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LLM in International Commercial Law and Practice

The LLM in International Commercial Law and Practice by online learning aims to provide you with an advanced knowledge and understanding of the international context in which business currently operates.


Lorna Richardson talks about the LLM in International Commercial Law and Practice by online distance learning at Edinburgh Law School.

The programme focuses on legal responses to the developments shaping international commerce today, as lawyers and business professionals are increasingly required to look beyond domestic law to find solutions appropriate to their international business needs and opportunities.

The programme offers an approach to learning and teaching based on academic rigour in legal education, balanced with a focus on professional practice as both the context and the medium for learning about international commercial law. As a student on the programme, you will become familiar with the complex framework of international legal instruments that apply within international commerce, including international conventions and regulatory instruments, and also relevant ‘soft law’. In addition, you will explore and critically analyse those standards, statements of best practice and guidelines of significance to the operation of international commerce in specific industry sectors.

The LLM in International Commercial Law and Practice offers several core modules which cover the regulatory and policy-based aspects of international commercial law and also modules which are focused on particular industry sectors such as oil and gas law and the law relating to the commodities markets.

You will choose from core modules in the areas of:

  • arbitration and dispute resolution
  • corporate governance and compliance
  • international tax law
  • energy law and climate law
  • contract law.

You can also choose two modules from our range of optional modules. This allows you to tailor your programme and engage with a range of subject areas within the fields of intellectual property, information technology, innovation and medical law.

Globalisation and developments in technology have led to a marked increase in international trade in goods and services, in international investment, and in the development of global financial markets. In parallel, the world of international commerce has seen major growth in the regulation of commercial activity at a national and international level, and in international litigation and arbitration.

The LLM in International Commercial Law and Practice will equip lawyers and business professionals with a deeper understanding of how international commercial law operates in practice today.

The programme is therefore designed for you if you are:

  • a lawyer who wants to internationalise your practice, or deepen your knowledge in a specialist area;
  • an in-house lawyer with an interest in expanding your legal knowledge and industry focus;
  • a business professional working for (or intending to work for) international commercial organisations, who needs to operate in heavily regulated industries, such as oil or shipping;
  • a compliance officer, or a legal or commercial manager, who must constantly update your legal awareness.

International commerce requires people to make difficult decisions every day, with legally binding consequences. These actions cannot be taken without regard to the legal context. The LLM programme in International Commercial Law and Practice will complement existing experience and skills, and enable you to react to issues and events decisively and knowledgeably.

Graduates of the LLM in International Commercial Law and Practice talk about their experiences of studying online for an LLM on this video playlist of interviews.

Edinburgh Law School has a centuries-long tradition in private law, and much of our research in private law and contract law has a comparative and/or international focus. The School also has great strength in international law.

Teaching on the programme therefore draws on significant expertise in private law and in international law - exploring how countries interact together under international treaties, and analysing how commerce is regulated around the world.

The programme will also give you exposure to guest tutors and experts outside academia: practitioners involved in leading cases, negotiating deals, and working with major clients. This will illustrate some of the theory you will learn, giving you insight into, for example, on-going litigation in courts, or the status of contract negotiations between governments.

Contact us

If you have any questions about the LLM in International Commercial Law and Practice by online learning please don't hesitate to contact us.

llm.online@ed.ac.uk

The LLM in International Commercial Law and Practice by online learning gives you the opportunity to study a wide range of courses covering regulatory and policy-based aspects of international commercial law and also particular industry sectors such as oil and gas law.

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 the full LLM in International Commercial Law and Practice degree structure

Courses shown below are scheduled to run in the 2019/20 academic year.

You must study between 80 and 120 credits from the following courses:

 

  • Contract Law in Europe (20 credits)

    This course is a comparative contract law course. Contract law is part of each country's national law. The main focus of the course 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).
    One of the themes of the course is whether there is, indeed, a split between the common law and the civil law tradition in the field of contract law within European countries. Is there, in fact, a gulf between the two traditions? Are harmonising initiatives likely to succeed? The debate on these issues will be informed by the analysis of the national legal systems which form the focus of this course.

