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LLM International Commercial Law

LLM Law video
  • Delivery:
    Full time according to Funding Council definitions

​Founded in the ancient silk and spice routes, international trade and commerce has spread to become the most significant activity of any modern economy.

The provision of goods and services in other countries increased dramatically in the second half of the 20th century, and today continues to reveal new markets, products and commercial practices.

Our LLM in International Commercial Law focuses on the legal regulation from the perspective of a common law jurisdiction, and the challenges presented through membership of the international and European communities.

Key information

Next start date:

January 2017, September 2017


Bournemouth University, Lansdowne Campus


12 months for September start, or 16 months for January start including a summer vacation

Required subjects:

A previous law degree is not essential

Entry requirements:

A Bachelors Honours degree, 2:2 or above or equivalent, and/or relevant comprehensive training/experience. If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS 6.0 (Academic) or above. For more information check out our International entry requirements

Course details

Semester 1

Core units

  • Principles of International Law, International Organisations and the World Trade Organisation: Firstly it will provide you with a sound grounding in the principles underpinning international law. Secondly, and building upon the knowledge gained on the principles of international law, the unit will examine the World Trade Organisation (WTO) as a prime example of an international organisation.

Option units (choose two)*

  • Corporate law - Theory & Practice: You will examine key issues in contemporary corporate law, this will enable you to evaluate corporate law issues from key theoretical and practical perspectives.
  • International Dispute Resolution: Cross-border and inter-State relations raise complex issues involving the law of more than one country. Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) offers an alternative way of resolving disputes other than litigation. This unit will introduce the key concepts, forms and procedures of ADR and discuss its development and merits compared to litigation relating to both international commercial and public international law disputes.
  • International Cyber Law & Governance: An understanding of the principles of internet law and online policies (addressing principles of human rights law, criminal law, international law and copyright law inter alia) has become indispensable for professionals aiming for a career in the digital economy. This unit will provide you with a thorough grounding and critical appreciation of online policy, regulatory scope for online activities and strategic impact on business decisions.

*Please note that option units require minimum numbers in order to run and may only be available on a semester by semester basis. They may also change from year to year.

Semester 2

Core units

  • Law of International Trade: This unit deals with the core of international commercial law: the legal regulation of international commerce from the perspective of transactions relating to the exportation of goods. This allows for an in-depth exposure to international supply, sale and carriage contracts, to considerations associated with multiple transactions and to techniques for the international harmonisation of substantive law.

Option units (choose two)*

  • International Intellectual Property Rights: Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) are implicated in most aspects of international commerce. For example: patent laws affect technology transfer, trade mark laws affect branding, design laws affect product development and copyright laws affect all entertainment goods. Through the integration of intellectual property standards into the WTO framework with the 1994 TRIPS Agreement, intellectual property laws have been substantially and controversially harmonised. This unit evaluates the consequences of the globalisation of intellectual property laws.
  • International Direct Taxation: The globalisation of business means that firms must not only understand the domestic tax systems in the states in which they operate, but also the ways in which those systems interact. Direct taxes at the federal level usually account for between 10 and 30 per cent of pre-tax profits and this unit aims to foster an understanding of the international tax system and the principal tax planning techniques open to multinational firms.
  • International Law of the Environment: This unit will examine the particular sectors of environmental policy that are the subject of international legal regulation and obligations. This will involve an appraisal of how international legal regulation has developed in these areas, taking into account various challenges, legal and political, that have been influential in shaping their respective evolution.

*Please note that option units require minimum numbers in order to run and may only be available on a semester by semester basis. They may also change from year to year.

Semester 3

Core units

  • Dissertation: This unit will provide you with the opportunity to conduct research on an area of law associated with the knowledge and skills acquired and developed on your chosen pathway. You will develop critical thinking, evaluate new and existing relevant research and develop your conceptual understanding of law. This unit will promote self-managed learning by completion of a significant piece of work.

Programme specification

Programme specifications provide definitive records of the University's taught degrees in line with Quality Assurance Agency requirements. Every taught course leading to a BU Award has a programme specification which describes its aims, structure, content and learning outcomes, plus the teaching, learning and assessment methods used.

Download the programme specification for LLM International Commercial Law.

Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the programme specification, the information is liable to change to take advantage of exciting new approaches to teaching and learning as well as developments in industry. If you have been unable to locate the programme specification for the course you are interested in, it will be available as soon as the latest version is ready. Alternatively please contact us for assistance.

Full entry requirements

The normal requirements for embarking upon a postgraduate taught degree are:

  • A good Bachelor Honours degree, 2:2 or above or equivalent
  • For post-experience and professional qualifications, there may be additional entry requirements set by the association or institute that ultimately administers the qualification in question. The qualification description on the course information pages should tell you what these are but please get in touch with the askBU Enquiry Service.

If you lack the formal academic qualifications needed to enter a postgraduate or post-experience degree, there are several alternative routes to follow - some based on experience. Contact the askBU Enquiry Service for more information.

