Criminal Law and Procedure LLM - University of Sunderland

Course overview

Are you looking for a thorough knowledge of criminal law and procedure in order to support your career plans? Our specialist postgraduate legal training is particularly relevant for those who are looking for higher-level roles within the legal profession, police, probation service, prison service and HM Revenue and Customs.

Our Master of Laws will add to your credentials in an area in which you already practise or are proposing to work. The Law Department at Sunderland is well-respected and was ranked 'internationally excellent' in the Latest Research Excellence Framework (REF).

You will undertake two core modules: ‘Criminal Law: Theory and Doctrine’ and ‘Law, Society and the State’. You will also choose a further two options that match your particular career ambitions and intellectual interests.

Your Masters dissertation is an opportunity to develop rigorous research skills and to explore a topic that you negotiate with your tutors. We provide expert supervision, drawing on our own research and the latest academic approaches and evidence base.

Our teaching methods include weekly three-hour workshops. You will be expected to prepare thoroughly, respond to new ideas and contribute to vibrant and thought-provoking sessions.

Course content

Modules on this course include:

  • Advanced Legal Skills (30 Credits)
  • International Perspective in Law (30 Credits)
  • International Human Rights Law (30 Credits)
  • Legal Research Project (30 Credits)
  • Dissertation (60 Credits)

Teaching and assessment

We use a wide variety of teaching and learning methods which include weekly three-hour workshops. These are interactive and require a high level of preparation. The research project and dissertation are supervised by your tutor.

Compared to an undergraduate course, you will find that this Masters course requires a higher level of independent working.

Assessment is by written coursework, usually a 6,000 word essay for each taught module. Information about our policies relating to student experience and quality assurance processes can be found on the Academic Services website.

Facilities & location

Course location

This course is based on the banks of the River Wear at the Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter’s. It looks out over the River Wear and is less than a mile from the seaside.

Mock courtroom

We are one of the few universities in the UK to have a mock court that allows you to develop advocacy skills and apply legal knowledge in a realistic environment. The mock court is also used for mooting competitions. It’s one of the features that ranked Sunderland second in the UK for Course Satisfaction and Student Satisfaction with Teaching (source: The Guardian University Guide 2014).

Law Library

The Law Library, which is located within the St Peter’s Library, offers an excellent selection of books. There is also a range of electronic sources of information such as Lexis and West Law.

University Library Services

The University boasts a collection of more than 430,000 books with many more titles available through the inter-library loan service. There are nearly 9,000 journal titles, mostly in electronic format. Each year the University invests around £1 million in new resources.

IT provision

When it comes to IT provision you can take your pick from hundreds of PCs as well as Apple Macs in the David Goldman Informatics Centre and St Peter’s Library. There are also free WiFi zones throughout the campus. If you have any problems, just ask the friendly helpdesk team.

Learning environment

Sunderland offers a vibrant learning environment with an international dimension thanks to the presence of students from around the world. At the same time, the University is fully plugged into relevant professional organisations, with strong links and an exchange of ideas and people.


The Reg Vardy Centre

The Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter's, St Peter's Way, Sunderland, SR6 0DD

Entry requirements

We usually require applicants to hold at least a 2:2 degree in law or a related discipline. We also welcome applications from those with an appropriate level of relevant professional experience.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

If you feel you already know some of the topics covered in this course, either due to previous learning or from experience of work, then you may not need to study all of the course.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) is the name given to the process of gaining credit towards a qualification because of something you have learnt in the past. If you are eligible for APL you won't have to learn the same topic again, and so you can be exempt from a module, set of modules or year of a course. 

Read more about APL in the Quality Handbook (.pdf). If you think you may be eligible for APL, please contact the course leader.

If English is not your first language, please see our English language requirements.

Fees & finance

Postgraduate loans

From 2016/17, tuition fee loans will be available to UK/EU postgraduate students for the first time. Find out more about the eligibility criteria.


The annual fee for this course is:

  • £4,750 if you are from the UK / EU
  • £11,500 if you are an International student

If you are not sure whether you qualify as a UK, EU or International student, please see the International section of this website.

Employment & careers

This LLM course equips you with advanced skills and knowledge in a specialised area of law. As a result, you will have an important edge when applying for roles in the Crown Prosecution Service, police, and prison or probation services. Salaries of law graduates are among the highest of all graduates.

You will also be better equipped for applying for training contracts or pupillages if this is appropriate to your career stage.

In addition, a Masters degree will enhance opportunities in academic roles or further study towards a PhD.

The Enterprise Place

If you have a good idea for a new business and have the dedication and motivation to make it happen, then we want to hear from you. The Enterprise Place, based on-campus at St Peter's Gate Business Centre, is the perfect environment for entrepreneurial students and graduates to turn their business ideas into reality. You will have access to free hot desk space, IT facilities, specialist advice and support and business mentors and networking opportunities.

To find out more about how we can help you start a business, please contact the University's Enterprise Team:

Tel: 0191 515 3751


Support for your learning

From the start of the course you will be allocated a Personal Tutor who will meet with you at agreed times throughout your course. Personal Tutors encourage your personal development and are a useful point of contact for any queries about your course, extracurricular activities and issues where they can point you towards specialist services at the University. These include student counselling, financial advice and chaplaincy support.

All students at Sunderland Business School have access to our Student Academic Advisors. They provide workshops on study skills and follow up with one-to-one support and guidance.

Support for your development

To help ensure the course is meeting aspirations for personal development, we invite students to fill in questionnaires at the end of modules. This provides a structured way for you to keep us up-to-date with your views.

During your course, and particularly towards the end of it, we encourage you to make full use of the resources at our Careers & Employability Service. The Service helps you explore career opportunities and make effective applications.

Extracurricular activities

The University supports student-led initiatives that enhance the extracurricular activities available to you. Some of these are related to particular subjects while others allow you to pursue interests and social activities. It’s all part of the vibrant and life-changing atmosphere at the University of Sunderland.

For more information about all the support services you will have access to as a Sunderland student, please see Student support and guidance.

Apply for this course

To apply for this course use the relevant link below.

    Next Open Day

  • For further information on future postgraduate events, please contact the Student Helpline on +44 (0)191 515 3000.

Contact Sunderland

Programme Leader
Ashley Lowerson

Contact the Student Helpline for further information about studying at the Universty of Sunderland:

Tel: 0191 515 3000


The details

Course Name Criminal Law and Procedure
Classification LLM
Course Mode Full-time
Course Level Postgraduate
Duration 1 year
Study Location On-campus (Sunderland)
Starting 16 October 2017
UK/EU Fee £4750
Intl Fee £11500

Entry requirements

2:2 or above in Law

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