  • Corporate Compliance: Case Studies in Law & Ethics (20 credits)

    This course will examine the legal, ethical, and social compliance issues that arise in an international business setting. Each week will consider regulations from different countries, international standards, and guidance documents that address issues from bribery to working conditions in factories. Case study analysis will be used to not only identify non-compliant practices, the consequences of violations, and the lack of leadership accountability, but also to highlight successful codes of conduct, transparent compliance programs, and ethical corporate cultures. This course focuses on real-world legal issues, legal accountability, and the interconnections between multi-national corporations and governments around the world.

  • European Competition and Innovation (20 credits)

    This course examines the principal issues arising from the application of Articles 101 and 102 TFEU to practices aimed at furthering innovation and investment. It will include a consideration of the following topics:

    • Article 101 TFEU: current approaches to prima facie anti-competitive agreements in general; legal implications of joint venture arrangements and the application of Article 101(3) to individual cases; the current Block Exemption on Technology Transfer Agreements.
    • Article 102 TFEU: current approaches to abuses of dominant position generally the 2009 Enforcement Priorities document; abuse of dominance in innovative industries; the problem of network effects; issues arising from the application of Article 102 to industry leaders' refusals to deal and to license.
  • Law of Climate Change (20 credits)

    This course explores the law concerning climate change with particular focus on its sources, principles and processes. It critically questions the role of law in enabling humanity's responses to such a unique global challenge.
    This is an area of regulation that has developed most influentially in the realm of public international law in the form of the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its 1997 Kyoto Protocol, as well as the 2015 Paris Agreement. More than twenty years since the adoption of the UNFCCC in 1992, the international legal regime of climate change has branched off into numerous issue areas and related processes for the implementation of climate change mitigation (reducing greenhouse gasses emissions) and adaptation measures.
    At the same time, this 'international climate change regime' interacts with other issues areas of public international law (e.g. human rights and international trade regulation), as well as with regional (primarily under European Union law), national and sub-national regimes.
    Throughout the module, you will critically debate the rationales for past and current regulatory approaches under the international climate change regime. You will also learn how the interactions with other regimes can favour or hamper progress in climate change action from states and other actors, including individuals.
    Law of Climate Change takes an inter-disciplinary approach, drawing on insights from economics, ethics, international relations theory and the physical sciences. A feature of this course is its close relationship to fundamental research that is undertaken across the University.

  • Comparative and International 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. Corporate governance has become a key topic for legislators, practitioners, and academics in all modern industrial states. It has been increasingly recognised as an important element of sustainable development. Consequently, comparative knowledge and understanding of corporate governance are essential tools for business lawyers and policy makers, especially after the recent financial crisis which highlighted some shortcomings of the corporate governance systems.

  • Dispute Resolution Methods (20 credits)

    This course will offer a unique and practical introduction to dispute resolution methods and will equip students with both theoretical and practical understandings of a topic of growing domestic and international significance.
    In an increasingly globalised world resorting to courts is not always experienced as a fast and effective way of resolving disputes. The parties may wish to maintain a good working relationship over many years to come, or they may simply not want to commit to a potentially costly, time and resource intensive litigation process with an uncertain outcome. Even more so, if their counterparty is based abroad, the questions of international jurisdiction and enforcement arise and add another layer of difficulty. Alternatively they may be interested in long term projects to preserve cash-flow by finding a fast resolution, even if interim.
    In response to the need for cost-efficient, timely and appropriate dispute resolution, several methods have been developed taking proceedings outside the usual setting of the courtroom. Parties and their advisers ought to be aware of the array of dispute resolution mechanisms, their potential application and features in order to be able to select the tool best suited to their needs. Certain industries, such as the construction industry, use tools, specifically developed to cater for the particularities and needs of the industry. Online dispute resolution has been developed both for the unique online setting but also to aid a speedy and cheap resolution of off-line disputes.
    This course offers an introduction to a range of dispute resolution mechanisms, their potential application and features and their domestic and international legal framework.

