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) or equivalent. If your IELTS score or equivalent is below 6.5 in one or more areas, you may be asked to take a pre-sessional English programme at Westminster before starting your course.
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 commercial relationships in the international arena, the role and impact of electronic commerce, 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.
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 goals 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 practices followed in the business environment to meet CSR needs.
International Tax Law
You will analyse the nature of tax, taxation and tax bases in 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 the 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)
You will develop your knowledge of commercial industrial property/intellectual property law, combined with an appreciation of how modern intellectual property rights (IPR) operate in the international online environment. The module analyses commercial property rights in an international context, with a particular focus on challenges to IP in the new online environment. Topics covered include copyright and fair use, trademarks and domain names, patents and design rights, and confidentiality rights.
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 gain 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 to three of the following taught modules from other LLM courses:
- Foreign Direct Investment Arbitration
- International Banking Law and Regulation
- International Commercial Arbitration
- International Energy and 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.
*Subject to approval
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)
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