearly basis. To find out more about funding and other global opportunities at Goldsmiths, visit our Study Abroad pages.
Student life and student support
You'll belong to a close-knit community, and will be supported by a network which includes academic personal tutors, career advisers, disability officers and other student support staff. We work in small groups in lectures and research seminars, and immerse in legal London as a group on a regular basis. The legal, institutional and cultural experiences you will gain in the LLM Law will stay with you forever.
Find out more about student life and studying in London, explore 'a day in the life' in the Law department, and visit the Department of Law Instagram page for a behind-the-scenes look at what it's like to study Law at Goldsmiths.
Contact the department
If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Dimitrios Giannoulopoulos.