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LLM in Commercial Law

The LLM in Commercial Law offers you the opportunity to study commercial law subjects at an advanced level, drawing on the latest research of our leading academics. It provides an excellent grounding for those intending to enter legal practice, pursue a career in the commercial sector, or continue on to future study and research in commercial law. 

Students in class

You will benefit from the opportunity to explore a wide range of subjects at an advanced level and study the law in the fast-paced and varied context of the commercial world.

The programme offers a wide range of subjects that deal with various aspects of commercial law enabling you to tailor the LLM to meet your specific interests. Subjects may include:

  • Company law
  • Contract law in Europe
  • Insolvency law
  • EU competition law
  • Principles of corporate finance
LLM in Commercial Law Graduate, Koen De Clercq
What I particularly enjoyed about the LLM in Commercial Law was that the emphasis was persistently put on learning from each other rather than from the professor who was leading the seminar.
Koen De Clercq
LLM in Commercial Law, 2017

The LLM in Commercial Law is relevant to lawyers and business professionals, giving you an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of commercial law.

The programme is designed for those intending to pursue a career in:

  • legal practice and wish to specialise in commercial law, tax law, or international trade law
  • the commercial sector and international commercial organisations in fields such as compliance

The LLM is also an ideal platform for advanced research and those wishing to go onto further postgraduate study, such as a PhD.

Edinburgh is an international city and Edinburgh Law School adopts an international approach to the teaching of the LLM in Commercial Law. On this programme you will benefit from connections to the legal profession and professional networks of the Edinburgh Centre for Commercial Law. The Edinburgh Centre for Commercial Law is a research community at Edinburgh Law School.

The centre was launched in 2008 and it aims to:

  • foster research in Scottish, British, and European commercial law;
  • promote excellence in the teaching of commercial law; and
  • foster links between the academic community and the legal profession.

The members of the centre 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 your studies, you will benefit from the Law School’s close proximity to the Law Courts and the Faculty of Advocates (the Scots Bar).

You will also be able to attend events hosted by our research centre, the Edinburgh Centre for Commercial Law. These events have a great history of impressive guest speakers from the judiciary, practitioner world, and other leading academic institutions.

Find out more about events at the Law School

Contact us

If you have any questions about the LLM in Commercial Law please don't hesitate to contact us.

pg.law.enquiries@ed.ac.uk

This programme can be studied full-time over one year, or part-time over two years subject to visa restrictions. It offers a range of subjects across the field of commercial, corporate, and banking law from an international perspective, allowing you to tailor a programme to suit your interests.

The programme consists of 180 credits, comprising taught courses worth 120 credits (60 credits per semester) and a 10,000 word dissertation worth 60 credits. Full programme details for the 2022-23 academic year are available on the University Degree Regulations and Programmes of Study website.

View 2022-23 programme and course information for the LLM in Commercial Law

Courses listed below are for the 2022-23 academic year and are for illustrative purposes. Courses for the 2023-24 academic year will be published in May 2023.

You can select between 60 and 100 credits of the following courses:

  • Company Law (40 credits, full-year course)

    This course aims to give you a broad understanding of United Kingdom corporate law, including current changes; where appropriate, reference will be made to the position in Europe. The course seeks to develop awareness of the interaction between theory and practice, and the complex issues involved in balancing the needs of business and the community.

  • Contract Law in Europe (20 credits)

    This course is a comparative contract law course. Its main focus is fundamental concepts of the law of contract, which arise in all systems. The course compares national systems of contract law, principally Scots, English, French and German law. The course also considers some of the harmonisation initiatives that have taken place in Europe over the last decade, principally the Draft Common Frame of Reference (Principles, Definitions and Model Rules of European Private Law).

  • Insolvency Law (20 credits)

    This course examines selected issues of insolvency law, including personal and corporate insolvency. The course will primarily focus on law within the United Kingdom and will take an advanced look at a variety of topics. Theoretical and comparative law material from a variety of systems (in Europe and the Anglo-American tradition) will be used to examine the subjects studied.

  • The Law of International Trade (20 credits)

    This course examines the legal aspects of international trade in a broad context. The legal framework of the course is English law as well as the relevant international conventions and standard terms. The course examines international sale of goods which are transported by sea. It investigates the trade terms used in international sale contracts (in the context of English common law and Incoterms in particular) and analyses the resulting obligations of the parties regarding payment methods (with emphasis on letters of credit and bills of exchange), transportation of the goods (focusing on bills of lading and waybills), and marine cargo insurance in the manner in which these relate to one another.

  • Aspects of Commercial Law (20 credits)
    This course provides students with an overview of selected topics in English and Scots commercial law. The topics will be chosen from areas such as commercial trusts, rights in security, employment law at its intersection with commercial law, and corporate social responsibility (CSR) and the law. Topics chosen for the course may change from year to year.

You can select between 0 and 40 credits of the following courses:

  • Comparative and International Trust Law (20 credits)

    The aim of this course is to examine the notion of ‘trust’ from a functional perspective. It explores the essential nature of trusts, as well as their core features across a number of jurisdictions. The course is not limited to any particular system of trust law, but is international and comparative in its approach. The trust jurisdictions considered include England, the United States of America, selected ‘offshore’ jurisdictions, mixed legal systems (e.g. Scotland, South Africa, and Quebec), and civil law systems, such as, for instance, France and Germany. European harmonisation projects and other international trust instruments will also be considered. This course does not require any previous knowledge of trust law. However, it does presuppose a basic knowledge of the law of obligations, of property law, of succession law, of insolvency law, and of international private law. It also presupposes familiarity with basic comparative methodologies as well as a basic understanding of the two major legal traditions examined, the civil and the common law.

  • EU Competition Law (40 credits)

    The purpose of the course is to impart to students an understanding of the rationale behind competition regulation in the European Union, the substantive and procedural rules which comprise EU competition law, and their place within the scheme of the Treaties - they being 'fundamental provision[s] - essential to the accomplishment of the tasks entrusted to the [Union] and, in particular, the functioning of the internal market' (Case C-126/97 Eco Swiss China Time v Benetton International [1999] ECR I-3055, para 36).
    It is the private law side of Union integration and a mirror of the law of the internal market - put otherwise, the commercial law of the EU. Appropriate comparisons with the equivalent laws of the member states, in particular those of Germany (the GWB) and the United Kingdom (the Competition Act 1998; the Enterprise Act 2002), will be drawn throughout the course.

  • Fundamentals of Comparative Private Law (20 credits)

    The growing permeability of frontiers, the openness of national economies and societies, has a deep impact on the evolution of the law, as legal concepts and principles flow across borders. Anyone envisaging a career with an international dimension will need to engage not just with foreign laws and foreign legal concepts, but will also be confronted with different legal cultures. It is therefore crucial to be familiar with the opportunities but also the difficulties that arise when stepping outside one's own legal system. The aim of this course is to provide students with a general introduction to the basics and the methodology of comparative law, and to equip them with the tools necessary to conduct comparative analysis. It further introduces student to the historical developments of the major legal traditions and their respective styles. The course therefore offers an ideal foundation for students who want to study core areas of private law across both civil and common law jurisdictions.

  • International Commercial Arbitration (20 credits)

    The course aims to provide a firm grounding in the legal aspects of ad hoc and institutional international arbitration as well as offering practical skills on how to conduct such arbitrations.

    The course will include a range of topics including an introduction to arbitration, applicable laws, arbitration clauses, the arbitral tribunal, the jurisdiction of the arbitral tribunal, the conduct of arbitral proceedings, the role of the national courts, the award, challenges to the award, and recognition and enforcement of the arbitral award. There will also be an introduction to Investment Arbitration. This course is aimed at those who are interested in acquiring a detailed understanding of how transnational disputes are resolved and knowledge of the legal environment which facilitates such a process. The primary focus will be on international commercial arbitration in practice, combining a thorough understanding of the legal rules with a practitioners' perspective.

  • International Private Law: Jurisdiction and Enforcement of Judgments (20 credits)

    This course deals with civil jurisdiction and enforcement of judgments, issues which have been central to recent developments within International Private Law. It will consider the provisions contained in EU instruments, focusing on the Brussels I bis Regulation but also looking at the Insolvency Regulation and Brussels II bis Regulation. The course will also examine proposals for reform of these instruments. In addition there will be consideration of appropriate Hague Private International Law Conventions, especially the Choice of Court Convention and the current work of the Hague Conference in the field of recognition and enforcement of judgments.

  • Sustainable Law and Finance (20 credits)

    This is an interdisciplinary course that will provide you with knowledge and understanding of current issues in sustainable law and finance. Seminars will involve discussion of theoretical questions inspired by recent academic literature from the fields of law, finance and economics. This will be combined with an in-depth analysis of real-life practical case studies drawn from current events which will help students to appreciate how the theory operates and is applied in practice.

You will have the option to take between 0 and 40 credits of courses from different subject areas offered by the Law School, depending on availability and with the express permission of the programme director.

Full programme details, including core and optional courses, are available on the University Degree Regulations and Programmes of Study website.

