UCL Faculty of Laws


LLM in Public Law

Professor Jeff King, Professor of Law at UCL Faculty of Laws, shares some further information on the LLM in Public Law for prospective students:

What are the backgrounds or interests of students who normally select this specialism?

Students taking this specialism will have an interest in constitutional, administrative and human rights law, as well as related subjects such as EU law, data-protection, and law and regulation. The relationships between law and democracy, and law and social and political affairs are key themes in this specialism and are central to all its courses.

What do you think are the top three highlights of this specialism? 
The top three highlights of this specialism are (1) the topicality of constitutional affairs and public law, whether it is concerned with regulating data, constitutional reform, EU governance or comparative human rights; (2) the combination of award-winning scholarly depth together with concrete engagement with public institutions, including both international institutions and domestic institutions such as the UK Parliament and the law courts; and (3) the fact that UCL Laws offers exceptional talent in the field of constitutional and legal theory, which gives a depth to classroom discussion and written work that is rare.
What do students who have studied this specialism usually go on to do?

Students have gone on either to study for a PhD and become scholars, or work for government or as public law barristers or solicitors, either in government, private practice or for the not-for-profit sector. 

Which books, podcasts, blogs or newspapers do you recommend to students interested in taking this specialism? 

I would recommend students read the UK Constitutional Law Blog, the Verfassungsblog, and the I·CONnect blog; that they peruse recent issues of Current Legal Problems (looking for public law articles), International Journal of Constitutional Law, and Global Constitutionalism  for recent issues; and that they read up on apex level public law litigation in the US, UK, Canada, India, South Africa and Germany (much of which is found in the I·CONnect updates). Good books include:

  • Bingham, Tom (2011) The Rule of Law. Penguin: UK.
  • Loughlin, Martin (2013) The British Constitution: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press: Oxford.
  • For a topographical survey of contemporary public law written from a comparative perspective, see Fisher, Elizabeth; King, Jeff and Young, Alison (eds.) (2020) The Foundations and Future of Public Law: Essays in Honour of Paul Craig. Oxford University Press: Oxford.
What would you say to a student who is considering taking this specialism but hasn’t made up their mind yet?

It is very wide-ranging, not particularly doctrinal, and is aimed to help you think more deeply about public law issues and put such arguments into legal form, whether for the purposes of litigation or law reform. Further, students can opt to specialise more on UK and EU law and constitutional affairs, including on national security and data-protection law, or on comparative studies as in comparative constitutional law, constitutional theory, and law and religion. You can take the specialism in a more practice-oriented UK direction or towards a more theoretical and comparative direction. 

Find out how to apply to one of our LLM programmes