International Commercial Law LLM
Alternative attendance modes for this course
Courses start in September, unless otherwise stated
View course-specific entry requirements
You will typically be expected to have a good Second Class Honours (or equivalent) degree in law or an equivalent non-law degree and significant legal experience. You will also be considered without standard qualifications provided you are sufficiently motivated to study effectively on a Masters programme and/or have had a significant amount of relevant experience. If your first language is not English, you will normally need an IELTS score of 6.5 (including 6.0 in writing), TOEFL 92, or equivalent.
This course balances the best of a rigorous, traditional legal education with a contemporary perspective. Our areas of specialisation address today's most important business and legal challenges, including the study of the evolving commercial relationships in the international arena, the role and impact of electronic commerce, the resolution of commercial disputes, and the gradual harmonisation of international commercial law.
This Masters is not merely about what you learn in the classroom, it is also about actual practice in today's world of globalisation and international commerce. That is why the LLM provides, in addition to a strong academic dimension, a concentrated, real-world-oriented legal education.
The course offers you the opportunity to develop strong academic and practical skills in a highly competitive and intellectually satisfying area of law. It is ideally suited to those who come from a commercial law, international business, management, or economics background. You will have the opportunity to explore your own ideas, gain knowledge and enhance transferable skills in a supportive environment. You will benefit from a strong programme of visiting speakers, excellent online materials and learning resources, top quality instruction and a professional and practical focus in a department with a strong research profile.
The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course. For more details on course structure and modules, and how you will be taught and assessed, see the full course document.
The Dissertation module allows you to extend your research into a topic of your choice within the broad field of international commercial law. You will need to agree the topic with the module leader, and it must not replicate materials covered in other areas of your coursework, other than any Dissertation Proposal written as part of the Research Methods and Theory module.
FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONAL COMMERCIAL LAW
This module enables you to analyse the key principles for the application of international commercial law, and the context within which it operates. You will develop your understanding of the legal rules affecting the international sale of goods contract, and high-level research skills in this subject and its related fields.
International Economic Law
This module examines the role of the principal institutions and structures of international economic law. The focus is on the IMF, World Bank and WTO in advancing normative solutions to the changing dynamics of international economic relations. More specifically, against the background of globalisation and the ‘rule of law’ framework increasingly favoured by the advocates of liberalisation, it examines the basic tenets advanced by these institutions. In particular the module addresses the overall intellectual and theoretical bases of these institutions, the historical reasons for their genesis, the implicit economic justifications for their functions and their legal/regulatory structures, including mechanisms for dispute resolution. It also assesses the de facto functioning of other institutions of international economic law, such as WIPO and the ILO.
CARRIAGE OF GOODS
You will explore the contractual and legal relationships of persons involved in a carriage of goods arrangement. This module covers the international carriage of goods by sea, air, road and rail, with sea carriage as the main focus. The module deals with the two principal forms of contracts used for the carriage of goods by sea, the charter party, and the contract of affreightment. The emphasis of the module is to examine legal principles against the backdrop of current shipping practice and documentation.
CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY ISSUES IN BUSINESS AND LAW
This module looks at the tension for corporate entities between their business gaols and their social responsibilities. It draws a distinction between the legal and ethical demands on business in relation to corporate social responsibility and studies the ways in which the two intersect. It analyses the domestic and international frameworks, together with key industry initiatives, in the field. You will be exposed to a range of methods and best practice followed in the business environment to meet CSR needs.
International Banking Law and Regulation
This module provides the student with a deep understanding of how banks are regulated, especially in an international context. The student will also be exposed to the law of banker-customer and banking instruments.
INTERNATIONAL TAX LAW
You will analyse the nature of tax, taxation and tax bases in the law, giving you the opportunity to survey the legal and non-legal implications of cross-border taxation. You will also study the interaction between states and taxpayers, treaty law and tax conventions, and the role of international bodies such as the OECD.
LAW OF INTERNATIONAL SALES
This module will give you the opportunity to evaluate and critically examine the law governing the international sale contract. You will be introduced to the intricacies of international sale transactions, especially the content of the contract of international sale, the use of standard trade terms (such as the INCOTERMS 2010), and the rights and remedies available to sellers and buyers. You will also examine the role of documentation in international sales, and will have the chance to discuss the role of Vienna Convention on the international sale of goods.