International entry requirements

If English is not your first language, you will need to provide evidence that you can understand English to a satisfactory level. English language requirements for this course are normally:

  • IELTS (Academic) 6.0 with minimum 5.5 in each component or equivalent.

View further information about our English language requirements.

A number of pre-sessional English and preparatory programmes are offered through our partner institution, Bournemouth University International College, and will get you ready for study at BU at the appropriate level.

You can also find further details of the international qualifications we accept, and what level of study they apply to, on our postgraduate entry requirements page.

Selection criteria

Background and experience

For International Commercial Law we are looking for applicants who:

  • Have a legal background or demonstrate true passion for law
  • Are enthusiastic about issues surrounding international commerce and international legal provisions
  • Can evaluate legal situations, develop arguments and contribute to group discussions and debates
  • Are prepared to work hard to meet strict deadlines and rise to the challenge of postgraduate study.

We encourage applications from individuals with excellent research, analytical skills and enthusiasm for debates. We are looking for self-managed learners who are happy to work hard to meet the demands of this rewarding course. Furthermore, we seek individuals with a keen interest in developing new skills and who will draw upon their existing experiences, to enhance their legal expertise and careers prospects.

Selection methods

We’ll be selecting the candidates for this course by looking at their applications – there are no interviews or additional selection activities. For that reason, make sure your application really stands out from the crowd, and leave us in no doubt as to why you should be joining BU. For more information, take a look at our postgraduate how to apply pages. 


The course will provide a challenging and stimulating opportunity to enhance your career prospects within a variety of industries and/or the legal profession.

In particular, the course will appeal to:

  • International students looking for an understanding of commercial trade
  • Lawyers seeking a specialism or an accreditation to advise commercial clients
  • Managers in the banking, insurance, carriage and other constituent industries
  • Recent or mature Graduates (and equivalents) seeking more focused career opportunities
  • Academic lawyers seeking to expand their knowledge base.

Some of our Law Graduates are now undertaking roles such as*:

  • Associate director
  • Judges assistant
  • Patent associate
  • Senior lawyer.

Our students have previously worked for*:

  • Axis Associates International Co.Ltd
  • Court of Justice
  • Spoor & Fisher
  • UPTX.

Further study

Research is fundamental to the development and delivery of Higher Education. At BU we recognise this, and place research at the core of our activities. You can find out more about our Research Themes online.

Such is our commitment to research that we have over 200 students studying for a research degree at BU. They are all members of the Graduate School and are undertaking projects that will make a real difference in tomorrow’s world.

*All information shown has been taken from Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) or BU institutional data unless otherwise stated.

No hidden extras

As a student at BU we will provide many things to support you and there will also be additional costs you may encounter whilst studying at BU. The information below will help you understand our provision and what you need to budget for.

What you can expect from us

All of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees, including, lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions and specialist teaching facilities. You will also have access to a wide range of support and services, many of these are included on the Next Steps insert enclosed with your offer letter.

  • One set of study-related consumables such as a memory stick/ DVD
  • Materials for laboratory and field-based teaching activity
  • Support for placements (UK or abroad) and fieldwork
  • A range of student services – advisors, help desks, counsellors, placement support and careers service
  • The Library – access to a wide range of electronic resources (databases, e-journals and e-books), print and multimedia collections, subject librarians and study spaces
  • IT labs (some open 24/7), wireless network, AV equipment to borrow
  • Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) scheme
  • Disability and additional learning support
  • The BU Language Centre to help you develop/improve foreign or English language skills
  • 24 hours a day, 365 days a year security team.

Costs of living and other expenses you need to consider

  • Accommodation and living costs: view our price guide
  • Text books: remember that our award-winning library is stocked with a large range of text books for all courses, as well as online resources such as industry journals, free of charge
  • General stationery and other supplies such as print and presentation materials: the Students’ Union shops stock a wide range of stationery supplies on both campuses
  • Travel to, from and between BU campuses: our bus service operates in the local areas offering a subsidised travel rate; we also have a large number of secure bike storage compounds
  • sportBU membership: check out our student membership packages, sports events, varsity teams, information about our new facilities and more on the SportBU webpages
  • Fieldwork travel, outdoor wear and footwear (where applicable)
  • Telephone and travel costs incurred when undertaking interviews for coursework/securing placements.
  • A fee will be payable towards the cost of an Educational Psychology Assessment if this is required in connection with additional learning support. BU pays for approximately two-thirds of the cost of this assessment for UK students. For more details and current pricing please visit the students section of the website

Repeat Units

If you need to repeat one or more units during the course of your studies, you may be required to pay additional fees equivalent to one ninth of the tuition fee per 20 credit unit.

Financial help available from BU

We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to students who are beginning their studies at BU. Our website also provides details on living costs, budgeting and paying your tuition fees.

Additional information

Your career and development

Your career and development

Read about career and development opportunities and discover how gaining industry experience could help you.

International students

International students

We have a strong international student community. Find all the practical advice and information you need here.