  • International Law, Human Rights and Corporate Accountability (20 credits)

    This course will examine the history of human rights beginning with a discussion of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted in 1948 through to contemporary issues generated by globalization.
    In addition to analysing International Human Rights Law and the rights and duties of multinational corporations and state actors regarding human rights, the course will consider the contributions of institutions, NGOs and the international human rights movement.
    Throughout the weeks we will evaluate aspects of accountability, enforcement and legal liability. Case study analysis will be used to examine human rights abuses, litigation, the role of states to protect human rights and the culpability of corporate actions. We will discuss the controversial issues surrounding corporations as subjects of international law while considering trends for future remedies including the concept of legally binding requirements.

  • International Oil and Gas Law (20 credits)

    The course will begin with an overview of the industry and the key economic and political actors, and provide an introduction to the role of oil and gas in international relations and to the economics of the industry. The course will also provide an introduction to the principles of public and private international law relevant to the industry, and how these operate in practice with reference to industry-specific contracts, agreements and instruments.
    There will be a detailed analysis of 'upstream' issues and the legal issues surrounding exploration, including a comparative analysis of the different legal regimes surrounding exploration rights and specific problems with exploration, such as joint exploration and exploration in disputed territory.
    The course will analyse the various commercial arrangements in the industry such as Joint Ventures (with an emphasis on Joint Operating Agreements) and will also look at arrangements regarding infrastructure. The course will also cover 'downstream' issues such as the trading and transportation of oil and gas, with reference to industry specific contracts. Finally, the course will analyse the particular issues concerning the States as actors in the oil and gas industry including stabilisation clauses, state immunity and international dispute settlement.
    Through the use of primary sources, secondary literature and case studies, the course aims to promote a deeper understanding of the operation of the international oil and gas industry, of the legal issues facing the industry and the various solutions. The course also aims to develop students' understanding of the operation of international commercial law in a practical context. The course aims to assist students in taking a critical and comparative approach to the relevant legal issues and to view these in their economic and political context.

  • International Commercial Arbitration (20 credits)

    This course will offer a unique and practical introduction to international commercial arbitration and will equip students with both theoretical and practical understandings of a topic of growing international significance.
    In response to the need for cost-efficient, timely and appropriate dispute resolution, several methods have been developed taking proceedings outside the usual setting of the courtroom. Perhaps the most popular and successful of these (in the field of international trade) is international commercial arbitration.
    The law and practice of international commercial arbitration seeks to find solutions which fit the needs of international business. The aim is to provide a neutral process acceptable to both parties to a transaction, one which minimises the risks of forum shopping and avoids the problems of conflicts over legal forum and applicable law, one which is commercial and sensitive to commercial needs.
    International commercial arbitration is a creature of agreement and cannot operate without the consent of the parties. Nonetheless the system cannot operate without legal regulation and a considerable body of law has developed as the process becomes more popular.
    The law in question deals with issues such as how national legal systems regulate arbitration, give effect to arbitration agreements and enforce the decisions of arbitrators. Additionally there is a considerable amount of 'soft' law, dealing with matters of how the process should operate and best practice for parties, counsel and arbitrators.
    The course will focus on this body of law and how it operates in practical situations. The course will focus largely on international law and practice, with domestic and national solutions used mainly as examples of a developing international practice.

  • Principles of International Taxation (20 credits) - this course will not be offered in the 2019/20 academic year.

    The aim of the course is to allow participants to become familiar with all rules concerning the distribution of taxing rights between countries, and the consequent problems in terms of tax competition, tax avoidance and the balance between the protection of revenue interests of states and the taxpayers rights.