View 2022-23 programme and course information for the LLM in Commercial Law

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 commercial law, 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. You are encouraged to show originality and evidence of independent thinking.

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

We cannot guarantee that all courses will run each year, and will provide adequate notice of any changes to the programme structure and courses.

Contact us

If you have any questions about the LLM in Commercial Law please don't hesitate to contact us.

pg.law.enquiries@ed.ac.uk

Academic staff teaching on the core courses of the LLM in Commercial Law in 2022/23 are experts in their field and are actively involved in cutting-edge research in various areas of commercial law.

Academic staff teaching courses offered on this programme may include:

Dr Ruiqiao Zhang - Programme Director 2022-23 (semester 1)

Dr Ruiqiao Zhang joined Edinburgh Law School in 2015. Her research and teaching interests include civil and commercial law, focusing in particular on trust law, company law, corporate finance, property law, contract law, and international trade law.

Ruiqiao will be on sabbatical in semester 2 of the 2022/23 academic year.

Find out more

Professor Braun completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Genoa and received a PhD in Comparative Private Law from the University of Trento. Prior to coming to Edinburgh, she was Professor of Comparative Private Law at the University of Oxford, as well as a Fellow and Tutor in Law at Lady Margaret Hall.

Professor Braun is an elected Associate Member of the International Academy of Comparative Law as well as a Visiting Research Fellow at the Institute of European and Comparative Law in Oxford and an Honorary Research Fellow at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford.

Find out more

David Cabrelli has been a lecturer in law since 2003 after having practised commercial law and corporate law for six years. His research interests lie in the fields of commercial law, labour law/employment law, company law, and private law.

Find out more

Jonny was a solicitor in private practice for 10 years before starting at the Law School. Jonny’s research is conducted across a broad range of commercial law (particularly rights in security) and company law (particularly the law of private companies). Most of Jonny’s research has a law and economics methodology, which he has applied to a broad range of different subject matters.

Jonny will be on sabbatical in semester 2 of the 2022/23 academic year.

Find out more

Amy Lawton is a Lecturer in Tax Law at Edinburgh Law School. Prior to joining the School in 2021, she was a Lecturer in Law at Lancaster University where she founded the first UK-based Tax Clinic.

Amy’s research interests broadly lie in tax and the environment. She is particularly interested in environmental taxation; clinical tax education and how tax is understood and perceived in the UK. Her recent work has explored how university students engage with a clinical education in tax, value creation in the UK, and how environmental taxation can be used to drive behavioral change in businesses in relation to energy consumption.

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Lorna Richardson joined the Law School after seven years practising as a commercial litigator with major Scottish law firms. Her particular interests include contract law, particularly in relation to formation, interpretation and breach. In her time in practice Lorna acted in a number of contract dispute cases which generated significant comment. Lorna is also interested in contract law in a comparative context.

Find out more

Scott has research interests in the area of rights in security (including floating charges), issues in property law, and legislation, the legislative process, and statutory interpretation.

He is currently working on work on the legislative history of the Prescription and Limitation (Scotland) Act 1973, based on a period of research in the archives in the Scottish Law Commission; and is working on articles relating to the enforcement of standard securities.

Find out more

Dr Verónica Ruiz Abou-Nigm specialises in private international law and shipping law. She has a great deal of experience in these fields both in practice in Uruguay and as an academic in the UK.

Her main areas of research and teaching are private international law and shipping law. Other research interests include international commercial litigation, international commercial arbitration, air law, oil and gas law, comparative law, and the interaction between public and private international law.

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Simone Lamont-Black (née Schnitzer) qualified as a civil lawyer in Germany where she practised law as Rechtsanwältin for several years. She specialises and researches in the (private) law of international trade and carriage of goods and has a keen interest in international commercial dispute resolution. She also established the Edinburgh Willem Vis Moot Team and Moot Module and the annual Edinburgh Willem Vis Pre-Moot.

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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.

Find out more

Robert Lane's principal areas of interest lie within the various strands of EU law. They include in particular the constitutional and administrative law of the European Union and the European Community, the methods and reasoning of the European Court of Justice, and the law of the internal market and EC competition law.

Robert Lane will be on sabbatical in semester 2 of the 2022/23 academic year.

Find out more

Remus joined the Edinburgh Law School in May 2011. Prior to taking up his appointment in Edinburgh, he studied law at McGill University, Montreal (Doctor of Civil Law), University of Alberta, Edmonton (Master of Laws) and Nicolae Titulescu University, Bucharest (Bachelor of Civil Law). He was a visiting researcher at the Swiss Institute of Comparative Law, Lausanne and at the European Union Centre of Excellence at University of Alberta. His main research interests are in the areas of fiduciary duties, corporate law and governance, law and economics.

