Executive Programme in Public Procurement Law and Policy
The Executive Programme in Public Procurement Law and Policy is a part-time, distance learning programme provided under the School of Law's world-renowned Public Procurement Research Group (PPRG).
Highly skilled public procurement professionals increasingly recognise the important role of legal regulation in controlling public procurement. The Executive Programme offers a comprehensive grounding in the legal aspects of public procurement and a valuable academic qualification for use in practice. It is unique in its coverage of international, EU and UK public procurement law and policy and draws on the latest cutting-edge research of its academic staff.
The programme can be studied to Masters (LLM), Postgraduate Diploma, or Postgraduate Certificate level, and it is possible to ‘upgrade’ or ‘downgrade’ the qualification during the period of study. Most students undertake the programme alongside full-time employment and other commitments.
Who can take the programme?
The programme is carefully designed for:
- Procurement officers and supply chain specialists who require a strategic understanding of complex legislation, cases and their impact on practice
- Lawyers advising on public procurement and those undertaking research or teaching in this area
- Consultants looking to offer bespoke training and other services
- Policy makers responsible for designing and implementing legal rules on public procurement in international organisations and public authorities
Graduates of the Executive Programme come from diverse professional backgrounds which typically include international organisations (for example, the World Bank and other international development banks), European institutions (for example, the European Commission), central government departments (for example, the Department of Health and Social Care), local authorities and international law firms.
No law degree or prior legal training is required to study on the programme. Typically, cohorts are roughly equally split between professionals in procurement and supply chain management without any prior legal background and those with a legal background. The programme provides basic legal skills training (reading and finding cases), and assessments are designed to reflect the fact that some students are new to studying law.
The Masters LLM is a highly valued qualification. This degree confers a ‘Master of Laws’ with a specialisation in Public Procurement Law and Policy. The title ‘LLM (Public Procurement Law and Policy)’ recognises the level of legal content studied, related skills acquired, and the significance of regulation as an aspect of procurement policy. This will provide a market-leading qualification that is much sought after in practice.
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 as they are developing in real time
- the application of these rules in key national and international systems (including UNCITRAL, the WTO, the EU and the UK)
- how to implement best practice in the context of a legal framework, informed by insights of world-leading practitioners
Students commencing study in 2023 onwards will benefit from a bespoke Principles of UK Public Procurement module, which will cover in detail the UK’s new post-Brexit legislation.
Other benefits include:
- opportunities for high-level networking
- continuing engagement with the programme and staff through our alumni community
- a foundation for further postgraduate study
A number of students have gone on to undertake PhDs and collaborate in research with the Public Procurement Research Group.
The programme surpassed my expectations. It broadened and deepened my understanding of the aspects of procurement law I thought I knew well.
Caroline Nicholas, Senior Legal Officer, United Nations Office of Legal Affairs, and Secretary, UNCITRAL Working Group I
How does the programme reflect post-Brexit changes?
Following Brexit, the UK acceded to the World Trade Organization Government Procurement Agreement and signed a Trade and Cooperation Agreement with the EU. As the UK will align with these similar systems, those applicants wishing to study UK public procurement law will benefit from detailed instruction on the WTO and EU legal systems which will continue to inform the application of UK law.
The UK’s new Procurement Act received Royal Assent in October 2023 and is expected to come into force in autumn 2024. The programme will fully accommodate this major development through the introduction of a new module, ‘Principles of UK Public Procurement Regulation’, which will run for the first time in Spring 23/24 and will cover the new statutory and regulatory regime. This will be supported by a bespoke ‘Legal Regimes in UK Public Procurement’ module covering wider legal regimes relevant to public procurement (eg public law, freedom of information law, and other public sector legislation) as we continue to engage with leading practitioners and policy-makers on the legislation’s implementation.
Students will benefit from cutting-edge insight and experience, as members of the programme have advised on the reforms, and a 2022 alumnus was integral to the framing of the new legislation. Professor Emerita Sue Arrowsmith KC (Hon), the Executive Programme’s founder, was a member of the UK Government's Procurement Transformation Advisory Panel, which was set up to advise on the reforms.
Academic staff will additionally continue to teach EU and WTO law, given their strong interest in these areas.
The programme also benefits from the expertise and experience of a number of honorary professors, including: