LLM/PgDip/PgCert International Commercial Law

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Strathclyde Law School: Virtual Information Session, 6 June 2023

Key facts

  • Start date: September
  • Study mode and duration: LLM: 12 months full-time; 24 months part-time
    LLM with field dissertation: 15 months full-time; 30 months part-time
    PgDip: 9 months full-time; 21 months part-time
    PgCert: 8 months full-time
  • Placement: opportunity to apply for the field dissertation

Study with us

  • explore how international commercial law deals with real-world challenges
  • opportunity to undertake a research placement with an international focus - available on a competitive basis
  • introduction to the legal and normative concepts underpinning international commercial law as well as the challenges this area of law will face in the coming years
  • possibility to specialise in Financial Law and graduate with an LLM in International Commercial Law with a specialisation in Financial Regulation
  • our graduates from this programme come from all around the world including: Bangladesh, Britain, China, Colombia, France, Germany, Greece, India, Kuwait, Malawi, Mexico, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Thailand, Vietnam, Zimbabwe
  • formerly known as LLM International Economic Law


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Why this course?

This course was formerly known as LLM International Economic Law and launched in 2009. A key aim of the programme is to provide the knowledge base and intellectual and practical skills necessary to develop a career in the area of international commercial law.

You'll have the opportunity to pursue your own interests along with the flexibility to tailor your degree according to your career path. You'll also have the opportunity to attend seminars, guest lectures and other events relevant to your study throughout your LLM studies.

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Interested in postgraduate study?

At the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, our friendly and knowledgeable team will be available to provide you with all the information you need to kick-start your postgraduate journey at the University of Strathclyde. Register for upcoming events below:

What you’ll study

This programme is available full-time and part-time, with three potential exit points. Assuming satisfactory performance, it's possible to change between these exit points:

  • Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert)
  • Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip)
  • Masters degree (LLM)

You'll undertake a combination of core/compulsory and optional classes. In addition, those continuing to the LLM stage, undertake a dissertation over the summer.

A unique aspect of this course is the ability for students to specialise in Financial Law. Depending upon which electives you select, you can choose to graduate with an LLM in International Commercial Law with a specialisation in Financial Regulation. Electives are chosen when you arrive on campus and you'll receive advice and guidance from course staff in making this choice.

Field dissertation

An innovative feature of this programme is the opportunity for a select number of students to undertake a dissertation in the form of a ‘field dissertation’ within a relevant non-governmental organisation. 

Work completed during the placement will focus on a specific area of law relevant to, or actually form the subject of, your dissertation. Placements typically last for 6-12 weeks. 

A limited number of field dissertations are supported each year. Placements are organised by students and the Law School oversees supervision arrangements.

It's open to students to organise placements in the UK, including in Glasgow. 

International placements

Students may also organise international placements. For such placements, we'll arrange pre-departure training and the University provides comprehensive travel and health insurance. Students are responsible for the costs of flights, visas, and accommodation and living expenses while overseas. Such costs have been in the region of £1,500 to £2,500 per student. LLM students have previously undertaken a range of placements in areas including;

  • assessing the extent to which Indian environmental and energy laws promote the development of micro-renewables
  • an analysis of whether Tanzanian land law discriminates against women and what reforms would be needed to address the discrimination
  • an exploration of the low take-up of Clean Development Mechanism [CDM] in Sub-Saharan Africa and how the situation could be improved
  • an assessment of environmental justice in Nigeria and South Africa
  • market access barriers in respect of honey produced in Mozambique

Chat to a student ambassador

If you want to know more about what it’s like to be a Humanities & Social Sciences student at the University of Strathclyde, a selection of our current students are here to help!

Our Unibuddy ambassadors can answer all the questions you might have about courses and studying at Strathclyde, along with offering insight into their experiences of life in Glasgow and Scotland.

Chat to a student ambassador

Our experts

The Law School at Strathclyde is renowned for its academic research in commercial law. Our experts working in the broad area of commercial law include:

Core staff are actively involved in a number of research centres at Strathclyde, including:

How to become a lawyer

There are different routes to a career in law. The choices you make now can affect the steps you would need to take to achieve your desired career in law. Here we explore the process of becoming a lawyer in Scotland and look at the different roles available within the law profession.

How to become a lawyer

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Course content

The Law of the World Trade Organisation

This class will provide you with advanced instruction in the law of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

You'll explore the core rules of non-discrimination and most-favoured nation treatment which underpin many of the legal agreements comprising the WTO. You’ll also look in detail at the operation of the WTO dispute settlement system.

The analysis will then move on to more specialised WTO agreements such the Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement, the Antidumping Agreement and the WTO Agreement on Agriculture. You'll also look at how the WTO disciplines the grant of governmental subsidies to domestic industries.

International Business Law

This class will introduce students to the concepts underpinning the regulation of businesses. It will explain the different types of business entities and introduce students to company and corporate law concepts.

Legal Research

This class is compulsory for LLM/PgDip students. It's offered by online distance learning across both semesters.

The aim of the module is to help you enhance your research abilities and skills with a view to improving your performance in course. 

In addition to the core/compulsory modules, you'll have the opportunity to choose from optional classes, which will enable you them to pursue your personal interests and tailor their degree. Please note that optional classes on offer may change from year to year.

You could also consider taking one of the following classes, if it's relevant to your future career path:

  • International Environmental Law
  • International Human Rights Law
  • European Human Rights Law
  • Climate Change & International Law
  • Negotiation
Business & Human Rights

This class will examine the relationship between business and human rights and will include an introduction to:

  • the international human rights framework
  • the role of business entities as global actors
  • the identification of the legal challenges that business presents for the international legal system
Intellectual Property Law

This class aims to give students a broad introduction to intellectual property law in the UK, the EU and internationally. The class will look at patents and trade secrets, trademarks, copyright law, and software and databases.


This class focuses on legal developments in electronic contracting, from current legal problems with contract formation and e-signatures, to consumer protection, e-commerce regulation and jurisdiction, and applicable law for online contracts.

International Investment Law

This class will introduce students to the concepts, sources and principle of international investment law. It will also consider the balance between the rights and duties of investors, residents and the host states as well as dispute resolution in international investment.

Financial Crime and Sanctions

This class seeks to examine a variety of difficulties and subject matters in the area of financial crime, such as money laundering, insider trading, and fraud.

International Banking Law

This course will examine the law and practice of international banking. It will introduce students to general banking law concepts and principles, such as:

  • the banker-customer relationship, confidentiality and money laundering
  • the structure of loans, asset finance, and secured financing
  • bond issues
  • derivatives
  • securitisations
Financial Regulation & Compliance

This course will examine select topics in capital markets regulation and economic theories underpinning them, including:

  • the law and economics of disclosure
  • regulation of market abuse (insider dealing and market manipulation)
  • the function and regulation of the market for corporate control
Competition Law

This class will focus on developing an understanding of the rationale for EU competition law and policy, the substantive rules and the processes of enforcement.

Arbitration Law

This class will provide students with a detailed knowledge and critical understanding of important aspects of domestic and international arbitrations, particularly in the context of the construction industry.

International Migration Law - The class will provide students with an opportunity to engage with core aspects of international migration law. It will equip students with the necessary tools to evaluate critically legal responses to the global human phenomenon that is international migration.

Cybercrime (conducted fully online)

Cybercrime is a highly topical area within the broad theme of internet law and policy. The Cybercrime module is intended to enable students to learn about the laws and legal framework that address transnational cybercrime with a specific focus on internet content crimes such as illegal pornography as well as online contact offences. By studying the module, students should be able to develop a detailed understanding and knowledge of the relevant areas of cybercrimes and analyse the various social, legal, criminological and policy aspects and responses to cybercrime. The class will also examine the wider human rights implications of existing regulation and consider the various socio-legal discourses in this area.

Learning & teaching

Classes will be taught weekly by way of two to three-hour face-to-face seminars. This seminar style of teaching requires you to undertake reading in advance of attendance at class with each session allowing you to discuss your readings and develop your thinking and ideas in discussion with the class leader.

A seminar is different from the traditional lecture style of undergraduate teaching. It enables you to build key employability skills such as time management, independent research and public speaking.


The majority of your assessments will consist of exams and/or coursework.

In order to gain the award of a Masters degree (LLM) you'll need to complete a 15,000-word dissertation. You'll start work on this independently researched essay on successful completion of the required taught classes. The dissertation is submitted over the summer or, in the case of students who embark on the field dissertation, three months after the completion of their field research.


