LLM Programme

The taught modules offered on the LLM programme vary from year to year. Please check the full list of taught modules list for details of modules running in specific academic years. We make every effort to ensure that every module will be offered, but modules are subject to change and cancellation. You are therefore advised to check this site regularly for further updates throughout the year preceding entry to the LLM programme.

Credit value: 30 credits (12 ECTS)
Module Convenor: Professor Roger O’Keefe Other Teachers: N/A


The protection of the tangible and intangible cultural heritage—that is, of buildings and other monuments of historic, artistic or architectural significance, of archaeological sites, of artworks, antiquities, manuscripts, books and archives, on the one hand, and of oral traditions and expressions, of performing arts, of social practices, rituals and festive events, and of traditional knowledge and craftsmanship, on the other—now ranks alongside the protection of the natural environment as a mainstream concern of public international law. The module examines in depth this body of ‘international cultural heritage law’, situating its various parts in relation to each other, to more general principles of public international law and to broader issues in cultural heritage preservation.


1. Introduction

2. Protection of cultural property in armed conflict

3. Prohibition and prevention of unlawful traffic in cultural property

4. Protection of the ‘world’ cultural heritage

5. Protection of the underwater cultural heritage

6. Restitution and return of unlawfully appropriated or exported cultural property

7. Compensation for unlawful destruction and plunder of cultural property

8. Return of cultural property lawfully removed from countries of origin

9. Protection of the intangible cultural heritage

10. Cultural heritage and international human rights law

11. Cultural heritage and international criminal law

12. Settlement of international cultural heritage disputes

13. Conclusions

Background Reading (optional):

It is recommended that students purchase Craig Forrest, International Law and the Protection of Cultural Heritage (Routledge, 2010), which is available online.

For those students with no previous knowledge of public international law, it would help to read Vaughan Lowe, International Law (2007).

Module reading lists and other module materials will be provided via online module pages, once students have made their module selections upon enrolment in September.

Delivery and enrolment
Lectures/Seminars: 20 x 2-hour seminars
Tutorials: 8 x 1-hour tutorials
Previous module enrolments: N/A – This module will run for the first time in 2014/15
Who may enrol: LLM students
Prerequisities: There are no formal prerequisites, although a familiarity with public international law is advantageous.
Barred module combinations: None
Core Module for LLM specialism: International Law
Final Assessment: 3-hour unseen written examination
Practice Assessment: Opportunity for feedback on one optional 1500 word practice essay per term


The application process for the 2014-15 academic session, for entry in September 2014, is now closed.

Information regarding applications for September 2015 will be updated on the website in September 2014.

IMPORTANT NOTICE : Updated 28 May 2014

The Home Office issued an update about the acceptance of ETS tests (including TOEFL). They have now confirmed that Higher Education students applying for a Tier 4 visa may use a TOEFL test taken after 17 April, if a Higher Education Institution is willing to use its academic discretion. For those students entering in September 2014, UCL will continue to accept the TOEFL even if it was taken after 17 April. However, if an applicant still needs to book a test then we recommend that they take an alternative test to TOEFL. Those who have already arranged to take a different test following the previous advice from the Home Office, we encourage you to go ahead with taking the alternative test.

The TOEFL test will continue to be accepted for 2014 entrants who have been asked to take an English language qualification as part of their offer condition, and do not need to apply for a visa to study in the UK.