School of Law

Language and the Law

Postgraduate Diploma ( 1 year Full-time / 2 years Part-time )


Programme suspended

The Language and the Law Postgraduate Diploma is BEING SUSPENDED.

This extensive Postgraduate Programme will be the most comprehensive of its type in the UK. The continual thread throughout this programme will be the enhancement of argumentation skills: from an examination of legal systems, to the considered identification of the law and the forensic analysis of the court’s reasoning, to the comprehensive application of the law, and then to the convincing communication of one’s reasoning both in writing and orally. 

By way of broad overview, during the programme, you will acquire knowledge of legal systems including both common-law and civil law systems, legal reasoning, research theories and strategies, legal argumentation and debating techniques, theories of logic and rhetoric, and will develop and enhance your written and oral advocacy skills.

Why Study your Diploma in Language and the Law at Queen Mary?

The School of Law has consistently been ranked in the top 10 law schools in the UK for the quality of our research and teaching, and many of our internationally recognised staff act as advisers to governments, industry and NGOs, both nationally and internationally.

The Postgraduate Law Centre is based in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, Holborn, the legal district of London, close to law firms, chambers and the Royal Courts of Justice.

  • There is a very high rate of employment of our students within six months of graduation.
  • We have dedicated law careers advisers who organise events and internship opportunities with top UK and international law firms.
  • Many of our internationally recognised staff act as advisers to governments, industry, regulatory authorities and NGOs, both nationally and internationally.
  • You will be able to take part in networking and social events run by the Queen Mary Postgraduate Law Society and upon graduating join our extensive alumni network.


You will have access to facilities and equipment at the Postgraduate School of Law Centre in Lincoln's Inn Fields, which comprises workstations, wireless internet access, projectors and a common room. You will also have access to the Lock-keeper's Cottage Graduate Centre at the Mile End campus.

As well as housing the Law Library and a European Documentation Centre, the Queen Mary Library at Mile End provides access to all the main British, European and international textbooks, law reports and periodicals and also offers one of the best commercial law collections in the country. Through the University of London College network, students have access to an unrivalled range of electronic law journals and databases.

Queen Mary provides free access to 84 law databases including: LexisNexis, Westlaw, Justis, Eur-lex, Hein-Online, Business Source Complete, Index to Legal Periodicals, International Court of Justice Reports, Kluwer Arbitration, Lawtel, Oxford Scholarship Online (Law), Reports of Patent, Design and Trademark Cases, UK Statute law database and the United Nations Treaty Collection.

In addition to the Queen Mary Library and the British Library, postgraduate students are able to access the well-stocked law library at the University of London’s Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS). The Institute, located at Russell Square, a few minutes’ walk from Lincoln’s Inn Fields, is one of the major law libraries worldwide. You will also have access to the University of London Library at Senate House.



The aim of this programme is to develop your knowledge, analysis, argumentation, writing and research skills through an understanding of theoretical concepts and practical application. The approach to the programme will be one of experiential learning.

Students are required to take modules to the value of 120 credits. The modules for this programme include:

  • Comparative Legal Systems in Context (22.5 credits)
  • Legal Research Theories, Strategies and Methodologies (22.5 credits)
  • The Art of the Oral Argument (22.5 credits)
  • The Art of the Written Argument (22.5 credits)
  • Dissertation of 10,000 words (30 credits).

You may also be interested in the following existing LLM modules which may be available.

  • International Mooting; Written and Oral Advocacy (22.5 credits)
  • International Commercial Arbitration (Skills and Advocacy) QLLP033 (22.5 credits)
  • Dissertation (of either 22.5 or 45 credits)
  • Legal Reasoning in Theory and Practice QLLM185 (22.5 credits)
  • The Legal Mind: The Practice and Politics of Legal Reasoning QLLM148 (45 credits).

You will study the programme over 12 months, on a full-time basis, or 24 months, on a part-time basis. The programme will be delivered by weekly classes or intensive several day workshops. Components of this programme may also be offered in standalone intensive workshops.

Note: Not all of the modules listed will be available in any one year. Any modules not available in the forthcoming academic session will be identified as soon as this information is confirmed by teaching academics.


    Entry requirements

    The entry requirement for the Language and Law Postgraduate Diploma programme is a degree in Law or overseas equivalent, of at least 2.1 honours (or equivalent). Graduates with a good 2.2 honours who also have other legal qualifications and/or substantial professional legal or finance experience may also qualify.

    In all cases, a full online application is required in order for a fair assessment and decision to be made. Each application is considered on its merits and on sight of full application documents. A full and detailed CV is required for all applications and is particularly relevant where professional experience needs to be considered.

    Non-native English speakers are required to have a minimum of IELTS 7 or equivalent.

    International applicants

    Students from outside of the UK help form a global community here at Queen Mary. For detailed country specific entry requirements please visit the International section of our website. If your first language is not English, you must provide evidence of your English language proficiency. Find details of the English language entry requirements for postgraduate law programmes.

    Any student who scores 6.5 or below in the IELTS Writing component (or equivalent) is required to attend the Queen Mary in-sessional Critical Thinking and Writing in Law Programme; this programme is free to QM students and runs in terms 1, 2, and 3. Students with higher English language scores may join this programme is they wish. See QMUL's Language and Learning website for more information.

    Learning and teaching

    As a student at Queen Mary, you will play an active part in your acquisition of skills and knowledge. You will be taught by academics and practitioners who will draw on their expertise and experience to deliver the programme under the direction of the Director of the Programme. A range of teaching methods will be adopted to ensure you have ample opportunities to apply their understanding of the subjects taught in the programme. Teaching will be in the seminar style, which will afford opportunity for discussion, practice, assessment and feedback. This will encourage you to learn from both your instructors and peers. You will have many opportunities to present arguments in oral and written form and to conduct independent research. The seminar style teaching will be complemented by an online learning environment provided via QMPlus.

    Independent study

    For every hour spent in classes you will be expected to complete further hours of independent study. Your individual study time could be spent preparing for, or following up on formal study sessions; reading; producing written work; completing projects; and revising for examinations.

    The direction of your individual study will be guided by the formal study sessions you attend, along with your reading lists and assignments. However, we expect you to demonstrate an active role in your own learning by reading widely and expanding your own knowledge, understanding and critical ability.

    Independent study will foster in you the ability to identify your own learning needs and determine which areas you need to focus on to become proficient in your subject area. This is an important transferable skill and will help to prepare you for the transition to working life.


    Fees are charged at a Home/EU rate for UK and EU nationals, and an overseas rate for International students - find out more about how your tuition fee status is assessed.

    Fees for Home and EU students

    2016 entry: £5,300

    Fees for International students

    2016 entry: £9,600


    This course in not eligible for Queen Mary funding.