LLM: International Commercial Law

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LLM: International Commercial Law

Course Director Pieter Koornhof explains some of the main features of studying an LLM at Aston University

Course overview

  • Course level
    Postgraduate
  • Course type
    Full-time
  • Duration
    1 year
  • Course options
    Internship / overseas study
  • School

Entry requirements

  • One of the following:
    A good UK honours degree (minimum lower second class) or equivalent overseas degree recognised by Aston University.
  • For International students:
    An official academic transcript, with an official English translation, of your university grades to date. Students whose native language is not English will also need to satisfy our English language requirements.
  • Full entry requirements
    See entry requirements below for full details
More information
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Key dates

Develop your understanding of global commerce and gain valuable practical skills

Delivered in partnership with our Law School and Business School

Open to graduates in law and other academic backgrounds

Connections to a wide range of organisations, from in-house legal divisions to specialist law firms

Course summary

Our School of Law sits within our triple-accredited Business School. This varied and stimulating course is open to graduates in law and other academic backgrounds.

Globalisation has made international commercial law increasingly significant. We examine the basis of the relationship between law and business within this context.

Whether you want to secure a job in law or land a management position in another area of business, we can help you to achieve your career ambitions.

The course concludes with a Business Project; a substantial piece of work designed to provide you with an opportunity to analyse a business problem and practically apply the knowledge and skills developed during the course.

You can choose to study this course as part of our double degree programme. 

Entry requirements

One of the following:

  • A good UK honours degree (minimum lower second class)

  • Equivalent overseas degree recognised by Aston University.

As well as:

  • Two professional references – at least one must be from an academic referee

  • An official academic transcript of your university grades to date

  • A completed application form.

For International students:

  • An official academic transcript, with an official English translation, of your university grades to date

  • Students whose native language is not English will also need to satisfy our English language requirements Pre-sessional English language programmes are available for good applicants whose English qualification falls just short of these requirements.

  • Postgraduate masters students enrolling with Aston Business School with a 5.5 in one of the 4 IELTS sections will be required to engage with English language tuition as part of the Professional Development Programme (PDP).  There will be no extra cost to the student.

Applicants with extensive work experience:

We recognise the value of extensive professional experience. If you do not have the academic qualifications, but have extensive and relevant professional experience and a proven ability to succeed, we would welcome your application.

The information contained on this website details the typical entry requirements for this course for the most commonly offered qualifications. Applicants with alternative qualifications may wish to enquire with the relevant admissions teams prior to application whether or not their qualifications are deemed acceptable. For less commonly encountered qualifications this will be judged on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the academic admissions tutor

Why choose us?

We’re one of just 1% of business schools in the world to hold AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA accreditation. Part of the business school, our law school is well-placed to equip you with a first-class education in legal and business matters and how they affect each other.

Our reputation for student satisfaction and teaching quality is unrivalled. We’ve received a Gold Award, the highest possible accolade, from the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). TEF stated that our students achieved ‘consistently outstanding outcomes’, with very high proportions of students going into highly skilled employment or further study. Aston Business School has an overall student satisfaction rating of 90% (National Student Survey, 2018). 

This course will prepare you for a successful career in a range of legal roles, such as a solicitor, barrister, company secretary, in-house counsel or legal adviser. It will also develop your understanding of business and equip you with a range of transferable skills to enhance your employability. This can help you to fulfil a variety of roles in different areas of business and become a senior manager of the future. Our graduates have been successful in securing positions with prestigious international companies and at leading consultancy firms. So, if you’re looking to kick-start your career, look no further.

Our courses offer a range of opportunities to gain practical experience through things such as, consultancy projects and entrepreneurial opportunities. Find out more here. 

Fees and scholarships

Fees 2019/20

UK/EU: £9,000
International: £14,650

Scholarships
Find out about our scholarships here.

Course outline

Our LLM International Commercial Law is your stepping stone to a rewarding and fulfilling career. Enhance your knowledge of the law and how it’s applied in the world of international business. Develop your understanding of global commerce and gain valuable practical skills.

Our School of Law sits within our triple-accredited Business School. Whether you want to secure a job in law or land a management position in another area of business, we can help you to achieve your career ambitions.

This varied and stimulating course is open to graduates in law and other academic backgrounds. If you didn’t study law at undergraduate level, this degree will help you gain an understanding of how law and business intersect within a global context. For those with law qualifications, this course gives you the opportunity to develop advanced legal knowledge and a broad range of business skills. The course is delivered in partnership by our Law School and Business School. This means you will get the best of both worlds, benefiting from a first-class law and business education, which will enhance your employability and allow you to fulfil a variety of roles at a senior level.

Globalisation has made international commercial law increasingly significant. You will begin by examining the basis of the relationship between law and business within this context. In doing so you will gain an appreciation for how a variety of commercial legal disciplines help to regulate markets and enable international business transactions to take place.

You will explore current insights and challenges in international commercial law. This will provide you with a comprehensive understanding and a critical awareness of the field. You’ll learn to solve complex legal issues and effectively advise clients or employers in specialist areas, studied as part of your elective modules.

You’ll study a fascinating range of topics across international commercial legal practice. For example, you can choose to examine how multinational companies are regulated, the laws they must adhere to in terms of international trade, what happens when a multinational business goes bankrupt or the consequences for organisations found to be engaging in anti-competitive conduct.

