Public Procurement Law and Policy LLM/PGDip/PGCert

 
  

Fact file

Qualification
LLM Public Procurement Law and Policy
Duration
LLM: 2 years part-time; PGDip: 21 months part-time; PGCert: 12-21 months part-time
Entry requirements
2:1 (or international equivalent). Applicants with alternative academic backgrounds are also considered where they have relevant experience or other relevant qualifications, including CIPS Graduate Diploma in Purchasing and Supply (Level 6)
Other requirements
IELTS
7.0 (with no less than 7.0 in writing, 6.5 in reading and 6.0 in speaking and listening)

If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses are available
Start date
September
Campus
University Park
School/department
Law
Tuition fees
You can find fee information on our fees table.
 

Overview

To meet the need for in-depth training in this area, this unique, part-time programme provides a 'gold standard' for education in this field.
Read full overview

Developments over the last two decades have made public procurement law one of the most exciting and rapidly evolving areas of law. Given the extent to which legal rules now govern the day to-day conduct of most procurement activity, knowledge of procurement law has become vital for anyone working in public sector procurement.

The programme is open both to those with a legal background and those without, and does not require a law degree. It is designed in particular for:

  • procurement officers whose role demands an understanding of the legal rules
  • policy makers responsible for designing and implementing legal rules on procurement
  • lawyers advising on public procurement
  • those seeking to undertake research or teaching in public procurement

It provides a thorough understanding of:

  • the nature of law and legal process
  • the principles and rules of public procurement law
  • the application of these rules in key national and international systems/models (including UNCITRAL, the WTO, the World Bank, the EU and the UK)
  • how to implement best practice in the context of a legal framework

Visit the School of Law website for further information.

Key facts

  • The School of Law was ranked 41st best law school in the world by the QS World Rankings by Subject 2016
  • This innovative programme is taught by leading academics from the school's world-renowned Public Procurement Research Group (PPRG)
  • You will receive an extensive range of course materials, comprising bespoke mini-textbooks supplemented with additional readings and self-test questions and answers
  • Each module* is supported by around 14 hours of intensive teaching, held over two days in the middle of each module study period

* For Legal Research Methods the approach differs in that there is an introductory session and a session on how to conduct legal research (held alongside teaching for other modules), followed by completion of the module assignment.

Will the programme be affected by Brexit?

You may well be wondering whether there may be changes to the content of our programme as a result of Brexit.

Obviously it is very difficult to predict what Brexit will involve. That will depend, essentially, on what trade agreements, if any, the UK negotiates on departure from the EU. So far as the impact on our programme is concerned, however, what we do know is:

  1. Whatever the impact on the UK, we intend to continue to teach our EU procurement modules after Brexit in the same way as we do now. (We also intend to continue with our research in this field.) Thus potential students from outside the UK should not be affected.
  2. The EU procurement modules will remain relevant for those in the UK until at least mid-2019 - and probably longer, since the current UK regulations based on EU law are likely to remain until conclusion of negotiations with both the EU and other Parties to the WTO's Government Procurement Agreement (GPA).
  3. The EU procurement modules may well remain permanently relevant to the UK, since one quite likely outcome of negotiations is a trade agreement that includes the current EU procurement rules.

It is also possible, however, that any agreement(s) we negotiate will not include the full EU procurement rules, but will be based solely on GPA rules (or even that no agreement will be concluded on procurement, though we think this unlikely). Should that be the case we intend to introduce new modules covering any revised procurement system applicable in the UK – and, of course, our existing module on UK procurement will in future years (as this year) give extensive coverage to developments as they unfold!

Should the UK system change substantially, we intend (subject to IP constraints) to make any new UK module materials available free of charge to anyone who has undertaken the programme in the preceding three years, so that they may easily update themselves with the new system.

 

Course details

LLM

The Public Procurement Law and Policy LLM programme is offered on a part-time basis, to be completed over 24 months. This requires the completion of eight modules plus a dissertation.

