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LLM in Innovation, Technology and the Law

The LLM in Innovation, Technology and the Law by online learning focuses on the relationship between law, technology, commerce and society, exploring how the law responds to, regulates, and promotes new and emerging technologies.


Professor Burkhard Schafer talks about the benefits of studying for LLM in Innovation, Technology and the Law by online learning.

The programme promotes critical analysis of new technologies, and rigorous examination of their legally sensitive areas. You will evaluate innovations and assess their nature and impact in relation to the law, asking: ‘Is this really totally new? Does the law need to adjust? Or does the technology?’

You will gain an appreciation of where the law has a huge impact on societal change. At the same time, the limits of the law will become clear – when ‘knee-jerk’ regulation is not the right option; and when the law may not be able to provide the necessary degree of protection for innovations.

Across the programme, you will study different modes of regulation – the law, the markets, the technology itself – and critically analyse the advantages and disadvantages of each. Since new technologies will inevitably come up against international legal regimes, the international context is another key theme of this LLM programme.

The programme also examines the potential of technology to support legal and judicial processes. This programme will therefore enable you to develop an advanced knowledge of domains where law engages with technology, awareness of the problems in the area and understanding of the differing approaches to their solution.

Dr Bernard Wong, LLM in Innovation, Technology and the Law Graduate
I pursued the degree online and found it to work perfectly with my busy schedule. I was able to continue to work and live in Australia with my family without the expense of moving to the UK.
Dr Bernard Wong
LLM in Innovation, Technology and the Law, 2018

Innovative technologies and convergence in technologies are causing unprecedented societal change. New legal issues are arising, and new regulatory responses emerging. The law can help – or hinder – society’s ability to reap the optimal rewards from technological development.

The programme is designed for students who need to understand the policy context, security requirements, compliance issues and the overall legal environment associated with scientific and technological innovations. Students join us from all round the world bringing their invaluable perspectives to the programme not least their professional experience, and knowledge of technologies and business methods.

It is therefore particularly relevant if you come from a government or NGO environment, if you have a background in IT or science, or, of course, if you are a lawyer specialising in technology law.

Learning and teaching on the programme is highly interactive, informed by academics’ current research interests.

As you would expect, the programme will enable you to develop the essential legal skills of analysing texts and statutes, drawing conclusions from current developments, reading cases and drawing conclusions.

You will benefit from the unique opportunity to engage in an active online learning community, guided by academic lawyers from Edinburgh Law School.

Contact us

If you have any questions about the LLM in Innovation, Technology and the Law by online learning please don't hesitate to contact us.

llm.online@ed.ac.uk

This programme enables you to select a range of courses where innovation, technology and the law interact.

The programme consists of 180 credits, comprising taught courses worth 120 credits (60 credits per semester) and a 10,000 word dissertation worth 60 credits. Full programme details for the 2023-24 academic year are available on the University Degree Programme Tables website.

View the LLM in Innovation, Technology and the Law Degree Programme Table for 2023-24

Courses shown below are scheduled for the 2023-24 academic year. 

You can choose between 0 and 60 credits from the following courses:

  • Information Technology Law (20 credits)

    This course introduces students to key issues in the fast-paced area of technology law. We will consider a wide variety of hard regulatory questions posed by impacts of emerging information technologies. These systems are often changing, adapting, and shifting, meaning regulation in this domain does too. This creates a policy and legal landscape that is often in a state of flux but also gives us a wide range of case studies, examples, and legal frameworks to consider in this course.

  • EU Data Protection Law (20 credits)

    This course will examine the EU data protection regime as set out in the General Data Protection Regulation ((EU) 2016/679) on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and the free movement of such data (GDPR). It will provide you with an overview of the terminology and underlying principles of data protection and address specific areas and requirements for data controllers and processors that are subject to the new EU regime.

