Southampton Law School

LLM Finance Law (1 yrs)

The LLM in Finance Law will provide you with a comprehensive, practical and deeply analytical education in this field which covers financial regulation, the substantive law governing financial instruments, public policy relating to financial markets, and the standard market documentation which is used in practice.

Programme Overview

The LLM in Finance Law offers you the opportunity to become a specialist in finance law. This unique programme covers the entire range of financial markets, their regulation and the principal legal issues which apply to them. From traditional banking and lending activities, through to trading in securities, derivatives and other complex financial instruments, from financial crime through to the regulatory aftermath of the financial crisis, this programme will imbue you with knowledge about the finance industry and the skills to work in that field. We shall consider the policy priorities around the regulation of banking and investment activities in the wake of the financial crisis at the international level, across the EU and in the UK; we shall consider the needs of multinational corporations and the plight of individual retail customers; and we shall analyse the standard market contracts used in international financial markets. By the end of this programme you will understand the complexities of the financial marketplace. You will be able to follow your own research paths into finance law and the financial crisis. By the end of the programme, you will have confidence in your knowledge and your skills as a finance lawyer.

These courses are also available as electives on the general LLM programme. None of these modules requires any prior knowledge of finance nor of finance law. Nor do they involve mathematics.

Among the materials which we will study will be detailed recreations of litigation involving mis-selling of financial instruments (including specimen documentation, instructions to counsel to advice, transcripts of conversations between traders, and so forth), practical exercises simulating the legal structure of corporate finance transactions, and so forth.

The LLM in Finance Law is based on the structure of The Law of Finance (2nd edition, 2013) by Professor Alastair Hudson, the programme’s leader. This book is unique in that it covers in both a practical and in a scholarly way the whole of finance law and financial regulation. The new edition of this book analyses the financial crisis and the lessons which this poses for the law and regulation.

Programme Structure

This LLM is structured so that it begins with the core regulatory principles governing banking and investment, as well as the core legal principles applicable to financial market practice, and then applies those fundamentals to each market segment. There is no previous knowledge of finance required because each module covers both the legal and the commercial basics at the outset.

Key facts

Entry requirements

Typical entry requirements

Selection process:

A Second Class Bachelors Degree in Law (or a degree with a substantial legal component) is normally required, but account may also be taken of practical work experience or professional qualifications within the relevant field of study.

English language requirements

In accordance with University regulations, applicants whose first language is not English must provide evidence of competency in English by offering one of the recognised tests in English. Alternatively, you should supply evidence that you have undertaken formal study in English at an institution that teaches award-bearing programmes in English.

The following test scores are accepted for direct entry:

IELTS 7.0 with 6.0 in each component or
TOEFL 100 (internet based).

A score of IELTS 6.5 or TOEFL 92 together with satisfactory completion of the six week LLM Pre-sessional programme on English legal language and skills will be accepted.

Visit our International Office website or the NARIC website for further information on qualifications.


Typical course content

The Programme is comprised of the following modules, each of which is studied over one semester.

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Learning and teaching

Learning and teaching
  • Alongside traditional seminar discussion of conceptual essay titles and the analysis of problem questions, you will be presented with substantial (fictional) sets of documents which mimic real litigation. They demonstrate the difficulty in finding an objectively “right” answer given the welter of typically contradictory information in financial markets and the speed at which transactions are created in those markets.
  • Teaching and learning will therefore involve the analysis of many standard market documents which are used in practice to execute transactions and to fill the gaps where regulation would otherwise be. This applied focus will provide you with knowledge and skills you need to practise successfully as a lawyer in this field.

The Programme Leader (Professor Alastair Hudson) is the author of a number of pioneering treatises in the area of finance law, including the first legal textbook to attempt to cover the full range of financial markets comprehensively: The Law of Finance (2nd edition, 2013). This hugely successful book is published both in student and in practitioner editions. His book on The Law on Financial Derivatives (1996 – 2012) is the only scholarly treatment of this subject anywhere in the world; and his books on Securities Law (2008 – 2013) and The Law on Investment Entities (2000) are the only treatments of these subjects. In consequence, the content of this programme will be genuinely research-led.

Assessment methods
  • The examinations will be open book and will enable students to demonstrate the scope of their own research, and will enable them to write essays which reflect their own particular pathways through the subject matter of the course and their own perspective on that material.
  • The examinations will enable students to demonstrate their understanding of the legal issues relating to specific financial transactions by means of problem questions.

Career Opportunities

Professor Alastair Hudson


Thumbnail photo of Professor  Alastair Hudson

Related videos

  • Professor Alastair Hudson reporting on topical elements of the LLM Finance & Law programme.
  • Professor Alastair Hudson reporting on topical elements of the LLM Finance & Law programme.
  • Professor Alastair Hudson reporting on topical elements of the LLM Finance & Law programme.
Hartley Library

With thousands of books to choose from, you will always find what you need.

Hartley Library

Beautiful Surroundings

The University campus provides wonderful areas to relax and study

Beautiful Surroundings

Sunny Southampton

With beautiful beaches and the New Forest close by the summer time is great.

Sunny Southampton

Here to help

Academic and student sat in discussion.

Here to help