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What is space law?

Satellites and space activities are now a daily part of our lives which is why space governance is at the forefront of our long-standing expertise in law and our innovative cutting-edge space research. 

Space law consists of international space law and national space regulations and policies. Space law has its foundation in the Outer Space Treaty but consists of many treaties, soft laws, and other legal tenets and principles. Space law supports the safe, sustainable, and secure use and exploration of outer space including orbits and celestial bodies.

Who can study Space Law at Northumbria?

It is not necessary to have an undergraduate law qualification to study this course. 

Please note: This course is a full time, 1 year, on campus course. However the course can also be studies as a part time distance learning programme, whilst in employment. To learn more about the part time distance learning version of our Space Law LLM click here.   

What can I expect from this course?

As part of Northumbria’s innovative LLM Law framework, the Space Law specialism has been designed to meet the needs of space legal practitioners, as well as other professionals working in the science and technology side of the space sector who may benefit from a deeper contextual understanding of space law, policy, and broader governance considerations at the national and international levels. It is not necessary to have an undergraduate law qualification and there are no jurisdictional restrictions, so you will be part of a diverse and intellectually stimulating cohort. You will learn from each other’s experiences in a relaxed and collaborative environment.

How will this course prepare me for my career?

Studying this Masters course and engaging in the LLM Law’s specialist areas of contemporary and innovative legal study, within an established postgraduate legal qualification, provides you with a remarkable opportunity to enhance your career.

Testimonials from previous course alumni: 

"As soon as I saw the Law (Space Law) LLM at Northumbria, I knew this was the right course for me. The breadth of classroom work from IP to AI was superb, but it was the ability to do the `deep dive' into your particular area of interest in the dissertation that was pivotal. This research was the backbone that let me set up Niparo as a leading space sustainability endeavour. We've since gone onto the UK Space Agency Accelerator programme and are now regulars at the UK and Scottish Parliaments." - Dr. Nic Ross

‘The LL.M. in Space Law at Northumbria University provided me with a deep understanding of how international and national space law operates in practical terms within the space sector. This practical insight enabled me to secure a job with a world-leading space consultancy in London, where I consistently apply the skills and knowledge I acquired in my degree to real-life examples of leading space companies and agencies.’- Declan Dundas - Policy Analyst at Access Partnership

Course Information

Level of Study
Postgraduate

Mode of Study
1 year Full Time
1 other options available

Department
Northumbria Law School

Location
City Campus, Northumbria University

City
Newcastle

Start
September 2024

Fees
Fee Information

Modules
Module Information

Funding and Scholarships

Discover the funding options available to you.

Discover NU World / A virtual journey through everything Northumbria has to offer.

Explore our immersive 360 tours, informative subject videos, inspirational student profiles, ground-breaking research, and a range of life at university blogs videos and articles.

Find out More / Northumbria Law School News

Take a look at our Law school and the opportunities available to you.

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Northumbria Law School is one of the largest law schools in the UK, with a national and international reputation for excellence in legal education for those interested in studying law. Hear from our academics on why you should study at Northumbria, the facilities we offer as well how we support our students.

Videos / Law

Watch Professor Christopher Newman discuss the moral and legal questions which underscore the New Space Age in his recent TedTalk. You can also watch his introduction the Space Law LLM, as well as a inspiring video showcasing Northumbria's involvement in space exploration.

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£50M SPACE SKILLS, RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CENTRE →

Entry Requirements 2024/25

Standard Entry

Applicants should normally have:

A minimum of a 2:2 honours degree in any subject. Relevant professional qualifications or suitable work experience will also be considered.

International qualifications:

If you have studied a non UK qualification, you can see how your qualifications compare to the standard entry criteria, by selecting the country that you received the qualification in, from our country pages. Visit www.northumbria.ac.uk/yourcountry

English language requirements:

International applicants are required to have a minimum overall IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 with 5.5 in each component (or approved equivalent*).

 *The university accepts a large number of UK and International Qualifications in place of IELTS.  You can find details of acceptable tests and the required grades you will need in our English Language section. Visit www.northumbria.ac.uk/englishqualifications

Fees and Funding 2024/25 Entry

Full UK Fee: £10,460

Full EU Fee: £18,250

Full International Fee: £18,250



Scholarships and Discounts

Discover More about Fees, Scholarships and other Funding options for UK, EU and International applicants.

ADDITIONAL COSTS

There are no Additional Costs

If you’d like to receive the latest updates from Northumbria about our courses, events, finance & funding then enter your details below.

* At Northumbria we are strongly committed to protecting the privacy of personal data. To view the University’s Privacy Notice please click here

Modules

Module information is indicative and is reviewed annually therefore may be subject to change. Applicants will be informed if there are any changes.

GD7000 -

Academic Language Skills for PG Law Students (Core – for International and EU students only,0 Credits)

Studying away from your home country can differ due to cultural and language differences in teaching and assessment practices. This module is designed to support your transition to postgraduate level study in the use and practice of subject specific skills around assessments and teaching provision in your chosen subject. The overall aim of this module is to further develop your abilities to read and study effectively for academic purposes; to develop your skills in analysing and using source material in seminars and academic writing and to develop your use and application of language and communications skills suitable for a postgraduate level of study.

The topics you will cover on the module include:

• Understanding postgraduate assignment briefs.
• Developing advanced academic writing skills, including citation, paraphrasing, and summarising.
• Practising advanced ‘critical reading’ and ‘critical writing’
• Planning and structuring postgraduate level academic assignments (e.g. essays, dissertations and presentations).
• Avoiding academic misconduct and gaining credit by using academic sources and referencing effectively.
• Speaking in postgraduate seminar presentations.
• Giving discipline-related postgraduate level academic presentations, experiencing peer observation, and receiving formative feedback.
• Postgraduate level speed reading techniques.

More information

LW7088 -

Research for Advanced Legal Studies (Core,20 Credits)

This module offers a critical introduction to legal research methods. It is designed to ensure that you will be able to confidently embark on legal research on your Masters programme whatever your academic background or jurisdiction. Your lectures are designed to refresh and develop your understanding of legal research techniques, referencing and evaluating sources. In your workshops you will be provided with opportunities to undertake and obtain feedback upon a series of legal research and writing tasks, thus enabling you to develop critical understanding of what it meant by effective legal research, and how you yourself can become an effective legal researcher.

More information

LW7089 -

Legal Research Project (LLM Framework) (Core,60 Credits)

In this module you will draw on your skills and knowledge acquired from the taught elements of the LLM branch specialism and will develop and refine these in the context of a self-chosen area of independent specialist study. You will develop; (1) your understanding and use of legal research techniques, (2) An ability to critically analyse and evaluate legal data, (3) the ability to handle complex legal material systematically and creatively including material at the forefront of the field of study, (4) a conceptual understanding of the research topic, (5) skill at showing a systematic understanding of knowledge and a critical awareness of current legal issues, (6) the ability to communicate legal information, arguments and conclusions within accepted academic conventions.

More information

LW7097 -

Cyber, Space and Telecommunications: The Global Context (Core,20 Credits)

This module provides a critical introduction to the global nature of three distinct but interwoven areas of the space, cyber and telecommunications industries. The dominant consideration in all three of these environments are economic although they all have significant military dimensions. The three areas are all, in some way, contingent or connected to each other. They are also both dependent on and drivers of new technological and engineering advances. This module will provide an understanding of the fundamental ways in which they are regulated, coupled with an appreciation of the key themes that emerge in their on-going development.

The module will cover the following areas and start by considering the shared themes in the Cyber, Space and Telecoms global industry. There will be a critical introduction to the military applications of cyber, space and telecoms and analysis on the threats to space and telecoms from asymmetric cyber-attacks. There will be an evaluation of the role of space and telecoms in global navigation and transport industry and specific consideration of the changing face of broadcasting in the new space, cyber and telecoms era. As it is the main international institution, the role of the ITU will be evaluated in respect of (i) Regulation of Telecoms and (ii) Regulating Space and the Internet, together with the role of national regulators such as Ofcom. The module will then go on and consider the way in which technology shapes the law by considering new developments in cyber, space and telecommunications technology.

More information

LW7098 -

Cyber Law (Core,20 Credits)

In this module you will develop a critical understanding of the law and governance issues relating to cyberspace. You will acquire the knowledge and understanding around key legal issues in cyberspace. This includes consideration of cybersecurity, cybercrime, and e-commerce, together with analysing concerns over privacy and the role of commercial and military actors on both a national and international level. You will critically evaluate the governance of cyberspace at the international, regional, and national levels where appropriate and will look at the security, safety, and sustainability concerns around the use of cyberspace. You will gain a critical awareness of how law and governance operate in the global cyber economy. You will also examine the role of national legislation in protecting children and dealing with online harms. There will be an examination of softer, non-binding agreements in respect of cyber governance.

More information

LW7147 -

Space Governance: Themes and Concepts (Core,20 Credits)

This module will provide you with an understanding of the various concepts and themes that permeate contemporary space governance. You will critically examine the way in which space exploration is governed on a national and international level. The module will examine the governance of traditional space activity: the development of satellite communications, military activity in space, the use of interplanetary probes to gain scientific data and also human spaceflight. The module will introduce ideas of space law, alongside astropolitics, international relations and broader policy considerations in the governance of space. Study on this module will consider the commercial, academic and security issues in respect of the governance of human activity in outer space. There will be consideration of the environmental impact of space activity and related attempts to incorporate notions of sustainability in space governance. The role of national space legislation and softer, non-binding agreements will also be critically evaluated. You will immerse yourself in the space environment and formative assessment will be by means of peer discussion in workshops. Participation and engagement with the wider space industry, such as external space-related blogs, will be facilitated. The module will also feature input from experts in the field of space exploration and will provide an exciting and contemporary critique of contemporary space governance.

More information

LW7148 -

Space Law: Theory and Doctrine (Core,20 Credits)

This module provides a detailed and critical analysis of the international legal framework governing human activities beyond Earth's boundaries. The module will explore the evolving landscape of international space law, examining its theoretical underpinnings and the existing framework as it currently operates. The module will cover areas such as; an exploration of foundational concepts and institutions, tracing the historical roots of space law from the Cold War era to the present-day multi-polar world order. Students will dissect the key international treaties and agreements starting with a detailed examination of the Articles of the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, critiquing its significance and limitations in regulating space activities. The module will illustrate contemporary debates surrounding the theoretical frameworks shaping international space law. Students analyze diverse perspectives, from legal positivism to critical approaches, evaluating their applicability in addressing emerging challenges such as the impact of intellectual property on commercial space endeavors, resource exploitation, and the application of AI to space activity. The module will develop and enhance your critical thinking by engaging with both hypothetical scenarios and real-life case studies on space law. You will evaluate the adequacy of existing legal frameworks in addressing novel issues like lunar mining rights or the use of force in outer space, honing your ability to contribute to these debates in the space domain. This module utilises both cross-comparative and interdisciplinary perspectives, and explores synergies between law theory, international law and human uses of outer space.

More information

LW7149 -

Artificial Intelligence and the Law (Core,20 Credits)

In this module you will learn to critically assess the development of the law relating to the operation of algorithmic systems. As these systems become more ubiquitous and affordable, legal frameworks which are used to dealing with decision-making, will come under increasing scrutiny as centralised and automated decision-making will keep making inroads into individualised decisions from factfinders on the ground. You will study e.g. the way in which technology is challenging traditional concepts and principles in law. The legal dimensions of algorithms within everyday life will be assessed alongside the broader ethical and legal dimensions of the rise in use of Artificial Intelligence. The module will also examine the rise of algorithmic systems in policing, e.g. automated facial recognition. The module builds on the research interests of the tutors involved in this module and will provide a unique insight into an emerging and evolving area of legal inquiry:

• Conceptualising algorithmic systems and machine learning aka Artificial Intelligence.
• Algorithms, Machine Learning and a new technological paradigm.
• The Ethical Challenges posed by Artificial Intelligence.
• The Legal Challenges posed by Artificial Intelligence.
• Legal infomatics and the implications for the legal and judicial profession.
• The Internet Economy and AI.
• Regulating Autonomous systems in transport (i) Self Driving Vehicles
• Regulating Autonomous systems in policing (ii) Automated Facial Recognition.

You will also be expected to acquire and exercise the following skills during the course of this module:

• The ability to identify and analyse relevant legal issues in practical case-scenarios.
• The ability to undertake in-depth research.
• The ability to undertake detailed study of relevant sources of information, including journal articles, cases and other research materials.

More information

Modules

Module information is indicative and is reviewed annually therefore may be subject to change. Applicants will be informed if there are any changes.

GD7000 -

Academic Language Skills for PG Law Students (Core – for International and EU students only,0 Credits)

Studying away from your home country can differ due to cultural and language differences in teaching and assessment practices. This module is designed to support your transition to postgraduate level study in the use and practice of subject specific skills around assessments and teaching provision in your chosen subject. The overall aim of this module is to further develop your abilities to read and study effectively for academic purposes; to develop your skills in analysing and using source material in seminars and academic writing and to develop your use and application of language and communications skills suitable for a postgraduate level of study.

The topics you will cover on the module include:

• Understanding postgraduate assignment briefs.
• Developing advanced academic writing skills, including citation, paraphrasing, and summarising.
• Practising advanced ‘critical reading’ and ‘critical writing’
• Planning and structuring postgraduate level academic assignments (e.g. essays, dissertations and presentations).
• Avoiding academic misconduct and gaining credit by using academic sources and referencing effectively.
• Speaking in postgraduate seminar presentations.
• Giving discipline-related postgraduate level academic presentations, experiencing peer observation, and receiving formative feedback.
• Postgraduate level speed reading techniques.

More information

LW7088 -

Research for Advanced Legal Studies (Core,20 Credits)

This module offers a critical introduction to legal research methods. It is designed to ensure that you will be able to confidently embark on legal research on your Masters programme whatever your academic background or jurisdiction. Your lectures are designed to refresh and develop your understanding of legal research techniques, referencing and evaluating sources. In your workshops you will be provided with opportunities to undertake and obtain feedback upon a series of legal research and writing tasks, thus enabling you to develop critical understanding of what it meant by effective legal research, and how you yourself can become an effective legal researcher.

More information

LW7089 -

Legal Research Project (LLM Framework) (Core,60 Credits)

In this module you will draw on your skills and knowledge acquired from the taught elements of the LLM branch specialism and will develop and refine these in the context of a self-chosen area of independent specialist study. You will develop; (1) your understanding and use of legal research techniques, (2) An ability to critically analyse and evaluate legal data, (3) the ability to handle complex legal material systematically and creatively including material at the forefront of the field of study, (4) a conceptual understanding of the research topic, (5) skill at showing a systematic understanding of knowledge and a critical awareness of current legal issues, (6) the ability to communicate legal information, arguments and conclusions within accepted academic conventions.

More information

LW7097 -

Cyber, Space and Telecommunications: The Global Context (Core,20 Credits)

This module provides a critical introduction to the global nature of three distinct but interwoven areas of the space, cyber and telecommunications industries. The dominant consideration in all three of these environments are economic although they all have significant military dimensions. The three areas are all, in some way, contingent or connected to each other. They are also both dependent on and drivers of new technological and engineering advances. This module will provide an understanding of the fundamental ways in which they are regulated, coupled with an appreciation of the key themes that emerge in their on-going development.

The module will cover the following areas and start by considering the shared themes in the Cyber, Space and Telecoms global industry. There will be a critical introduction to the military applications of cyber, space and telecoms and analysis on the threats to space and telecoms from asymmetric cyber-attacks. There will be an evaluation of the role of space and telecoms in global navigation and transport industry and specific consideration of the changing face of broadcasting in the new space, cyber and telecoms era. As it is the main international institution, the role of the ITU will be evaluated in respect of (i) Regulation of Telecoms and (ii) Regulating Space and the Internet, together with the role of national regulators such as Ofcom. The module will then go on and consider the way in which technology shapes the law by considering new developments in cyber, space and telecommunications technology.

More information

LW7098 -

Cyber Law (Core,20 Credits)

In this module you will develop a critical understanding of the law and governance issues relating to cyberspace. You will acquire the knowledge and understanding around key legal issues in cyberspace. This includes consideration of cybersecurity, cybercrime, and e-commerce, together with analysing concerns over privacy and the role of commercial and military actors on both a national and international level. You will critically evaluate the governance of cyberspace at the international, regional, and national levels where appropriate and will look at the security, safety, and sustainability concerns around the use of cyberspace. You will gain a critical awareness of how law and governance operate in the global cyber economy. You will also examine the role of national legislation in protecting children and dealing with online harms. There will be an examination of softer, non-binding agreements in respect of cyber governance.

More information

LW7147 -

Space Governance: Themes and Concepts (Core,20 Credits)

This module will provide you with an understanding of the various concepts and themes that permeate contemporary space governance. You will critically examine the way in which space exploration is governed on a national and international level. The module will examine the governance of traditional space activity: the development of satellite communications, military activity in space, the use of interplanetary probes to gain scientific data and also human spaceflight. The module will introduce ideas of space law, alongside astropolitics, international relations and broader policy considerations in the governance of space. Study on this module will consider the commercial, academic and security issues in respect of the governance of human activity in outer space. There will be consideration of the environmental impact of space activity and related attempts to incorporate notions of sustainability in space governance. The role of national space legislation and softer, non-binding agreements will also be critically evaluated. You will immerse yourself in the space environment and formative assessment will be by means of peer discussion in workshops. Participation and engagement with the wider space industry, such as external space-related blogs, will be facilitated. The module will also feature input from experts in the field of space exploration and will provide an exciting and contemporary critique of contemporary space governance.

More information

LW7148 -

Space Law: Theory and Doctrine (Core,20 Credits)

This module provides a detailed and critical analysis of the international legal framework governing human activities beyond Earth's boundaries. The module will explore the evolving landscape of international space law, examining its theoretical underpinnings and the existing framework as it currently operates. The module will cover areas such as; an exploration of foundational concepts and institutions, tracing the historical roots of space law from the Cold War era to the present-day multi-polar world order. Students will dissect the key international treaties and agreements starting with a detailed examination of the Articles of the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, critiquing its significance and limitations in regulating space activities. The module will illustrate contemporary debates surrounding the theoretical frameworks shaping international space law. Students analyze diverse perspectives, from legal positivism to critical approaches, evaluating their applicability in addressing emerging challenges such as the impact of intellectual property on commercial space endeavors, resource exploitation, and the application of AI to space activity. The module will develop and enhance your critical thinking by engaging with both hypothetical scenarios and real-life case studies on space law. You will evaluate the adequacy of existing legal frameworks in addressing novel issues like lunar mining rights or the use of force in outer space, honing your ability to contribute to these debates in the space domain. This module utilises both cross-comparative and interdisciplinary perspectives, and explores synergies between law theory, international law and human uses of outer space.

More information

LW7149 -

Artificial Intelligence and the Law (Core,20 Credits)

In this module you will learn to critically assess the development of the law relating to the operation of algorithmic systems. As these systems become more ubiquitous and affordable, legal frameworks which are used to dealing with decision-making, will come under increasing scrutiny as centralised and automated decision-making will keep making inroads into individualised decisions from factfinders on the ground. You will study e.g. the way in which technology is challenging traditional concepts and principles in law. The legal dimensions of algorithms within everyday life will be assessed alongside the broader ethical and legal dimensions of the rise in use of Artificial Intelligence. The module will also examine the rise of algorithmic systems in policing, e.g. automated facial recognition. The module builds on the research interests of the tutors involved in this module and will provide a unique insight into an emerging and evolving area of legal inquiry:

• Conceptualising algorithmic systems and machine learning aka Artificial Intelligence.
• Algorithms, Machine Learning and a new technological paradigm.
• The Ethical Challenges posed by Artificial Intelligence.
• The Legal Challenges posed by Artificial Intelligence.
• Legal infomatics and the implications for the legal and judicial profession.
• The Internet Economy and AI.
• Regulating Autonomous systems in transport (i) Self Driving Vehicles
• Regulating Autonomous systems in policing (ii) Automated Facial Recognition.

You will also be expected to acquire and exercise the following skills during the course of this module:

• The ability to identify and analyse relevant legal issues in practical case-scenarios.
• The ability to undertake in-depth research.
• The ability to undertake detailed study of relevant sources of information, including journal articles, cases and other research materials.

More information

Study Options

The following alternative study options are available for this course:

Any Questions?

Our Applicant Services team will be happy to help.  They can be contacted on 0191 406 0901 or by using our Contact Form.



Accessibility and Student Inclusion

Northumbria University is committed to developing an inclusive, diverse and accessible campus and wider University community and are determined to ensure that opportunities we provide are open to all.

We are proud to work in partnership with AccessAble to provide Detailed Access Guides to our buildings and facilities across our City, Coach Lane and London Campuses. A Detailed Access Guide lets you know what access will be like when you visit somewhere. It looks at the route you will use getting in and what is available inside. All guides have Accessibility Symbols that give you a quick overview of what is available, and photographs to show you what to expect. The guides are produced by trained surveyors who visit our campuses annually to ensure you have trusted and accurate information.

You can use Northumbria’s AccessAble Guides anytime to check the accessibility of a building or facility and to plan your routes and journeys. Search by location, building or accessibility feature to find the information you need. 

We are dedicated to helping students who may require additional support during their student journey and offer 1-1 advice and guidance appropriate to individual requirements. If you feel you may need additional support you can find out more about what we offer here where you can also contact us with any questions you may have:

Accessibility support

Student Inclusion support




All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.

 

Useful Links

Find out about our distinctive approach at 
www.northumbria.ac.uk/exp

Admissions Terms and Conditions
northumbria.ac.uk/terms

Fees and Funding
northumbria.ac.uk/fees

Admissions Policy
northumbria.ac.uk/adpolicy

Admissions Complaints Policy
northumbria.ac.uk/complaints



If you’d like to receive the latest updates from Northumbria about our courses, events, finance & funding then enter your details below.

* At Northumbria we are strongly committed to protecting the privacy of personal data. To view the University’s Privacy Notice please click here

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Get an insight into life at Northumbria at the click of a button! Come and explore our videos and 360 panoramas to immerse yourself in our campuses and get a feel for what it is like studying here using our interactive virtual tour.

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