  • Electronic Commerce Law (20 credits)

    This course aims to provide an in-depth look at the legal issues surrounding electronic commerce and European regulation. Throughout the course we will review (a) fundamental issues surrounding eCommerce business, particularly contractual concerns around identification of jurisdiction, the formal validity of electronic transactions, security and authentication, contract formation and electronic payment systems, and online consumer protection issues; (b) digital convergence and content regulation, the impact of online advertising on privacy and governance of search engines; (c) contemporary issues such as cryptocurrencies and the impact of the Digital Services Act.

  • Regulation of Autonomous Systems: The Law of Robotics (20 credits)

    The course introduces students to the legal and wider regulatory issues raised by the increasing use of automated and autonomous devices in all fields of life. As we increasingly allow machines to make decisions for us, this raises significant problems for our legal concepts of liability, responsibility and legal personhood. Since robots rely on sensors to perform their tasks, they also raise issues of data protection and privacy.
    The course discusses amongst other applications the regulatory issues of care/companion robots in a medical setting, self-driving cars and the automated city; and military applications such as drones. The course covers both embodied artificial intelligent systems ("robots") and non-embodied devices ("autonomous agents"). Legal ramifications of these technologies are studied also with a view on their political, economic and ethical implications. To address the legal issues raised by robot mobility, special attention will be given to efforts to create an international legal regime or at least to harmonise existing national approaches. In this context, students will be particularly encouraged to contribute their experience with their home jurisdiction to the debate.
    In addition to gaining a deeper understanding of the specific legal issues that are created by a number of particularly important applications of robotics and autonomous agent technology, students will also acquire a generic understanding of the types of problems that are raised by autonomous technologies for the theory of regulation. They will gain an understanding of the limits of regulation by law and the ability to evaluate comparatively other modes of regulation for a given problem.

  • International and European Law of the Media (20 credits)

    This course will examine the impact of International and European law on, firstly, the structure of media markets and, secondly, the content of media services. The course will start with a discussion of the nature of the media, the media 'value chain', and the relationship between media freedom, freedom of expression and other human rights. It will examine the various international organisations competent in the media field and the regulatory strategies that are being adopted to deal with media convergence and globalisation. In relation to structural matters, consideration will be given to consolidation of media ownership and state funding of the media, in particular public service broadcasting. In relation to content controls, the course will examine attempts to create a more equitable flow of media content and concerns over 'media imperialism', the regulatory problems posed by pornography and hate speech and the balance to be struck between freedom of the media and privacy.
    Students will attain a good understanding of the interplay between domestic and international law in this field, as well as the role of soft law and self or private regulation. They will be encouraged to think about the future role of law and regulation in a rapidly changing media environment.

  • Information: Control and Power (20 credits)

    This course will investigate, through a range of legal disciplines and perspectives, the growing focus placed on, and value attached to, information by society, governments, businesses and individuals; concerns as to its control and misuse; and the impact of this on all stakeholder, particularly in the light of the opportunities and challenges of evolving - and converging - technologies.
    The course will consider legal regimes relating to:

    1. privacy, freedom of information and data protection;
    2. the extent to which present regulatory, co-regulatory and self-regulatory systems conform to expectations in respect of information privacy and access to information;
    3. the extent to which basic data, information and content is or should be protected by intellectual property or other information rights, particularly in the light of new means of creating, obtaining, recording, sharing and exploiting that information;
    4. human rights law and policy, with particular reference to (online) privacy;
    5. electronic surveillance, access to information and the conflict between freedom of expression and reputation and image rights.
    6. A wide-ranging international approach will be adopted, with contributions sought from students in respect of their own jurisdictions.

You can choose between 0 and 20 credits from the following courses:

  • Introduction to Intellectual Property Law (20 credits)

    This course will provide an introduction to intellectual property law. After introducing general topics and themes, it will cover patents, copyright and registered trade marks, all with a focus on UK and European law.

You can choose between 0 and 40 credits from the following courses:

  • The Fundamentals of Law and Medical Ethics (20 credits)

    This course examines the integral relationship between medical law and ethics, and considers the roles and relationships within the clinical setting and in a wider context. It will equip you with an understanding of foundational concepts that are central to your programme.

