LLM European Law & Public Affairs

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 90)

This programme offers a genuinely inter-disciplinary approach to European studies for law students in order to analyse how our understanding of the nature of the European Union is shaped by our particular disciplinary perspectives. Students will be challenged to think outside the box of their discipline within the core modules and to develop their discursive skills in relation to their twin discipline. Members of staff in the Sutherland School of Law have engaged in major research in this area spanning the full range of European Law from the institutional structure of the EU to critiques of existing area of EU law such as competition law and environmental law. 
  • To understand and think critically about the intersections between law, politics and international relations that come to the fore in the study of EU law;
  • To apply their knowledge and understanding of EU law, political theory and international relations to real and hypothetical factual situations;
  • To conduct independent research and write coherent, well-structured papers.


Full Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. No

Full Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. Yes

Part Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. No

The Sutherland School of Law offers a wide range of modules for the Masters programmes. Modules of especial interest to those undertaking this programme include:


Law and Governance of the EU - asks the question: what is the role of law in the governance of the EU? This involves identifying and analysing the nature of the rule of law, the constitutionalisation of the EU and the nature of governance in general and in the EU in particular. Having briefly reviewed EU legal structures, the module turns to specific examples of governance structures in the EU especially networks and soft law noting their relationship with hard law and the extent to which they challenge or meet rule of law requirements such as accountability. In the process the interplay of law and governance in particular sectors such as fiscal governance, competition and the internal market are analysed.

Politics European Governance - This course analyses the institutions, actors and policy-making processes in the European Union (EU). How does the EU manage to cope with heterogeneity of interests, ideas, actors, and policy problems? Can European governance be effective and democratic? The class develops theory-driven answers to these questions. In addition, it analyses important themes of EU research (including how the EU actually makes decisions from a negotiation perspective, what determines whether or not member states comply with these decisions, the effects of enlargement, and the relationship between transparency and democracy to name but a few).

EU Trip - It is a study trip to EU institutions (Commission, Parliament, Court and possibly others e.g. EIB, and a law firm) with related seminars and classes in advance in UCD. The aim is to provide insight into the workings of the law and governance of the EU through a series of meetings in Brussels and Luxembourg over four days. By the end of the trip students will have developed a much better sense of the symbiotic relationship between politics and law in the way the EU is governed. The day to day interactions of those working in the institutuions will be observed and a much better sense will be achieved of the different nature and roles of the key law and policy-making institutions. 


The Comparative International and European Law (CIEL) programme is an exchange programme for registered full-time LLM students. The programme includes joint thesis supervision with academic colleagues at both the home and host institution. Upon successful completion students are awarded the CIEL certificate in addition to their LLM award.


Maastricht University (Courses through English: English as first language or an overall score of score 6.5 in IELTS)

Universität Mannheim (Courses through German: German as first language, Leaving Certificate B2 or equivalent)

Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Courses through English: English as first language or an overall score of score 6.5 in IELTS)

Université Toulouse 1 Capitole (Courses through French: French as first language, Leaving Certificate B2 or equivalent)

University of Antwerp (Courses through English: English as first language or an overall score of score 6.5 in IELTS)

University of Zagreb (Courses through English: English as first language or an overall score of score 6.5 in IELTS)


Students admitted to LLM programmes holding a 2:1 in their undergraduate Law degree and relevant language results are eligible to apply in late September/Early October when they have begun their programme. Spaces are allocated on a competitive basis. Open to September start students only.​


LLM Exchange to the University of Melbourne

Sutherland School of Law will offer one full-time registered LLM, September start, student the opportunity to spend Semester Two of their full-time LLM programme in the University of Melbourne. This is open only to students admitted to an LLM programme holding a high 2:1 in their undergraduate Law degree. Allocation will be based on academic performance to date and interview. Application to this will open in October.


Additional Notes for Applicants:

  • Please note that the Part Time programme has the same timetable as the full time programme but is held over 2 years rather than 1 year.
  • January start full time students will be expected to submit a dissertation title as soon as they have registered for the programme, January, and will have to submit a proposal and poster within the first  weeks of their first  semester.
  • There will be dissertation seminars in weeks 1-4 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays 11-1pm (Jan-May term)

This programme will enable you to qualify in the legal profession while specialising in European law and public affairs. It is also the ideal platform from which to pursue a career in the European public service,e.g. European Commission and European Courts of Justice.

Several UCD careers events are held throughout the year, including dedicated law careers fairs which are attended by top employers. For specific careers advice, the UCD Sutherland School of Law has a dedicated careers advisor on its academic faculty, Dr Oonagh Breen.

