LAW37720 Advanced International Law: Current Issues

Academic Year 2022/2023

This module aims to give students with existing knowledge of international law the chance to undertake more in-depth study and research into contemporary issues that raise salient international legal problems. Recent events and issues such as the Russian invasion of and ongoing war in Ukraine, increasing awareness of the climate emergency, or - more closer to home - the fallout from Brexit raise profound questions of international law and the response of the international community. Although the precise content of the module will be determined closer to the time of the course, it is envisaged that this module will allow students to apply international legal knowledge to a number of in-depth case studies.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of the module, students should have developed:
- a deeper understandings of the working and application of the international legal system
- an in-depth knowledge of contemporary issues of international legal concern (precise topics to be determined)
- a better understanding of how international legal problems are understood from a range of perspectives and how international law can be applied in practice to help to determine solutions or mitigations to contemporary issues of global concern

Students should also have enhanced the generally transferable skills and specific skills developed throughout their degree programmes, including the ability to conduct legal research (especially using international legal materials) and the ability to present a coherent legal argument. Students will be expected to demonstrate these learning outcomes through the combination of a mid-term research paper and an end of trimester essay assignment.

Indicative Module Content:

*Due to the nature of the module precise content will be determined at the start of the relevant trimester*

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Autonomous Student Learning


Seminar (or Webinar)




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
The course will be structured around introductory lectures and guided student research. It will make use of enquiry & problem-based learning, structured classroom debates and case-studies, and student presentations. Students will have the opportunity during Office Consultation Hours to discuss any problems they are having with the content of the module or to further discuss ideas for assignment coursework. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Requirements:

Basic understanding of public international law. Whilst LAW30730 Public International Law is not a formal pre-requisite, it is necessary that students have either completed this module or an equivalent introductory module in public international law.

Learning Recommendations:

Strong foundation in international law. Completion of LAW30730 Public International Law.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Assignment: Research-led mid-term assignment Week 8 n/a Graded No


Assignment: End of trimester assignment Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn Yes - 2 Hour
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback will be offered through Office Consultation hours prior to the submission of the coursework essay and individualised feedback will be offered once this element has been assessed. Further individual feedback will be offered after the release of grades in relation to the final assessment.

Name Role
Professor Joseph McMahon Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 Wed 16:00 - 17:50