  • Fundamentals in Bioethics (20 credits)

    This course serves as a foundation for critical engagement with the core elements of doing bioethics. It will introduce you to three pillars of rigorous bioethical analysis:

    1. defining and distinguishing concepts
    2. understanding theories
    3. recognising and constructing robust arguments.

    It will equip students with the skills to develop and defend ethical arguments, and to apply these to legal, regulatory and policy issues in health, medicine and the biosciences.

  • Law and Ethics at the Start and End of Life (20 credits)

    This course provides students with an opportunity to apply their knowledge about fundamentals in medical law and ethics to dilemmas arising across the human lifecycle, from start to end of life. It will draw upon and deepen your understanding of the core concepts, roles and responsibilities covered earlier in the programme.

  • Clinical Negligence and the Law (20 credits)

    This course is a detailed exploration of the law of clinical negligence. It is designed to equip students with in-depth knowledge and understanding of relevant legal principles and case law. Students will be encouraged to apply this knowledge in seminars by formulating reasoned and persuasive arguments for or against particular legal propositions. Whilst focusing on the law in the UK, the course will have a strong comparative dimension. The clinical negligence action will be viewed in its social, economic and political context and students will be encouraged to reflect critically on the various factors driving law and policy in this area.

  • Public Health Ethics (20 credits)

    This course explores public health ethics through the lens of social justice (distributive justice, relational justice, structural and epistemic injustice). It does so in conversation with other key concerns of public health (e.g.: efficiency, welfare maximisation, individual liberty) and key concepts (e.g. equality, responsibility, vulnerability, collective action, solidarity). The foundational concepts and key framings will be explored through their application to current public health topics (e.g. infectious diseases, global health emergencies, smoking, nutrition, vaccination, sexual health). Students will have the opportunity to apply the skills of ethical reasoning to a variety of current topics and policies through discussion, writing and case studies.

  • Shaping and Regulating Modern Healthcare (10 credits)

    This course provides students with an opportunity to explore some of the ways that modern healthcare has been (and is being) shaped by key events, actors, and objects. In particular, it reflects on how these have impacted on law, policy and regulation in the sector, and how this continues to evolve. This course will contextualise and deepen student's understanding of the changing healthcare landscape. It will equip students to navigate a range of primary and secondary sources in order to advance arguments and positions at this intersection of law, policy and regulation. While this course focuses on the UK as its primary jurisdiction, it also provides scope for students to reflect on the issues raised in relation to their home jurisdictions (if different).

  • Mental Health Law (20 credits)

    In recent years there has been an increase in talking freely and openly about mental health issues and what it is to experience mental health conditions have become more acceptable in mainstream society. This course, is highly relevant in today's world and recognises the importance of expanding and developing knowledge and understanding of mental health issues and the application of mental health law. The main aim of the course is to examine the development of mental health law and how it is applied to related conditions that arise throughout the spectrum of life, beginning with diagnosis of conditions through early years, childhood, adolescence, adulthood and senior years. As well as examining specific legislation, the course (to a lesser extent) will focus on changing societal attitudes to mental health and the growing recognition that mental health is as important as physical health. The course will also consider the provisions in Scots law and that in England & Wales and Northern Ireland, for the care and detention of offenders who have a mental health diagnosis. It should be noted that the basis of this course lies in the law and legislation; it does not seek to focus on medical diagnosis or treatment for mental health conditions. It will take account of UK jurisdictions, through admitting equivalent discussion from an international Masters degree cohort.

