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LLM in Corporate Law

The LLM in Corporate Law provides an in-depth knowledge of the legal, economic, financial, and governance matters covering the most relevant aspects in the life-cycle of a corporation.

Student in library

This innovative programme goes beyond a narrow focus on legal rules and situates the study of corporate law in a wider comparative and interdisciplinary context. As a student of this programme, you will have the opportunity to develop a critical understanding of the key matters and the most recent developments in across three main areas:

  • Comparative and international corporate governance, including topics such as shareholder activism, the role of independent non-executive directors, the representation of employees on boards, board gender diversity, corporate culture, corporate governance codes
  • Economic analysis of corporate law and finance, covering topics such as economic theories of the firm, shareholders’ rights, directors’ fiduciary duties, executive remuneration, hostile takeovers, corporate social responsibility
  • UK company law, focusing on a broad range of core company law topics, from setting up a company, to shareholders’ rights and remedies, directors’ duties, capital maintenance rules, insider dealing and market abuse

The LLM in Corporate Law will equip you with:

  • A critical understanding of the main legal, economic and financial matters spanning the entire life-cycle of a corporation, developed in an international and interdisciplinary perspective
  • A sound understanding of fundamental concepts of economics and governance which are necessary for an integrated understanding of the context in which corporate law and regulation operate
  • The ability to work with international legal materials and to grasp the legal implications of transactions involving international institutions and multinational corporations
Veronika, LLM in Corporate Law Graduate, 2020
Edinburgh University offers the perfect balance of high academic standard, beautiful surroundings and nature allowing you to delve into both.
LLM in Corporate Law, 2020

Our diverse portfolio of courses will help you gain awareness and critical understanding of the latest developments in the corporate world, from shareholder opposition to excessive executive remuneration, the relevance of gender and racial diversity on boards, the rise of corporate social responsibility, the importance of corporate culture, or the rationales behind hostile takeovers.

We analyse some of the most recent developments in these areas in the UK, the US, and elsewhere in the world. This gives you the opportunity to identify the aspects or areas of corporate law you feel more passionate about, and help you choose your career path accordingly. Our graduates have moved on to pursue successful careers in international law firms, public institutions, NGOs, or in the academia.

The Vis Arbitral Moot

Students on the LLM in Corporate Law are encouraged to enter the annual Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot, a very prestigious international moot court competition for law students. It is designed to foster the study of international commercial law and arbitration for the resolution of international business disputes by arbitration.

Find out more about the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot

As a student in the LLM in Corporate Law at Edinburgh Law School, you will have access to a wide range of projects and activities developed by our research centres:

  • The Edinburgh Centre for Commercial Law fosters research in various fields of commercial law, such as company law, banking law, labour law, agency law, and consumer protection law. The members of the centre study Scots and UK commercial law in its comparative European or international context.
    Edinburgh Centre for Commercial Law
  • The Edinburgh Centre for Private Law fosters and develops a tradition of private law scholarship at Edinburgh University which goes back to 1722. The centre holds seminars, symposia and conferences, encourages research and informal discussion, and facilitates publication.
    The Edinburgh Centre for Private Law

The LLM in Corporate Law also has a Facebook Page where the Programme Director, Dr Remus Valsan, regularly posts updates on various comparative corporate law and governance matters.

Visit the LLM in Corporate Law Facebook page

The centre hosts numerous events throughout the academic year, including a prestigious Annual Lecture and a Fintech Lecture. Our distinguished guests include world-leading academics, policy makers, judges, and other practitioners.

In addition, the Law School hosts an exciting calendar of events, including public lectures and conferences that regularly attracts high-profile speakers and delegates.

Find out more about events at Edinburgh Law School

Contact us

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

This programme can be taken full-time over one year, or part-time over two years (due to current UKVI regulations, the part-time programme is only available to UK and EU students). It offers a range of subjects across the field of corporate and commercial law from an international perspective, allowing you to tailor the 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 are available on the University Degree Regulations and Programmes of Study website.

View full programme and course information for the LLM in Corporate Law Degree

Courses shown below are for the 2021/22 academic year. With the exception of the compulsory courses, and depending on demand, space on specific courses may be limited.

You must take both of these courses:

  • Comparative Corporate Governance (20 credits)

    The course focuses on the theory, law and practice of the governance of corporations across different jurisdictions. Corporate governance regulates the relationships between various corporate constituencies (directors, officers, majority and minority shareholders, employees, creditors) with a view to establishing an adequate system of controls that prevents any single corporate constituency from acquiring overriding power or influence. Because legal systems rank social priorities differently, several models of corporate governance have emerged worldwide. Consequently, comparative knowledge and understanding of corporate governance are essential tools for business lawyers and policymakers.

