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LLM/PgDip/PgCertInternational Commercial Law

Why this course?

The aim of the new LLM International Commercial Law is to introduce you 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. You'll also explore its interaction with other systems and fields of law. 

One of the key aims of this programme is to provide you with the knowledge base and intellectual and practical skills necessary to develop a career in the area of international commercial law. As a student on the LLM International Commercial Law you'll have the opportunity to pursue your own interests and have a large degree of flexibility to tailor your degree to your intended career path.

What you’ll study

This programme is available full-time and part-time, with three potential exit points. You can choose to study for a:

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

Core classes

  • The Law of the World Trade Organisation
  • International Business Law
  • Legal Research (compulsory for PgDip and LLM)

Elective classes

In addition to the core classes, you'll have the opportunity to pursue elective classes from other Masters programmes in Law. Choices may include:

  • Business & Human Rights
  • Labour Law in the Global Economy
  • Intellectual Property Law
  • E-Commerce
  • International Investment Law
  • International Banking Law
  • Financial Regulation & Compliance
  • Comparative Company Law & Regulation
  • Comparative Law of Obligations
  • Cybercrime
  • Competition Law of the UK and EU

Please note that the elective 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
  • Global Health Rights and Development
  • Climate Change & International Law

Students on the LLM degree also require to undertake a dissertation over the summer.

Field dissertation

A unique aspect of this degree is the opportunity for a select number of students to undertake a field dissertation overseas within a non-governmental organisation that has an international focus.

This opportunity is offered on a competitive basis. If successful, your placement will last for up to 12 weeks between July and September. Work completed for the placement will focus on a specific area of law and will form the subject of your dissertation.

Previous students have undertaken placements in a wide range countries including Sri Lanka, Tanzania, South Africa, Mozambique, Cambodia, India and Kenya though our current focus is on providing placements in Ghana, Uganda and Zambia. Examples of projects which our students have previously undertaken include:

  • 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
  • a comparative analysis of shea production in Ghana and Uganda

The project/field work is organised and supported by Challenges Worldwide. Challenges Worldwide is an innovative, award-winning, social enterprise working in international development.

The University of Strathclyde provides comprehensive travel and health insurance for all participants in the field dissertation. We also pay for the costs of your placement. You're responsible for the costs of flights, visas, and accommodation and living expenses while overseas. Such costs have tended to be in the region of £1,500 to £2,500 per student.

The Strathclyde Law School

The Strathclyde Law School is well known for its academic research in commercial law and has a large number of experts working in the area of commercial law, broadly defined. This includes:

Given the large number of staff working in this area, you'll have the opportunity to attend seminars, guest lectures and other events relevant to your study throughout your LLM studies.


Our library has a wide range of law reports, legislation, serials and monographs. It also has duplicate sets of key law report series, houses extensive collections in government publications and other related areas.

You'll have access to a wide range of electronic information sources which can be accessed from home, including all the major legal databases.

The Law School is also home to Scotland’s first Law Clinic. It provides a ‘real life’ learning experience for students and an invaluable service to members of the public who do not qualify for legal aid, and cannot otherwise afford legal advice. 

Student competitions

Students will be invited to take part in a selection process to participate in the Climate & Sustainability Project (CASP). This is open also to students on the LLM Global Environmental Law & International Law and the LLM International Law & Sustainable Development. CASP is an annual student-run project that explores a particular area of law and policy related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The project culminates every year in an interactive workshop led by students and contributed to by a range of sustainable development experts.

Course content

Compulsory classes

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 is offered by 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. 

Elective classes

In addition to the compulsory modules, students will have the opportunity to choose among a number of elective classes, which will allow them to pursue their personal interests and tailor their degree to their intended career path. Elective classes may include:

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
Labour Law in the Global Economy

This class enables students to develop and demonstrate an understanding of the global nature of labour markets and the corresponding need for international regulation in associated areas such as protection from child labour and forced labour.

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.

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
Comparative Company Law & Regulation

This class will examine advanced issues of company law on a comparative and interdisciplinary basis. It will identify economic conflicts created by the use of the corporate form and discuss corporate governance solutions to these conflicts developed by different jurisdictions and legal traditions.

Comparative Law of Obligations

This class will consider obligations law in the context of different constitutional arrangements around the world. It will include material on delict/torts, contract and restitution in countries including the UK, Australia, Canada, the EU, the USA and China and also some material on the law of obligations in the Islamic tradition.