Remus will be on sabbatical in semester 1 of the 2022/23 academic year.

Find out more

Laura Macgregor currently holds the chair of Commercial Contract Law. She was recently appointed to the Law School's prestigious Chair of Scots Law, her appointment beginning on 1 July 2020. She will be the first woman since the Chair's inception 297 years ago to hold the Chair. Before becoming an academic Laura spent several years as a solicitor in practice with a major Scottish law firm in Edinburgh. She began her academic career as a lecturer at Glasgow Law School, joining Edinburgh Law School in 2002.

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Dr. Longjie Lu joined Edinburgh Law School in September 2019. Prior to Edinburgh, Longjie taught law at the Dickson Poon School of Law, King’s College London, and completed her Ph.D. in law at the University of Leeds.

Longjie’s main research interests are in the areas of financial regulation, corporate governance, corporate finance and empirical legal studies.

Find out more

The staff teaching on this programme are subject to change for the 2023-24 academic year. 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 Commercial Law please don't hesitate to contact us.

pg.law.enquiries@ed.ac.uk

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

Karan, India

Karan, originally from India, studied for an LLM in Commercial Law in 2021/22 graduating in 2022. In this video he talks about his experience of studying for an LLM at Edinburgh Law School, life in Edinburgh and her plans for the future.

Watch Konstantina's graduate interview on how participating in the Vis Moot and Commercial Law Mentorship Programme helped her meet legal professionals and increase her network.

Contact us

If you have any questions about the LLM in Commercial Law please don't hesitate to contact us.

pg.law.enquiries@ed.ac.uk

This programme can be studied full-time over one year, or part-time over two years subject to visa restrictions.

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.

We recommend that you apply as early as possible. This is particularly important for applicants who may need to allow sufficient time to take an English language test, for overseas students who may need time to satisfy necessary visa requirements and/or to apply for University accommodation.

Please note that the information provided is for entry in the 2023-24 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. 

We require a minimum 2:1 honours degree from a UK university, or its international equivalent, in law. We may also consider candidates with a degree in a related discipline which includes relevant prior study. 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.

International qualifications

You can check whether your degree qualification is equivalent to the minimum standard before applying.

Check your degree

Students from China

This degree is Band B.

Find out more about our postgraduate entry requirements for students from China

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.

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: 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)
  • C1 Advanced (CAE) / C2 Proficiency (CPE): total 185 (at least 185 in writing and 176 in in all other components)
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with passes in all four components
  • PTE Academic: 70 overall with at least 70 in the writing component and 62 in each other component.

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, Trinity ISE or PTE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate 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.

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.

View approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries

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.

Find out more about the University's English language requirements

Pre-sessional English for Academic Purposes

We also accept satisfactory completion of our English for Academic Purposes programme as meeting our English language requirements. You must complete the programme no more than two years and one month before the start date of the degree you are applying to study.

Find out more about the University's Pre-sessional English for Academic Purposes

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

Deadlines for applicants applying to study the LLM in Commercial Law in 2023-24 are provided in the table below.

Round Application deadline Decisions by
1 02 December 2022 20 January 2023
2 03 February 2023 17 March 2023
3 24 March 2023 03 May 2023
4 28 April 2023 05 June 2023
5 30 June 2023 20 July 2023

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 18 August 2023.

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 of 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.

You will also be required to submit a personal statement of about 500 words, outlining your academic history, relevant experience and motivations for wanting to study the programme to which you are applying.

View full detailed application guidance

Students at this University must not undertake any other concurrent credit bearing studies in this (or in any other) institution, unless the College has granted permission. The College must be satisfied that any additional credit-bearing studies will not restrict the student’s ability to complete their existing programme of study. Students will not be permitted to undertake concurrent degree programmes in any circumstances.

If you are studying at this or another institution just prior to the start of your postgraduate studies you must have finished these studies before the start of the programme to which you have an offer.

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. 
    Please note that the deadline for meeting the conditions of an offer is 18 August 2023.
  • 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

Deferring your offer

We do not normally offer deferrals, however, we may be able to make a very limited number of offers for deferred entry in exceptional circumstances.

View full guidance on deferral requests

If you receive an offer of admission, either unconditional or conditional, you will be asked to pay a tuition fee deposit of £1,500 (within 28 days of receiving your offer) to secure your place on the programme.

Find out more about tuition fee deposits

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 2023 entry

Contact us

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

pg.law.enquiries@ed.ac.uk