  • Confidentiality and Data Protection in Biomedicine (20 credits)

    This course provides a detailed exploration of two legal regimes in the biomedical context (comprising both health care and health research, broadly defined) that are of increasing importance: data protection/privacy law and the common law duty of confidentiality. Both of these legal regimes have experienced rapid development in the 21st century. New medical innovations, greater international research collaborations, and the push for Big Data research and digitisation of society generate pertinent, complex questions about what ought to be done (if anything) with our personal (and patient) data, and under what legal and ethical conditions. As part of this exploration, brief consideration will also be given to a third related and emerging legal regime, namely a right of privacy in terms of the common law and the tort of misuse of private information. This course will enable students to explore some of the key concepts, rules, and functions of confidentiality and data protection/privacy laws as they operate in biomedicine. The central focus of the course is the interplay between UK data protection law, the common law duty of confidentiality, and wider frameworks in Europe and at the international level (including the Data Protection Act 2018, the UK GDPR and EU GDPR, European Court of Human Rights jurisprudence concerning Art. 8 ECHR, and Council of Europe and OECD data privacy frameworks). We will analyse and evaluate this interaction drawing on a range of sources, including case law, statute, policy, academic literature, advisory opinions, and domestic and international laws and practices.
  • Ethics of Health Technologies (20 credits)

    The purposes of this course are to introduce students to ethical challenges presented by a range of new and emerging applications of health technologies and big health data, and to equip students with the tools to develop their own ethical responses to these challenges. We will pay particular attention to the ways in which these technologies could affect our identities and relationships, social justice, and human flourishing. The topics covered e.g. health AI, genomics, surveillance represent those of increasing importance to regulation and policy in the fields of health and medicine. Each week, alongside exploration of specific practical ethical questions, each seminar will develop students' deeper understanding of key bioethics concepts and frameworks. The course will introduce students to critical framings including those of feminist bioethics, critical race theory, and disability ethics. Seminars discussions will discussion based, with these discussions based on prescribed readings, materials presented by the teaching academic, and relevant ethical perspectives and examples gleaned by the students from wider reading, policy debates, the news, and the arts. Students will be expected to participate actively in discussions. The teaching and assessment method will require students to develop and defend their own ethical positions, and will be designed to develop students' wider skills in critical thinking and reasoned argumentation. The topics of the 10 weekly seminars will be: (1) Introduction to thinking ethically about technology (2) Intervening in the brain (3) Assisted reproduction from a feminist perspectives (4) Cyborg life (5) Enhancement technologies and ableism (6) AI and decision-making in healthcare (7) The quantified self and remote care (8) Pandemics, surveillance and racialized bodies (9) Identity through the lens of health data (10) (Re)imagining our human future. 

You can choose between 0 and 20 credits from the following courses:

  • Contract Law in Europe (20 credits)
  • Comparative and International Corporate Governance (20 credits)
  • Corporate Compliance: Case Studies in Law & Ethics (20 credits)
  • Dispute Resolution Methods (20 credits)
  • European Competition and Innovation (20 credits)
  • International Law, Human Rights & Corporate Accountability (20 credits)
  • International Commercial Arbitration (20 credits)
  • Banking and Financial Law: Case Studies (20 credits)

Please note that a course from this collection can only be taken with the approval of your Programme Director.

Having successfully completed 120 credit points of courses within the LLM, you will be ready to move onto a single piece of independent and in-depth research. The 10,000 word dissertation allows you to focus on a preferred topic from within the options available in the programme.

Title

Your dissertation title will be agreed with your supervisor during your final semester of taught study. Dissertation topics must fall within the scope of your programme and will relate to specific courses that you have taken at Edinburgh. Supervision continues throughout the research and writing of the dissertation.

Aim

Your dissertation must demonstrate a comprehensive grasp of the relevant literature and an ability to engage in critical analysis. More credit will be given for originality and evidence of independent thinking, whether in terms of the material used, or the manner in which it is presented.

Timing

The dissertation is written in the summer months (April to August) after the taught courses are successfully completed.

Courses are offered once in an academic year. Each semester you will choose the course(s) you wish to study in that particular semester. Courses are then allocated. Details of the courses available will be provided in advance.  Courses are then allocated.

The allocation process is intended to support student choices as much as possible, while taking account of optimum class sizes for specific courses.

