Legal Aspects of Medical Practice (LLM)

In recent years, the law relating to medicine and healthcare has become increasingly complex. This has significant consequences for medical practices and questions of legal liability and compensation. This programme aims to provide a sound knowledge of the legal rules applicable to the practice and administration of healthcare.

In recent years, the law relating to medicine and healthcare has become increasingly complex and patients are becoming more aware of their legal rights. This has significant consequences for medical practices and questions of legal liability and compensation.  Changes in the structure of the NHS are also giving rise to a number of important legal problems. 

Our LLM Legal Aspects of Medical Practice was established in 1987 and aims to provide a sound knowledge of the legal rules applicable to, and the issues surrounding, the practice and administration of healthcare, as further changes make a deeper understanding of the field ever more significant. 

This part-time, distance-learning course provides the opportunity to study topics in-depth and conduct research in areas of medical law of particular interest to you.  The programme:

  • Covers a wide spectrum of healthcare law topics.
  • Stimulates a critical approach to evaluation of current and proposed regulation and cultivates independent and original thought.
  • Enables you to undertake in-depth research and demonstrate advanced knowledge in specific areas of law.

Distinctive features

This course attracts a diverse student body from members of the medical and legal professions and is suitable for graduates in law, medicine, nursing, dentistry, psychiatry, pharmacology and associated healthcare and health management professionals.   

CME points will be awarded to doctors where appropriate.

Key facts

Next intakeSeptember 2017
Duration2 years
QualificationLLM
ModePart-time - distance learning
Admission Tutor contact(s)

Admissions criteria

Suitable for graduates in law, medicine, nursing, dentistry, psychiatry, pharmacology and associated healthcare and health management professionals. Applicants should have a good Honours degree in Law (2:2 or equivalent), although other appropriate qualifications will be considered.

For entry onto the Legal Aspects of Medical Practice programme candidates may be qualified in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy or nursing, veterinary science or any relevant discipline, or have served for a substantial period of time within the National Health Service or related administration.

In addition, applicants whose first language is not English must obtain an overall IELTS score of 6.5 with 6.5 in writing and 6.0 in all other components, or an equivalent English language qualification.

Note: International students pursuing part-time programmes of study are not eligible for Tier 4 (General Student) visas and must have alternative leave to remain in the UK if they intend to study at the University in person.

Early application is strongly advised, normally well before the end of July. Later applications will be considered, but international students must bear in mind the time needed to obtain a visa.

The programme is taught through lectures and seminars on residential weekends over a period of two years. 

The programme is delivered in two stages.  Stage One (the taught component) comprises four, compulsory 30-credit modules; Stage Two comprises the dissertation. 

Stage One will run over two years and you will take two modules in each year; each module will be studied over two residential weekends and you will be assessed after the second residential weekend.  You will progress to the dissertation upon successful completion of Stage One.

Year one

Year one comprises two compulsory 30-credit modules.

Year two

Year two comprises two compulsory 30-credit modules.  Upon successful completion of the taught stage at the end of year two, you will progress to the 60-credit dissertation.

The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

How will I be taught?

Studying at postgraduate level is intensive and challenging and it is important that you take full advantage of the teaching that is provided in order to succeed.  Attendance at all classes is compulsory and we will expect you to be well prepared. 

Your modules will be delivered through seminars and lectures during residential weekends, individual and joint written oral presentations and distance learning.

How will I be supported?

Your learning will be supported through e-learning; all modules are supported by Learning Central, a virtual learning environment that is available on and off campus through which you will access a wide range of materials for your modules.

You will receive dedicated pastoral support through our personal tutor scheme.  We offer an extensive programme of careers lectures and workshops with an in-house Law Careers Consultant and a Pro-bono Scheme Co-ordinator.  A designated Disability and Diversity Officer ensures that reasonable adjustments are made for students with disabilities.  The University has a range of services to support you, including the Careers Service, the Counselling Service, the Disability and Dyslexia Service, the Student Support Service and excellent libraries with specialist law librarians and resource centres.

Feedback:

Feedback is available through oral feedback during seminars and you will receive written feedback on both your formative and summative assessments.  Individual feedback on formative work will help you identify strengths and weaknesses in your learning, as well as how you might improve your performance in summative assessments.  Written feedback will be made available no later than four weeks from the submission of your assessment.

How will I be assessed?

We make use of both formative and summative assessment.

Formative assessments do not count towards your degree but are designed to give you the opportunity to practice for your summative assessments and enable you and your tutors to assess your progress in your modules.  Formative assessments will normally involve written coursework or a class test or may comprise individual student presentations.  

Your marks in summative assessments count towards your final award.  Each LLM Legal Aspects of Medical Practice module is summatively assessed by one 5000 word essay.  The Dissertation (up to 15,000 words) comprises the Stage Two summative assessment.

What skills will I practise and develop?

You are expected to assume a greater responsibility for your education as you undertake your postgraduate studies. Through the LLM Legal Aspects of Medical Practice, you will acquire and develop a range of valuable skills, both those which are discipline specific and more generic employability skills. During the programme you will be able to extend your communication and presentation skills, both oral and written.  You will also be able to develop collaborative skills, take leadership roles and enhance skills of disciplined and independent study.

You will be encouraged to work independently to seek out legal materials for yourself, to read and analyse these materials critically and to present structured and reasoned argument under the guidance of your tutors and supervisors. 

Outside the curriculum, we run Law in Action pro-bono schemes with partner organisations, in which our student volunteers assist real people in their dealings with the law.  The schemes currently include: 

  • Law in Justice: the Innocence Project, (dealing with alleged miscarriages of justice).
  • Law in Healthcare: the NHS Continuing Healthcare Scheme, (challenges to NHS healthcare funding assessments).
  • Law in Sport: the Rugby Union Project – (providing legal advice and legal newsletters to rugby clubs).

LLM Legal Aspects of Medical Practice graduates have gone on to become barristers, solicitors, coroners, police surgeons, general practitioners, consultants, dentists, NHS managers, pharmacists, nurse-tutors, doctors and dentists employed by the Department of Health and the Defence Organisations.

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2017/18)

Get the latest information on postgraduate fees.

Students from outside the EU (2017/18)

Get the latest information on postgraduate fees.