LLM Advanced Political and Legal Theory

Students listening in a seminar

Module leader: Dr Gavin Byrne

This module builds on the themes covered in undergraduate courses on Jurisprudence. As such, the module is only suitable for those who have already taken a Jurisprudence/Legal Theory course or who have a demonstrable background in philosophy. Teaching is delivered through two hour seminars which place a large onus on students to engage in independent work and research. Students are likely to find that this module complements their work in other areas by providing a high-end theoretical framework for their independent study. In particular, this module may cover material and develop skills that students will find helpful when it comes to the dissertation part of their LLM programme. Students that are interested in pursuing an academic career and/or PhD research at a later date are also likely to find this module particularly useful.

The aim of this module is to explore both the relationship between political and legal theory and some of the arguments and concepts used therein. The module will cover a range of specific topics including those set out below.

Seminar topics:

  • Equality
  • Neutrality
  • Liberty
  • Interpretation
  • Contractrianism
  • Communitarianism
  • “Normativity” in Law
  • Authority and Obligation
  • Rights

Methods of assessment

Modules on the LLM programmes will be assessed in one of the following ways. As this website is set up in advance, it is not possible to specify which method of assessment will be implemented for each module.


  • One 6000 word essay


  • One 3-hour written examination

If you'd like to find out how a module will be assessed in the forthcoming academic year please contact the LLM Programmes Administrator at Law-LLM@contacts.bham.ac.uk.



Modules and Courses are constantly updated and under review. As with most academic programmes, please remember that it is possible that a module may not be offered in any particular year, for instance because a member of staff is on study leave or too few students opt for it. The University of Birmingham reserves the right to vary or withdraw any course or module.