Class sizes

Class sizes have typically ranged from 15 to 25 students in the past. If more students request a course than can be allocated, students who need to take the course in order to fulfil core programme requirements will have priority and others may be asked to defer that course choice to a later year of study.

Terms and conditions

Please note the University reserves the right to make variations to the contents of programmes, including the range of courses offered, and the available choice of courses in any given year may change.

Find out more about the University's terms and conditions

Please note that due to unforeseen circumstances or lack of demand for particular courses, we may not be able to run all courses as advertised come the start of the academic year.

Contact us

If you have any questions about the LLM in Innovation, Technology and the Law by online learning please don't hesitate to contact us.

llm.online@ed.ac.uk

Academic staff teaching on the core courses for the LLM in Innovation, Technology and the Law by online learning for 2023/24 are experts in their field and are actively involved in cutting-edge research in various legal fields including media law, regulation of new technologies, IT law, IP law, and medical law and ethics.

Dr Paolo Cavaliere - Programme Director 2023/24

Paolo joined the University of Edinburgh Law School in September 2014, researching and teaching courses on freedom of expression, media law and communications law. Prior to joining the University of Edinburgh, Paolo was a researcher at the Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policies of the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies of the University of Oxford where he also helped to coordinate the Monroe Price Media Law Moot Court Competition. He is currently a member of SCRIPT, a law and technology research centre based in the School of Law within the University of Edinburgh, a research associate at the University of Oxford’s Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy and a non-resident research fellow of the Central European University’s Center for Media, Data and Society.

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Rachael Craufurd Smith is a Reader in EC Law specialising in media, the regulation of culture and European Union law. In 2003/4 she was a Jean Monnet Fellow at the European University Institute, Florence. She is a qualified solicitor and has worked both in the International and Policy and Planning Departments of the BBC, focusing on the impact of European Community Law on the public broadcasting sector. Rachael also worked as a trainee in the Internal Market DG of the European Commission and was a Fellow for a number of years at Trinity, Corpus Christi and St. John's Colleges and a University Lecturer at the University of Oxford.

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Edward (Ted) Dove is Lecturer in Risk and Regulation at the School of Law, University of Edinburgh, and Deputy Director of the J Kenyon Mason Institute for Medicine, Life Sciences and Law.

From 2011 until 2014, Ted was an Academic Associate at the Centre of Genomics and Policy at McGill University in Montreal. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree (BA) in Political Science and Civil Law and Common Law degrees (BCL, LLB) from McGill University, a Master of Laws degree (LLM) from Columbia University in New York City and a PhD from the University of Edinburgh.

Ted’s primary research interests are in the areas of regulation of biomedical research, research ethics oversight, health-related data access and sharing, and governance of international research collaboration.

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Dr. Agomoni Ganguli-Mitra is Chancellor’s Fellow in the Legal and Ethical Aspects of Biomedicine, and Co-director of the JK Mason Institute for Medicine, Life Sciences and the Law. She is also a member of the Wellcome Trust-funded Centre for Biomedicine, Self and Society. Dr. Ganguli-Mitra’s background is in bioethics, with a special interest in global bioethics, structural and gender justice. She has written on ethical issues related to global surrogacy, sex-selection, biomedical research in low-income countries, social value in research governance and the concepts of exploitation and vulnerability in bioethics.

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Nicolas Jondet is a teaching fellow in Information Technology law. He holds law degrees from the University of Edinburgh (LLM) and the Paris-Saclay University (Honors) as well as a degree in legal translation from ISIT Paris (Honors).  Nicolas is a legal academic with a keen interest in the legal regulation of technology and innovation, including various aspects of IP law and IT law.  His main research is focussed on digital copyright, drawing upon international, European and comparative legal materials. Current research projects include the applicability of blockchain technology to copyright protected works and the interaction between data mining and copyright.  Nicolas teaches across a range of IT and IP law subjects, including, at present, courses relating to data protection, privacy and surveillance. 

