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LLM in International Banking Law and Finance

The LLM in International Banking Law and Finance is designed for those who wish to work in or are already working in the areas of global financial markets, financial services regulation, and corporate finance.

Students in discussion

This highly specialised LLM programme is very suitable for ambitious students and professionals who aspire to pursue a successful career in the field of global financial markets and especially in the areas of financial technology, banking, capital markets and corporate finance, and accounting and law firms. It is also suitable for those who wish to pursue a successful career with regulatory authorities, central banks, and other public sector organisations. It will help you position yourself as a highly skilled expert and future leader in the wider area of global markets, and banking law and finance.

Based on the University of Edinburgh's strong law, finance and fintech expertise, the programme offers interdisciplinary courses on the legal and economic aspects of international banking, corporate finance and European and global finance regulation. It also utilises key experience from practice to help you develop practical, problem-solving and drafting skills to handle complex policy, compliance, transaction structuring and completion challenges.

Paphawarin Thongtumlung, LLM in International Banking Law and Finance, 2019
I'm really happy that I chose to study this programme as it not only provides extensive knowledge of the financial sector but also addresses current issues such as Fintech. All of the lecturers are experts in the field, so you know you're learning from the best.
Paphawarin Thongtumlung
LLM in International Banking Law and Finance, 2019

The programme will focus on:

  • financial technology, including crowdfunding and cryptoassets and fintech law;
  • blockchain and artificial intelligence / machine learning applications in finance and their legal, ethical, and regulatory implications;
  • key banking and corporate finance transactions: structuring and drafting transactions such as bonds, derivatives, loans, and securitizations;
  • the legal and regulatory aspects of key corporate finance transactions, such as corporate takeovers and private equity deals;
  • interdisciplinary analysis of the regulation of banks, capital markets, derivatives markets, and shadow banks;
  • interdisciplinary analysis of investor protection rules, including the market abuse, short selling, derivatives clearing and settlement regimes;
  • interdisciplinary analysis of systemic risk mechanics and regulation in global markets with particular emphasis on the UK, EU, US micro-prudential and macro-prudential regimes;
  • interdisciplinary analysis of regulatory structures underpinning international finance in the UK, the EU, US and Asia including the European Banking Union (EBU);
  • interdisciplinary analysis of bank resolution regimes; and
  • lawyers’ roles in structuring cross-border banking and corporate finance transactions.

We pride ourselves on delivering intensive, high-quality teaching in small-group settings. This gives you the opportunity to examine in detail the topics and subjects above through intellectually rigorous discussions guided by leading academics.

Seminars are challenging and students regularly present on seminar topics as well as engage in real-life case studies. Through frequent group presentations and by means of testing case studies, prepared and presented collectively by programme students, and students’ own study (revision) groups, you will benefit from the cross-fertilisation of different ideas and experiences. This approach facilitates critical discussion, and enables you to hone your problem-solving, presentation, and team-building skills.

With the advent of the financial technology revolution and massive expansion of the regulatory framework applicable to global financial market transactions post-2008, the pursuit of a successful career in today’s global markets requires an extensive and in-depth knowledge of complex and sophisticated global and domestic finance laws including:

  • private law of contracts and derivatives;
  • the law underpinning key corporate finance transactions such as corporate takeovers;
  • private equity deals; and
  • banking and capital market regulations and practices.

The acquisition of such an extensive and advanced skillset requires, in addition, knowledge of the law and skills in legal and financial analysis and a solid understanding of economic and regulatory theories supporting the operation of global finance that extends to the disruptive influence of financial technology.

The LLM in International Banking Law and Finance was launched six years ago to address a major gap in law and finance education at the postgraduate level and is addressing in-depth and comprehensively all of the above challenges.

Depending on prior expertise and experience, graduates of the programme go on to excellent careers and this is one of the very few LLM programmes, globally, that prepares students for posts within the wider banking and finance industry and not just in the legal services sectors.

Edinburgh Law School is Scotland’s leading legal research institution, with a reputation for research excellence in the United Kingdom, Europe and across the globe. We take a research-led approach to teaching and you will be taught by Edinburgh Law School's leading experts in this field as well as by leading figures of the industry including senior bankers and fund managers from leading institutions.

You will also benefit from connections to the legal profession and professional networks of the Edinburgh Centre for Commercial Law. Launched in 2008, the Edinburgh Centre for Commercial Law is a research community whose members conduct research in various fields of commercial law, including company law, banking law, labour law, agency law, and consumer protection law. In all these cases, we study Scots and UK commercial law in its comparative European or international context.

