Public Procurement Law and Policy LLM


Fact file

Qualification name:Public Procurement Law and Policy
Duration:2 years part-time
Entry requirements:2:1 (upper second class honours degree or international equivalent).
Other requirements:Additional experience/qualifications may also be considered. In particular, applications are welcome from those who possess the CIPS Graduate Diploma in Purchasing and Supply (Level 6 of the CIPS qualification framework) and others with relevant qualifications or experience from the purchasing and supply field.
IELTS:7.0 (with no less than 7.0 in writing, 6.5 in reading and 6.0 in speaking and listening)
Start date:September
Campus:University Park

School of Law

Course Overview

The Executive LLM programme in Public Procurement Law and Policy is an innovative part-time programme provided by the School of Law under the auspices of the school’s world-renowned Public Procurement Research Group (PPRG). It involves distance learning supplemented by (optional) intensive face-to-face teaching days. 

This course has been developed in recognition of the growing importance of legal regulation in controlling public procurement and provides a "gold standard" in legal training in public procurement. The course is aimed both at those with a legal background and those without, and does not require that applicants possess a law degree.  

Those taking the programme will obtain a thorough understanding of: 

  • the nature of law and the legal process 
  • the principles and rules of public procurement law 
  • the application of these rules in key national and international systems/models including those of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), the World Trade Organization (WTO), the EU and the UK 
  • how to implement best practice in the context of a legal framework 

The programme is designed, in particular, for:

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

Visit the School of Law website for further information. 

Key facts 

  • The School of Law at The University of Nottingham is consistently ranked among the leading law schools in the United Kingdom. The school was rated 6th in the Research Excellence Framework 2014 and has a grade of 'Excellent' for teaching. 
  • The Public Procurement Research Group is the global leader in its field, and enjoys important professional relationships with relevant national and international institutions. 
  • The excellent law library has in excess of 65,000 volumes, immediate access to a wide range of electronic materials and resources and a dedicated law librarian. 
  • There is a dedicated administrator is employed to assist students with all aspects of the programme. 

Course Details

The Executive LLM is studied part-time by distance learning over two years. 

Course participants are provided with extensive course materials both online and in disc copy, and receive online support and advice. In addition, modules are generally supported by approximately 14 hours of intensive teaching.

You will undertake all of the core modules plus one each of the optional modules, in addition to a 45-page dissertation.

The dissertation is a free-standing element of the programme and allows you to explore more fully an area of procurement law or policy which is of particular interest to you.


A full list of available modules can be found in the Law postgraduate module guide.

Core modules

Introduction to Public Procurement Regulation: Basic Principles and Concepts
This module examines basic concepts in procurement regulation. It considers first the different objectives of regulatory provisions (value for money, integrity, environmental/social development etc.), and the key principles of transparency and competition through which these objectives are implemented. 
The module then considers how these objectives and principles are typically implemented and balanced in regulatory rules. This is done primarily through a study of the main rules of the UNCITRAL Model Law on Public Procurement 2011. 
The issues that we examine in detail include the following: 

  • The scope of public procurement law. 
  • Procurement methods (open tendering, restricted tendering, methods involving negotiation, single-source procurement etc.) 
  • The conduct of open tendering procedures, including:

       - drafting specifications
       - advertising
       - correction of tenders
       - post-tender negotiations
       - qualification and pre-qualification (including use of qualification lists)
       - award criteria

  • Selection and evaluation in complex procurement, including for major infrastructure projects and consultancy services 
  • Suppler challenge and remedies
This module also provides introductory material on:

  • Electronic procurement (including electronic auctions)
  • Framework agreements
  • Promoting industrial, social and environmental objectives in procurement
  • The procurement of privately financed infrastructure
Legal Research Methods in Public Procurement

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.

This module aims to:

  • provide a study of the key methods used in research relating to public procurement regulation
EU Procurement Law 1

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 Functioing of the European Union to public procurement
  • the core rules contained in Directive 2014/24 and associated instruments 
  • changes to concluded contracts
  • 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.

This module aims to:

  • study the purpose, content and impact of the EU’s basic rules on public procurement
EU Procurement Law 2

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

This module aims to:

  • provide a detailed study of the purpose, content and impact of the EU’s rules on public procurement in various specialist areas of practical importance

Optional modules

Procurement and Development

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
  • 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 course 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.

This module aims to:

  • convey to the students the critical role of procurement in developing countries and its role in aid delivery to developing countries
UK Public Procurement Law

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
  • judicial control of procurement awards through common law judicial review and the “Blackpool” implied contract governing tendering procedures

This module aims to:

  • provide a study of the legal rules relevant for public procurement in the UK that are not derived from EU law
EU Procurement Law 3

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 Secutiry 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
  • defence procurement in the EU
  • 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.

This module aims to:

  • provide a detailed study of the purpose, content and impact of EU procurement law in various specialist areas of practical importance

Please note that all module details are subject to change.


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 masters scholarships for international and EU students from a wide variety of countries and areas of study.

Applicants must receive an offer of study before applying for our scholarships. Applications for 2016 entry scholarships will open in late 2015. Please note the closing dates of any scholarships you are interested in and make sure you submit your masters 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, living costs, external sources of funding and working during your studies.

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


Average starting salary and career progression

In 2014, 95% of postgraduates in the School of Law who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £20,500 with the highest being £30,000.*

* Known destinations of full-time home and EU postgraduates, 2013/14.

Career Prospects and Employability

The acquisition of a masters degree demonstrates a high level of knowledge in a specific field. Whether you are using it to enhance your employability, as preparation for further academic research or as a means of vocational training, you may benefit from careers advice as to how you can use your new found skills to their full potential. 

Our Careers and Employability Service will help you do this, working with you to explore your options and inviting you to attend recruitment events where you can meet potential employers, as well as suggesting further development opportunities, such as relevant work experience placements and skills workshops.  

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