    Throughout this course, you will acquire a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the main theoretical approaches to governance of companies in the Anglo-American model of corporate governance, the continental European model, Asian jurisdictions and at supra-national level (such the OECD, the European Union, the UN).

  • Corporation Law and Economics (20 credits)

    The activity of business corporations cannot be fully understood without a firm grasp of the economic rationales that underpin the internal structure of such organisations and the transactions they engage in. This is why Law and Economics is rapidly becoming indispensable analytical tool for mainstream corporate law and practice.

    Throughout this course, you will acquire a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the principal theories, principles and concepts that underlie the law and economics analysis of corporations. Upon successful completion of this course, students will acquire an inter-disciplinary understanding of the relations among corporate constituencies and the economic incentives that trigger various business transactions.

    This course does not require previous knowledge of Economics or ability to understand mathematical models or calculus. The readings and discussions are tailored to a law audience.

You must select between 40 and 80 credits of the following courses:

  • Company Law (40 credits)

    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 and encourages you to consider the problems involved.

  • 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 ship/road/air with emphasis on sea transport. 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. Due to the international nature of each of these transactions the relevant aspects of international private law and dispute resolution are examined.
  • Applied Corporate Law (20 credits)
    This course demonstrates what corporate lawyers do in practice. To do so, it examines theories of whether law impacts on transactions struck between parties, and the role that lawyers have in undertaking such transactions.

    The course then applies these concepts to practical examples of corporate law in action by way of four specifically themed pairs of seminars. Each pair of seminars is based on a case study delivered by a leading legal practitioner. In the first seminar of each pair we will explore the theories and law underpinning a certain area. In the second seminar of each pair the practitioner will deliver their case study in that area, and then be available to answer questions from students as to how or why such transactions developed the way they did. As a result, this course explores what corporate lawyers do, and by extension corporate law does, in practice across the UK market.
  • Principles of Commercial Law (40 credits) - this course will not be offered in the 2021/22 academic year
    This course will cover selected topics in Scots and English Commercial Law. It will provide students with an overview of the core commercial law areas. Material will be chosen from such areas as insolvency, rights in security, agency, employment and partnership. Company Law is excluded (except in so far as relevant to topics otherwise under consideration).

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

  • 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.
  • Insolvency Law (20 credits)
    An examination of 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.
  • Principles of Corporate Finance Law (20 credits)
    This course aims to develop a critical understanding of the principles of corporate finance law, with a special focus on some key subject matters of corporate finance: Formation of Capital, Share Capital Maintenance, Corporate Takeovers, The Floating Charge, Private Equity, and Market Abuse.

    Students taking this course will discuss the mechanics, structuring, and legal aspects of the selected topics. Throughout this course, students will acquire comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the principal theories, principles and concepts that underlie the corporate finance law.

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 is available on the University Degree Programme Tables website.

View full programme and course information for the LLM in Corporate Law Degree

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 corporate 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. 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.

Please note that due to unforeseen circumstances or lack of demand for particular courses, we may not be able to run all courses as advertised come the start of the academic year.

Contact us

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

Staff teaching on the core courses of the LLM in Corporate Law in 2021/22 are experts in their field and are actively involved in cutting-edge research in various areas of commercial law.

Staff teaching on the programme may include:

Dr Remus Valsan - Programme Director 2021/22 (Semester 1)

Remus joined Edinburgh Law School in May 2011. 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).

Before joining academia, he worked as a corporate and commercial lawyer with a major Romanian law firm. His main research interests lie in the fields of fiduciary law, comparative corporate law and governance, law and economics, and trust law.

Remus will be on sabbatical in the 2022 calendar year.

Find out more

Ms Anna Christie - Programme Director 2021/22 (Semester 2)

Prior to joining Edinburgh Law School, Anna worked at Newnham College, Cambridge. Anna studied at the University of Aberdeen (LLB), Harvard Law School (LLM), Balliol College, Oxford (BCL), Stanford Graduate School of Business (MBA) and Trinity College, Cambridge (PhD). She is triple qualified as a lawyer in New York, England & Wales and Scotland, practised corporate and energy law at top UK and US law firms and worked in a senior management role at a FTSE 100 company.