Visit the Edinburgh Centre for Commercial Law website

During the programme, you will benefit from being part of a vibrant intellectual community at the Law School. You will have access to an exciting programme of events, many of which provide a unique opportunity to hear from distinguished speakers from a range of fields.

LLM in Banking Law and Finance Graduate, 2016, Steven Minkes
The programme's core strength rests with its chair and founder, Prof. Avgouleas, whose knowledge, teaching skills, and network of influential guest lecturers is invaluable.
Steven Minke
LLM in Banking Law and Finance, 2016

In previous years seminars and guest guest lectures have featured speakers who held leading positions in the fund management industry, banks, and regulators including the Head of the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), the Deputy Governor of the Bank of England and leading finance lawyer Lee Buchheit

Research and subject area activities related to the programme include invited speakers to the Edinburgh Commercial Law Centre which students are actively encouraged to attend. Speakers in the past few years have ranged bank chairpersons, the chair of the UK’s Prudential Authority and the Chair of the European Banking Authority to leading financial economists and leading corporate and finance law practitioners and academics.

Contact us

If you have any questions about the LLM in International Banking Law and Finance please don't hesitate to contact us.

This programme can be studied full time over one year and is designed to offer advanced and rigorous training in banking and finance law, from an international perspective.The programme structure consists of 180 credits, comprising three compulsory taught courses worth 120 credits (40 credits each) and a 10,000 word dissertation worth 60 credits. 

You must study these courses:

  • Practice of Corporate Finance and the Law (40 credits)

    Modern corporations draw funding to finance their consumption and investment needs from a variety of sources on the basis of extensive cost-benefit considerations. These include a multitude of factors, such as legal considerations, the quantity of funding required and cost of capital depending on its source, impact on shareholders and management etc. Students in this course will discuss the mechanics, structuring, and legal aspects of select corporate finance transactions and their interaction with organised capital markets (e.g., stock exchanges, fixed income markets) or private capital markets (e.g., private equity, venture capital, and other high risk/high yield capital).
    To this effect, the course will also examine select topics in capital markets and economic theories underpinning them, including modern finance theory, with special focus on the capital structure irrelevance theorem and risk management techniques, including corporate valuations. It also expands on the law and economics of disclosure, regulation of market abuse (insider dealing and market manipulation), and the function and regulation of the market for corporate control.
    Then the course focuses on the mechanics, structuring corporate takeovers, IPOs, Private Equity Markets and the legal and regulatory framework underpinning them. In building the theoretical and knowledge framework the course teachers will encourage students to study and research, under supervision, specific high profile cases and present their case studies in class

  • Practice of International Banking and the Law (40 credits)

    International banking transactions and the law underpinning them are at the heart of the global economy. Deals in international banking markets run in to trillions of dollars every year, and cover such diverse areas of finance as bank lending, bond issues, securitisations, derivatives contracts, asset finance and secured financing contracts, such as, repos. 
    There is, thus, a strong need for a new LLM course that will consolidate existing LLM teaching in the field of banking law, but also focus on the legal treatment of international banking.
    The course will examine the law and practice of international banking in relation to seven proposed areas:

    1. general banking law concepts and principles, such as banker-customer relationship, confidentiality and money laundering; 
    2. syndicated loans; 
    3. asset finance; 
    4. secured financing; 
    5. bond issues;
    6. derivatives; and 
    7. securitisations.
  • Regulation of International Finance: The Law, the Economics, the Politics (40 credits)

    Global financial markets have gone through various stages of development since Bretton Woods. In the past two decades, liberalisation, technological advancement, and market innovation have elevated financial markets to a position akin to being the heartbeat of the global economy. However, since 2008 they seem to have fallen into a state of irremediable disrepair. Thus, while global finance was before 2008 either unregulated or its regulation was largely a matter of national regimes (with the exception of the EU), ever since the regulation of International finance has become the subject of extensive reform at the global, regional (EU), and national level. Most of the new regulations target 'too-big-to-fail' institutions and intend to bolster systemic stability. But regulatory reform has not stopped with banks it has been extended to regulation of hedge funds, credit rating agencies, OTC derivatives markets and a host of other interlinked areas.
    This course will examine the workings of global finance and the institutional edifice supporting it, based on modern regulatory theory and practice, from an interdisciplinary perspective (law, economics, politics). It will offer in depth insights into the economic, regulatory, and political framework under which financial markets operate in the EU, the USA, and internationally.