CIArb Recognised Course Provider status

Edinburgh Law School is a Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) Recognised Course Provider. Students who successfully complete the Dispute Resolution Methods course, with a minimum overall mark of 55%, will be exempted from the CIArb Introduction course and can apply for Associate Membership of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. 

The award of CIArb Recognised Course Provider status is for a period of three years from June 2018 - June 2021.  

Visit the CIArb website

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

  • EU Data Protection Law (20 credits)
  • Communications Law (20 credits)
  • Law of Robotics (20 credits)
  • Intellectual Property Law - Copyright and Related Rights (20 credits)
  • Fundamentals in Bioethics (20 credits)
  • Shaping Modern Healthcare (10 credits)
  • Regulating Health and Social Care Professionals (10 credits)
  • Legal Aspects of Managing Intellectual Property (20 credits)
  • European Health Law and Policy (20 credits)
  • Governance of Innovative Medicine (20 credits)
  • Forensic Computing and Electronic Evidence (20 credits)
  • International and European Media Law (20 credits)
  • International Intellectual Property System (20 credits) - this course will not be offered in the 2019/20 academic year.
  • EU Law (20 credits)
  • Withdrawal from the EU and the Law (Brexit) (20 credits)

Please note that courses 'Shaping Modern Healthcare' and 'Regulating Health and Social Care Professionals' are co-requisites and must both be taken in the semester in which they run.

You can view the full programme structure including full course descriptions on the University Degree Regulations and Programmes of Study website.

View the full LLM in International Commercial Law and Practice degree structure

You can choose between 0 and 20 credits of the following courses:

  • Electronic Commerce Law
  • Information Technology Law
  • Global Health: Law and Policy
  • The Fundamentals of Law and Medical Ethics
  • Biotechnology, Bioethics and Society
  • Intellectual Property Law - Industrial Property
  • Law and Ethics at the Start and End of Life
  • Intellectual Property and Human Rights - this course will not be offered in the 2019/20 academic year.
  • Information: Control and Power - this course will not be offered in the 2019/20 academic year.

A course from this collection can only be taken with the approval of your Programme Director.

You can view the full programme structure including full course descriptions on the University Degree Regulations and Programmes of Study website.

View the full LLM in International Commercial Law and Practice degree structure

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 options available in the programme.

Title

Your dissertation title will be agreed with your supervisor during your final semester of taught study. Dissertation topics must fall within the scope of your programme and will relate to specific courses that you have taken at Edinburgh. Supervision continues throughout the research and writing of the dissertation.

Aim

Your dissertation must demonstrate a comprehensive grasp of the relevant literature and an ability to engage in critical analysis. More credit will be given for originality and evidence of independent thinking, whether in terms of the material used, or the manner in which it is presented.

Timing

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

Courses are offered once in an academic year. Each semester you will choose the course(s) you wish to study in that particular semester. Courses are then allocated. Details of the courses available will be provided in advance.  Courses are then allocated.

The allocation process is intended to support student choices as much as possible, while taking account of optimum class sizes for specific courses.

Class sizes

Class sizes have typically ranged from 15 to 25 students in the past. If more students request a course than can be allocated, students who need to take the course in order to fulfil core programme requirements will have priority and others may be asked to defer that course choice to a later year of study.

Terms and conditions

Please note the University reserves the right to make variations to the contents of programmes, including the range of courses offered, and the available choice of courses in any given year may change.

Find out more about the University's terms and conditions

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.

If you have any questions about the LLM in International Commercial Law and Practice by online learning please don't hesitate to contact us.

llm.online@ed.ac.uk

Staff teaching on the core courses of the LLM in Commercial Law in 2018/19 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 will include:

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

Arianna Andreangeli's research interests lie in the area of EU and domestic competition law, both substantive and procedural. She is especially interested in exploring how the competition rules can be effectively applied so as to safeguard genuine rivalry in the market while safeguarding the concerned actors'  economic freedom and incentive to innovate and invest.

Find out more

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.