We teach established techniques of research and enquiry and you have opportunities to apply these and test your legal understanding and interpretation within real-life business scenarios. In doing this, you will develop the skills required by legal practitioners in a commercial context.

We also provide opportunities to develop your research and writing capabilities, as well as enhancing other transferable skills, such as decision-making, problem-solving and communication skills. These are extremely beneficial competencies which are held in high regard by graduate employers.

Our teaching staff have a mix of practical and academic experience. They are highly regarded and widely published academics, who are considered experts in their field, along with those who have enjoyed illustrious careers in legal practice with global organisations. You’ll find this range of different perspectives and expertise incredibly valuable.

We use a variety of modern teaching methods to ensure you get the most from the course. Our sessions are interactive and involve discussion of course materials, current issues and lively debate regarding not only what the law is, but also what it should be.

Subject guide and modules

This course comprises of one core module and a choice of complementary law or business-related subjects, allowing you to tailor the programme to your interests and future career plans.

Core modules

  • Law and Business in a Global Context
  • Business Project 

Elective modules

  • Competition Law and Policy
  • Banking and Financial Services Regulation
  • International Insolvency and Restructuring
  • Legal Risk Management
  • Internet Law
  • Corporate Governance Regulation and Compliance
  • Intellectual Property Strategy and Management

Elective business modules

  • Employee Relations in Context
  • Employment Law
  • Economic Environment of Business
  • International Business Strategy
  • Strategic Global Outsourcing and Offshoring
  • Business Finance
  • CSR, Sustainable Development and Public Policy
  • International Finance
Learning, teaching and assessment

We ensure the course is taught in a stimulating and thought-provoking way through a variety of teaching methods.

Seminars are used to convey essential knowledge and develop your abilities to critically reflect on the themes of the programme. Group activities and discussions allow you to explore issues, share ideas and develop your understanding of legal concepts and the application of law in a global business setting. There’s case studies and guest lectures from legal professionals which help you to apply your learning to real-life business scenarios. This focus on practical skills will help to enhance your employability and will provide you with a competitive edge when applying for graduate positions.

We use a mix of assessments as part of this course. Predominantly coursework based, you’ll be given a number of reflective writing tasks and essays to tackle. You will also get the chance to develop a skills portfolio and give presentations, which helps to enhance your communication abilities and equips you with the skills to deliver information confidently in a professional context.

Our online learning platform provides you with extra support when studying. It has digital resources including lecture slides, access to e-books and online journals, as well as video recordings of teaching sessions, which help you when revising and ensure you’re well prepared for assessments.

Teaching staff

Meet the team who teach LLM International Commercial Law. View their full biographies here.

  • Pieter Koornhof – Course Director/ Lecturer
  • Professor Simon Cooper - Professor of Law
  • Robert Goddard – Deputy Head of Law School
  • Claire Howell – Reader in Law
  • Kathy Daniels - Associate Dean: Learning and Teaching/ Lecturer in Employment Law
  • Dr Martin Brenncke - Lecturer
  • Chris Umfreville - Lecturer
  • Abhilash Nair – Senior Lecturer
  • Dr Kristie Thomas – Senior Lecturer
  • Stuart Weinstein - Reader in Law
  • Adam Shaw-Mellors - Lecturer
Professional Development Programme

More than a Masters

The Professional Development Programme (PDP) is an integrated module which runs throughout your course. Focusing on professional development and employability, this module gives you the opportunity to identify, develop and apply the key skills you will gain throughout the year. You'll have the opportunity to:

  • Develop your academic skills
  • Build a portfolio of professional business skills
  • Study abroad with one of our international partners, undertake an internship placement in the UK or overseas or get involved in a global business challenge simulation.
Links to industry

During your time with us you will benefit from our extensive links to industry. We have connections to a wide range of organisations, from in-house legal divisions to specialist law firms. Using their guidance, we can ensure that the course programme is suitably preparing you for the needs of the industry and the requirements of graduate employers.

Prominent industry figures will help to deliver course content by providing guest lectures. These are often senior executives, leading consultants or professionals with specific expertise related to the topics you’re studying. It gives you the chance to learn from their practical experiences but also a great opportunity to network and build industry contacts.

Our graduates have gone onto to secure roles with leading law firms, international companies, non-government organisations as well as small to medium sized businesses, based in the UK or overseas. Thanks to our Aston Alumni network, you’ll have the chance to connect with former graduates working for a range of companies, including PricewaterhouseCoopers, IBM, Ernst & Young, Unilever, Jaguar Land Rover, Rolls Royce and many more.

Student experience and employability

Examples of classroom activities/projects/case studies

Competition law

You get the chance to choose a recent case study to explore in detail. You’ll research the case, critically analyse your findings and then give a presentation to demonstrate how its relevant and what it teaches us about the current issues in the field of international competition law.

Legal risk management

You’ll be taught by one of the leading experts in this field, who is one of the drafters of the international standard on legal risk management. There’s a lot of practical discussions and analysis of contemporary issues, allowing you to stay ahead of the curve in this specialist area of legal practice.

What's it like to study at Aston?

I applied to Aston because of its incredible reputation for employment locally, nationally and even globally. I have always lived locally to Birmingham, so living in the heart of the city centre was an unforgettable experience which has given me so much independence and created friendships that I have made for life. Birmingham is a great city and holds a special place in my heart.

Bhakti Purohit

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