Full programme details are available on the University Degree Regulations and Programmes of Study website.

View full programme information for the LLM in International Banking Law and Finance

Having successfully completed 120 credit points of courses within the LLM, you will be ready to move onto a single piece of independent and in-depth research. The 10,000 word dissertation allows you to focus on a preferred topic from within the field of banking law and finance, normally based on a subject you have studied in one of your courses during the programme.

You will be assigned an academic dissertation supervisor who will provide you with support and guidance while you prepare and write your dissertation.

The dissertation is a challenging but rewarding endeavour, asking you to demonstrate a comprehensive grasp of the relevant literature and an ability to engage critically with a range of sources, drawing on the skills and knowledge you have developed during the course of the programme. Students are encouraged to show originality and evidence of independent thinking, whether in terms of the material used, or the manner in which it is presented.

The dissertation is written in the summer months (April to August) after the taught courses are successfully completed.

Contact us

If you have any questions about the LLM in International Banking Law and Finance please don't hesitate to contact us.

You will be taught by Edinburgh Law School's leading experts in this field as well as by leading figures of the industry including Senior bankers and fund managers from leading institutions.

Teaching staff on this programme have excellent connections to the global banking community and regularly contribute to international discourse and debate on topics related to international financial regulation.

Dr Longjie Lu - Programme Director Semester 1, 2020/21

Dr. Longjie Lu joins Edinburgh Law School from Kings College London where she was a Teaching Fellow in Corporate Law at the Dickson Poon School of Law. Longjie’s main research interests are in the areas of financial regulation, corporate governance, corporate finance and empirical legal studies.

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Professor Emilios Avgouleas is the inaugural holder of the International Banking Law and Finance Chair at the University of Edinburgh and the founding director of the Edinburgh LLM in International Banking Law and Finance. He is a Member of the Stakeholder Group of the European Banking Authority (EBA) elected in the so-called 'top-ranking' academics section.

Emilios is an acknowledged international expert on public policy and financial reform, banking theory, banking and capital markets regulation, law and finance, and global economic governance. He has given keynote lectures, annual lectures, research seminars and conference papers in a plethora of leading academic institutions and in influential public policy organisations such as the Bank of England, the Basel Committee, the European Parliament, US Federal Reserve banks, and Singapore Monetary Authority.

Professor Emilios Avgouleas, Chair in Banking Law, delivered the eighth lecture in the 2015 Our Changing World series, entitled From Speculative Finance to Sustainable Finance.

Emilios' work has frequently been cited and commented upon in major Parliamentary and public policy reports and is often cited by the global media including Reuters, Financial Times, Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal.

Until 2008 Emilios practised extensively in the broader field of International and European financial law and structured finance. He worked as an Associate at the Derivatives and Financial Institutions Group of Clifford Chance LLP, as a Managing Associate at the Financial Markets Group of Linklaters, and as an equity partner at a large continental Law Firm.

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Parker Hood is a lecturer in Commercial Law, whose research interests include banking law, company law, the law of obligations and general commercial law. He is the author of a monograph on bank liability, Principles of Lender Liability (Oxford University Press), which was published in October 2012.

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Mr Buchheit, Visiting Professor at Edinburgh Law School, is an internationally renowned finance lawyer and will give a series of seminars during the programme.

Mr Buchheit’s practice focuses on international financial transactions, including sovereign debt management, privatisation and project finance. He is the author of two books in the field of international law and more than 40 articles on professional matters. The legal and business press has repeatedly recognised Mr Buchheit for his work on behalf of clients and leading role in the profession, including the Financial Times, which named him on of its 10 most “Innovative Individuals” of 2012 for his work on the Greek debt restructuring; and the International Financial Law Review, which honoured him with its inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010 for his contributions to international finance.

External Guest Speaker

Mr Habib Motani joins our programme of distinguished guest speakers.  Mr Motani, formerly head of the global capital markets group at Clifford Chance, is one of the leading international financial markets lawyers and has  expertise in derivatives, securities lending, repo, netting and collateral and clearing and settlement systems.

External Guest Speaker

Dr Bassani is a senior legal advisor at the European Central Bank (ECB).

You will also benefit from a series of guest seminars by leading figures of the industry including Senior bankers and fund managers from leading institutions.

The staff teaching on this programme are subject to change for 2021/22. Staff listed as on sabbatical will not be available to teach for the duration of their sabbatical.

Contact us

If you have any questions about the LLM in International Banking Law and Finance please don't hesitate to contact us.

Find out what it's like to study for an LLM in International Banking Law and Finance at Edinburgh Law School from our current and former students.

