About this course
Customise your degree to suit your law interests and tackle the latest legal problems on this LLM Master of Laws. Choose modules across areas like commercial, corporate and human rights law.
Learn from our research-active team, who are at the forefront of global legal reform and development. Gain the knowledge and practical skills to pursue a wide range of legal and non-legal careers.
On this flexible master’s in law you'll start with a week-long introductory course on common law to understand the way this important legal system works.
From here you’ll develop your legal skills to take on complex issues arising from practical scenarios. You’ll learn how to advise, litigate and negotiate. You'll learn to understand the legal frameworks that underpin your areas of interest.
During the taught element of the course you choose the modules you’d like to study to match your career plans. They might include:
- international law of the sea
- marine insurance
- principles of commercial arbitration
- intellectual property law in a global world
- corporate governance
- human rights in context
- armed conflict in international law
- free speech and privacy on the internet
Our high-profile advisory and law reform work, along with our internationally recognised research, brings the latest legal developments to your learning.
If you prefer, you can apply to study this course as:
- a part-time master's - study the same course content over 2 or more years
You can also take a single module as part of continuing professional development (CPD). Explore modules that are available as CPD
Your modules and fees may vary if you choose a different study option.
Your course lead is Professor Uta Kohl. Her research focuses on online and corporate governance. She has written about corporate human rights abuses, online jurisdiction and the regulation of online speech. Uta is a trustee on the board of the Internet Watch Foundation. Visit Professor Kohl’s profile page to learn more about her work.
This course is based at Highfield.
This qualification is awarded by the University of Southampton.
Download the programme specification
The programme specification sets out the learning outcomes of this course and details how the course is taught and assessed.
You’ll need a 2.1 degree in a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) or at least 4 law modules in a bachelor’s degree.
Find the equivalent international qualifications for your country.
English language requirements
If English isn't your first language, you'll need to complete an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) to demonstrate your competence in English. You'll need all of the following scores as a minimum:
IELTS score requirements
- overall score
We accept other English language tests. Find out which English language tests we accept.
Recognition of professional experience
If you don't have the exact entry requirements, but you have significant work experience in this sector we’ll assess your relevant professional experience, your subject knowledge and your aptitude for learning.
Your application will be considered on individual merit and you may be asked to attend an interview.
Got a question?
Please contact us if you're not sure you have the right experience or qualifications to get onto this course.
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000
The full-time version of this postgraduate law degree is taken in 1 year.
The course includes campus-based taught learning and a dissertation. You’ll complete your taught modules between October and June. From June to September you’ll complete a supervised dissertation on a topic of your choosing.
Want more detail? See all the modules in the course.
For entry in Academic Year 2021-22
Year 1 modules
You must study the following module:
The dissertation is an opportunity for you to pursue a piece of independent legal research on an issue of interest to you which may arise from one of the other units studied by you or as a result of your own curiosity concerning a particular legal problem...
You must also choose from the following modules:
The enforcement of claims through the Admiralty Court is crucial in maritime law. From the claimant’s perspective, many liabilities may be enforced through a claim in rem which is a prerequisite to the arrest of a ship. Ship arrest is one of the most powe...
Shipping plays a critical role in the global economy and is generally considered a very well-regulated part of the marine industry, not least internationally by the International Maritime Organization. However, sometimes things may still go wrong with shi...
The provision of credit is central to the financing of commercial activity. A significant factor dictating the availability and the terms governing the provision of credit is the ability of the borrower to provide security to the lender for the repayment ...
Companies are the business vehicle of choice world-wide and one of the key issues both for investors and for regulators is the structure, composition and responsibilities of the board of directors. The real power in a company tends to be concentrated in ...
In an age of globalisation, significant trade is carried on across borders with the result that, when businesses collapse or require restructuring (because of financial difficulties or possibly following takeovers and mergers), there will be a multi-juris...
Insurance is an essential condition to undertake commercial transactions or complex ventures, whatever their nature. As a foundation for commerce, insurance plays an important role in society, for commercial risk management as well as a safety net for und...
To those interested in intellectual property (IP) law these are incredibly challenging and exciting times. At the EU level, debate around further harmonisation and review especially of copyright law has intensified over the past few years, and is very liv...
With the dramatic rise of international trade in the last two to three decades, conflict of laws, also known as private international law, has become a key mechanism for regulating transnational commercial relationships. As it provides the wider legal bac...
Competition law, whether on an international or national level, is an important influence on companies' business strategy. Competition law plays a major role in trade and trade relations between countries. It is also an increasingly important element of t...
International commodity sales, located in the centre of a commercial network, are the driving force for marine transportation and cargo insurance. The international commodity market (including oil, as well as grain, foodstuffs, bulk ore) accounts for over...
In every contract for international sale of goods, the trading parties need to agree a method of payment. The way of payment in fact represents the reconciliation between the conflicting interests involved in international trade transactions. The seller’s...
The World Trade Organization is a key facilitator of globalisation. It provides the legal framework for the regulation of international trade in goods and services through the pursuit of progressive reduction in barriers to trade. Underpinned by binding d...
This module studies the international regulatory framework for the marine environment, its achievements, shortcomings and future challenges. The law of the marine environment has taken shape over several decades, responding to challenges caused by shippin...
London has a strong marine insurance and reinsurance market. The English law on marine insurance developed by the market and by the judiciary have influenced the legal principles of marine insurance globally. This module introduces marine insurance practi...
Marine insurance is the key device for the management of risk in international trade. London remains the leading global centre for its practice, covering risks from across the globe. Marine insurance contracts made under English law, and litigated and arb...
Hardly any other principle of international maritime law is so universally recognised as the freedom of navigation, and particularly navigation iure communicationis. Therefore, incidents involving the exercise of traditional passages or emerging navigati...
