LLM Criminal Law and Justice

Court room seating
Institution code: S82
UCAS code: N/A
Start date: September 2024
Duration: One year full-time, two years part-time
Location: Ipswich
Typical Offer: An undergraduate degree with a minimum of 2:2 classification, or sufficient professional experience.
Institution code: S82
UCAS code: N/A
Start date: September 2024
Duration: One year full-time, two years part-time
Location: Ipswich
Typical Offer: An undergraduate degree with a minimum of 2:2 classification, or sufficient professional experience.


Our innovative LLM integrates criminal law, evidence and procedure with the insights of criminology and psychology into the practices of the criminal courts.

You will gain a practical and theoretical understanding of criminal law and justice whilst developing expertise in the principles of English criminal law with a focus on the practices of presenting, analysing and evaluating evidence. The course will draw on the insights of psychological research to deepen your understanding of the practical application of witness testimony and other types of evidence. You will further explore and use your knowledge of psychological research to assess witness evidence. Our psychology labs and mock courtroom are used to test and develop ideas about the impact of context and memory on the reliability of testimony and evidence.   

  • Mock court sessions will allow you to participate in a range of different roles and types of court hearing - applying your knowledge of criminal law and procedure. 
  • You will use the specialist equipment in our psychology labs to evaluate witness testimony. 
  • The course will be taught by specialist lecturers in Law and Psychology to enable students to develop an integrated understanding of criminal law, evidence and procedure. 

The University of Suffolk is world-class and committed to our region. We are proudly modern and innovative and we believe in transformative education. We are on the rise with a focus on student satisfaction, graduate prospects, spending on academic services and student facilities.


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Course Modules

Downloadable information regarding all University of Suffolk courses, including Key Facts, Course Aims, Course Structure and Assessment, is available in the Definitive Course Record.

The Mock Court room at the University of Suffolk

This module will introduce the key principles of criminal liability as a refresher for those who have previously studied criminal law and an introduction to those who have not. The module will then explore a range of contemporary offences and defences that are often the subject of much public interest and debate, such as sexual and domestic abuse offences as well as online offending and fraud which is increasingly common. As well as gaining knowledge of contemporary criminal law and applying it accurately to case studies, you will analyse and critically evaluate how the criminal law responds to different types of offending. Is the law keeping pace with technological changes? What are the weaknesses and gaps in the criminal law? How should the law be reformed and why? 

This module will build on the Contemporary Criminal Law module to enable you to develop a detailed knowledge of how the rules of evidence and procedure operate in the criminal courts.  This module also aims to give students a detailed overview of the connection between criminal evidence and psychology. 

You will explore the significance and impact of specific types of evidence including those which can be considered controversial, such as eyewitness testimony, identification and recognition evidence, confession evidence, expert evidence and the way in which vulnerable people are treated by the courts. These topics will be examined from the perspectives of both law and psychology enabling students to draw on contemporary cases and research from both disciplines.  This module will use the expertise of specialists in psychology to offer a different perspective and to challenge the assumptions related to particular types of evidence.

You will also develop your advocacy skills in our mock courtroom by participating in a range of different types of hearings (such as trials, sentencing and appeals) based on realistic case studies.

International Criminal Justice Systems will introduce you to challenging concepts in international law, particularly when dealing with individual criminal responsibility.  We spend time understanding how international law is made and, most importantly, enforced. You will learn about international humanitarian law and the Geneva Conventions. We will look at historical tribunals including Nuremberg, Tokyo, Rwanda, and Yugoslavia, leading us to the International Criminal Court and the Rome Statute. We conclude with exploring controversies in International Criminal Law, including R2P (Responsibility to Protect), intervention, and the effectiveness of the International Criminal Court. 

Throughout the LLM, you are encouraged to distinguish between, and critically evaluate, different theoretical, technical, normative, ethical and practical approaches to the operation of criminal law and justice. Having completed your taught modules, you will continue to develop your understanding in more specialised areas. 