Matthew, UK

Matthew talks about his experience of studying on the LLM in International Banking Law and Finance in the 2018-19 academic year, life in Edinburgh and the newly refurbished Old College.

Lisa studied the LLM in International Banking Law and Finance in the 2018-19 academic year.

"I studied law at the University of Vienna and graduated in 2014. After some internships in Austria and abroad, I started working for Deloitte. I focused on banking supervisory law and advised clients, which were mainly banks, on topics such as compliance, anti-money laundering, data protection and remuneration.

Lisa, LLM in International Banking Law and Finance Graduate

I wanted to study this particular LLM because the courses and the structure of the program seemed very interesting and I thought that this LLM could help me to broaden my knowledge about financial markets and finance in general.

One of the highlights of this program was to be taught by Prof. Avgouleas, who is very enthusiastic about his subject and has both extensive knowledge as well as experience, which allows him to give his students interesting insights into practice.

I think I benefitted a lot from group presentations and case studies because they helped me to develop my soft skills further and learn how to interact with people with different from different academic and cultural backgrounds.

After finishing my dissertation, I started working in the legal department of an Austrian financial conglomerate where I focus on regulatory affairs. I have the chance to apply my newly acquired skills and knowledge."

Advento, from Indonesia, talks about his experience of studying on the LLM in International Banking Law and Finance, life in Edinburgh and the professional benefits of studying on the LLM.

Maria studied the LLM in International Banking Law and Finance in the 2017-18 academic year.

"The LLM in International Banking Law and Finance at the University of Edinburgh is challenging, but highly rewarding and enriching in terms of intellectual development. All three courses were interlinked and provided students with cutting-edge knowledge in the interdisciplinary area of law and finance.

Maria, LLM in International Banking Law and Finance Graduate

Through structured seminars, speeches by top experts, but also class presentations and real-life case studies, I gained a deep understanding of the financial markets and their regulation. Professor Emilios Avgouleas generously shared his expertise and experience in a well integrated academic and practical way and helped us develop our critical thinking and open our eyes to the real corporate and financial world.

Overall, this programme gave me confidence to pursue a career in the banking industry and enhanced my professional horizons. Thus, I managed to secure a job at the European Investment Bank in Luxembourg.

If you want to gain a strong competitive advantage over your peers and pursue a successful career in the financial sector, the LLM in International Banking Law and Finance is perfectly suited for you!"

Mirka, from Canada, talks about her experience so far on the LLM in International Banking Law and Finance at Edinburgh Law School, the University of Edinburgh.

Hanyu, from China, talks about her experiences so far on the LLM in International Banking Law and Finance at Edinburgh Law School, the University of Edinburgh.

"The LLM in International Banking Law and Finance is genuinely a year-long challenge for any aspiring individual, who opts for a career in the ever-changing environment of the banking industry. I had the opportunity to expose myself to interdisciplinary material and engage in fascinating debates with top experts in their respective fields. I soon realised how the business world operates and why the programme is structured the way it is, since the element of interconnectedness is present throughout the carefully designed and always up-to-date courses.

Nick, LLM in International Banking Law and Finance Graduate

In terms of career prospects, I secured an offer from a leading bank in Switzerland, where I am currently working as a Financial Crime Compliance Analyst.

Last but not least, being part of a multinational class enriched me as a person and made my year in the beautiful city of Edinburgh truly unforgettable. That said, if managed properly, the LLM in International Banking Law and Finance can give you the best of both worlds."

Batmandakh, a lawyer from Mongolia, talks about her experience of studying for the LLM in International Banking Law and Finance at Edinburgh Law School, the University of Edinburgh.

Tammo Hemmen graduated with an LLM in International Banking Law and Finance in 2017. Here he talks about the benefits of studying for an LLM at Edinburgh Law School.

Simon Margesson graduated with an LLM in International Banking Law and Finance from Edinburgh Law School in 2017. Here he talks about his experience of studying for the LLM.

Omar studied the LLM in International Banking Law and Finance in the 2016-17 academic year, graduating in 2017. Here Omar talks about his experience of studying for the LLM at Edinburgh Law School and his plans for the future.

Jack Gordon talks about his experience, and the benefits of, studying for an LLM in International Banking Law and Finance at Edinburgh Law School.

Contact us

If you have any questions about the LLM in International Banking Law and Finance please don't hesitate to contact us.

