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This programme offers students from a wide variety of backgrounds the opportunity to develop their legal knowledge and skills in some of the most intellectually challenging and practically relevant areas of trade and commercial law. The course has a particular emphasis upon the international aspects of these areas of legal knowledge and practice.
During the first two terms of the programme, students study taught modules drawn from a wide variety of topics on international trade and commercial law. Students then complete their studies by writing a dissertation on a topic chosen by them, and supervised by a member of staff with expertise in their selected subject area. Teaching is by a mixture of lectures and smaller, student-led, seminar or tutorial groups. The dissertation is pursued by independent research with individual supervision.
Students attending the programme are drawn from a broad range of countries, and their previous academic or professional experiences enrich the programme. The School is host to the Institute of Commercial and Corporate Law, and students on the LLM are encouraged to participate in its activities.
Students must study one compulsory module in Applied Research Methods in Law. You must also choose a number of additional taught modules, from a large body of optional modules. Finally, a dissertation must be completed, on a topic chosen by you in consultation with your allotted supervisor.
Please note: not all modules necessarily run every year, and we regularly introduce new modules. The list below provides an example of the type of modules which may be offered.
This programme involves both taught modules and a substantial dissertation component. Taught modules are delivered by a mixture of lectures and seminars. Although most lectures do encourage student participation, they are used primarily to introduce chosen topics, identify relevant concepts, and introduce the student to the main debates and ideas relevant to the chosen topic. They give students a framework of knowledge that students can then develop, and reflect on, through their own reading and study.
Seminars are smaller-sized, student-led classes. Students are expected to carry out reading prior to classes, and are usually set questions or problems to which to apply the knowledge they have developed. Through class discussion, or the presentation of student papers, students are given the opportunity to test and refine their knowledge and understanding, in a relaxed and supportive environment.
The number of contact hours in each module will reflect that module’s credit weighting. 15-credit modules will have, in total, 15 contact hours (of either lectures or seminars); 30-credit modules will have 30 contact hours. Students must accumulate, in total, between 90 and 120 credits of taught modules for the programme (depending upon the length of their dissertation).
In addition to their taught modules, all students must produce a dissertation of between 10,000 and 20,000 words. This is intended to be the product of the student’s own independent research. Each student is allocated a dissertation supervisor, and will have a series of (usually four) one-to-one meetings with their supervisor over the course of the academic year.
Finally, all taught postgraduate students on this programme, are encouraged to attend the various events, including guest lectures and seminars, organised through the School’s research centres, including the Institute for Commercial and Corporate Law, and Durham European Law Institute.
Visit the International Trade and Commercial Law - LLM page on the Durham University website for more details!