3 years full-time
Politics and International Relations
Law is ‘part of a larger system of public decision-making. The rest is politics: the politics of ministers and legislators, of political parties, of media and pressure groups, and of the wider electorate’ (Jonathan Sumption, Trials of the State: Law and the Decline of Politics, 2019).
This Qualifying Law Degree (QLD) will allow you to obtain your LLB while also immersing yourself in the study of Politics, with a focus on modern threats to democracy and human rights, and the interactions between Law and Politics required to effectively counter these threats at the local, national, and global level.
Study across disciplines
You will gain an interdisciplinary understanding of how the UK political system shapes Law. This LLB programme will allow you to explore the fascinating and complex interactions between law and politics. It will also give you an insight into how Law determines the parameters of the political system, defines the distribution of power between branches of government, and allows us to hold our elected representatives accountable, particularly through constitutional and human rights law.
Instead of studying Law in isolation, you will study it in its cultural, economic, and socio-political contexts. You will complement your knowledge of core Law subjects with key concepts in political theory and ideologies, UK and comparative governance, and world politics. The modules you choose from the Department of Law will be complemented by modules from the Department of Politics and International Relations to give you a holistic understanding of the system by exposing you to fundamental political concepts on the one hand, and the legislative structures they operate within on the other.
Prepare yourself for a career in Law
This programme is recognised by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and Bar Standards Board (BSB), and has been specifically designed to provide graduates with a solid foundation to tackle the new Solicitors’ Qualifying Examinations (SQE), and the equivalent training and qualification process for becoming a barrister.
Engage in real-world learning
Goldsmiths is based in New Cross, a vibrant area in one of the most diverse cities in the world, just 10 minutes from London Bridge. Our location, and the way we draw on it, are both key parts of what makes this programme so active.
You will go out on study visits to explore legal and political London, for example to the House of Commons, the House of Lords, Parliamentary Select Committees, the UK Supreme Court, the Law Society, and the Inns of Court.
You will also attend classes by renowned international scholars, attend high-impact research events, and have the opportunity to connect with world-leading Law Schools (our annual lectures in 2019 and 2020 were delivered by Stanford Law and Berkeley Law academics respectively). You will be taught by Judges, barristers, solicitors, Parliamentary legal counsels, MPs, MEPs, and human rights experts.
The programme will enable you to connect with leading organisations and individuals that bring life to the question of law and politics, such as one of the UK’s foremost human rights NGOs, Liberty, whose director, Martha Spurrier, is a visiting Law professor at Goldsmiths, or the Bar Human Rights Committee, whose first Chairwoman, Kirsty Brimelow QC, works very closely with this programme in her role as Visiting Professor.
Our outstanding team of visiting professors includes other eminent legal practitioners, such as Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, a distinguished barrister who has led on war crime prosecutions, and Alison Levitt QC, who was Principal Legal Adviser to the Director of Public Prosecutions. Goldsmiths Law also has the privilege of welcoming Dominic Grieve QC as visiting professor. The former Attorney General (2010-2014) is one of the UK's foremost legal and political thinkers, and has also served as shadow Attorney General, shadow Home Secretary, and shadow Justice Secretary. His work in Parliament on civil liberties and the Rule of Law has been recognised by two awards – Parliamentarian of the Year in 2005, and a Liberty Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014.
As a student on this programme, you will be exposed to Goldsmiths Department of Law’s pioneering teaching methods, which embed experiential learning activities such as parliamentary debating, simulated thinktank/public policy exercises, film screenings, immersive theatre, and public speaking exercises, as well as study visits to Parliament and the Royal Courts of Justice.
You will also be able to take part in a wide range of Clinics, including:
- the pioneering Refugee Law Clinic, ran by the University of London, where you will be able to work with students from UCL, the LSE, Queen Mary, Birkbeck, and fellow Law Schools at the University of London, under the supervision of an experienced solicitor
- Our Law and Policy Clinics, where you will work with leading scholars and legal practitioners, on immigration law, counter-terrorism and human rights, financial wrongdoing and suspects’ rights at the police station
- Our Human Rights Law Clinic, which is embedded in the third year Human Rights Law module
You will also be given access to the Department of Politics’ lively events programme, which will allow you to encounter (and challenge) the latest political arguments, theories, and ideas.
Contact the department
If you have specific questions about the degree, contact the Department of Law.
What you'll study
For 2020–21, we have made some changes to how the teaching and assessment of certain programmes are delivered. To check what changes affect this programme, please visit the Programme Changes page
In your first year, you will take the following compulsory modules:
- Public Law and the Human Rights Act
- Criminal Law: Theory and Practice
- Contract Law
- English Legal Institutions in a Global Context
- 21st Century Legal Skills
In your second year, you will take the following compulsory modules:
- Modern Political Theory (Politics dept)
- EU Law in the UK
- Tort Law
- Land Law
In your third year, you will study the following compulsory modules:
- Law and Politics dissertation
- Human Rights Law or Human Rights Law (with Goldsmiths’ Human Rights Clinic)
You will take 45 credits of Politics and International Relations modules from a list provided annually by the Department. These may include:
- Contemporary Theories of Justice
- Philosophy, Freedom and Existence
- Armed Politics and Political Violence
- The Politics of Popular Music
- Feminist Politics
- Colonialism and Non-Western Political Thought
You will take 15 credits of Law modules from a list provided annually by the Department. These may include:
- AI, Disruptive Technologies and the Law
- Media Law and Ethics
- Commercial Law and International Trade Agreements
- Company Law
- Art Law
Credits and levels of learning
An undergraduate honours degree is made up of 360 credits – 120 at Level 4, 120 at Level 5 and 120 at Level 6. If you are a full-time student, you will usually take Level 4 modules in the first year, Level 5 in the second, and Level 6 modules in your final year. A standard module is worth 30 credits. Some programmes also contain 15-credit half modules or can be made up of higher-value parts, such as a dissertation or a Major Project.
Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.
We accept the following qualifications:
International Baccalaureate: 33
Access: 60 credits overall with 33 distinctions and distinctions/merits in related subject
We also accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.
If English isn’t your first language, you will need an IELTS score (or equivalent English language qualification) of 6.5 with a 6.5 in writing and no element lower than 6.0 to study this programme. If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for degree-level study.
Fees & funding
Annual tuition fees
These are the fees for students starting their programme in the 2021/2022 academic year.
From August 2021 EU/EEA/Swiss nationals will no longer be eligible for 'Home' fee status. EU/EEA/Swiss nationals will be classified as 'International' for fee purposes, more information can be found on our fees page.
- Home - full-time: £9250
- International - full-time: £17050
It’s not currently possible for international students to study part-time if you require a Tier 4 student visa, however this is currently being reviewed and will be confirmed in the new year. Please read our visa guidance in the interim for more information. If you think you might be eligible to study part-time while being on another visa type, please contact our Admissions Team for more information.
If you are looking to pay your fees please see our guide to making a payment.
In addition to your tuition fees, you'll be responsible for any additional costs associated with your course, such as buying stationery and paying for photocopying. You can find out more about what you need to budget for on our study costs page.
There may also be specific additional costs associated with your programme. This can include things like paying for field trips or specialist materials for your assignments. Please check the programme specification for more information.