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Smita joined the Law School as a Lecturer in Intellectual Property Law in September 2008. She is also an associate of the SCRIPT Centre for Studies in Intellectual Property and Technology Law and member of CREATe (Centre for Creativity, Regulation, Enterprise & Technology), serving as Lead Investigator on two CREATe projects. Her research interests include applicability of empirical research, particularly socio-legal methodologies in addressing questions on copyright law and policy as to new types of creative content and exploring connections between Intellectual property law and new forms of property and culture through perspectives of creators and users.

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Amandine joined the University of Edinburgh as an early career fellow in IP law in August 2020. Her research and teaching interests lie primarily in the area of patent law and, in particular, patent enforcement.

She also conducts research on the rationales and objectives of IP law, the approach adopted by the United States and European countries regarding limitations and exceptions in IP law, the interface between competition law and IP law, as well as issues of liability for patent infringement in the fourth industrial revolution (4IR).

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Emmanuel is a Lecturer in International Intellectual Property Law.  His teaching and research focuses on international and comparative aspects of intellectual property law, and an examination of the relationship between intellectual property and human rights. He is also interested in analysing intellectual property rights in the context of business and human rights.

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Gerard is a lecturer in medical law and ethics in the School of Law. His research interests include medical law, patent law and the regulation of the life sciences. He speaks Japanese and also conducts comparative research in Japanese law within these subject areas. He has held visiting fellowships at the Centre for Studies in Ethics and Rights (Mumbai, India), the Centre for Biomedical Ethics, National University of Singapore and with the Program on Science, Technology and Society at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

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Paolo Cavaliere joined the Law School from September 2014 as a lecturer in Digital Media and IT Law. Prior to joining the School, Paolo has been a researcher at the Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policies of the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies of the University of Oxford where he has also helped to coordinate the Monroe Price Media Law Moot Court Competition. His main interests in research include the discipline of pluralism and diversity in the media, e-democracy and the relationship between new media and politics, regulation of audiovisual industries and digital media. He has written about different aspects of Media law, including “mediacracy” and the democratic deficit of the EU; media pluralism in the European sphere; digital technologies and the political debate in the public sphere.

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Jane Cornwell joined the Law School as a lecturer in intellectual property law in October 2010. After graduating from the University of Cambridge, she qualified and practised as a solicitor in the intellectual property team at Linklaters LLP in London. Thereafter she spent several years practising at McGrigors LLP in Scotland, latterly as Director in the Edinburgh litigation team specialising in contentious intellectual property. Jane's expertise covers a wide range of IP rights, including trade marks, designs, patents and breach of confidence. Her present teaching and research interests focus on trade marks, designs and remedies for infringement, with a particular interest in the effect of European harmonisation within these areas. Jane is also a member of CREATe (Centre for Creativity, Regulation, Enterprise & Technology), leading a work package on copyright and civil enforcement.

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Lachlan is a Lecturer in Technology Law at the University of Edinburgh. He is also a visiting researcher at the Horizon Digital Economy Research Institute, where he was a Research Fellow in Information Technology Law from 2016-2018.

Lachlan's primarily works at the boundaries of computer science (human-computer interaction), information technology law (mainly privacy and information security), and computer ethics. He focusses extensively on the technical, socio-legal, sociological, and ethical implications of living with interactive computing (e.g. Ubicomp/Internet of Things, robotics, smart homes & cities, social media etc.).

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Judith Rauhofer is a Lecturer in IT Law and an Associate Director of the Centre for Studies of Intellectual Property and Technology Law (SCRIPT). Her research interests include the commercial and fundamental rights aspects of online privacy and electronic surveillance, data protection, information security and all areas of e-commerce and internet law and policy. Judith is particularly interested in exploring the tensions between privacy as an individual right and as a common good.

