DegreeLLM Legal Theory/Master of Laws in Legal TheoryIn cooperation withEuropean Academy of Legal Theory (http://www.legaltheory.eu)
and the following universities:
Bologna/European University Institute Florence
Université Libre de Bruxelles
University of Lucerne
Jagiellonian University Cracow
and additional universities cooperating within the Third Term Network on the level of personal supervision (e.g., Glasgow, Oxford, SciencesPo and Sorbonne Paris, Palermo, Pompeu Fabra Barcelona, Vilnius, Pecs, Bruno, Belgrade, and others)Joint Degree/Double DegreeYesCourse language(s)Courses are held in English. Students must write their Master's theses in English (with a German abstract). There are course options in the local language of the cooperating university (German in Frankfurt, French in Brussels, Italian in Bologna, and Polish in Krakow).Admission semesterWinter semester onlyBeginningWinter semester - OctoberProgramme durationTwo semesters (one year)Application deadline30 June
Available places are limited (early applications are preferred). In some cases and subject to the number of remaining places, prospective students can also try to apply by 15 August.
Applicants have to take care of visa requirements, take into account the period of time to get a visa in their respective countries, and apply accordingly early.Course contentThis programme engages with the ongoing globalisation and the connected structural transformation of normativity in law. It introduces the Anglo-American as well as the continental tradition of legal theory. However, its focus is on safeguarding European traditions as the basis of constitutionalism for a global perspective, developing legal scholarship and jurisprudence as a science, and developing jurisprudence as applied legal theory so as to enable students to solve system conflicts. Such conflicts occur quite regularly nowadays because national law is becoming supra-, inter- and transnational and because of the growing weight of transnational law-making on the part of non-state actors.
This is reflected in the unique character of the programme. Moreover, it offers an excellent institutional setting on the new Westend Campus of Goethe University Frankfurt.
(1) The programme's exclusive concentration on legal theory makes it unique in the field of advanced legal studies in Europe, enabled by the university cluster of EALT.
(2) It rests on synergies between three institutions located on the same campus: a large law faculty, the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History (http://www.rg.mpg.de), the Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of Normative Orders" (http://www.normativeorders.net) integrating the Frankfurt social sciences (anthropology, sociology, and philosophy) with a focus on normativity, and the House of Finance (Institute for Law and Finance, http://www.ilf-frankfurt.de).
(3) It also connects the reputation of Goethe University (GU) with that of other renowned German and European universities.
Besides GU, the partners in the programme are the universities of Bologna and EUI Florence, Brussels (Université Libre de Bruxelles, ULB), Brno, Cracow, Lucerne, and Stockholm.
Associated partners contribute in a specific way within the activities of the Third Term Network, namely, in the supervision of students' Master's theses. They currently include renowned instructors from the universities of Glasgow and Oxford, Paris (Sciences-Po Paris, Paris Ouest Nanterre, EHESS), and the universities of Belgrade, Groningen, Palermo, Pécs, Pompeu Fabra Barcelona, Vilnius, and others. In addition, close cooperation exists with the International Association for Legal and Social Philosophy (IVR). The programme also has ties to major legal theory scholars at German universities such as Freiburg, Göttingen, Hamburg, and Munich.
Educational organisationThe obligatory part of the curriculum consists of three compulsory modules (A-C) and of passing three elective modules out of seven (E1-7), and a Master's thesis (D). Students may stay at GU during the entire academic year. Alternatively, they may attend modules in Stockholm, Brussels, or Florence. Moreover, they are welcome to attend more or less the whole set of modules.
1. Compulsory modules:
A: Jurisprudence (History of Jurispr., Theories of Law, Moral & Political Philosophy of Law)
B: Theory of Comparative Law, Global Law; European Integration
C: Legal Methods, Inferencing in Law, Methodology in Legal Research (preparing D)
2. D-module: Master's thesis
3. Elective modules: E-modules deepen the basics of jurisprudence taught in A-, B- and C-courses.
E1: Law, History, and Culture / Cultural Studies (History of Law, Legal History, Legal Anthropology, Law and Religion)
E2: Law, Society & Culture (Legal Sociology, Law & Gender, Law & Literature)
E3: Law, Science and Technology
E4: Formation of Normative Orders (Legal Pluralism, Human Rights, Intl. Law)
E5: Law and Economy (Governance & Compliance)
E6: Global Law
E7: Law, Language and Reasoning
Following current developments in legal theory, other courses may be additionally integrated into the programme.