Anna has broad research interests in comparative corporate governance and law and finance. Her current scholarship focuses on sustainable corporate governance, ESG investing and shareholder activism. Her work is interdisciplinary, combining legal scholarship with economic and financial analysis.

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.

Find out more

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

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 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.

Find out more

Simone Lamont-Black (née Schnitzer) qualified as 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.

Find out more

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 Corporate Law please don't hesitate to contact us.

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

Charlotte, Germany

Charlotte from Germany studied the LLM in Corporate Law in 2019/20 graduating in 2020. In this video Charlotte talks about her experience of studying for an LLM at Edinburgh Law School, life in Edinburgh, completing her LLM during the Covid-19 pandemic and her plans for the future.
Girish, from India, studied the LLM in Corporate Law in 2019/20 graduating in 2020. In this video he talked to us about his experience of studying for an LLM at Edinburgh Law School, life in Edinburgh, completing his studies during the Covid-19 pandemic and his plans for the future.

The LLM in Corporate Law provides students with a comprehensive understanding of the underlying theories of corporate law as a whole as well as with a fundamental knowledge of UK corporate law. The academic staff always encouraged a comparative perspective and interactive discussions in the classroom. At the same time, due to the broad scope of optional modules, I was able to gain insight into areas of law adjacent to corporate law, such as trust or international tax law.

Veronika, LLM in Corporate Law, 2020

Outside of the classroom, Edinburgh University offers a vibrant student life, with a vast choice of societies, such as the Whisky society, enabling the experience of both a diverse, international student body as well as the unique and captivating Scottish culture. Even in times of the corona pandemic, studying in the astoundingly beautiful city of Edinburgh was an experience I would have never wanted to miss.

Veronika studied the LLM in Corporate Law in the academic year 2019-20, graduating in 2020.

Angelika, from Greece, studied for an LLM in Corporate Law in the 2019/20 academic year, graduating in 2020. In this video she talks about her experience of studying for an LLM at Edinburgh Law School, life in Edinburgh, completing her studies during the Covid-19 pandemic and her plans for the future.
Can, from Turkey, studied for an LLM in Corporate Law in the 2019/20 academic year, graduating in 2020. In this video he talks about his experience of studying for an LLM at Edinburgh Law School, life in Edinburgh, completing his studies during the Covid-19 pandemic and his plans for the future.
Zekun, from China, studied for an LLM in Corporate Law in the 2019/20 academic year, graduating in 2020. In this video he talks about his experience of studying for an LLM at Edinburgh Law School, life in Edinburgh, completing his studies during the Covid-19 pandemic and his plans for the future.

The LLM in Corporate Law is an intellectually challenging and fulfilling course. Students take part in both mandatory and optional modules. I benefitted from this, being able to structure the LLM to suit my own personal interests.

Seminars are supported with carefully selected reading materials, and students are encouraged to discuss and explore their perspectives. The Law School develops each individual’s skills, which presents the opportunity to work in a broad range of positions within the legal field.

Aaron, LLM in Corporate Law Graduate, 2017

The University of Edinburgh offers a wide range of resources, along with extremely supportive and accessible staff. There is an inviting academic environment, with a diverse student population from around the world. I am delighted with my decision to study in Edinburgh, and thoroughly enjoyed and benefited from the LLM in Corporate Law.

The spectacular diversity of curriculum options and multicultural studying environment with an add-on of true experience of English law, and the School of Law staff whose amazing passion for teaching and overall helpful attitude to students brings about the true flavour of the legal academic experience.

Anton Yakhimovich, LLM in Corporate Law Graduate, 2017

Edinburgh Law School has developed my confidence, research and analytical skills!

Through the LLM Corporate Law programme, I have attained great insights into the history of corporate laws and tools to tackle the emerging challenges in the corporate landscape.

Along the way, I have made lasting relationships with peers and academics.

Comfort, LLM in Corporate Law Graduate, 2017

Contact us

If you have any questions about the LLM in Corporate Law 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. We may also consider a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in a social science subject. 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
  • LanguageCert International ESOL: C1 Expert - Pass overall with a Pass in each component

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 Corporate Law in 2021/22 are provided in the table below.

Round Application deadline Decisions by
1 04 December 2020 28 January 2021
2 26 February 2021 31 March 2021
3 07 May 2021 18 June 2021
4 30 June 2021 27 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.

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.
  • 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 Corporate Law 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 Corporate Law please don't hesitate to contact us.