View All Modules Here

The LLM requires the completion of 90 ECTS. The dissertation is worth 30 ECTS and there is a dissertation seminar in semester 2 for 2 hours per week with the dissertation being completed in Semester 3.

The typical enrolment for a full-time student is 3 modules in Semester 1 and 2. Although all modules are available, students on this programme usually choose from the following modules. 

Part-time students, taking the degree over two years, should note that classes are as for those taking the full time option, but will take less credits per semester as they have 2 years to complete this programme.

For January start Full Time students the Dissertation seminars begin straight away and the dissertation will take place during the summer

LLM European Law & Public Affairs (B300) Full Time
EU          fee per year - € 8600
nonEU    fee per year - € 18300

LLM European Law & Public Affairs (B301) Part Time
EU          fee per year - € 4300
nonEU    fee per year - € 9150

LLM European Law & Public Affairs (B406) Full Time
EU          fee per year - € 8600
nonEU    fee per year - € 18300

***Fees are subject to change

Tuition fee information is available on the UCD Fees website. Please note that UCD offers a number of graduate scholarships for full-time, self-funding international students, holding an offer of a place on a UCD graduate degree programme. For further information please see International Scholarships. EU Students see http://www.ucd.ie/law/study/scholarships/

The Law School organises a field trip to the EU institutions in Brussels and Luxembourg in March. There is a charge for this trip with a scholarship also available.

Degree Requirements

  • Applicants must hold a Law degree, or an inter-disciplinary degree in which law was a major component. Applicants must have achieved at least an upper second class honours or equivalent.
  • Applicants holding a Graduate Diploma in Law may be considered but will normally be admitted only where they can show an exceptionally strong performance in both their undergraduate degree and diploma.
  • Exemption from these requirements may be given to those with significant, relevant, practical experience or those with a graduate qualification at Masters level or higher in a relevant discipline. Such applicants should state clearly in their application why they feel their qualifications/experiences are appropriate for admission to the programme.

 English Language Requirements

  • Applicants whose first language is not English must submit satisfactory evidence of competence in written and spoken English, i.e. overall IELTS 6.5 (including a minimum of 6.5 in the reading and writing parts and no part below 6.0) or 90 in the TOEFL iBT (with a minimum of 22 (reading) and 24 (writing) and no part below 20.) The test results must be less than 2 years old.
  • The School encourages all applicants whose first language is not English to attend the pre-sessional English programme offered by the UCD Applied Language Centre, details of which are available at www.ucd.ie/alc.
  •  International applicants should visit the UCD International Office website (www.ucd.ie/international) for information regarding our campus, location of UCD, visa information, registration and orientation.
  • Application Procedure

    Applicants should indicate which programme they are applying for. All applicants should note:

  • Official transcripts must be submitted as proof of examination results by all applicants except UCD graduates.
  • The personal statement is an important component of the application. It should contain information demonstrating your capability to undertake the course successfully. You should detail any relevant research and practical experience including any publications and major essays/projects.
  • Applicants must nominate two academic referees (name, position, postal address, e-mail address and telephone number). If an applicant has been in employment for more than two years, one of the referees must be your employer.
  • Please note: If you are offered a place on the LLM programme, accepting that place is a two-part process. You must submit an on-line acceptance and you must also pay a non-refundable deposit (normally €500) within 15 working days of the date of your offer letter.

    Letter Of Recommendation

  • Justine McCann 
    UCD Sutherland School of Law, 
    University College Dublin, 
    Dublin 4 

    Telephone (01) 716 4109
    E-mail: lawpostgraduate@ucd.ie

Graham Butler, LLM ELPA
Graduate 2013

As a graduate of Business and Law, I took a keen interest in EU affairs and sought to pursue a LLM in European Law and Public Affairs at UCD. It is an ideal graduate programme for those interested in law, political, international relations, the EU and current affairs. The course offers a healthy mixture of legal subjects pertaining to the European Union, in addition to politics and international relations, which perfectly complement each other. Studying EU law in all its various forms really enhanced my education and the formulation and application of EU law throughout the EU member states. At UCD, time spent outside the lectures is just as important as the ones inside. This masters degree offers students the opportunity to develop the edge that is vital for competing in a competitive graduate environment. Having previously worked as a parliamentary assistant in Dáil Éireann, I currently am a PhD Fellow at the Centre for Comparative and European Constitutional Studies at the Faculty of Law in the University of Copenhagen where I lecture in EU International Relations Law.

The following entry routes are available:

LLM European Law & Public Affairs FT (B300)
1 Years
Full Time
LLM European Law & Public Affairs PT (B301)
2 Years
Part Time

* Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised