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

Course Description

Programme description

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:

Contract Law in Europe
International Commercial Arbitration
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

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!

Student Profiles

Tercentenary Awards for Excellence - 5 Awards

Edinburgh Law School is pleased to be able to offer five Tercentenary Awards for Excellence of £2,000 towards tuition fees in any LLM or MSc programme offered by the School, starting in September 2014 (including distance learning programmes, and also the MSc in European Union Politics and Law and the MSc in Global Crime, Justice and Security, both of which are offered jointly with the School of Social and Political Studies).

Value of Scholarship(s)

£2,000 towards tuition fees


Students should meet the criteria for entry to the LLM/ MSc programmes.

Application Procedure

Deadline: 30th April 2014.You must have already applied to study an LLM or MSc programme before you apply for this scholarship.Once you have applied for your chosen programme of study, you should download and complete the School Scholarships application form. This can be downloaded from the Law School website.Completed application forms should be emailed to [email protected] by the deadline date above.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

The minimum basic admission requirement is an upper second class honours degree (or better), or its international equivalent. Other qualifications from a recognised higher education institution will be considered on an individual basis. Candidates who have not previously studied a legal subject may still be eligible for study, as every application will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

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Recipient: University of Edinburgh
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