This module covers the principles of English arbitration law, apart from consumer arbitrations; hence the inclusion of the word "commercial" in the title. This module is a pre-requisite for Advanced Commercial Arbitration. In commerce, arbitration is o...
The International Law of the Sea is a specialist topic within public international law concerning the control and use of the sea. It has a long history in customary international law, though in more recent times much of it has been codified in the 1982 Un...
Bills of lading and analogous shipping documents play important roles in the carriage of goods by sea. In this module you will study the functions of a bill of lading, cargo claims under the Hague-Visby Rules and rights of suit at both common law and sta...
This module introduces you to the law governing charterparties which are maritime contracts between shipowners and charterers for the hire of a ship for the carriage of cargo (or passengers) and as such form a critical part of the law governing the carri...
Learning and assessment
You’ll learn through a range of teaching and learning methods that may include:
- small-group teaching
- simulated court hearings (moots)
- clause drafting
- public consultation response preparation
- exploring conventions and their legal implications
The LLM Challenge offers an extra learning experience. Students across all our LLM courses are assigned to a team and given a current topic to debate to compete for a monetary prize. The LLM Challenge helps you develop your collaborative working and leadership skills.
We’ll feedback on your work during class to help you to identify your strengths and understand where you can improve.
Formal assessment varies by module and includes exams and coursework, as well as your dissertation.
An important part of all our LLM degrees is the dissertation. This is a significant research project on a topic that interests you. The topic may arise from the taught part of the course, or as a result of your own curiosity about a particular legal problem.
We'll assign you a personal academic tutor, and you'll have access to a senior tutor.
Depending on your choice of modules, you could choose to become a solicitor or barrister.
You can use your legal knowledge in the insurance, financial, banking or commercial sector. You could work within a commodity house, shipping company, government body or protection and indemnity club.
Our graduates enjoy careers all over the world, in law firms and companies including:
- Ince and Co
- Hogan Lovells
- Campbell Johnston Clark Ltd
- Holman Fenwick & Willan
- PSP Law
- Linklaters LLP
- Interport Maritime Ltd
- Van Traa
You’ll have the chance to meet high-profile organisations and law firms at our law careers fair.
Explore our LLM careers brochure. You’ll find information on:
- typical job opportunities
- how to qualify as a barrister or solicitor in England and Wales
- useful resources
This degree is also excellent preparation for further study at PhD level.
Careers services at Southampton
We're a top 20 UK university for employability (QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2020). Our Careers and Employability Service will support you throughout your time as a student and for up to 5 years after graduation. This support includes:
- work experience schemes
- CV/resume and interview skills workshops
- networking events
- careers fairs attended by top employers
- a wealth of volunteering opportunities
- study abroad and summer school opportunities
We have a thriving entrepreneurship culture. You'll be able to take advantage of:
Fees, costs and funding
Fees for a year's study:
- UK students pay £9,250.
- EU and international students pay £19,850.
When you accept your offer to study on this course you’ll be asked to pay a deposit. This is non-refundable. The deposit amount is:
- UK students: £250
- EU and international students: £1,000
Full terms and conditions and details of how to pay this deposit will be sent to you in your offer letter.
What your fees pay for
Your tuition fee covers the full cost of tuition and any exams.
Find out how to pay your tuition fees.
Accommodation and living costs, such as travel and food, are not included in your tuition fees. Explore:
10% alumni discount
If you’re a graduate of the University of Southampton you get a 10% discount on your postgraduate tuition fees.
Postgraduate Master’s Loans (UK nationals only)
This can help with course fees and living costs while you study a postgraduate master's course. Find out if you're eligible.
Funding your postgraduate studies
A variety of additional scholarships, grants and bursaries may be available to help you fund your master’s study, both from the University and from other organisations.
Funding for EU and international students
Find out about funding you could get as an international student.
How to apply
- Use the 'apply for this course' button on this page to take you to our online application form.
- Search for the course you want to apply for.
- Complete the application form and upload any supporting documents.
- Submit your application.
Applications must be received no later than 4 weeks before the start of the course. You must supply all supporting documentation at least 2 weeks before starting your course.
We recommend you apply at least 6 weeks before the start of the course to ensure you're able to meet our requirements and apply for a visa in time.
We cannot guarantee students who do not meet these deadlines will be able to begin their course.
Application assessment fee
We’ll ask you to pay a £50 application assessment fee if you’re applying for any postgraduate taught course that starts in or after September 2021.
This is an extra one-off charge which is separate to your tuition fees. It covers the work and time it takes us to assess your application. You’ll be prompted to pay when you submit your application which won’t progress until you've paid.
If you're a current or former University of Southampton student, or if you're applying for a Master of Research (MRes) degree, you will not need to pay the fee. Find out if you’re exempt on our terms and conditions page.
When you apply you’ll need to submit a personal statement explaining why you want to take the course.
You’ll need to include information about:
- your knowledge of the subject area
- why you want to study a postgraduate qualification in this course
- how you intend to use your qualification
You'll also need to send 2 academic references.
Please include the required paperwork showing your first degree and your IELTS English language test score (if you are a non-native English speaker) with your application. Without these, your application may be delayed.
Learn more about how to apply with our postgraduate application guide.
What happens after you apply
You'll be able to track your application through our online Applicant Record System.
We'll assess your application on the strength of your:
- academic achievements
- relevant professional experience
- personal statement
- academic references
We'll get back to you within 6 weeks with a decision about your application.
Equality and diversity
We treat and select everyone in line with our Equality and Diversity Statement.
Got a question?
Please contact us if you're not sure you have the right experience or qualifications to get onto this course.
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000