You'll benefit from the wide range of law reports, legislation, serials and monographs available in our library. In addition, there are duplicate sets of key law report series and extensive collections in government publications and other related areas.

The range of electronic information sources, which can be accessed from anywhere, includes all the major legal databases.



What our students think

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Entry requirements

Academic requirements

First - or second-class Honours degree, or overseas equivalent, in a related discipline. Other qualifications may be accepted where the applicant has relevant work experience. Please note a law degree is not required for entry to this programme.

Please note: a Law degree is not a prerequisite for entry to this course.

English language requirements

Please check our English requirements before making your application.

Pre-Masters preparation course

The Pre-Masters Programme is a preparation course held at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre, for international students (non EU/UK) who do not meet the academic entry requirements for a Masters degree at University of Strathclyde. The Pre-Masters programme provides progression to a number of degree options.

Upon successful completion, you'll be able to progress to this degree course at the University of Strathclyde.

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Fees & funding

All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.

Fees may be subject to updates to maintain accuracy. Tuition fees will be notified in your offer letter.

All fees are in £ sterling, unless otherwise stated, and may be subject to revision.

Annual revision of fees

Students on programmes of study of more than one year should be aware that tuition fees are revised annually and may increase in subsequent years of study. Annual increases will generally reflect UK inflation rates and increases to programme delivery costs.

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Scotland, England, Wales & Northern Ireland


Full-time: £9,600

Part-time: £4,800


Full-time: £6,400

Part-time: £3,200


Part-time: £3,200






Available scholarships

British Council GREAT Scholarships 2023 for Justice and Law scholarships worth £10,000 open to applications from students from China, Ghana, Malaysia or Pakistan.

Take a look at our scholarships search for funding opportunities.

Additional costs

No additional costs for law modules and all compulsory material is in the library.

Visa & immigration

International students may have associated visa and immigration costs. Please see student visa guidance for more information.

Please note: The fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.

How can I fund my course?

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Scottish postgraduate students

Scottish postgraduate students may be able to apply for support from the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS). The support is in the form of a tuition fee loan and for eligible students, a living cost loan. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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Students coming from England

Students ordinarily resident in England may be to apply for postgraduate support from Student Finance England. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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Students coming from Wales

Students ordinarily resident in Wales may be to apply for postgraduate support from Student Finance Wales. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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Students coming from Northern Ireland

Postgraduate students who are ordinarily resident in Northern Ireland may be able to apply for support from Student Finance Northern Ireland. The support is a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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International students

We've a large range of scholarships available to help you fund your studies. Check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences Scholarships

View all our scholarships

International students

We've a thriving international community with students coming here to study from over 100 countries across the world. Find out all you need to know about studying in Glasgow at Strathclyde and hear from students about their experiences.

Visit our international students' section

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Stephanie Switzer 500x500
Profound and ongoing changes in the global economy make this a really exciting time to study international commercial law. Whether you are interested in the impact of Brexit or on how Trump's ongoing 'trade war' with China will play out in practice, this course will give you the opportunity to gain advanced knowledge and understanding of the legal implications of world economic affairs.
Stephanie Switzer
Postgraduate Courses Leader
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We work closely our Careers Service to provide information about relevant training, internship and job opportunities. Please note that while this degree develops strong employability skills, it does not qualify graduates to enter the legal profession.

Positions which graduates of similar postgraduate programmes offered by the Law School have gone on to take include:            

  • Company Director
  • HR Consultant
  • Trainee, Legal Services, Council of the European Union
  • Researcher, World Trade Organisation (WTO)
  • Trainee Chartered Accountant
  • Legal Advisor, Law Centre
  • Executive Assistant
  • Intern, European Patent Office, UNCITRAL, WTO
  • PhD Researcher
  • University Lecturer
  • WTO professional
  • Enhanced Integrated Framework
  • Senior Trade Negotiator
  • Gender and Development Expert, International Trade Centre
  • Tax Consultant
  • Lawyer, Client Earth
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Start date: Sep 2023

International Commercial Law

PG Certificate
Start date: Sep 2023

Start date: Sep 2023

International Commercial Law

PG Diploma
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International Commercial Law

PG Diploma
Start date: Sep 2023

Start date: Sep 2023

International Commercial Law

Start date: Sep 2023

Start date: Sep 2023

International Commercial Law

Start date: Sep 2023

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Prospective student enquiries

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Telephone: +44 (0) 141 444 8600