This class 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 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.

Competition Law of the UK & EU

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.

Learning & teaching

Classes will be taught weekly by way of two to three hour face-to-face seminars. The seminar style of teaching adopted in delivering this LLM 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 very different from the traditional lecture style of undergraduate teaching but is necessary to allow students to build key employability skills such as time management, independent research and public speaking.


A variety of assessment methods and weightings are used on this Masters programme. The majority of your assessments will consist of exams and/or coursework.

If you wish to gain the award of a Masters Degree (LLM) you'll need to complete a dissertation. This is a 15,000 word independently research essay which you'll start work on upon successful completion of all taught classes on your degree. 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.

Entry requirements

Normally a first class or second-class honours degree in a related discipline (some law content recommended). Entry may be possible with other qualifications, especially where your work experience is relevant to the course.

English language requirements

For postgraduate studies, the University of Strathclyde requires a minimum overall score of IELTS 6.5 (no individual test score below 6.0) or equivalent. Tests are valid for two years.

Pre-sessional courses in English are available.

If you’re a national of an English speaking country recognised by UK Visa and Immigrations (please check most up-to-date list on the Home Office website) or you have successfully completed an academic qualification (at least equivalent to a UK bachelor's degree) in any of these countries, then you do not need to present any additional evidence.

If you are from a country not recognised as an English speaking country by the United Kingdom Visa and Immigration (UKVI), please check our English requirements before making your application.

Pre-Masters preparation course

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

To find out more about the courses and opportunities on offer visit isc.strath.ac.uk or call today on +44 (0) 1273 339333 and discuss your education future. You can also complete the online application form. To ask a question please fill in the enquiry form and talk to one of our multi-lingual Student Enrolment Advisers today.

Fees & funding

How much will my course cost?

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


  • LLM/PgDip - £6,500
  • PgCert - £3,250

Rest of UK

  • LLM/PgDip - £6,500
  • PgCert - £3,250


  • LLM/PgDip - £13,500

How can I fund my course?

There are several scholarship opportunities available for students applying for this course. Opportunities include:

International applicants

International applicants to this course may be eligible to apply for the Strathclyde Prestige Award for Excellence in International Commercial Law. This offers a merit-based scholarship of up to £6,000 for entry onto the full-time version of this programme.

International applicants may also wish to consider applying for the Dean's International Excellence Award which offers international students a merit-based scholarship of up to £3,000 for entry onto a full-time Masters programme in the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences. Please note that for any University of Strathclyde award you are successful in applying for, you will receive the higher value award only.

Check our Scholarship Search for more help with fees and funding.

Lord Hope Scholarship

The Lord Hope Postgraduate Scholarship Scheme offers two partial scholarships of £1,000 each (£500 for part-time). This scholarship is available for applicants across a range of our LLM/MSc courses for study in 2017/18. They're awarded competitively taking into account financial need and academic merit.

Scottish and non-UK EU postgraduate students

Scottish and non-UK EU postgraduate students starting in 2017 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.

Students coming from England

Students ordinarily resident in England can 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.

Students coming from Wales

Postgraduate students starting in 2017 who are ordinarily resident in Wales can apply for 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. We are waiting on further information being released about this support and how to apply.

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

Students coming from Northern Ireland

Postgraduate students starting in 2017 who are ordinarily resident in Northern Ireland can apply for support from Student Finance NI. The support is a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500. We are waiting on further information being released about this support and how to apply.

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

International students

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

Please note

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


The LLM in International Commercial has been designed to provide you with the knowledge base and intellectual and practical skills necessary to develop a career in the area of international commercial law, broadly defined. Students on the LLM in International Commercial Law have the opportunity to pursue their own interests and have a large degree of flexibility to tailor their degree to their intended career path. We also work closely our award winning Careers Service so as to advise students of relevant training, internship and job opportunities.

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

  • Associate, Law Firm*
  • 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

* Please note that while this degree fosters strong employability skills, it does not in itself qualify students to enter the legal profession.

Contact us


International Commercial Law

Qualification: LLM, Start date: Sep 2017, Mode of delivery: attendance, part-time

International Commercial Law

Qualification: LLM, Start date: Sep 2017, Mode of delivery: attendance, full-time

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