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Burkhard is Professor of Computational Legal Theory and Director of the SCRIPT Centre for IT and IP law. His main field of interest is the interaction between law, science and computer technology, especially computer linguistics. How can law, understood as a system, communicate with systems external to it, be it the law of other countries (comparative law and its methodology) or science (evidence, proof and trial process). He is currently working mainly on issues such as privacy compliant software architecture and more generally the scope and limits of representing legal concepts directly in the internet infrastructure.

Burkhard will be on sabbatical in semester 1 of the 2023-24 academic year.

Find out more

The staff teaching on this programme are subject to change for 2023-24 and will depend on the core courses offered. Staff listed as on sabbatical will not be available to teach for the duration of their sabbatical.

Contact us

If you have any questions about the LLM in Innovation, Technology and the Law please don't hesitate to contact us.

llm.online@ed.ac.uk

Find out what it's like to study for an LLM in Innovation, Technology and the Law by online learning from our current and former students.

Dominic, South Africa

Dominic, an Advocate in South Africa, studied the LLM in Innovation, Technology and the Law by online learning at the University of Edinburgh's Law School. In this interview Dominic talks about his experience, and the benefits, of studying for an LLM by online learning.

Dr Kishore Sreenivasan from Pune, India recently graduated with an LLM in Innovation, Technology and the Law. Here he discusses how the online LLM enabled him to enhance his current skills in intellectual property law, and explore new areas in innovation and the law.

David Norton, LLM in Innovation, Technology and the Law, talks about his experience of studying for an LLM degree by online distance learning at Edinburgh Law School, the University of Edinburgh.

Andrew Raof talks about his experiences of studying the LLM in Innovation, Technology and the Law by online distance learning over one year at Edinburgh Law School.

Contact us

If you have any questions about the LLM in Innovation, Technology and the Law by online learning please don't hesitate to contact us.

llm.online@ed.ac.uk

The LLM in Innovation, Technology and the Law by online learning has start dates in September and January of each academic year. We recommend that you apply as early as possible; this is particularly important for applicants who may need to allow sufficient time to take an English language test.

We require a minimum UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent. Your degree does not have to be in the subject of law, but it must be from a recognised higher education institution. We will also consider your other qualifications and professional experience as part of your application.

Entry to this programme is competitive. Meeting minimum requirements for consideration does not guarantee an offer of study.

International qualifications

You can check whether your degree qualification is equivalent to the minimum standard before applying.

Check your degree

Students from China

This degree is Band A.

Find out more about our postgraduate entry requirements for students from China

Postgraduate study in the field of law requires a thorough, complex and demanding knowledge of English, so we ask that the communication skills of all students are at the same minimum standard.

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic and IELTS Academic Online: total 7.0 (at least 7.0 in the writing component and 6.5 in each other module)
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Special Home Edition): total 100 (at least 25 in writing and 23 in each other module)
  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 185 in writing and 176 in each other module)
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components
  • PTE Academic: 70 overall with at least 70 in the writing component and 62 in each other component.

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, Trinity ISE or PTE, in which case it must be no more than two years old on the first of the month in which the degree begins.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree, that was taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country as defined by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). The UK Government's website provides a list of majority English speaking countries.

View the UKVI list of majority English speaking countries

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree, or equivalent, that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than five years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about the University's English language requirements

Your application may not be successful if you do not currently satisfy any of these requirements; alternatively, you may be offered a place conditional on your reaching the satisfactory standard by the time you start the degree.

English language support

The University runs a series of programmes for English Language Education, including a pre-sessional English Language Programme intended to strengthen your English Language skills before you start your programme of study.

Find out more about English language support offered by the University

We aim to review applications and make selection decisions throughout the cycle and we monitor application numbers carefully to ensure we are able to accommodate all those who receive offers. It may therefore be necessary to close a programme earlier than the published deadline and if this is the case we will place a four-week warning notice on the relevant programme page.

2023-24 application deadlines

January 2024 entry

Applications for January 2024 entry have now closed.

Please note that if you receive a conditional offer of a place on one of our programmes for January 2024, the deadline for meeting the conditions of your offer is 27 November 2023.

