LLM (Public Law)—full-time and part-time

College of Business, Public Policy, & Law

Course overview

The LL.M in Public Law is a unique and dynamic programme that seeks to enhance the legal research and critical legal thinking skills of students.  The LL.M is designed for graduates who wish to work in the field of public law with government and non-governmental organisations at national and international level, as well as in private practice, especially with respect to public interest litigation.  Many graduates of the programme have gone on to careers in large commercial law firms. The individual modules are examined through a combination of oral presentations, written assignments and essays, which provide students with an invaluable opportunity to develop and improve their written and presentation communication skills.  The teaching philosophy of the LL.M in Public Law is to empower students to become active in the learning process through participation in small group seminars and through exploring and challenging important issues in public law and policy.  Students are encouraged and supported to attend conferences and seminars in Ireland and abroad that survey public law topics.  Leading national and international lawyers and academics contribute to the seminars on the LL.M in Public Law throughout the year.  Many of the modules on the LL.M in Public Law are unique to the programme and are not offered as courses elsewhere.  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, which is available here.

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.

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

Next start date: September 2015

Average intake: 25

Closing date: Please refer to the offer rounds/closing date webpage.

Mode of study: Taught

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. The programme is designed around two main themes: “the dynamics of law and social change” and “contemporary challenges in public law” and gives students a keen understanding of the most fertile areas and 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 along with an ability to appraise critically the problems which arise for law and policymakers in this extremely important area. They will also be given the training and practice necessary to perfect their research and writing skills which are so important for high achievement and effectiveness in furthering the public interest.

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

Foundational Courses (Mandatory):

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

Optional Courses:

  • Activism, Advocacy and Public Interest Law
  • Communications 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
  • Processes of Law Reform  
  • Sentencing and Penal Policy
  • The Criminal Jury
  • Theories of Judicial Activism

Applications and selections

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

Who teaches this course?

Mr. Charles O'Mahony
Dr. Ciara Smyth
Dr. Conor Hanly
Prof. Donncha O'Connell
Prof. Gerard Quinn
Mr. Larry Donnelly
Ms. Marie McGonagle
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.

Find out more

Download the newly updated LLM in Public Law brochure.

Contact the Programme Director:

Dr Charles O’Mahony
T: +353 91 494 391 
E: charles.omahony@nuigalway.ie

PAC code

GYL04, full-time
GYL05, part-time

Fees for this course

EU (Total): €6,015 p.a. 2014/15 (inclusive of Levy)
 - Tuition: €5,791 p.a. 2014/15
 - Student levy: €224 p.a. 2014/15
Non-EU (Total): €13,250 p.a. 2014/15

EU Full time programme:  €6,015 p.a.

EU Part time programme:  €3,065 p.a.