LAW RELATING TO PAYMENT AND TRADE FINANCE
This module introduces you to how the international sale of goods is paid and financed. We examine the law which applies to the payment and finance of international sales, and the practical commercial issues this specialised field entails. Areas covered include the fundamental principles relating to documentary credits, the operation and legal effect of the different types of documentary credit, their relationship with the sale contract, and the use of performance guarantees.
LEGAL ASPECTS OF ELECTRONIC COMMERCE
You will examine the legal and commercial framework for electronic commerce, and the key aspects of the law of contract in that context. You will also study relevant English and EU legal provisions on aspects of electronic commerce, including online data transmission, online marketing, electronic payments, copyright and domain name disputes. The module also looks at how current law could be applied to resolve difficulties thrown up by electronic commerce and IT.
MULTINATIONAL CORPORATE ENTITIES
This module will introduce you to the study of several facets of multinational corporate entities. These include the role and effect of multinational corporate entities in cross-border trade and investment, the power balance between multinationals and sovereign states, and international and national approaches to control of multinationals. You will also consider the international and national consequences of incorporation of businesses, and the accountability of the multinational personnel.
Protection of Commercial Industrial Property Rights (Intellectual Property)
This module analyses commercial Intellectual Property rights in an international context, with a particular focus on challenges to IP in the new online/Internet environment. Topics covered include: Copyright, Trademarks and Passing Off, Patents, Design Rights, and the Protection of Confidential Commercial Information.
RESEARCH THEORY AND PRACTICE
This module is designed to prepare students for LLM Dissertation work. It introduces you to the general concepts of legal and social scientific (empirical) methods of research, and develops your understanding of the principles of advanced research. You will consider the relevance of these methods for the study of law, as well as giving you an understanding of the legal, social scientific and philosophical debates on methodology. It will also enable you to evaluate your own work and that of other researchers. Finally you will work on your Dissertation Proposal.
International Commercial Law students may also take up three of the following taught modules from other LLM courses:
- Foreign Direct Investment Arbitration
- International Commercial Arbitration
- International Commercial Litigation
- International Energy & Climate Change Law
- International Law of the Sea
- Private International Law: Substantive Commercial
- One free choice LLM module from any other course.
Please note that option modules are subject to student demand and staffing availability, therefore not all modules may be offered in any one academic year.
Dr Simon Newman, Course leader
Former students have found employment in accountancy, banking and finance, commodities, corporate and commercial law, export-import, insurance, international and national trade and marketing bodies, international organisations, IT, shipping and freight, tax, and the public sector.
Additional costs information
To check what your tuition fees cover and what you may need to pay for separately, see our What tuition fees cover page.
Length of course
One year full-time or two years part-time January start available
Central London (Regent)
Career Development Activities
Westminster law students benefit from the following:
- Dedicated 1-2-1 appointments with careers advisors.
- Feedback and advice on CVs, applications and interview preparation.
- Employer panel events and talks.
- Law vacancy jobs bulletin.
- Annual Law Fair Consortium.
- Mock Assessment Centres and Interviews.
Our dedicated Career Development Centre is actively working with an ever-expanding network of over 3,000 employers to provide you with exceptional employability support and guidance. As a result we were nominated as finalists for a significant industry award – the NUE Awards Most Improved Commitment to Employability 2016.
We provide our students with work placements and international opportunities to support them in becoming highly employable, globally engaged graduates, and with one million businesses operating within 20 miles of the University of Westminster, over 84% of our students are in work or further study six months after graduation. Our graduates work in a variety of sectors and organisations, from small/medium-sized companies and start-ups to large not-for-profit organisations and corporates.
During your time at Westminster you will be able to use our comprehensive online vacancy service and meet with our experienced careers consultants, providing you with thorough training and support on CV writing, application forms, interview preparation and assessment centres.
In addition to this, you will receive careers support from academic staff and faculty work placement teams, offering targeted course-specific careers advice and assistance in securing a work placement during your time at Westminster. You can find out more about course-specific career opportunities by visiting the Prospects website.
For more details, visit the employability section on our site.
Career Development Centre
Our Career Development Centre can help and support you throughout your study and after graduation.
We can help you to:
- find part-time/vacation, placement and graduate jobs, including voluntary experience
- explore how to develop the skills that employers are looking for
- plan your career development
- identify your career options
- market yourself effectively in CVs, application forms and at interviews
- develop your enterprise skills
We also organise a range of presentations and networking events with employers, professional bodies, alumni and other organisations throughout the year to help you with career planning.
Find out more about the Career Development Centre.
Our Work Placement Teams are based in your Faculty Registry Office and can help you find a suitable placement, as well as support you in making applications, writing CVs and improving your interview technique.
More details on work placements can be found on our Work placements page.
Study in the city
If you study at the University of Westminster, everything that London has to offer is on your doorstep.
Our central London campuses are ideally located for the city's fantastic learning institutions including libraries, archives and museums, as well as opportunities for shopping, eating out, enjoying London's nightlife or just simply relaxing.
After choosing your course, one of your biggest decisions will be where to live, and we aim to make that choice as easy as possible. Whether you want to apply for our Halls of Residence or live in private housing, we can help you to find the right accommodation.
Fees, funding, bursaries and scholarships
In recent years the University of Westminster's scholarship scheme has been the largest university scholarships scheme in the UK, and our Scholarships Department won the Times Higher Education inaugural Award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students.
All students on courses of a year or more and who are registered for more than three modules will be allocated a personal tutor.
Your personal tutor will be there to support you from induction onwards, helping you to integrate into the University, academically and socially, at an early stage. They will be able to give you advice and support on academic and personal matters affecting your study, as well as developmental advice through regular individual and group tutorials.
Polylang is a University-wide programme through which you can study a language as a free choice module.
Personal advice and counselling
While most students overcome any problems with help from friends, family or a personal tutor, the University's free counselling and advice services are there if you need them.
With one of the UK's largest international student populations, the University of Westminster has plenty of experience in giving you the help and support you need to make the most of your time with us.
Study Abroad and Summer School programmes
Westminster's Study Abroad programme has been running for more than 15 years, and is one of the largest in the UK – each year we welcome hundreds of visiting students from universities all over the world.
If you are already studying outside the UK, the programme offers you the opportunity to study with us for one or two semesters, or for a period in the summer.
Sport and recreation
The University has extensive sport and recreation facilities, with a sports hall and gym at Harrow, a state-of-the-art gym at Regent Campus, and the University sports ground by the River Thames at Chiswick.
University of Westminster Students' Union (UWSU) aims to make sure you have the best university experience possible by providing a range of activities and support, from sports clubs to society groups, educational advice and social events.
Graduated from the LLM International Commercial Law in 2015
I enjoyed studying the LLM in International Commercial Law for the quality of education, the social life and the invaluable experience I gained.
I chose the university because of the specific modules that were offered within the International Commercial Law pathway. The opportunity for studying modules from other LLM courses, which had relevance to the core course was also really appealing. On the course, I broadened my understanding of international commerce, INCOTERMS, multinational corporate entities and international commercial litigation. The subject of E-Commerce was totally new for me. Understandably, it helped enhance my overall knowledge of Commercial Law and provided me with the most up-to-date developments on the topic.
The lecturers were very helpful and cooperative, they patiently and thoroughly provided explanations of any contentious issues we raised. Being a student on the course we all felt we were part of a family where everyone was treated equally. I'm also very happy to stay in touch with my lecturers. They shared experiences gained through both academic and legal practice. Together with a different approach to most of commercial issues in the common law system compared to my native civil law one, this made the course priceless for my future job prospects.
There were many open lectures and events organised for International Commercial Law LLM students. I gained much useful information attending them. This also gave me an opportunity to meet many prominent people, both from a legal profession and elsewhere. For example, the last event I visited was dedicated to Artist's contracts (Intellectual Property) where I met a legendary musician from Pink Floyd. The course also has its representation among the LLM students' cohort which enables students to voice their needs and demands.
Overall, I could go on and on with my plaudits for the University, starting from classes and ending with the brilliant student accommodation. To all prospective students I would say that Westminster is definitely the right choice. International Commercial Law LLM is a course that will be highly beneficial for both my career and a source of happy memories for me.
Graduated from the International Commercial Law LLM in 2011
I chose Westminster as the place to study for my Masters because I liked the curriculum and the broad range of modules to choose from. It's great that Westminster Law School is in central London, and the student halls of residence gave me the opportunity to live in one of the greatest cities in the world. There are extensive funding opportunities, and the scholarship I received was an important part of my overall student experience.
The University and the course definitely lived up to my expectations. The way that lectures and seminars were delivered, the interactive classes, the wealth of social and educational activities, the support for international students, classmates from all over the world, teachers who were very enthusiastic about what they did – all of this made my student days exciting, both in terms of the knowledge I gained and the people I met.
I have so much praise for the lecturers and tutors, they were very supportive, not only with our coursework and exams, but also to discuss our future law career plans. I still keep in touch with some of them and we have met up for coffee.
One of the best things about the course was the executive weekend, held in a beautiful hotel in the English countryside, full of interesting lectures and networking opportunities. I loved the fact that we were engaged in research and using our minds creatively.
The social life at Westminster was great. The Welcome Week organised at the beginning of the course enabled international students to learn everything that they needed to know about their new country. There were numerous events organized by students throughout the year; I attended both a pub-crawl along the Thames and an interesting tax avoidance lecture by prominent speakers, so there was something for everyone!
The best thing about being a Masters student in London is the fact that you get to live in a great cosmopolitan city. There's always something going on and so much to choose from – West End theatres, art cinemas, free museums, year-round festivals, career and sporting events....it's a cultural melting pot in which you can meet people from all over the world and follow your own diverse interests.
Since graduating with my LLM I've been working for a City law firm. The course has made me think more clearly about what I want to do in my future career and it's given me an insight into areas of law I knew nothing about previously. My CV is now much more attractive to potential employers – the staff in the careers office at the University were very helpful, even helping me out with mock interviews when I was preparing for the real ones.
So many possibilities open up for international students on the LLM course at Westminster. What I can say is this: go open minded, make good use of all the support that's on offer, and enjoy your time at Westminster. I wish I could live it all again.
Graduated from the LLM International Commercial Law
What made you choose Westminster?
Before starting my studies at Westminster, I worked as an in-house legal counsel at a commercial company in Moscow, where I was in charge of international commercial affairs. After being in that role for some time, I began to feel that I needed to gain substantial knowledge of English law and so I decided to undertake postgraduate studies in the UK. When I began to research where to study, I noticed that the variety of the modules offered at the University of Westminster suited my needs best, so I chose Westminster without any hesitation.
Can you tell us about your experience of being a student at Westminster?
The first thing that impressed me about the University was its location – right in the centre of everything. The second was the polite and friendly attitude of staff - from those working on the reception through to lecturers, everyone was very friendly and approachable.
The University also has a very international outlook.
Finally, Westminster’s well-stocked libraries and excellent electronic resources were a big advantage as well.
What was it like socially and academically?
Westminster is very busy place. There were a huge amount of student organisations that put together celebrations of a range of cultural events.
Besides this, prominent speakers frequently held discussions in the University academic halls about international political and legal situations. I developed a broad understanding of a number of issues from such discussions.
What did you enjoy most about the course?
It gave me an enormous and deep understanding of English and international commercial law. All the modules were comparative, taking into account various legal systems, as well as incorporating discussions about particular cases.
The attentive and friendly attitude of our professors was crucial: this helped me to succeed in my studies and exams, for which I am very grateful to each of them.
In particular, Adam Samuel organised wonderful sightseeing trips within central London, giving us so much interesting information about the places we visited.
What were the main things you took from the course - what skills and experiences did you take forward in your career?
A far-ranging understanding of the subject.
After finishing the course, I was hired to work in the London office of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP - a City law firm which is on the list of UK Magic Circle Law Firms - for almost a year on a great project.
What are you doing now?
After returning to Moscow, I was employed by a big transnational corporation. I am in charge of all international, commercial legal affairs of the company. I work with companies from almost all parts of the world, but most frequently from Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East.
I fully enjoy what I do in my job. The experience of studying on this course has made helped me to develop solutions when different transnational elements are involved in various cases. I have learnt to take into account the requirements of a number of legal systems from other parts of the globe.
If you want to fulfill serious and challenging career goals, as well as to work on interesting and difficult cases, I highly recommend Westminster’s International Commercial Law LLM.
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