Obligatory classes will be taken by approx. 20 international students. Elective classes will have fewer participants (minimum number: seven) and may be open to other students. Classes will mostly be taught by renowned academic teaching personnel and partly by legal practitioners. The academic year will start with the winter semester (Oct.-Feb.) in Frankfurt, consisting of modules A1-3, B1-3, C1-3, E1, E2 or E3.
There is an introductory week at the University of Brno on legal writing (according to the Anglo-American as well as the continental model) and a preparatory week in Frankfurt (preparing module A), both subsequently in early Oct. before the beginning of regular class in late Oct. Moreover, there are winter / summer schools in Palermo and other places. On individual admission, students may participate in lectures or conferences at GU convened by the Excellence Cluster, the Max Planck Institute or the Institute of Law and Finance. There are no classes from mid-March to mid-April.
Spring/summer semester (mid-April to early July) takes place late April / early May at GU (E4, E5) and late May to early July at ULB and EUI Florence.
The so-called "Third Term" (mid-June - mid-Sept., no courses) facilitates an optional research stay at a partner university or another partner of the Third Term Network ("mobility phase D") in Europe or Germany.Study abroad unit(s)Optionally, students spend time at partner universities in Stockholm (E3), Brussels (ULB; E6) and Florence (E7) to acquire 21 ECTS.
Within the Third Term Network, for supervision of the students' Master's theses in the last quarter of the academic year, students may study in cooperation with a personal supervisor at the partner universities of the European Academy of Legal Theory (Bologna, Brussels, Jagiellonian University Cracow, Brno, Lucerne, Stockholm or further associated partners such as Glasgow or Oxford, SciencesPo Paris, EHEEC or Paris Ouest Nanterre, Palermo, Groningen, Belgrade, Pécs, and others). In Germany, they may spend time in Freiburg, Göttingen, Hamburg, or Munich. In addition, a close cooperation exists with the International Association for Legal and Social Philosophy (IVR).InternshipsThe programme provides no internships. However, some seminars will provide close contact with legal practitioners.Forms of assessmentThe programme comprises 60 ECTS. The credit points are awarded for the obligatory modules A-D and at least three elective modules of 7 ECTS each (21 ECTS in total).
In general, each module consists of three classes. (Ungraded) assessments of performance provide proof of regular and active attendance. Style and scope of assessments are announced by the teacher at the start of the course. Positive assessments of performance in obligatory module parts are required for admittance to the final module exam. The Master's thesis consists of 17,000-20,000 words of text.ECTS credits60Diploma supplementYesFunding of the joint degree / double degreeDAAD (German Academic Exchange Service)Course-related German language coursesYesCourse-related English language coursesYesCourse objectivesStudents will be equipped with knowledge of the history of ideas, legal philosophy, and legal theory, becoming sensitised for the preconditions for legal doctrines/dogmatics. The modules impart interdisciplinary competences by introducing basic concepts of practical and political philosophy, sociology, and cultural studies and raise awareness of the specific achievements of law in societal integration. All in all, students will become familiar with key figures in European and international scholarship in legal theory and notably with Frankfurt's scholars including leading scholars of the Frankfurt School.
The modules A-C are charged with imparting two perspectives of the LLM programme: a classical legal theory and a user-oriented legal theory, both reflecting the Anglo-American and the continental tradition. Students acquire competences to find their bearings within the complexities of traditions of legal analysis and are able, on this basis, to develop preferences for selection of subsequent elective modules (E-modules). Module B enables students to identify problems of comparative law and, possibly, develop solutions. In particular, students are able to reproduce an account of the main factors of European integration, and to assess them critically. At the same time, they are able to analyse specific characteristics of globalisation. Methodologically, B-modules enable students to tackle problems of translation and reception of foreign legal orders conceptionally. C-modules enable the reasonable handling of discipline-specific approaches/methodologies. Students acquire the ability to select these for their own research. They are also able to extend these competences to their own research in order to develop a design for their Master's thesis that will be typically outlined within C-modules. In addition, C-modules also provide the competence to employ the basic functions and applications of new ICT tools for the practice of legal scientific work.