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

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

Dr Cerioni joined the Law School in 2015. Before entering academia Luca was a practising member of the Italian chartered accontancy and tax consultancy professional body. His research interests include international tax competition and international tax avoidance; EU tax policy developments. 

Find out more

The staff teaching on this programme are subject to change for 2019/20 and will depend on the core courses offered. 

Contact us

If you have any questions about the LLM in International Commercial Law and Practice by online learning please don't hesitate to contact us.

llm.online@ed.ac.uk

We require a minimum of a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent. Your degree does not have to be in the subject of law, but it must be from a recognised higher education institution.

We will also consider your other qualifications and professional experience as part of your application.

Entry to this programme is competitive and meeting the minimum requirements for consideration does not guarantee an offer of study.

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

Check your degree

We also take into account postgraduate qualifications, such as an MA, MSc, MBA or PhD.

Professional experience in appropriate areas is also considered as part of an application, although candidates, including qualified lawyers, will in almost every instance be expected to have reached the required academic levels.

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 6.5 in each module).
  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 23 in each module).
  • PTE(A): total 67 (at least 61 in each of the Communicative Skills sections).
  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 176 in each module).
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III (with a pass in all four components).

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

We do 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.

The University offers an online pre-sessional academic language course designed to help international postgraduate online learning students prepare for their programme of study.

Find out more about English language support offered by the University

If you are currently studying for another qualification, you may still be able to apply on the assumption that all written work for that qualification will be submitted for examination by the start of teaching in the year of entry to the degree programme.

Candidates admitted on this basis, who do not provide evidence of such completion by the start of their first semester, will be formally withdrawn from their studies at the University of Edinburgh.

Conflicting studies

Please note that during the period of your registration with the University, except in exceptional cases and with the permission of the College, you must not take courses or pursue studies in this or in any other institution with a view to obtaining any degree, diploma or professional qualification other than the one for which you are registered at this University.

Contact us

If you have any questions about our entry requirements please don't hesitate to contact us.

llm.online@ed.ac.uk

The LLM in International Commercial Law and Practice by online learning has start dates in September and January of each academic year. 

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.

Apply now

We aim to review applications and make selection decisions throughout the cycle and 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.

September 2019 entry

The deadline for applications for entry in September 2019 is 4:00pm (UK time) on 9 July 2019.

Please note that if you receive a conditional offer of a place on one of our programmes, the deadline for meeting the conditions of your offer is 31 July 2019. 

January 2020 entry

The deadline for applications for entry in January 2020 is 4:00pm (UK time) on 12 November 2019.

Please note that if you receive a conditional offer of a place on one of our programmes, the deadline for meeting the conditions of your offer is 26 November 2019.

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). Where academic paperwork is not in English, certified translations must be provided (these must have been produced by a certified translator);
    Find out more about certified translations
  • Details of professional qualifications and any appropriate professional registrations.
  • 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. We may accept a non-academic reference from applicants who have been out of higher education for five years or more.
  • Evidence of English language proficiency, if required.
  • Personal statement - you will be asked to complete a personal statement (maximum 3500 characters - approximately 500 words) as part of your application. 
  • Relevant knowledge / skills - this may include details of any skills or voluntary work that you have undertaken that you feel are pertinent to the programme (maximum 3500 characters - approximately 500 words).

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

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

Find out more about applying to the University of Edinburgh

Applicants receiving an unconditional offer of admission to the LLM in Information Technology Law will be asked to pay a deposit of £1000 to secure their place on the programme

The deposit fee will be deducted from the first tuition fee instalment you have to pay and so enables you to spread the financial cost of the LLM.

September 2019 applicants

The deposit must be paid within 28 days of the date that the unconditional offer was made or by 7 August 2019, whichever is sooner.  

January 2020 applicants

The deposit must be paid within 28 days of the date that the unconditional offer was made or by 29 November 2019, whichever is sooner.  

Find out more about our deposit policy

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 now

Contact us

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

llm.online@ed.ac.uk