PGDip

The PGDip programme is offered on a part-time basis, to be completed over 21 months. This requires the completion of eight modules. There is no dissertation.

PGCert

The PGCert programme is offered on a part-time basis, to be completed over 12-24 months (according to the modules chosen). This requires the completion of four modules. There is no dissertation.

Course materials

The course is predominantly delivered by distance learning and designed to be studied part-time to fit around your commitments. For each module, you are provided with extensive materials including basic text, case studies, further reading and self-test questions. 

You will also receive a reading pack of core academic articles and legislation for each module. Material is provided both online and in hard copy or disk format, and there is online academic support as well as an online discussion forum for each module.

Intensive residential sessions

Each module includes an intensive residential weekend held at The University of Nottingham. This provides the opportunity to develop understanding through traditional face-to-face teaching (lectures, seminars and workshops). These will be delivered mainly by academic staff from The University of Nottingham, with a few sessions also presented by guest lecturers from professional practice and international institutions.

The intensive teaching sessions constitute an important element of the programme, helping to ensure it is of the same high quality as the school's full-time programmes. You are strongly encouraged to attend, although this is not mandatory for obtaining a qualification.

 
 

Modules

LLM and PGDip

Core

Introduction to Public Procurement Regulation: Basic Principles and Concepts (M34140)

This module first examines basic concepts in procurement regulation, specifically the objectives of regulatory provisions (such as value for money, integrity, accountability, social development and procedural efficiency) and their relationship with each other, and the key principles of transparency and competition through which such objectives are implemented.

The module then considers how these objectives and principles are typically implemented and balanced in regulatory rules by reference to a study of the main rules of the UNCITRAL Model Law on Procurement of Goods, Construction and Services. This study will cover regulatory rules on: the scope of public procurement rules; procurement methods for goods, construction and services (including professional services); qualification and pre-qualification (including use of qualification lists); specifications; bid evaluation; conclusion of contracts; framework agreements; electronic procurement; and supplier review (bid challenge/remedies).

The module will also consider the operation of these principles in the context of procurement of privately financed infrastructure, including the UNCITRAL Model Provisions on the procurement of privately financed infrastructure.

 
EU Procurement Law 1 (M34143)

This module examines the basic rules and policies of the EU regime on public procurement and their implications for procurement strategy, and also provides a critical assessment of those rules against the background of sound procurement practice.

It covers the purpose of the EU rules; the application of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union to public procurement; the core rules contained in Directive 2014/24 and associated instruments - in particular the coverage of the directive, the detail of the main award procedures (open, restricted, competitive procedure with negotiation, and negotiated procedure without prior publication) and the rules on drafting specifications; changes to concluded contracts; and the remedies regime and the risks of legal challenge.

The module also examines the way in which the procedural rules have been implemented and operated in UK legislation and case law.

 
EU Procurement Law 2 (M34144)

This module examines various specific topics in EU public procurement, building on the foundations provided by the module EU Procurement Law 1, and provides a critical assessment of the relevant EU rules against the background of sound procurement practice.

It covers:

  • framework agreements
  • electronic procurement
  • regulation of the utilities sector
  • social and environmental policies in public procurement
  • innovation (including the innovation partnership procedure)
  • in-house and public-public arrangements

Where applicable, the module also examines the way in which these rules have been implemented and operated in UK legislation and case law.

 
Corruption and Collusion in Public Procurement (M34145)

This module examines the phenomena of corruption and collusion in public procurement and explores methods used in national and international systems to identify, prevent and sanction occurrences of these phenomena.

It covers, inter alia: the role and limits of transparency rules in addressing corruption; the revelation of corruption through investigations and audits; practical mechanisms to deter and redress corruption including criminal and administrative sanctions (such as debarment), codes of ethics and anti-corruption commissions; the role of rules against foreign bribery; and the role of competition law in dealing with supplier collusion.

 
Government Procurement in the WTO (M34146)

This module examines the current rules regulating government procurement under the Agreements of the World Trade Organization, covering both the multilateral agreements (in particular GATT and GATS) and the plurilateral Agreement on Government Procurement. This includes the current coverage of the GPA rules; the approach to GPA negotiations; the obligations for covered procurement under the GPA in relation to tendering; the system of enforcement (intergovernmental enforcement and supplier challenge systems); and the impact of the GPA on use of procurement promote social objectives and sustainable development.

The module also explores the current initiatives for expanding the multilateral rules on procurement, notably the discussions relating to a new Transparency Agreement. The module will explore the relevant issues from the perspective of all types of countries, including developing countries and transition economies/countries with a large state sector.

 
Legal Research Methods in Public Procurement (M34147)

This module examines the different methods relevant for research in public procurement regulation, including the objectives, benefits and limitations of each, and their inter-relationship. It provides an in-depth examination of doctrinal legal method and an introduction to other key research methods, including theoretical, comparative law, qualitative and quantitative. 

These various methods will be examined through studying general literature on research methods and through specific case studies of the use of the different methods in the context of research on public procurement regulation.

 

Optional

Organisation and Management of Procurement Systems (M34141)

This module examines the key issues relating to the setting up and management of public procurement systems, including in the specific context of developing countries.

It covers basic institutional structures (such as whether to use centralised and decentralised approaches to tasks and institutions, and the nature of policy authorities); the development of systems, including preparation of laws, recording/reporting requirements, and management of information systems; implementation issues, such as bid documentation and use of benchmarking and performance; and development of human resource capacity.

 

OR

EU Procurement Law 3 (M34176)

This module examines the various specialist topics of the EU regime on public procurement and their implications for procurement strategy, and provides a critical assessment of those rules against the background of sound procurement practice.

It covers:

  • the Defence and Security Directive 2009/81/EC
  • the Concessions Directive 2014/23
  • public-private partnerships in EU procurement Law (including institutional public-private partnerships (IPPs))
  • centralised procurement (including Central Purchasing Bodies)
  • collaborative procurement between EU Member States
  • competition law (including state aid) and procurement
  • the EU's Acquired Rights Directive
  • the EU's relations with third countries in public procurement

Where applicable, the module also examines the way in which these rules have been implemented in UK legislation and case law.

 

Procurement and Development (M34142)

This module examines issues relating to procurement and development. It divides into two major components, the role of procurement in the delivery of aid to developing countries and the characteristics of procurement systems in developing countries. As to the role of procurement in the delivery of aid, the course examines the procurement procedures and policies of major multilateral, regional and national institutions. It covers the procurement procedures and policies of the development banks, in particular the World Bank and the regional development banks, the UN Development Programme, and EU institutions.

The module also examines the procurement procedures and policies of the major bilateral aid institutions, though here it must necessarily be selective. As for the characteristics of procurement systems in developing countries, the course explores the move towards reform of procurement systems, the role of the UNCITRAL Model Law, and problems associated with capacity building in developing countries.

 

OR

UK Public Procurement Law (M34148)

This module examines in detail those aspects of UK procurement law that do not derive from the EU's procurement regime. In particular, the module will consider how the UK's general rules of constitutional and administrative law operate in the area of public procurement and may impact upon procurement practice.

The subjects covered include the impact of Freedom of Information law for disclosure of information; application and consequences in procurement of the ultra vires rule; local government powers relating to shared service and joint procurement; and judicial control of procurement awards through common law judicial review and the "Blackpool" implied contract governing tendering procedures.

 

 

PGCert

Core

Introduction to Public Procurement Regulation: Basic Principles and Concepts (M34140)

This module first examines basic concepts in procurement regulation, specifically the objectives of regulatory provisions (such as value for money, integrity, accountability, social development and procedural efficiency) and their relationship with each other, and the key principles of transparency and competition through which such objectives are implemented.

The module then considers how these objectives and principles are typically implemented and balanced in regulatory rules by reference to a study of the main rules of the UNCITRAL Model Law on Procurement of Goods, Construction and Services. This study will cover regulatory rules on: the scope of public procurement rules; procurement methods for goods, construction and services (including professional services); qualification and pre-qualification (including use of qualification lists); specifications; bid evaluation; conclusion of contracts; framework agreements; electronic procurement; and supplier review (bid challenge/remedies).

The module will also consider the operation of these principles in the context of procurement of privately financed infrastructure, including the UNCITRAL Model Provisions on the procurement of privately financed infrastructure.

 

Optional

Organisation and Management of Procurement Systems (M34141)

This module examines the key issues relating to the setting up and management of public procurement systems, including in the specific context of developing countries.

It covers basic institutional structures (such as whether to use centralised and decentralised approaches to tasks and institutions, and the nature of policy authorities); the development of systems, including preparation of laws, recording/reporting requirements, and management of information systems; implementation issues, such as bid documentation and use of benchmarking and performance; and development of human resource capacity.

 

OR

EU Procurement Law 3 (M34176)

This module examines the various specialist topics of the EU regime on public procurement and their implications for procurement strategy, and provides a critical assessment of those rules against the background of sound procurement practice.

It covers:

  • the Defence and Security Directive 2009/81/EC
  • the Concessions Directive 2014/23
  • public-private partnerships in EU procurement Law (including institutional public-private partnerships (IPPs))
  • centralised procurement (including Central Purchasing Bodies)
  • collaborative procurement between EU Member States
  • competition law (including state aid) and procurement
  • the EU's Acquired Rights Directive
  • the EU's relations with third countries in public procurement

Where applicable, the module also examines the way in which these rules have been implemented in UK legislation and case law.

 

Procurement and Development (M34142)

This module examines issues relating to procurement and development. It divides into two major components, the role of procurement in the delivery of aid to developing countries and the characteristics of procurement systems in developing countries. As to the role of procurement in the delivery of aid, the course examines the procurement procedures and policies of major multilateral, regional and national institutions. It covers the procurement procedures and policies of the development banks, in particular the World Bank and the regional development banks, the UN Development Programme, and EU institutions.

The module also examines the procurement procedures and policies of the major bilateral aid institutions, though here it must necessarily be selective. As for the characteristics of procurement systems in developing countries, the course explores the move towards reform of procurement systems, the role of the UNCITRAL Model Law, and problems associated with capacity building in developing countries.

 

OR

UK Public Procurement Law (M34148)

This module examines in detail those aspects of UK procurement law that do not derive from the EU's procurement regime. In particular, the module will consider how the UK's general rules of constitutional and administrative law operate in the area of public procurement and may impact upon procurement practice.

The subjects covered include the impact of Freedom of Information law for disclosure of information; application and consequences in procurement of the ultra vires rule; local government powers relating to shared service and joint procurement; and judicial control of procurement awards through common law judicial review and the "Blackpool" implied contract governing tendering procedures.

 

EU Procurement Law 1 (M34143)

This module examines the basic rules and policies of the EU regime on public procurement and their implications for procurement strategy, and also provides a critical assessment of those rules against the background of sound procurement practice.

It covers the purpose of the EU rules; the application of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union to public procurement; the core rules contained in Directive 2014/24 and associated instruments - in particular the coverage of the directive, the detail of the main award procedures (open, restricted, competitive procedure with negotiation, and negotiated procedure without prior publication) and the rules on drafting specifications; changes to concluded contracts; and the remedies regime and the risks of legal challenge.

The module also examines the way in which the procedural rules have been implemented and operated in UK legislation and case law.

 
EU Procurement Law 2 (M34144)

This module examines various specific topics in EU public procurement, building on the foundations provided by the module EU Procurement Law 1, and provides a critical assessment of the relevant EU rules against the background of sound procurement practice.

It covers:

  • framework agreements
  • electronic procurement
  • regulation of the utilities sector
  • social and environmental policies in public procurement
  • innovation (including the innovation partnership procedure)
  • in-house and public-public arrangements

Where applicable, the module also examines the way in which these rules have been implemented and operated in UK legislation and case law.

 
Corruption and Collusion in Public Procurement (M34145)

This module examines the phenomena of corruption and collusion in public procurement and explores methods used in national and international systems to identify, prevent and sanction occurrences of these phenomena.

It covers, inter alia: the role and limits of transparency rules in addressing corruption; the revelation of corruption through investigations and audits; practical mechanisms to deter and redress corruption including criminal and administrative sanctions (such as debarment), codes of ethics and anti-corruption commissions; the role of rules against foreign bribery; and the role of competition law in dealing with supplier collusion.

 
Government Procurement in the WTO (M34146)

This module examines the current rules regulating government procurement under the Agreements of the World Trade Organization, covering both the multilateral agreements (in particular GATT and GATS) and the plurilateral Agreement on Government Procurement. This includes the current coverage of the GPA rules; the approach to GPA negotiations; the obligations for covered procurement under the GPA in relation to tendering; the system of enforcement (intergovernmental enforcement and supplier challenge systems); and the impact of the GPA on use of procurement promote social objectives and sustainable development.

The module also explores the current initiatives for expanding the multilateral rules on procurement, notably the discussions relating to a new Transparency Agreement. The module will explore the relevant issues from the perspective of all types of countries, including developing countries and transition economies/countries with a large state sector.

 
Legal Research Methods in Public Procurement (M34147)

This module examines the different methods relevant for research in public procurement regulation, including the objectives, benefits and limitations of each, and their inter-relationship. It provides an in-depth examination of doctrinal legal method and an introduction to other key research methods, including theoretical, comparative law, qualitative and quantitative. 

These various methods will be examined through studying general literature on research methods and through specific case studies of the use of the different methods in the context of research on public procurement regulation.

 

 

The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. This list is an example of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.

 
 

Funding

Please see the University's online funding information for sources of postgraduate funding.

International and EU students

The University of Nottingham offers a range of scholarships for international and EU students.

Applicants must receive an offer of study before applying for our scholarships. Applications for 2017 entry scholarships will open in late 2016. Please note the closing dates of any scholarships you are interested in and make sure you submit your course application in good time so that you have the opportunity to apply for them.

The International Office also provides information and advice for international and EU students on financing your degree and external sources of funding.

Find out more on our scholarships, fees and finance webpages for international applicants.

 
 

Careers

The acquisition of this postgraduate qualification demonstrates knowledge in this specialist field of public procurement regulation that is both high level and spreads across the whole field, as well as advanced skills in the law for those who have no prior legal training.

The vast majority of students on the programme are already working the field of public procurement, often in a very senior capacity, whether as lawyers (in-house or in private practice), procurement practitioners in the public/utility sectors, consultants, policy makers or (in a few cases) suppliers. For these students the specialist knowledge and understanding of procurement law gained from the programme greatly enhances their ability to perform their roles, as is evidenced by the numerous testimonials received to this effect.

Students have also used their qualification to move on to more senior roles in their current organisations or other organisations, as well as to move into new sectors - for example, from working in EU procurement law to working in development procurement, or from procurement practice to consultancy - as is again evidenced in testimonials. Many students also report that their professional performance has benefited significantly from the contacts made during the programme with other high-level specialists across the field.

Some of our students are new to the field and have used the qualification gained to move into this rapidly growing field. A few have also taken the programme in order to obtain a comprehensive knowledge of public procurement regulation as a background to pursuing a PhD in the field, or have decided to undertake a PhD after completing their study.

 
 
 
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