Course Overview

"Our ethos is change. This new programme aims to equip students not just with knowledge and insights but also with the skills and motivation to help transform the lives of the 650 million persons with disabilities in the world.  It is one of the first of its kind in the world."
     - Professor Quinn, Director of the Centre for Disability Law and Policy, NUI Galway

The introduction of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has resulted in significant changes in the area of Disability Law and Policy. The LLM in International and Comparative Disability Law and Policy addresses that and graduates from this programme will be the first to emerge skilled in this growing area of law and policy.

The mandatory modules address two issues, firstly, to provide students with an in-depth understanding of the core foundational themes in disability law and policy, secondly, to provide students with the necessary research skills to complete their programme of study. The optional modules address law and policy at internaitonal and regional level as well as some very topical subjects such as Legal Capacity, Independent Living, and Inclusive Education.


There are two very prestigious internships exclusively available to students on the LLM in International and Comparative Disability Law and Policy. The internships are based in Geneva with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Disability. The student interns will achieve unique access to the United Nations system.

Applications and Selections

Applications are made online via The Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC). Relevant PAC application code(s) above.

Who Teaches this Course

Academic staff from the School of Law, NUI Galway as well as international academics: including Prof. Gerard Quinn, Dr. Laurent Pech, Dr. Mary Keys, Ms. Shivaun Quinlivan.

Requirements and Assessment

A range of assessment methods are utilised including essays, projects, reports, presentations and case studies. A dissertation must also be submitted in August.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

Applicants must hold a Second Class Honours Grade 1 degree in law. In exceptional circumstances, applicants holding a degree in another discipline or a degree of less than a Second Class Honours Grade 1 standard may be considered where they have relevant professional experience in law or disability rights.

Additional Requirements


1 year, full-time
2 years, part-time

Next start date

September 2016

A Level Grades ()

Average intake


Closing Date

Please refer to the offer rounds/closing date webpage

Next start date

September 2016

NFQ level

Mode of study

Taught, via lectures, seminars, projects, and assignments.

ECTS weighting




PAC code

GYL11 (full-time)
GYL12 (part-time)

Course Outline

Students are required to take two mandatory subjects: Foundational Theoretical Framework for Disability Law and Policy and Law, Regulation and Policy.

Thereafter students may choose four optional modules from the following: US Disability Law and Policy; Irish Disability Law and Policy; Regional Disability Law and Policy; Law and Policy on Independent Living; Legal Capacity Law and Policy; Mental Health Law and Policy; Inclusive Education Law and Policy; Advocacy and Access to Justice; Contemporary Challenges in Disability Law and Policy; and Lifecourse Issues in Disability Law and Policy. Finally, over the summer months students will complete a Dissertation on a subject of their choosing.

This course load will be spread over two years for those opting for the part-time mode.

The benefit of studying this Masters lies in its uniqueness. Students will benefit from unprecedented access to international experts who participate in the programme throughout the year.

The programme is affiliated with the Centre for Disability Law and Policy (CDLP), which is a research centre of excellence at the School of Law, NUI Galway. The CDLP is dedicated to producing research that informs the debate on national and international disability law reform and policy. The formation of the centre coincided with one of the most intensive periods of disability law reform in Ireland as well as internationally. For more information visit

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

The majority of countries in the world are currently in the process of ratifying the new UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities creating a real demand for skilled knowledge workers to help states draft their legislation and policy in this field. This programme is aimed at those who work in governmental and non-governmental organisations as well as for those who wish to progress to doctoral research.

Graduates have been hired by such companies as the National Advocacy body, Inclusion International, and Zafod (disability public interest litigation firm in Zambia). Some have gone on to pursue further research, e.g., one graduate has embarked on the DREAM PhD programme (36K per annum funding).

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes

Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€6,015 p.a. 2015/16

Fees: Tuition

€5,791 p.a. 2015/16

Fees: Student levy

€224 p.a. 2015/16

Fees: Non EU

€13,250 p.a. 2015/16

EU Full time programme:  €6,015 p.a.  (GYL11 / 1ML17); EU Part time programme:  €3,065 p.a. (GYL12 / 1ML18)

Postgraduate students in receipt of a SUSI grant – please note an F4 grant is where SUSI will pay €2,000 towards your tuition.  You will be liable for the remainder of the total fee.  An F5 grant is where SUSI will pay TUITION up to a maximum of €6,270.  SUSI will not cover the student levy of €224.

Find out More

Shivaun Quinlivan (Programme Director)

Videos and more information online here .

What Our Students Say


Elizabeth Kamundia |    

The LL.M in International and Comparative Disability Law and Policy offered at the NUI Galway is fantastic! It has equipped me with an in-depth understanding of disability human rights, and the opportunity to study under world renowned experts in disability is one not to be passed up! The programme attracts students from all over the world, creating an exchange of perspectives and realities that is truly stimulating. It avails of numerous conferences to enrich student experience, and last but not least, the school is situated in the beautiful seaside town of Galway. I would highly recommend it!

Charlotte May-Simera |    

I think this course has provided me with the necessary tools to understand the development of disability law and policy across the globe. Not only has it provided a detailed insight and understanding of the purpose and implications of the UN CRPD, it has also addressed contemporary, practical everday life issues that effect persons with disabilities. I feel well equipped to address any disability issues, whther legislative, theoretical or practical. Embedded within the Centre of Disability Law and Policy, this course greatly benefitted from an active environment and experts that worked in the centre.

Aisling Glynn |    

This is an exceptionally interesting course. The modules are unique and the lecturers are extremely knowledgeable, enthusiastic and approachable. I particularly like the emphasis on applying law and policy into practice in order to positively impact on the lives of disabled people


Former President of Ireland, Dr Mary Robinson pictured with Elizabeth Kamundia. Elizabeth was the recipient of the Gold Medal for finishing top of the inaugural graduating class of the LLM (International and Comparative Disability Law).