Tuition feesTuition fees amount to 7,000 EUR for the basic single degree track at Goethe University and 3,000 EUR for the double degree track at ULB. Specific tuition waivers may apply.Enrolment feesGoethe University charges an administrative fee of approx. 360 EUR per semester (less than 730 EUR per year). This includes a ticket for public transport. The "magic ticket" entitles you to use buses, trams, and the underground in Frankfurt and the surrounding area. You can even use the regional trains to travel to various other cities, e.g., Marburg, Giessen, or Mainz.Costs of livingThe cost of living in Frankfurt depends on personal requirements and lifestyle. However, students should expect minimum expenses of approx. 940 EUR per month. This calculation is based on the following items: 800 EUR for rent, food, clothing, and study materials, around 81 EUR for compulsory but almost comprehensive health insurance, and approx. 59 EUR for the administrative fee (including free public transport).Job opportunitiesIn Frankfurt, 44,000 companies and organisations have approx. 450,000 employees on their payrolls. In addition, Frankfurt is the financial centre of Germany, with 350 banks, including the European Central Bank, 150 foreign banks, and the fourth-largest stock exchange in the world. Furthermore, Frankfurt is home to various cultural and research institutions. These are key players in a flourishing economy, offering students and graduates interesting jobs and internships. During your studies, there are plenty of job opportunities at Goethe University itself (e.g., as a tutor or research assistant), or you may look for jobs and internships elsewhere in the greater Frankfurt area. Some job opportunities are particularly interesting for students from abroad, e.g., at the airport and the trade fair. The "Studentenwerk" as well as the Career Services at Goethe University can help you to find a suitable offer. After you graduate, it is comparatively easy to find a job in the greater Frankfurt area, since it is one of the strongest employment regions in Germany. Furthermore, due to new laws, students from non-EU countries may also receive a work permit after graduation.Funding opportunities within the universityUnder its tuition waiver programme, the Master's programme offers applicants the possibility to apply for a limited number of tuition fee waivers. Selection will be based on academic excellence. For related details, please refer to the information on the application form.
Academic requirementsFor the Master of Laws in Legal Theory (LLM), the following requirements must be met:
- A test result in accordance with the International English Testing System (IELTS 7 points minimum), or
- Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), Internet-based test 100 points minimum, with the following minimum section requirements: reading: 20, listening: 20, speaking: 20, writing: 20, or
- any equivalent recognised English language proficiency certificate
Where to applyGoethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
- Graduates must hold a basic degree in law or a basic degree in another field of study relevant to legal theory (e.g., arts, humanities or cultural, social, political, or economic studies) with a minimum duration of six semesters (180 ECTS).
- In general, they should also prove a minimum of one year of professional and/or research experience outside the basic degree programme prior to the start of the Master's programme in Legal Theory.
- Applicants who do not have English as their first language must include evidence of English language proficiency.
Prof. Lorenz Schulz
Institut für Kriminalwissenschaften und Rechtsphilosophie
Theodor-Adorno-Platz 4 / RuW 4.135
60629 Frankfurt am Main
Arrival supportThe Law Faculty provides assistance in finding accommodation. The International Office at Goethe University offers assistance with other matters.
More importantly, alumni students from practically all over the world can offer assistance to international students, as they are experienced with living in Frankfurt and are familiar with an international context.Services and support for international studentsThe International Office of Goethe University (IO) offers a comprehensive range of advice and services on issues of visa/immigration, financing your studies, social life, and personal matters.
For example, the Kompass³ certification programme is offered by the International Office together with the Career Service and the Equal Opportunities Office. The programme comprises numerous workshops and seminars designed to help international students develop various skills for a successful graduation and a good start to their professional careers.
