Welcome to the School of Law

Established in 1849, the School of Law at University of Galway delivers innovative legal education in a dynamic school dedicated to impactful, high quality legal research. With over 1,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students, over 45 staff, a range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes and exciting clinical legal education opportunities the School emphasises student-focused, research-led teaching delivered in a supportive and intellectually challenging environment.‌

It hosts the internationally renowned Irish Centre for Human Rights and the Centre for Disability Law & Policy; both centres with established reputations as world leaders in their fields. The School is passionate about research that meets the highest standards of scholarship, informs student learning and engages with current societal challenges, impacting public debate and informing government policy. Our new School of Law Strategic Plan 2022-2026 is now available online for consultation.


In the School of Law we have a variety of options for undergraduate students that provide paths to traditional professional careers and many other careers too.

At undergraduate level the traditional law degree programme, the Bachelor of Law (BCL) degree offers a rich curriculum of core and optional subjects. All students are encouraged and assisted in acquiring skills in legal analysis, legal research and in written and oral communication.

Interdisciplinary programmes such as the Bachelor of Law and Business degree and the Bachelor of Arts (Law), allow students to combine studying law with commerce, languages, humanities and social science disciplines. 

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The School of Law has a strong commitment to collaborative and interdisciplinary research across a wide range of fields - with a particular focus on the domains of human rights, criminal law, and public policy.

We offer a wide range of research degrees, including the LLM by Research and Structured PhD in Law. Researchers at the School of Law can draw on the expertise of our existing research centres: the Irish Centre for Human Rights, Centre for Disability Law and Policy and Centre for Housing Law and Policy, as well as associated institutes within the College of Business, Public Policy and Law: the Whitaker Institute for Innovation and Social Change and the Institute for Lifecourse and Society.


Our graduate profile is diverse and successful and we work hard to ensure that all of our students are educated and trained to a level that prepares them for work and life challenges ahead.  The School of Law staff includes full-time professors and lecturers who are national and international experts on the areas of law they teach. Many of the lecturers have been appointed to public bodies and are advisers to regulatory authorities, NGOs and governments. As a student of the School you will benefit greatly from this collective expertise, all of whom bring with them distinctive Irish, European and International teaching and research profiles.

Most LLM students take one of our one-year taught programmes in areas such as Public Law, Human Rights Law, International and Comparative Disability Law and Policy, and International Criminal Law but the option of a research degree (normally taking two years) is also available, as a structured PhD programme.

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Clinical Legal Education

NUI Galway has pioneered the development of clinical legal education in Ireland. Clinical legal education is a term employed to encapsulate a broad range of activities that focus on “learning by doing” and is widely recognised as the most significant innovation in the pedagogy of law teaching in the past century. The School of Law has long recognised the value of clinical legal education and has provided some of its students with opportunities to work in a variety of “real world” settings.

Thirty final year BCL students undertook placements in the last academic year – twice the number as in the previous year – with government agencies, non-governmental organisations, solicitors’ firms and barristers.

International Study

As the practice of law becomes increasingly internationalized, the School of Law is committed to providing our students with first-rate opportunities to incorporate an international element into their law studies.  The School has a long-standing commitment to the European Union’s Erasmus Programme.  Every year some forty of our undergraduate students spend a year at one of sixteen partner institutions around Europe.  The School also welcomes a similar number of students from these institutions to Galway.

Outside of the Erasmus Programme, we have a growing number of study abroad links with foreign institutions in Australia, Canada, China and the United States. We expect to increase the number of institutions available to our students in the coming years.

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