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Comparing the LLM in Criminal Law and the Graduate Diploma in Law for Law Enforcement

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Hoping to enhance your professional experience with a greater and deeper understanding of criminal law and criminal justice?

Looking to engage with the most current, pressing and challenging issues affecting the Canadian criminal justice system?

OsgoodePD has two options you can consider to add a graduate credential to your resume:

Here are five things to keep in mind as you choose which program is right for you.

  1. Length of the program
  2. The Professional LLM and Graduate Diploma are both designed to run over a two-year period (six terms).

    In the Professional LLM there is a required course in each Winter term. In the Graduate Diploma, required courses run in the first four terms.

    After completion of at least one term, you are able to take leave of absence terms at any time should you need a break for personal or professional reasons.

  3. Time commitment
  4. The Graduate Diploma has half the course load of the Professional LLM, to cater to the busy and often unpredictable workload of those in the law enforcement field.

    You will have more time in between courses and most courses will be offered weekly rather than in an intensive format.

  5. Academic preparation
  6. At OsgoodePD, we run a number of introductory courses for students who are not Canadian lawyers. These are incorporated at the beginning of your program.

    In the Professional LLM, you would take your introductory course alongside students from some of our other 15 LLM specializations.

    In the Graduate Diploma, students will attend a bespoke academic and program orientation designed just for those in the law enforcement field.

  7. Program design
  8. The Professional LLM in Criminal Law and Procedure provides a wide variety of courses for students from across the Criminal Law spectrum: defence lawyers, prosecutors, senior law enforcement professionals, government policy makers and more.

    The Graduate Diploma has been designed specifically with the law enforcement professional in mind: you will learn and debate the issues relevant to you with students who share your interests and concerns. Your assignments will include opportunities to hone your oral and written skills, along with practical, theoretical, and policy-related assessments.

  9. Elective options
  10. In both programs, you have options to take elective courses. In the Professional LLM you will see a variety of Criminal Law-related courses on offer throughout your two years in the program, and can take one or two courses from outside your specialization if you wish.

    In the Graduate Diploma, your last two courses can be electives designed just for your cohort, or you can venture out into the broader Criminal Law course offerings, giving you an opportunity to focus on areas of interest or relevance to you.


    Apply now for the Graduate Diploma in Law for Law Enforcement to begin classes in Fall 2020. The Winter 2021 application window for the Professional LLM in Criminal Law and Procedure opens in May 2020.

    Still unsure about which program might be right for you? Feel free to contact Admissions at admissions-opd@osgoode.yorku.ca.

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