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International Commercial Law and Practice (Online Distance Learning) - LLM

Course content

This programme is for students who wish to gain a deeper and contextual understanding of how commercial law operates in practice. It allows you to choose from over 25 courses, to reflect your interests, experience and industry focus.

This programme aims to provide you with a deeper understanding of how international commercial law operates in practice, with course options to reflect interests, experience and industry focus.

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. This LLM aims to help you understand the international context in which business currently operates.

The programme focuses on the 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.

Online learning

The programme is delivered by online distance learning, through our bespoke online learning environment ‘eScript’.

The learning process is interactive and research-focused. Courses are taught by leading academics in the field in question; some are also conducted by eminent practitioners with specific expertise in the chosen subject, in conjunction with academics from the School of Law.

Each session comprises a variety of activities, which could include (combinations of) any of the following:

  • questions, answers (or partial answers) to which may be posted on eScript
  • multiple choice questions
  • responses to legislative developments
  • data and opinion gathering, e.g. for use in an assignment
  • debates; assignments
  • master classes (access to expert)
  • collaboration (encourage free exchange of information followed by a summary)
  • student ‘brainstorming’ / generation of ideas and problem solving

Programme structure

The LLM in International Commercial Law and Practice requires that you complete a total of six courses (120 credit points), four of which must be from the core courses listed below. You must also complete a dissertation (60 credits) over your chosen period of study.

Core courses offered in 2016/17:

  • Contract Law in Europe
  • European Competition and Innovation
  • International Law, Human Rights and Corporate Accountability
  • Dispute Resolution Methods
  • Principles of International Taxation
  • Corporate Compliance: Case Studies in Law and Ethics
  • Comparative and International Corporate Governance
  • International Oil and Gas Law
  • Law of Climate Change

Please note the available choice of courses in any given year may change.

Learning outcomes

The LLM in International Commercial Law & Practice will enable you to engage with a wide range of subject areas and to gain advanced knowledge and understanding of international legal principles.

The courses allow you to develop a practical understanding of the legal issues surrounding specific industries, markets and commercial relationships. They also facilitates a broader and more generic understanding of underlying themes such as harmonisation, regulation and compliance.

The programme will enable you to look beyond the technical content of the relevant law and to think critically about the underlying problems and conflicting solutions. Having studied the programme, you will emerge with an understanding not just of legal issues, but regard to ethical principles and the social and economic context. Here, particular emphasis is placed on the economic and commercial context.

Career opportunities

The majority of students on the Law School’s LLM programmes by online distance learning are mid-career, and they often work across international boundaries. Many will already be established in their career, but wish to use the programme to consolidate skills and knowledge accumulated over time.

Graduates of our online distance learning programmes progress to a range of careers in law and related legal fields, including work in local and international firms, government legal departments, other public institutions, international organisations and in academia. The programmes are also an ideal platform for advanced research.

For some graduates, successful completion of the programme will lead to a promotion within their current positions. Others aim to develop a new professional direction altogether. The programme aims to support students in whichever outcome they aspire to, through developing their knowledge and understanding of the law, but also through acquiring transferable skills and, not least, the experience of engaging with leading academics in the field and with fellow students.

The profile of online distance learning LLM students, and their needs for career guidance, are recognised by the University careers service, which offers information resources relevant to international and non-Law careers, and the opportunity to arrange individual consultations with students who are based remotely.


Visit the International Commercial Law and Practice (Online Distance Learning) - LLM page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!

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