LLM in Criminal Law & Criminal Justice

Preparing for your studies at Edinburgh Law School

Preparatory Reading

The LLM in Criminal Law and Criminal Justice is designed for an international cohort of students. It does not require you to have detailed knowledge of the criminal law or criminal justice system of any particular jurisdiction, including Scotland and the UK. However, it is also a postgraduate law degree, designed for advanced students, and it does not provide an introduction to the basics of either field. You might therefore find it useful to do some preparatory reading before you arrive – especially if you have not studied law before, or if you are joining us from a non-English-speaking jurisdiction.

In particular, for the mandatory courses for the programme, it would be useful to have some background knowledge of both substantive and procedural criminal law. On the substantive law, we recommend the following books:

  • J Horder, Ashworth’s Principles of Criminal Law(9th edn, 2019) [a textbook focused on English criminal law, but also featuring useful discussion of the underlying principles and policy concerns]
  • GP Fletcher, Basic Concepts of Criminal Law(1998) [covers a similar range of issues but in a more comparative way, looking at different legal systems and traditions]

On criminal procedure, we recommend the following (both focused mainly on England and with very similar coverage):

  • L Campbell, A Ashworth and M Redmayne, The Criminal Process(5th edn, 2019)
  • L Welsh et al, Sanders and Young’s Criminal Justice(5th edn, 2021)

Finally, if you are already confident with the basics, then you might find it interesting to look at some recent issues of relevant journals, to get a sense of the issues that are currently being researched and debated. We would especially recommend the Criminal Law Review, which is the leading criminal law journal in the UK and targeted at both academic and practitioner audiences.

Planning your programme

The programme consists of 180 credits, comprising taught courses worth 120 credits (60 credits per semester) and a 10,000 word dissertation worth 60 credits. Full programme details are available on the University Degree Regulations and Programmes of Study website.

View full programme and course information for the LLM in Criminal Law and Criminal Justice

These courses are for the 2022/23 academic year. With the exception of compulsory courses, depending on demand, space on specific courses may be limited.

Get involved in the community

We are a community of active scholars and there is a wide range of projects, research groups, societies and communities in the School. As a student on the LLM in Criminal Law and Criminal Justice you may be particularly interested in the seminar series organised by the Criminal Law Discussion Group, as well as the Crime, Justice and Society seminars.

You may also wish to explore the Law Schools news and events pages or connect with the School on Social media, to ensure you get the latest information about what is happening across the community.