At the International Study Center (ISZ) at Goethe University, ongoing German language support is available. ISZ offers several options to improve your language proficiency, such as a tandem project (language exchange, e.g., Spanish-German), German language courses (preparatory and continuous), and language training during your academic programme.
Check the website for more information:
The student union ("AStA", http://asta-frankfurt.de/) provides advice and entertainment. Faith-based organisations offer opportunities for worship and intercultural exchange.
See: http://www.khg-frankfurt.de/AccommodationFrankfurt am Main offers a wide variety of accommodation, from university dorms to privately rented apartments. The biggest providers of dorms are the "Studentenwerk" (student services: http://www.studentenwerkfrankfurt.de) and churches.
The 19 dormitories offer more than 1,700 different accommodation units starting from 120 EUR per month for a single room to up to 450 EUR for a family apartment of 45m².
For further information, see: http://www.studentenwerkfrankfurt.de/en/consulting-service/international-students/accommodation/.
We strongly recommend that students contact such organisations as soon as they receive their letter of acceptance to the programme, as these rooms are in high demand.
Course websiteAbout the universityGoethe University is frequently ranked among Germany's leading institutions of higher education. Although the current organisation was founded as a university in 1914 by prominent citizens of Frankfurt, its actual origins go back to 1763. With currently approx. 47,000 students, including approx. 7,300 international students, the university prides itself on a rich tradition of intellectual and cultural excellence. Numerous Nobel laureates in science and medicine, including Max Born, Paul Ehrlich, and Max von Laue, were among the students and teachers at the university. It is home to the world-renowned Frankfurt School, Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer's Institute for Social Research, and three Clusters of Excellence in life sciences, medicine, and social sciences. Several Max Planck Institutes are situated on its campuses, too. Goethe University has enjoyed the teaching of philosophers and theologists, such as Paul Tillich, Martin Buber, and Jürgen Habermas. The university has 16 faculties, including Law, Economics and Business Administration, Social Sciences, Educational Sciences, Psychology and Sports Sciences, Philosophy and History, Theology, Linguistics, Cultural Studies and Arts Studies, Modern Languages, Geosciences and Geography, Computer Science and Mathematics, Physics, Biochemistry, Chemistry and Pharmacy, Biological Sciences, and Medical Science.Total number of students47,000Total percentage of international students16 %About the citySince the Middle Ages, Frankfurt am Main has been a major trade and finance centre at the crossroads of Europe's trade routes. Today, as the leading financial marketplace in continental Europe, Frankfurt is the seat of the European Central Bank and of international banks such as the Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank. Thus, Frankfurt is at the centre of European monetary policy and the European Monetary Union. Major public banking institutions, including the Deutsche Bundesbank and Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau, one of the EU's leading public credit institutions, are based in Frankfurt, as is the world's fourth-largest stock exchange, the Deutsche Börse AG. The stock exchange also houses the world's largest and most modern all-electronic derivatives exchange: Eurex.
The region benefits from an outstanding telecommunication and transportation infrastructure. Frankfurt Airport is the leading airport in continental Europe and offers excellent connections within Europe and overseas. Frankfurt's dense transportation network ensures a seamless connection to all road and rail links.
Frankfurt is an international meeting point. It is home to the oldest trade fair in the world, the world-renowned Frankfurt Book Fair. It also offers many cultural attractions, among them two opera houses, concert halls, theatres, and a great variety of museums and art galleries. Situated on one of Europe's great rivers, the Main, Frankfurt is a vibrant city with many recreational facilities catering to the city's international population.
Cosmopolitan in nature, Frankfurt is home to a large community of expatriate workers and offers a wide choice of entertainment in the English language, from cinema to theatre, literature, and sports. About half of Frankfurt's citizens are foreign-born. There are a multitude of ethnic-based associations, and food from around the world is easily available. Frankfurt is a city in the heart of Europe: Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Brussels, Amsterdam, Paris, and Zurich can all be reached by high-speed rail in less than four hours.