Building upon knowledge gained previously, you will conduct in-depth examinations of theories and research, with emphasis being placed upon critical evaluation of both theory, methods and contemporary practices.   

Your independent project will provide the opportunity to demonstrate your advanced scholarship and academic abilities in an original, creative way, to find effective solutions to real-life problems or legal issues. The dissertation brings together your work undertaken in previous modules, develops your subject matter expertise, and challenges you to develop a proposal into an actionable, practice-relevant project that can inform future developments in your field. 

Please note that the dissertation would be conducted instead of the work placement. 

This module provides an opportunity to find, arrange, and conduct a work placement in the broad field of criminal justice. The placement would be conducted in the third term, after taught modules are complete. You will, however, be responsible for making placement arrangements well in advance. Support will be available from the LLM teaching team as well as the University of Suffolk’s Careers and Enterprise Zone. 

Two pathways are anticipated: (a) University of Suffolk research assistant placements for those considering a PhD; and (b) self-initiated placements in relevant organisations in the criminal justice system. Existing professionals will be able to conduct placements with their employers if they choose.  

The module is assessed by means of a placement report, requiring scholarly and personal reflection on the placement, as well as a career development portfolio that audits the development of your professional skills, behaviours and competencies, as well as your development needs following your postgraduate study.  

Please note that the work placement would be conducted instead of the independent project.  

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His Honour Judge Goodin with Law students
Judge in Residence, His Honour Judge Goodin, with Law students
Student in mock court room
Law students in Mock Court room
Law students in Mock Court room
The Mock Court room at the University of Suffolk
The Mock Court room at the University of Suffolk

Entry Requirements


Career Opportunities

The completion of our LLM in Criminal Law and Justice could support you in starting or developing your career in a range of roles in the criminal justice system. This could include positions as a paralegal or caseworker in criminal defence firms or public sector organisations.

The LLM would also enable you to develop knowledge and expertise in criminal law, evidence and procedure in preparation for a career in legal practice or to develop your expertise further if you are already a practitioner.  

The course would also provide a strong basis for further postgraduate study, such as a PhD in criminal law or related areas. 


Course Staff

Dr Stephen Colman

Stephen Colman is the course leader for the law programme. He is a Senior Lecturer in Law and a non-practising solicitor with various areas of expertise.

Stephen Colman staff profile photo

Dr Tina Davey

Dr Tina Davey is a Lecturer in Law. She was a practising criminal law barrister in London for many years and teaches on areas like legal ethics and tort.

Tina Davey staff profile photo

Dr Reilly Anne Willis

Law lecturer Dr Reilly Anne Willis specialises in International Human Rights with a focus on women’s rights, gender equality, and reproductive rights.

Reilly Willis staff profile photo

Dr Ruth Flaherty

Dr Ruth Flaherty joined University of Suffolk in September 2019 as a Senior Lecturer in Law.

Ruth Flaherty staff profile photo

Dr Duncan Weaver

Duncan is Criminology Course Leader.

Duncan Weaver staff profile photo

Abbie Millett

Abbie is an experienced educator and is Lecturer in Psychology.

Abbie Millett staff profile photo

Dr Jennifer Coe

Dr Jennifer Coe is a Lecturer in Psychology and Deputy Course Leader for BSc (Hons) Psychology and associated degree routes at the University of Suffolk.

Jennifer Coe staff profile photo

Fees and Funding

UK Full-time Tuition Fee


per year
UK Part-time Tuition Fee


per 20 credit module
International Full-time Tuition Fee


per year

*Please contact the Student Centre for further details

Postgraduate Loans are available for this course, we also offer University of Suffolk Alumni a 25% reduction on fees, find out more below.

Postgraduate Funding Alumni Loyalty Scheme International Students

How to apply

Applying for a postgraduate programme is simple, you can apply using the link below. You can also find out more about what to include on your application and how to contact us for support during the process on the Postgraduate Study link.

Apply Now Postgraduate Study
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