We recommend that you apply as early as possible; this is particularly important for students holding conditional offers (for example, you may need to allow sufficient time to take an English language test) and for overseas students who may need time to satisfy necessary visa requirements (for further, country-specific information, please consult the website of the University's Edinburgh Global) and/or to apply for University accommodation.

Apply for September 2021 entry

Entry requirements

We require a minimum 2:1 honours degree from a UK university, or its international equivalent, in law, finance, accounting, management or business studies. Entry to this programme is competitive. Meeting minimum requirements for consideration does not guarantee an offer of study.

Supporting your application

  • Relevant work experience is not required but may increase your chances of acceptance.
  • Relevant professional qualifications will be considered.
  • Preference will be given to those with grades above the minimum requirements due to strong competition for places on this programme.

If you have a non-UK degree, please check whether your degree qualification is equivalent to the minimum standard before applying.

Check your degree

Postgraduate study in the field of law requires a thorough, complex and demanding knowledge of English, so we ask that the communication skills of all students are at the same minimum standard.

Students whose first language is not English must therefore show evidence of one of the following qualifications below:

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 7.0 in the writing component and 6.5 in each other module)
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Special Home Edition): total 100 (at least 25 in writing and 23 in each other module)
  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 185 in writing and 176 in each other module)
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

Find out more

Your English language certificate must be no more than two years old at the beginning of your degree programme.

We also accept an undergraduate or masters degree, that was taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country as defined by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). The UK Government's website provides a list of majority English speaking countries.

View the UKVI list of majority English speaking countries

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree, or equivalent, that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about the University's English language requirements

Your application may not be successful if you do not currently satisfy any of these requirements; alternatively, you may be offered a place conditional on your reaching the satisfactory standard by the time you start the degree.

English language support

The University runs a series of programmes for English Language Education, including a pre-sessional English Language Programme intended to strengthen your English Language skills before you start your programme of study.

Find out more about English language support offered by the University

Due to high demand, the school operates a number of selection deadlines. We will make a small number of offers to the most outstanding candidates on an ongoing basis, but hold the majority of applications until the next published selection deadline when we will offer a proportion of the places available to applicants selected through a competitive process.

Deadlines for applicants applying to study the LLM in International Banking Law and Finance in 2021/22 are provided in the table below.

Round Application deadline Decisions by
1 11 December 2020 09 February 2021
2 05 March 2021 09 April 2021
3 14 May 2021 29 June 2021
4 30 June 2021 30 July 2021

We monitor application numbers carefully to ensure we are able to accommodate all those who receive offers. It may therefore be necessary to close a programme earlier than the published deadline and if this is the case we will place a four-week warning notice on the relevant programme page.

Please note that the deadline for meeting the conditions of an offer is 31 August 2021.

Applications are made online via the University Application Service, EUCLID.

Please follow the instructions carefully and make sure that you have included the following documentation with your application:

  • Degree certificates showing award of degree.
  • Previous academic transcripts for all past degree programmes (please upload the full transcript showing results from all years of study).
  • A reference in support or your application. The reference should be academic and dated no earlier than one year from the start of study on the LLM programme.
  • Evidence of English language proficiency, if required.

If you are currently studying for your degree or you are not in a possession of an English test result you may still apply to the programme. Please note that it is your responsibility to submit the necessary documents.

After your application has been submitted you will be able to track its progress through the University's applicant hub.

Application processing times will vary however the admissions team will endeavour to process your application within four to six weeks of submission. Please note that missing documentation will delay the application process.

You will be informed as soon as possible of the decision taken. Three outcomes are possible:

  • You may be offered a place unconditionally
  • You may be offered a conditional place, which means that you must fulfil certain conditions that will be specified in the offer letter. Where a conditional offer is made, it is your responsibility to inform the College Postgraduate Office when you have fulfilled the requirements set out.
  • Your application may be unsuccessful. If your application has not been successful, you can request feedback from us or refer to our guidance for unsuccessful applicants, which explains some of the common reasons we why we reach this decision.
    View the University's guidance for unsuccessful applicants

Please note that if you receive an offer of a place to study the LLM in International Banking Law and Finance and later decide that you do not want to accept your place, we do not allow deferrals. In this case you would have to reapply for the following academic year.

You can find full and detailed application guidance on the University's website.

Find out more about applying to the University of Edinburgh

The University’s terms and conditions form part of your contract with the University, and you should read them, and our data protection policy, carefully before applying.

University of Edinburgh admissions terms and conditions

Apply for September 2021 entry

Contact us

If you have any questions about applying to the LLM in International Banking Law and Finance please don't hesitate to contact us.