2024-25 application deadlines

September 2024 entry

Applications for September 2024 will close on the 30 June. Applications for September 2025 will open in October 2024. 

Please note that if you receive a conditional offer of a place on one of our programmes for September 2024, the deadline for meeting the conditions of your offer is 31 July 2024.

January 2025 entry

The deadline for applications for entry in January 2025 is 03 November 2024.

Please note that if you receive a conditional offer of a place on one of our programmes for January 2025, the deadline for meeting the conditions of your offer is 27 November 2024.

Applications are made online via the University Application Service, EUCLID.

Please follow the instructions carefully and make sure that you have included the following documentation with your application:

  • Degree certificates showing award of degree.
  • Previous academic transcripts for all past degree programmes (please upload the full transcript showing results from all years of study). Where academic paperwork is not in English, certified translations must be provided (these must have been produced by a certified translator);
    Find out more about certified translations
  • Details of professional qualifications and any appropriate professional registrations.
  • A reference in support or your application. The reference should be academic and dated no earlier than one year from the start of study on the LLM programme. We may accept a non-academic reference from applicants who have been out of higher education for five years or more.
  • Evidence of English language proficiency, if required.
  • Personal statement - you will be asked to complete a personal statement (maximum 3500 characters - approximately 500 words) as part of your application. 
  • Relevant knowledge / skills - this may include details of any skills or voluntary work that you have undertaken that you feel are pertinent to the programme (maximum 3500 characters - approximately 500 words).

Your personal statement should show that you have thought carefully about why you are interested in this programme of study; what you can bring to the programme and what impact you feel it will have on your future career. Therefore, please ensure that you address the following questions in your statement:

  • What are your motivations for wanting to study this programme?
  • What skills, qualities and experiences have prepared you to undertake this programme?
  • What value do you think you can add to the learning community as part of an internationally diverse group?
  • What impact do you hope to make in your future career, and how will this programme contribute to your aspirations?

If you are currently studying for your degree or you are not in a possession of an English test result you may still apply to the programme. Please note that it is your responsibility to submit the necessary documents.

Students at this University must not undertake any other concurrent credit bearing studies in this (or in any other) institution, unless the College has granted permission. The College must be satisfied that any additional credit-bearing studies will not restrict the student’s ability to complete their existing programme of study. Students will not be permitted to undertake concurrent degree programmes in any circumstances.

If you are studying at this or another institution just prior to the start of your postgraduate studies you must have finished these studies before the start of the programme to which you have an offer.

After your application has been submitted you will be able to track its progress through the University's applicant hub.

Application processing times will vary however the admissions team will endeavour to process your application within four to six weeks of submission. Please note that missing documentation will delay the application process.

You will be informed as soon as possible of the decision taken. Three outcomes are possible:

  • You may be offered a place unconditionally
  • You may be offered a conditional place, which means that you must fulfil certain conditions that will be specified in the offer letter. Where a conditional offer is made, it is your responsibility to inform the College Postgraduate Office when you have fulfilled the requirements set out.
  • Your application may be unsuccessful. If your application has not been successful, you can request feedback from us or refer to our guidance for unsuccessful applicants, which explains some of the common reasons we why we reach this decision.
    View the University's guidance for unsuccessful applicants

You can find full and detailed application guidance on the University's website.

Find out more about applying to the University of Edinburgh

Applicants receiving an unconditional offer of admission will be asked to pay a deposit of £1000 to secure their place on the programme

The deposit fee will be deducted from the first tuition fee instalment you have to pay and so enables you to spread the financial cost of the LLM.

Find out more about our deposit policy

The University’s terms and conditions form part of your contract with the University, and you should read them, and our data protection policy, carefully before applying.

University of Edinburgh admissions terms and conditions

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Contact us

If you have any questions about applying to the LLM in Innovation, Technology and the Law please don't hesitate to contact us.

llm.online@ed.ac.uk