Course Overview

The LLM in Public Law suite of programmes examines emerging and topical issues in public law from a comparative and international perspective. The programmes will be of interest to students who have completed their primary law degree as well as legal practitioners, public servants and others seeking to develop or update their knowledge of public law and legal research skills.

Students may be awarded the degree of LL.M in Public Law or can opt for a specialised denomination by taking specific optional modules. The specialisations are:

  • LL.M in Public Law & Criminal Justice,
  • LL.M in Public Law & Social Justice or
  • LL.M in Public Law & Administration.

Special Features:

  • Seminars: Teaching takes the form of small group seminars, which are complemented by presentations from guest speakers who are experts in the field.
  • Conferences: Students are also encouraged to attend and, where possible, present papers at relevant conferences.
  • Journals: Students are also encouraged to publish some of their work in student and mainstream law journals.

Applications and Selections

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

Who Teaches this Course

  • Dr. Charles O'Mahony
  • Dr. Eoin Daly
  • Dr. Ciara Smyth
  • Dr. Conor Hanly
  • Prof. Donncha O'Connell
  • Prof. Gerard Quinn
  • Mr. Larry Donnelly
  • Dr. Ioanna Tourkochoriti
  • Dr. Mary Keys
  • Dr. Padraic Kenna
  • Ms. Shivaun Quinlivan
  • Mr. Tom O'Malley

Requirements and Assessment

Assessment in the individual modules comprises a combination of presentations, written assignments and essays. Students are also required to submit a minor thesis.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

Applicants must have a degree in law (Honours 2.1 or higher) or an interdisciplinary degree, which includes a substantial law component (Honours 2:1 or equivalent). In exceptional circumstances, applicants who hold a degree other than a law degree and who have relevant education and/or professional experience in law may be considered.

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


ECTS weighting



PAC code

GYL04, full-time
GYL05, part-time

Course Outline

The programme aims to provide a solid grounding in the theory, substance and application of Public Law for future practitioners, academics and policy makers, and gives students a keen understanding of the most pressing issues for public interest litigation in both the state and private sectors. Led by a dynamic team of experts at NUI Galway, with national, European and international teaching and research profiles, students will acquire expertise in their chosen subjects across a range of different areas, with a focus particularly on law reform, social justice, policy and administration. Students can now obtain an LLM in Public Law or choose to specialise for an award of LLM in Public Law & Criminal Justice, LLM in Public Law & Social Justice or LLM in Public Law & Administration. The programme also puts a strong emphasis on research and presentation skills.

Foundational Courses (Mandatory):

  • Advanced Legal Research and Methods   
  • Law, Regulation and Policy
  • Minor Thesis

Optional Courses:

  • Activism, Advocacy and Public Interest Law
  • Comparative Criminal Process
  • Contemporary Issues in Law and Society
  • Disability Law: Contemporary Law Reform Challenges in the National and International Sphere
  • Equality Law: Principles and Thematic Application
  • Immigration Law: Between Sovereignty and Equality
  • Local Government Law
  • Minors, Minority Groups and the Criminal Justice System
  • Processes of Law Reform  
  • Sentencing and Penal Policy
  • The Criminal Jury
  • Theories of Judicial Activism

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

The LL.M in Public Law favourably situates students to pursue a career as solicitors or barristers or to pursue a variety of other job opportunities. Graduates go on to work in private practice in large commercial law firms or working in the public sector. The programme provides excellent opportunities for students not wishing to practice law to pursue alternative careers in law. Graduates of the LL.M in Pubic Law have secured positions as legal researchers with the Law Reform Commission, Attorney General’s Office, Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Court Service. Graduates also secure positions with leading national and international law firms and a range of other employers.

The LL.M in Public Law is of interest to students interested in a career in academia. Graduates of the programme have secured funding to pursue Ph.D research in Ireland, the UK, Europe and the US and are now working in universities around the world. Students on the LL.M in Public Law use the programme to identify topics for doctoral research. Students of the LL.M have been successfully in securing funding for Ph.D research from the Irish Research Council, the NUI Travelling Scholarship and from international funders in Europe and the United States.

For further graduate testimonials please consult the LLM in Public Law brochure.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes

Work Placement

One of the unique aspects of the LL.M in Public Law is that students on the programme have the opportunity to take up funded international internships during the summer. The scholarships are open to all students enrolled on the LL.M in Public Law and are awarded on the basis of an application and interview. Students have completed internships with the Mental Disability Advocacy Centre in Budapest, JUSTICE in London and the Court of Appeal in the Seychelles.

In addition, students of the LL.M in Public Law have been successful in securing national internships with the Courts Service, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, PILA, FLAC and solicitors’ firms.

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.; EU Part time programme:  €3,065 p.a.

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

Download the newly updated LLM in Public Law brochure. For more information on the programme and an overview of some of the distinctive and diverse courses on offer on the LL.M in Public Law please visit our YouTube account.

Contact the Programme Directors:

Dr Charles O’Mahony
T: +353 91 494 391